This is Ridiculously cheap

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rickwaugh
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This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by rickwaugh » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:32 pm

Just picked up fabfilter Q and L. Yes, I paid full price. But on the fabfilter site, the desktop version is $200. I bought auria, and both filters, for $80 less than just the limiter on the desktop. If I bought logic pro, and the two filters, I'd be looking at $600.

Pretty darn nice. In a package that's a lot simpler to use.

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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by Bob Amser » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:19 am

Agreed. I LOVE Pro-Q - so visual.

As ever, I'm going to show my absolute ignorance.... I get that a limiter, erm, limits, but why do I need that on top of things like the compression effects? What job do you use the limiter for?
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rickwaugh
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by rickwaugh » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:28 am

It's the final link, generally applied to the overall mix. Great way to boost and even out your final mix. Also of course a great way to crush it completely. L has a very nice graphic display, like Q does, to help visualize what's going on. One thing I learned in the mixing and mastering seminars that I attended recently, was that different compressors and limiters provide different "flavors". They get stacked, also.

Do you need it? No. The stuff that comes with auria is pretty good. But I love the interfaces on fab filters stuff, and tonal quality is pretty darn fine. If there things were $200, would I be buying? No, probably not. I'm a hobbyist. $40? I bet I spend that in the coffee shop every month.

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richardyot
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by richardyot » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:55 am

Bob Amser wrote: As ever, I'm going to show my absolute ignorance.... I get that a limiter, erm, limits, but why do I need that on top of things like the compression effects? What job do you use the limiter for?
On the most basic level it simply means your signal won't clip. If you put a limiter on the master bus it can act as a safety mechanism to prevent any digital clipping on your rendered file.

In the analog days if you fully saturated your signal on tape, the result wasn't particularly nasty, in fact artists such as the Rolling Stones even used tape saturation as part of their sound, on records at least. But with digital if you saturate the signal it clips in a very ugly manner, so a limiter makes sure that your signal is always below clipping.

This means you can push your mix much further, for example you can mix your verse so that nothing hits the limiter threshold, and then in the chorus increase the levels and the limiter will prevent clipping, and the result is that the chorus will sound louder.

Auria has a built-in brick wall limiter on the Master Strip, a brick wall limiter simply cuts off the the signal once it goes above the threshold. I've found that the built-in limiter doesn't sound all that great, to my ears, I can hear artifacts if it's pushed too hard.

The Fabfilter limiter is much better sounding, and has a lot more options. There is also PSP Microwarmer, which is a limiter that tries to mimic the old school tape saturation sound - it works pretty well but has a much more obvious sound than the more transparent Fabfilter limiter, great if you want something with more grit and character.

rickwaugh
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by rickwaugh » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:37 am

I've got both. Love the micro warmer on certain things. Seems to add a certain oomph to acoustic guitar. I play with it on everything. I just picked up the fabfilter micro as well. Cheap, and what a great, easy to use little tool for putting a nice edge on something, to pull it into a different space in the mix.

mrufino1
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by mrufino1 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:48 pm

Easier answer- a limiter is a compressor that is set to stop a signal from going over a certain level, brick wall meaning not over it at all (hence the square looking waveforms of modern loudly mastered albums), other limiters not quite as brick wall but very close. Compressors and limiters are the same, it's the settings that differ. So with a compressor at 4:1, for every 4db over the threshold a signal goes, only 1db will come out, so the ratio is 4:1. In a limiter set to 20:1, a signal has to be 20db over the threshold for 1db over to come out of the limiter. Make sense? So brick wall is essentially infinity:1, meaning it will not allow anything over the threshold at all. Then you can raise the makeup gain and have a signal that is louder but has much less difference between soft and loud (nickleback, etc).

So, any compressor can be a limiter as long as the ratio can go high. I don't know for sure, but I would think that a brick wall limiter would be optimized for fast attack and release times for less artifacts, and in some cases have "look ahead" limiting, where it sees the signal before the signal hits it- that can only be done in the daw world, not analog. But you can take something like pro-c, that has a lot of control, and make it a limiter pretty easily.

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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by mrufino1 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:53 pm

richardyot wrote:
This means you can push your mix much further, for example you can mix your verse so that nothing hits the limiter threshold, and then in the chorus increase the levels and the limiter will prevent clipping, and the result is that the chorus will sound louder.
Sort of, but if you push that limiter too hard, the chorus actually sounds quieter. Again, listen to nickleback to hear that in action. You can actually push your mix further by mixing your verse quieter, mix your chorus so it hits as hard as it can without clipping without the limiter, then you'll have a large dynamic range and when the consumer turns their volume up, look out! Otherwise you're reducing the difference between loud and soft and it sounds exciting at first and competes in a shuffle mix without touching your volume control, but actually will have less impact. It will be denser, which to a degree gives dynamics, but eventually it's saturated, not just dense. The average volume will be higher, so you can push the average volume higher, but that gets old pretty quick.

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richardyot
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by richardyot » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:56 am

mrufino1 wrote: Sort of...
I think this is straying into personal taste territory, as opposed to objective fact at this stage though. If you mix a song so that there is no limiting on the verse but there is limiting on the chorus it's pretty safe to say the chorus will sound louder than the verse, and there is still dynamic range in the song.

The objection to hard limiting that people like Bob Katz make is that the whole song is limited, then there is a complete lack of dynamics in the song, and it's fatiguing to listen to. In extreme examples the entire waveform of the song is flat, it just becomes noise.

But on the other hand I think it's also extreme to advocate not using a limiter at all - after all why not make use of limiting if it can enhance the dynamics of a song, and if used well it definitely can. Sure, this wasn't possible 20 years ago (not like it is now anyway) but like any technology and tool it can be effective. The problem is that it has been abused, and needs to be dialed back, but not avoided altogether.
Last edited by richardyot on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mtingle
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by mtingle » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:53 am

never saw the point of using a limiter on a track, all you do is squash the dynamic and reduce the headroom. Seems like sensible gain staging is what is really required when mixing a song (unless a limiter adds some colour of character to the sound).

on the master bus, ok.

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richardyot
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by richardyot » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:50 am

I think the discussion was entirely about master bus limiting, sorry if that wasn't clear. There's no point in adding a limiter to individual tracks or groups, compression is much more logical there.
Last edited by richardyot on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bob Amser
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by Bob Amser » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:25 pm

Cheers, folks. I am always inspired and helped by the responses here. Only problem is it always seems to end with me deciding that it's definitely a good idea to spend some more money on iTunes!

Still, to return to the subject of the thread before I kind of hijacked it, at least I'm spending a manageable amount of cash rather than the $200 for desktop plugins...
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rickwaugh
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Re: This is Ridiculously cheap

Post by rickwaugh » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:14 pm

That's the truth. I'll just keep buying one every month or so. I picked up the dcam buss compressor a little while ago, and tried it on some screaming lead guitar. I don't know why, but it took that tone and made it fat and lovely. So I'm at the point where, the more the merrier. After getting the microfilter, I'm note eyeing Saturn and volcano.

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