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Help understanding Limiter

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

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baba_anubis
KVRist
 
123 posts since 3 Aug, 2012

Postby baba_anubis; Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:43 am Help understanding Limiter

I am trying to understand exactly what limiter is :? ,

I already understand what is a compressor and how compressor work, I also understand that limiter is like a compressor with very high radio like 20:1

BUT for example in many limiters you will find Ceiling and Threshold

Question 1:
So I understand that if a limiter had only ceiling it wouldnt let the sound exceed the Ceiling level, for example if Ceiling = (-5db) and the snare is (-3db) it will make it sound like =(-5db), so it can damage the original signal right?

Quesion 2:
that exaclty the threshold purpose in limiters, and why I need it, why limiters couldn`t have only ceiling, what is the purpose of the threshold? can the threshold cause the original signal to be less damaged as a result of the limiter?

Quesion 3:
Is it recommended that each channel will have limiter last in its effects chain?

Question 4:
Lets say you have a snare with a Reverb as Sends effect, but the Limiter is obviosly on the Inserts effects because each channel has his own sound, so the Reverb can change the volume of the Limiter Output? What is the best way to deal with this issue?

Question 4:
If I use Limiter I can set the Channel Volume to 0db in the main mixer right? because only the ceiling level will determine the channel highest volume level?

Question 6:
Usually I normalize the sound I exported, can it cause problem in using limiters? for example clicks and pops? ot distortion?

I hope you can help me...
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foosnark
KVRAF
 
2667 posts since 9 Jan, 2003, from Saint Louis MO

Postby foosnark; Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:34 am Re: Help understanding Limiter

http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/a-b ... audio-1071

1. A limiter is basically a compressor with instant attack (sometimes -- more "classic" limiters are a bit relaxed) and infinite ratio. It will reduce dynamics and mess with transients, but it's not as harsh as clipping.

2. One of the major uses for limiters is to reduce peaks to give you room to push the overall gain. Think of "ceiling" as trimming off the top and "threshold" as raising up the bottom.

3. That depends. I think most people would say, unless you've got really crazy peaks that need to be tamed (such as before particular effects maybe), save a limiter for the master instead of sticking one on every channel.

4. Use your judgement. You might want to have no limiter on the snare, you might want one just to stop peaks from spiking the reverb. You probably won't need a limiter on the reverb send.

The other 4. The best answer is to see how the exported audio levels look and/or use metering and/or your ears.

6. Normalizing shouldn't cause problems, but it also shouldn't be necessary if you've got levels right.
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baba_anubis
KVRist
 
123 posts since 3 Aug, 2012

Postby baba_anubis; Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:54 am Re: Help understanding Limiter

I will be happy if someone can please explain me what exactly happen to the sound from the moment it get into the limiter until it come out
what exactly happen in the threshold and in the ceiling prcoess
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cornutt
KVRist
 
74 posts since 2 Dec, 2013, from Huntsville, AL USA

Postby cornutt; Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:09 am Re: Help understanding Limiter

It's a little hard to say because the terminology is not well standardized sometimes, but it sounds like the limiter you are using has a "soft knee". That is, the compression doesn't kick in abruptly at a given dB level. Rather, as the sound gets louder, the compression first starts to kick in at maybe a 2:1 ratio, then as the input sound get louder it goes to 4:1, 8:1, etc. until it finally gets to an infinite ratio, which is what limiting is. So in this case the "threshold" control is the place at the bottom of the knee where the compression starts to kick in, and the "ceiling" control is the top of the knee where the compression ratio goes to infinity.
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baba_anubis
KVRist
 
123 posts since 3 Aug, 2012

Postby baba_anubis; Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:25 am Re: Help understanding Limiter

cornutt wrote:It's a little hard to say because the terminology is not well standardized sometimes, but it sounds like the limiter you are using has a "soft knee". That is, the compression doesn't kick in abruptly at a given dB level. Rather, as the sound gets louder, the compression first starts to kick in at maybe a 2:1 ratio, then as the input sound get louder it goes to 4:1, 8:1, etc. until it finally gets to an infinite ratio, which is what limiting is. So in this case the "threshold" control is the place at the bottom of the knee where the compression starts to kick in, and the "ceiling" control is the top of the knee where the compression ratio goes to infinity.


I am talking about L2 from Waves for example
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