How many guys are still using the L2?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Michael Fossenkemper, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Just thought I'd throw this out there and see who's using it as their primary limiter. I have only used mine as a limiter once in the last 2 months. I just got tired of the flat sound I think it gives to aggressive stuff primarily. I've moved over to the weiss DS1 as my main limiter, The only problem is that i've now lost it as a compressor unless I make 2 passes, which I will do if it needs it. I do use the L2 as a volume control to drive digital stuff into analog gear. For that I really like it cause I can also shape some transients if I need to before it hits the analog secret black box. Once in awhile I prefer how it sounds, but as volumes keep increasing over the months on the hard stuff, I just don't think it cuts it anymore. I've tried the L3 software but I only thought it was very marginally better if at all. from the tests in Brad's forum, I don't like the MD4 any better. I haven't tried the Omnia but at $12,000 I don't think I will. Any thoughts?
     
  2. random logic

    random logic Guest

    universal audio precision mastering limiter

    i bought it as it came out and i never used L2 again, it works great, sound is tight and undistorted, it has very good metering and even auto mode works great. maybe you should try it out, it definetly changed my perspective on how a mastering limiter should sound.
     
  3. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    I use it mostly for leveling purpose and dithering. I used it a couple of time also as a safety limiter not pushed hard. These are the roles that are assigned the the L2 for me. Could be very transparent but I think you are right about the "dullness" of it limiter's sound.

    Richard
     
  4. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Right now for digital brick walling I'm primarily using the RML Labs Levelizer, the L3 or a combo of the 2. I've found chaining the 2 with both of them set real subtly often tends to work better than trying to get all the limiting out of a single plug.

    The Levelizer is proprietary to the SAWStudio workstation, which has the advantage over some other DAW's in that it uses 64bit integer math for most of its processes, and can be set to process fx in a real time pass through mode that is snap shot automateable so that you can use it the same way you would use hardware if you like. This way I can also monitor what it's going to sound like on top of the analog process chain without having to load in first - and without having to commit to its settings until load out. It has a unique algorithm that doesn't flat top waveforms at all. Instead it recalculates each seperate wav forms average level. This sounds amazingly transparent when used subtly as you don't destroy transients the way a lot of limiters do. When you really really slam it though you get really horrible sounding flutter distortion - so to me it can only be used to go for "sensible" levels. When I need a bit more of "squash" for clients demanding "competitive" levels I usually tend to add 1-2 db more attenuation with the L3.

    The L3 requires a little bit of patience as there's a lot of parameters you can tweak but if set right in my tests it was indeed possible for it to be more tranparent than the L2. I usually have it set multiband but with a single threshold.

    The MD4 actually got some of my interest - but right now the next purchases are going to be analog dynamics processors - both the API2500 and the DW Fearn VT-7 have my interest.

    Omnia requires way deeper pockets than I have to put towards a single piece right now - so even if it sounds totally transparent (which I'll believe when I hear it!) it ain't going to happen this year.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  5. random logic

    random logic Guest

    that is universal audio precision mastering limiter,
     
  6. goosman

    goosman Guest

    I still use the L2. I use it in a very subtle way though, if I get more than about .5-1.5 of reduction it's too much and I back off. I shudder to think how I used the L1 when it first came out..yow...I'm just getting tired of the loudness wars and my clients don't seem unhappy with the results now that I'm trying to get them to accept "quieter" masters.
     
  7. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    I seem to remember John Scrip saying really positive things about the UAD Precision Limiter also. I'm not really a fan of emulation plugs for mastering (tracking and mixing being a different story) but this one makes me think picking up a UAD-1 wouldn't be such a bad idea.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  8. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    I seem to remember John Scrip saying really positive things about the UAD Precision Limiter also. I'm not really a fan of emulation plugs for mastering (tracking and mixing being a different story) but this one makes me think picking up a UAD-1 wouldn't be such a bad idea.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  9. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I'm very tired of the "limiter sound", I'm blaming it for the biggest reason why CD releases sound so alike... that "in your face" sound is on almost every CD release!!

    So that's why I'm trying to do all my masters without a limiter.

    If I'm forced to use a limiter I use the DS1 and sometimes together with the L2 to take the 0.5-1db overs.

    Best Regards
     
  10. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Well it looks like i'm going to get a demo of the omnia. Had to jump through a couple of hoops because they didn't even have one. but they are putting one together for me to take for a test drive. I have a homemade brew of what they are doing in their limiter but it would be nice to see what it does. If it blows my socks off, I guess i'll figure out a way to pay for it. I'll let everyone know what I think of the unit after i've had a few days with it.
     
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Please post som tests so we can listen to it!...
     
  12. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Michael -
    I'd definitely would also love to hear some downloadable blind a/b/c's (i.e. Omnia, L2, straight clipping) ala the stuff posted comparing the MD4 and L2 on Brad Blackwood's forum as I'm mighty curious also.

    Still - 12large is heckuva hard expense to justify for a single processor on the economic front - especially considering that while analog pieces retain their value digital ones seem to become obsolete after about 5 years. For $12g's I'd expect to get a pretty darn nice custom transfer console happening - or pickup 2-3 kewl processors for more flavors - it would be very hard for me to justify putting all that into a single digital limiter.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  13. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Isn't trend the only reason why ME's use a limiter?
    It's also hard for me to consider spending 12K on something that no matter how you put it destroys the sound.

    Best Regards
     
  14. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I will definately post an a/b/x sample here and probably on Brad's if and when I get the unit. maybe like 3 different levels of push. I'll play with it for a few days and then compile something. First i have to get one though. It seems to have a fair amount of tweekability to it so i'm not sure how to do an accurate compare. Maybe it will have to be a/b/c/x. It will be interesting none the less. The price is almost funny it's so high.
     
  15. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Sometimes I think certain tracks can have dramatically more impact with a little bit of limiting - especially if it's a case where just a few transients that really peak out over the rest of the mix - and often digital tools are the most transparent way to deal with this. It's not the use of brickwall limiting that I think is generally bad - just the amount of it that has been applied as a default on a lot recent releases to the point of distortion and completely lost transients and dynamics.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
     
  16. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I'm sure this was what the limiter was intended to do when it was originally designed. I have not anything against this method as long as it is used with causion.

    Yes, I blame this for the "sameness" of every popular album released today.

    Best Regards
     
  17. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    hi

    I wished TC released MD3 or MD4 for the tdm guys.

    Time to say bye bye to Master X (3+5).

    PSP Vintage Warmer is colored but not bad for quick references.

    To me L1 totally sucks in a mastering secario.

    From what I have heard between L3 and L2, L3 is slightly better, butI´d better dig into it deeper so as to get the real thing functioning.
     
  18. JamieTate

    JamieTate Active Member

    Hank Williams (Mastermix) uses an SPL Loudness Maximizer among other boxes. He keeps geting new limiters (including an L2) but still goes back to the SPL.

    http://www.spl-usa.com/Loudness_Maximizer/in_short.html
     
  19. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    For whatever reason, whenever I put a Cranesong Phoenix plug in right in front of my L2, the more yucky aspects of the L2 is minimized. It's a completely risky and horrible workaround, comepensating for MY OWN processing, but everyone wants the brick wall, and this method is more pleasing to my senses. I think it is just rounding out the distortion.

    Anybody else using a Phoenix/HEDD/similar for these purposes/results?

    Also, Henrik, you have to share HOW you get clients to accept masters without limiting...maybe your clients are more sophisticated than mine...but if I turn something out that isn't "hot", I lose future business. I think in most peoples' minds mastering has come to mean "homogonizing".

    Excuse my rambling.
     
  20. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Well you can get hot levels without limiting. But it's a nasty word that begins with C. I think what Henrik likes and so do I, is the ability to tailor the attack and release to the material. Boxes like the L2 and MD4 don't allow this. ARC is nice on the L2 but not when pushed hard and not on dense mixes. Any of the intelligent boxes that do a lot of the work for you will only do it well to a point. If you need to go beyond this point, this is where they fall short. Another thing that happens is that the sides get flattened out (the 2D effect). you loose depth and highth. Another thing that happens is you loose low end impact. I've spent a lot of time researching and testing a technique that restores that 3D image to the sides, retains the low end impact and doesn't kill the detail. What I haven't come up with is how to deal with aliasing and IMD. Keeping it simple minimizes IMD but seems to increases aliasing and visa versa. reducing alias distortion is pretty good just by working at 96k and using a good SRC to downsample. The trick is a good algorhythm to address IMD if you want to get more complex and split the signal. Alias distortion is one reason why I think the L2 sounds better at 96k and reduces IMD by keeping it wideband. But it flattens the mix if you push it, and I don't mean just dynamically. ARC completely freaks out if the peak to ave signal gets too close. At reasonable levels, a lot of limiters do very well. I don't think we have problems here, it's the extreme levels that we have problems with. I feel comfortable with how i've delt with 2 of the 3 problems, now i'm looking for a way to split the signal without IMD.
     

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