Using Muiltiple Limiters On A Master

Howdy Y’all! So in the MMW Mastering Chain it has an option to use multiple Limiters, a Vintage Limiter (12), a First Limiter(13), and a Second Limiter(14). Does anyone have an idea how to set these up so that they all work together and properly? Also im familiar with using one Limiter but i wanted to try this option! What are some of the rules or guidelines along with some of the benefits to doing this if i were to use all three Limiters on my chain?

Will appreciate any help! Thanks!

(Stuff in Parenthesis are the plug-in order MMW Mastering Chain)

Of cause, it all depends on the program material but rules would include:

  • Only use Dither on final limiter
  • Make sure output of previous limiters are not too hot, leave some headroom
  • Don’t over do any particular limiter or it defeats the object of using multiple limiters.
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Hey thanks for the response! Yeah that’s what i was thinking about not pushing each one too hard and making sure there was proper head room. So my next question would be what would you say is the appropriate amount of headroom for this situation? Would it still be -3 to -6 db of headroom on the first two limiters and then -0.3 on the final Limiter?

1 or 2 dB headroom, you don’t need too much headroom for this application.

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Thank you Paul! Appreciate the help!

If your work is going to be published or distributed by other parties, you may want to hold off on dithering as that is likely to be handled at their end. You don’t want work dithered until just before delivering to listeners and certainly not more than once. Check to make sure.

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Thank You! That’s good to know, does the same go for like if you were to upload it to Spotify or any other streaming service? You wouldn’t want to dither?

I don’t know for certain but definitely look into it before submitting any work.

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Thanks! Appreciate the advice!

If you are mastering your own material, use Dither once when bouncing the final master to a lower resolution LPCM format. If you are sending your tracks to a mastering engineer, do not use Dither or a limiter on the stereo bus.
Most distributors request a mastered 1644 Wave, which should already be dithered, and then they unfortunately convert to lossy formats in house.

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What is the point of using a limiter, besides just gain staging, if you’re not knocking off any peaks, in other words, no headroom.

no point. the point in using multiple limiters is the same as in using multiple compressors, so it takes the load off of just one, reducing artifacts, distortion, and risking negatively processing the sound. it is standard practice in mixing to use 2, 3, sometimes 4 compressors in succession on vocals, each one doing only a little of the work. in mastering we use the first limiter to knock off half a db, 1, or 2 db. this allows the second limiter to be pushed harder without distorting and causing artifacts. simple really. think ‘many hands make light work’ : )


thank you very much Sight !

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