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Getting your loudness?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Ice Man, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. ruckus328

    ruckus328 Member

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    OK, total noob question. Curious about something and trying to understand the actual application of how this helps to make the mix louder. Say I have my snare and it's in the red. So I put GClip on it, now it's -2db at the peaks.....so I can turn my master up 2db? Is that how this would work?
     
  2. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    The theory behind clipping the snare in a nutshell:

    A limiter detects when a signal goes above a certain threshold (which you set) and then brutally yanks it back to be beneath that (hence the term "brickwalling", cuz it's as if the spikes are hitting a brick wall), whereas a clipper just cuts the tops off of those spikes, which can be bad on things like guitars, vocals, etc., but very very very good on anything with super sharp transients where we barely notice anyway (especially snares). So the philosophy is: since snares usually create sound spikes higher than any other instrument in a mix, they strain the limiter because it has to work to bring them back down, but since it's only working on the master bus, the rest of the mix suffers as well. However, if you clip the snare using something such as GClip, then it doesn't spike nearly as highly, and you can bring the volume up much louder with the limiter before it starts sounding horrendous because it's not working as hard to tame all those crazy snare spikes.

    Thus, I put my first instance of GClip as the last insert on the snare track/bus, bring the snare track fader way lower than it currently is (so it sounds too soft in the mix), and then open up GClip, leaving the dynamics and clip knobs at their default positions (0% and 100%, respectively), and cranking the gain knob (also turning on 2x Oversampling). Watch the meters in the plugin as you play back your track, and just keep cranking that gain knob until there's some nice clipping going on, but also be sure to listen intently to make sure there aren't any artifacts creeping in (it's really hard to notice clipping on something with as sharp a spike and little decay as a snare, but crank GClip enough and you'll notice eventually! :ill: ).

    Then, be certain your master fader is at 0 dB (meaning, neutral), and put another instance of GClip on the master bus, using the same settings as on the snare track (except for gain, obviously), and turn up the gain just until you start seeing the spikes clip on the meters (be gentle here though, cuz the clipping can get a lot more noticeable since it's the whole mix going through it, and while you may not be able to hear clipping with your monitoring setup, that doesn't mean it's not there, so better to err on the side of caution). After that, go to town with whatever compressor/limiter/eq etc. suits your fancy! (however, I haven't experimented with the order of GClip in the master bus since I only use it and Voxengo Elephant on there, and I could potentially see it being better to eq before clipping, for example, or lightly compressing before clipping if you want a little ducking from the snare spikes).
     
  3. ruckus328

    ruckus328 Member

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    Has anyone here used event horizon for a clipper? I've heard good things about it.
     
  4. ruckus328

    ruckus328 Member

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    Bump. I refuse to let this thread die...lol My favorite thread out of any - I've read it about 30 times and it never gets old.

    This really needs to be a sticky.
     
  5. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    very helpful thread!
    but taming the distortion is a biatch
     
  6. Brianautumn

    Brianautumn New Metal Member

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    I tend to agree with joey about not clipping the master channel. Have any of you guys tried the McDSP ML4000 limiter. I got it a while ago and I keep coming back to play with it because of how clean it sounds. Like you really have to try to make that thing sound over cooked. With the multi band dynamics and the limiter I can get my levels to low -8's, and 7's. I think the L2 adds a little too much, but I like the auto release control. Ive also been using only the dynamics in ozone cause it sounds really clear too. The rest of it sounds like garbage, especially the limiter.
     
  7. fretfingers

    fretfingers Member

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    Slate, have you incorporated clipping into FGX? (I use it and love it -btw!)
     
  8. Slate

    Slate Member

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    FG-X replaces clipping. Because the issue I found was that clipping was only good till a certain point.. then it lead to my low end crapping out (because full scale clips are deadly to sublows) and has a high degree of distortion when pushing past -10RMS.

    The FG-X varies up the curve so that it presents each transient with an optimized shape so as to add the least amount of change to it as its being saturated.

    On a properly balanced mix, you COULD, but not SHOULD, push a mix into the FG-X to -8RMS and still have a decent amount of perceived punch and dynamics.
     
  9. fretfingers

    fretfingers Member

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    This is exactly what I purchased FGX to do in hopes that it would be the best ITB loudness solution. (Assuming of course my mixes were properly balanced.)

    Do you still find yourself needing to clip your auroras or is FGX enough for your work?

    Keep up the good work!
     
  10. Slate

    Slate Member

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    On the very day that Fabrice and I made the first beta of the FG-X's ITP algorithm after working on it for countless months, I spent three days comparing it to various A/D clippings. That was the last time I have never used hardware A/D clipping on a music mix.. since then its all FG-X. There's no comparison... static clipping vs optimized individual saturation.
     
  11. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    That makes a lot of damn sense. FG-X is on my todo list as soon as I get a car and job. dammit.
     
  12. waltz mastering

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    A common misconception is that there's a magic bullet or any one right way to go about.. or "best" way to do anything in mastering. ..specially concerning levels.
    There are many options and a variety of ways that might work best (subjective) when mastering, and they can and often change from song to song.. album to album..genre to genre.
     

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