Limiter, Soft Clipper or Maximizer?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by sampsoniter, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. sampsoniter

    sampsoniter Guest

    ok, first off, correct me if I'm worng, but any mastered track shouldn't go over 0db in the master bus, to prevent distortion at any volume right?......well anyway,

    I want to be able do this without any "muffling" of frequencies,
    or anything resulting in loss of quality......

    should I apply to the master bus a Limiter, Soft Clipper, or a Maximizer?......which one would be, or is the best for this purpose, and why one over the other, seeing as they all seem to serve the same purpose?.....

    to he with the answers I seek,
    I 'm ever-gratefull...
    pls help
  2. beachhunt

    beachhunt Guest

    From what I've seen, a soft clipper is sort of a "soft knee limiter", assuming you're familiar with compressor knees. The limiter and soft clipper could get you the same sonic result, depending on what limiter you're using, because different compressors/limiters have different characteristics. A maximizer (like Sonic Foundry's wave hammer, or the Waves L1/L2, something like that?) is also a limiter, but geared specifically toward loudness-without-clipping, which looks like all you're after. So, the maximizer might be the best bet, but any of the above should work.

    About loss of quality, any of those devices can ruin your dynamics if pushed far enough. There might not be any distortion, but you can easily squeeze the "punch" out of your song if you try to get it -too- loud, and maximizers are especially easy to abuse, mainly since they're so good at preventing distortion =P Again, if you're mainly after loudness, use the maximizer, but use it carefully. If you have an RMS detector (Inspector is a good free analysis plugin for this), put it after the maximizer and try to keep the RMS meters at least 9dB below the peak meters (possibly further below, depending on the type of music you're recording).

  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    I'm moving this to the Mastering Forum.
  4. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Oct 17, 2001
    321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
    Home Page:
    Not exactly. In general when mixing you don't want overs because of the risk of distortion. But If you have a few overs it may be fine. The rule of thumb is if your getting a lot of overs while mixing you are running the risk of audible distortion. Lower the mix bus.
    In today's low noise floor digital world there is no good reason to make you mix louder just for the sake of it being louder. You do more harm than good.

    Mastering is a little different. I normally use a limiter at the end of the chain to "limit' the overs so they don't clip.
    I have worked on projects where the artist and I decided not to do this. We like the sound better without the limiter. There are digital overs but there is no distortion and it sounds great. Use your ears.
  5. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    An example of this would be the new Lenny K. album mastered by Ted J.

    ...With this album I will say that you can hear the overs!
    ...sometimes it's the mixing stage and sometimes it's the mastering that clips on the album... funny?

    Best Regards,
  6. PaulColley

    PaulColley Guest

    new Waves plug-in

    Has anyone tried the new Waves L3 yet? I downloaded the demo and will use it when I master the project I'm currently working on.
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    I tried it at another facility - About the same as a safety net. Didn't like it for "making stuff sound really loud" but then again, I hardly ever like anything used for sheer volume.
  8. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    What's the fun in that...?
    It looks like you can make the most artificial/Plastic sounding song on earth with it! YEEEEAH :?

    It stickes that the L3 is only for fixing severe problems in a mix and not for general use, as the L2 is... unless you want that special delicate sound of multiband on everything! :lol:

    Best Regards,

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