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Good software compressor for tracking?

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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:02 am

There's a cheap and cheerful DIY kit here: Image

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Channel-Digital-Spectrum-Display/dp/B07FSZGK6Q

But if you want something a bit more serious, there are plenty of second-hand twin PPMs around. Try BB List: https://www.bblist.co.uk/search.php?keyword=PPM


Here's a nice one for £90. Image

https://www.bblist.co.uk/item.php?item=47686
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:12 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There's a cheap and cheerful DIY kit here: Image

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Channel-Digital-Spectrum-Display/dp/B07FSZGK6Q

But if you want something a bit more serious, there are plenty of second-hand twin PPMs around. Try BB List: https://www.bblist.co.uk/search.php?keyword=PPM


Here's a nice one for £90. Image

https://www.bblist.co.uk/item.php?item=47686

Thanks Hugh, that led one looks good.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:33 pm

Yeah Hugh!
That digital one looks very cool. :bouncy:
Thanks!

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(and me!)
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby The Elf » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:47 pm

Arpangel wrote:I don't know why, but I always have to have those meters showing a healthy level, I've just got to get used to seeing them in the weeds!
Better still - get used to the idea that those daisies don't need to be the size of sunflowers! :lol:
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:49 pm

CS70 wrote:If DAWs' waveform default zoom were set to show a few less decibels (instead of the full dynamic range) and DAWs' default meters had a sensible reference level for a 24bits dynamic range, (showing yellow starting at say -12dbFS, and zooming in so that -18dbFS looks healthy, nobody would overcook levels inadvertently.

I've set up Reaper to show a non linear waveform scale which really helps - but the option is buried deep in the menus and it took me years to discover it.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby CS70 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:02 pm

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:If DAWs' waveform default zoom were set to show a few less decibels (instead of the full dynamic range) and DAWs' default meters had a sensible reference level for a 24bits dynamic range, (showing yellow starting at say -12dbFS, and zooming in so that -18dbFS looks healthy, nobody would overcook levels inadvertently.

I've set up Reaper to show a non linear waveform scale which really helps - but the option is buried deep in the menus and it took me years to discover it.

Plus one for Reaper!

The combination of full scale waveform displays trying to show 144 (logarithmic) decibels of dynamic range in one and a half centimeters of (linear) screen space, and full scale meters getting in the yellow only very near the top, is insane.

It makes the unaware engineer think that his half-scale signal, which is absolutely pristine with respect to anything that was possible on tape, actually sucks.. so he cranks up the gain :D And one display reinforces the other. And it's just the damn GUI!

It's one of my fave rants. :)

Most people looks at me with a funny face when I try to explain. Thank god for SOS forum :D
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby MOF » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:34 pm

It makes the unaware engineer think that his half-scale signal, which is absolutely pristine with respect to anything that was possible on tape, actually sucks.. so he cranks up the gain :D And one display reinforces the other. And it's just the damn GUI!

It sort of reminds me of one of my former colleagues telling me about the time he went into a video edit suite (analogue era) and telling the editor that the audio levels looked a bit low, the response was an increase in the speaker levels. :D
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:14 am

Arpangel wrote:I don't know why, but I always have to have those meters showing a healthy level, I've just got to get used to seeing them in the weeds! It just makes feel really insecure!!

Many meters don't show what's going on down "in the weeds", but some such as in mastering programmes can show pretty much everything.

In the old days of pro field recording with analog tape, typically Nagras, the meter couldn't display the lower levels but recordists could hear them through headphones, and specifically how much extra noise the tape added.
We can do the same today. We can toggle between source and "tape" (converter output). Maybe few people do it these days because often the converter is so quiet that it's not an issue. But if you're at all worried about what might be going on down "in the weeds" I'd encourage you to simply listen.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:07 am

I'm going to have to get one of those meters Hugh suggested, it seems like the perfect solution, I've already got a big meter on my mic preamp, it's got a built in led matrix called "The Box" but it's only useful for phase and stereo spread, useless for level metering.
BB list is good, but I like to deal directly with a seller, all seems a bit complex to me.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:47 am

You may already have a suitable one. My first digital recording/editing program was Wavelab 4, bought in 2003 and still use it today. It has a great stereo meter which can display the levels down to the theoretical limits. I suspect many other such programs have similarly informative meters built in.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:51 am

Tim Gillett wrote:You may already have a suitable one. My first digital recording/editing program was Wavelab 4, bought in 2003 and still use it today. It has a great stereo meter which can display the levels down to the theoretical limits. I suspect many other such programs have similarly informative meters built in.

Yes, thnaks, but I've searched Reaper and I've only found a rather naff PPM, that doesn't respond very well, and it's not that big.
You'd think there would be a nice large no nonsense plug-in wouldn't you?
I think I'm going to plug my computer into a projector and have Reaper on my living room wall......

:D :D :D
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:29 am

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:If DAWs' waveform default zoom were set to show a few less decibels (instead of the full dynamic range) and DAWs' default meters had a sensible reference level for a 24bits dynamic range, (showing yellow starting at say -12dbFS, and zooming in so that -18dbFS looks healthy, nobody would overcook levels inadvertently.

I've set up Reaper to show a non linear waveform scale which really helps - but the option is buried deep in the menus and it took me years to discover it.

Don't suppose you can remember how to find that setting can you James?
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:19 am

blinddrew wrote:Don't suppose you can remember how to find that setting can you James?

Come on man! Now that's what I call an unreasonable request! Like most Reaper users, me included, he probably stumbled on it somewhere, sometime, in another universe....

:D
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:09 am

Er... The User Guide?
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:44 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:Er... The User Guide?

Good point!
And I'm one of those sad individuals who actually printed it up!
But that actions menu is so head damaging, and a bit eccentric, but Reaper is cool, and I wont hear anything against it.....

:)
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:14 pm

One of the few things I don't like about Reaper is the manual. I find it very unintuitive.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:34 pm

Well, TBF it is written by a committee :D
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm

And a search on any combo of terms from James' post doesn't deliver a result.
I shall just play around clicking with things and see what comes up.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:50 pm

blinddrew wrote:Don't suppose you can remember how to find that setting can you James?

I knew it had something to do with squares so I just did a search in the action list for 'square' and came up with

Peaks: Scale peaks by square root (half of range is 12dB rather than 6dB)

Personally I find Reaper's standard meters are fine - I just aim for nominal levels to be about half way up the meters which gives you at least 18dB of headroom.
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Re: Good software compressor for tracking?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:21 am

Thanks James, i'll have a shufti. :thumbup:
Appreciated. :)
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