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Which Limiter to use?

I want to convert my lossless encoded files to aac (m4a) with foobar's diskwriter ("use replaygain" and "use dsp" enabled, Preamp for RG +6dB).

Now my question:
Which limiter should i use to avoid clipping?

The "advanced limiter" is often recommended for that, but there is still clipping in many of my encoded files!
Should i use "Soft clipping limiter" instead? I tested it and there is no clipping in the encoded files, but sometimes a bit "compressed" sound...

What's the difference between them?
Or is there any other limiter available for foobar that combines the "goodies" of the "advanced" and the "soft clipping limiter" without their disadvantages?

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #1
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Preamp for RG +6dB
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267306"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


   

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #2
Any reason you want to preamp that high?  I'd imagine you will get massive clipping (and thus massive limiter use) at that setting with anything but classical music.

A better idea might be to use -4 or -6 dB.  Otherwise you're going to get some albums that become very loud, and other that are quieter because of the limiter.  At least I think so, i haven't used the limiters much.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #3
I want to preamp that high, 'cos for me 95dB is the ideal playback loudness.
The default replaygain of 89dB is too quiet for me. And a preamp of -4dB or -6dB would be much too quiet.
Most of the cd's released since 1995 aren't problematic with my setting, 'cos they're usually much louder (replaygain often sets up to -10dB or more). However, only cd's released before 1995 are often clipped with my setting. But the use of a limiter should avoid that.
I'm only a bit confused about the "behaviour" of the different limiters.
So which limiter should i use?

@Gray_Wolf
What's Your Problem?
My settings are the best choice for me. I don't want to force my settings on somebody else. So don't do the same with your prefered settings...

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #4
"Soft Clipping Limiter" as far as i know is a "Brickwall Limiter"... so, it just "flattens out" everything which hits the limit.

"Advanced Clipping Limiter" is more like a "compressor"... if you have the CPU-Power, then use both... first the advanced limiter, then the soft-clipping limiter. However, you will get heavily compressed music with that setting... no way around it, either you compress, or your lower the loudness.

- Lyx
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #5
I don't want to use both limiters (this might cause too much issues in sound quality) but thanks for your advice.
When i check the "limited" files with a wave editor, the "Advanced" limited files look like non limited files, while the "soft clipping" limited files often look like heavily compressed files. Is that normal? It seems to be opposite to your explanation.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #6
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The "advanced limiter" is often recommended for that, but there is still clipping in many of my encoded files!
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I'm surprised nobody gave the explanation for this issue yet.

When you use the advanced limiter, the decoded output won't have any clipping. But then you encode this stream again in a lossy format. And this can introduce clipping again, especially if you used a high preamp value. This is the behaviour that you are seeing. And you can't solve this issue with any limiter (because it won't control what the lossy encoder will do afterwards).

I only see two possible solutions:
1. Lower your preamp value, so the chance of clipping in the encoded files will be lower.
2. Use a tool like AACgain to reduce the gain of the encoded files afterwards (reduce it just enough so there is no more clipping). Now, I have no idea of this can be done with AACgain because I never used it. I only know MP3gain has this capability.

As a side note: the advanced limiter is indeed preferred over the soft limiter, for an explanation look [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=6303&hl=]here[/url]. (note that the advanced limiter was originally known as the "Monkee Limiter")
Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #7
Thank you, PoisonDan.
That's what I've searched for 

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #8
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if you have the CPU-Power, then use both... first the advanced limiter, then the soft-clipping limiter.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267398"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

using both limiters at the same time is pointless. Advanced Limiter alone fully prevents clipping already.

soft limiter => advanced limiter: advanced limiter does nothing
advanced limiter => soft limiter: advanced limiter already stops clipping, and soft limiter compresses declipped version down

Furthermore recent versions of the advanced limiter dsp already have very low cpu usage when idle.

[span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']explanation courtesy of zZzZzZz[/span]
A riddle is a short sword attached to the next 2000 years.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #9
it'd be kinda cool if advanced limiter had the config option to limit at something below fullscale (if you've seen cooledit's hard limit, something like that).

kind of a "limit at -0.5dB" or whatever, and you can enter a value.

btw, there's no problems with amping up your encodes.  so long as you're not sharing them on p2p or anything, (bad... piracy is wroooong) do what works for you.

i've often amped up some of my songs for use on my portable which has a very low-powered headphone amp.  if i use regular 89dB replaygain, i simply don't have enough juice to push my big headphones.

hehe... i managed to push a -0.5 replaygained file up to -9.5 just for a laugh (it would have gone higher, but it just didn't sound any good at all at -11.8)

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #10
Quote
Quote
if you have the CPU-Power, then use both... first the advanced limiter, then the soft-clipping limiter.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267398"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

using both limiters at the same time is pointless. Advanced Limiter alone fully prevents clipping already.

soft limiter => advanced limiter: advanced limiter does nothing
advanced limiter => soft limiter: advanced limiter already stops clipping, and soft limiter compresses declipped version down

Furthermore recent versions of the advanced limiter dsp already have very low cpu usage when idle.

[span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']explanation courtesy of zZzZzZz[/span]
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267416"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Sorry, i missed the "_encoded_ files" part in the original question.... and therefore thought the advanced limiter wouldn't have removed all clipping so i proposed to add the soft-limiter as 2nd-pass safety-device. Thanks for the clarification.

- Lyx
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #11
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it'd be kinda cool if advanced limiter had the config option to limit at something below fullscale (if you've seen cooledit's hard limit, something like that).

Yes, i think this would be exactly the feature i needed.
Too bad that nobody has developed it up to now... 

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #12
You could hack together something like this by putting the volume control after the advanced limiter while you're transcoding and kicking down the volume by a decibel or two.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #13
Looks as a good solution. I'll give it a try, thanks.

EDIT:
I've tried it with a few titles and it seems to work well with a lowering of the volume by only -0.10dB for transcoding to M4A and -0.20dB for transcoding to OGG. That's all.
But the volume now isn't my preferred 95dB anymore, just 94.9dB/94.8dB, 'cos the volume control is lowering the whole volume. So, it's not the best solution but always ok 
Many thanks to bleh once again 

EDIT AGAIN:
No, it doesn't work the way i want to.
I tested some more titles and to be sure there's no clipping in the encoded files i have to set the volume control to -1dB. But then there's just a loudness of 94dB or i have to set the RG Preamp to +7dB, which lets the encoded files sound a bit like limited with the "Soft Clipping Limiter".

The best solution would be a config option of the advanced limiter indeed...

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #14
I have my preamp set to 6+ and all I need is Replaygain and there is no problem with any file at all. I agree with the 95dB guy.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #15
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I have my preamp set to 6+ and all I need is Replaygain and there is no problem with any file at all. I agree with the 95dB guy.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267486"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


This depends on the type of music to which one listens. For heavily compressed albums, you may be right. But not when looking at the situation overally.

To understand this, you need to remember the original idea of replaygain: It's purpose was to make all your music the same loudness - without using a compressor, and without clipping. But since music is so different, there may be cases (especially with very dynamic music which is less compressed) where the music still clips after getting the dB-target - in those cases the volume would need to be scaled down to avoid clipping. But since the purpose of RGain was to make all music the same loudness, scaling down would be something which one tries to avoid(because it makes that track/album quieter than the others). The higher the target dB, the more often this situation would happen.

During the beginnings of RGain, the target-volume was much lower..... at 83 dB if i remember right. People complained that it would be too quiet, so after lots of arguing, it was raised to 89dB, although that would mean that music with high dynamic range would then sound quieter than the rest, because it would often need to be scaled down.... i own many albums, which still clip at 89dB and which need to be scaled down...... thats why i do not have a positive dB-modifier set in foobar, but instead a NEGATIVE value(-3dB)...... if its too quiet, i can still raise the volume of my speakers.

The point which i'm trying to make is: the 89db target may not be perfect for everyone.... so foobar provides the ability to finetune it for individual taste..... but on average 89db is imho a very good setting to achieve equal loudness most of the time without the need for compression. So, it may not suit everyone, but there's nothing wrong with the 89dB-target - its just the best possible "middle-ground".

- Lyx

edit: of course its understandable, that there are situations, where you just have no other choice than to compress (and therefore damage) your music - like some portables for example which are build in a way, that you cannot even listen to non-damaged (uncompressed) music anymore at reasonable volume levels.
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #16
Quote
@Gray_Wolf
What's Your Problem?
My settings are the best choice for me. I don't want to force my settings on somebody else. So don't do the same with your prefered settings...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267396"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


  Relax man !!!; I only expressed my opinion; but maybe... you obtain    each time that someone is in disagree with you?? 

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #17
Sorry Gray_Wolf 
But i've made bad experiences in an other forum, where one guy declared his settings (and especially his opinion about audio encoding) as the one and only in the world. So don't be bothered about it 

Which Limiter to use?

Reply #18
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Sorry Gray_Wolf  
But i've made bad experiences in an other forum, where one guy declared his settings (and especially his opinion about audio encoding) as the one and only in the world. So don't be bothered about it 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267889"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ok, no problem 

 
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