does live have built in limiter?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
slicedbread
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does live have built in limiter?

Post by slicedbread » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:16 pm

ok, hope this makes sense...

i plan on recording some modified gear in live but some of the mods at certain settings can reportedly exceed the "safe" level for speakers and amps. if i run the gear into my soundcard, does live have some kind of built-in limiter to keep it from blowing up my monitors?

is this safe for the a/d converter on the soundcard or is there anywhere else in the signal that i should be worried about?

i know i can just throw an outboard limiter after the gear, but i don't have one handy. i also don't want to run the risk of breaking anything in my setup.

thx/

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:19 pm

http://www.yohng.com/w1limit.html

Easy to use, virtually transparent, and best of all, free!
Last edited by hambone1 on Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Meef Chaloin
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Post by Meef Chaloin » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:36 pm

you can use Live's compressors for limiting

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:56 pm

i think you can use the saturator with soft clipping as a kinda limiter too

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:07 pm

compressor II has a limiting preset (tweakable)- it's not too bad, I find it better as track limiter than a master bus limiter, although I sometimes run it gently on the master bus.

for mastering though I use Voxengo's Elephant 2.5 vst, very awesome for 60-70 bucks but I tend to master using Soundforge 8 as a force of habit anyway.

slicedbread
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Post by slicedbread » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:15 pm

ok live has limiter effects and 3rd party ones (they might color the sound even so slightly). is there anything hardcoded into the app that protects the output? i mean this is digital, so it's not like blowing a tube, right?

i guess i'm more concerned about my soundcard (m-audio audiophile 24/96) and any other internal workings that might be damaged before the sound gets to the master output.

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:18 pm

Stick a limiter on your master output. (IMO, the Yohng W-1 is virtually transparent.) Save the Live set as your template. It'll always be there to protect your speakers.

pearsonart.com
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Post by pearsonart.com » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:05 am

You might not understand how your signal chain works.

Any compression in live will come after the signal is recorded.

If your external gear's output is too hot for your soundcard / interface, turn down the input gain first.

Another option is to borrow or purchase an external compressor / limiter and insert it into your signal chain prior to your soundcard.

john gordon
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Post by john gordon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:22 am

no.but it comes with a slicer i think.

scientist
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Post by scientist » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:41 am

pearsonart.com wrote: Any compression in live will come after the signal is recorded.
not if you use two tracks. one for the audio input + effects, then set a second track to record "audio from" the first track. voila, audio input recorded post-live effects.

pearsonart.com
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Post by pearsonart.com » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:34 am

scientist wrote:
pearsonart.com wrote: Any compression in live will come after the signal is recorded.
not if you use two tracks. one for the audio input + effects, then set a second track to record "audio from" the first track. voila, audio input recorded post-live effects.
That's right....and it's fine for using Live's compressor as an effect but it doesn't address the initial input level problem if that's what he's experiencing. Here's why.

As an example, let's say the source is a "line" level device, perhaps some kind of circuit bending toy's quarter inch jack. (I'm not sure what he intends to use.) If there's no level control on the device and the output is too hot for the soundcard with the level turned all the way down, the recording will be saturated. No amount of post processing in Live is going to change the fact that the source was recorded too hot and distorted the ada on the soundcard etc.

That said, I use Live's built in compression all the time and it sounds fine. Here's my very modest signal chain:

mic - mackie 1202vlz - RNC - firewire audiophile - mac mini - 7200 rpm ext drive

Good luck.

Andrew Russell NYC
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Post by Andrew Russell NYC » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:54 am

why put a limiter? just watch your levels and don't crank your monitors if your scared your going to blow them IMO...

but yes there are many limiters available some free some cost paper.

Shoma
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Post by Shoma » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:39 pm

Limiter = Compressor with fastest times ever...right?

mechmusic
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Post by mechmusic » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:59 pm

[quote="Andrew Russell NYC"]why put a limiter? just watch your levels and don't crank your monitors if your scared your going to blow them IMO... [quote]

Well, other less extreme settings could be too quiet. Sometimes you might set a moderate volume on the gear and the sound is OK. Then you enable your mod or open a filter and WHAM! massive clipping distortion.... Anyways, I would try it out a few times with the volume on your gear set to a low or moderate level before buying anything. I think your sound card will be OK if you start our conservatively. But in the end if the gear is really out of control you might find that an outboard compressor is the best way to keep the sound in check.
Live Lite 6.0.1 + Axiom 49
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BassTooth
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Post by BassTooth » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:05 pm

um... why don't you just add more than one Compressor(plugin)? hell, use 30 of 'em if your cpu can handle it.

or is that not the question this dude is asking? whatever.

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