Insert effect behavior in the master channel

specifically a peak limiter insert

I use a peak limiter as an insert in the master channel. In Ntracks V3 the playback VU’s never clipped no matter how much I compressed the mix. Now, with V5, I get a lot of clipping in the playback vu’s at times. (Not all the time) And I get a clipping indication in the timeline. Any idea why this behavior has changed?


Check the n-track mixer and make sure you have the limiter inserted PRE fader.

I use the peak limiter as a plugin on the master channel. I am not using any aux channels. As far as I know the master channel does not have pre and post fader options. As I look at the help diagram the plugins (inserts) are post master volume fader, which comes ahead of the playback meter. Therefore, the peak limiter should eliminate clipping as seen on the meter no matter the fader level. This was the behavior of N-Tracks 3. It is no longer doing this. The master volume fader has no effect on the plugin vu meters either.

Signal path diagram…
Master volume----->Plugins------>Mono/ster----->meter

What am I missing?


Hi ledg and Bubba:
I use the “Classic” K limiter in the Master Strip of n-Track and sometimes other plugs… It works for me all with no issues… I config. n-Track to not use any effects in “ANY” mixer strips… Then only the ones (effects) I choose in any of the mixer’s/strips… You might check right from the “Get-Go” if you have n-Track’s config. set-up that way… Mabey, that might help…


Hi Bill,

Where do I set up this configuration?

All of the plugins I use open in a panel that has pre-amp and postgain knobs. I suspect the same to be true for your peak limiter. If either of these were set to high you could still see clipping even with the peak limiter in place. The default settings for both knobs is 0dB but perhaps the default settings for these still have somehow been changed from what they were in version 3. Does everthing work properly if you try to pull the preamp setting back a bit?


Hi Guys:
It doesn’t take much to blow the roof off your mixes… I try to leave a little “Wiggle Room” with any levels of the plugs in the Master strip… You’ll see a print screen of what I’m attempting to do with this '70’s Plastic Project I’m working on… This Topic

After each step in the process I do a “Save As” to create an .sng file… I save the beginning of each step in the process in each new folder I create in the project… It’s date coded and time’d… E.G. Today I coded the folder and .sng file several times… 121106_300 meaning Well 12th Nov 06 3:00pm… If I “Screw” the next step up and I do… I can reopen the coded .sng file and redo the screw-up… from the earlier .sng file…

My ears have a habit of fatiguing as the day progresses… So, by the end of several hours I begin to stress the levels a bit… In the studio, I have a digital sound pressure level meter… But this project I’m trying to tax my stress levels and stay away from meters-and-toys to see how my hearing stands up… I used to be able to take 10 hour days… But at my age that has reduced to only a few hours… (Something like a diver… and … bottom time)… Today I’ve been at IT for about 8 hours… That’s as long as I’ve played with Mixes for several years… I’m ready to call IT a Day…


To find out what’s actually coming out the master channel, do a mixdown and set the bit depth to 32 bits. Import this track. Then you can look at it and see where the peaks are – they will NOT be clipped at 0dB.

You can also see what the actual peak values are by clicking “meters anticipate output” in Preferences. Then you get numbers over the output meters that will go over 0. Great feature; I usually have this turned on.

Here are a couple ideas.

- tspringer is right: if the post gain isn’t set to zero, you’ll be out of wack.

- Perhaps clip detection wasn’t perfect in the earlier version and is now picking up clips that slipped through before. The only way to test this would be to load the old version, gen a 32 bit mix, click “normalize”, and Scan it, to see the peak values.

Note that a limiter that isn’t a “brick wall limiter” can let peaks slip through (when the attack rate is too low for the signal).

Bottom line though, is that your expectation is correct and if the limiter is indeed a brick wall limiter you shouldn’t get any clipping. I assume there are no plugins on the main bus following the limiter.

BTW, if you’re in the ‘mixing’ phase, you should adjust levels to avoid any clipping and don’t use any plugins on the master channel. Then do limiting and master compression as a second phase (mastering). That’s the standard advice for mixing, anyway.