DP 24 Compressor as a Limiter?

Discussion in 'Recording 101' started by lastmonk, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. lastmonk

    lastmonk Member

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    I do understand a compressor is a kind-of limiter or limiter is a kind-of compressor:oops:. I want to make sure I'm getting only limiting and no compression.

    Funny thing is the Tascam Brochure advertises a Limiter as one of the Dynamic effects but does not list the
    DE-ESSER.

    https://tascam.com/us/product/dp-24sd/feature

    Anyway if I set:

    Ratio -- inf:1
    Attack -- 2 ms
    Release -- 10 ms
    Gain to -- 0db

    And my Threshold to whatever I want my limit to be. Does that give me only limiting with no compression functionality? Or should I be setting things differently? Or will I get a certain amount of compression no matter what my settings are?

    I'm assuming Tascam included Limiter in the advertising because the compressor can do double duty???

    TIA
  2. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Basically a compressor operating at its extreme parameters becomes a limiter; and a dedicated limiter is a task specific compressor. The compressor parameters determine:
    • When dynamic range compression kicks in (threshold);
    • How much you want to compress the dynamic range (ratio);
    • How quickly you want to compress the dynamic range (attack), and whether you want the compressed dynamic range to be audible for artistic purposes (release), called pumping; and
    • How loud you want the resulting dynamic range compression to sound (gain).
    There are no rules, really, because the chosen parameters all depend on the audio genre your working with and what your intent is. The parameters you use are further dependent on the type of audio signal and what you're trying to achieve by reducing its dynamic range.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  3. lastmonk

    lastmonk Member

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  4. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Good question @lastmonk. There is no limiter in the Dynamics section, but you can sort of fake it.

    Basically, a limiter is a compressor with a very high ratio that prevents the signal from going over the set threshold. So to begin with, turn your ratio up as far as you can go on the compressor. The reason the dynamics are part of the input section is to tame incoming signals. So, most people use them as leveler or sort of a peak limiter. Set the attack time for as low (fast) as it allows and then set the threshold until it just starts to compress the audio. Use your ears and set the release time to minimize the audible effect of the limiting on the signal (unless you want that pumping sound). Trust your ears.

    But, there is another option with the DP machine, and that is the multiband compression and limiting available in the Mastering section. If you have a very peaky/hard to control input signal, you can turn it way down and record it much lower than you normally would just so you prevent peak clipping. Then, go to Mixdown mode and cut a quick unity gain mix file of that track. Then use Mastering to tame that track with the tools available in that section. I learned very early in my DP-32 career that the multi-band compressor/limiter really isn't bad at all, and since there is a makeup gain control there also, you can crank a soft track up to where it needs to be. You can check out the presets as a starting point and go from there. When you have it how you like, simply run the Mastering (by recording it) and then export. If you are working with a mono track, I'm sure you can figure out how to get only 1 side of the stereo master to a mono track.

    Some of these DP specific posts could be added to the Equipment Related Tips later.
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  5. lastmonk

    lastmonk Member

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    @-mjk-

    Yea, I'm going for a peak limiter. This is very helpful. That multiband compression in mastering mode also sounds like something I could use. Thanx!!!
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