A limiter works like a compressor with a ratio of oo : 1 and a very short attack time. As a result, it cannot clip. But there are pitfalls.
Do you want to make sound louder? Then you can use a compressor and limiter, among other things.
A limiter works like a compressor with a super short attack time and a ratio of oo : 1. You can therefore make audio very loud, without it clipping. But it’s just harder than it looks.
👉 Read also: How To Make Sounds Louder Without Clipping
TDR Limiter 6 GE is a great sounding limiter, and much more.
Because of the short attack time, the limiter reacts immediately And cuts the signal so fast that distortion may occur. This sounds ugly and tiring.
Distortion on a limiter can be counteracted by increasing the attack time.
Also, many limiter plugins allow you to use a look-ahead function. This allows the limiter to ‘look in the future’ and react to peaks before they occur.
Look-ahead in Fabfilter Pro-Limiter.
The look-ahead function does often cause audible ‘pumping’. And the sound is less snappy. So it doesn’t always work.
An alternative for ahead is a clipper. With a clipper, you cut off peaks immediately. It doesn’t always work, but if you use it subtly, it can sound more transparent than limiting.
In some limiters there is both a look ahead and clipper option. The clipper can be used for short peaks and the look-ahead limiter for longer peaks.
An example of a limiter with clipper is TDR Limiter 6 GE from Tokyo Dawn Labs. Check it out, because it really sounds great.
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