Brickwall limiting is a method used during audio mastering to restrict the maximum loudness of a track, ensuring it doesn’t exceed a certain volume threshold. The goal is to attain a consistent and powerful sound that cuts through the noise without distorting or clipping. Imagine the audio waveform as a brick wall; brickwall limiting prevents the sound from surpassing the wall’s height.
In the digital age of music, where streaming services and radio stations apply loudness normalisation, achieving a loud and competitive track is vital for artists and producers. Brickwall limiting involves using a limiter—a type of dynamic processor—to compress the dynamic range of the audio. The limiter quickly reduces the volume of the loudest parts, essentially “flattening” the peaks of the waveform.
A great example of brickwall limiting can be found in today’s popular chart-toppers. Listen to a contemporary pop or EDM song, and you’ll likely notice how every element, from vocals to instruments, sounds incredibly loud and energetic, while still maintaining clarity and intelligibility. That’s the magic of brickwall limiting in action.
In summary, brickwall limiting is a fundamental technique in music production used to ensure a song reaches its maximum loudness potential without distortion. By using a limiter to compress the audio’s dynamic range, producers can create loud, attention-grabbing tracks that stand out in today’s competitive music landscape.
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