[ardour-users] Newbie help with dynamics in Ardour...

kannoll maillistnoll at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 23 10:02:25 PDT 2006

Okay, I've succesfully used Jamin to do some of the dynamics 
processing that I was attempting.

Now I want to make sense out of why I seem to have to use
Jamin to get the output that I want. 

I'm working with a single track of spoken voice. Shouldn't I 
be able to use a LADSPA limiter and/or compressor inside ardour
to cut out the pops and adjust the dynamics?

In trying to figure this out, I've limited (no pun intended)
my trial-and-error research to trying to cut the pops from the
audio using the various LADSPA limiters that are available.

Some of them just don't make sense as far as their configuration,
and others I can get to work... sort of. I can get the output
audio to sound correct, but what is recorded to the output track
does not have the limited output.

FYI - I'm working with a previously recorded track "Track 1",
adding the processing to the output of that track, and routing
the output of "Track 1" to the input of "Track 2". 

To test, I punch record on "Track 2" and the "big red record" 
button and then start the play head rolling.

Track 2 records the audio, but it does not seem to record the 
results of the limiter's processing.

I am obviously misunderstanding the way things are routed in ardour,
or the way effects plugins work.

Can someone point me toward the light, please!



-----Original Message-----
From: ardour-users-bounces at lists.ardour.org
[mailto:ardour-users-bounces at lists.ardour.org] On Behalf Of Stephan Neuhaus
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 3:37 AM
To: E1Fufyy-0001hX-OM at elasmtp-banded.atl.sa.earthlink.net
Cc: ardour-users at lists.ardour.org
Subject: Re: [ardour-users] Newbie help with dynamics in Ardour...

> So I'm trying to figure out a good way to produce a final "mix"
> that eliminates the pops, brings the general volume up, but still 
> preserve some of the dynamic range.

As one correspondent has already said, you could use Jamin for mastering.
Jamin includes compressors for various frequency bands, so you can compress
the dynamic range dependent on the frequency.

For a quick solution, though, I'd try this:

1. Put a compressor plugin on the track pre-fader 2. Set attack and release
times to your liking (for speech, I'd choose something like 100 ms attack
and 400 ms release, but your mileage may vary) 3. Set the threshold really
low, like -20dB or so.  Your problem is that you need to boost those low
parts 4. Set the ratio really high, like 5 to 7 or so.
5. Adjust the compensation gain so that you end up with -6dBFS on the track,
*not counting the popping sounds* (you can see the maximum level next to the
fader and you can reset the indicator by clicking on it) 6. Use gain
automation to eliminate the popping sounds.  Having -6dBFS on the rest of
the track will give you some headroom so that you can afford to be a bit
sloppy in the gain automation.
7. (Optional) Boost the master volume so that you end up with a peak level
of -2dBFS or so.  (If you have anything *above* 0dBFS, you *must* do
something about it, because it will distort terribly once you export it to

If you want to use EQ, use it before the compressor.  (Funny things can
happen when you heavily compress voice tracks, since many microphones have
frequency responses that vary with the distance from the microphone.  So you
may really want to add some EQ and remove some bass.)

Speakers on the radio usually have a very low dynamic range; their voices
have been heavily compressed (I'd estimate ratios of 10 or more), but since
their mic positions are known and controlled, they don't need extreme
settings for the threshold.


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