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L2 settings for master fader
Old 13th June 2006
  #1
L2 settings for master fader

I'm curious as to what typical L2 settings are for hip hop mixes. We all know about the Loudness wars, but the bottom line is that clients want a final cd that is comparable in volume to major releases.

I am primarily concerned with this as it relates to mixing demos (that will not be going to mastering).

I usually set my L2 Threshold on -6.0, with 3db- 6db on attenuation. Just wondering if this sounds about right.

Thanks for any advice or tips!
Old 13th June 2006
  #2
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azwun25's Avatar
 

the threshold is gonna depend on how "hot" the mix is to begin with. 6db of gain reduction with an L2 is entirely too much IMO. i like to use a couple of different compressors on the master bus each chewing a db or two. i feel that anything more than 4db of compression on the master bus is overdoing it...i'm sure most will agree. hope this helps!
Old 14th June 2006
  #3
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

That's a lot for L2...
Old 14th June 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu Mixer
I'm curious as to what typical L2 settings are for hip hop mixes. We all know about the Loudness wars, but the bottom line is that clients want a final cd that is comparable in volume to major releases.

I am primarily concerned with this as it relates to mixing demos (that will not be going to mastering).

I usually set my L2 Threshold on -6.0, with 3db- 6db on attenuation. Just wondering if this sounds about right.

Thanks for any advice or tips!
I think the L2 destroys the tone of a mix unless you are at -1-2dbs only taken off.
Like someone else said maybe chain a couple compressors or limiters and not take off more than 3-4 db
Old 14th June 2006
  #5
MDM
Gear Addict
 
MDM's Avatar
I have had nice results using the Sonalksis compressor ... and then a little bit of L2 as a brickwall limiter to make sure there's no clippings

I found the Sonalksis compressor really warm & yum sounding , for a plugin on the masterbus that is ... I am talking about the SV315 .. http://www.sonalksis.com/index.php?section_id=315
Old 14th June 2006
  #6
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AdamJay's Avatar
 

Re: L2 settings for master fader

the only setting i can stomach these days is 'bypass'
Old 14th June 2006
  #7
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

i'll slap the L2 on if its just a rough mix for a client to listen to or whatever, never on a final mix.


but even then, 6dB of reduction is a lot. i normally only pull it down until i just barely see anything on the meter at the loudest peaks. but as always, it depends on how it sounds with the program material. Sometimes i only bring the threshold down a little bit, with nothing showing on the gain reduction meter.
Old 14th June 2006
  #8
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con?one's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu Mixer
I'm curious as to what typical L2 settings are for hip hop mixes. We all know about the Loudness wars, but the bottom line is that clients want a final cd that is comparable in volume to major releases.

I am primarily concerned with this as it relates to mixing demos (that will not be going to mastering).

I usually set my L2 Threshold on -6.0, with 3db- 6db on attenuation. Just wondering if this sounds about right.

Thanks for any advice or tips!
that seems a lil' heavy for most of the stuff i use l2 for. if i'm using it on the master, i'll usually use it after the linear multibang compressor. i apply light compression with that and then nitch the l2 just enough to see some attenuation
Old 14th June 2006
  #9
Thanks for the info. I felt I may be "pushing it" a little. I think I will back off a bit and take your suggestion to go for no more than 3-4db of attenuation.

I already use the Fatso before the L2, but I only use 2-3db of GR.
Old 14th June 2006
  #10
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I use L2 or L3 on pretty much every mix. However the threshold is *always* set to 0 and the output *always* -.01. Just to prevent any overs. And for clients who want a copy thats 'loud' I can just drive the input.
Old 14th June 2006
  #11
<< However the threshold is *always* set to 0 and the output *always* -.01. Just to prevent any overs. And for clients who want a copy thats 'loud' I can just drive the input. <<


Yes, I always put the output at -.01, BUT you suggest keeping the threshold at 0 and adjusting the input?

Is anyone else doing this? Now I am really confused. These clients want their mixes LOUD, so I am trying to do the best I can.
Old 14th June 2006
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu Mixer
<
Is anyone else doing this? Now I am really confused. These clients want their mixes LOUD, so I am trying to do the best I can.
"loud" also means a well mixed/proper EQ`ed midrange

steff
Old 14th June 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Assistant's Avatar
 

i never use it on my bounce ,even if its a demo......
what i prefer is to mix against a busscompressor or a limiter like the l2 and set it in bypass for my bounce.
after i have the clean and undestroyed mixbounce i open up another session and then squeeze the **** out of it if its needed for a quick client demo

for a "good sounding" result the l2 should never do more than 2-3 db gainreduction,otherwise your transients are gone and you are loosing the whole punch of the mix

stupidest thing i see every time is to put the l2 on the masterbus to prevent clippings and don´t put the channel faders down because the signal is already clipped when it goes into the l2.....
also then it is not possible to set any treshhold because of too much inputlevel,i think most plugins work and sound best when you leave a little bit headroom for them on the inputside
Old 14th June 2006
  #14
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pingu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDM
I have had nice results using the Sonalksis compressor ... and then a little bit of L2 as a brickwall limiter to make sure there's no clippings

I found the Sonalksis compressor really warm & yum sounding , for a plugin on the masterbus that is ... I am talking about the SV315 .. http://www.sonalksis.com/index.php?section_id=315


Yup
Old 14th June 2006
  #15
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Imagearho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu Mixer
<< However the threshold is *always* set to 0 and the output *always* -.01. Just to prevent any overs. And for clients who want a copy thats 'loud' I can just drive the input. <<


Yes, I always put the output at -.01, BUT you suggest keeping the threshold at 0 and adjusting the input?

Is anyone else doing this? Now I am really confused. These clients want their mixes LOUD, so I am trying to do the best I can.
It really sounds like if you need to use the L2 to get your mixes really loud then mabey you need to track your material a little better. Your song should be pretty loud even if you have nothing on the master fader. If it isn't then I would suggest investing in a better channel strip (not a plug in) to track everything through...and if you already have one then I guess just mess around with it a bit until you can get it sounding really good.
Old 15th June 2006
  #16
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Charlie-O's Avatar
 

lone gut stands up and slowly walks up front towards to poeum.... Hi Im Charlie, and I am a L2 user.

I disagree with the statement I have qouted.... I use the L2 every da, and it can do great things, sometimes terrible, but great things. Without completet teaching how to track, leave your sefl some headroom. After mixing there may be a need to bring all the faders down in order to not overload the bus. Apply the L2, forget the gain reduciotn at first, dont even look over there, adjust till it sounds good! done... easy, yup. It is.

For fianl mixes you may wanna experiment with other means of getting the finals the way you want, mastering perhaps if your not doing it yourself....no pun intended.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagearho
It really sounds like if you need to use the L2 to get your mixes really loud then mabey you need to track your material a little better. Your song should be pretty loud even if you have nothing on the master fader. If it isn't then I would suggest investing in a better channel strip (not a plug in) to track everything through...and if you already have one then I guess just mess around with it a bit until you can get it sounding really good.
Old 18th June 2006
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyclueless
However the threshold is *always* set to 0 and the output *always* -.01. Just to prevent any overs. And for clients who want a copy thats 'loud' I can just drive the input.
Be careful with that!! The L2 (or any other plug you may throw on your Master Fader) is pretty much post-everything. Everything, that is, except the meters. That means that if you bypass the plug, and your meters are showing clips, when you re-engage the plug, the audio is still clipping, it's just doing so into the plug, which then attenuates the audio and makes the meters look nice.

Here's another consideration along those same lines:

Using the Master Fader to perform a fadeout will cause two problems (mind you, you may not consider them problems if you're just doing rough mixes or quick bounces). First of all, because the fade-out is pre-L2, the tone of the track will change when the audio falls below the L2's threshold and there's no more gain reduction occuring. Second, if you are using L2's dither, the audio will fade while the dither level remains the same, leaving the very end of your track with audible dither noise.

Just some things to consider...
Old 18th June 2006
  #18
13030
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay
the only setting i can stomach these days is 'bypass'
Amen!

Why someone would spend ages getting the mix just right with proper dynamic peaks and troughs, loads of headroom and low and high gain plotting, to then go **** it up with chaining compressors on the final mix is beyond me?

Running a limiter or compressor off the master stereo outs just for the sake of loudness actually does the reverse.
The track sounds loud on the off but after a while tires the listener as there are no dynamic limits, just a narrow band boost.
Old 18th June 2006
  #19
Gear Nut
 
rockyroad's Avatar
 

I like the L2.
Output is usually -0.1 or -0.2
Threshold varies according to program material but I typically do not go beyond -3 db attenuation on the peaks.
Release varies. If not in ARC mode I tend to use a shorter release time to help tighten the track.
Old 19th June 2006
  #20
<< the only setting i can stomach these days is 'bypass' >>

Interesting. To each his own, I suppose. Maybe we should compare mixes (feel free to PM me).

When I went back and checked my sessions, I noticed that I was attenuating 2-5db.
Even at upwards of 5db of attenuation (on peaks) I do not hear any sonic deterioration. In fact, the way I set the threshold was to go to where I heard things start to get ugly, then back off a bit.

To be safe (and not further contribute to the loudness wars) I will now keep it around 3db of atten.

Thanks for all of the input!
Old 21st June 2006
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto
Be careful with that!! The L2 (or any other plug you may throw on your Master Fader) is pretty much post-everything. Everything, that is, except the meters. That means that if you bypass the plug, and your meters are showing clips, when you re-engage the plug, the audio is still clipping, it's just doing so into the plug, which then attenuates the audio and makes the meters look nice.

Here's another consideration along those same lines:

Using the Master Fader to perform a fadeout will cause two problems (mind you, you may not consider them problems if you're just doing rough mixes or quick bounces). First of all, because the fade-out is pre-L2, the tone of the track will change when the audio falls below the L2's threshold and there's no more gain reduction occuring. Second, if you are using L2's dither, the audio will fade while the dither level remains the same, leaving the very end of your track with audible dither noise.

Just some things to consider...
I don't think you guys understand. There is no clipping and the output of the mix without L2 is nowhere near clipping.

The point is that L2 isn't actually reducing any gain so you don't get the artifacts. However if a client needs a loud mix, I can simply ride the input to L2 up and they get a CD that will play along with the commercially mastered stuff. For fades (if they aren't done on the console) I use a trim plugin at the end and automate the level of that. But this isn't for the sake of the L2 since th L2 isn't attenuating anything and hence the sound wont change when the master fader is moved. but it's more so for whatever other plugins are before the L2/3.
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