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Hi there.  I'm just getting started with Elephant 3, and so far it's better than any other limiter I've used.  I do have some questions about the transient settings, though, that reading the manual didn't make clear for me.

Mainly, the manual says that higher trans time settings "preserve transients better" but don't allow for as much gain increase.  Well, somewhere else in this forum, it was explained that the trans time affected the shape of the transient (I'd guess through a look-ahead function), therefore acting more like an attack setting.  Well, this confuses me, as I'd think a faster attack setting would preserve the impact of transients better.  Indeed, the more I up that trans time, the less punch those snares seem to have.  Now, is this just my impression because there's less overall volume?  Or is it that the transient gets more of an increase over the rest of the music, but it's not as *sharp* of an increase?

See, what I'm getting at is, how does it preserve transients if you don't hear them sticking out of the mix better?  Perhaps a different sort of "preservation" is at work?  Or perhaps I'm missing something here.  I've read somewhere where Aleksey said harder music should use a lower setting, but maybe that was for some reason other than those acting as a faster attack.

Probably a related (though maybe less important) question involves the trans shape knob.  I don't hear much of a difference, except that keeping it below 0 results in less overall distortion.  I can kinda hear a difference between "classic" and "sharp" (I usually make things as aggressive as I can without hearing artifacts), but that knob's true function still alludes me.  Does turning it to -1 in sharp or +1 in classic mode bridge the gap between these two modes?  Or is it some other very fine adjustment that I just haven't been using the right source material to hear well enough?

Thanks, and I hope you have enough time to answer these. :)


You are using a bit different terminology.  By "transient" you use "punch", but I'm not talking about punch when mentioning transient.  When using shorter TransTime you actually get more distortion and at the same time a more compacted burst of energy.  But this does not preserve the original transients.

The "Trans" and "Trans Shape" parameters are indeed quite subtle, it is mainly a question of taste which settings to use for these parameters - if you can hear the difference.  These parameters shape the attack stage of the limiter.

Aleksey Vaneev: You are using a bit different terminology.  By ''transient'' you use ''punch'', but I'm not talking about punch when mentioning transient.  When using shorter TransTime you actually get more distortion and at the same time a more compacted burst of energy.  But this does not preserve the original transients.

We probably are using a bit different terminology, hehe.  By "preserving the transients," I usually think of limiting without causing the percussive sounds to become buried in the mix.  Slower settings will cause snares and other similar sounds to lose their sharpness--in effect dropping them somewhat out of the mix.

Waves is horrible at this, LOL.  On forums, when people speak of "transient preserver" they usually mean that they still have the same perceived attack and presence in the mix.  Clippers do this (but distort much more easily) and Elephant does it somehow much better than other limiters but without distorting until pushed much further (and incredibly even with no release stage).

When you say that slower trans times preserve the transient, what exactly do you mean by that?  Sorry to bother you, but the terminology conflict is confusing, hehe.

Thanks for the responses. :)


I'm using "transient" as a technical, engineering term.  Transient as a short burst of energy has specific frequency content and waveform.  By setting the TransTime to a higher value, you preserve the waveform and frequency content of the transient.  But in an overall musical context it may become quieter.

On the contrary, when you use a shorter TransTime, the original frequency content and waveform of the transient will be adjusted to a greater extent.

Distortion usually sounds louder, because when you limit a sine-wave into a square-wave, a lot of harmonics are added.  Higher TransTime values allow sine-wave to remain sine-wave.


Oooh, you mean it preserves the original shape of the wave form better.  Yeah, I get that.  I figure that's true any time one reduces the amount of input gain, but transients are usually where the most extreme limiting occurs as they're what normally sticks out the most.

Thanks for your answer, Aleksey.  Much appreciated. :)


You are welcome!
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