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limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

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limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby hooty2 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:08 pm

Hi one and all,
an apology if a variant of this post appears again...i suspect an error was made in submitting.

I discovered something i don't understand, by mistake, while i was trying to do something else!

Every year i record and mix the school xmas concert in a local cathedral. Last year, a parent at the school, who is an experienced studio engineer, suggested my mixes were nice as hi-fi but not suitable for the purposes and ways most parents and children will listen to the recording. There was too much dynamic range for kitchens & cars etc. In fact there is a vast range in the concert from tiny children to thundering organs and bold brass.
I am asked to produce a CD (we discussed this on SOS a while back, we regularly sell between 200 & 300 discs for school funds)

The Cd last time (actually the May Easter concert) was mastered so the quiet parts were louder and the louder parts quieter ....or rather they were to meet in the middle a bit more...still having difference.(no pretensions here, but as such, it is a mastering process even in my untutored hands)

I am now practicing with old files to get better at this.

What i don't understand:
I loaded a 24 bit stereo file of the Armed Man into a new project in REAPER. I added FabFilter ProL2 limiter onto the track...not the master track!

I added a volume envelope to the track...not the master.

the track plays back with no clipping or into the red....stopping at -0.4 courtesy of original limiting.

I selected Vol enevelopes in reaper to be prefx

I slipped with the mouse and pushed the volume up by nearly +6db & the track went red and +3.5 over.
Prol2 showed a peak at that point of only -2.5dB and no limiting happened.
ProL2 threshold set to 1.0, TruePeak ON, x4 oversampling, no gain increase, style setting SAFE.
What is happening, what am i missing here?

A second point since you are here (hopefully not presumptious).

to continue my work/practice, i made a second project, put ProL2 on the master and enveloped the gain with a vol envelope on the track and adjusted/balanced the gain on master and volume on track envelope to make very loud bits quieter but still with energy and bring up the quieter bits.
Later today i hope to put examples on soundcloud for anyone to dip into and comment on the success or not of my practice.

The issue coming out of this is, as long as the meters are acceptable, the balance between energy and volume seems very subjective and i have to keep keeping in mind, kitchens and cars.
Another issue is the increase in low level sounds like paper rustling, coughs and feet etc.

This is a bit long but if you only consider one aspect of the post, help on the limiter not catching the track volume would be most useful.
with respect and thanks in advance.
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby James Perrett » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:04 pm

One thought...

Could you replace the limiter you are using with something built in to Reaper (like the JS Master Limiter)? If you then put the Reaper project up somewhere (just the .RPP file) I could then download it and see if I can see any problems with it.
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby hooty2 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:42 pm

James, thank you
I'm out and about but will have a go at that idea.
Where is file best put?
Is 'wetransfer' an option...to SOS mail address?
Regards
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:43 pm

hooty2 wrote:...
the track plays back with no clipping or into the red....stopping at -0.4 courtesy of original limiting...
It's not your question but normally there's no need to limit at the record stage. 24_bit recording can handle more dynamic range than the mics and pre's can throw at it. Limiting at the record stage only reduces our options in post. Far better to set record gain carefully so the recorder doesn't clip. This will probably make the dynamic range even bigger but that's OK. We can control the dynamics in post far better. These days we have that luxury.
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby James Perrett » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:24 pm

hooty2 wrote:James, thank you
I'm out and about but will have a go at that idea.
Where is file best put?
Is 'wetransfer' an option...to SOS mail address?
Regards


Yes, wetransfer is fine - just send it to anything at jrpmusic.net and it will find me. I can try adding audio of my own to see what is happening.
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby hooty2 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:47 am

Tim,
thanks for that reminder, it's taken me a while to believe that, but now i do:)
My poor grammar may have implied there was limiting on the tracking. there was none. i meant to refer to the fact that i used an already processed file of the recording that did have limiting. sorry for not being clear.
(see my recent/latest post)
James
will do, thanks
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:25 pm

Thanks for sending the files over. I've just taken a look and it seems that the problem is caused by the volume envelope being post effects rather than pre-effects as intended.

Hope that helps
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:19 pm

Good work James! :clap: :thumbup:
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby hooty2 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:31 pm

:headbang:
thank you
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby hooty2 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:59 pm

James,
before the bruises show...

I'd almost got there with that thought, just now added a shortcut to find that feature properly.
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Re: limiter not reacting as track goes into the red

Postby James Perrett » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:49 pm

When I'm adding an envelope I usually click on the envelope button in the track control panel which then brings up a dialogue box showing all the available envelopes. That's where I noticed that you had the wrong box ticked.
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