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Hi Mark! Great question!
This is known as your mixer effect chain (see tutorial). (Depending on what you’re doing with audio, people may call it a “mastering chain” or “vocal chain”.. in other words, the order your plugins are in).
In short, the order your plugins are in will give you a different sound!
This is not to say that it is good or bad, but simply just a preference.
I remember trying to search a long time for this question about should you put EQ or a Compressor first when mixing music..
Over time, my thought process has come to this:
What am I trying to do to the audio?
In the mix, I think to myself.. is the instrument fighting with another instrument? I may start with EQ.
If a sound is not standing out at all, that’s when I would probably start with a compressor.
There is no right or wrong, but just know, the order your effects are in does have an impact on how the sound will turn out.
You can try this yourself if you compress a sound hard, then put an EQ with a low-cut filter on it at 1000Hz.
Then, put the EQ BEFORE the compressor, and you’ll see significantly less compression happening! This is just because you’re removing a lot of the energy of the music.
If you put that low-cut filter EQ AFTER the compressor, a lot of compression would happen, but now you’re removing the frequencies after.
Try it out.. it can only be learned by trying it!