Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

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jfelton616
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Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by jfelton616 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:44 pm

Hey guys!

First post! Glad to be here. I'm slowly getting into recording and thought this would be a great place of knowledge for me. Hope you guys can help me out. I have just bought an Alesis Micro Limiter after reading TapeOp's interview with Mac Demarco ("Everything I've ever done always goes through [one]"). I'm a fan and it seemed like an nifty little piece of gear. So I impulsively bought one before I was sure I had the means to even use it.

My recording setup is pretty minimal right now; Focusrite 2i2, some KRK Rokit 5s, and a Fender Champ. My question is is it possible to set the Micro Limiter up with what I got? I feel I may need an interface with a few more outputs. This is my first piece of outboard hardware/rack mount gear so pardon me if it's common sense or anything.

Really appreciate the help!

Thanks,
Justin

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by vvv » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Start by reading the applicable parts of this:
http://www.synthfool.com/docs/Alesis/Mi ... Manual.pdf

I think I recall that MM uses his in some sort of effects loop or buss or on an auxiliary send onna board.

That said, I can think of two ways you can use it: either between your sound source (guitar, hi-impedance mic, keys, drum machine, etc.) and your amp, or between your sound source and your 2i2.

With your monitor levels low, start with all recording levels at 0, bring them up slowly on each piece of gear until you get the level you want.;, ex., start at "1" on the guitar, the micro-limiter and the 2i2 input, then bring each to "2", etc. After you have acceptable levels, then you can start varying them for sound and effect ...

Some related areas of study that might help include "gain-staging" and (to understand MM's use) "basic mixer routing".

Good luck!
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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:55 pm

If it's designed to operate at line level (which I suspect because it has 1/4" jacks instead of XLR), then you'll get the best results by using it between a preamp and the interface. However, since your preamps are part of your interface you'll either need an external preamp, or just use it with line-level gear like keyboards.

BUT "best results" is not usually what people are trying to achieve with gear like this. Often old budget units like this get a reputation for producing a gnarly sound when pushed too hard or used in the "wrong" way. So experiment!

It doesn't supply phantom power so condenser mics aren't an option, but try using a 1/4" adapter to plug a dynamic mic directly in then stick it on a loud source like drums or a cranked-up amp and see if you get a good response from the unit. A guitar's output alone likely won't be strong enough, but you can try running your pedal chain into the Limiter, using a boost pedal last in the chain to get a good level.

The other option is to use it as a mixing effect, running pre-recorded signals out of the interface, into the limiter, then recording the output back into the interface.
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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by floid » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:40 pm

Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:55 pm
The other option is to use it as a mixing effect, running pre-recorded signals out of the interface, into the limiter, then recording the output back into the interface.
At which point you could start reading about stuff like "round trip latency" and "parallel compression".
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jfelton616
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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by jfelton616 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Thanks for all the info! Time to read up on some stuff.
But yes the plan was for it to used as a compressor for recorded tracks to go into. Pretty much a bus of sorts.

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by losthighway » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:24 am

floid wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:40 pm
Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:55 pm
The other option is to use it as a mixing effect, running pre-recorded signals out of the interface, into the limiter, then recording the output back into the interface.
At which point you could start reading about stuff like "round trip latency" and "parallel compression".
Yeah, if you print a new track affected by your limiter you'll need to either visually line it up with the og track if you want to blend the two (parallel compression) since there will be a spot of delay from it's journey (latency) and the two will be slightly out of sync. Or use just the new affected track if that pleases the ears.

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by Magnetic Services » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:08 am

"If it pleases the ears" sums up this forum pretty well.
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jfelton616
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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by jfelton616 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:52 pm

Thanks for the help guys!
This micro limiter is way more versatile than I thought. Gotta experiment with this thing more. Haven't fully been successful with actually hooking it up to the interface yet! I don't think I have the right cables. I'm very very very new to this! :oops:

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:37 pm

Does your interface have an insert? If so, put the ML there for tracking.
I love the micro limiter so much that I've ended up with 2 of them. It does amazing things as a parallel on the drum bus. Set it to kill and sneak it in under the clean drums. Also really great for smashing room mics.

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by leigh » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:53 pm

jfelton616 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:44 pm
I have just bought an Alesis Micro Limiter after reading TapeOp's interview with Mac Demarco ("Everything I've ever done always goes through [one]").
I just went back and read that interview. Does it seem like he's saying he tracks everything through it, or that he's using it as a mix bus compressor? He's talking about it in the context of mixing.

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Re: Bought a Micro Limiter! Now how the hell do I set this up??

Post by vvv » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm

I believe I read elsewhere that it's on a buss or FX loop. Further, I believe he said it's mostly used on drums.
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