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2.1.19. Linear Attack/Release

The linear attack and release parameters allow you to directly specify the rate of change in gain reduction applied to the source signal. Attack refers to the “attack” of applying gain reduction, while release refers to the “release” of this gain reduction. More generally, release refers to gain amplification since it isn’t always necessary for the compressor to “attack” prior to “release” and the two are not always correlated.

Linear attack and release parameters are different from traditional ballistic compressor parameters. The actual rate of change in gain reduction with the traditional controls is dependent on both the attack or release time and the residual between target gain reduction and current gain reduction. This means the alterations made to the source signal are a complicated combination of the audio’s dynamics. For linear attack and release, the actual rate of change is constant.

This setting can be configured to apply directly, completely overriding the attack/release ballistics, or as a limit to their rate. The former can be a way to get extremely fast compressor response, while the latter can serve as a barrier to prevent the compressor from attacking or releasing too rapidly during extreme fluctuations in source loudness.