STA-limit is one of those compressors that you can always reach for if your sound lacks this little bit of character and strength. Thanks to its clean and easy design you’ll also be able to get a terrific result within just a few minutes. Let us show you what we mean in today’s session!

Here’s the track we’ll be working on, a classic trance tune – listen for the fast bass, because that’s the part we’ll process:

As of now, the bass is rather plain, nothing exceptional.

Drop the bass

As usual, we start by inserting STA-limit on the instruments track. We’re aiming for a fairly dramatic amount of gain reduction, so we turn the INPUT-knob up until the VU-meter shows a value of approximately 20dB. Note how the overall level of the signal has been brought up – that’s due to an automatic make up gain, which makes up for the compression. Thus, we use the OUTPUT-knob to bring the volume down to its original level.

We then set MODE to AUTO to engage a program dependent release, so the release reacts dynamically to the input signal. Since we’re working on a fast bass line, it makes sense to set the RECOVERY TIME to FAST.

That’s pretty much it for the compression, but we’re not quite done yet. Although the plugin is really easy to handle in general, it provides us with a lot of control over the internal side chain. However, before we can access those features we have to activate this EXTRA-unit by switching it ON in the lower right corner of the interface. Turning down the LOW-knob is similar to a common side chain high pass filter, which will help us to keep very low frequencies out if the compression circuit. By turning up the HIGH-knob to about +2dB on the other hand we will increase the amount of gain reduction on the higher frequencies. This will eventually let the bass sit well in the mix.

The interface should now look something like this:


The result

Voilà – we’re finished! That was truly fast, wasn’t it? Let’s get back to our example track and listen for the improvements we’ve made:

The changes may be subtle, but if you listen carefully there’s this little ‘extra’ that distinguishes the bass from an ‘okay’ to a professional sound!!

You can download the preset for STA-limit here: STA-limit_trance_bass_preset.FXP