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#6376 - 06/05/10 02:29 PM Some info about the presets-please?
rikki rivett Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 13
Loc: germany
My first impressions of Xenon are really good. But I'm not a mastering pro and I would appreciate some explanation and a little more detail of what the presets do/are designed for. I assume the (recon) in a preset nane could mean recondition, for instance.

Would this be possible please? I know your time must be very precious but a little more info about the presets would really help beginners to understand this great plug in.

thanks

RR

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#6381 - 06/08/10 03:08 PM Re: Some info about the presets-please? [Re: rikki rivett]
Hubert Pietrzykowski PSP Offline

Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 308
Loc: Warsaw
Hi,

I'm happy you like Xenon. I will try to explain the presets a little bit, but you must be aware that we included them only to show the plug-in's flexibility and to present its various possibilities. You hardly ever should use the presets as they are - you definitely need to adjust:
1. input - it controls the amount of limiting. The desired amount depends not only on your preferences and the standards of the music genre you master, but also on the amount of compression applied during mixing
2. release - you need to tweak this one to find the sweet spot between loudness and pumping/distortion
3. bit depth (if using Xenon dithering) - to match your destination media resolution.

It is essential to set above parameters every time you process new audio, so please learn to listen to the way they affect the sound.

Now a few words about presets:

- the 'limiter' presets (the first four) are aimed at (guess what? ;\) limiting. They allow you to reduce the peak/average ratio (called crest factor) and raise the loudness of the mix to some extent by 'clamping' the transient peaks. Those peaks usually last for very short time and don't contribute to overall loudness. By limiting them you get some place (headroom) which allows you to increase the level of your entire recording

- the 'loudness' presets are more aggresive. Besides limiting the transient peaks these presets use leveler which alters the macrodynamics of your audio. Very loud, fragments, which cannot will be further compressed without ugly artifacts, will be pre-attenuated prior to limiting). This pre-attenuation allows you to drive the limiter (as set by input knob) to greater extent without risk of severe pumping. Use these presets when you want to sound 'loud'. However, be aware that it might destroy the song and its emotions. The difference between quite and loud fragments will become less dramatic. Also, keep in mind that radio stations add their own, very aggressive and (usually) ugly-sounding multiband compression to their content. Adding another stage of compression to already loud audio can result in flat, horribly-sounding results.

- CD Master - these presets are combinations of the previous ones with added dithering/noise-shaping. This process adds some carefully-shaped noise to the audio which allows for greater-than-media perceived dynamic range. It only makes sense to apply dithering if bit-depth of your audio is greater than that of the media you master for (CD, f.ex. is 16 bit). If, f.ex. your sequencer or editor works in 32 or 64 bits and/or your audio was recorded with 24 bit ADC dithering will make it possible for your CDs to sound as if their dynamic range was greater than 16 bits. It might sound weird, but this is how our brain works (we are capable of hearing the harmonic sounds which amplitude is far lower than the noise they are buried within). Be sure to never apply dithering twice! If you're unsure about how it works, read some papers. The simple nice analogy that might help is thinking about the printout of the black-and-white photo, containing various shades of grey, with printer which is only capable of printing black dots or leaving the space white. Even though your picture consists of only black dots, by looking at it from some distance you can see the greys. Your printer is only two bit (black or white), but you can see the grey areas. This is similar to how dithering works for audio. It adds some noise, but increases perceived dynamic range

- recon - these presets are not what you think. They use oversampled sidechain/metering and can control the intersample peaks. The explanation is quite complex and you must know a great deal about the design of DAC and the process of reconstruction. Usually, unless your DAC converter analog circuit is of very poor quality and doesn't have enough headroom to cope with those peaks (which are seldom greater than 3dB) you won't hear any difference. This option is rather for audio purists

- tv - these limit the peaks to -10dBFS instead of 0dBFS. Your audio level will be much lower. Most tv stations have some guidelines about peak audio levels. They cannot exceed some threshold (ceiling). One of the reasons is that the carrier could be overmodulated during transmission (airing), interfering with other broadcasters etc.

- cine - these presets use K-Systems metering with K-20 scale, which is designed for controlling the level of compression of cine sound (the typical dynamic range of the movie sound is much greater than CD)

- other presets are ... just fun

hope this helps
_________________________
Hubert Pietrzykowski
DSP Engineer
PSPaudioware.com

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#6426 - 07/07/10 01:06 AM Re: Some info about the presets-please? [Re: Hubert Pietrzykowski PSP]
rikki rivett Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 13
Loc: germany
Hi Hubert,

I only just saw this reply, sorry for slow response.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help understand Xenon!! :-)

best

RR

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