I have a clip where the voices are soft but then there are two loud bangs. I want to basically sort of even everything out so that the voices are at a reasonable volume at -6db and the bangs are just a bit louder. I have been trying to find tutorials on compression in audition but admittedly i am having a hard time grasping audio terminology as I have more of an affinity for the video side of things. Anyone feel like explaining? I'm fiddling with the multiband compressor in Audition and I know I want to set a limit as to how high in db the sounds can go, but I dont know how. I also know I need to say that anything under a certain db level I need to raise but not go over -6db.. I just cannot grasp how to do it. Ah so confusing
You'd almost certainly be better off using the Hard Limiter, but before you do anything at all, you should normalize the signal so that the loudest part (ie your bangs) are at about -0.5dB. This is important, because otherwise you won't have much of an idea as to where to set the levels on the limiter (or any other compressor tool, come to that) - everything is referenced to 0dB, so near enough, that's where you need the peaks to be.
Having done that, select the Hard Limiter and set the Max Amplitude control to just higher than the speech level - you may have to experiment with this a bit, but that's going to be about the right level, and you should be able to judge this from simply looking at the waveform. This will limit anything above this level down to what you've set. You'll then have level in hand on the track because the loudest part will now be reduced by the amount you've set. So you can also boost the level of everything back up again with the Input Boost control - by a similar amount to the Max Amplitude, although I'd aim for a little less to start with. You don't absolutely have to do this - you could almost as easily normalize the signal again and end up with a very similar result.
Don't worry about the other controls - the default settings will almost certainly be fine.