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First in the chain - compressor of limiter?
Old 24th January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
First in the chain - compressor of limiter?

When you use both in the chain, say on a vocal that is very dynamic, which order do you find you use more often - compressor or limiter first?
Old 24th January 2009
  #2
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I would always use a compressor before a limiter. 99% of the time.

Reason being: the limiter has a much higher ratio.

TW
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering ➑️
I would always use a compressor before a limiter. 99% of the time.

Reason being: the limiter has a much higher ratio.

TW
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well if the limiter is a brickwall type then it would be pointless to run a compressor after it, as there would be no dynamic range to control. A compressor set for the overall sound and control I desire, with a limiter after it for extra over-the-top control makes sense.

War
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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emfrank72's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Logically it makes sense to use a compressor before a limiter. However, if you look at "Mixing with you Mind" by Michael Paul Stavrou, he explains why it makes sense to use a limiter before a compressor for dynamic vocals. There is some specific set up information to make it work correctly and I've never tried it so I can't speak from experience but it always intrigued me as it seems backwards. I guess I would try it both ways and see what works best.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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orangeoctane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emfrank72 ➑️
Logically it makes sense to use a compressor before a limiter. However, if you look at "Mixing with you Mind" by Michael Paul Stavrou, he explains why it makes sense to use a limiter before a compressor for dynamic vocals. There is some specific set up information to make it work correctly and I've never tried it so I can't speak from experience but it always intrigued me as it seems backwards. I guess I would try it both ways and see what works best.
Trim the peaks first then control the relative perceived loudness...

Makes sense to me heh
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Well if the limiter is a brickwall type then it would be pointless to run a compressor after it, as there would be no dynamic range to control. A compressor set for the overall sound and control I desire, with a limiter after it for extra over-the-top control makes sense.
With bass you sometimes may limit it first to create a completely consistent level, then use a compressor afterwards to put back in pseudo dynamics. Kind of a special case and the other way is probably the far and away common case, but just to be fully anal retentive I figured it should be mentioned.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Djembe's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
Well if the limiter is a brickwall type then it would be pointless to run a compressor after it, as there would be no dynamic range to control. A compressor set for the overall sound and control I desire, with a limiter after it for extra over-the-top control makes sense.

War
This seemed the logical approach to me until I read Mike Stavrou's column in the latest Australian "Audio Technology" magazine (issue 65).

Even though the limiter is before the compressor, the trick is to have the threshold of the compressor lower than the limiter. This way the compressor kicks in before the limiter and any peaks are tamed by the limiter thereby saving the compressor from working so hard.

Blair
Old 23rd April 2016 | Show parent
  #9
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keano's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by emfrank72 ➑️
Logically it makes sense to use a compressor before a limiter. However, if you look at "Mixing with you Mind" by Michael Paul Stavrou, he explains why it makes sense to use a limiter before a compressor for dynamic vocals. There is some specific set up information to make it work correctly and I've never tried it so I can't speak from experience but it always intrigued me as it seems backwards. I guess I would try it both ways and see what works best.
I can see if used lightly to shave off the peaks only then add compression.
Old 23rd April 2016
  #10
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mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would try both and see what sounds better. There is no right way or wrong way, only what sounds good. I'm sure by varying settings, you could achieve the same end result with either configuration.
Old 25th April 2016
  #11
Deleted 1846071
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Isn't this the principle behind 1176->LA2A?

Shave peaks with fast attack, high ratio, high threshold. Then hug the signal with gentle leveling at a lower threshold, slower attack, and lower ratio.
Old 25th April 2016 | Show parent
  #12
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MDSKNNRP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
This!!! Works great!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz ➑️
Isn't this the principle behind 1176->LA2A?

Shave peaks with fast attack, high ratio, high threshold. Then hug the signal with gentle leveling at a lower threshold, slower attack, and lower ratio.
Old 25th April 2016
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
1176-cl1b perfect for tracking vocals
For mixing 1176 4:1-1176 20:1 or a brickwall into a 4:1 it really depends on the vocal you get
Old 25th April 2016 | Show parent
  #14
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djembe ➑️
This seemed the logical approach to me until I read Mike Stavrou's column in the latest Australian "Audio Technology" magazine (issue 65).

Even though the limiter is before the compressor, the trick is to have the threshold of the compressor lower than the limiter. This way the compressor kicks in before the limiter and any peaks are tamed by the limiter thereby saving the compressor from working so hard.

Blair
This is the idea. The Limiter should only be working on the loudest points. The idea is to give the compressor a signal it can actually handle, making avoiding pumping or huge tonal shifts due to big variances in gain reduction a lot easier.

I've tried compressor > limiter a few times, and I've never seen the point.
Old 25th April 2016
  #15
drx
Gear Nut
 
drx's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To me it would all be about what you are tracking/mixing, and what style you are going for. The OP uses the example of tracking vocals. A heavy screaming speed metal vocal may benefit from a traditional comp first, heavy limit second for a more crushed, smashed final product. A smokey jazzy proximity effected vocal may benefit more from a peak only limiting first, and light comp second for a smoother, easily handled signal to the comp. I would venture this may be true across the bus also.

Last edited by drx; 25th April 2016 at 04:49 PM..
Old 25th April 2016 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djembe ➑️
...the trick is to have the threshold of the compressor lower than the limiter. This way the compressor kicks in before the limiter and any peaks are tamed by the limiter thereby saving the compressor from working so hard.

Blair
This. It's all about the threshold.
Old 26th April 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
one could also try explaing to a vocalist how a microphone works...
Old 26th April 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Actually I think it's all about the tools you've got to work with, sometimes there is no right answer, simply a way of implementing these Compression schemes to give you the most pleasent and satisfying outcome, either or, comp or limit, it's as alyaws a trial by baptism of Fire method that will win and prove best for a certain job! Good luck exploring!
Old 26th April 2016 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djembe ➑️
This seemed the logical approach to me until I read Mike Stavrou's column in the latest Australian "Audio Technology" magazine (issue 65).

Even though the limiter is before the compressor, the trick is to have the threshold of the compressor lower than the limiter. This way the compressor kicks in before the limiter and any peaks are tamed by the limiter thereby saving the compressor from working so hard.

Blair
Isn't this exactly why many use multiple compressors in series? So that each one takes off just a little and no single one has to work too hard?

Last edited by Rockinrob; 27th April 2016 at 02:59 PM..
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