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  #1  
Old 03-06-2013, 06:32 PM
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reichman reichman is offline
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Default True-peak limiters.

I'm mixing for television and film festivals. I read the entire ATSC/85 document. I understand all the relevant bits, and I was pretty excited about buying the Nugen ISL limiter w/ true-peak functionality, and I'm demo'ing the Avid Pro Limiter, also w/ true-peak functionality.

In a nutshell, neither of these plug-ins sound very different from my other good limiters, but they take up A LOT of Native CPU power, especially when I have to use 3 or 4 in a surround re-recording mix.

In an HD TV mix, you would only occasionally hit the limiter, so I'm finding it much more convenient to just use my old workhorses, the L2 and the L360, which are super-efficient, set them to -3db, and then watch the WLM meter. I usually score under the ATSC spec, and it's all good.

What is happening under the hood that makes these true-peak limiters use so much CPU power?
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:39 PM
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reichman reichman is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

I'm posting my listening notes below, because the sound quality is not that relevant to audio post compared to old-fashioned music mixes where the limiter is a huge concern:

I spent 25 minutes listening to an uncompressed pop song and heard this when I slammed the song 12-14db:

L1: famous crunchy graininess. Sounds like the 90s.

L2: lower distortion, better bass, bigger soundstage, less grain.

Nugen ISL: sounds like the L1. Maybe a little better, but it ain't the L2.

Avid Pro Limiter: Sounded like the L2, but with a really weird release. Turned OFF auto-release, fiddled, and got it to sound just a little better than the L2, but in a blind test, I would likely fail. Character is cool, but not for me.

L3: astonishingly low distortion, but spectral rebalancing occurs. This is obviously a MUCH better limiter than all the rest, but it's unfair to compare since it's multiband...
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:33 PM
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Default True-peak limiters.

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Originally Posted by reichman View Post
What is happening under the hood that makes these true-peak limiters use so much CPU power?
Upsampling in order to reconstruct the intersample (analog waveform - hence true peak) value. Same goes for those meters.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:48 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

Nathaniel, have you tried the L3LL? It's become my favorite, and has a sound different from the others, and the L3LL Multi version sounds even better than the regular L3LL.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:29 AM
Greg Malcangi Greg Malcangi is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reichman View Post
In a nutshell, neither of these plug-ins sound very different from my other good limiters, but they take up A LOT of Native CPU power, especially when I have to use 3 or 4 in a surround re-recording mix.

In an HD TV mix, you would only occasionally hit the limiter, so I'm finding it much more convenient to just use my old workhorses, the L2 and the L360, which are super-efficient, set them to -3db, and then watch the WLM meter. I usually score under the ATSC spec, and it's all good.
Oversampling is certainly a large part of the additional overhead but lookahead and dealing with the ultrasonic content usually created by limiting also requires additional CPU.

The TP limiters are substantially more convenient than using old favourites like the L2/L3 etc. Although setting a standard limiter a dB or two lower than the TP limit will often keep you within the TP spec, this is not always the case, depending on what you are mixing and how you are mixing it. Loud sounds with quite a bit of high frequency content may need you to set your standard limiter considerably lower than a dB below the TP limit to stay within spec. This means you are either applying more limiting than you need for the rest of your mix (which might affect your integrated loudness reading) or you could automate your standard limiter's output ceiling for these occasions but that takes time, might not sound quite right and is not at all convenient compared to a TP limiter which is essentially "set and forget".

G
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:32 AM
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mgoorevich mgoorevich is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reichman View Post
Nugen ISL: sounds like the L1. Maybe a little better, but it ain't the L2.

[/SIZE]
This really surprised me...
I found the ISL the most transparent limiter for post (film) work.
This is my favourite limiter so far followed by the L2007.
But L1 and L2 and even L3?
Well, maybe for a very specific music file its fine, but I never found it clean enough for post. Either had good results with ML4000.
But then again, I never slam it even for my TV works.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:41 AM
garnoil garnoil is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

I have the ISL, Waves, and most other common limiters/compressors, but, since I work in film and need top quality, I am buying the new CEDAR studio (part of the new line for Pro-Tools Mac). I know is about 5K but in my line of work, it is totally worth it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:00 AM
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Default True-peak limiters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoorevich View Post
This really surprised me...
I found the ISL the most transparent limiter for post (film) work.
This is my favourite limiter so far followed by the L2007.
But L1 and L2 and even L3?
Well, maybe for a very specific music file its fine, but I never found it clean enough for post. Either had good results with ML4000.
But then again, I never slam it even for my TV works.
That is similar to my experience.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:55 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reichman View Post
...

What is happening under the hood that makes these true-peak limiters use so much CPU power?
Oversampling to monitor the ISPs.


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  #10  
Old 03-07-2013, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: True-peak limiters.

Thanks for the responses everyone! Greg, I'll keep my eye on the TP meter in the Waves WLM and report back after I mix more.
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