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Logic 9 Ad Limiting without distortion...

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by Sparkle22, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Sparkle22

    Sparkle22 New Member


    I am ashamed (almost) to say how much experience I have had using Logic. Pretty much since it was the twinkle in some German fellow's eye at Emagic and even before then...

    I am a writer and session player - and again, it almost shames me to say at what level (big TV campaigns, BBC, ITV1, ads, plays, theatre etc....)

    The truth is, my production team (my brother and other writing partner) were previously the producers and post prod. on all our studio's work, however they have recently flown to other ends of the TV spectrum.
    (I have to say, to safer and more lucrative parts other than music!).

    It now falls to me to mix and 'master' my own work. Something which I was never an expert of and dreaded...

    So - - I have seen this on many other forums and sites with no conclusive answer.


    I am trying to do the impossible - to get a dance (style) track as punchy/loud/gutsy as possible without clipping. Think Lady Gaga.

    I have set an 'Ad Limiter' as the last plug on the master output with the output set to -0.1. (After an EQ and Multipressor)
    However, the resultant audio file is still clipping. In fact, the visual wave file shows a brick wall style of limiting but there peaks at a certain points (where my crazy samples are with a sub-punchy bass and a boingy spring sample comes in...) They don't sound that loud or subby to my ears.

    The level on the master fader reads (over) +0.3 or more but the limiter tells me that my track is being kept within the confines of -0.1. This is clearly not the case. I need a TRUE brick wall limiter. .. . (?) Or instructions as to why the limiter is not 'limiting'.

    Any ideas??
    As I said, I have seen this post a few times without a conclusive answer - so please don't ask if my speakers are broken or if my whole track is 'red-lining'.

  3. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Just to rule out the obvious, is your Master Fader set to 0.00 db?
  4. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    This might sound odd but I have found that when I am mastering my own work, I create a new "mastering" project and place whatever gain changing plugs as well as EQ's, maximizers and the like on the channel with my stereo mixed file.
    Then, on the master bus, in the first slot is where the brick-wall limiter goes.
    There should be nothing before it or after it (at least in Logic 9.)
    I have found that this is how L9 likes the chain to go.
    Let us know if this makes a difference for you.
    I have never really researched this but found it to be the only way to get any limiter or multi-mastering plug (like Ozone,) to behave as it should in L9...
  5. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I've never really had great results from the Logic Limiter. I thi what you want needs some kind of multi band to get quite a lot of loudness without the negative effects of distortion or pumping)

    For me, when I don't have a dedicated pro mastering engineer, I find that the best (3rd party) plugin is the PSP Vintage warmer.

    Easy to use, nice presets and great sound.
  6. Sparkle22

    Sparkle22 New Member

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the replies.

    Eli - Yep, level fader set to 0db.

    Charlie - yeah, I do that sometimes - seems to make sense to have a dedicated project just for expansion and volume of the final mix. (I may just send a screen grab of the wave for so you can see the weird peaks. When I get back to studio...) I am not 100% sure what you mean by "on the master bus". The master and output strips don't have a bus? Do they? Do you mean on the stereo strip (i.e. Audio channel 1) where the audio file sits?

    Pete - I have used T-Racks in the past and was impressed. Unfortunately, that was on another computer in another time dimension and splashing on the their suite package or any other is a stretch right now. But I know whatcha mean. I've heard PSP are good.
  7. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    Yes, I'm sorry. What I should've said was that the only plug-in on slot number 1 of your output channel strip should be whatever brickwall limiter you are using.
    I have not done too much research into this, but I found that if I put say a mastering EQ in slot #1 of the output channel and then followed it with the limiter on slot 2 or 3 or 4, I would get over the -0.3db that was my ceiling set on the limiter.
    However, keeping my limiter in slot one with nothing after it in the output channel chain guaranteed that whatever hard level I set on the limiter was in fact what the signal would peak at.
    I'm not sure if there is a reason for this in Logic 9 or not but once I figured it out, I created the separate "mastering" project template described earlier with that brickwall in slot 1 of the output channel strip and haven't had any other issues since.
    Let me know if this makes sense and if you see the same or different results. :hippy:
  8. Sparkle22

    Sparkle22 New Member

    Hi - after some testing, it appears that that you are correct.

    If a single ad limiter is placed in the output slot or channel strip (and no other plugs) - it limits in the way you would expect with no random peaks and jumps over the lines.

    However, after firing up T-Racks on another mac I also found (reminded myself) that the preset 'mastering' (limiting, vintage comp etc) plugs sound better in T-Racks than in Logic - louder, more defined and not distorted. They do sound good in Logic but they need more tweaking to get there.
  9. sonnykeyes

    sonnykeyes Senior member

    Just thought I'd mention how much I've liked mastering with Ozone since I got it a few months ago. Maybe you're not interested in spending more money, but I think it was totally worth it, especially at the level you're working at.
  10. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    Plus 1 for Ozone... I find it to be a great tool to use as much or as little as you like. Sometimes just knowing I have the power to surgically alter a mix is quite reassuring (even though I never need to push Ozone that hard -ever...)
    But I think it's a very flexible workhorse. :thmbup:
  11. Sparkle22

    Sparkle22 New Member

    I will take a look at that! Sounds nice. Thx.

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