Limiter on rough mixes

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mwerden
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Re: Limiter on rough mixes

Post by mwerden » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:31 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:45 am
This is true, but there's overs on loads and loads of CDs and they sound fine. I'm talking big time, famous, legitimate barcoded records. I've analyzed a ton of them and overs are more the rule than the exception.
I always found this interesting. In school I learned that -.3 should be the top but you start noticing what other people are doing as soon as you import a "pro" release. Once I started actually working I very quickly found that other factors had way more of an effect than nit picking about a -.1 ceiling vs -.3 ceiling or whatever. Specifically I was much better off bouncing a decent level mp3 out of protools with a ceiling all the way up at 0 as opposed to a quieter bounce that would get mangled way worse by the mp3ness. This seems even more true nowadays, I'm guessing because of clipping protection they seem to have added to the protools mix engine.

Now I don't worry too much about it. Take off 2-4 dB at most for rough mixes. The goal is usually an mp3 or whatever that people can check out on laptops or phones and not have it be annoyingly quiet. Send the proper stuff to mastering.
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Re: Limiter on rough mixes

Post by cgarges » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:37 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:31 am
I set it to threshhold of -1.0 dB, and an output of -0.2 dB.
I do a similar thing for the same reasons. My user default on my "loudness limiter" plugin is Boz Labs' "The Wall" with the threshold starting at -01 and the output at -01. I adjust the threshold from there. I don't use it all the time, but it's occasionally useful.

My normalization presets are similar. My default is an output of -3 and I have a "loud" preset at -1.

99% of the time, I'm doing rough mixes on the console, so I'm using an outboard compressor on the stereo buss when I do have a buss compressor happening. For rough mixes going to clients, I do usually have something doing a little bit of work (maybe 3 or 4dB of reduction, max), just for a little bit of volume and a bit of "finish." That's usually something not too extreme, like a GML, Dangerous, or sometimes an SSL compressor. I never try to make roughs compete with a finished major label mix, volume-wise. I usually print sort of conservative levels and then normalize afterwards.

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losthighway
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Re: Limiter on rough mixes

Post by losthighway » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:56 pm

I just realized that in all of my years, nothing in my process of preparing tracks has included anything you would call 'normalization'. Like to the point where I'm wondering if there's some fundamental steps on the back half of mixing down tracks that I'm not even aware of because I never became interested in being a mastering engineer.

I do know that the stuff I bounce still has quite a lot of dynamic range and some spiky transients (usually from drums) that never seem to bother my mastering engineer once they get to it, but make it so that I have to do some pretty fierce limiting to get to a moderately loud RMS for rough mixes. Or at least I don't know any better.

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Re: Limiter on rough mixes

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 am

I never saw the point of normalizing, have never really done it. All it does is raise the highest peak to zero, and you might well have one peak that's 3db higher than anything else....if you wanted to be fussy about it you'd go through and manually turn down just the highest peak bits and THEN normalize....but that's what limiters are for and you'll probably find that they're actually more transparent than doing sample-level volume editing. Which, you wouldn't think that'd be the case, but try it.

Also, def no reason to normalize anything going to mastering. If I get a file peaking up at zero, the first thing I do (after listening to it) is turn it down.
losthighway wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:56 pm
I have to do some pretty fierce limiting to get to a moderately loud RMS for rough mixes.
Not surprising, and very common I'm sure. As I said earlier, I dunno about other ME's, but for me, I'm almost never getting all the level from the limiter, most of it is happening beforehand and the limiter is just doing the last db or two. I think this tends to sound better and change the mix less than just wailing on it with a limiter.

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Re: Limiter on rough mixes

Post by losthighway » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:26 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 am

Also, def no reason to normalize anything going to mastering. If I get a file peaking up at zero, the first thing I do (after listening to it) is turn it down.
Don't worry, Scott. I like your work too much to try and muck it up. My plan for the 'to be mastered' folder is to bounce it at 24-bit/48k with some headroom and then leave it the hell alone.

This is more me trying to do some vague, quick, low-rent version of what you do to try and help clients get excited about the mixes we've been working on.

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