The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Analog or Digital Final Limiter for mastering
Old 6th August 2021
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Analog or Digital Final Limiter for mastering

At the moment I am having this simple mastering chain:
NEVE 8803 EQ -> SSL Bus comp (x-rack) -> Bettermaker Darthlimiter
However I feel I got more ”push forward” with my former setup with 8803 -> Softube Weiss Maximizer
After reading about the new RND MBC I thought it could replace the Darthlimiter but as I am still satisified with the AVID HD I/O converters I hold my horses for now.
However after reading hours of posts here at GS I have come to the conclusion that even guys with no limit budgets mostly use software for final limiting.
I am into pop/rock/metal
What do you think?
Old 6th August 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Digital is much more transparent in this role.
Old 6th August 2021
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Miles Flint's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Both. But they do different things.
I still like the Pendulum PL-2 as my last analog processor in the loop and almost always put a digital limiter after that, e.g. EL4.
Old 6th August 2021 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i kicked out all my analog gear for mastering ca. 25 years ago - digital (hardware) rules!
Old 6th August 2021 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i kicked out all my analog gear for mastering ca. 25 years ago - digital (hardware) rules!
Yes, that was the trend 15 years ago.
But now even kids are going analog again even if they were born ITB so to speak…
I am mixing and summing all analog but this final stage when going back to a digital masterfile is where I am trying to decide which path to go.
I dont want any coloring just ultimate energy, I may go back to software limiters as they have look ahead features for example.
Old 6th August 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
Yes, that was the trend 15 years ago.
But now even kids are going analog again even if they were born ITB so to speak…
I am mixing and summing all analog but this final stage when going back to a digital masterfile is where I am trying to decide which path to go.
I dont want any coloring just ultimate energy, I may go back to software limiters as they have look ahead features for example.
i know that everyone and his/her dog is into 'hybrid' these days but i don't bother about hype; i've come to prefer digital gear a long time ago, mainly as i can achieve results i'm looking for more easily.
Old 6th August 2021
  #7
Lives for gear
 
teebaum's Avatar
 
Verified Member
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
At the moment I am having this simple mastering chain:
NEVE 8803 EQ -> SSL Bus comp (x-rack) -> Bettermaker Darthlimiter
However I feel I got more ”push forward” with my former setup with 8803 -> Softube Weiss Maximizer
After reading about the new RND MBC I thought it could replace the Darthlimiter but as I am still satisified with the AVID HD I/O converters I hold my horses for now.
However after reading hours of posts here at GS I have come to the conclusion that even guys with no limit budgets mostly use software for final limiting.
I am into pop/rock/metal
What do you think?
for limiting - digital.
and the reason for me is definitely not the budget.

besides sound aspects, flexibility is also an important aspect - different formats require different resolutions and densities, so it helps to stay flexible when limiting.
fine-tuning songs in relation to each other also works better before limiting.

converter you should maybe listen to some again, there i see potential in your setup

Last edited by teebaum; 6th August 2021 at 05:10 PM..
Old 6th August 2021
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
After a couple of hours of A/B...I prefer the Darthlimiter after all...
It gives that magic clarity and openess when avoiding plugins completely.
However to avoid unnecessary AD/DA you have to mixdown with the Mastering chain...which makes it a little harder to change the mastering afterwards. You have to recall the full mix
Old 8th August 2021
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I haven't tried the Darthlimiter but my experience in general is that digital look-ahead limiters preserve transients much better than analog limiters.

But my biggest reason for not using analog limiting or ADC clipping is that I want the ability to capture and save a fully dynamic version of every track. There are a number of good reasons to do that; Vinyl, archiving, future-proofing, and for doing minor revisions without having to recall settings and print again.
Old 9th August 2021 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
I haven't tried the Darthlimiter but my experience in general is that digital look-ahead limiters preserve transients much better than analog limiters.

But my biggest reason for not using analog limiting or ADC clipping is that I want the ability to capture and save a fully dynamic version of every track. There are a number of good reasons to do that; Vinyl, archiving, future-proofing, and for doing minor revisions without having to recall settings and print again.
Yes, absolutely!
I have my mastering chain as an insert on my console, so I always print two versions, one without mastering chain.
Old 14th August 2021
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Both!

I’m using the Limiter in the Rupert Neve MBP, just touching it a dB,

and... if needed using the Limiter in the Rupert Neve MBC [ADC] just touching it a dB or two...

and I use ITB digital brickwall limter, either the PSP Xenon 1.5.2, or the FabFilter Pro L2.

Spreading the load across 2-3 devices.

and that’s after 2-3 compressors, ITB surgical compression, Oxford or FF-MB, Tape Compression on my ATR-102, Manley VM, Rupert MBP.

it depends... on what the track needs.

Cheers, JT
Old 14th August 2021
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Mastering, I use the WEISS Limiter for nearly every Project.

I do have a large collection of 'Mastering' Limiters ... but those have a 'sound' to them that when A/B compared, the Weiss
usually gets the call.
Old 15th August 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins ➡️
Mastering, I use the WEISS Limiter for nearly every Project.

I do have a large collection of 'Mastering' Limiters ... but those have a 'sound' to them that when A/B compared, the Weiss
usually gets the call.
Yes! that’s a Great one as well, anything from Daniel Weiss really.

It’s easy to forget that it’s just sitting there, waiting for you to use it

JT
Old 17th August 2021
  #14
Gear Addict
 
OTRM's Avatar
I use the Weiss limiter sometimes and like what it does, but I think I'd get more use out of it if it had more "handles" on it. I oftentimes find myself wanting to adjust it's timing parameters (that aren't there). Most of the time that it ends up in the chain, it's the first limiter followed by the PSP Xenon. Occasionally, it works as the first thing in the chain on "s*****" mixes.....
Old 17th August 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
OTRM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb ➡️
....anything from Daniel Weiss really.
JT
Old 17th August 2021
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I went through all my plugin limiters once again. including Softube Weiss, TC Brickwall, FabFilter L2 etc.
However, for me I hear or feel or just imagine...that you loose some of this airy openess when working outside the box and then running the mix through a plugin. I don't use plugins when mixing either btw. Maybe a lowcut filter on not so important channels..

So I find my ultimate solution.
To repeat my mastering chain NEVE 8803 EQ -> SSL BUS Comp (X-rack) -> Bettermaker Darthlimiter
I was not completely satisified with my loudness while still keeping the sound without artificats.
So, in recent times probably for many many years but pretty new to me.. it is popular to use HPF on the compressor sidechain to not having your kick compressing the mix too much.
However the SSL BUS COMP (X-rack) does not have built in HPF, meaning I had to split the audio out from the 8803 EQ which to my luck already had dual outputs XLR and 6.3mm balanced jacks. So using the 6.3 jacks to another EQ with lowcut at approx 360 Hz to the sidechain input of the BUS COMP made my day!
Wow, I could compress slightly harder without pumping and then to the final Bettermaker limiter and clipper.
So, now I am loud and proud!
Old 17th August 2021 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
OTRM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRM ➡️
Occasionally, it works as the first thing in the chain on "s*****" mixes.....
For whatever reason, I'm being censored for referring to mixes that have lots of peaky transients. For the record, I did not use a derogatory word where you see the *****....
Old 17th August 2021 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
OTRM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
I went through all my plugin limiters once again. including Softube Weiss, TC Brickwall, FabFilter L2 etc.
However, for me I hear or feel or just imagine...that you loose some of this airy openess when working outside the box and then running the mix through a plugin. I don't use plugins when mixing either btw. Maybe a lowcut filter on not so important channels..

So I find my ultimate solution.
To repeat my mastering chain NEVE 8803 EQ -> SSL BUS Comp (X-rack) -> Bettermaker Darthlimiter
I was not completely satisified with my loudness while still keeping the sound without artificats.
So, in recent times probably for many many years but pretty new to me.. it is popular to use HPF on the compressor sidechain to not having your kick compressing the mix too much.
However the SSL BUS COMP (X-rack) does not have built in HPF, meaning I had to split the audio out from the 8803 EQ which to my luck already had dual outputs XLR and 6.3mm balanced jacks. So using the 6.3 jacks to another EQ with lowcut at approx 360 Hz to the sidechain input of the BUS COMP made my day!
Wow, I could compress slightly harder without pumping and then to the final Bettermaker limiter and clipper.
So, now I am loud and proud!
Use compressor Sidechain EQ on the STC-8/M here as well. It does buy you some additional headroom before ADC...
Old 28th August 2021 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
digital look-ahead limiters preserve transients much better than analog limiters.
thats about it.

if it has to be real loud, then ITB wins.

Buddha
Old 29th August 2021
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I started another thread on this topic but…
Duplicating the track you are going to master and put this ”sidechain track” a few ms ahead and send to your compressor sidechain input and you will have look ahead in the analog domain as well.
Very simple solution.
I got the idea when I figured it out I could duplicate a track to have a hpf plugin on the ”extra track” to send to sidechain input and then I realized I could also adjust the timing…
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
I started another thread on this topic but…
Duplicating the track you are going to master and put this ”sidechain track” a few ms ahead and send to your compressor sidechain input and you will have look ahead in the analog domain as well.
Very simple solution.
I got the idea when I figured it out I could duplicate a track to have a hpf plugin on the ”extra track” to send to sidechain input and then I realized I could also adjust the timing…
Maybe im wrong, but...
This wont be a look ahead, this will just make the limiter working few ms before. That means the limiter will limit before transients.
Look ahead look in the "future" to have the time to analyse the wave to limit it in the best way without distorsion.

If you try to trigger an analog comp few ms before or after, its just ugly, i try to do few ms after to preserve transients, its awful.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nohay ➡️
Maybe im wrong, but...
This wont be a look ahead, this will just make the limiter working few ms before. That means the limiter will limit before transients.
Look ahead look in the "future" to have the time to analyse the wave to limit it in the best way without distorsion.

If you try to trigger an analog comp few ms before or after, its just ugly, i try to do few ms after to preserve transients, its awful.
Yes, you are correct. It did not sound good at all.. It may work if you have a "hold" feature on the limiter but that is rare or maybe never implemented in hardware...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
Yes, you are correct. It did not sound good at all.. It may work if you have a "hold" feature on the limiter but that is rare or maybe never implemented in hardware...
Thats it i tried to recreate an hold effect, thats why i put it after....

Anyway what about your exploration between analo and digi limiters??
Im covered on digital, now want a vintage mastering limiter. I have limiters on many of my HW but want something dedicated. I will make some shootout to see whats going on.

If you wanna know what vintage 70s limiters i target, pm me. Lets not create another hype, it can be found for nothing.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nohay ➡️
Thats it i tried to recreate an hold effect, thats why i put it after....

Anyway what about your exploration between analo and digi limiters??
Im covered on digital, now want a vintage mastering limiter. I have limiters on many of my HW but want something dedicated. I will make some shootout to see whats going on.

If you wanna know what vintage 70s limiters i target, pm me. Lets not create another hype, it can be found for nothing.
Ok, cool. That is interesting.
I tried the Bettermaker Darth Limiter.
First I thought it did the trick perfectly, but no. It had a sound, a bit clinical and also I found it clipping in a bad way. Distortion I first couldn't hear, but then I heard it all the time so to speak.
So I am back with this mastering chain.
NEVE 8803 EQ
SSL BUS compressor X-rack version.
Softube Weiss MM-1 Maximizer. ( Basically DS-1 MK3 with a simplified GUI)

So, yes, software limiting.
I was looking at the Maselec MPL-2 peak limiter as well, but for todays mastering I believe software is superior to handle the peaks without distortion.

Also, Cutting Room here in Sweden is using the (or at least used) the Weiss DS-1 MK2 hardware unit for their most high profile clients, meaning the Softube software will do fine for me. I think the software is extremely similar to the hardware algorithms.

And...now when I remember another reason why I ditched the Darth Limiter...
I wanted to avoid additional AD/DA conversion so I bounced the mixes with the Darth Limiter activated.
However when listening to all tracks when compiling for the album, it was slightly more work to mixdown the tracks again.
Now my workflow is that I mixdown with the NEVE EQ and SSL BUS-comp but no limiter. I will add limiting and dither in the box later.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
then there's Hum Audio LAAL, analog limiter with lookahead
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kichal ➡️
then there's Hum Audio LAAL, analog limiter with lookahead
Whoa...analog delayline...that is something new...
BBD chips or what
Will check it out!
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
i think analo limiter have an interest when loudest and cleanest is not required (which is rare nowdays). perso getting the most loud possible isnt my goal.

i think analo limiters can provides less trasparent but much more vibe and attitude eventually. but yes its not a priority.


about bettermaker..... I tried the bus comp, shootout with many ssl type comp; it was the worst. The tone of their gears is strange, the bus comp was dirty in comp behaviour and low med, giving me always the worst results.
considering its twice the price of many competitors, i dont get it. their gears are even regarded in mastering. i find it strange.


tried the limiter too; once again, can appear super vibes and interesting within 5 minutes. but bouncing something or stay on it more than 15 minutes and you realise its crap.
their satu options are particularly awful and represent well the tone of their gears.

just my opinion of course.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
the fxs's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Analo
Satu
WTF ?!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nohay ➡️
i think analo limiter have an interest when loudest and cleanest is not required (which is rare nowdays). perso getting the most loud possible isnt my goal.

i think analo limiters can provides less trasparent but much more vibe and attitude eventually. but yes its not a priority.


about bettermaker..... I tried the bus comp, shootout with many ssl type comp; it was the worst. The tone of their gears is strange, the bus comp was dirty in comp behaviour and low med, giving me always the worst results.
considering its twice the price of many competitors, i dont get it. their gears are even regarded in mastering. i find it strange.


tried the limiter too; once again, can appear super vibes and interesting within 5 minutes. but bouncing something or stay on it more than 15 minutes and you realise its crap.
their satu options are particularly awful and represent well the tone of their gears.

just my opinion of course.

Ah their compressor, I bought it and was so happy to get rid after a week, not even once on any setting it was something I want to have in my mix. I liked their EQ because it sounded just transparent, but then realized that I actually prefer many plugs and sold it. Limiter was just baffling to me, I demoed it and limiting was soo grabby and obvious I tried to avoid it and clipping was just clipping. Saturation was weird with it not being full range. Also the VST control was clunky at best and unusable at worst (it was a year ago, apparently there's new version), few times it deleted my settings, was impossible to use it with more than one session or instance open, there were too many clicks and pops with engaging and disengaging filters to be useful in mastering (I had to manually ride the volume between songs on silent parts to hide it, so much work) and not M1 native. There, I finally vented
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs ➡️
Analo
Satu
WTF ?!

Sorry. We have this habits to shorten words a lot in french... people told me 2-3 times it was strange for them, but often i forget to post properly.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 52791 views: 3980518
Avatar for easyrider
easyrider 4 minutes ago
replies: 180 views: 26048
Avatar for Torinoscale
Torinoscale 5th February 2020
replies: 27 views: 8023
Avatar for HansMues
HansMues 17th July 2021
replies: 473 views: 44475
Avatar for IAMGOD_OFFICIAL
IAMGOD_OFFICIAL 19th August 2022
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump