@audiokid @Boswell @paulears @pcrecord @kmetal @Davedog (et al) I've decided that, at least for awhile, and for sure on this current album project I'm working on for my friend and client, that I'm really going to be cutting back on the use (and the amount) of GR on the 2-bus. I'm not saying that I won't use any (but then again I'm out ruling out not using any, either, it's going to depend on the song) but at the least, I'm really going to reign it in. Here's why: Since researching these new broadcast standards, and listening to remasters of older albums - albums that were initially over limited and squashed during the early days of analog to digital transfer for CD, but have been remastered with attention being given to respecting the original dynamic range - I've gone back and listened to previous rough mixes of my own, which sounded "okay" to me - and compared them to more recent ones - which sound much better, and the only thing that separates those previous mixes from the recent ones is that the older versions have much more gain reduction on the 2-bus. Because I really have no intent on becoming a mastering engineer, and because every pro project I engineer ends up going to a bona fide M.E. anyway, there's no point in me putting heavy limiting - or in many cases, even really any limiting - on the 2 mix. If an M.E. is going to add an appropriate amount of limiting on their end, why would I want to send them something that has already been limited? There's no benefit that I can see to limiting the content twice. Years ago, putting a limiter across the 2-bus was really more about letting the client get a listen to the mix in a way that would be more reminiscent of how it would sound after mastering, but only in rare cases was this limiting actually printed to the 2 mix. It was assumed that limiting would be added by the mastering engineer. It was really mostly about serving the purpose - a temporary one - of allowing the clients to hear what the song (or album) might sound like after it was mastered. It also served the purpose of being able to record things as hot as possible without peaking, to masque the noise inherent to tape. But digital is a much different format. We don't really have to worry about masquing a noise floor anymore, the dynamic range can now be much greater, with virtually no noise, as a result of higher resolutions. So, we should ask ourselves, hopefully before we put the limiter on the stereo bus - "why exactly am I doing this, and what do I hope to achieve by doing this, or doing this to this degree?" The result of me backing off on the limiting on these most recent mixes - while lower in RMS - is that they now have a much wider dynamic range. They sound nicer, because they are more open, they breathe much nicer, sonics are fuller, and tracks don't have that "thin" sound that is often the result of heavy compression... and are more pleasant to listen to sonically all the way around. Gain Reduction can change the tone of your tracks. Sometimes for the better, adding a certain vibe or pleasing character to them - some like to use a hint of it on the master bus for "glue"... and I don't see a problem with that - in small amounts, I think it an often be beneficial - but - it can also be detrimental, too. When you limit their dynamic range, instruments sound different. Often they sound great... the right amount can bring out the crack or pop in a snare, or lengthen the sustain on a bass or guitar, but, it can also make things sound thin, and at times, even harsh and brittle. I'm certainly not telling anyone what to do, and I'm not saying I won't use any GR at all... there are certain individual tracks that sometimes require it. Compression isn't an enemy, it's not something that should be avoided at all costs, but, you should make sure that it's not also possibly damaging the sound of the tracks, too. I guess what I am suggesting is, if you do decide to add limiting to your stereo bus, ask yourself "why" first. And, if you do decide to use it, make sure that you understand how it works, what it will do, and that you are using it in a way that isn't detrimental to the song. IMHO of course. d.