Compression stole the dynamic effects spotlight. In this tutorial, we’re stealing it back. Your mixes will benefit from creative applications of that ‘other’ dynamics processor: the expander/gate. While offering all the virtues of expanded dynamic range, it has the power to create a far wider variety of effects. Expanders are a tool for altering timbre, reshaping sounds, synthesizing new ones, overcoming masking, and fabricating the impossible. Parameters with names like attack, hold, release, decay, range, depth, slope, and side chain filters don’t exactly invite creative exploration. This overview of effects strategies brings structure to the sonic possibilities of expansion and gating so that you can quickly find the parameter settings that let you achieve your production goals.
University of Massachusetts Lowell, Sound Recording Technology