Compressors Vs Limiters: What's The Differences?

by Oracle Blog
Compressors Vs Limiters: What

Compressors Vs Limiters: What's The Differences?

Compressors & limiters have a lot in common, but also have big differences & are used in different situations.

The biggest difference comes down to the threshold.

On a compressor the threshold determines the level the gain reduction will begin. When you set the threshold, any time your audio signal passes that threshold, the compressor will react & reduce the gain of the signal.

A limiter will not let the sound get any louder than the set threshold. This is how you can turn up the overall gain & avoid clipping & distorting. If you set the threshold to -1.00dB, the limiter will not allow the sound to go past -1.00dB no matter what you put into the limiter. This can cause things to be squashed, so be careful pumping too much into a limiter.

The ratio also has some differences between the two as well.

A compressor has a low ratio that turns down SOME of the volume when it goes above the threshold. A limiter has a huge ratio that turns down ALL the volume that goes above the threshold.

When to use the two:
1. Compressor - is great to use when you are trying to control the dynamics of a track. A limiter would be too powerful for this situation & would squash the sound. Compressors can also be used to tame transients or "glue" the sound of tracks summed together.
2. Limiter - is great to use on a mix bus or master channel when you are trying to turn up the overall gain of a track without distorting it. A compressor would not be idea for this because the makeup gain could cause clipping & distortion to the overall track. 

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1 comment

  • saeed ameri mahaniJan 15, 2021

    it is very good and fast for learning defference beetwin limitter and copressor. thank you very much

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