Audition Hard limiter not working – solved (kinda)

For my job, I work in radio broadcasting, and sometimes I have to create imaging for stations. For my workflow, this involves an Audition session with about 10 tracks, and close to a hundred or more audio files.

I recently had a huge amount of trouble in successfully mixing down the audio to the point where it that it just wouldn’t work properly at all with what would usually be a simple procedure.

I had mono voiceover files in a 48k stereo mix. I had a hard limiter on the top track containing the VO, and had multiple markers and other audio throughout the session.

As you can see from the image, this is nothing out of the ordinary. So, what could go wrong, and what’s the problem?

When I mixed down the session, I was having the first file working perfectly to a -2dB, but when it got to the second and further VO files, the hard limit failed every time.

As show in the following image, you can see the files on the right of the mixdown of the problem.

At first I thought that the session had become corrupt through too many markers, or cues, or me changing things, or a broken hidden volume point or even the fact that I was running a 48k session and that it was broken – I thought that something MUST have been wrong, and even potentially a bug in Audition (as I’ve found 2 in the past)! I even resorted to changing it to 44.1k and had tried using AATranslator as well to reprocess it to a new file, and I even started studying an XML export of the session for problems. I’d even started asking around about this problem.

Nothing seemed to fix my mixdown issue!

The solution was simple – I just changed all my VO files to stereo, and that was all I needed. Amazing.

So, while the problem was solved it still doesn’t answer the question, as to why the first file was ok and not the rest, because it too like all the rest, is a 48k mono 32-bit float mp3.

Is this a bug, I don’t know, but I found a hint to the problem from Larry Jordan.
https://larryjordan.com/articles/audition-cs6-hard-limiter/

The other important thing to remember to do it put a limiter on your master output too. Do this last so you can still tweak everything, but for me, I still had peaks coming through from the music and SFX backgrounds which helped push it all over my limits. Just play around but see how you go.

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