The Peak

The Peak

I did a rough mixdown of Nocturnal Digits, the 51 minute gritty techno/hiphop opus, and when doing a quick listening it was strange that the levels were so low. Usually I use PSP VintageWarmer to push the final mixdown to the level that alas most of us have to do now, hover close to the 100%/0dB level without clipping. But in this case the signal was low.

Hmm? What happened? When opening up with an audio tool, in this case an old Spark application that I still use from time to time, it was obvious. In the beginning there’s a nasty big transient that spooks PSP Wintagewarmer’s limiter, so it passes through, and causes a big peak. Then when Ableton Live goes along and finds the top peak for normalizing, it takes this one and then uses it as the max level.

The image above shows the situation. It’s always good to open up the final or temporary mixdown to analyze how it looks like, to find problems like this one. You could also see in case your limiter is clipping all the time, that’s not good, either.

The solution is to find the spot, in this case I had on the master track both a really tight flanger happening, and some of the voice effects I added in causes a very sharp transient, and the job is to remove whateve happens in this specific section, limit that track itself.

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