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Limiters when mixing trap/hip-hop
Old 4th December 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Limiters when mixing trap/hip-hop

Hi
Guys do you use limiter or do you use limiters often when mixing(not on master channel on individual tracks).
I tend to not use at all.But I am limiting(or soft clipping with limiter combination) a lot on my master channel.
And I was thinking today If am squashing my mix so much, is it not going to be more "healthy" for my mix if I will use a little bit of limiter when mixing here and there instead of big amount on my master channel what do you think guys I appreciate any help all the best.
Old 4th December 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
I regularly use either a limiter or clipper on my kicks and often snares depending on what they are doing. Asking a limiter/clipper to do all the heavy lifting at the 2bus throwing crazy spikes at it is asking for some trouble. I don't want EVERYTHING going to **** every time the kick slams the 2bus limiter/clipper. So I keep the spikes hitting it more moderate and that means lightly taming some of the worst offenders. As a result, mastering engineers can typically make my mixes CRAZY loud without audible distortion - too loud in all honesty. I have had to intercede a few times - just because it can be the loudest thing on the planet doesn't mean it needs to be the loudest thing on the planet.

Last edited by chris carter; 4th December 2019 at 07:59 PM.. Reason: clarifications
Old 4th December 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
I regularly use either a limiter or clipper on my kicks and often snares depending on what they are doing. Asking a limiter/clipper to do all the heavy lifting throwing crazy spikes at it is asking for some trouble. I don't want EVERYTHING going to **** every time the kick slams the 2buss limiter/clipper. So I keep the spikes hitting it more moderate and that means lightly taming some of the worst offenders. As a result, mastering engineers can typically make my mixes CRAZY loud without audible distortion - too loud in all honesty. I have had to intercede a few times - just because it can be the loudest thing on the planet doesn't mean it needs to be the loudest thing on the planet.

Thank you for your answer.
Could you tell me how loud is your mix in RMS or LUFS when you sending to the mastering engineer and how much headroom you are leaving(in dbfs on master channel)for mastering engineers?
Old 4th December 2019
  #4
I never use a limiter on the master - only mildy on individual tracks. Limited leaves a mastering engineer no headroom to work with.
Old 4th December 2019
  #5
adl
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adl's Avatar
 

I personally do the following:
-Solo only Kick and 808 (every other element of the track is muted)
-Limiter (Pro-L2) doing like 3-4 dB of Limiting on the Masterbus for only Kick and 808 hitting
-StandartCLIP clipping in Softclip mode Pro with Saturation around 17%
-Limiter (Pro-L2) just for the last 1dB.
-unmute all other elements
-LUFS usually around -10 to -9

I found that the combination if Limiter first, than (Soft-)Clipper gives me this "crunch" sound, i want on Trap music. Using just a (Soft-)Clipper didn´t gave me that. With the kick + 808 getting limited by a few dB´s first and get (soft-)clipped after that it really gives this dirty and raw sound i was after.
Old 4th December 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssyniu View Post
Thank you for your answer.
Could you tell me how loud is your mix in RMS or LUFS when you sending to the mastering engineer and how much headroom you are leaving(in dbfs on master channel)for mastering engineers?
I have zero clue what the LUFS or RMS of my mixes are. It is absolutely useless information that will only cause problems because it doesn't tell us how loud it SOUNDS to human ears (LUFS is a little closer than RMS, but still, it's wildly inaccurate and will only give you a ballpark estimate). I set the volume with my ears only; not meters.

What I CAN say is that I ALWAYS mix to the same perceived volume. That volume is exactly 12dB quieter than what I personally think is a good average mastered level (note that may be different than what the mastering engineer does). In other words, if you turn my mix up 12dB into a limiter/clipper, that's how loud I think it should be after mastering. This gives me enough headroom for any situation in any genre so I can work exactly the same way every time I mix.

I have no clue what my headroom is. Probably as little as 6dB (maybe it goes over once in a while; I don't know) and maybe as much as 10dB. Anywhere in there. The way I mix, I basically don't have to watch my 2bus meter because I never get anywhere close to zero - so I just don't worry about it and don't pay attention.
Old 5th December 2019
  #7
Quote:
Could you tell me how loud is your mix in RMS or LUFS when you sending to the mastering engineer
LUFS and RMS are things you should not be worrying about in the mixing stage. Mix the song and i would leave limiters off the master bus and i have never had a use for limiters on the track level. The mix will get limited and compressed in the mastering stage. Maybe slight compression for glue on the master bus, but why limit the mix before the mastering stage?
Old 6th December 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Quote:
Could you tell me how loud is your mix in RMS or LUFS when you sending to the mastering engineer
LUFS and RMS are things you should not be worrying about in the mixing stage. Mix the song and i would leave limiters off the master bus and i have never had a use for limiters on the track level. The mix will get limited and compressed in the mastering stage. Maybe slight compression for glue on the master bus, but why limit the mix before the mastering stage?
Yes a mastering guy!
Hej thank you for you reply.Tell me this my friend what is your prefered(average of course)headrom for trap/hip-hop in dbfs before mastering.
And I got you,no limiting and no compression is better.Thats what I actually do when I am mixing ,but I was always mixing quite loud(meaning not leaving much headroom going close to 0dbfs)and a lot of limiting in mastering stage(7 to 8 db of limiting plus compressor to glue the mix)to be at around -9LUFS (just instrumental no vocals)and i strted to think that this is too loud.In the mixing stage i was using mostly Eq, saturation unit like tape emulation on my master not much saturation in my mixing stage maby a bit crusher or overdrive on my 808,s and snare.I am trying to change my approach to give more headroom for the mastering stage.Everything is up to a good balance and i understand that but i am trying to change my approach as I think/hear that my mix sounds to squashed.What do you think after reading this.Let me know please.All the best and
Thank you
Old 6th December 2019
  #9
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e-are's Avatar
I sometimes use limiters on kicks, snares, bass, vocals, in parallel. It is amazing how much perceived level is gained without moving the meters much.
Old 6th December 2019
  #10
Quote:
.Tell me this my friend what is your prefered(average of course)headrom for trap/hip-hop in dbfs before mastering.
Just leave the Peak dB between -18dB and -6dB and im good to go. Genre doesn't really matter. it can be rock, hip hop, country, classical or jazz.
Those PEAK dB levels are good for anything.
Quote:
but I was always mixing quite loud(meaning not leaving much headroom going close to 0dbfs
This doesn't add up, as loud and 0dBfs do not really go together. You can have a mix at 0dBfs and you can be monitoring it at a low level (mixing at a low level) Or they opposite, you can have a mix peaking at -20dBsf and you can be monitoring it (listening to it) at a loud level.

Mixing loud doesn't have nothing to do with Peak dB levels on your master bus. You have volume levels on your monitors. Its all Relative.
Old 6th December 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

[QUOTE=CJ Mastering;14367125
This doesn't add up, as loud and 0dBfs do not really go together. You can have a mix at 0dBfs and you can be monitoring it at a low level (mixing at a low level) Or they opposite, you can have a mix peaking at -20dBsf and you can be monitoring it (listening to it) at a loud level.

Mixing loud doesn't have nothing to do with Peak dB levels on your master bus. You have volume levels on your monitors. Its all Relative.[/QUOTE]

Well when I said " I am mixing loud" I meant not leaving any headroom on the master dBfs level.

I have my monitors and audio interface calibrated to 75dB with pink noise and Its always fixed I don't touch the nobs on the back of my monitors neither the one on my audio interface since then.

Thanks for your help

Last edited by ssyniu; 6th December 2019 at 08:39 PM..
Old 6th December 2019
  #12
Quote:
Well when I said " I am mixing loud" I meant not leaving any headroom on the master dBfs level.
Not loud, you mean to say Hot
Quote:
I have my monitors and audio interface calibrated to 75dB with pink noise and Its always fixed I don't touch the nobs on the back of my monitors neither the one on my audio interface since then.
That's not loud, as 70dBspl is normal speaking from 3 to 5 feet away.

You are confusing loud with Peak db and they are not the same.

EXAMPLE: A sound can be much louder with a peak dB of -10 than a sound with a peak dB level of 0dB. So now you see that PEAK dB doesn't matter when it comes to loudness. Peak db is not a measure of loudness
Old 7th December 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

[QUOTE=CJ Mastering;14367896]
Quote:

You are confusing loud with Peak db and they are not the same.

EXAMPLE: A sound can be much louder with a peak dB of -10 than a sound with a peak dB level of 0dB. So now you see that PEAK dB doesn't matter when it comes to loudness. Peak db is not a measure of loudness
I am not.I just dont know the terminology(in this case term “hot” but ive explained myself in parenthesis (“...(meaning not leaving much headroom going close to 0dbfs)” here also ive used ”going” instead of “peaking”.I understand that mix peaking at -5dBfs could be louder than mix peaking at -0,5 dbfs.Loudness is measured with LUFS
Thank You for your help,all the best.

Last edited by ssyniu; 7th December 2019 at 05:36 AM..
Old 7th December 2019
  #14
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Around -16dbfs

No limiter on stereo
Old 13th December 2019
  #15
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Fanu's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssyniu View Post
Yes a mastering guy!
Hej thank you for you reply.Tell me this my friend what is your prefered(average of course)headrom for trap/hip-hop in dbfs before mastering.
I am trying to change my approach to give more headroom for the mastering stage.
Just don't limit the master.
Keep it below zero / don't clip it.

I always say to my mastering clients: the level you submit does not matter. I'll level it based on my needs. And that's how it goes.
I use an auto-leveler to bring it down to -18 peak and go from there.
I master a few hundred songs every year and everyone's happy, and no-one has to care about levels in numbers.
Old 3 days ago
  #16
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OldManSinamatik's Avatar
 

i use it when i'm making beats... It's always the last on the master bus though... I Use FL 12, i set the master bus on mono, then i go about things by gain staging every sample from whatever i chopped since i'm a sample-based guy all the way down to drum kitting(kicks snares hats/percs Fx's Etc.), that's an overlooked gem in the mixing process to me, most times i don't even have to mess with mixer channel settings unless i want to hard-pan something beyond the channel panner and maybe leveling out something too loud like if i want a kick and rim shot to hit at the same time, i pan and may drop the rim a couple of dB's.

The thing is before i even go to mastering i try to leave at least -6db's of headroom, from there i throw the master channel in stereo and my channel usually has no more than 5 plug-ins, i have an initial EQ plug-in that i usually carve out two bands to make a vocal bed at -2dB's between the 800 and 1100 ranges, then i may or may not use an SSL master bus compressor from Waves, Might use an noise/hum/crackle filter there, it actually nullifies problematic areas if used right, but then i throw on another EQ after the compression and/or noise filtering to slightly boost anything that may be uneven at that point, for example the surrounding lower and higher ends of the bedframe (800-1100 ranges), and if i see i have to do anything beyond a 1.0 dB boost max, i know i may have to go back in the mix and play around sweeping for more ranges to cut in certain sound samples.

But with limiting, it's usually not an issue since most of my beats come thru quieter than the normal Noise-tradamous types... the most thats being squished is tail ends of certain things, and thats where i decide if it's cool to mask it with a played/drawn in baseline or use MaxxBass on the channel i dedicate to my sample to enhance the bass of the sample i may have chopped or simply add a bit of noise to a frequency that may sound barren and level things out across the freq band a bit.

Might be a bit unorthodox/wtf-ish to more seasoned dudes, but it's one of many approaches i may take, definitely a starting template for me and my workflow/style of production at least!
Old 1 day ago
  #17
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When I'm doing trap beats, I'll usually have a limiter on the snare and hi-hats, sometimes kick. It's because I like to have velocity sensitivity almost all the way up on the snare and hat samples in Ableton's drum rack, because I play the beats on a Roland TD-25 and want that varying velocity available but I also want them to be snappy without going overboard.
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