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Old July 12th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #1
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Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

Hey guys,

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to actually set the limiters on the SD 552. I've switched it to LINK as recommended by the manual, and I see that by default the factory setting has the limiter at +20 db. If anyone is familiar with this unit would you mind explaining how to manually set it down to 0 db for example, to keep dialogue from peaking?

Scott
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Old July 12th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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Re: Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

Why would you set it to link?

Anyways, there are instructions on how to lower the limiter in the manual.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 06:48 AM   #3
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Re: Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

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Originally Posted by Scott Hamilton View Post
Hey guys,

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to actually set the limiters on the SD 552. I've switched it to LINK as recommended by the manual, and I see that by default the factory setting has the limiter at +20 db. If anyone is familiar with this unit would you mind explaining how to manually set it down to 0 db for example, to keep dialogue from peaking?

Scott
WHOA, you don't want the limiter at 0db! 0dB DIGITAL is the 'never exceed' level where the signal clips, but 0dB ANALOG, which is what the SD's meters and limiters are calibrated to, is the normal average recording level. With conventional SMPTE signal alignments, 0dB analog = -20dBFS digital. To prevent dialog clipping, have the limiters set to + 20, or, if you want an additional safety margin, back down a few dB and set them to +17 or +18. Run your mixer with the meters set to show average plus peak levels and keep the dialog bouncing around 0dB average, On normal speech, with the average meter bouncing around 0, the peak indicator will bounce around +6 or + 8. This means, in turn, that your peak recording level is about -12dBFS digital, well under the clipping danger point. Keep the meter bouncing in the yellow on the 552

FYI, SD mixers are calibrated so 0dB on the meter, the boundary between green and yellow, indicates a mixer output of 0dBu. The boundary between yellow and red is +4dBu, 0VU for SMPTE standards. The conversion from analog to digital is, for North American standard practice (SMPTE) analog 0VU = +4dBu output = digital -20dBFS. European standard practice (EBU) is analog 0VU = 0dBu output = digital -18dBFS. Both are referencing the "professional 0 dB" where 0dBu == 0.775 volts RMS. Clipping will occur when the level on the meter reaches +20 dB if you align the mixer and recorder according to SMPTE practices, +18dB if you align to EBU standards, You can follow either practice with your SD mixer as long as you know how it's calibrated
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Last edited by Steve House; July 13th, 2012 at 08:13 AM.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hamilton View Post
Hey guys,

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to actually set the limiters on the SD 552. I've switched it to LINK as recommended by the manual, and I see that by default the factory setting has the limiter at +20 db. If anyone is familiar with this unit would you mind explaining how to manually set it down to 0 db for example, to keep dialogue from peaking?

Scott
Scott,

I set my 442 at +14. That gives me 6dB of sneak through audio. Then just barely tickle the limiter.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 15th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

Thanks Steve and Ty, just what I needed! The manual unfortunately doesn't give out much info on it. Much appreciated.

Scott
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Old July 15th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: Setting Limiter on Sound Devices 552

FYI, LINK applies equal gain reduction in both Left and Right channels whenever either one of them hits the limiter setpoint. Use LINK only if you are actually recording in stereo. If you are recording dual mono, say channel 1 getting a lav from character A and channel 2 getting one from Character B, do not use LINK.
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