Recording isn't post-limiter. Why Not?

It’s great to have a brick wall limiter available to prevent peaks/distortion - but why does it not affect the recorded signal?

If I make a recording, I expect it to reflect what I’m hearing - what’s coming out of the master.

Unfortunately it doesn’t, so if (for example) you increase the gain on an older track to reduce the dynamic range and give it a more modern feel, to you it sounds fine, but on the recording you just end up with an increased level. Possibly even overload. Yes I know the limiter isn’t there for that purpose, but it’s just an example. Keeping levels under control is an advantage when recording, not just for PA use.

IMO it makes no sense that the system is not recording what the DJ is hearing.


Not sure I understand your remark on reducing dynamic range by increasing the gain?

While limiter are, in essence, compressors with a very specific setting and purpose, abusing a limiter the way you describe to reduce dynamic range is typically not gonna be very succesful. Increasing gain typically raises the PRE-fader input level. Red is red, so if you gain up your track into the red, you’ll introduce a clipped signal into the channel. Now the limiter on that channel will just kill whatever is above the threshold when you are fully fader up. What you’d need is an actual PRE-fader compressor. Easily done in a component system (i.e. mixer with (media)players), hard with an all-in-one system.

For the same reason a limiter is typically built in POST-fader on the master, rather than every channel having it’s own limiter (for all the obvious reasons). And since record out is typically independent of the master channel (fader & eq changes for example don’t typically affect your recorded signal), you can change room volume and sound without messing up your recording.

Now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t try come up with a solution. What you can do is record the set as is. In post-production then just add compression on the parts that you want. If you are using a true DAW for post-production and this is a real big issue for you, there are some mastering plug-ins available that will (semi-)automatically analyze your entire recording and try to EQ and compress everything to have the same sound and loudness level.

My three cents worth as usual

Like I said, it was just an example. My main point is that the recording should reflect what’s happening at the master output/what the DJ is hearing.

Also worth mentioning that it would help immensely towards solving the issue that so many are complaining about - the low level recordings. It would allow Denon to increase the dB level, making users happy, and also prevent overloading the recording.

Yes I know about DAWs, audio editing and plugins. Been using them for decades. Started with Steinberg Pro 24 on Atari ST. :sunglasses:

My replies sometimes tend to be aimed at a slightly broader readership, not just OP :-D.

Just for my clarification, I assumed you are recording P4 USB to PC/Mac?

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I just did a brief test recording to the built in SSD to see if the recording was affected by the limiter.

I may at some point use the P4 to digitize some vinyl, but I doubt I’ll be recording gigs, mixes or streaming.

Sorry, was sleeping there for a minute. Obviously you would be using the record to disk feature. DUH

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I recommend you stop adjusting the master knob. Leave it at its unity and control the mixer gain using the channel trim-gain knobs for each track. That will fix your problems of clipping the recording without knowing it.

I’d also advise you against intentionally crushing into the current master limiter for ‘artistic’ reasons to reduce a track’s dynamic range. If InMusic wants to add optional PPD 9000-style compressors for that purpose, then that’d be pretty cool, but the current one I believe is a hard knee lookahead limiter that’s really just meant to reduce high-frequency clip harmonics/distortion which would be quite a bit different than some 6:1 compressor.

Who are you replying to?

If it’s me well I’m not adjusting the master knob. Also I know how to work a mixer. I’ve been DJing and using mixers in studios and live PA for many years.

My only “problem” is that Denon didn’t take the recording feed from the master output (which has a limiter on it). I think it would be beneficial if there was a limiter on the record signal.

I don’t need it particularly. I know how to edit audio - but I think many here would benefit from a bit of safety.

Ah I see. The master limiter is not meant to be intentionally crushed into for artistic reasons with the top LED on the meters lit up. It’s meant as a safety when you do something accidentally. It’s not a production-style limiter. Nonetheless, I don’t have a problem with them giving people the choice of recording the master feed or putting a limiter on the record feed. I personally don’t think there should even be a limiter on the master.

Or maybe what they need to do is allow people to change the point in the signal path where the optional limiter is at… after the master volume (where it currently is) or instead right after the mix bus & FX master stages before the master volume so it would show up in the record, zone, and booth feeds, too. That in combination with the ability to choose whether the Prime 4 is recording from the record out or the master out might give more of the options people want. With the optional threshold control already present and an additional adjustable parameter or two added to the limiter settings, that might actually give people the possibility of setting it up to be more of a production-style compressor, too.

No maybe. I believe that would actually meet your request on limiter options and people’s concerns about the record levels, too, with the most flexibility and the least effort on InMusic’s part.

Something that has a few simple controls or options a la VST plugin in the record area would be very cool.


  1. Ability to choose where the internal recording is sourced from… 2 choices: record out OR master out post-master-knob.

  2. Compressor/limiter option as to where it is in the signal chain: 2 choices: before the booth, zone, record outs, and before the master volume knob OR after the master volume knob (current default).

  3. More compressor/limiter adjustable parameters in addition to threshold… like compression ratio, etc.

I think that’s the ticket.

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… or a little piece of paper in the box saying “don’t sit in the red all night”

That’s highly unlikely, considering the meters don’t use red LEDs. :sunglasses:

Hah hah. I’m trying to be constructive here, and have stumbled on a fairly simple solution to all these issues and requests people keep posting on. I’m probably not even going to use it much when they add it :slight_smile: On the PPD 9000s, the only reason I turn the compressor-limiters on throughout is so the meters will actually blink red at the top at some point instead of just blue. I have the limiter completely off on my X1700s and X1800s.

If I was using any of these mixers in an install where I was the sound tech or resident DJ, I would turn the compressor limiters off and tell them if I see them in any of the top meter LEDs, I’m turning the sound system volume down to protect the system from their stupidity each instance I see them do it. I’d also either tape over the master volume knob or (in the case of the X1800) I’d set it to unity at max on the knob (in the utility) and leave it there. They want to turn the knob down on their set, who am I to stop them? I reserve the right to make fun of them for it, though.

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It was good general advice - to all DJs in almost any Audio equipment.

For the colourblind souls out there, “don’t stay in the mauve “

Or for accuracy without panachè “don’t sit in the leds which means you’re over cooking the signal” … hmmmmm doesn’t have the same ring to it

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I think the limiter on the prime 4 is a brick wall limiter it needs to be softer and less compressed and the record levels need to be linked to the channels at 0db threshold, the same for the master, booth out, to alter the compression settings I completely agree.

The products have got screen that can display messages.

Why not display a message that tells them they’re missing out on getting the best sounding results because they’re ignoring the gain Structure and ignoring the high LEDS

Teach rather than automatically correct their errors every time

No, that won’t work! How many times has “stay out of the red” been said or written, around the world, for decades, yet still we see DJs (even world famous ones) pushing the levels right into the red?

It’s like trying to stop speeders. There are signs everywhere, there are cameras, they know the law, and yet they still do it. The only way to stop them is to prevent them by making it impossible to do.

Too true. Here at least the police are feared so speeders tend to be careful. You can’t have a guard in every booth though ha

The solution is a combination of ideas then. A Hard limiter As the final hand, stopping the output from the mixer and damaging speakers etc, a compressor Gently and invisibley doing what the DJ should really know how to do him/her self but then lots of messages on screen, maybe hiding the On screen effects controls (as a vengeful incentive… if you wanna play with my fx, you gotta sort your levels out)

Maybe they could have a sample onboard, that plays when the levels are too high:

“Warning! This DJ is an idiot!”


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