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Old 11-06-2016, 12:37 PM
student92 student92 is offline
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Default Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

Hello

I have a specific question about mastering a sample orchestra in Pro Tools.

First of all, let me explain my "problem":

I already mixed my sample orchestra and added also depth staggering. Secondly I put the dyn3compressor/limiter on my master fader with the following settings, because I wanted to turn up the volume:

THRESH: -10dB
GAIN: 7.5dB
ATTACK: 587.2us
RELEASE: 502.9ms
KNEE: 12.5
RATIO: 5.5:1

If I am wrong, please correct me: The treshhold adjusts the treshold value of a signal for example -10db. Any other signals which are above the threshold are going to be compressed. The GAIN is responsible for the loudness of output-signal. The ATTACK is respondible for time establishing of the compression for audiosignal. The RELEASE adjusts the time between activating and deactivating the compression. The Knee adjusts the link between compressed signal and uncompressed signal.

Nevertheless, my Sound is not as loud as I want to, even if I added the Compressor/Limiter (to avoid clipping). Maybe I adjusted it totally wrong.

Here is my question:

May I use a Compressor on my master channel in the end to make the sound louder, or do I have other options? Unfortunately I only have the basic compressor/limiter "dyn3compressor/limiter". Without the compressor/limiter the sound is not as loud as I want to.

I want to excuse my bad english in the hope that you understand my message and also are able to help me to solve this problem.

Best,

Student92
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Last edited by student92; 11-06-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2016, 01:07 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

Welcome to the community.

Unfortunately, no one of us can give you much guidance without hearing the source material. Dynamics processing values are useless without a context.

With that said, compression ratio of 10 is usually considered limiting so I think you might get better results with a proper limiter. If you're on a budget, and even if you had the money, please take a look at www.masseyplugins.com and try the L2007 limiter.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

MAXIM is an included plugin, and while it's far from my favorite mastering limiter, it'll do in a pinch. My "go to" is the Wave Arts Final Plug.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:21 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

My "go to" is Waves L2, but before you "go to" anything, what will happen to the file after it leaves your room? If its going to be added to any project, I would do nothing at this point and leave that to later, so its done in context. Is it going to be mastered? If so, again, do nothing(or very little). As said, its tough to answer without hearing and seeing how much gain reduction is going on.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by student92 View Post
I used also MAXIM to turn up the volume but somehow I got a delay latency if I adjust it on the master fader.
This usually isn't an issue when you're at the final mix or mastering stage. Plugin latency is really only an issue when you're tracking.

In my opinion, some light compression/limiting will help you maximize the overall output. Those are some nice sounding tracks, I generally wouldn't want to squash an orchestral piece very much - it's the dynamic range in orchestral music that makes it so powerful!
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:13 PM
student92 student92 is offline
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

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Originally Posted by cwsand View Post
This usually isn't an issue when you're at the final mix or mastering stage. Plugin latency is really only an issue when you're tracking.

In my opinion, some light compression/limiting will help you maximize the overall output. Those are some nice sounding tracks, I generally wouldn't want to squash an orchestral piece very much - it's the dynamic range in orchestral music that makes it so powerful!
Uups, I am sorry for the confusing with latency. You're right. So what can I do, setting the MAXIM right into Master Channel, or use Compressor/Limiter - both to avoid clipping - to turn up the volume? please correct me, if I am totally wrong. For somehow without these two options I can't reach a good (loud) volume, I want to.

With other words: How to proceed correct??
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

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Originally Posted by student92 View Post
Uups, I am sorry for the confusing with latency. You're right. So what can I do, setting the MAXIM right into Master Channel, or use Compressor/Limiter - both to avoid clipping - to turn up the volume? please correct me, if I am totally wrong. For somehow without these two options I can't reach a good (loud) volume, I want to.

With other words: How to proceed correct??
There's not a set answer, you could use either one, or both together, or several. The main point is to use your ears and the goal is to raise the overall volume without changing (or destroying) the music. With limiting, you're squaring off the peaks of the waveforms trying to go beyond the threshold - which is what distortion does, so if you use too much limiting, you'll be introducing distortion to your output. That's not necessarily a bad thing in pop music, but could be detrimental in orchestral music. Basically, you have to play around with it. Some people use several compression, limiting, multiband compression plugins, with each plugin doing very little of the work so as not to alter the sound too much, but overall you're able to raise the output.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

With orchestral, I'd be mixing to a level where little if any Compression/Limiting was necessary.

If you want volume mix it louder, of course keeping the integrity of the dynamic range. Using VI's, the velocity and volume levels going into the mix are very important and that is where I'd be trying to create the overall 'loudness' and feeling of a piece rather than at the end of the mixbus.

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Old 11-07-2016, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

And if you are clipping the Master without a Limiter, Group and lower the entire mix, then add the Limiter. And a gentle setting as said for classical to maintain dynamic range.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:16 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is online now
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Default Re: Compressor/Limiter on Master - yes or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsand View Post
There's not a set answer, you could use either one, or both together, or several. The main point is to use your ears and the goal is to raise the overall volume without changing (or destroying) the music. With limiting, you're squaring off the peaks of the waveforms trying to go beyond the threshold - which is what distortion does, so if you use too much limiting, you'll be introducing distortion to your output. That's not necessarily a bad thing in pop music, but could be detrimental in orchestral music. Basically, you have to play around with it. Some people use several compression, limiting, multiband compression plugins, with each plugin doing very little of the work so as not to alter the sound too much, but overall you're able to raise the output.
Something to keep in mind and was touched upon here is 'destroying' the music. What I'm thinking of is too much compression & limiting will throw off the frequency balance you worked so hard to get. Typical classical music doesn't use that much compression or limiting. Imagine William Tell Overture (the whole thing and not just the Lone Ranger part) severely compressed & limited out the wazoo. It would sound horrid
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