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Limiter Cheat Sheet

Use this cheat sheet to help you further understand how to use a limiter. Below are a few notes on some of the parameters. 

Gain/Input Knob: Limiting won't begin until our signal exceeds the threshold. When we mix quiet, we often find ourselves needing to add input level to our signal so it can reach the threshold, which is when limiting / gain reduction can begin. 

ReleaseGenerally, shorter release times are punchier and louder. Longer times will give a cleaner result. 

Gain Reduction: With a good mix and a high quality limiter, you can typically get away with 3-5dB of reduction. Remember to always use your ears though; if you hear distortion, lower your input and do less reduction.

Lookahead: Shorter lookahead times will give you more loudness, but also more distortion. When using short lookahead times, utilize higher oversampling rates. 

Attack: Some limiters offer parameters which control the attack. Just like a compressor, the attack parameter will help tame transients. At the mastering stage however, problematic transients should have already been addressed. Be careful when setting the attack parameter, as extremely short attack times can "dull" transients. 

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