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advice on which compressor to use as a limiter for HD500
by berkleegrad on 2012-07-08 10:35:46

Greetings All,

Since there is no real limiter on the hd500 I'm looking for some advice on which of the HD 500 Compressor options would make the best limiter? And, what would be the most appropriate settings for limiting just the peak signal?

Hoping to even out the signal for a clean rhythm patch being used in an old skool funk band setting (earth wind fire, chuck brown, frankie beverly). Currently am using the Vetta Comp with the sensitivity at 20% and level at 96%; but, the overall sounds is too compressed and without it, the occasional transient rhythm pegs the mainboard - eliciting shrieks of horror from the sound tech... ;)

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance, -Rick



Re: advice on which compressor to use as a limiter for HD500
by geppert on 2012-07-08 11:54:13

Hey Rick,

We are all at a bit of a disadvantage with the L6 Dynamics because a) amost all the parameters are fixed and b) they don't give you ANY information about the specific parameter settings including Ratio, Attack, Release, plus there is no Gain Reduction metering. As you probably know, a Limiter is defined by a high ratio and fast attack/release. You want to grab peaks instantly and also release quickly. The best advice I can offer is to try each Dyn processor out and experiment a bit using your ears to make determinations. Remember, Threshold turns counter clockwise to increase gain reduction and what L6 calls "Sustain" (which is traditional "Input" to threshold) turns clockwise to increase gain reduction. This can be confusing if you are not familiar with the way compressor/limiters work. For a Peak Limiting test I would go for a lot of GR, pick some guick notes and listen to how their initial attack is reduced. IF they are grabbed quickly then you have a higher ratio (more limiter like) function, if not then the attack is not fast enough. When you have found the one out of the group that seems to grab the peaks enough, then back off the Threshold (clockwise) or Sustain (counter clockwise) until the sound is appropriate for your tastes and not grabbing the peaks too much to diminish the approipriate attack.

From the HD500 Manual ... they ONLY mention Threshold, Sustain, and Level in explanation yet the Vetta Comp uses "Sensitiviy" and "Amount" .....

Threshold: For compressor FX, lower values result in greater compression, along with an automatic makeup gain stage dependent upon the Threshold setting.

Sustain: Some compressors include Sustain, which is much the same as a Threshold control, but functions in reverse - higher settings add more compression and thus more sustain and squishy goodness.

Level: Adjusts the overall volume - higher settings typically offer an output boost.


I have made a feedback request that they consder adding ONE proper compressor with all the parameters available for adjustment plus GR meter. Unfortunately, I doubt it will ever happen. It would probably steal too much DSP overhead and might confuse many of the users?

Hope this helps?

My HD500 is packed at the moment otherwise I'd check them for you. I tend to use the Tube Comp mostly. About 40% Threshold (10 o'clock) and I use it FIRST in the efx chain. Also, if you set the Threshold to 50% (12 o'clock) and the Level to off (7 o'clock) I find the on/off is about the same volume which means the compressor is just starting to work. As you lower threshold below 50% (still Level turned off) you will hear the "automatic gain" start to be added. This is generally when the dynamics start working.

Don from Canada



Re: advice on which compressor to use as a limiter for HD500
by spaceatl on 2012-07-08 12:14:20

I like the Vintage Pre....has a nice vibe and controls are no-nonsense...This isn't going to give much of a sustaining effect as the tone would likely get too dirty at the point that started to happen, but it should smooth off transisents pretty decently and cleanly...

You might need to experiment to see where it has the best impact on your tone and smooths off the way you like...

try it in front of the amp model...the gain is going to set the amount of compression...you get a tad of tube saturation also....use the output to control how hard it is hitting the amp model...You will find that there are some other tones you can get by pushing the amp harder with the VP output and a lower drive setting on the amp model...

The High Pass and Low Pass filters...Use these to set your bandwidth...For standard tuning that's going to be 80Hz up to 5-6K depending...this also has a slight effect on the saturation...

try it after the amplifier....here you might need even lower gain setting that in front of the amp...you could even try it at the end of the chain right before the reverb...

You could even put a Vintage Pre in both spots but that might be a little DSP intensive depending on what else you have going on...



Re: advice on which compressor to use as a limiter for HD500
by berkleegrad on 2012-07-08 17:01:26

Hi Don,

Thanks for your input and suggestions.

I've tried out all of the dynamic 'models' and have been the Vetta Comp. Among the reasons was  the modeling guide indicated that it had a "fixed ratio of 2.35:1" and I had sussed somewhere online that that the sensitivity was the equivalent to threshold so the level must then be equal to level ;) .... This divulged at least some working parameters ...  But, I'm afraid that the ratio is fixed too low to be an efficient limiter - at least the way I'm using it

Regrettably the Tube Comp which is modeled after the Teletronix LA-2A is missing the compress limit switch... I guess ill formally submit a feature request to include the limit/compress switch on that model...

In the mean time ill experiment a little more per your suggestions.

Thank you for taking the time to respond ...

regards, -Rick



Re: advice on which compressor to use as a limiter for HD500
by berkleegrad on 2012-07-08 17:05:20

Hey Spaceatl,

Seen your helpful replies to others on the board and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I haven't really experimented with the Vintage Pre retry much and hadn't thought about using it in this way. Thanks for forthe suggestion and I'll let you know if it works for my application ...

Regards, -Rick




The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.