Glue the Giant Mixer: Patching in a Limiter

Once I got a grip on the devices, I found it fairly straightforward to wire up a good default mixer for myself with sends for a delay and reverb.

But I cannot figure out how to wire in a Limiter as the last step in the chain before the combined signal, including sends, leaves the BUS ROUTE module. I can wire up the limiter after the BUS ROUTE, but then the meters on BUS ROUTE do not accurately reflect the signal reaching the AUDIO-8. Is there a way to patch in a Limiter so that the meters on BUS ROUTE reflect the post-limited signal?

I’m not at my PC but I believe you’d want to patch the limiter into the red send and return of Bus Route then the Bus Out from that module into Bus Depot.

Tried that. It limits only the red bus. The blue and orange buses continue to scream away.

Hmmm… only other thing that comes to mind is two instances of Bus Depot. Main outs of one into the limiter then into the inputs of the second.

With just a limiter at the end of a mix, I would patch the MIX OUT of the last Bus Depot to the Limiter. Then take two outputs each from both the left and right outputs of the limiter. Send one pair to your card and another pair to something like an analyzer. That’s one I would do.

You can also use another Bus Depot. It works well to have your pre mastering mix to the first Bus Depot, then any mastering effects (EQ, compressor, limiter, etc.) chained before aux inputs to the final Bus Depot. They are lightweight modules. For example, use multiple Bus Depots to create mix groups. Use an extra Bus Depot to check the output of a limiter. To be clear, a master mix effect does need to happen after a Bus Depot combines all the buses.

Thanks for trying them out!

p.s. And one final option, but not for a limiter, with some effects you can apply them to the polyphonic bus cable before a Bus Depot (but that depends on the type of effect, and depends on if the effect supports polyphonic cables).

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Thanks. I’ll work through the options.

Thank you for the question. I’m adding these lines to the User’s Guide. They are probably more clear and concise than my ramblings above. :slight_smile:

"When adding a mastering effect, like a limiter on your whole patch, add that effect after a Bus Depot has mixed your stereo buses. To check levels after a mastering effect, or after a chain of mastering effects, you can add another Bus Depot or one of the many available VCV Rack visualization modules.

None of the Modular Bus Mixer modules, including Bus Depot, will clip (or clamp) your audio streams.
You can safely add compressors or limiters after a Bus Depot module has mixed your stereo buses."

Too creative ? I used 3 limiters after the Bus Route 1 for each channel.

Or is this absolutely NOT what you want ?

I ask because you say,

but BUS ROUTE has no meters, so I don’t really know WHERE you want the limiter(s).

you can spread a poly in a mix16 and get the limiter(s) from the final mix16 (check contextual menus)


You make me smile, Yeager! :slight_smile:

If you want a limiter on a send bus, then just create a send effect chain with a limiter before the return. If you want a limiter on the mix of your stereo buses, you just add the limiter after the Bus Depot sums your BUS IN (three stereo buses on a polyphonic cable).

There are a lot of ways to get a visual after a mastering effect like a limiter. You can add a Bus Depot (use the aux inputs) or any number of visualization modules.

If using Modular Bus Mixers, Bus Depot gives you your sums (mix). And, of course, a limiter on a mix would come on this mix output.

I only used three limiters because Jon said :

Like this ?

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why don’t you put the limiters directly after the send fx (before the return)? no need for an extra limiter chain imho.

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Smart ! :+1:

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I meant BUS DEPOT. Sorry.

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I purchased CONSOLE a while back, and am completely happy with it except that it takes up a lot of space. I am trying to make myself a fixed Rack that fits on one screen with as little zooming out as possible, so real estate is kind of at a premium. Adding three limiters begins to put me back in the realm of CONSOLE expanse. (Although the concept of applying individualized limiting to the three buses is interesting …)

I will probably just continue to do as the developer suggest and put the Limiter between BUS DEPOT and AUDIO-8. And actually, I have RECORDER wired in there, too, so I can use its meters to make sure I don’t clip the final output.


The latest version of this plugin includes Stereo Out jacks on BUS ROUTE (e.g. for patching to a limiter). I am assuming that if one wanted to this and still use the BUS DEPOT for metering and fade IN/OUT, then an ENTER module must be placed between the limiter and BUS DEPOT, patching the limiter out jacks to one of the channels on the ENTER module.

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Having your main fades (a Bus Depot) before sends (Bus Route) often sounds really nice, especially with certain types of music.

For monitoring any final output for any stereo source, including a stereo limiter, a Bus Depot can do that with the AUX IN.

As you grow a mixer a bit, it almost always makes sense to have a couple of Bus Depots. In your case, one is at the end of your musical mix. The other is at the end of your mastering effects chain. And you’ll have levels and meters for both.


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