[ardour-dev] Where to go digital

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 08:23:42 PST 2006

On 3/6/06, Jay R. Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 06, 2006 at 12:53:31PM +0000, Iain Kennedy wrote:
> > Due to the often raucous nature of our studio, we currently use channel
> > inserts with limiters on the microphones. If we were to buy some
> > microphone preamps (such as RME's Octamic D), we'd like to use the digital
> > connection to get the audio into Ardour via the Multiface, and still keep
> > as many analogue connections spare as possible for live instruments etc.
> >
> > Would using a LADSPA digital limiter give us similar control over the
> > signal, or are we likely to run into the situation where we have a clipped
> > signal entering into the system? My knowledge of audio falls somewhat
> > short of the mark when it comes to the analogue to digital domain.
> In my estimation, the issue is peak level vs. noise floor.
> If you comp/limit in the digital domain, you have to turn the input
> gain on your mic pre's down far enough that they *never ever* peak the
> ADCs.  This will mean that your average level will be, digitally, much
> lower, and therefore closer to the noise floor (of those same ADC's).
> If that leaves you with enough headroom, go for it.  I, personally, am
> fond of mic pre's with analog limiters; you might want to look into the
> DBX ProVocal, though I've heard reports it's a bastard to work with
> (except, perhaps, in precisely your sort of application).  I don't have
> them myself; I'm looking into them before buying.
> Cheers,
> -- jra

Or any mic pre using the wonderful RFC compressor is another great
choice. The RFC has been around for years, has a great reputation, is
very easy to use and only costs about $200 IIRC.

Using an analog conpressor is always preferable in my experience.

- Mark

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