Why would multiband limiting sometimes be a better option? The Waves L3 Multimaximizer essentially has three components: the look-ahead peak limiting juiciness of the L2, it gives you five individually manipulable bands of limiting with adjustable crossover points and a five-band graphic EQ – all in a really intuitive interface. The L2 isn’t as full-featured or as flexible as, say, an $18,000 Omnia or a $12,000 Optimod (two hardware-based on-air processors widely used in big market radio), but it does a lot of the same work and does it well. One of my favourite digital processors is the Waves L2. For those unfamiliar, a limiter works just like a compressor, except that it has a much higher ratio. Waves calls this particular sound “hot and pumpy.”  I call it “awesome.”. ( Log Out /  By tweaking the release settings of the L2 manually, you can subtly change your overall sound, depending on the style of music. But as we know from Equal-loudness contours, we perceive loudness differently depending on frequency. There are several other flavors of the L3, including the L3 Ultramaximizer, which looks more like the L2 with a multiband engine under the hood, but no user-control over the different frequency bands. Go with the L3 Multimaximizer if you want the flexibility of multiband processing or think you might in the future. 3 – The Sound. Traditional limiters (also known as brickwalls) are basically compressors set to an infinite compression ratio and a hard knee (ie. Simply put, it's very low-level noise (it sounds a lot like white noise) that gets intentionally added to a signal when digital audio is being reduced in bit depth. This is a helpful feature because the release time is a hugely important variable in the peak-limiting process and not an easy one to set manually. If you're doing your own mastering, whether it's for a complete album or it’s just a song you're releasing online, you'll need a mastering-quality limiter to use as the last processor in the chain. Use both! Want more on mastering limiting? They’re either “on” or “off.”  Limiters are great for catching stray peaks, but should only be used sparingly. The Waves L2 Ultramaximizer provides powerful wide-band limiting along with dither and noise-shaping. With the peaks reduced, the dynamic range gets smaller allowing the limiter to then apply make-up gain to boost the whole signal louder. Limiters are used in both mixing and mastering, but for the latter, their primary purpose is to transparently make the audio louder. As a result, the signal can never get above where you set the target level. And since most smaller radio stations don’t have the budget for the really high-end stuff, I like to throw about 3 dB of L2 across the master bus of our radio shows each week to normalize everything and make the music and our host (AJ) really punch through. Couple that with the ARC (automatic release control – this determines the best time to “release” the limiter function after it has caught a peak) and you’ve got the L2 – essentially a smart limiter (ah, the wonders of digital technology). I tend to prefer a longer release time (somewhere in the vicinity of 100 ms), as that smooths out the sound and accentuates bass hits and other rhythm components – crucial elements in pop music. The Waves L3 Multimaximizer essentially has three components: the look-ahead peak limiting juiciness of the L2, it gives you five individually manipulable bands of limiting with adjustable crossover points and a five-band graphic EQ – all in a really intuitive interface. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. October 20, 2011 Izotope vs waves/or better ... My favorite compressor is Waves Rcomp and my favorite limiter is the Waves L2 limiter. Because streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube have instituted loudness limits, you no longer need to squash the life out of your music to allow it to compete in level with other recordings. The hardware L2 and the software L1 and L2 have been around for quite a while now, and have been facing increasingly sophisticated competition. When mastering, generally the only processing that happens after the limiter is dithering, and most mastering limiters offer dither options. If you’re working on material with multiple frequency areas in which you want to set different amounts of limiting, the L3-16 will give you the flexibility and power you need. That’s where the L3 comes in. Go with the L3 Multimaximizer if you want the flexibility of multiband processing or think you might in the future. However, too much pushing not only makes the audio sound squashed and lacking in dynamics, but can also cause distortion. In other words, you want to increase the level without it sounding like it's being processed. ( Log Out /  Without getting into too much detail here, dither helps mask what's called “quantization distortion,” which is caused when you reduce the bit depth of a digital file. That said, there are times when you want to add specific characteristics like a "vintage" sound, which can be achieved through different release settings or by using plugins that model older hardware processors. Change ). Located between those two adjacent sliders is a link control which lets you pull down the threshold and output ceiling sliders in tandem, and can be useful for comparing the processed and unprocessed sound, without bias for the louder version. Marketing at its best. Waves' answer is L3, a clever multi-band implementation of the same concept. Putting a brickwall limiter at the end of the master chain is a staple in the sound of modern releases, but you have many different options. The plugin also features a spreader which you can use to widen the stereo image. ( Log Out /  Check out 6 tips for limiting during mastering. You may find this content helpful: To be able to view it. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Please enable JavaScript in your browser in order to make this website functional. Another aspect of dithering that you'll come across is called “noise shaping.” It's an additional process that makes the dither even harder for your ears to hear. Not exactly a mastering suite but most people just want to compress and limit when they speak about mastering. Everyone wins! ( Log Out /  Since it can't go up any further, the distance between the lowest and highest levels shrinks the more it's pushed. Tagged with brickwall, compressor, Equal-loudness contours, Fabfilter Pro-L, Flux Pure Limiter II, L2, L3, limiter, look-ahead, Massey L2007, Omnia, Optimod, plugin, TC Brickwall, tube preamp, Voxengo Elephant, Waves, About unclemac1Host of @ The Box Office on Canada's Top 20 Countdown. For example, if you're going to convert your 24-bit mixes to 16-bit for streaming services or CD duplication, you'll need to dither them. You have six preset combinations of attack and release that you can set with the recovery (release time) control. Thanks to its "look-ahead" feature, it can examine incoming signal before it gets processed. What is dither? Leave a comment. Once you're happy with your threshold setting, you can then raise the output ceiling to a level you want your master to be at. It’s not quite the same as having a really nice tube mic preamp, but it’s definitely a step in that direction, if you can set the EQ and limiting right.

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