Disengage Limiter Altogether

This area of the Forum is where you can post your suggestions and ideas for future update releases of Har-Bal, as well as any gripes you may have on the software, its useability and its interface.

Disengage Limiter Altogether

Postby electro » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:21 am

A limiter bypass function, so we can have volumes over 0db like before.
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Postby zumbido » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:17 pm

I'm assuming that if you leave the limiter slider untouched it's not working. Is this correct? I hope so. If not a bypass would be essential.

I'm still using T-RackS. I can't seem to get the levels from HB2 that I can from T-RackS. Maybe I am 'too' used to the T-RackS sound.

I'm still doing the EQing and balancing with HB and multiband limiting with T-RackS.

I'm so old-school.
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Postby HarBal » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:21 am

That is only true if your mix isn't too hot. You should be aware that you need to allow headroom for the amplitude changes that will occur due to equalisation. If you haven't then the limiter may cut in. As a general rule I recommend a mix level of no greater than -6dB to guarantee no limiting.

I really don't see a point to having a limiter bypass switch because it will of necessity mean that you will get clipping in the cases where limiting would occur. I can see the point to a limiter indicator that indicates if the track had any limiting occuring during playback. If you have a hot mix and want to guarantee no limiting I'd suggest setting the gain to -6dB.

Regards,


Paavo.
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Postby dyonisos » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:21 pm

> 0db is the point at which my audio equipment (and ears) begins to meltdown. :evil:
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Postby HarBal » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:24 am

Mine too!

In response to Zumbido's question about not being able to get as high an RMS level as with T-racks, that is hardly surprising. Har-Bal is only limiting. T-Racks is limiting and compressing. That is not to say that Har-Bal won't host compression in the future. Just not yet.

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Postby uncajesse » Tue May 29, 2007 2:55 pm

If you really want maximum peak volume and/or maximum RMS volume... as transparently as possible... I recommend checking out Voxengo Elephant. I've done some testing against a bunch of other leading digital limiters, and Elephant just blows them all away. Even Waves L2, which is respected by some of the top mastering engineers in the world, can add a lot of distortions to the tracks. It also limits the L & R channels independently, like an analog limiter would. It's currently ~$70 from the website: www.voxengo.com

Here's a good default setting for it:
http://ictybtihky.com/harbal/pluginshot ... ephant.gif

If you don't want to use the Har-Bal limiter, you need to turn down the "Limiter Gain" fader until it's not "working" on the signal anymore. You can mostly tell it's not "working" by watching the limiter reduction meter, but you can tell for sure it's not by rendering a wav and then opening that in an editor that can show you what the maximum peak level is. If it's under -0.1db, then the Har-Bal limiter hasn't needed to "work". :) If the signal is still hitting -0.1db then you need to turn down the "Limiter Gain" knob until it drops under that.

If you're working with 24bit int or 32bit int (or 32bit 4byte+ float) like a good little girl/boy, then there will still be plenty of headroom left for a great sounding noise floor after proper bit-depth reduction.
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Postby HarBal » Tue May 29, 2007 10:25 pm

uncajesse wrote:It also limits the L & R channels independently, like an analog limiter would.


Analog limiters and compressors do have the option limiting the channels together rather than idenpendantly. The reasoning behind that mono approach is a sensible one in my view, that being you don't want stereo limiting and/or compression screwing up your stereo image. If you limit/compress independently the possibility of a loud instrument that is panned left or right shifting the placement of other instruments when the limiting cuts in arises. For that reason I wouldn't want to use independent limiting on a stereo mix.

At the levels most limiters get used these days I'd regard none of them as transparent. I'm acutely aware of how the limiting has changed the sound of instruments in the recent commercial recordings that I've listened to. At the levels that I would use limiting most modern limiters would perform equally well. It is just a pitty we have to put up with these isane practices.

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Elephant

Postby Carmichael » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:42 pm

Why do I always get some nasty clipping with elephant - is it just me, or is elephant not "brick-wall." Anyway, I am happy with the har-bal limiter. I recently compared it to the new McDsp ml4000 and thought when just comparing the one channel limiter to the harbal limiter without any eq or multiband involvement that harbal sounded better t, IMHO.

Not to take anything away from mcdsp. The ml4000 is a pretty wicked multiband processor.
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Postby uncajesse » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:11 pm

I'm not sure why you are getting clipping, unless you're using the "clip" mode. ;) I've never experienced any clipping with the default settings i posted, at any input gain.


Paavo, I do agree about the stereo imaging problems this can cause. If I ever "need" more than 2-3db RMS limiting to get volume, then I will use a compressor towards the beginning of the chain, of course with linked "control signal". But with no more than 3db RMS reduction, I haven't noticed stereo space shifting issues with Elephant yet. Especially considering that at least when I'm mastering, those largest peak reductions are usually happening on the bass which is in the center.

But I haven't mastered anything that has had expressly panned instruments like bass/kick, like some beatles songs have for instance. I could see how that could be a problem without using at least some percentage of linkage to compensate for the lack of L+R content to mask this phenomenon.
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