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Author Topic: using software limiters on daw input channels  (Read 1659 times)

bert

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using software limiters on daw input channels
« on: August 08, 2005, 11:29:17 AM »

i've got a little question about levels in a daw environment. i find it hard to record at "high enough" levels without constantly having to worry about digital clippings..
i'm currently using an uad studio pack card with cubase sx 2 and i am wondering if it's a good idea to use the precision limiter plugin on input channels while recording, so that i can raise overal levels without having to worry about potential clippings. in other words, using a limiter plugin as a safe check on input channels, is this a good idea in a daw environment, besides the fact that it can become cpu expensive?

and is there some kind of possible latency problem when using uad or other plugins on input channels while recording?
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Albert

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 09:06:42 AM »

My first thought would be to turn down the levels until you are no longer clipping when recording. If you are clipping a lot while laying down tracks then you are recording at a *very* hot level.
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James Duncan

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 09:32:00 AM »

If you are recording at 24-bit, you have tons of headroom...keep the signal 3-5dB below the peaks, and you should be fine.
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James Duncan

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boogalaboogala

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 10:52:04 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong here, as I often am; but, I think you are mixing up the order of things just slightly.  

When a signal goes into the inputs on your DAW, it is immediately converted to digital.  That would mean that -- before any software gets a chance to work on it -- you have clipped away a portion of your signal if it's too hot.  No amount of limiting or compressing from inside the DAW will bring it back.  Limiting and compressing would have to be done before it goes into the DAW.

Does this sound right to you?

Boog.
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bert

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 02:11:00 PM »

yeah i was already thinking about that. as long as the inputs on my daw interface don't clip, there shouldn't be a problem and most of all indeed software limiters after these inputs won't have any influence on the possible clipped signal..

is there a big difference between 16/24 bit recording as in terms of headroom?
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boogalaboogala

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 09:08:06 PM »

Read this article, Bert:

http://www.tweakheadz.com/16_vs_24_bit_audio.htm

Lots of really good info in there... and an opinion or two, as well.  One thing
he doesn't really address, though, is that higher bit rates will limit the number
of tracks your CPU can run simultaneously without popping a hernia.
 
I know you were going to ask, so I'll just tell you:  I use 24-bit/48kHz.
I think these settings are a lot like lies -- you just pick one and stick with it.

By the way, I use ProTools, and have read on their website that there is an
optimum method for converting 24-bit/48kHz files to audio CDs (16-bit/44.1kHz).  One should:

1)  Bounce to disk at 24-bit/44.1kHz.
2)  Import that disk file into a new 24-bit/44.1kHz session.
3)  Add a stereo master fader track with a dither plugin.
4)  Set the dither plugin for a 16-bit bounce to disk at 16-bit/44.1kHz.

But I digress...


Boog.
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bert

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2005, 03:44:08 AM »

thanks a lot for your reply.
i am using cubase sx, but i'll figure out about that...
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Mr Darling

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Re: using software limiters on daw input channels
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 10:18:01 AM »

Yep Boog is right. No point limiting using plugins since if there is any clipping to be done, it will happen in the A/D stage. in fact, the same apply for outboard digital processors.

But also like stated above, in 24 bit you have to worry about hot level much less. In 24 bit the audio doesn't need to be as hot as you can get to have good results. if you're convertors are decent, you will be plenty ok recording with peaks at -6db and lower..

so lower the gain on your pre amp, and don't worry about it.

that said, I always adjust the gain according to what I record.

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