Using Ntrack's compresser on tracks

If a track clips but compressor doesn’t

I have some individual tracks where the channel shows all the way to the top occationally - mostly bass and kick drum.
I turned on the track’s compressor and set it to limit and the compressor’s VU show that the sound is not going into a + (clip).
The track VU still shows a too high reading, but the compressor shows ok.
Which is correct?

Could be that the track VUs are pre fader. I didn’t think that they were though.

Wally, I guess that is what I am trying to figure out. It either VU is showing a clip is one actually being created in the final product? Or does the track’s compressor correct the problem and send a clean signal on to the master channel?

This is purely theoretical (don’t take my word for it; ask the developer to be sure), but since the internal format is 32 bit floating point (or better), there shouldn’t be any clipping occurring at all in the signal path. Even if levels are well over 0 dB.
It’s only when converting to 16/24 bit (for file or soundcard output) that clipping of levels>0 dB takes place.
So from that you should be safe as long as the master channel doesn’t clip.
Having said that, it’s also known that many effect plugins don’t handle >0dB levels very well…

Interesting information. I remember reading about that somewhere. But, if the meter shows a clip, doesn’t that mean that it has exceded ) Db. I can’t hear a clip, but I did find that when I pulled everything down so that I wasn’t showing the top of the red, it sounded better.
Still confussing to me.

If you have many tracks, or plan to add some, it makes sense to use moderate levels, as they’ll add up and can overload the master bus. Back in analog days, it was considered important to drive the channels as hot as possible without distortion, as this improved dynamic range. And any distortion would be analog, something we often try to emulate these days. But digital clipping sounds awful and is to be awoided.

A few times I’ve ended up compressing the master channel to death just to keep it from clipping. Had to readjust every track to get that sorted. If, on the other hand, the master volume is too low, it is just a matter of raising it.

There is also a feature in n-t that adjusts levels as you add tracks. Never tried it myself. Maybe I should.

The inner workings of a digital DAW are a bit of a mystery to me. But if it sounds right, it must be right.

Bye now.

If you’ve got the comp’d track assigned to the Master out, shouldn’t you then be looking at the Master VU meter’s level? Or if the track’s assigned to a ‘Group’, then that has a level meter too, right? The track’s own level reading is what’s going “in” to the compressor- the subsequently compressed (i.e., non-clipping) signal goes on to the next link in the chain… shouldn’t this be just a matter of following the signal flow?

I still haven’t got my copy of n-Track yet, so I suppose I’ve no business here- but isn’t it a good question?

I know the solution to my question is just to adjust the levels and the answer wouldn’t matter. But I would really lik eto understand better.
Ok, it makes sence that the compressor output is what is going to the master fader. However, if the track fader itself is showing red isn’t it sending sound/wav form information to the compressor that already contains a clip? The compressor might lower the wave, but isn’t it already a clip? I hear what you are saying about the 32 bit having more room (I guess) but why show a meter that Might indicate a clip, or is it just to indicate level and has nothing to do with a clip? If a digital clip is a matamatica equation that produces 0 then 8 bit or 32 bit would both seem capable of producing a clip. Is the idea that you can’t get a clip on the individual track/channel?