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Now, let's talk about Limiters. Limiters are essentially compressors with ratios of 10:1 or higher. These large ratios are used to prevent transient signal peaks from exceeding a chosen level. Because of this limiters, like compressors, allow you to increase the overall track level while avoiding clipping. You can select a ratio of up to 100:1 here in this Dynamics 3 Compressor/Limiter plug-in. That means that if the signal is 100 decibels over the threshold, it would come out of the limiter at 1 decibel over the threshold. Now, that's some pretty serious squashing.
Limiters are useful on many types of tracks and are used most often on the same types of dynamic tracks as compressors are, such as vocals and electric bass. Limiters can be used in cooperation with compressors to take care of the peaks while the compressors perform the main compression duties on the rest of the non-peak signal. Limiters are also useful on submixes and almost always in mastering applications to make sure that the tracks don't peak and cause unwanted distortion. So, check out how adding this Maxim Limiter to the Master Fader track in this session can boost the output signal by reducing the dynamic range of the song, but without creating distortion. Now, don't push it too hard or else you will get distortion. But let's hear how this sounds as I add and change the threshold and the ceiling values here. (Music playing.) So, you can hear in this example that you can bring the threshold down and get some limiting and keep the ceiling high and you get that track to be a lot louder without any distortion. If you bring the threshold down too low and keep the ceiling high, that's going to add distortion to the track, because you're trying to push it too hard. Now, we'll talk more about Limiting, Maxim and Maxim parameters in the Mastering section of this course.
Adding Compression and limiting to your mix correctly, takes some knowledge of the parameters. As you're learning, be sure to try out some of the presets, tweak the knobs and listen to the effects in a variety of instruments.
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