An audio expander is the complement to a compressor, in that it expands the dynamic range of a performance.

Usually applied to a single instrument, or sub-mix, the expander contains a VCA which is controlled by the level of the input. As the level of the input raises, the amplifier is turned higher; as the level drops, the amplification is lowered. The speed of attack and decay, and the extent of the amplification (called slope) are typically controllable.

The net effect of the device is to pass the input to output with a disproportionate effect on the level. Loud sounds come out very loud, and quiet sounds very quiet. It may be applied to a particulary non-expressive voice to add interest.

Ex*pand"er (?), n.

Anything which causes expansion esp. Mech. a tool for stretching open or expanding a tube, etc.


© Webster 1913.

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