Quick Voiceover Tip: What is Knee

“Compression Week” wraps up at the Radio Lounge

voiceover tip compression knee

Quick Voiceover Tip: What is Knee?

So, we’re almost there and we finish with the term “knee”.  Knee is really about the transient way the audio gain is reduced. Where attack refers to how fast the audio is compressed (gain reduction), knee is more about how the gain is reduced. A hard knee brings the audio level down instantly, where a soft knee has a more gentle transition from uncompressed to compressed. And it all happens rather quickly.

What about knee settings for voiceover?

It’s pretty much, soft, for vocals.  You would use a hard knee for anything percussive.  Try different settings here, experiment until you find the sweet spot for your voice. 

In summary, they say it’s sometimes okay to break the rules.  So, go ahead, try several different settings with your audio, in post.  NEVER experiment when you are in the recording mode because you will have a devil of a time fixing it.

It’s okay to do a little compression going into your DAW.  Just remember that a little goes a long way.  The best place to experiment is on the back end, AFTER you’ve recorded your tracks.  Then you can experiment all you want. 

Don’t be afraid of compression.  Use it to improve what you’ve got. 

Here is a refresher on some of the compressor options out there.

There are hardware and software based compressors. Some of our favorite hardware units are the UniversalAudio 1176 and theWarm Audio 1176 clone. Many mic pre-amp units that have built in compression, such as these from AvalonFocusritePresonus, and ManleyLabs. Software options include plugins that are built in to most DAW programs, as well as great plugins from WavesSonnox, and others.

Check out more of the voiceover services from Radio Lounge.


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Quick Voiceover Tip: What Is Knee?