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Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

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Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby ruffrecords » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:43 pm

The latest SOS mag. has a short piece about a new plug-in that offers an increase in loudness without sacrificing the dynamics of the music.
I have recently been trying a simple DIY method of achieving this that seems to work pretty well.

First I normalise the final stereo mix. If the music has real dynamics you will find that it peaks at 0dB FS only a few times during the track (typically 6 or so times). I go through and find each one of these peaks and cut the peak sample and a couple or so on either side. I have found removing half a dozen samples is inaudible but reduces the peaks by typically 2dB. Having done this for all the peaks I normalise again. Now you find it reaches 0dB FS a few more times - 10 to 12 is typical. Repeat the process of removing the peaks and samples either side of it and again you typically get a 2dB reduction. After normalising once more the song is 4dB louder but has the majority of its dynamics intact.

Cheers

Ian
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:04 pm

I'm struggling to see how this is different to using a simple limiter.
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby oggyb » Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:24 pm

Well, it wouldn't be, if you had a limiter that responded to peaks of 3 samples.

Most of us don't.
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:41 pm

Exactly so -- he's doing the work of a ultra-fast transmission limiter. Look-ahead software limiters should be able to achieve the same thing.

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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby The_BPP » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:29 pm

I remember going doing the same thing 15 years ago when I first got cool edit, and thinking to myself... "I wish there was a way of doing this automatically".
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:21 pm

There are so many look-ahead limiters available - free ones, in fact.
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby ruffrecords » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:06 pm

One thing I forgot to mention is I do not use a computer for recording/editing etc. A fast look ahead software limiter is therefore not an option for me.

Cheers

Ian
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby johnny h » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:11 pm

ruffrecords wrote:One thing I forgot to mention is I do not use a computer for recording/editing etc. A fast look ahead software limiter is therefore not an option for me.

Cheers

Ian

Perhaps its time to invest in a computer then.
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Re: Louder Mix without Losing Dynamics

Postby The Korff » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:13 pm

Then how do you normalize and trim the samples!?

You can achieve look-ahead limiting in hardware land quite easily — just mult the mix and send one of the stereo mults through a transparent delay unit (zero feedback, 100 percent wet), and the output of that into a compressor. Feed the compressor's side-chain input with the non-delayed mult, and Bob's your uncle. Tweak the delay time to suit.

Cheers!

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