How to use serial compression
Step 1: Let's take a look at serial compression. Set your DAW's tempo to 124bpm and add onto two tracks - one at bar 1 and one at bar 5. Loop both bars for playback and load Native Instruments' Vari Comp onto each channel. We're going to compare five compressors giving 1dB of gain reduction, against one compressor giving 5dB of gain reduction… Step 2: Open the Vari Comp on the first HouseMix channel, pull down the preset menu at the top left and select Show User Preset Folder. Copy HouseMix1db.nifx, HouseMix5db.nifx and into the folder. Next, load the HouseMix1db preset in Vari Comp and duplicate the plugin five times. Open the second channel's Vari Comp and load the HouseMix5db preset. Step 3: As the playback loops, compare the mix with five compressors against the mix with one. Our five-times compressed mix gives us a cleaner sound retains a more dynamic feel. Using multiple compressors won't always give better results, of course - it depends on the source material, the settings you use, and the results you're aiming for - but it's a great technique to have in your toolbox. Step 4: Let's try serial compression on a drum mix, this time using two different plugins. Import the other files beginning with "House" onto bar 9. Add a fresh Vari Comp on the HouseDrums channel, and load the Smooth preset - although the compression has taken the unwanted sharpness away from the drums, there's not enough snap now. Step 5: Let's fix that using our own excellent SunRuysCM plugin - add an instance to the HouseDrums channel after the Vari Comp and load the Snap preset (found in the Tutorial Files folder). We've used gentle compression with a medium Attack and fast Release to accentuate the drum hits and complement the slower-acting Vari Comp, for a sound that would be hard to achieve with only one compressor. Step 6: Finally, let's look at how effects used in series with compression can affect the outcome. Add a KR-Reverb CM (or CMVerb if your host isn't 32-bit-compatible) to the second House Mix channel before the VariComp - the overall sound with the reverb first is reminiscent of a compressed live room recording. Now move the reverb to place it after the compressor, for a cleaner, more spacious sound. Source.