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Question about digital limiter gain reduction

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Anonymous
September 21, 2004 3:16:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Do digital limiters such as the Waves L2 etc... reduce peaks by
saturating them or reducucing their volume similar to a compressor set
to standard limiter paramters (20:1 fast attack/release). So in
other words do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped?

Jesse
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 1:18:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jesse,

> do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped? <

A software plug-in compressor works exactly the same as a hardware model. If
it simply clipped the tops it would be a fuzz-tone, not a compressor!

--Ethan
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 4:34:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Do digital limiters such as the Waves L2 etc... reduce peaks by
> saturating them or reducucing their volume similar to a compressor set
> to standard limiter paramters (20:1 fast attack/release). So in
> other words do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped?

A bit of both. It's like a compressor with infinity:1 ratio and virtually
no attack time, and an extremely short release. It does operate like a
normal compressor, but with very specific settings only intended to
attenuate sharp peaks above RMS level.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 5:39:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <5663e814.0409202216.beeab2a@posting.google.com> medway808@hotmail.com writes:

> Do digital limiters such as the Waves L2 etc... reduce peaks by
> saturating them or reducucing their volume similar to a compressor set
> to standard limiter paramters (20:1 fast attack/release). So in
> other words do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped?

A clipper chops peaks. A limiter is a fast-acting gain reducer, but
doing that still can (and does) make a waveform look distorted when
you look at more than one cycle. A digital limiter can (if so
programmed) act on as little as a single cycle since it always has the
opportunity to look at what's coming in and change it before letting
it out.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 6:11:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ethan Winer" <ethanw at ethanwiner dot com> wrote in message news:<P9qdnQvBA_Uct83cRVn-ow@giganews.com>...
> Jesse,
>
> > do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped? <
>
> A software plug-in compressor works exactly the same as a hardware model. If
> it simply clipped the tops it would be a fuzz-tone, not a compressor!
>
> --Ethan

Some come pretty close.
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 1:01:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ethan Winer" <ethanw at ethanwiner dot com> wrote:

> Jesse,
>
>> do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped? <
>
> A software plug-in compressor works exactly the same as a hardware model.
> If it simply clipped the tops it would be a fuzz-tone, not a compressor!
>
> --Ethan

Except that digital clipping is worse then that as Nyquest bites you and you
get hash aliased to appear as non harmonically related noise. The same
thing happens in digital limiters if the gain control signal * the input
signal has components above the Nyquest limit.

Doing good digital dynamics is seriously non trivial and usually involves
upsampling to raise the Nyquest limit then low pass filtering and
downsampling again.

The number of people writing dynamics programs that forget the basics
(filtering the control signal) in the mad rush to "look ahead" processing
is really quite scary. I had never associated programming with deafness
before hearing some of these efforts!

Regards, Dan.
--
** The email address *IS* valid, do NOT remove the spamblock
And on the evening of the first day the lord said...........
..... LX 1, GO!; and there was light.
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 4:08:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1095763514k@trad>...
> In article <5663e814.0409202216.beeab2a@posting.google.com> medway808@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > Do digital limiters such as the Waves L2 etc... reduce peaks by
> > saturating them or reducucing their volume similar to a compressor set
> > to standard limiter paramters (20:1 fast attack/release). So in
> > other words do the peaks get ducked down or merely chopped?
>
> A clipper chops peaks. A limiter is a fast-acting gain reducer, but
> doing that still can (and does) make a waveform look distorted when
> you look at more than one cycle. A digital limiter can (if so
> programmed) act on as little as a single cycle since it always has the
> opportunity to look at what's coming in and change it before letting
> it out.

Thanks for the info. The basis for my question was I wanted to know
what happened to the music "under" the peaks. Meaning that if you
reduce the gain for that instant at the peak (as in a VCA style
limiter, virtual or not) then all the other sounds underneath get
reduced, or in other words you're punching holes in your mix. Where
as a saturation effect like tape just clips the tops and therefore the
music underneath (not within the threshold of what is getting clipped)
would not get reduced. This question itself was raised after reading
the book Mixing with your Mind. His attitude was that the latter is
better as it gives better overall density.
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 3:50:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <6a0c26d8.0409212308.231a4b09@posting.google.com> jskeens@gmail.com writes:

> The basis for my question was I wanted to know
> what happened to the music "under" the peaks. Meaning that if you
> reduce the gain for that instant at the peak (as in a VCA style
> limiter, virtual or not) then all the other sounds underneath get
> reduced, or in other words you're punching holes in your mix.

It depends on where you use the compressor/limiter. It also depends on
the program material. If it's on the full mix, then yes, everything
will go down in level. But if it's really fast-acting and the
offending peak is very short, you won't notice the chain. Your brain
doesn't work on changes as short as one sample-time.

> Where
> as a saturation effect like tape just clips the tops and therefore the
> music underneath (not within the threshold of what is getting clipped)
> would not get reduced.

No, but everything would become distorted. If that's the sound you
want, that's the tool you should use.

> This question itself was raised after reading
> the book Mixing with your Mind. His attitude was that the latter is
> better as it gives better overall density.

The trouble with mixing with your mind (lower case intended) is that
you can't hear what's happening. If getting better overall density is
your goal, then perhaps this is the tool to use, up to the point where
you can't stand the distortion. If preventing digital clipping long
enough to hear is your goal, then you want to reduce the gain as long
as necessary. If that "punches a hole in your mix" then you need to
fix the problem rather than put a Band-Aid on it with a compressor.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 3:52:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Dan,

> Except that digital clipping is worse then that as Nyquest bites you and
you get hash aliased to appear as non harmonically related noise. <

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had anything like that with the DAW and
plug-ins I use. I tossed all my outboard hardware four years ago, and I
couldn't be happier.

--Ethan
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 9:17:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jesse Skeens"

> Thanks for the info. The basis for my question was I wanted to know
> what happened to the music "under" the peaks. Meaning that if you
> reduce the gain for that instant at the peak (as in a VCA style
> limiter, virtual or not) then all the other sounds underneath get
> reduced, or in other words you're punching holes in your mix.


** With a brief , one off peak, that would not be heard.


> Where as a saturation effect like tape just clips the tops and therefore
the
> music underneath (not within the threshold of what is getting clipped)
> would not get reduced.


** Worse than getting merely reduced it gets * obliterated entirely *
during peak clipping. Clipping is 100% intermodulation distortion - ie
while clipping ( or hard saturating ) a device neither reproduces the peak
nor anything else that is simultaneous.




............. Phil
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 3:15:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1095854934k@trad>...

> The trouble with mixing with your mind (lower case intended) is that
> you can't hear what's happening. If getting better overall density is
> your goal, then perhaps this is the tool to use, up to the point where
> you can't stand the distortion. If preventing digital clipping long
> enough to hear is your goal, then you want to reduce the gain as long
> as necessary. If that "punches a hole in your mix" then you need to
> fix the problem rather than put a Band-Aid on it with a compressor.

Thanks Mike, makes a lot of sense.
!