What is the difference compressor and limiter? Music production for beginners

Written by: Dexxter Clark, 15-01-2020
What is the difference between a compressor and a limiter?
A compressor and limiter both reduce volume.
Only their goals is different.
A limiter is `limiting` a sound so it doesn`t clip when it is too loud (you can set what is `too loud`).
A compressor reduces the dynamic range of sound.

In this 1 minute tutorial I`ll explain the basics of a limiter and a compressor for beginners.

video transcription

the dynamic of a sound is the difference between the loudest part and the quitest part.
As you can see by the waveform in the graphic

When this is a sound passing through a compressor
And this is a sound passing throug a limiter
(You see the volume changing over time in both scenarios)
We can set a threshold

If this is the treshold.
A limiter would chop the sound, so wont pass the treshold
The compressor reduces the volume above the treshold

The difference is the part above the treshold

How much the volume is reduced by a compressor is determined by the ratio
for example 3:1 or 6:1.
When the ratio is infinite, it is effectively a limiter

If you are serious about DJing and want to take it to the next level on the CDJ,
you should check out my CDJ 2000 video course.

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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music production

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