Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

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CircuitTree
KVRist
34 posts since 27 Nov, 2018

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:23 am

I usually place a limiter once I have completed the track at the end of the mastering stage. Should the limiter be placed on the master before writing music instead? Or is this one of those questions where there is no wrong answer?

*If this is a stupid question, I apologize in advance*

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
23449 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:27 am

I never put anything on the master until the track/tune is finished.

Digivolt
KVRist
171 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:35 am

Learn to properly gain stage and you don't need limiter on master until you decide to actually master!

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telecharge
KVRist
390 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:32 am

CircuitTree wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:23 am
Or is this one of those questions where there is no wrong answer?
It's ultimately a personal preference. It's not uncommon to mix into a compressor, and there are some who argue against it.

CircuitTree
KVRist
34 posts since 27 Nov, 2018

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:44 am

Digivolt wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:35 am
Learn to properly gain stage and you don't need limiter on master until you decide to actually master!
I recently made the switch to Ableton from Logic and I'm still getting used to the prefaders. I really like how there is a separate one by default for each plugin.

perfumer
KVRist
144 posts since 4 Oct, 2018

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:52 am

If you're doing sound design with tools that could potentially go too loud - at the beginning.
Reaper has this track auto mute feature that prevents accidental hiccups: you do something stupid - level gets too loud - track goes mute.
Better safe than sorry, etc.

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4damind
KVRAF
4704 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:03 am

If you don't master by yourself, don't put a limiter on the master buss.

You can run into mixing problems if you already mix against the limiter. At least, if starting with mixing/leveling I would disable the limiter and enable it again if your mix has the right balance.

Spin Boyz
KVRist
385 posts since 1 Jul, 2007

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:43 am

Top down mixing usually starts with some gentle eq and compression on the mix bus. As telecharge mentioned, you mix into the compress. In theory, this causes you to use less compression when mixing individual tracks.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
39536 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:58 am

CircuitTree wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:23 am
*If this is a stupid question, I apologize in advance*
there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.
to that end...

fudge banana popsicle 8)


less stupid answer, im with controlcentre, i don't put anything on the master, till im done with the track.

some folk do use a limiter on the master while mixing, and it works for them. i didn't start out that way, so i just do what ive always done, because it works for me :)

Winstontaneous
KVRian
1463 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:30 pm

I mostly use Ableton Live, and often have an Audio Track set to Resampling input to capture a stereo audio file of anything I do in real time - for saving those magic moments that only come once. So I gain stage correctly, but have a limiter on just in case.
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Distorted Horizon
KVRian
1408 posts since 17 Jan, 2017

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:20 pm

I have a limiter in my master track on my starting template.
My track volume is -12dB so it's rare that anything even tickles the limiter.. But it's there just for safety.

acYm
KVRian
882 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:48 pm

assuming you gain-stage properly and your whole track is around zero vu, you can either use a limiter to bring up the volume somewhere around full scale, or you can raise your physical volume control, it's either or...
or you can mix really quiet also, if you like, I guess.

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djanthonyw
KVRAF
6988 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:04 pm

I always have a limiter in the master bus, flat, just to prevent overs.
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samsam
KVRAF
1984 posts since 9 Dec, 2008

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:01 pm

^ This. I value my ears. It's the first item I add to any DAW template I make.

(There are such things as stupid questions but this isn't one of them)

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
2921 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: Should a limiter on the master be the first thing you add before writing a track?

Post Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:36 pm

No from me. Relying on a master limiter during writing/mixing means I'm doing something wrong - can easily trick you into thinking your peaks aren't overshooting as much as they are. Better to just keep an eye on the meters at all points and ensure no peak clips on any instrument, to deliver the cleanest mix for mastering.

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