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Thread: Limiter on a DJ mix

  1. #1
    New Member davidphoenix's Avatar
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    Limiter on a DJ mix

    Do you put a Limiter on a Dj mix after recording it? And if so, is there a universal setting that always works? Let's say you did small mistakes while recording, one song is louder than the other. Can you fix that with a Limiter?

  2. #2
    The Bloodhound Manu's Avatar
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    Absolutely not, you use a compressor while recording. Best yet, you use your gains to match volumes one after another.

    Using a limiter for an entire mix trying to raise the quietest parts will only result in squashing dynamics.

    When a mix is recorded, you use the normalise function to raise the peak point of the mix to -0 dB and that's pretty much it.

    Laymans terms, you cannot get soft eggs after cooking them hard.

  3. #3
    New Member davidphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    Absolutely not, you use a compressor while recording. Best yet, you use your gains to match volumes one after another.

    Using a limiter for an entire mix trying to raise the quietest parts will only result in squashing dynamics.

    When a mix is recorded, you use the normalise function to raise the peak point of the mix to -0 dB and that's pretty much it.

    Laymans terms, you cannot get soft eggs after cooking them hard.
    I actually record it with XDJ-RX2 simply by pressing the Record button. Do I have to compress it afterwards, or just normailse?

  4. #4
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Most would agree that the only "tweak" generally desired after recording a mix is to normalize that mix. Doing so will "fit" the mix to occupy as much of the volume available as possible while keeping the difference between the loudest and softest levels intact. In most cases, the mix will sound slightly louder.

    Speaking to using dynamics tweaking, most recorded tracks are mastered - meaning that their dynamics are already polished by sound engineers. As such, most DJs only need to gain stage their equipment to ensure that sound quality is preserved when mixing.

    Speaking to limiters, most software DJ apps (Traktor, SDJ, etc.) use limiters prior to the master output so that the mix cannot cause digital clipping.
    Last edited by KLH; 01-08-2020 at 02:01 PM.
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  5. #5
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that anyone can use anything on their mix as long as it sounds good to them.
    Obviously hammering on the compression sounds rubbish, but then again a lot of tracks (especially vinyl albums) are pressed or mastered horribly.
    Using expanders, compression, EQ or FX tweaks or whatever to make a mix sound better for home use, or another specific need, is fine in my opinion.

    For publishing a mix, I would consider normalizing OK*.

    But even then, art is art, I'm in no position to restrict its creation with rules.







    *Also mix to be made only of scratched 45s, on 90s gemini belt-drives, with MC shouting through headphones, all equipment placed on bassbins.





    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  6. #6
    New Member davidphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    Most would agree that the only "tweak" generally desired after recording a mix is to normalize that mix. Doing so will "fit" the mix to occupy as much of the volume available as possible while keeping the difference between the loudest and softest levels intact. In most cases, the mix will sound slightly louder.

    Speaking to using dynamics tweaking, most recorded tracks are mastered - meaning that their dynamics are already polished by sound engineers. As such, most DJs only need to gain stage their equipment to ensure that sound quality is preserved when mixing.

    Speaking to limiters, most software DJ apps (Traktor, SDJ, etc.) use limiters prior to the master output so that the mix cannot cause digital clipping.
    Good to know, thank you!

  7. #7
    New Member davidphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    I'm of the opinion that anyone can use anything on their mix as long as it sounds good to them.
    Obviously hammering on the compression sounds rubbish, but then again a lot of tracks (especially vinyl albums) are pressed or mastered horribly.
    Using expanders, compression, EQ or FX tweaks or whatever to make a mix sound better for home use, or another specific need, is fine in my opinion.

    For publishing a mix, I would consider normalizing OK*.

    But even then, art is art, I'm in no position to restrict its creation with rules.







    *Also mix to be made only of scratched 45s, on 90s gemini belt-drives, with MC shouting through headphones, all equipment placed on bassbins.





    That gives me the feeling of freedom Thank you!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post






    *Also mix to be made only of scratched 45s, on 90s gemini belt-drives, with MC shouting through headphones, all equipment placed on bassbins.





    hahaha

  9. #9
    Sometimes what will happen is that you'll record a mix, then normalize it. And the level will still be pretty low. That can easily happen even if you are a very good DJ who keeps the levels consistent track to track.. because if you mess up even ONCE and allow a too-high level for even one second.. that one second peak defines the max level for the whole mix and everything else will be lower than that.

    So for those kinds of situations, where you are just trying to squash down a couple of little spikes on an otherwise very even mix, you can use a limiter.. but you need to adjust it carefully so that it only kicks in on the highest peaks, you don't want to squash your whole mix.

    But if you messed up whole songs levels, a limiter is the wrong thing to use. You can use an AGC feature if you have one or if not, a compressor set to a short attack and long decay (eg 10 seconds). It's tricky to get it just right. Therr's no real substitute for getting your mixes right in the first place.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 01-12-2020 at 09:05 AM.

  10. #10
    New Member davidphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    Sometimes what will happen is that you'll record a mix, then normalize it. And the level will still be pretty low. That can easily happen even if you are a very good DJ who keeps the levels consistent track to track.. because if you mess up even ONCE and allow a too-high level for even one second.. that one second peak defines the max level for the whole mix and everything else will be lower than that.

    So for those kinds of situations, where you are just trying to squash down a couple of little spikes on an otherwise very even mix, you can use a limiter.. but you need to adjust it carefully so that it only kicks in on the highest peaks, you don't want to squash your whole mix.

    But if you messed up whole songs levels, a limiter is the wrong thing to use. You can use an AGC feature if you have one or if not, a compressor set to a short attack and long decay (eg 10 seconds). It's tricky to get it just right. Therr's no real substitute for getting your mixes right in the first place.
    Also a useful advice, thank you!

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