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Waves l2 hardware vs voxengo elephant 3 ? Dynamics Plugins
Old 2nd April 2010
  #1
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Ben.S Mastering's Avatar
 

Waves l2 hardware vs voxengo elephant 3 ?



Hi, i whant to buy a L2 Hardware, but i am not sure the price is justified compared to the voxengo elephant 3.... i can't compare them...
what do you think about ?

Thanks ^^
Old 3rd April 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAOS View Post


Hi, i whant to buy a L2 Hardware, but i am not sure the price is justified compared to the voxengo elephant 3.... i can't compare them...
what do you think about ?

Thanks ^^
I'd say your WAY better off with Voxengo 3 over the L2 hardware in terms of work flow, flexibility, and most importantly sound (not to even factor in other issues like price and maintenance.) But that's just me.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 3rd April 2010
  #3
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It's a no-brainer. As in, if you get the L2 you have no brain.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #4
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I use/have used both. They are very different and one being hardware the workflow will probably be different too.
I agree Elephant gives you way more options and is a very flexible.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #5
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I'll sell you my L2 Hardware
Old 3rd April 2010
  #6
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I just sold my MaxxBass/RCompressor/L2 combo hardware yesterday. heh
The Voxengo Elephant looks like a real bargain. Less expensive and way more flexible.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #7
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Yea and also keep in mind brickwall limiting requires fast reaction time. Really digital is the best way to go for this process with its look-ahead ability. Truly is a digital concept; Voxengo all the way. Oh and lol @ macc's comment
Old 3rd April 2010
  #8
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Originally Posted by TranscendingM View Post
Yea and also keep in mind brickwall limiting requires fast reaction time. Really digital is the best way to go for this process with its look-ahead ability. Truly is a digital concept
I'm pretty positive you already know this - but just for the record the L2 hardware is digital and is lookahead as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 3rd April 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSMastering View Post
I just sold my MaxxBass/RCompressor/L2 combo hardware yesterday. heh
Get out of jail free card.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
I'm pretty positive you already know this - but just for the record the L2 hardware is digital and is lookahead as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Yup, just a general point. Also, that Voxengo is such a quality limiter that IMO trumps L2.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #11
L2 will start to distort at -2 dB of gain reduction, you can not really use it as loudness maximizer, just a 2 db booster
Old 3rd April 2010
  #12
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to all those poor sods who do more then 2 dB limiting ... you guys are lost ... thumbsup
I'll never sell my L2, the future digital classic ... just love it in my workflow ...
Old 3rd April 2010
  #13
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Originally Posted by inlinenl View Post
to all those poor sods who do more then 2 dB limiting ... you guys are lost ... thumbsup
Dunno. To me it's all about where the client wants their tracks at. Sometimes when they request "maximum crush" the best way to get it there isn't with a limiter at all. Other times slamming the limiter well beyond 2dB of gain reduction does it to their satisfaction better than the other tricks. To me there are no rules in mastering - just different methods that may work better in one case than they will in another.

Quote:
I'll never sell my L2, the future digital classic ... just love it in my workflow ...
It definitely offers a very good way to include the limiting in the old school "commit at the initial print" method. Otherwise to me what used to be it's major advantage over the software version to me - being able to run with the L/R channels not linked - at least did finally get fixed in the plugin versions a couple years ago.

For me having the limiter be DAW based instead so that I don't have to absolutely commit to any settings on it until a final render is a huge boon to work flow as it allows adjustments as the session progresses and whenever revisions are requested. Sometimes being able to just change the threshold even a few tenths of a dB - or manipulate other controls as well - allows to get better level matching and consistency across the album - as well as more satisfying results for the track in particular - that sometimes can only be fully assessed towards the end of the session.

Since minor level changes are second only to transition timings in terms of revision requests being able to adjust this without having to do another load in from the analog chain is also a huge time saver. I attended one mastering session as a client where all limiting was done prior to the load in and it frustrated me to no end that in order to make adjustments to the amount of limiting required an entire new load in - whereas in my system it would literally take 1 second.

Since final renders take way faster than real time on my system - and since I greatly prefer to burn from fixed data images to allow for greater stability and consistency for the burns - as well as the ability to archive and easily move the master files as well - to me the small amount additional render time is only a slight inconvenience that I'm very willing to put up with. Since my DAW allows a real time loop back for its monitoring after all of its digital processing the one other possible advantage of hardware over software limiting is completely negated for me as well.

As always with these things OMMV!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 3rd April 2010
  #14
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The Voxengo Elephant 3 is probably the nicest most dynamic sounding plug in limiter I've ever used. It sounds deeper and more organic than any digital limiter I've used. Not necessarily the most transparent, (Ozone 4 parallel, PSP Xenon are great for transparent) but the most musical to my ears. Granted as always you have to know how to set it up and know what you're doing etc.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Graffam View Post
Get out of jail free card.
I have the plug-ins now. I needed the money to work towards getting some analog gear.

Plus, the plug-in versions have more tweakable features.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
The Voxengo Elephant 3 is probably the nicest most dynamic sounding plug in limiter I've ever used. It sounds deeper and more organic than any digital limiter I've used. Not necessarily the most transparent, (Ozone 4 parallel, PSP Xenon are great for transparent) but the most musical to my ears. Granted as always you have to know how to set it up and know what you're doing etc.
Despite my facetious comment earlier, I meant it fairly seriously; I couldn't agree more with all of that. A properly actually genuinely GREAT plugin.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post

It definitely offers a very good way to include the limiting in the old school "commit at the initial print" method.

Right on! Master it and move on.

Vote for hardware and more than 2dB of limiting.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djwaudio View Post
Right on! Master it and move on.
Of course there's less "moving on" in this method if the client ever asks for a revision in the amount of limiting!!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 3rd April 2010
  #19
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for me the sonnox limiter is much better than all the others!
compared to the sonnox, the uad prec. limiter sucks big time!
Old 3rd April 2010
  #20
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Some days I hate that Elephant can bring 12 tracks to the exact same sounding defenition, even if they were all so different pre limiting, that I remind myself to not use limiters at all if possible.

In my ear the L2 doesn't do that...thing...and I'm happily bying a HW unit if I see one.

I must prefer tiny distortion over endless shine.


Regards
Patrik
Old 4th April 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droogs View Post
for me the sonnox limiter is much better than all the others!
compared to the sonnox, the uad prec. limiter sucks big time!
Well, circa 2004 the Precision Limiter was actually really decent if not often better in comparison to the other options out available then - but at this point I really don't think it holds up that well to the more recent crop of digital limiters (speaking as someone who owns it but hasn't used it on any masters in about 3 years).

I've definitely been interested in getting the Sonnox as yet another option here - just waiting for them to have a sale like PSP's!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 4th April 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
For me having the limiter be DAW based instead so that I don't have to absolutely commit to any settings on it until a final render is a huge boon to work flow as it allows adjustments as the session progresses and whenever revisions are requested.
You don't feel that the amount of limiting you're using effects how you approach your analog processing?

To me it's a bit of symbiotic relationship - many times even slight changes in the limiting require a tweak to the analog chain feeding it to help it sound it's best. I can't imagine just dropping the threshold 2dB further on my limiter if a client asked for it to be 2dB louder.
Old 4th April 2010
  #23
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
You don't feel that the amount of limiting you're using effects how you approach your analog processing?

To me it's a bit of symbiotic relationship - many times even slight changes in the limiting require a tweak to the analog chain feeding it to help it sound it's best. I can't imagine just dropping the threshold 2dB further on my limiter if a client asked for it to be 2dB louder.
Depends on the amount of change being made. Changes aren't always for "louder" or so drastic either - sometimes a few tenths of a dB nudge is what some of the pickier clients I work with are looking for to retain more consistent levels across their album. In these cases I'd say there's almost no need to redo the decisions made for the analog processing.

A lot of times I'd also say you can easily get away with pushing or reducing another dB of gain reduction or so without being obligated to do a new load in as well. Some times I'll use a second different limiter or clipper in series if I get the request for "just 1dB louder" and might do some minor tweaks with a digital eq, or change the release and transient settings on the limiter itself if I feel the end result is creating a slightly different vibe from what I originally set. And even when pushing 2dB or so for some tracks remarkably it just doesn't make things balance differently so again a new load in isn't required.

But - yes - in many cases if the client is asking for louder or more dynamic this can indeed require a complete rebalancing of the spectrum via different analog eq settings and/or changes in the analog dynamic processing as well.

Again - it's a case by case basis. In my direct experience sometimes you have to reload, but a heckuva lot of times you don't. So - yes - I'd agree the analog process chain and digital limiter settings are indeed interactive with each other - but, no - not to an extent where there isn't sometimes a good deal of flexibility between the two.

And again - I've been in a session working on one of my own projects with another ME and time was indeed wasted in when we had to reload because I didn't like the way one track was sitting against another and I didn't want to have to live with it dynamically more crushed but pulled down against another. In my work flow that change could have been made in seconds instead of 6 minutes.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 4th April 2010
  #24
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Calling six minutes 'wasted time' for a recall to insure that everything works perfectly in context with the least possible compromise doesn't really make sense to me, all things considered.

Red cars, blue cars I guess.
Old 4th April 2010
  #25
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Calling six minutes 'wasted time' for a recall to insure that everything works perfectly in context with the least possible compromise doesn't really make sense to me, all things considered.
Again I disagree, based on direct experience. Sometimes a tweak to the limiter after the load in can very often actually make things work more perfectly in context with the least compromise as well!! In other words - the street can go both ways on this.

As far as the time all of it really takes - multliply the load in time for a single track potentially across a whole album and potentially for more than one revision. If I can make the tweak in a few seconds and keep the session flowing all the better to me to insuring things are not in fact ever compromised.

To me settling for the L2 versus a whole slew of more recently coded limiters that to my ear more often than not allow you to apply the same or more gain reduction with relatively less artifacts seems like a big compromise to me instead. Obviously YMMV!

Quote:
Red cars, blue cars I guess.
Dunno. I've spent some time in the past working both ways, and sometimes still commit to hardware limiting (via clipping the ADC or saturating the output stage of my Focusrite 330) as well. And I can tell you absolutely I would not go back to having to always have the limiting set during load in as opposed to my current work flow

Of course there's always the danger of option anxiety and over tweaking with this - but with a little experience it's easy to get that under control as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 4th April 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
Dunno. I've spent some time in the past working both ways
You may find this shocking, but I have as well. Hence my 'red cars, blue cars' comment.

At the end of the day, I'm not really about 'saving time', I'm about making sure it's as good as I can get it and for me that means recalling whenever needed. Don't get me wrong, I'm an efficiency freak, but I think we have to keep that in balance with what's important, the audio. No big deal to make sure it's as good as it can be, whether it's an analog tweak or just a minor adjustment to the limiter, but you don't know which is better until you try.

OK, I'm done here, just giving my 2¢...
Old 4th April 2010
  #27
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
You may find this shocking, but I have as well. Hence my 'red cars, blue cars' comment.
Gotcha. I was under the very mistaken impression that you always used hardware - and I didn't know whether you really had spent much time demoing some of the latest limiter options. Mea culpa for my wrong assumptions.

Quote:
At the end of the day, I'm not really about 'saving time', I'm about making sure it's as good as I can get it and for me that means recalling whenever needed.
Well in terms of the session I mentioned in my previous post where I was the client - ultimately I didn't want the eq or other analog processing changed from the initial run through - just the amount of gain reduction (for less, in my case). Meaning that changing the gain reduction didn't automatically equate with having to tweak the analog processing chain decisions. This happened a number of times and I think ultimately made the session slog down a bit to the point where we didn't get to focus on all the areas in as much detail as I had initially hoped would have happened.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm an efficiency freak, but I think we have to keep that in balance with what's important, the audio. No big deal to make sure it's as good as it can be, whether it's an analog tweak or just a minor adjustment to the limiter, but you don't know which is better until you try.

OK, I'm done here, just giving my 2¢...
All good. I just want it to be clear that I never ever make short cuts or compromises simply to get done with a job quicker as I feel was implied in your post. The reason I have my current work flow is I can do both a better sounding job while also responding faster to client requests.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 4th April 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
I can't imagine just dropping the threshold 2dB further on my limiter if a client asked for it to be 2dB louder.
Yup, that's the thing and it kind of makes limiter comparisons pretty useless.

2 dB louder, this way, is 2 dB of balance alternation.


Regards
Patrik
Old 4th April 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
You don't feel that the amount of limiting you're using effects how you approach your analog processing?

To me it's a bit of symbiotic relationship - many times even slight changes in the limiting require a tweak to the analog chain feeding it to help it sound it's best. I can't imagine just dropping the threshold 2dB further on my limiter if a client asked for it to be 2dB louder.


I quite agree. I usually work on the limiter first, and then the compression, and then the eq, because the eq will be skewed by the dynamics (processors). It's easier to solve a maze backwards, after all.

(Although I don't refuse trying a tweak to the limiting after the upstream processors are adjusted, if I do, then I could very well find myself readjusting the analog, too. It's a handshake.)

Also, if I invoke the L2, it's at 88.2 kHz F/s, and it's usually unlinked and often has the ARC disabled. I only usually allow one led of GR to flicker... I sometimes use it _after_ the Xeon (in cascode mode). Then SRC, in real time, with the whole chain considered (as a handshaked train(/wreck?)).


Andrew
Old 4th April 2010
  #30
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After reading all the replies, particularly Brads and Steves...I have to ask again where the majority dB gain is coming from? 40% pre limiter? 80% pre limiter? Please don't be shy!

Are you relying on the limiter for majority gain or the processing before it? I know you are going to say it's a combination of both, but with a "normal" mastering project where is the MAJORITY of gain coming from? Assuming proper gain staging, is it at the limiter stage or whatever you are using before the limiter? Let's also assume the project is a commercial pop record.

If one relies on the L2 for just a bit of limiting I find it very transparent and distortion is not an issue. (Using L2 software, but the hardware should null. Also using one for right and one for left) That's why I can't hear the L2's sound. Of course among it's "popular" use, the L2 gets pushed way beyond what one person here mentioned...-2db gain, and hence "the L2 sucks brand XXX is so much better."
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