The mastering process is the vital final step in preparing your music to be released into the world. And the final part of the mastering process is limiting - but how much do you know about it? Getting your limiting settings wrong or maybe not using a limiter stage at all can both have negative impacts on your production, meaning it's either too loud or not loud enough. In this video from the course Audio Mistakes 104: 10 Common Mastering Mistakes, Joe Albano shows you how you should be using limiting during the mastering process.
Joe explains the differences between analog and digital limiters. In the analog domain, limiters work like very strong compressors on signal that exceeds the limiting threshold, sometimes with pleasing saturation results. In software, exceeding the threshold can cause clipping, which is much more of a problem. Using several practical examples, he demonstrates how the features of various software limiters - features found on most models like lookahead for example - can help you to avoid this. You'll see how careful use of limiting can get the maximum level out of your track so it is nice and loud, but doesn't distort or clip. For more essential mastering tips, be sure to check out the full course using the links below.