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Why do I want a limiter? mixing/tracking
Old 22nd July 2011
  #1
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andy3's Avatar
 

Why do I want a limiter? mixing/tracking

I can't understand: If I check all levels, all peaks ecc and they are ok.
Why do I want a limiter to do that?
What's the point to push hard an instrument and limiting it?
Isn't just as well to achieve the right sound checking levels with-out a limiter?

I am missing a part of the story.

When do you necessary need the limiter on tracking/mixing?

Thank you in advance
Old 22nd July 2011
  #2
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So that you can make the average loudness higher without clipping.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy3 View Post
...When do you necessary need the limiter on tracking/mixing?
I'm not producing music to be released commercially but I'd like to have a 'finished' sound that will put the track in the same ballpark (in terms of loudness and tone) as commercial mixes. I'm not going to compete on loudness but I do want the tone to sound 'pro.' So currently I mix ITB with a DAW limiter last in the signal chain (pre D/A)...this way I can prepare and finalise the mix and the tone will be more consistent through the production process. I often find that if I mix without a limiter and then limit later, it sounds much 'bigger' and in the 'bigness' I can hear artifacts and brittleness.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy3 View Post
When do you necessary need the limiter on tracking/mixing?
Drummer who makes an errant and louder hit than you were expecting.
Vocalist who crept up on the microphone.
Bass player who plucked a string too hard.

There are many situations where a limiter could be useful in adding another layer of control of the signal going into the DAW. I have a couple compressors with limiters on them that I like to use and they are problem solvers. I mainly use them when I am recording a drum set with multiple microphones--like more than three or four mics on the drums. When I have ten or twelve mics on the drums, there is a whole lot to pay attention to and manage during tracking. A couple well placed limiters (that do not kill the sound) are helpful. At least for me.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #5
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rhythmtech's Avatar
 

limiters are very useful for many tasks.. i just called one into play yesterday on a vocal that called for a looped dub delay. i wanted the delay to loop so that it started feeding back on itself but i also wanted to be able to control the overall volume and not overpower the mix or blow my speakers! i set a brickwall after the delay and let it feedback to it's hearts content.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #6
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Sometimes a limiter just makes things sound better.

Say you have a bass drum track and the meter nearly peaks every time the bass drum is hit, but somehow the bass drum just doesn't sound as loud as it seems it should. A limiter will bring down the peak level and allow you to bring up the average level, resulting in a bass drum that sounds much louder while (if done properly) retaining all the punch of the original sound.

Music generally needs some kind of compression/limiting to sound "right" on the listener's playback system. Too great of a dynamic range will have the listener reaching for the volume knob constantly as the music goes from whisper quiet to very loud. Of course there are situations where maximum dynamic range is desired and a limiter is not useful.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad examples of limiting in commercial recordings. Making average levels of recordings ridiculously high by CRUSHING the material into an orgy of distortion is all too common and sounds very fatiguing.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #7
It's not always about preventing overs, it just sounds different. Sometimes you need an instrument's quieter nuances to cut thru even though it's volume is pulled back. Limiting can help when light compression doesn't do the trick.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #8
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I find limiters more useful than regular compression for evening out bass tracks when mixing, especially when the bassplayer's technique is poor. I'm a bassplayer myself. Not to say bass tracks should never be dynamic, but it's the exception rather than the rule for most styles of popular music.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #9
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andy3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by decocco View Post
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad examples of limiting in commercial recordings. Making average levels of recordings ridiculously high by CRUSHING the material into an orgy of distortion is all too common and sounds very fatiguing.
That's the point.



Then I think I need try a limiter for tracking (no mixing)(no drum): Do I need a combo comp/limiter or comp + limiter on 2 different units?
any into 500 series I could check?

Thanks
Old 22nd July 2011
  #10
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Unclenny's Avatar
I like to stick a humble L1 on a track that needs a little something to get it to find its place in the mix.

A bass track that needs some definition.......an acoustic guitar track that keeps hiding out.......stuff like that can benefit from some judicious limiting as an effect rather than as control.

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