At what process are you guys using a limiter?

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Music Afficionado
Member Since: Aug 12, 2008

Are limiters most often applied during the mixing process, mastering process, or both? I record and produce mainly Hip Hop and havent really messed around with Limiters much. Any info you guys have and applications (when to use/not to use) would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Mar 20, 2009 10:31 am

I don't usually use them at all, if I do it's during tracking just as a safety measure to prevent a clip.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Mar 20, 2009 10:52 am

Basically a limiter is a compressor with an infinite ratio. So any precaution you'd use with a compressor goes doubly for a limiter. A little goes a long way!

The most popular use for a limiter would probably be on a mixed down project, on a stereo wav file. You'd want to set the limit somewhere below 0dB to keep the file from clipping. -.3dB is a popular default spot since that'll generally protect from clipping the outputs.

I use them in a few different places for different reasons. Be careful though, its easy to get carried away with them since they make things seem loud. But loud isn't always good.

But what a limiter allows you to do is pump up the volume of your mix and still not clip the outputs. It sets a hard limit of gain and doesn't allow the signal to exceed it. So as you increase the gain of your signal, the compression applied by the limiter will get more and more aggressive. Again, that's not necessarily a good thing.

All of that being said, I love the Classic Series Master Limiter VST. I use it on background vocals, snare and kick drums, other percussion like hand claps, and even on a final mix. It's a little more gentle than a traditional hard limiter but it can still squish the dynamics flat if you want it to. At reduced settings it can add a nice pop to a kick or snare, or wring a bit more volume out of a mixdown.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Mar 20, 2009 11:21 am

Last piece for of the chain for me. Just to bring up loudness a little and tame a few peaks.

Music Afficionado
Since: Aug 12, 2008

Mar 20, 2009 02:36 pm

Perfect - I'll start messing around tomorrow. Thanks for the replies (I love this site) and have great weekend.

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