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/

The Moog Multimode Filter for UAD-2.

Here’s a pretty new plug-in for the new Universal Audio UAD-2! It seems to have all the right stuff too: self-oscillation, drive control, stereo tonal shifting, good modulation options and yay a wet/dry knob. No need for me to blab too much about what it can do because there is a great video overview here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpB6mKXDn0

If UA were able to conceive a Moog product, what would it be? The answer is revealed in the soon-to-be-released Moog Multimode Filter, which delivers the first truly analog-sounding VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) digital emulation made for mixing, performing, creating, or destroying. How can we claim this? The devil is in the details …Created in conjunction with the foremost pioneers in synthesis, the Moog Multimode Filter is a virtual tabletop filter set that combines the best of Bob Moog’s classic designs with select features from his final Voyager instrument. It is an amalgam of the best new and classic Moog designs, with a few innovations thrown in! – www.uaudio.com

If you want to stay native I like the Fabfilter Volcano 2 and Timeless combo.

Universal Audio announces UAD-2.

With today’s massive computer power you don’t buy a TC Powercore or Universal Audio UAD-1 because you need a boost, you buy them because the plug-ins sound fantastic. One of the early posts on Wire to the Ear was about TC Voice Modeler which is not available in any native format and is a must have in my arsenal.

Universal Audio has posted a video teaser for the upcoming UAD-2 card. Here’s the highlights:

The UAD-1 had a 7 year life.
They will break any limitations enabling any kind of audio processor on UAD-2.
They discuss the SHARC chips.
The card is capable of 2 Gigaflops per second.
Native decoding.
Years of devolopment.
More new partners.

To view the video: click here

The AES convention in Amsterdam is this weekend.

The Audio Engineering Society meets this weekend (May 17-20, 2008) at the RAI Conference and Exhibition Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It’s has a few similarities to other pro-audio trade shows like NAMM or Musikmesse. However, some would argue AES has a stronger focus on the scientific side of audio. Audio forensics for police applications and presentations by the Fraunhofer group concerning their surround sound MP3 format are the types of panels featured.

Established in 1948, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) draws its membership from amongst engineers, scientists, manufacturers and other organizations and individuals with an interest or involvement in the professional audio industry. They are mainly engineers developing devices or products for audio, and also people working in audio content production. What came to be the AES was formed at an organizational meeting at RCA Victor Studios in New York City on February 17, 1948. Its first membership meeting followed on March 11, drawing primarily from the area’s broadcast and recording operations. The guest speaker at the first meeting was Harry F. Olson, a prominent engineer and scientist at RCA. – Wikipedia.org

Gear is also intruduced at AES and that side of things will be well covered on many pro-audio sites. Be sure to check out our friends list on the middle column of this page for some websites to check. The pre-roll has begun: a nice Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity Single Channel, Tube & Solid-State, Tone-Blending Preamp was announced. Another tasty tidbit is CharterOak’s ‘small studio collection’ which “is the total
microphone solution for small recording studios with a tight budget”.

After the weekend I will update this post with anything I feel is interesting from the show.