Need several channels of limiting...

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by Ted Nightshade, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Active Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Howdy folks,
    Right now I am functioning without any limiters. I don't personally have a whole lot of use for compression- I'll leave that to the mastering engineer. Nonetheless it seems that a limiter is just a specialized compressor, and both often come in the same box. I bought a Drawmer a couple years ago for around $1000 as everyone insisted I needed a compressor at least some time, but the thing must have twenty hours on it. I just don't trust it. My paranoia and inexperience with compressors probably plays a big part .
    I'm recording to digital and so of course I can't be clipping things. So far I've been working in the studio on my own projects, and have just been careful setting levels and using no limiting. Typically I get very good results- I'm blessed with skilled musicians that can put in good performances and control their dynamics at the same time.
    Nonetheless, limiters exist for a reason, and I would like to be able to do live recording without worrying about clipping. The problem is that for live recording I need several channels of limiting- maybe six or eight. I'm not thrilled with the idea of degrading my pretty happy signals my putting weak processing in line. What limiting I've done with the Drawmer has sounded fine as long as I've only cut 5 db or so.
    What ought I to be looking at? I don't want to change the sound at all, just guarantee against accidental clipping.
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    "What ought I to be looking at? I don't want to change the sound at all, just guarantee against accidental clipping."

    This sentance contradicts itself I am afraid. What you are asking for is a device to 'clip' the sound (limit it) prior to your converters to avoid digital cliping / distortion. But you wish to achive this with no change in sound at all. Tricky one!

    I would say just set your levels lower, one live audio trick I know is to record the lead vocal on 2 tracks, on with the level down 10db, in case of overload of the pre / converters.

    Most fast acting limiters have a poor reputation with the 'golden eared'.

    Why not turn it down and preserve ALL the dynamics that you cherish so much?

    I will see if I can get my chum Steve Remote to chip in, he has recorded everyone 'in concert' with his Aurasonic moble trucks from Aerosmith to the Ramones and just won a Grammy for a latin live Jazz album he recorded this year. He uses both analog & digital multitracks and may have some insights for you.

  3. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Active Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Thanks, Jules, for the reply.
    I am just currently keeping the levels low enough not to require limiting 99 44/100ths % of the time- it's the other 1% or less that gets me, the one loudest bass drum thump of the night or the time the vibe got hit the sharpest just as the wobble kicked into phase. What I want is something that is totally invisible until the limiting kicks in- I realize something has to give at that point. I'm just looking for a safety net.
    Your friend indeed sounds like the guy to ask. I look forward to the word.
  4. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    Also check out the Really Nice Compressor from FMR audio. It's a 1/3-rack space stereo unit that (when not abuse) is very transparent. The bonus is that they list at $200. Everybody loves them. I have 3 in the rack at the studio. :D

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