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  • Tom Kelly

28. Explaining and Listening to the 4 Topologies of Compressors (VCA, FET, Opto, and Vari-Mu)

It's very important to know that every compressor is different and it will make your audio sound differently depending on how it processes the gain reduction. There is a time and place for every different style of compressor, and in this episode we listen to 4 different styles of compression at 3 different amounts of compression applied to my voice.



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UA Article on Compressor Topologies

4SoundEngineers Article of Compressor Topologies

IzoTope's 4 Different Types of Compressors

SoundBridge Article on Types of Compressors

Compressors sampled in this episode:

VCA: API 2500 Stereo Buss Compressor by Waves

FET: CLA-76 Compressor by Waves

Optical: CLA-2A Compressor by Waves

Vari-Mu: u73b by Audified

My Signal Chain


Audio Interface: Apogee Ensemble

Microphone: Shure SM7b

Headphones: Audio-Technia ATH-M50x

Earbuds: Klipsch R6i II

Studio Monitors: Yamaha HS7

Mic Stand: Rode PS1A Boom Arm


IzoTope RX6 Mouth De-Click

IzoTope RX6 Voice De-Noise

FabFilter ProQ3

Waves Vocal Rider

Waves CLA-2A

oeksound Soothe2

Waves LinMB

Waves WLM Meter

Waves Durrough Meter

Waves Abbey Road Studio3

-Save 10% off the plugins above with this affiliate link from Waves!-

*most of these links are affiliate links

Midroll Song: Road Trip by Joakim Karud

Closing Song: Something New by Joakim Karud

For more info, or to ask any questions, check out my website and reach out to

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