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0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby Finnish » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:04 pm

yr wrote:Going back to Nebula, I only used a couple of examples but the same holds for many presets. Nebula is great and does a wonderful job at mimicking the sound/character of analog equipment. It is not a 1:1 copy, and many times creating presets involves making decisions that are both aesthetic and technical. Understanding that, invites you to do some testing and exploration, just as you would do with a piece of hardware...


Yeah, +1 on this, you have to test and know-how-to-use Nebula to get the most out of it. It will get you "there" if you're patient
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:48 pm

yr wrote:Nothing "bizarre"about it- I said gentle compression and you clearly don't mix a lot of classical music. If you aim for 0vu for loud peaks, almost always you will hit a much higher value a couple of times during a symphonic piece...

I think I see what's happening here maybe.

This discussion (or this leg of the discussion) was about metering, obviously. When discussing the different advantages and disadvantages of peak versus average the matter of crest factor came up. It sounds to me (especially from the quote above, but the overall context as well) like you're describing the way classical music tends to have loud and quiet parts and crescendos. That's certainly true but it simply has nothing to do with what was being discussed. Let me qualify that statement:

Let's say we're talking about the "crest factor" of a whole track. If the track generally stays at nearly the same average level then we can compare the average of that track to the peak and derive some kind of meaningful value from it. However if the track is dynamically all over the place - with soft parts that are all about the same level and loud parts which are all about another level for one example - then comparing the crest factor of that track is meaningless in comparison. A useful way to express similar information might be to compare the crest factors at those two levels. The same thing is true about average level: if you're talking about a window the size of the VU spec then you're talking about a totally different kind of reading/value than a 3 second crescendo.

When discussing the crest factor in reference to the conversation that was actually transpiring we were discussing windows that would measure in the milliseconds. Because you wouldn't ideally constrain yourself to a single gain setting when dealing with material that varies or needs adjustment. When I exclaimed surprise that a crest factor would be so dramatic it was in reference to this kind of reading.

Indeed those kinds of changes over time would be easily recognizable on an averaging meter the same as a peak meter. And if such a change transpired the average signal level would begin to change too - meaning no longer locked in on 0VU. And that was my whole point, which I stated explicitly: something locked in 0VU. Quiet and loud parts, even crescendos are much more macro than the window of a meter that we're discussing, those are by definition not locked onto 0VU.

If your genre of music doesn't really allow you to lock on to 0VU, so be it; I'm sure you're not alone. But that's a totally different conversation.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby yr » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:23 pm

I normally use both VU & peak meters, but I completely agree with bob (TranscendingMusic) that ultimately you need to know what are the "safe" zones for using any given preset (as you would with hardware). It's not enough to assume library developers are doing their best to provide you with the most realistic presets- you need to do your own testing and always consider program material max peak levels.

If you feel you've reached a certain "sweet spot" while mixing with a certain library, but you notice that the peaks are too loud (and ringing) you can always try to use the method I've suggested a couple of posts ago. All in good taste of course.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:32 pm

yr wrote:I normally use both VU & peak meters, but I completely agree with bob (TranscendingMusic) that ultimately you need to know what are the "safe" zones for using any given preset (as you would with hardware). It's not enough to assume library developers are doing their best to provide you with the most realistic presets- you need to do your own testing and always consider program material max peak levels.

If you feel you've reached a certain "sweet spot" while mixing with a certain library, but you notice that the peaks are too loud (and ringing) you can always try to use the method I've suggested a couple of posts ago. All in good taste of course.

So then you aren't regularly experiencing crest factors exceeding 18dB in the context of the window lengths being discussed?
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby yr » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:52 am

I regularly deal with tracks that are so dynamic that they require making compromises (or finding creative solutions) in terms of using Nebula to achieve the best results.

A VU meter is not useful in terms of knowing how far a certain Nebula preset can be pushed before showing digital artifacts. As I explained in my previous posts, some presets are more prone to ringing then others, and have a relatively limited dynamic range (compared to the hardware). You need to experiment and test to identify those limitations and find a way to work around them.

I think that establishing how you want to use a certain preset and it's "useful" dynamic range is somewhat personal and subjective. When I first started using the MLC, for instance, I've noticed that it tends to color transients even when levels are not very high. This coloration precedes the ringing, and can actually be used creatively.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby faun2500 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:41 am

Switch to dance music = problem solved. :P
Forthcoming releases on: Black Heart Label, Hyperdrive and Transfixion. http://soundcloud.com/100mg. 6 FREE Downloads on my soundcloud page. Nebula ALL over these trax!
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby yr » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:37 am

faun2500 wrote:Switch to dance music = problem solved. :P


Damn, I knew there was a simpler solution. Thanks faun, will do.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby ngarjuna » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:20 pm

yr wrote:I regularly deal with tracks that are so dynamic that they require making compromises (or finding creative solutions) in terms of using Nebula to achieve the best results.

A VU meter is not useful in terms of knowing how far a certain Nebula preset can be pushed before showing digital artifacts. As I explained in my previous posts, some presets are more prone to ringing then others, and have a relatively limited dynamic range (compared to the hardware). You need to experiment and test to identify those limitations and find a way to work around them.

I think that establishing how you want to use a certain preset and it's "useful" dynamic range is somewhat personal and subjective. When I first started using the MLC, for instance, I've noticed that it tends to color transients even when levels are not very high. This coloration precedes the ringing, and can actually be used creatively.

And none of this has anything to do with crest factor which is where the conversation got so severely derailed. Let me say this clearly: what you are describing are level changes, plain and simple. You may or may not know this but these kinds of level changes are not exclusive to "dynamic genres" like classical music; these kinds of level fluctuations are a natural part of most music. Dealing with them is just mixing 101 and the ways in which to deal with those kinds of level changes are many including peak metering, VU metering, no metering and everything in between.

But you don't express simple level changes as delta crest factor because it implies a different symptom than the one you're actually dealing with (that the relative momentary peak to average ratio is changing). When your average is changing WITH your peak it's not a variation in crest factor.

So you prefer peak metering to VU metering because of the digital artifact ceiling. Fine. But the answer to the question that you attempted to ridicule me about is NO, you indeed aren't dealing with delta crest factors that high.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby yr » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:29 pm

I don't remember anyone other then yourself discussing crest factors, but rather how to avoid using Nebula improperly. I think our respective point of views should be clear by now.
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Re: 0dbFS and r2r , crank the input?

Postby ngarjuna » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:45 pm

yr wrote:I don't remember anyone other then yourself discussing crest factors, but rather how to avoid using Nebula improperly. I think our respective point of views should be clear by now.


When you come stomping into a thread uninformed talking shit about what people do and do not know you should expect to get called out when it turns out to be a gap in your own contextual understanding.

The statement you objected to so vociferously was bloody simple, too:
I stand by my notion that it's bizarre to have the majority of your tracks with a crest factor greater than 18dB. Keeping in mind what the crest factor is, the fact that the piece has a wide dynamic range is a totally different issue that is somewhat tangential to this discussion.


To which you replied:
Nothing "bizarre"about it- I said gentle compression and you clearly don't mix a lot of classical music.

I'm sorry but you simply have no idea what you're talking about. Try recording a symphonic piece using sdc mics & a Forssell preamp (or other fast hi-end) and then come back to report what you've learned.


Seems clear indeed.
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