A limiter is essentially a compressor that has a very high ratio (20:1).
A limiter has two primary applications:
- To keep signal peaks from exceeding a certain level in order to prevent distortion
- To prevent large peaks from reducing the overall average signal amplitude.
Hard limiting is where the threshold is set in such a way as to ensure that the entire signal is being limited. The resulting signal often sounds squashed but is a useful effect with some forms of rock and dance music.
1. Percussion beat without a limiter:
2. Limiter added to sound: