Instead of a limiter, couldn't I just......

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by sampsoniter, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. sampsoniter

    sampsoniter Guest

    ok , I was always wondering......

    instead of applying a limiter to the master bus to avoid too much peaking, could I not just turn down the master bus's volume?

    I'd hate to lose quality by limiting....

    if anyone could help me out here ,
    please & thnx
  2. lucidwaves

    lucidwaves Guest

    A limiter turns down just the peaks above a certain threshold, it doesnt just turn the whole thing down. Limiting is used to tame dynamics so that overall dynamic range is more "limited" (or squashed if used in extreme mode). So there is a big difference there.
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Or just mix your tracks lower in general. Mixing to avoid the use of a limiter is the general idea.
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    And if limiting is needed, try to find out which individual tracks would benefit from it instead of subjecting the whole mix to it.
  5. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Well, it depends.
    If you are mixing analog, that would probably be the best thing to do.
    But if you mix digitally you haven't got any other choice than to keep the master volume at 0, or you will loose sound quality.
  6. Well, not really. If you have track X at -6 dB with the master at 0, and you bring the master down -6 dB and track X up to 0, the output of both will be identical.

    But yes, best to just mix or record not so hot. What's wrong with peaks anyway? You'll certainly lose quality with limiting.

  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Anything you put in the chain is going to degrade the sound. Keep tweeking and you will find the right balance and learn to not have to resort to limiters or pulling faders down. One thing you can try is turning the volume pot up higher when you start a mix. this will limit how high you will tend to push the faders up, which means less clipping.
  8. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

    if it's not an issue, couldn't/shouldn't you just put a limiter in the chain set at the most extreme the rig could handle as a safety issue. Just in case you trip and hit a fader or someone else is mixing?
  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    The someone else should know how to mix without clipping. A limited peak, which "technically" isn't a clip, might as well be, as dynamic information is gone forever.

    My rule of thumb is to never, EVER go above -6dBfs at any time during tracking and mixing. Not on any track, not during any mix.

    There's no reason for it, it avoids most D-to-A reconstructive distortion, it gives the M.E. a few precious dB of headroom to mess with. It also takes the mix engineer's mind off of sheer volume and let's him concentrate on "sounding good" instead.
  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Well, I could null a -3db, +3db file with the original in Sequoia, but the result was very bad and not the same as the original. Have you tried this? I'm not sure what it is, but there is a difference even though they null perfectly. You should be able to hear this too since you've tried the dither test and could hear a difference.

    There are no such things as a free lunch! everything you do whether it's attenuating or just streaming through a device in bypass(yes, bit correct bypassing) will affect the sound, digital or analog!
    I don't know when people will ever learn this?... maybe it will take a few years for them to accept that digital isn't perfect? It's just a matter of time before this "new ghost" can be meassured.

    Best Regards
  11. TCK

    TCK Guest


    If they null 'perfectly' doesn't that mean that both waves have identical numerical values for all of their respective samples?

    In which case, the D/A converters will give the same output, so it will have the same sound.

    So if it sounds different, there must be some other factor...


  12. That would be the often disregarded but well understood "it's all in your head" factor.
  13. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    There is another factor, don't know what it is yet though. The 2 signals the DAC receives is not identical even though the computer says so in Sequoia, what i don't know is if a HEX editor will say the same?

    leonardkravitz, I would advice you to wake up from the heavy state of sleep you appear to be in!

    Best Regards
  14. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    They don't null then.
  15. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Nothing else than my Bank account nulls!
  16. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Can't say that about my credit card.
  17. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I meant it ironically!
    The truth is far from :lol:

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