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compressing without warmth
diamenz
post Sep 24 2012, 04:43
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hello. i have an old track from an old cd that has very low volume. i've amplified it in audacity as much as a can without making it clip, but even when maxed out at 200% in vlc it's still pretty low.

now i've used waveart's finalplug to compress it by a couple of decibels, but i don't like the warmth it produces, and it just doesn't sound as dynamic as the original for some reason (even the parts that don't hit the top [or bottom?] of the waveform). after i wasn't satisfied with that, i just amplified the track in audacity and checked off 'allow clipping', but of course that's not the proper way to do it.

so basically what i would like to know is - is there a way of compressing a full retail mixdown without adding warmth? the result i'm looking for is amplification without clipping... so instead of 'compressing' the waveform i'd like to amplify it and 'limit' the peaks...

i hope i'm being clear... thanks!
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Batman321
post Sep 24 2012, 06:21
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Define 'warmth'
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 24 2012, 06:26
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Hard limiting can add a few dB, very often without any real change in the sound. I can't speak to all possible capabilities but the Hard Limiter in Cool Edit has four parameters
limit maximum amplitude to __ dB
boost input by __ dB
look ahead time __ ms
release time __ ms

It is going to depend on the material but for older, more dynamic stuff you can often get 6 dB without any pain (limit max amplitude to -6 dB), maybe considerably more in some cases.

I always use 0dB in the boost parameter. That way, nothing except the extreme peaks are changed by the hard limiter (i.e. for a -6dB setting, only peaks higher than -6dBfs will be effected). After limiting, I amplify the entire waveform by the amount I want (which in the example here would be at least +6dB without clipping). Experimentation will tell you what works for any given track.

I've also used the relatively simple Dynamic Range Processor in Cool Edit to good effect on some music. It isn't going to give you the same thing as a good multi-band compressor, and is unlikely to work satisfactorily on some, perhaps much music (again, depending on the type of material), but I've found it to work well enough for my purposes a number of times.
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diamenz
post Sep 24 2012, 11:04
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Sep 24 2012, 00:26) *
Hard limiting can add a few dB, very often without any real change in the sound. I can't speak to all possible capabilities but the Hard Limiter in Cool Edit has four parameters
limit maximum amplitude to __ dB
boost input by __ dB
look ahead time __ ms
release time __ ms

It is going to depend on the material but for older, more dynamic stuff you can often get 6 dB without any pain (limit max amplitude to -6 dB), maybe considerably more in some cases.

I always use 0dB in the boost parameter. That way, nothing except the extreme peaks are changed by the hard limiter (i.e. for a -6dB setting, only peaks higher than -6dBfs will be effected). After limiting, I amplify the entire waveform by the amount I want (which in the example here would be at least +6dB without clipping). Experimentation will tell you what works for any given track.

I've also used the relatively simple Dynamic Range Processor in Cool Edit to good effect on some music. It isn't going to give you the same thing as a good multi-band compressor, and is unlikely to work satisfactorily on some, perhaps much music (again, depending on the type of material), but I've found it to work well enough for my purposes a number of times.


thank you SO MUCH Andy, this is exactly what i was looking for. i ended up using the hard limiter in audacity and it worked like a charm.
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