Hi - I had an audio clip that was recorded very low, so I used two instances of “Compressor” (the stock VST3 plug-in) inserted sequentially to act as pure gain increasers. While setting it up I noticed during playback some audible distortion, and I tracked it down to occurring only when the 2nd of the two compressors had output in the red.
I know that (although not desirable) it’s possible to have the individual tracks be in the red, but virtually impossible to go so high on the signal as to distort because of the 32-bit floating point math involved. I also know that some 3rd party plug-ins can’t be driven that hard because they are not 32-bit float, so they can easily be driven to distortion without proper gain staging.
Does the fact that there is distortion when driving Cubase Compressor hard mean it doesn’t use 32-bit float?
Sorry, my knowledge of all this stuff is pretty thin, any help is much appreciated!
Thanks, TC, I tried to avoid that problem by not applying any gain reduction (the ratio was set to 1, and I just increased the makeup gain). I guess you are saying that even so the attack/release settings can cause this problem? (Bummer …).
Insert Smiley here: Hammer on own head
Thanks Strophoid, I knew that, which is even the more embarassing because I did not think to do it!
No, at a 1:1 setting probably won’ t cause the problem. Sorry, had not read that correctly.
But when you raise the gain of the output of the compressor, at a certain point, you will overdrive your converters, which you’ re monitoring through.
To try this I used a WAV of a 1kHz sine wave. I reduced it’s volume in the info line by -48dB, then loaded up two of the SB “compressor” compressors on its audio track, each set to gain +24dB each. The result nulled out against a phase inverted copy of the original sine wave, so there is no distortion being added. It didn’t seem to matter what I did with the other controls (ratio, attach, release etc) so long as the audio was below the set threshold… the waves cancelled completely.
Alexis, do any of your compressors show any gain reduction taking place?
Thanks for checking on that, Old Fecker, and comments Strophoid and TC.
It got me thinking, and I’m wondering now if it has to do with outputs from the Control Room. I’m pretty new to that feature, and I keep forgetting that it’s output doesn’t necessarily show up on my master fader (I think … like I said, I’m pretty new to it).
To close the loop: Main stereo out was disabled in the F4 VST connections window, BUT the individual outputs that made up the Main stereo output were not. So the DA converter was possibly getting overloaded*.
Now that all the relevant outputs are disabled I haven’t heard the distortion, but I have yet to actually reproduce the signal abuse with serial back-to-back comps as a more rigorous confirmation. Will do so, and if any different than expected as above, will post back.
Thank you again, everyone.
*Note the use of passive tense to distance oneself from dumb/silly things they have done. “Mistakes were made …”