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Recommend a Limiter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by project_c, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    I'm mostly recording direct into my Mac these days, and often find that if I change dynamics (i.e. dig in quite hard), the signal is clipped. This is due to the increase in volume, especially in the lower frequencies. Turning down the input levels is fine up to a point, but I like to record at a level which is relatively reasonable and not super quiet.

    I have an Opto Compulator which solves this problem up to a point, but the signal is compressed as a result, which results in a bit too much of the dynamic range being lost.

    So I'm now looking for a VERY transparent limiter pedal, which will keep an eye on the incoming levels without too much compression or flattening of the signal. Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph !! Supporting Member

    Check out this site, creation of fellow TB member Bongomania. Quite an educational read !

    As for pedal choices, I'm currently using the Boss LMB-3 after sporting the Boss CS-3, EBS multicomp and BBE OptoStomp, each for a little while. The LMB-3 is a no frills pedal that does a darn good job and can be bought used for around 50-60 $. There are lots of fancy comps out there, each better than the other one, but the LMB-3 will not let you down. Just keep the enhance knob below 9 o"clock.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    For cheap, the LMB-3 is the best bet. If price isn't such a concern, I love FEA's limiter pedals.
  4. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 We brake for nobody Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    The LMB-3 isn't exactly what I'd call transparent.
    I use the Daring Audio Phat Beam after trying several other pedals and it's the best. The limiter and compressor on it are independent, and you can dial-in which frequency range you want it to limit while leaving the rest untouched. It's also cheaper than the FEA.
  5. Freight Train

    Freight Train Earth-based Alternative Scientist, Sex Researcher Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Dallas, Texas
    Speaking from a few decades experience as a mix engineer, here's a very useful tip. Most everyone in your situation would think, well, I can either compress my bass on the way in, or I can recorded it uncompressed, leaving headroom so it doesn't clip, and then patch a compressor on the bass track when I mix. Actually, neither is the correct answer. Your best results 90% of the time is to compress it a little on the way in, and then a little more during the mix. In the production world this is called 'feathering', meaning you are lightly touching a track in two or more stages, rather than being heavy-handed with it at one particular stage. THis gives SO much flexibility, as you're able to use completely different attack/release and compression ratios at each stage to really fine tune what you're going for, and you can use completely different compressors at each stage so you also have the different colors the compressors add to work with.
    The one downside of compressing (or whatever fx) anything on the way in is, if you do too much, you can't undo it. But if it's your studio, it doesn't cost you anything but time to go back and re-cut the track. That's another advantage of feathering the compression; it's less likely you'll over-do it while cutting the track. And a lot of times you'll decide that little bit you did while tracking was enough anyway.
    [edit] - Sorry OP, didn't mean to drag this off-topic, as I realize what you asked was for a limiter recommendation, not advice on recording techniques. Just thought that'd be some helpful info.
  6. miiitch


    Nov 27, 2011
    GK MB200?

    not joking, has a built-in limiter

    what i donĀ“t get is:
    a limiter compresses more :eyebrow:
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Well, that depends on the threshold setting.
  8. Shegmaface


    Jun 25, 2010
    FEA has very very long waiting list. I've been on the list for 8 months and waiting. Silly geese.
  9. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1 to applying more than one pass of compression at relatively low ratios instead of one heavy-handed compression stage. If you're recording off the clock (or on an enormous budget, in some 1970s time-warp), I'd go one better and suggest multiple passes of the bass track.

    If the dynamics aren't right on a phrase (or two, or ten), reset your levels and record another pass at the phrase until you get it perfect. Repeat as necessary, and comp. Yes, in an ideal world it would be better if all performance were one-pass and live. But sonically (unless heavy compression is the sound you're aiming for!), the end result generally *sounds* better if you fix it at tracking rather than apply heavy non-transparent processing to "fix" the track.
  10. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA

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