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How to Compress Organ

how to compress organ

Struggling to get the organ to sound right in your mix? To be honest, unless you’re dealing with an organ solo or a plucky organ sound, organs generally aren’t that dynamic to begin with. You can often get away with minimal compression to subtley control the dynamics of your organ.

Typically, a skilled organ player will already be controlling a lot of the dynamics by moving the draw bars or volume pedal. If you're unhappy with the sound of your organ, be sure to check out the best organ VST plugins.

Note: this article may contain affiliate links, which mean that I receive a commission for any purchases you make, at no added cost to you.


Compression Alternatives for Organ


I often find that before reaching for a compressor, there are some better choices for controlling the organ's minimal dynamics.

First, I might reach for an amp simulator or a Leslie rotary speaker simulator. A touch of saturation, combined with a slightly lower volume, can soak up any extra energy an organ might occasionally throw out.

Second, I'll often use a tape emulation plugin (here are the best tape VSTs plugins). Tape saturation will also subtly compress the organ sound in a really musical way.

Third, I'll try to manually automate the volume of any organ parts that feature radically different dynamics.


Organ Compressor Settings


I'll reach for compression on the organ only after I've exhausted my other options. For the most part, I often like to approach organ the same way I would approach compressing strings.

I love the way optical compressors sound on organs, as they have mellow attack and release times, and can add just a touch of warmth. If I need to, I can usually dial in anywhere from 3-5dB of compression without taking away from the sound.


Learn more about Mixing with Compression


This is only one part of mixing with compression! Luckily, I've put together a bunch more articles to help you master this crucial mixing skill!


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