Live Limiter

greententacle1

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Hey guys,
iam looking for a hardware limiter for live gigs. Iam going to Mix different stems and doing sends on the fly with ableton.
to keep cpu load and latency low, i wanna use a hardware limiter. Budget is about 1k. Any suggestions?

thanks!
 

nab

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I used the ableton compressor set to infinity for limiting. On a loud pa no one cares
 

nab

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For a non crucial listening environment on a pa I’d say absolutely yes
 

nab

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Waves do a lite version of their limiters which doesn’t introduce latency. LLis the prefix
 

NabLa

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Fabfilter Pro-L is also very good, I use it for "mastering" whenever I upload something up. Before I used Sonnox inflator + limiter. They both add a ton of latency though. For live sets Live's glue + limiter does me great with very little (~2ms) latency between both.
 

Invariant

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Strictly speaking the Waves L series are loudness maximizers and not particularly suitable to this kind of application, which I assume is more about dynamic control and also assuming that the application is intended for inserting into the master bus of a hardware mixer to which stems are being fed to separate channels. Even in the scenario of it being just a stereo feed I'd still recommend a hardware compressor over running a plugin live, if not simply because of the stability factor and avoiding that digital garbage that could occur should you overexcite software (ample headroom is all important here). Though any PA worth it's salt should already have a limiter(s) in line for speaker protection, which will respond to both excessive transients and RMS, there's the obvious argument that you don't want to be setting the system limiter into motion either by sending it too many peaks or too squashed a signal. Personally I'm more in favour of higher dynamics in a live situation due to psychoacoustics and the way the ear operates which is quite different at volume. The aim of the game here, again I'm assuming, is not only to provide some control over potential rogue peaks but is primarily to glue the mix together.
One thing is for certain and that is there's absolutely no need to spend that amount of cash on a compressor for live usage; the subtle differences of expensive units will be lost at volume and I'd avoid any that impose a 'character' for this application (unless that's actually something you desire). The most important factors are that of transparency and being noiseless, of which there are a myriad to choose from out there under £500; just don't pick up a used Alesis 3630 and expect it to be of any use!
 
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