| Originally posted by Bang |
I'm sorry but this is wrong. Unless you overload the final limit and go above 0, the DACs in a CD player won't care about what its spitting out.
This is flat out wrong. The DACs do care about square waves because they can't reproduce them. The level on the CD can't be encoded above digital 0, obviously, but when a low quality DAC tries to reproduce square waves there is usually a huge jump in level that clips the DAC's analog electronics. I don't know why I need to type this again - it has already been demonstrated numerous times. Now if your ADCs have built in limiters then that is a different issue. But a lot of them don't, so overloading them results in square waves.
There are tons of bits of low level distortion that happens in a mix but it doesn't matter unless it clips the final 0. If the process of overloading the snare (its inaudible folks, its not like stomp box distortion!!)
Square waves are audible. Again, are you talking about using a built in ADC limiter or are you talking about clipping the ADC? Because clipping is very much audible.
to have a hot sound before final limiting would mess up CD Players, then it wouldn't be done on 90% of the rock and pop and hip hop albums that are out now. And again, you can't hear it...
Actually, commercially produced CDs that have been mastered here do indeed mess up commercial CD players. I'm thinking of one particular example that caused audible crackling on maybe 10% of the CD players it was played on. On my own CD players it had some sort of layer of distortion that tired my ears out before I could get through the first song. No, it didn't sound like a stomp box, but it was tiring nonetheless.
In the end, just because everybody does it doesn't mean that it results in good product. Wonder why CD sales are down? People don't want to pay money for crap that hurts their ears in an unpleasant way. I wouldn't be surprised to see another wave of remastered CDs in the next 10 years to correct the mistakes of the past 10 years. At least I hope so, then I might start buying CDs again.
I always use "safe" levels into my ADC and use a selection of digital and analog tools to adjust the average level, to bring up low level details where necessary (don't need comp or lim for this) and to limit the peaks. I have a lot more control that way and get much better results (IMO) than hitting my ADCs hard.