getting louder without killin' your mix...

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Hold 'Em Czar
Member Since: Dec 30, 2004

www.gearslutz.com/board/m...tml#post1348417


there's some really really good info here if you can get past the BS

what i got out of it is, clip your master buss (before limiting) then turn the limiter on (on the master buss) to re-shape the transients.

my god! that's about the coolest tip i've heard in months!

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Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jun 27, 2007 07:40 am

that is a good read. thanks.

Member
Since: May 10, 2007


Jun 27, 2007 10:32 pm

Yep,,,good stuff to consider for sure!

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jun 28, 2007 12:59 am

jeez. i still can't follow this stuff.

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jun 28, 2007 01:15 am

say your master fader is clippin'(stereo two buss).....common knowledge says turn stuff down so you don't clip anything....

this guy is sayin' clip the master buss on purpose (run it at say +4dbfs).....which will make your RMS level louder by bringin' up everything...

then insert a limiter with a gentle knee and set the threshold to say -3...by dooin' this, you are effectively 're-building' the initial transients. only now you get louder overall level....trick is to have a VERY good limiter, that sounds nice, and a good monitoring system to tell how much damage you're dooin'.....

does that make more sense?

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jun 28, 2007 04:09 am

on re-read i wanna add...i don't think this means just turnin' up your master fader....like, mix things louder (your daw is workin' at a higher bitdepth than your final output resolution) so it's safe....

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jun 28, 2007 04:34 am

no because i dont even remember what rms is

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jun 28, 2007 05:05 am

rms (root mean square) is the "average/perceived" loudness.....

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jun 30, 2007 04:40 pm

Ya, I started clipping the master in Sonar back in 5 with no ill effect. In fact it was a hotter signal then I had gotten before. Oddly enough it was almost like driving an input to tape or saturating the thing. And it has been working well here. I discovered it completely by accident really though. Not paying attention to what was going on and accidentally clipped it and discovered it really worked nicely. Been doing it that way ever since.

Member
Since: Jul 02, 2003


Jul 01, 2007 02:43 am

That is basically how a maximizer works, I don't really see how it's going to sound any different. I've done mixes that exceeded 0dB to me they sound pretty much the same, in the end before you convert to 16bit it still has to limited too under 0dB and you'll get the same squashed dynamics you get using a maximizer. While working in 24/32 bit you could go to insane levels but you'd still have a 2X4 for a wav form after limiting it to get back to 16 bit.

Dan

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 01, 2007 05:51 am

I agree with olddog, haven't read the thread but it just sounds like your feeding higher input levels to a brick wall, and setting the threshold very low to take off the top of the transients, then feeding that into another limiter EXCEPT with nasty digital artifacts.

Am I wrong?

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jul 01, 2007 05:28 pm

In my case in Sonar I am not hitting a limiter at all. Simply driving the outputs into clipping and for some stupid reason I am not getting a digital distortion out of it. Now unless my meters are bunk, which I know they are not as I have run a set of pluggin meters as well as calibrating to the desk. I don't know why it is working but I can see the fact hitting a limiter hard will add some distortion which if used properly can sound like analog warmth if one is very very careful with it.

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jul 01, 2007 06:09 pm

not a brick wall type limiter....a fast compressor, or slow(er) limiter with softer knee...you're not wanting to chop everything into square waves...give the limiter a bit of room to work with by settin' the threshold to -4 and a ratio that's not infinity...say 15:1...at least that's how i'm interpreting it.

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 01, 2007 08:06 pm

Wyd, thats the limiter AFTER clipping the bus right? I'm saying that the clipping is acting like a brick wall.

Right or wrong? Either way confused. lol

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 01, 2007 08:09 pm

Oh, wyd, on a side note have you tried the SPL transient designer? Reshaping transients and what not. Bloody awesome piece of kit! Digital fish phones make a free transient manipulator as well, pretty sweet.

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jul 01, 2007 08:52 pm

NO i havn't YET!!! but i wanna play with one of those fer sher!

as for the clipping...yes clip the main buss by a good 4 db then insert the limiter in line before the main buss...so you clip on purpose to get levels hot, then throw on the limiter to get everything back down before gooin' out the two buss....jeez does that make any sense? lol in the end you're not clipping anything anymore.

Member
Since: Jul 02, 2003


Jul 02, 2007 02:33 am

That's what I'm saying wyd. A maximizer works very much like that, it allows you to raise the level above what would normally clip the buss thus raising the quieter parts in volume and lowering the loud parts but resulting in an overall higher RMS. How much you push using either method will decide what the final wav form ie: dynamics ends up being.

Noize what you are essentially doing is a brickwall limiter. When you convert to 16 bit everything above 0dB is chopped off/discarded. As long as it's mostly just transients going above then as with a maximizer the dynamics won't suffer much but if you raise the level enough to get the meat of the wav close too or above 0 you will have a 2X4 for wav. This is very easy to test as well as see the result in Audition or any other wav editor.

The only reason you can exceed 0dB and not get digital clipping is because of working in 24/32 bit while mixing.

Dan

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 02, 2007 07:03 am

Hey olddog, I'm damn sure, in fact 100% certain that 0 dB is a clip in any bit depth or sample rate. Bit depth gives you more range between 0 dB and your noise floor so you have more clarity at lower volumes.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jul 02, 2007 05:53 pm

OD, indeed it still has a good looking wave form. I never push that far past 0dB at all. And indeed as you stated I am mixing in 24, 32 or 64 so am having those type results. I will have to try it in 16 and see what it sounds and looks like. And yes, when I bring it up in Wavelab it seems to have suffered no ill effects, though as stated I'm not pushing it that far. But it is definitely hitting in the red more then I would normally allow it to.

CS, agreed that the higher bit depth does indeed give much more room but it seems at least in Sonar that I have a bit more headroom forgiveness in there as well. In the older version if you hit anywhere above 0dB it was an ugly sound. Now it seems to have a lot more forgiveness.

Love solder fumes in the morning
Member
Since: Apr 06, 2007


Jul 03, 2007 01:31 am

I think thats the worst thing you could do, to over clip a mix and then use a limiter on it, since your compressor/limiter will squash those peaks and create a very nasty distortion, maybe not audible at first glance but the square wave is right there, try not to go over the -4dbfs, o -3dbfs, if you need more "power" then just compress until you are satisfied, but never do that of overclipping before, eventhough you may say that youll have better signal to noise ratio, when workin in 24bit depth the noise floor is at -144dbfs so i think noise isnt an issue here, if you do that you'll also be killing the dynamics of the song and as the opposite of what you may think, the inital transients will be damaged providing a less punchy mix.
I've had Wavelab compressing a mix with a compressor/limiter on it, and the "over" leds will never light up, but if you open a bit scope youll see you have a clip even if your master's clip led never light up. Also, limiters and meters arent completly precise, due to any dc offset you may have, youll be clipping earlier even if your clip leads are off, its the best to dont go over the -3dbfs in the mix, and limit everything at the end at -0.2 or -0.1 dbfs, if you overclip a mix and then compress it youll have a 0dbfs meter that wont move from where it is, you are not only killing the dynamnics but also you are creating distortion since internal clipping is ocurring, that is you'll lowering the volume of a clip so it wont clip again but the clip is already there, your limiter will be squashing everything and youll ruin the entire song.
I refeer to internal clipping when even the main bus leds are not on, but you can actually hear the clipping, try this, open a song and place over a compressor/limiter, then lower the threshold as far down as you can get, your main buss will indicate "nothing is wrong, not clip" but just use your ears, and youll know what im talking about.


Member
Since: Jul 02, 2003


Jul 03, 2007 02:36 am

CS as long as you are working in 24+ bits you can exceed 0dB by quite a bit before digital clipping occurs. In fact you can also record above 0dB as long as you are at 24+ bits. I think 0dB in the digital realm is scaled for 16 bit (because of CD's) which is why you can exceed it and not get digital clipping, because it doesn't represent the range 24+ bits can do. Some apps may scale it properly but I know Audition doesn't and Sonar doesn't appear too either. If you try to do the same while working in 16 bit you will instantly get digital clipping trying to exceed 0dB.

Think about it, if all using 24+ bits did for you was lower your noise floor it wouldn't be of much use would it, and if you look at amplitude stats for a 24/32 bit file you will see the values can be much higher than the 32767 you can go up to with 16 bit. That doesn't mean your sound card could record/reproduce even the max that 24bit is capable of most can't but the wav itself is not clipped and if you lower it below 0dB before converting to 16 bit the wav will look and sound fine. Try it for yourself.

Dan

Love solder fumes in the morning
Member
Since: Apr 06, 2007


Jul 03, 2007 01:14 pm

Im afraid thats not correct olddog, 24bits wont clip latter than 16bit at 0db, what you have when recording at 24 bits is more resolution, thats why you have more dynamic range you can go even down more to have a wider dynamic range, this is also helpfull when using dither since dither will be at -91db at 16 bit, and at -138 db at 24bit, making less audible, i recommend you read "The art of digital audio" by John Watkinson, who explains everything you need to know about digital audio, but remember 0dbfs will always be the limit even if recording at 256bit were possible. The only thing that changes is the resolution, and the low level signal ratio to the high level signal.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jul 03, 2007 01:23 pm

It's true that once all the bits you have available are switched on, there's nowhere to go but into distortion. Many recording applications apparently have some sort of idiot-proof peak limiting built in, because I know I can go WAY over 0 dB in Adobe Audition without hearing clipping.

Love solder fumes in the morning
Member
Since: Apr 06, 2007


Jul 03, 2007 01:29 pm

Yes some apps have that kind of "protection" you see 0dbfs when in fact you may be at -1dbfs or -2dbfs, thats also for bussines issues, a software that clips later will have more clients that a software that clips at 0dbfs, but i've also seen software that clips even before 0dbfs even when its not indicated by the "over" leds, so i think its best no to go over the -3dbfs at least when mixing.

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 03, 2007 07:44 pm

Quote:
but never do
Hey, no rules right? :-P.

And 0 dB full scale is a clip, in any language!

Old dog, thats why 24 bit is still really no use! lol. As stated, its higher resolution, if it had a higher peak value than 16 bit (impossible, because its just 1's and 0's) the record companies would have caught on to it already right? lol

Maybe sonar and adobe do not monitor in dB FULL SCALE but instead in just their own dB measurement.

1's and 0's boys!

C_S

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jul 03, 2007 07:48 pm

Moral: Jam da levels up dere till dey just don't sound good no mo.

Member
Since: Jun 15, 2005


Jul 19, 2007 08:12 am

I really wonder why we try to get things louder than the next guys songs. It is all a bit pointless to me. Over compressed stuff doesn't sound better anyway- just louder. If your peaks clip very briefly you may not hear them at all but the meter will tell you it has. If you can't hear it on really good monitors when there is a momentary clip then it probably doesn't much matter. But I would rather get a good level just below zero at mix down on the master fader using a multiband compressor lightly across the buss, and then during mastering of the two track mix you can squash and limit it some more, and still have plenty of dynamics in the song, and get your extra volume there.

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