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Incresase loudness with soft clippers

Compression isn’t the only way to tame transients and increase overall perceived loudness. You can also use saturation or soft clippers.

I find this technique can sound more lively and less processed if done in a subtle way. To do this, I like to add level/amount until the sound character begins to change,  back off slightly and compensate the output level.

You will find that you’ve reduced dynamic range and increased perceived loudness without it sounding squashed or heavily processed. One of my favourite tools for this is FabFilter Saturn 2 with its Broken Tube algorhythm for example.

Do this on many tracks, especially those with lots of transient peak information, and you can achieve loud dynamic mixes.