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Old 08-10-2009, 07:13 AM
Aquarius Aquarius is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: City Of Lights
Posts: 601
Default TC's Brickwall limiter clarification


I've been fiddling with this plug today.
Normally I mix with an L3 set to -9bBFS for catching peaks.
I then just have to adjust the threshold, watch the meters and that's it !
For those who use it, what is your approach when setting TC ?
Manual is a bit thin and I'm confused about how you setup the gain and the soft clip ...
Could you help please ?


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Old 08-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Postman Postman is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: where land meets sky
Posts: 2,375
Default Re: TC's Brickwall limiter clarification

Their brickwall limiter is somewhat different than their standard mastering limiter. The standard output limiter keeps the digital peaks to a certain level, like your Waves plugin. TC's brickwall limiter constrains the actual audio signal, the analog reconstruction of the digital data, not the digital peaks themselves. This is a subtle but important difference. Digital peaks may not represent the audio's actual analog peaks. The audio can have peaks that occur between digital samples, and it is possible during digital to analog reconstruction for those peaks to be higher than the digital numbers a meter would show you. Believe it or not.

I've seen only a db or two difference on occassion but TC claims it might be as high as 6 db difference, if I remember correctly. Most broadcast specs measure digital levels using regular peak meters, and so reconstructed signal peaks are meaningless.

Anyway, I don't use the brickwall limiter for broadcast and I don't use soft clip ever. That is a nice mastering subtlety that is totally useless in my world, but maybe you may like the slight "analog" flavor it is supposed to impart. I think it might actually do something desireable for some musical material but not for dialog stuff, and so I never use it.

I just set the output threshold for my delivery requirements (often -10dbfs), make sure the release time doesn't sound bad with the material (I usually use about the shortest times available), and keep an ear on the output.

Gain settings other than unity are important only if you are working near 0dbfs. You don't want to clip the front end of the process, so to get some compression or limiting, you have to lower the input level and raise gain before the output.
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