Fabfilter Pro-L

Check out the demo video above to see the new dutch Fabfilter Pro-L limiter’s really nice display modes. Of course the pretty display is nothing if it doesn’t sound great. Luckily there is a free trial and the manual is online to help you decide if you need to part with $229. Do you need a Limiter other than the one that comes with your DAW?

“FabFilter Pro-L features surgically precise output and level meters, including inter-sample peak detection and K-System support.” – fabfilter.com

For more info: fabfilter.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on October 25, 2010 at 4:29 am, filed under plug-ins and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Keep a Limiter on your Master

My all time top tip for getting a nice sound from Ableton Live (or any DAW) is to keep your channel faders low and the Master at 0db. I explain my reasoning in an older post from January 2008. You can read it and the great comments by: clicking here. A safety net or let’s say helper in keeping your Master at 0db is a Limiter. Luckily (finally!) they added a native Limiter to Ableton Live 8. I recommend saving your startup Template with the Limiter in place. How much headroom below 0db you should leave is questionable but mostly I just leave it at it’s default setting of -0.30 dB. I’m guessing Ableton set it there for a reason. Of course you can use Limiters to shape and pump your sound and for something like that I turn to other plug-ins like Wavearts FinalPlug ($199) or a hardware unit such as a Universal Audio 1176.

“The Limiter effect is a mastering-quality dynamic range processor that ensures that the output does not exceed a specied level. Limiter is ideal for use in the Master track, to prevent clipping. A limiter is essentially a compressor with an innite ratio. To ensure that your nal output will never clip, place Limiter as the last device in the Master track’s device chain and keep your Master fader below 0 dB.” – Ableton Live 8 User Manual

For more Ableton tips and info: wiretotheear.com/category/ableton-live/

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 21, 2010 at 7:12 am, filed under Ableton Live, plug-ins and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



The Wall Street Journal explains the Loudness War.

For years many musicians, producers and music fans have been crying foul about the “Loudness War“. This is when a mastering engineer compresses and limits the dynamic range of a song to make it louder to the point of ruining the music. Many times it’s not the engineer’s fault as he or she is just following directions from the label or the band. It makes some sense you would want your album to be louder than others as it would stand out but when everyone is doing it the end effect is music is simply ruined.

Things have finally boiled over with the release of the new Metallica album Death Magnetic. Apparently it sounds so squashed that even their metal head fans can’t stand it. To add fuel to the fire a version of some of the album tracks appear mastered more tastefully in the newly released Guitar Hero 3 (video game).

“Music released today typically has a dynamic range only a fourth to an eighth as wide as that of the 1990s. That means if you play a newly released CD right after one that’s 15 years old, leaving the volume knob untouched, the new one is likely to sound four to eight times as loud. Many who’ve followed the controversy say “Death Magnetic” has one of the narrowest dynamic ranges ever on an album.” – wsj.com

I’m pleased this is getting attention because I personally can’t stand the smashed sound. It’s fine when it’s part of the artistic endeavor (such as any song by Justice) but other than that I find it seriously unpleasant.

The Wall Street journal has a great interactive graphic online comparing the sound quality of an old and new Metallica track: click here

If your a Metallica fan (I’m not) you can sign a petition to have the album re-mastered: click here

Read the full Wall Street Journal story: click here
Wikipedia’s entry for the Loudness war: click here

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on September 27, 2008 at 2:23 am, filed under music, political and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.