Main Profile

At A Glance

Using a Limiter - Pro Tools 9

Check out Bas Rutten's Liver Shot on MMA Surge: A limiter is an exaggerated version of a compressor. A compressor allows a signal to get through a certain point and then attenuates it, easing it down. A limiter creates a ceiling for the signal, a barrier that it cannot pass. Use the limiter sparingly. It's rarely very useful in mixing. If a drummer is inconsistent and plays certain parts extremely loudly, a limiter can be used to bring it down to a normal level. A limiter is also used in mastering a mix, but that's a different subject. Directions 1. Pro Tools groups together the limiter and the compressor as one plug-in insert. To access it, open up a session with a track. Select and loop a part of the track. In?the mix window, add the default compressor plug-in insert to a track, opening the compressor window. 2. In this default window, a limiter is a type of preset. You can choose Gentle Limiting or Hard Limiting from the presets menu. Gentle limiting employs a lower ratio and attack speed, while hard limiting, called brick wall limiting, has a very high ratio and attack speed. To illustrate the differences between a limiter and a compressor, choose Hard Limiting. You can see a graph of your track in the x-y axis map. After the threshold line, there is a straight horizontal line, the ceiling you've created. Note that the ratio is now 100.0 : 1, much higher than any you'd use for compression. This ratio is?pushing down the signal so much that it's crushing it. The track will sound sound distorted. 3. Switch the default threshold from -10.0 dB to 0.00 dB, then play the track. Ease into the threshold as you listen. In the video, the threshold should be crushing the track at?-13.2 dB, but it's not, because the attack isn't fast enough. The palm-muted parts so fast that the limiter isn't catching them. 4. It's time to speed up the attack. First, raise the threshold to -9.0 dB, then bring the attack to 10.0 us, the fastest we can go. Lower the threshold to -20.1 dB. As you can hear, the palm mute is starting to get muffled, but the other parts are fine, because they aren't the loudest parts. 5. To crush the track even more, change the threshold to -12.9 dB, then set the release to 48.3 ms. Change the threshold to -14.1 dB. The levels are now moving, just at a very consistent level. Read more by visiting our page at:
Length: 13:23


Questions about Using a Limiter - Pro Tools 9

Want more info about Using a Limiter - Pro Tools 9? Get free advice from education experts and Noodle community members.

  • Answer