peak and high-frequency limiter
MPL-2 is a brick-wall and high frequency limiter. It can be used to achieve
high subjective levels and reduce unwanted high frequency levels (de-essing).
MPL-2 is also used to ‘smooth’ and give digital recordings a more ‘analogue’
MPL-2 is housed in a 1U 19" rack mount alloy case. A minimum of controls
is used due to automatic time constants and optimisation techniques for the
gain reduction. The advantage is not only simple operation but also increased
performance for highly dynamic and inconsistent materials without the need for
gain does not reduce the wide dynamic range of the limiter. It can be used at
its maximum setting with no increased risk of distortion. This eliminates the
need for excessive levels, which could cause clipping in equipment feeding the
input of the limiter. A further benefit is that the maximum peak output level
(set with the threshold) is independent of different gain settings.
Frequency Limiting is primarily intended for use as a de-esser, reducing
unattractive high frequencies. Part of the high frequency limiter circuit is
also used to reduce distortion from the wideband limiter.
MPL-2 will notice the removal of spurious peaks, and an increase of
subjective levels, without the coloration and increased distortion so often
associated with soft clippers and other ultra fast limiters.
"Well this is really two boxes
in one, firstly the de-essing/High Frequency limiter is the same as their other
unit the MDS-2 - except in the MPL-2 it's just one set of controls for both
channels. If you have a look at the majority of well specified mastering suites
chances are you'll see one of these boxes.
because a lot of us mastering types grew up cutting vinyl records and Neumann
had a slightly similar box called an acceleration limiter. The great thing
about this sort of limiter is that you can smooth the top end of a program,
sometimes even adding more top end, but when a cymbal strikes for example, the
limiter takes a bit of the pain off and so the feel is smoother and silkier (if
done properly of course). In the MPL, depending on how much high frequency
limiting you use, the unit adjusts things like attack time according to the
program material, so it really works with the music in a nice way, biting down
more quickly on aggressive transients, but being more gentle on general top
there's the peak limiter. It's nice and smooth as well as long as you don't
push it. In fact I much prefer it to the peak limiters in the CraneSong STC-8
and the Focusrite blue series. This reduces the peaks of transient signals
which allows you to get slightly hotter mixes, or to control overloud snares,
or anything really that sticks out in a mix.
It also has
two settings Normal
and Hard. Hard has a quicker release, both are very useful and it's good to
have a choice. Normal
has a nice pillowy release which can work wonders on so many things.
would have bought an MDS-2 but I was so impressed with the peak limiter I had
to get the MPL.
I use it
for mastering, mainly on the left and right channels, but also sometimes in sum
and sifference mode, or even just on the centre image (where most peaks and
sibilance lives). "
Bowden is one of Australia's
leading mastering engineers. He worked for the famous Festival records on both
vinyl and cd mastering cutting his first record in 1988 on the Neumann VMS-80
lathe. When Festival closed he set up King
in Sydney where
he now works with a classic array of gear including a much beloved EMI TG
console. Credits include: The Living End, Split Enz, Kylie Minogue
more info at www.myspace.com/williambowden