Mastering Setup – The Limiter Explained

Pay attention to the ‘Input’ on a limiter.

The ‘Input’ works a little like the ‘Threshold’ on a normal compressor.

The more ‘Input’ the more the compression effect will be applied to your track.

The second setting you want to look at is the ‘Ratio’.

The ‘Ratio’ setting controls the amount of gain reduction that will be applied.

Typical ‘Ratio’ settings for limiting are 10:1 or 20:1 – this is hard liming.

Brick wall limiting has a very high ratio  and a very fast attack time ratio usually 20:1 and higher.

Be aware brick wall limiting can sound harsh – too much compression can suck the dynamics out of a peice of music.

The other setting to bear in mind is the ‘Attack’ setting.

A fast attack allows the compression to apply quicker – the release settings have less importance but experimenting with these two settings van create very musical results.

That is key – keep it musical – if you’re not sure to start with start with a ‘Fast Attack’ and ‘Auto Release’.

Presets are ok as starting points – try a few and see how they sound.

It’s about testing and listening – messing about with settings and hearing how they work on your track is the best advice I can give.

Check out these free vst limiters

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