In this audio recording tutorial video published by AudioTuts+, I show you how to compress a vocal track using the compressor plugin effect, ReaComp, that comes with Reaper audio recording software. If you'd like a refresher on what the compression effect is for, see our article: What Does Compression Mean In Audio Recording?
In a nutshell though, "compression" in audio recording helps you even out the volume/loudness levels. This is helpful on, say, a vocal track in music because it makes it easier to hear and understand the voice all the way through a song.
Without compression to even out the volume level, you wouldn't be able to hear a voice when it got quiet and low. It would get buried under the music, which would be too loud in comparison. Likewise, when a singer is really belting, it could be too loud compared to the music. So compression keeps the volume under control by keeping the levels much more even.
In this video, I show you how to place ReaComp on a vocal track in Reaper (my dulcet tones doing a bit of singing). Then I walk you through the settings screen and explain the main controls and meters so you can see how the voice is affected by them. Then I show you how to set the starting levels for the threshold, ratio, and attack/release settings. You can then both see and hear how compression affects the vocal track.
The tutorial video was published here. I encourage you to check out the AudioTuts+ site because it has a lot of resources on audio recording that you will find very useful. But if you just want to watch the video, check it out below. Enjoy!