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Compressing/limiting issue?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mikehende, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    I play music from different sources, Tape, records, cd's, pc and also videos. I would like to have to a system which will have no volume level issues no matter which source I use, every song will play at a constant volume and have been told that all I will ever need is a compressor limiter, is this true? If so, a friend of mine has an Alesis 3630, will this work?
  2. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    while it's true that if you squash the louder stuff the softer will be closer in terms of overall volume.. it will sound like $*^t overall as well... your friend while attempting to help is i'm afraid misinformed... YMMV
  3. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    this is not a simple task
    usually the audio operator will do this OR the injest team will have put the material on the server at near correct level


    D06 / Level magic is a good place to start
    not cheap though
  4. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    I want the music/videos from any source to sound like the Radio where you won't have to adjust frequncies and volume levels for different songs even from the same source, for example, last night I played some old 45's and for some of the them you would get much more midrange than others, some had less bass.
  5. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    Ok then, can anyone tell me what the purpose of a Compressor/limiter [such as the Alesis 3630] is if I can't use it to normalize volume? Thanks.
  6. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    $ .02

    hey mike... glad to be of help... perhaps a review of compressors would help here.... to start with the obvious... when we send a signal through a piece we hope that it comes out the otherend essntially unchangedas to the original wave form... or at least with the added effect or whatever... but like an amplifier it should look the same only bigger... right??
    now with a compreesor what happens iseverything is the same up till we hit a point called the threshold afterwhich everythingover the threshold is reduced by X amount that setting is the ratio.... or viewed differently...
    imagine a graph the horizontal line is what signal we send in... the verticle is the output... everything is cool until we hit the threshold then if we ask it to increase bysay 6db weget out 3 db so our graph would show a diagonal line three boxes up and six to the right... that's a ratio of 2-1 make sense?? by extension a ratio of 3-1 would show six tothe right and two verticle... thats why people think int terms of squashing the dynamic... now thr reason it's not gonna do quite what you want is because it's obviously program dependent and needs to be adjusted for each tune much less just for say cassette vs cd vs dvd vs whatever... if you were to use a digital (TC C3 comes to mind hope thats the right #) you could build presets for your different sources and that would get ypou closer but it still wouldn't get you all the way there... because the nature of the beast is to work primarily on the high freqs to say nothing of compounding the already too squashed sound we're being subjected to today...

    "we return you to your regularly scheduled program....."
  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I though I gave a good answer ?

    Radio and TV Stations do have specialized unit just before their transmitters

    some are as simple as the Aphex stuff and others have more complex units

    TC have the DB-Max
    read the manual and you will get a good idea of the facilities contained within to achieve the level control you say you want,
    Frequency selective compression
    Downwards Expansion

    and many more
    takes a bit of skill to set one up
    unless you chose one of the pre-sets ... it is the pre-sets that made this unit popular

    Broadcasters are beginning to see the benefits of the newer Junger gear
    especially those that run embedded audio ... I know that's not you
    but even so
    the Level-Max stuff is very well thought out.
  8. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    I had visited your link and had written to them asking what the unit costs whcih I expect to be very expensive and out of my reach since they don't list the cost on their site, haven't heard from them as of this writing but since I can expect that I won't be able to afford the Junger unit, I have to look at other options but I do agree, from what I've read on that unit, it seems like the best thing out there for this.
  9. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    yes it is expensive

    I don't think a single cheap unit will do the trick but perhaps two units can get you part the way there
    the first as a soft gentle compressor to act like but not quite the AGC
    and a second set more as a limiter

    It might also be worth trying an RCN in supernice mode.
    ... or two ?
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    There is yet another aspect to what you are inquiring about that has not been mentioned here. Most compressors and limiters that the average consumer is familiar with are known as "Broadband" devices. That is to say that the units crunch the overall volume level equally. If a recording has more Treble than Bass, the compressed and/or limited signal will still have more Treble than Bass. Conversely, if the signal has more Bass than Treble, the compressed and/or limited signal will have more Bass than Treble and so again, differences in mixes and sources will still sound substantially different even after being compressed and/or limited.

    What has not been mentioned here is "Spectral Processing". So to better understand what this means, think of a "graphic equalizer". A 1 octave graphic equalizer will have approximately 5 vertical slide faders, between 50 and 15,000 hertz. If you raise or lower, the lowest one, you will get more or less bass. If you move any of the 3 middle ones up or down, you'll get more or less, lower midrange, midrange or, upper midrange. If you move the fader on the extreme right hand side up or down, you'll get more or less high frequencies.

    Now take a compressor and put one on each one of those 5 vertical slide faders. You now have a frequency weighted compressor which will in some ways act like an automatic equalizer! This will help to homogenize a great deal of differences in both signal sources and engineering techniques while smoothing out the overall average volume level. THIS IS THE TECHNIQUE USED MOST IN RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTING! Is also known as multiband compression.

    Yes, these devices are quite expensive and are highly specialized, not to be manipulated by novices, so it is probably not a practical application for you. Unfortunately, there is no magic way to do what you would like to do. The best way is still digitally. That is, use your fingers.

    Digitally recording information since I could hold a pencil
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I left this for the equipment/sites to explain
    ... was part of his homework

    I figured TC-Max and Level Max D6 manuals could explain it better than a short post could.

    The DB-Max has a good manual and covers heap and heaps more than your post did
    It also cover the various broadcast special requirements that include European as well as American twists

    The Junger people don't give as much away as I think their algorithm is what they feel is they selling point ... protecting their Intellectual Property I guess.

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