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Volume Limiter for my headphones, to stop overly loud sound?


Bansaw

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Every now and then my DAW gives me a volume shock.

Today, something happening in my volume keyframe automation and the volume went through the roof and gave my ears an unwanted decibel shock.

Too much of that and it can lead to some permanent damage.

 

Is there some kind of hardware volume limiter that sits inbetween my headphones and sound card to stop this happening?

 

(Also, there's a volume discrepancy between my DAW and Windows System. So I switch over to Youtube and I have to remember to turn down the volume otherwise I get another unwanted surprise.)

 

Reaper, i7-7700k, Win10, 16GB, 2TB, 500Mb SSD, MOTU Ethno & Symphonic, Studiologic 990Xp 88-key, Behringer UM2

 

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In some DAWs you can route all audio through a "master" channel. Why not put a compressor in the master output section of your DAW? With a compression ratio of infinity:1 and attack time at minimum you have a limiter, no? The threshold adjustment determines when it kicks in.

 

I do this on live gigs with my MOTU MicroBook IIc, which has built-in DSP that does compression & eq. The headphone output is on its own buss so it's easy & convenient to do.

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I've worked with daws and sequencers for many years, albeit usually in a home studio and not in a pro setting--this seems very odd. I haven't ever seen a limiter in a studio setting, not saying there wasn't one sometimes but not in most cases. Live is a different story, I use IEMs and would always want a limiter in place.

 

Not saying you shouldn't get one, but it seems to me you have something very out of the ordinary going on, so finding out what that is would be where I'd put my effort.

 

Edit--putting a limiter on the master bus would work fine, providing the loud sound is coming from the audio itself and not a connection or something hardware (sounds like it is in the digital realm and caused by automation.) . The limiter will sound bad but you'd set it so that it won't kick on unless this spike comes on (ie, you probably don't want your whole mix constantly compressed, mastering you might but not while recording, and that's a different sort of limiting/compression). One thing that was pointed out on this forum I think when limiters were discussed--the software limiter would have to be able to snap on fast enough to protect you. There was some question about that when comparing mixer software vs hardware headphone limiters and how they protect. Maybe someone knowledgeable about that can comment, if I'm remembering that it was indeed "a thing" :)

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It would be easier to get a headphone amp with limiter built in. You would have to decide what quality you need. There are some inexpensive ones, and I can definitely steer you away from the Behringer P1 - mine distorts.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I mentioned a few posts above that I use a MOTU MicroBook IIc for my in-ears. That's usually the case but right now my MBIIc is down for a while so I switched to using the headphone output of my MacBook Pro. I bought a Rolls PM55P "Personal Monitor Amp" to run my in-ears until I get the MBIIc replaced. This Rolls has a built-in limiter. I was a little nervous because there are no controls for it other than an on-off switch. I've never heard the limiter kick in, which is basically a good thing in normal operation, nobody wants to hear themselves squashed. OTOH I have no idea how loud it has to get to reach the limiting threshold and I hope I don't find out the hard way that the threshold is set too high!

 

Rolls PM55P (Amazon).

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It would be easier to get a headphone amp with limiter built in.

 

 

plus ...

 

bodypack unbal. stereo (XLR or TRS available)

 

 

You would have to decide what quality you need.

 

I investigated in InEar-Monitoring recently and found out going cheap is a mistake.

Already 3-way earphones, isolating 25dB+ and covering the frequency range up to 19KHz cost EUR 250,- - EUR 1.xxx,- !

These audio technica seem to be good though.

 

In fact, a good system (amp, bodypack & earphones) cost as much as a good active speaker while the really high-end stuff costs much more.

 

There are some inexpensive ones, and I can definitely steer you away from the Behringer P1 - mine distorts.

 

Thx for the warning.

 

I also thought about buying the Behringer P16-I and P16-M just because of the multi-channel functionality not only over network (RJ45) but also via 16 analog ins.

The Behringer system seems to be the only affordable system offering that "analog" feature and allows connection of up to 6 personal mixers.

 

A.C.

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Not saying you shouldn't get one, but it seems to me you have something very out of the ordinary going on, so finding out what that is would be where I'd put my effort.

I think it was a stray keyframe as I was automating the volume in my track.

 

I found an option in my DAW that mutes a track if it goes above 5Db.

Also, I might put a limiter (with a quick attack) on my master to have that kick in and reduce volume if it gets above 0.

 

Reaper, i7-7700k, Win10, 16GB, 2TB, 500Mb SSD, MOTU Ethno & Symphonic, Studiologic 990Xp 88-key, Behringer UM2

 

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