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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Mastering

5. Limiting

As we saw earlier, when a compressor’s ratio is set to infinity, it will act as a limiter, completely preventing a signal from going above the
ThresholdThe parameter in dynamics processing defining the level which an input signal must rise above (or fall below) to activate the circuit. A compressor is activated above the threshold, whereas an expander or gate is activated below the threshold.
threshold
setting. However, dedicated limiters will generally be much better at this job. In the context of
MasteringThe process of preparing an audio recording for release, often involving expert application of EQ and dynamics processing and, for vinyl releases, cutting the master disc from which all pressings will be made.
mastering
, limiters are usually used for two purposes - to raise the apparent loudness of the
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
audio
without affecting its sound, and/or to block
PeakThe highest point of an audio waveform, or one of the highest points of an audio waveform.
peaks
from exceeding the limits of the destination media and causing
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
distortion
or ‘clipping’, or in the case of vinyl, causing the
StylusThe component in a vinyl replay system which makes physical contact with the record. The stylus is mounted into a cartridge containing an electromagnet which translates the movement of the stylus into an electrical signal. The stylus is subject to wear and most may be replaced without replacing the whole cartridge. Because of its shape, the stylus is often known as a needle, though the word is in fact Latin for 'pen'.
stylus
to jump out of the groove! When
MasteringThe process of preparing an audio recording for release, often involving expert application of EQ and dynamics processing and, for vinyl releases, cutting the master disc from which all pressings will be made.
mastering
for CD, following
Compression1) Process reducing the dynamic range of audio. 2) Process of reducing the size of a data file by removing superfluous data or representing it in more efficient, coded form.
compression
with limiting is standard practice, while any projects destined for television or radio will usually have to follow strict guidelines as to their level requirements, and so
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
audio
engineers use limiters across their
Master1) The final version of an audio recording or album that has been prepared for release. 2) The physical medium on which this recording is stored or transferred, such as a glass master CD, CDR or vinyl master from which a production run will be replicated or pressed.
master
outputs to ensure that they are met.

Waves L1 Limiter Plug-in
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