How to Understand Limiters on todays Audio Devices

To me :  Limiters are a Must have on almost any Audio related device , Many have them , many do not .

The Basic concept of a Limiter , is this ,  A Wall ,  not a Door , A Wall , Some are HARD walls , Some are Soft Walls “Their so Cushy !!) name the movie for 10 points )

But I have a different way of Illustrating the different types of Limiting . Let’s take a look , Shall we?

The Sumo Wrestler

The Samurai

The Ninja

The Preist/Monk

Analogue Tube Compressors / Limiters = The Sumo Wrestler

Imagine a Narrow road , with a Big Gate like an entrance to a Shrine or Japanese Castle ( Gate = 0Db )

You ( Sound)  Go RUNNING up to the Gate , but you don’t have a Pass to get thru it .

The SUMO ,  Stands in front of you , and when you come RUNNING up to the gate he knocks you down and SITS on you ( Are you getting a Good Visual here or not ?)

Your Not Going thru that Gate , AND your not going to Feel very good after the incident , Kind of Squashed if you know what I mean .  The Harder you Run or Push , the More Squashed you get , but you don’t go thru that Gate

The Samurai …..  Digital Limiting but with GOOD Level Meters and Peak Meters so you can SEE where your levels are .

So you ( Sound ) Go Running up to that Gate ( 0Db )  and the Samurai Steps out and draws his sword with his Colourful Armour and Skilful display clearly Warning you , that you getting to close to that Gate .  If you try to go thru you will get Chopped off and it is clearly demonstrated to you . ( Good Metering )

Problem , You WILL get CHOPPED or Digital Clipping , Distortion , Bad for your Sound and career  so you stay away from the Peaks .

The Ninja ….. ( Same as above but no Reliable Metering to see where you are at )

You ( Sound ) Go RUNNING up to the Gate ( 0Db ) and you don’t see anything until the very last second when the Ninja jumps out and Cuts you in half and you still go flying right thru the Gate ( 0Db)  but in pieces ………

Not really desirable is it ?

The Priest/Monk ……. I like this guy , So easy to get along with but a bit Mysterious at times

You ( Sound ) go RUNNING up to that Gate (0Db)  but the Priest kind of Runs along side you , and is pulling gently on your Backpack straps slowing you down , so when you get to the gate you actually have to stop and get your breath , with no real energy left to go Plowing thru it .

The Priest/Monk is Staged limiting , Optical Limiters Well Before the A/D converters giving the Converters some protection before hand and safeguarding your sound .

The Samurai and Ninja are Digital Limiter AFTER the A/D converter offering no REAL protection at the Gate (0Db)

They simply cut you up once you go thru that Gate .

The Sumo , Can be adjusted , But He LIKEs to sit on people ,  He is BIG  So don’t Run to Hard up to the Gate , and Definitely bring FOOD with you when you come .  ( He is BIG )

Limiters …….  watch out for that Ninja Dude …..


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