Any tips on how to keep a snare (or a kick) punchy without it having too much volume? I notice when I put a limiter on the track its the snare that really causes the overall level to peak. I figure if I can keep the perceived volume of the snare but bring down its peak volume I can bring up the level of the entire track without the master limiter having to squash it too much

Ott responded on 08/09/2013

With snare or kick compression, the compressor's 'attack' setting is most crucial.

Experiment with that and see if it gets you some of the way.

Also, try applying some soft-clipping saturation to the snare. That will increase its perceived volume without filling up your dynamic range.

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