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What's your Gain Reduction Tolerance in the final limiter?
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Phil Strang
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14th January 2013
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What's your Gain Reduction Tolerance in the final limiter?

Yeah, in all these years I saw amateur mastering sessions, professional mastering sessions, MY mastering sessions and I noticed that everyone has his own way to do. Usually I use Waves L2 and I don't want any peak over 3db, and this is clearly different from (as someone does) consider that value as an average reduction. If I need extra loudness I prefer clipping with an appropriate converter.
Obviously there are a lot of compromises that could change your way to do, as those songs that have 1-2 strong peaks out of the average volume.

So What's your GR tolerance???
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14th January 2013
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It really depends, sometimes you can slam a track with 6db of GR without hearing much of it while sometimes 0.5db is too much and sounds really wrong.
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14th January 2013
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Sometimes clipping can be incredibly unforgiving as DaGoose says it really depends. And you have to be exceptionally careful as it can be just one small element in the track that gets obliterated.


There are no formulas here, move along people there is nothing to see.....move along.
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14th January 2013
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my (personal) view on subject is that limiting less then 1.5dB in Xenon is almost unnoticeable, or when it is - it doesn't deteriorate music in unmusical way
some projects could handle 3-4dB GR(although if I want as much limiting I'd rather go for cliping/limiting then just limiting),
some projects get sounding nasty around 2dB GR
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14th January 2013
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Yeah, I agree that it really depends. I never aim for a set number, you know? Usually I start with Ozone's Loudness Maximizer and bring it down to the very tip/crest of the audio. It's nice to see the GR in real time. I notice that for the L2 small GR doesn't even show up on the attenuation meter. You have to use your ears, and generally I do as much as I can before it sounds noticeable.

I would probably say that 99% of the time my GR falls between 2 and 3 dbs. If I am going for something hot, then I will try to push it for 4, but rarely.
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Really depends but pretty much never above 4 db. More commonly around 2. Sometimes between 2 limiters. Often clipping the AD just sliiiightly to get rid of the occasional "hair-peaks" that will trigger the limiter too hard but can be clipped off without going noticed..

I ALWAYS record 2 masters though to be safe. One with and one without limiting. It's a good habit to get into... In case you find out that track 2 just needs that little bit more top end, after you have assembled the project, you will save yourself a full recall.. OT, I know, but just wanted to get it on the record..
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sonnox limiter on most material never more than -2 db gr if I have to hit it harder than that for level I return to the mix.
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15th January 2013
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Completely program dependent, and aptly known as a songs "loudness potential" which varies from mix to mix. Sometimes it's more than 6dB, and sometimes it's less than 1.
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Phil Strang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelistics View Post
I ALWAYS record 2 masters though to be safe. One with and one without limiting. It's a good habit to get into... In case you find out that track 2 just needs that little bit more top end, after you have assembled the project, you will save yourself a full recall.. OT, I know, but just wanted to get it on the record..
that's good
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Never more than 2dB, generally even less than that. Don't like what most limiters do the transients and also not into that flattened sound. I can't see how a good mix would not be damaged with over 3dB limiting, even with all of the new algorithms.

Even in the old L2 days most people would not hit it that hard.
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Phil Strang
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15th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelistics View Post
Sometimes between 2 limiters.
And you set the limiters with the same ceiling?
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Normally between 1 and 2 dB.
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Never more than 2-3dB generally, none ideally, unless the client really wants something different (which usually involves a 'are you sure this is what you want to do, the downsides are A) B) C) etc).
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Whatever sounds right.

I've hit 7 at one point in a track where it's mostly hitting 2

I've not hit it

I've hit it a 2

Whatever sounds right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Never more than 2dB, generally even less than that.
yep, generally 1-1.5dB with the PSP Xenon.

A far cry from slamming' the old L1 back in the 90s!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twerk View Post
Completely program dependent, and aptly known as a songs "loudness potential" which varies from mix to mix. Sometimes it's more than 6dB, and sometimes it's less than 1.
Yup, same experience here.

Generally I like to keep gain reduction for any digital limiter well within the 0.0 to 3.0dB range though if I can - but there are indeed times when due to client request this gets exceeded - for which I'll often use a clipping stage or another limiter using a different algorithm prior to the final limiter.

Best regards,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Strang View Post
And you set the limiters with the same ceiling?
The way I work is that i make sure that the last limiter is set so there are no ISP clips. So IF I use a second limiter before, then I just pull threshold and output (ceiling)sliders down at the same time, the way you can do with limiters like L2, Elephant etc. That way you can distribute the workload between the two limiters without level changes. Usually helps finding the best ratio...
Make sense?
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On percussive material you can have more GR, while on non-percussive [or less percussive] you can have less GR. Up to 2dB on limiter, on clipper with hard drums much more. Transients do not make music
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Depends on which limiter I use.
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for most stuff i work on Elephant is good for at least +6dB...
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Are we talking peak or average reduction? Peak signals, when short enough, can be limited almost arbitrarily. Easy to trick the ear there. If you've got signal that lasts longer at a high level, that becomes much more noticable
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Numbers are always related to a particular track. Limiting a single sample by 20 dB is harmless. But a 1 dB gain reduction can be audibly destructive in some case.
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I think I like around -3 average, with highest peaks at -6.
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peaks around 6dB.
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25th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sempoo View Post
On percussive material you can have more GR, while on non-percussive [or less percussive] you can have less GR. Up to 2dB on limiter, on clipper with hard drums much more. Transients do not make music
Really? You could say bass doesn't make music, so you might as well get rid of that as well, and everything >10khz.

Surely it's ALL important? If I look at all the albums I enjoy listening to the most, they're all very dynamic - it's not a conscious choice either. Horses for courses though I suppose!
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I almost never do any more than 2/3 db of gain reduction. If the client want's it hotter / louder i'll use another limiter or a comp that i like, maybe some clipping. It depends what the song needs and the client wants.
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I have to say personally, now, it's none at all. Ever. I'm so sick of the loudness war.
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Preferably none at all, but sometimes(very rarely) it happens that I might get 2 peaks in a track at 0.5 dB max.

I really don't understand why people are so obsessed with limiting the master and robbing the power and exciting energy from the track. It's absurd.

Limiting is like being limited to have sex like a wuss.
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29th January 2013
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Loud is good.

Skilled ME can retain perception in dynamics, while meters don't show it. Listen to Muse '2nd Law' - there is both loduness and dynamics.
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Usually 0-3 db here.

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