1. Parallel compression – split the signal so that on one side/channel it passes directly through unprocessed while the other side goes through the compressor. Combine the “dry” and processed signal to taste – the compressed signal adds stability and punch while the uncompressed signal keeps the dynamics intact. Parallel compression is popular on drums and bass, but can be used on any type of signal.
2. Use two or more compressors in series. Set each compressor so that it is gently compressing the peaks. None of the compressors will be working hard; the result can be a signal that is compressed, but that doesn’t sound squashed.