Need to present a mix to a client that is as loud as commercially available mastered tracks in a pinch? Craig Bauer offers us tips on how to get this done.
This is an Excerpt from a review by SOUND on SOUND of the dbx 160S Compressor/Limiter
Is the dbx 160S pure technology, a work of art, or a little of both? PAUL WHITE puts it to the test.
You can always tell when a valuable product comes in for review — it turns up in a flight case, not a cardboard box! The 160S is dbx’s top-of-the-range analogue compressor/limiter, and it’s pretty clear that the heavy, sculpted front panel and chunky metal knobs have been influenced by Focusrite’s high-end ‘Red’ styling, but the design aim seems to have been to capture the sonic signature of existing dbx classic products, rather than to go all out for sonic neutrality or attempt to create a new compressor characteristic.
Housed in a 2U rack-mounting case, the 160S is a 2-channel compressor/limiter with the addition of dbx’s proprietary PeakStopPlus limiter on the output. Metering is via moving-coil meters rather than the more usual LED ladders, and full side-chain access is available. The heavy aluminium front panel is blue anodized, and all the controls, buttons included, have a heavy, smooth feel that inspires confidence.
Before going further, it’s probably helpful if I explain the presence of the PeakStopPlus limiter in a product that can already function as a limiter in its own right. The most obvious reason for including a separate limiter after a compressor is so that the user can apply gentle compression to the signal using the compressor section, but still have the limiter keeping watch for peaks that might otherwise exceed the safe limit for the next piece of equipment in line. This is particularly important with digital equipment, which doesn’t tolerate any overload. However, even if you were to configure the main compressor as a limiter, by using a high ratio and a very fast attack time, you’d find this setting less than ideal for low-frequency sounds, which are treated more kindly if the compressor attack time is set a little longer. Of course, setting anything other than the fastest attack time allows brief peaks to slip through the system unchecked, which is why a separate, very fast output limiter is so useful.
PeakStopPlus is actually a two-stage limiter designed to arrest excessive peaks with the minimum of side-effects, and it does this by first employing what dbx describe as their Instantaneous Transient Clamp, which controls the level using a soft logarithmic function to avoid harsh-sounding clipping effects. This effectively prevents overshoots of more than around 2dB above the set threshold, but then stage two comes into action, introducing another new dbx term — Intelligent Predictive Limiting. I interpret this as a type of look-ahead system that monitors the input level, providing a very short but still useful warning that a peak is about to hit the limiter. Apparently the top couple of dBs of the limiting process provide soft clipping rather than simple truncation which, again, helps produce a more natural sound. PeakStopPlus is provided as a kind of peak level safety net, so under normal circumstances the compressor output level would be set so that the limiter rarely operates (if ever). If desired, however, the limiter can be provoked into more frequent action, allowing its use as a creative effect.
dbx® 160 Plugin Overview with Eddie Kramer
Watch renowned producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones) present the Waves dbx® 160 Compressor/Limiter, an authentic-sounding plugin version of the vintage dbx® 160 compressor heard on countless hit recordings from the 1970s, 1980s and beyond.
For more on this great product check out this link and learn more!
32 Channels of Transparent, World Class Microphone Preamplifiers in a Compact 2U Rack Design
MP32 is the Ultimate Front-End Recording Device for both Live and Studio Applications and the Perfect Companion to Antelope’s Orion32 Interface
Antelope Audio As part of its most recent product unveiling at the 137th International AES Convention, leading professional audio gear manufacturer Antelope Audio announces the MP32, a 32-channel, console-grade microphone preamplifier with integrated software control. Housed in a 2U rack space, MP32 is specifically designed to complement Orion32‘s precise conversion and ensure even greater transparency while recording.
The combination of the Orion32 and MP32 — totaling just 3U in rack space — make it a perfectly suited solution for studios and live recording where rack space can be a precious commodity. The new MP32 expands on the analog preamplifier circuit design of the recently launched Zen Studio, which includes 12 studio quality mic preamps.
“With the MP32, the key idea was to incorporate an holistic approach,” says Antelope’s founder and CEO, Igor Levin. “Instead of considering a mic pre to be a disparate element, it should be viewed within the framework of the overall structure which comprises the A/D converter, its drivers and the pre itself. The result is that the entire system works in harmony, ensuring sonic integrity throughout the entire recording chain: from recording, to conversion, and playback.”
Quality and Versatility On the Road, in the Home or in the Studio
Each of the class-A preamps on the MP32 feature phantom power and four of them can operate as Hi-Z instrument inputs. By using the MP32′s control panel (compatible with both Mac and PC), users can manipulate each of the unit’s input types and mic gain levels remotely. Even more, audio engineers are able to save and easily recall their own presets for various situations, making workflow more efficient. The individual V/U style metering provides instant signal confirmation at the glance of a computer monitor.
Each preamplifier on the MP32 was designed to be open and transparent, introducing an increased level of sonic realism in recorded material. The unit offers excellent headroom and up to 65 dB of gain in 1 dB steps: more than enough power for even the most demanding ribbon mics. Since the MP32 is so compact — yet uncompromising in its quality and feature set — it offers an economical solution for modern engineers and producers to increase both quality and channel count at the input stage, whether they are operating a DAW-based project studio, a state of the art commercial studio, a laptop-based live rig or a multi-channel remote recording truck.
The MP32 is scheduled to ship later in the forth quarter of 2014 and will be priced at $2995, with a special discount available for Orion32 owners.
32-Channel Mic Pres Perfectly Matching Orion32 Audio Intreface
MP32 is a 32-channel console-grade microphone preamp with integrated software remote control and Antelope Audio’s exciting new approach to analog circuit design.
The rave reviews shared by several top audio engineers regarding the quality of the 12 mic preamps in our portable audio interface Zen Studio urged us to expand further and create a 32-channel mic preamp housed in only two rack spaces. We designed MP32 to be a perfect match for our top-selling audio interface Orion32, this way ensuring a full transparency of the sound and complete integrity of the signal via the whole chain, from the mic pres through the conversion, recording and playback, all of them characterized by the signature Antelope sound. The combination of the Orion32 and MP32 — totaling just 3U in rack space — make it a perfectly suited solution for studios and live recording where rack space can be a precious commodity.
This is a video exploring another side of the music of Mark Allan Wolfe. Noted for Rock, Indie, and New Age music, here is a cinematic piece. The song opens with soft piano, that is haunting and is joined by guitar and cello and culminates in a balancing act of a variety of musical instruments. The swelling of cymbals, orchestral elements, and traditional island percussion. For more music and licensing information please visit markallanwolfe.com
If you are interested in licensing music immediately you can start by visiting the online music licensing store located at
A guitar based pop rock song perfect for any occasion. A happy go lucky song full of excitement and joy. For more info on music like this and others please visit markallanwolfe.com for more info.
This song was created for placement within a TV commercial, and also for a popular cable TV show. Once I get the clearence for those I will try to remember to place them on here for folks to check out.
In the mean time I would be humbled if you would kindly share this video or visit my website to listen to this song an dmany more I bet you never really knew exsisted.
Point your browsers and those of your friends and those you work with to markallanwolfe.com. I am always looking for people to collaborate with and network together to bring NEW unsigned music to the fore front.
A modern rock with a bit of swing and a great hook. Guitars and thunderous drums make this a great choice for your high energy, tough gritty, get the job done type of vibe. The song is also good for commercials video games and reality shows. Composer Mark Allan Wolfe has several 1000’s of songs readily available for just about any job you need music for. Visit markallanwolfe.com and /or wolfiesmusicpublishing.com to contact them to learn about what they can do for you or your clients needs.
I use this software a lot and I found Cakewalk Sonar X3 to be one of the best recording software out there. You may like something different but this is a great tool for recording your music at home and in the studio
Mixing with Compression is an essential part to shaping and creating a great sounding track. In this video series I take you through a track-by-track video that shows you how to use compression on various types of instruments in SONAR X3 with the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier. You can use compression to control levels, enhance dynamics, and much more. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and check out this series today.
Part 1 of 7 – Introducing the CA2A and all of it’s parameters in SONAR X3.
The CA2A is available separately on the Cakewalk Store
Check out SONAR X3: http://www.cakewalk.com/Products/SONAR/
Check out the CA2A Leveling Amplifier: http://www.cakewalk.com/products/CA-2A/
In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection sound profile we visit Park Road Post Studios in Wellington, New Zealand to talk with the sound team of Director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Featured interviews include Re-recording and sound design. I have found this to be very helpful and you may too.
As composers, artist and musicians we are to always challenge ourselves creativly, as well as technically. Although a lot of you may not creat score music or sound design I am sure you will gain some insight into your craft by watching and listening to this little video clip.
A little about the music licensing process
In the USA Copyright law states that in order for someone to use music synchronized to a picture requires them to gain the permission of the copyright holder or owners of the music. The main job of the music supervisor is for them to locate music and gain the permission from all copyright owners to use that music in film or TV production. Thisprocess is call “clearing” music, or ”music clearing”
There are two different copyrights in any piece of music
The music itself has a copyright and then on each sound recording of that piece of music
Typically owned by a music publishing company
A license between a music copyright owner and a film/TV production company for use
of music in a production is called a Synchronization License (aka “Sync License”)
Sound Recording Copyright
Record labels typically own and there may be many recordings of the same work, each with a different sound recording copyright owner
A “Master License” is used for a recording in any given production it is the license between a sound recording copyright owner and a film/TV production company.
I would also like to add that there is so much information on this process that it will take a bit more than just one or two postings. I am working on trying to help my fellow musicians and artist in their quest for fame and stardome but you must do the homework. You must be the one to do all the studying.
Nothing good comes easy it will take determination, perseverance, talent and luck. You are on the right road though for you are researching and trying to educate yourself in this matter. Please visit back often for more updates and ask questions. We are working on a program that may help you and others that has helped me in this process. So hang in there and keep on keeping on.
For more info you may also look at wolfiesmusicpublishing.com and / or markallanwolfe.com We also have a handy glossary which will help many of you becoming familiar with the process visit Music Licensing Terms