The first time I saw an 1176 plugin, I had no idea how to use it. Where is the threshold control? How many milliseconds is the release and attack? What about the knee? This video will get you rolling with this or any other 1176 emulation.
You can get some great sounds by breaking the rules, but the fact that you’re reading this in the first place tells me that you want some guidelines to start you off.
What is a good starting point for compressing vocals?
I would say that general wisdom tells us to compress for -1db to -5db most of the time. The ratios that I’ve seen for vocals usually fall between 2:1 to 6:1, depending on if you wanted to give a constant thickening of the vocals or if you wanted to simply tame the loud parts (which would call for a higher ratio.)