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limiter question

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Ron.G, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. Ron.G

    Ron.G Active Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    I'm looking for a limiter that works well for vocals.
    In my past experience I've had a difficult time limiting a track without hearing the limiter working.

    I know that the universal audio LA-2 and 4 work really well, but I don't have a ton of money to buy one.
    Can anyone recommend a decent limiter that is a bit more affordable?

    Thanks you!
  2. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    I love La2a's but not becasue they are "invisible".
    Quite the opposite.. in fact i use them (on guitars mostly) becasue i hear them and LIKE what they add.

    On a vocal, I agree with you that, most of the time, i don;t want to notice the limiter/compressor. And some singers i work with (Cyndi Lauper in particular) are SUPER sensitive to hearing their dynamics @%*^ed with.
    My vocal favourite for many years has been the API 525.
    It seems uncannily transparent... i can compress a good bit more than i would think i would get away with without hearing it and without the singer throwing heavy objects at me. And that terrific sounding API discrete opamp doesn't thin out the quality of your sound (as many compressors, especially VCA based ones are apt to do)
  3. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    If you need a lot of dynamic control, try using more than one limiter/compressor in series. If you don't have them digging in so hard with 400 dB of gain reduction, the sound will be more transparent. If you've got each compressor/limiter doing 3-6dB of gain reduction, you'll have control and you'll avoid that "smooshy" sound.

    I get good results from this technique even with (believe it or not) a pair of dbx 163x's. I'd never recommend that you buy one though - I got these free. The RNC's nice - the Aphex Compellor can be gentle or brash, once you learn to use the thing. Those are a couple that I've been pleased with.

    Dan Roth
    Otitis Media
  4. Ron.G

    Ron.G Active Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    Thanks alot for the info. I have a RNC in my rack so I'll try it out.
    I'm thinking about getting the Sebatron pre, so funds are tight right now. If the RNC works it might hold me over till the next big purchase and I won't have to sleep on the couch!
  5. Linwood

    Linwood Guest

    Manley ELOP.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I like the ELOP also but I would hardly call it affordable. It is worth every penny it costs but it is a bit expensive. EveAnna Manley describes it as "a LA2a on steroids". They use a Pultec style amplifier on the output stage, but other than that, it is supposed to be, pretty much, a copy of the Teletronix LA2a. I love mine and it is the "go to" comp of choice for me. As a point of reference, I also have an 1178, a pair of blackface LA4's and a stereo Valley People Dynamite. Kurt
  7. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    Waves L2 plugin. Probably the most transparent limiter there is.

    Doesn't sound like an API OR AN LA2A or anything else. It just sounds great.

    I generally don't find any need to print compression with 24 bit audio so I puit the Limiter in the monitoring chain when I track and then adjust in mix as needed.

  8. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    A cool trick for 2 RNCs in series is to have one set at a fairly high threshold and ratio to tame peaks aggressively, and another at a lower threshold and ratio to smoothly ride the gain.

    But a cheaper alternative to the Manley ELOP is the Langevin DVC. And you get mic pres with eq as well. I think the comp is the same basic circuit as the ELOP, substituting a Class A amp for the ELOP's tube make up amp.

  9. paul lani

    paul lani Guest

    in the analog world - if you want to save some $$,
    buy a couple of RNC compressors and go for an
    infinity to one setting if it has it. i'd suggest to not
    use their super duper smooth mode - as this tends
    to take all the excitement out of the sound and put
    singers into a coma. in the dig world the L2 is a true
    brick wall limiter. please understand that if you saw
    how much compression and limiting A league mixers
    really use on the records you love - you would
    ask for oxygen. something you would never learn
    at full sail. if it takes 4 compressors in series and
    40 db of compression to get the sound you like-
    then that is what it takes. don't look at overload
    lights, don't look at meters, don't read manuals,
    just use your ears -
    they are the true measure of excellence.

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