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Karmamechanic

transparent limiter

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I can't  find a true peak limiter that doesn't affect things negatively. Have tried all the old Sonar ones, Adaptive Limiter included, and a few other ones. They all box in the sound and make it less open and more fatiguing, even when the threshold is so high that there isn't even any limiting going on. Merely turning them on boxes in the sound. I can close my eyes, randomly click on bypass to set it to a state unknown to me, and then switch back and forth between bypass and enabled with my eyes closed and can tell 100% percent of the time when it's enabled even when it is not actually limiting anything due to the less open sound that it creates. Anyone else have this experience and can recommend a true peak limiter that doesn't affect the sound like that? I've been using Audacity, which is not a true peak limiter. I can't tell that its limiter boxes in the sound.

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One of the most transparent limiter is  IK 's Stealth Limiter.It is possible to Demo the Plug-in 14 days via the t.racks Custom Shop.

Edited by Pragi

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If the Limiter isn't on the Master bus with everything going through it, you might be hearing the effect of plugin delay causing a phase change against other tracks because the transport has to be restarted to re-sync the Plugin Delay Compensation. This could be very noticeable (and objectionable) if you have some  kind of parallel-compression-like set up where you're sending to a bus with the limiter on it, rather than  inserting it.

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On 9/12/2019 at 2:18 PM, Karmamechanic said:

...They all box in the sound and make it less open and more fatiguing, even when the threshold is so high that there isn't even any limiting going on. Merely turning them on boxes in the sound. I can close my eyes, randomly click on bypass to set it to a state unknown to me, and then switch back and forth between bypass and enabled with my eyes closed and can tell 100% percent of the time when it's enabled even when it is not actually limiting anything due to the less open sound that it creates.

Something else is wrong besides the limiters you're testing. A properly-designed limiter should literally do nothing at all until the input exceeds (or comes close to) its configured threshold. It could be a routing issue, as David suggested above, or it could be you're not doing proper gain compensation when A/B-ing bypass vs. enabled.

All of the limiters recommended in the previous posts are ones that I'd call "properly-designed". Some are easier to use than others, and some are better at preserving microdynamics when pushed hard, but none of them should have any audible effect just by being in-circuit. Yes, there are indeed some that do just that - it's on purpose because they're trying to closely model some real-world electronic device (e.g. units with vacuum tubes and input and/or output transformers). However, such products will proudly identify themselves as emulations, and most digital limiters don't go to those lengths to mimic hardware.

BTW, any quality limiter will give you the option to enable "true peak" detection. Even if there isn't a button for it, all you have to do is enable Cakewalk's built-in upsampling feature, because that's what a "true peak" limiter is actually doing internally: upsampling. It's not some magic algorithm, just a higher internal sample rate.

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Hey thanks for the replies.

Quote

 should literally do nothing at all until the input exceeds (or comes close to) its configured threshold

Yeah that's why I don't understand what they're doing that makes me be able to tell they're in circuit. I'm setting up the test by using the Youlean loudness meter to make sure there's no loudness change between in and bypassed. And it's on a 2 channel mixed down 32bit 96k track with no parallel routing of anything. And the test is blind with me using only ears to determine if it's in or out.

Of the ones suggested in this thread, I've tried Limiter No6, and can tell 100% when it's in circuit. PSP Xenon, I can't really tell, but it's not true peak, unless I missed something there. Every Sonar limiter, true peak or not, I can tell. Haven't gotten around to trying the other ones suggested here yet.

Haven't ever used the upsampling. Will try that.

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1 hour ago, Karmamechanic said:

Well I found the true peak setting on PSP Xenon. And I can't tell it's in circuit in a blind test.

Glad you found it!

Not to add any confusion, but, for the money, you oughta consider picking up SoundSpot's mastering limiter, Velo2. It's currently £8.95 (£130 list). I paid US$11.34 via PayPal.

https://www.soundspot.audio/downloads/velo-2-mastering-limiter-vst-audio-plugin/

 

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On 9/18/2019 at 12:00 PM, Karmamechanic said:

Every Sonar limiter, true peak or not, I can tell.

I don't know what it is, but you've got something else going on in your test case.

Simplify it:

- New project from the Basic or Blank template with two tracks referencing the same wave file (import once and drag-copy)

- Invert phase on one, start playback and verify they null.

- Stop Playback. Add the Limiter to one track.

- Start playback and verify they still null.

Anything you can hear that's caused by the limiter itself will cause a failure to null in this scenario.

EDIT: Another thing you can do in the above setup is to group the mute buttons in opposition, and A/B between the two tracks without changing the enabled state of the limiter on the one.

Edited by David Baay
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On 9/17/2019 at 2:14 PM, Pragi said:

One of the most transparent limiter is  IK 's Stealth Limiter.It is possible to Demo the Plug-in 14 days via the t.racks Custom Shop.

Thanks!  And it is a qualifier in the Pick & Mix Group Buy so there are currently nine other processors of equal or lesser value that would come with it :)

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