SH Spotlight I was asked "Why do recordings need compression/limiting during recording, mastering?"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 13, 2016.

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  1. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    Yes, it was Rexolite. I have that PDF on my machine, to explain to people about why RCA left the broadcast transmitter business. The decision to use Rexolite in the PA cavity was a really horrible decision due to how flammable that material is. And yes, those silver plated tuning and loading inductors got trashed in the worst environments and tarnished in less brutal environments. The gentleman who did that site, happens to be a really superb broadcast engineer, and designed and built a homebrew transmitter for a station.
  2. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Sorry. Yes, you have it right.
    yasujiro likes this.
  4. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict I Love Physical format for my listening pleasure

    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    I have a story about compression.
    A friend of mine creating ambient-Electronic music ,
    spacy sounds and sound effects. He ask me to add sound effects from his Synthesizer and have a part in creating the album, it was real fun and when we finished we burn the tracks to cd-r and we found out that the tracks DR was 12-13

    My friend wanted to give the tracks to a few labels so we went to a engineer for the mastering
    I was sitting there in a place just looks like a spaceship with all the endless equipment which was very cool.

    After along day When the mastering engineer finished and we listened, I could hardly recognized the music, my friend almost ask if this is his music, it sounds so loud!! and all the warm sounds and my sound effects that I played sounds Choked and crushed/we were so disappointed but my friend wanted just to go ahead and give it to labels ,
    we checked at home and the Dr was 6! and the mastering engineer said that he didn't add to much compression,
    if for him to turn dr 12 to 6 it's not too much so what is too much? :eek::faint:

    My friend just wanted to give it to the labels fast as possible,
    I convinced him to be a little patient and take it to another mastering engineer,
    we gave it to someone else and the other mastering engineer did wonderful work, everthing sound warm and
    not loud , Dr is 11-12 ,it sounds more a lively but without being loud and sterile.

    Now we have music which treated with respect and love,
    I am glad that I insist not to take the bad product, it's against
    everthing I believe regarding sound , This is why I arrived to this Forum ,
    and If I am looking for good sound for my beloved cd titles then I couldn't
    give up this principle just In exchange for the music to be published by labels just so I can say that
    music which I take part in is on a label. My friend also understood my insistence and he is happy with the new results.

    / if anyone had the patient to read my long post
    and still have some patient :)
    would you please explain me the difference between Limiter and Maximizer?
    Thank you.

    Thank you steve and members for the very interesting thread:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    In the old analog world, a limiter meant you could have normal dynamics up to a certain stopping point and then the signal was crushed depending on how hard you hit it.

    A compressor meant that it was always working, changing a 20 db dynamic to maybe 12 or 15 depending on how hard you hit it. But it was always working, not waiting for something to hit the threshold like a limiter.

    A maximzer? To me, that could be anything, but I've never heard it sound good, it's like a compressor on stun with limiting at the end. Reduces dynamic range, kills transients and generally ruins the sound.

    That help? Remember, this is the old school explanation.
  6. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict I Love Physical format for my listening pleasure

    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    Thank you Steve for the explanation :)
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  7. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    I think Maximizer refers to a specific type of digital limiter plug-in, which has had several generations, notably it is used with the goal of making CD masters loud as they could be, almost daring you to push the signal higher so it's constantly working (like a compressor, but just maxed out at full volume, nearly always). Like, if a limiter was a loaded gun, only going off when the loudness peaked, the optical limiters would be a 100-year-old Winchester rifle — and the Maximizer would be like a fully automatic with the trigger held down! How Brickwall City Was Won
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  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Good times.
  9. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict I Love Physical format for my listening pleasure

    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    An interesting and imaginative metaphor :)
  10. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    They don't call 'em the Loudness Wars for nothin', Sonny Jim
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  11. Zongadude

    Zongadude Music is the best

    The best explanation I have ever heard about compression ! Now I finally get it :)
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  12. ajawamnet

    ajawamnet Forum Resident

    manassas va 20109
    Most of the plugins I have labeled maxi-whatever are limiters. Most use some sort of noise shaping to keep from having adjacent digital words of the same value - this is usually flagged as a clip in CD analysis tools like in Wavelab:


    "Threshold checks for a number of consecutive samples at full value to determine whether clipping has occurred. The Threshold setting determines the exact number of these consecutive samples that must occur for the program to report clipping."

    In my death magnetic rant,
    Turn it up Mudderfudder
    I show a crest factor of about 2.75 - one of the "finest" uses of a maximizer. You can see the "squaring off" of the lissajous at the top middle-right


    The DR site rating sort of agrees:
    Album list - Dynamic Range Database

    I show the clipping analysis of one of the CD selections:
    [​IMG] +
  13. Grant

    Grant Cranky! It'll happen to you too, kids!

    United States
    No difference.
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
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