When do you limit your master channel?

khujo1023

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Just looking from some input from the community. I will usually group my channels by sound type and throw a limiter on the bus for that group but, as I work on giving elements a bump on the volume, I am finding some clipping. I have seen info on why limiting the master is good and bad.

What are your thoughts, Do you limit or compress your master... or both? When do you start to apply them, at the beginning or end?
 
There are no specific 'rules' and you could come up with a decent mix, but as a general rule of thumb no.

I always do limiting, compression or whatever at the end, once i get a balanced mix.

I limit and compress individual sounds as i go along, but ill never limit the master and work on a track, you'll find that you're turning all that control you had into random pot luck.

By all means throw it on to get an idea of the finished sounding track but when working on the tune have your master clear.... ideally just have an analyser up ;)
 
I never use limiting on a master buss to give the sounds a "pump". That way you'll just make things louder when, in fact, you need to find the balance between all 309248209348 tracks that are playing at the same time. Pumping the sounds will just lean your track towards muddiness, IMO.
 
Hi DOT. How do your other instruments compare to these levels. Lead sounds, ambient & vocals etc?

Here's how I work... I start out by setting my drum bus at -10db, then I adjust each track within the drum bus to taste. Once I am happy with how my drums are sounding, I will turn down the volume of every single other instruments whilst leaving the drums as they are. Next I put the song (or just part of it, whatever you choose) on loop. Then one by one I bring each of the other instruments up to whatever volume I feel is suitable. Also, I always leave the master channel on zero db. At this point you're probably thinking "well my tune is way too quite compared to others???" this is when you apply a mastering chain to your, you guessed it... the master channel.

If you're using Ableton I'd be more than happy to post my personal mastering chain (which uses only Ableton devices) I've developed over the years to use as a starting point if you'd like, just let me know... :2thumbs:
 
Here's how I work... I start out by setting my drum bus at -10db, then I adjust each track within the drum bus to taste. Once I am happy with how my drums are sounding, I will turn down the volume of every single other instruments whilst leaving the drums as they are. Next I put the song (or just part of it, whatever you choose) on loop. Then one by one I bring each of the other instruments up to whatever volume I feel is suitable. Also, I always leave the master channel on zero db. At this point you're probably thinking "well my tune is way too quite compared to others???" this is when you apply a mastering chain to your, you guessed it... the master channel.

If you're using Ableton I'd be more than happy to post my personal mastering chain (which uses only Ableton devices) I've developed over the years to use as a starting point if you'd like, just let me know... :2thumbs:

Hey DOT, I would be pretty interested in your Ableton mastering chain (y)
 
I usually work with a limiter on my master, set w a max volume of -1 and a threshold of -2. I do my preliminary mixes to a max of -10db, overall, so nothing ever actually touches the limiter. It's there more as a safety so that if something pops suddenly, for whatever reason, it won't blow my speakers.
 
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