How to master a song loud and keep the quality. Don’t be a victim of the loudness war ! Achieve competitive mastering levels, without damaging your music
“This is a general rule for any kind of compression. Almost all of the time I use ratios between 1.5:1 and 4:1. Once the ratio gets much above 4:1, you are almost limiting anyway. Remember, the higher the ratio, the higher the threshold should be, to avoid over-compressing your mix.
Short attack times kill audio – I seldom use an attack time shorter than 20ms, except where I have a particularly “spiky” sound to deal with. (A very clicky bass drum, say) In mastering I often use attack times of 70ms or longer. We have limiters for controlling peaks and transients, why try to use a compressor to do this ? Check out the screenshot in the MusicRadar article – they have attack times of 2ms in every band ! No wonder the result sounds dull and lifeless.”