and when should i use it?

i'm using the LimitedZ limiter on one of my tracks, it also has a "learn" function to auto-set the trim amount. it's setting it to a crazy high amount (something like +13db), but my master channel is also peaking like -13.5db max (without the limiter being applied obvs). don't know if that has anything to do with it. it makes the track sound better (as in, everything sounds relatively balanced after, however it sounds somewhat squashed), however i need to know if the high amount can be corrected with a better balance with the drum mix vs. everything else.

also, the limiter is the only thing on the master bus right now, no prelimiting compression or anything- using it to test the mix before/after compression, etc. so it's not like i'm really mastering at the moment.

thanks in advance
I believe that would be what most other Limiters would list as Make-Up or Output
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It's actually to adjust the input signal (from the manual):
"The Trim control is a simple input gain control. This gain is applied prior to any limiting processing. In general, this control will only be needed when the peaks of the incoming signal are considerably less or more that the current Margin setting." (Margin usually being 0.5 dBFS or whatever).

Then for the auto-learn:
"The Trim Indicator is a small LED-style light that shows the incoming peak level. When the signal is green, it means the incoming signal is correctly adjusted. When the indicator is blue, it means that the signal may be too quiet. Yellow and red indicate that the signal is too loud. 

The Learn control analyzes the peak level of the incoming audio and adjusts the Trim control automatically. Clicking the Learn button will start the process. The Trim volume will drop and then start to increase as the level is analyzed. When the analysis is complete, the Learn button will turn off and the Trim control will be adjusted."

Maybe you have a particularly quiet mix? Re-balancing may be effective unless you already like the balance you have. There are ways to achieve a louder mix to feed into your limiter though:

"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
Last edited by USCENDONE BENE at Apr 16, 2017,

ugh shit, i don't know why i forgot to read the manual lmao. always forget simple things like that and it pisses me off

also the bit about saturation in that vid was mindblowing. just as loud/louder at -4 db less? what the fuck. i've also had that crest factor problem in a lot of my old mixes where i can't get the drums to pop/hit without being too loud

i added a bit of saturation to my mix on my snare to test it out on a particularly busy part. worked a charm (i thought saturation on one layer was enough, but apparently not i guess), can get away w/ it being a bit quieter now. gonna try something subtle on my kick to see if i can do the same thing because my it pops too much (sounds good on my monitors but on the laptop speakers it pops).

i'm so used to using preprocessed samples for mixing (vengeance lmao) now, pretty much started this time with raw 808s- weird thing is i usually compress/saturate the shit out of them (i still kind of am but...). i haven't in this one because i don't want an overly distorted/fat sound... might be why i'm having that particular problem now as it's way louder in comparison to the rest of the track. i just want to get them to a point where it's almost like Shrines by Purity Ring where sometimes the drums are buried as fuck but they still punch through great.

thanks for the help, it's appreciated. i'll also check out more of that guy's videos because if he does more explaining on the mixing/mastering relationship that will help me immensely
Last edited by Dregen at Apr 16, 2017,
Plugin manuals are often very detailed as the manufacturers don't want consumers to get mad that they can't get a good sound from the plugin!

He makes good instructional videos for sure. Matthew Weiss also has some good ones if you're doing music with 808s, his videos are often more conceptual which can be useful. Though i'm not sure if he does lots on mastering, it's something I know little about myself.

My only advice with saturation and drums is watch out for cymbals as it can have strange consequences. And I guess also to be subtle when applying saturation across many tracks as the accumulative effect may not give great results (but as with anything still try it and see what you like or what works).
"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
Last edited by USCENDONE BENE at Apr 16, 2017,