Normalizing and disturbing peaks

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kamilu
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Normalizing and disturbing peaks

Post by kamilu » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:59 am

Hi Forum
A question regarding how to deal with annoying peaks when normalising recorded wave files.
I record my band at rehearsals and gigs on my ZOOM H2. I record fairly low, in order to avoid distortion. Recording format is MP3 320 kbps
Most of the information is within - 20 dB on both sides of center as seen in attchm
Wave2.GIF
Original recording
(29.15 KiB) Not downloaded yet
When I normalize the recording, some annoying peaks are preventing me for getting the highest possible level. See here:
Wave1.GIF
Peaks
(63.95 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Untitled1 is normalised and the disturbing peak is highly visible.
In Untitled2 (the original recording) it can be seen that the original peak is around -16.6 dB and can be measured to last around 2 ms.

One way to handle this is to manually go through the file, select any disturbing peaks and select in menu: Process - Change level.. to reduce to a suitable level. This is a tough job, when the recording lasts more than an hour.

Another way I would assume to work is to apply a Limiter effect, but this is where the problem starts. (Maybe due to lack of my understanding.)

When I select Process - Dynamics... I maintain the following settings:
Attack: 1 ms, Hold: 5 ms and Release 1 ms.
Threshold: -20 dB, Ratio: 10.0:1

With these settings I would assume that a peak at -16 dB would be processed and the rest, which is -20 dB or lower is left untouched.
But this is not what is happening. Actually the entire wave is processed and "squeezed" no matter how low the dB level.

When I play around with the Normalize before and after settings I can't see the waveform is altered. The peaks are still there and no difference from just normalizing the original recording can be observed.

Do I operate the compressor/Limiter in a wrong way?

Is it simply better to manually reduce the gain of the disturbing peaks?

Br Michael
Win 7
Wavelab 6

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