The general rule of thumb is to apply EQ before compression. This is because EQ is used to shape the tonal balance of a track, while compression is used to even out the dynamic range (i.e., the difference between the loudest and quietest parts) of a track.
By applying EQ before compression, you can make sure that the compressor is only affecting the frequencies that you want it to, rather than compressing the entire spectrum of the track. This can help you achieve a more natural and transparent sound.
That being said, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to audio processing, and the order in which you apply different effects can depend on the specific needs of your track. Some engineers even recommend applying compression before EQ in certain situations, such as when you want to use the compressor to shape the tonal balance of a track.
Here are a few general guidelines that you may find helpful:
It is generally best to apply EQ before compression, as EQ can affect the dynamic range of your audio and alter the way the compressor is reacting to the signal. By EQ-ing first, you can shape the overall tonal balance of your audio before the compressor is applied, which can help you achieve a more cohesive and natural sound.Compression First:
After you have applied EQ, you can then apply compression to control the dynamic range of your audio and even out the volume levels. Compression can help bring out the punch and clarity of your audio, but it can also add coloration and artifact if used excessively.