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peak limiter question Dynamics Plugins
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

peak limiter question

Hi I have what is probably a newbie question about the threshold on peak limiter plug-ins. I've been trying out some peak limiter plug-ins (maxim, waves L2, Massey, ML4000) and it seems that when I lower the threshold the level of the output is raised. Why is this? From my understanding (at least with analog compressors or limiters) lowering the threshold should not raise the output level, but only change the level at which compression occurs. The makeup gain is a seperate control. Why does lowering the threshold on a peak limiter increase the output gain? Is there some parameter I am missing? Thanks for the help and merry christmas!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

I've never used any of those plugs, but the classic compressor / limiter model does indeed lower the output volume as you lower the threshold. I've heard of limiters that automatically raise the output gain to compensate for lowering the threshold. I think the idea is a convenience feature to let you more easily hear the effect of the compression (only) without being influenced by the volume change. Do the docs for any / all of those plugs mention that?

--Ethan
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
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wado1942's Avatar
 

What really happens under the hood is the threshold is always 0dBfs. You're simply shoving the audio up into that threshold. Then there's an output attenuator to set the ceiling level. I actually do have a couple of brickwall limiters that let you set a threshold, then apply makeup gain after the fact. I strongly prefer that method of operation, but most of them simply boost the input level up into a fixed threshold.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Jean Doe's Avatar
 

When using the L2, the trick is to use the tiny double-arrow-button between the Threshold and Ceiling faders. That way you can hear the limiting taking place without the level change, which sometimes helps to stay objective.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
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Apostolos Siopis's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I think the idea is a convenience feature to let you more easily hear the effect of the compression (only) without being influenced by the volume change
Not really...since you can hear the volume change (raising)
I think it is more of a matter of convenience (ie. less controls).
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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Alexey Lukin's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Of The Ring View Post
it seems that when I lower the threshold the level of the output is raised. Why is this?
Because mastering limiters have a makeup gain to bring your processed audio to 0 dB (or whatever you specify as a ceiling) after limiting.
Old 24th December 2010
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odeon-Mastering View Post
Not really...since you can hear the volume change (raising)
Yes and No. If the peak output level is maintained as the input threshold is lowered, the average output level will increase due to the compression itself. So perhaps compressor plugs that aim to keep the output level constant should be programmed differently?

--Ethan
Old 25th December 2010
  #8
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Apostolos Siopis's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
So perhaps compressor plugs that aim to keep the output level constant should be programmed differently?

--Ethan
The feature you mentioned earlier is implemented in other plug in limiters like the steven slate or the fabfilter.
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