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Using multiband limiting

From: Audio Mastering Techniques

Video: Using multiband limiting

Multiband Limiting splits the input audio signal into multiple frequency bands, each with its own Limiter. The main advantage of a multiband is that a loud event in one frequency band won't affect the gain reduction in the other bands, that means if something like a loud kick drum will cause low frequencies to be limited, but the Mid and High-frequencies won't be effected. This allows you to get a more controlled hotter signal with far less limiting with the typical Single-band Limiter. Here's how it works. In this case we're going to be looking at a Waves L3 MultiMaximizer, and, as you can see, it's broken down into five bands: 2, 3, 4, 5.

Using multiband limiting

Multiband Limiting splits the input audio signal into multiple frequency bands, each with its own Limiter. The main advantage of a multiband is that a loud event in one frequency band won't affect the gain reduction in the other bands, that means if something like a loud kick drum will cause low frequencies to be limited, but the Mid and High-frequencies won't be effected. This allows you to get a more controlled hotter signal with far less limiting with the typical Single-band Limiter. Here's how it works. In this case we're going to be looking at a Waves L3 MultiMaximizer, and, as you can see, it's broken down into five bands: 2, 3, 4, 5.

And we have Very Low, Low, Mid, High-Mid, and Highs. Now the first thing we are going to do is set our Output Ceiling, I like to set it -0.2 because I like that extra little bit of headroom that you get from it. And you don't hear the difference anyway so that kind of works from me better. But -0.1 is what a lot of pro-mastering engineers use. Now the Threshold Control will control the threshold for all five frequency bands at the same time, and let's hear what it does. (music playing) Now the beauty of this is you can actually see what's happening in each band, and it's graphically showing you which band is being affected at the same time.

Now a couple interesting things we can do with this is, we can use this as a Tone Control and watch what happens as I increase the different bands, you can hear different sets of frequencies increase, and they sound very natural, sounds a little bit better than if you were to use any EQ. Have a listen. (music playing) What we are doing, in fact, as we raise the level there, we're actually decreasing the threshold, in other words there is less limiting that's happening in that particular band.

The other thing we can do is we can affect where the crossover point of the band is in other words, how many frequencies is this band actually affecting at the same time. So that's one type of Multiband Limiter that you'll see. Here is another one just as an example, this is from T-RACKS, and, as you can see, this breaks down into three bands instead of five like we saw, so there's a little less variation that you can get, but you can still get quite a bit. And take notes, things are a little bit different, input drive here really means that it's the overall threshold control for all the three bands.

So let's have a listen to this. (music playing) Now again, you can hear how it acts as a Tone Control as we increase the level, what we're actually doing is causing less limiting in that particular frequency band.

We can also control where the crossover points are. So for instance, have a listen as we change the low frequency Crossover Point. (music playing) And you can hear that, in fact, there are more frequencies that were affecting at one time, which is what the Crossover does. It either provides more or fewer frequencies that, that particular band will affect.

The Multiband Limiter provides a lot more precision than what you get from a normal Compressor or Limiter, increasing the level while keeping the sound natural. If you are only going to use one processor doing mastering, this should be the one.

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This video is part of

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Audio Mastering Techniques

56 video lessons · 10553 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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  1. 1m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
  2. 7m 7s
    1. Introducing mastering
      1m 22s
    2. The history of audio mastering
      3m 30s
    3. Mastering professionally versus doing it yourself
      2m 15s
  3. 10m 10s
    1. Mixing with mastering in mind
      6m 41s
    2. Mastering session documentation
      53s
    3. Printing alternative mixes
      2m 36s
  4. 6m 21s
    1. Evaluating your listening environment
      1m 33s
    2. Beginning with the basic listening technique
      3m 19s
    3. Deciding between monitors and headphones
      1m 29s
  5. 18m 13s
    1. Overview of mastering tools
      22s
    2. Exploring the dynamic ranges of different music genres
      2m 40s
    3. Understanding compression
      3m 20s
    4. Understanding limiting
      1m 25s
    5. Understanding equalization (EQ)
      1m 44s
    6. Using a de-esser
      1m 14s
    7. Metering while mastering
      3m 57s
    8. Exploring the mastering signal path
      1m 11s
    9. Listening in your digital audio workstation (DAW) using the A/B method
      2m 20s
  6. 33m 10s
    1. Making a loud master
      3m 7s
    2. Compression tips and tricks
      2m 4s
    3. Achieving competitive level
      2m 2s
    4. Understanding the pitfalls of hypercompression
      2m 10s
    5. Balancing frequencies
      3m 20s
    6. Reducing sibilance with a de-esser
      2m 2s
    7. Inserting fades
      1m 37s
    8. Eliminating noise and distortion
      43s
    9. Using multiband limiting
      4m 23s
    10. Adjusting the stereo image
      3m 24s
    11. Bringing out specific elements in a mix
      8m 18s
  7. 8m 17s
    1. Using dither
      1m 40s
    2. Using the appropriate workstation
      1m 27s
    3. Adjusting the spreads
      1m 28s
    4. Using International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC)
      1m 14s
    5. Using Universal Product Codes (UPC)
      1m 10s
    6. Creating CD-text discs
      33s
    7. Delivering or receiving a DDP master
      45s
  8. 12m 44s
    1. Encoding using the MP3 format
      3m 43s
    2. Understanding MP3 metadata
      1m 44s
    3. Creating a great-sounding MP3
      2m 46s
    4. Generating a FLAC file
      1m 18s
    5. Submitting music to online stores and services
      48s
    6. Submitting music to online song databases
      2m 25s
  9. 17m 23s
    1. Understanding AAC, the iTunes file format
      2m 28s
    2. Mastering for iTunes tips and tricks
      1m 36s
    3. The Mastered for iTunes format
      1m 29s
    4. The Mastered for iTunes tool package
      54s
    5. Using the iTunes Plus tools: iTunes Droplet
      1m 51s
    6. Using the Mastered for iTunes Audio To WAVE Droplet
      49s
    7. Using the Mastered for iTunes AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit tool
      6m 48s
    8. Using The Mastered for iTunes tools Test Pressing Feature
      1m 28s
  10. 3m 30s
    1. Mastering for high resolution
      1m 36s
    2. Mastering for television
      1m 54s
  11. 1m 19s
    1. Delivering the master to the replicator
      28s
    2. Archiving the project
      51s
  12. 50s
    1. Next steps
      50s

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