limiter/compressor question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by supersonikk, May 10, 2005.

  1. supersonikk


    Apr 28, 2005
    hi guys.. coupla questions..

    - can anyone tell me the difference between a limiter and a compressor?
    - would it be better to use both or just one or the other?
    - can anyone recommend some models?

    thanks heaps guys!
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well i shall move this to effects but...........

    a limiter is simply a compressor set for infinite ratio compression. once you hit a certain point (the threshold) you simply won't get any louder.

    also, the search feature is your friend. ;)
  3. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    " can anyone tell me the difference between a limiter and a compressor?"

    in a compressor you choose the threshold, and from that level on: the effect kicks in, so in a 2:1 ratio, each 2 dB in, there is 1 out. in 8:1, each 8 in, 1 out.

    a limiter is when you set the ratio on infinite:1 so technically you have to give infinit level in so to have 1 out. that means the level dosent go any higher that were you set the threshhold.

    "- would it be better to use both or just one or the other?"

    actually if you want to protecto your rig or if your pre clips easily, its good to have a limiter 1 step under the clipping. and thats the only use i can think of for using both, so you set there the limiter and you use a compressor to small yopur dynamics.

    i think you should do fine with just a compressor.

    "- can anyone recommend some models?"

    actually depends what are you looking for, the compressor in my AX1B colours A LOT the sound, which its great to slap a-la-claypool, but its not good if i want any other tone.....

    i have a BOSS LM-3B limiter/enhencer, which actually its a compressor and not a limiter, cause it has a ratio knob.
    and works pretty good for compressing a big roung sound.

    the problem with these 2 is that they dont have leds, so you dont know when and how they are acting. Rack based compressors have leds, so when they compress you know this and for setting your preset its a lot easyer.
  4. supersonikk


    Apr 28, 2005
    thanks guys!

    yea i've heard heaps about the lmb-3.. just looking if there is any other options.. gotta keep ur mind open for more options out there, right? :)
  5. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004

    actually i think some people dislikes the LMB-3, its a matter of taste, lets wait for more otpions....
  6. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I tried the LMB-3, and found it to be very clean-sounding, but limited. It is basically intended to be a "brick-wall" that prevents any loud "volume peaks" in your playing. Personally, I prefer a compressor focused on both a) making soft sounds louder and b) making loud sounds softer. A limiter is more focused on "b)".

    The studio experts can tell you about the differences between things like ratio, level, threshold, hard-knee, soft-knee, single/dual-band, etc., but I can suggest listening to several units. Unless the compressor is especially "clean" by design, it will tend to color your sound (which may be exactly what you want).

    After trying the compressor in my Bassman 200 amp, an LMB-3 and a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ Bass (owning all 3), I found that I was actually looking for more than just a compressor. A little compression is OK, but too much limits my dynamics. What I really wanted was something to do a good high-quality job of fattening-up my sound without much "fuzz" (I don't like fuzz).

    For the cost of 2-3 mediocre stomp-boxes, you can get a good multi-effects unit (it is unlikely you want a cheap one...). I heartily endorse the Line6 Bass PODxt, but it requires a "techie", since it is rather complex. The BOSS GT-6B is reportedly a) simpler and b) has better effects than the PODxt. I went with the PODxt because a) it has better amp-modelling and subtle features giving me tons of control, without adding noticable "effects" (although it has effects too!), b) it is smaller and c) unlike the GT-6B, there is no battery to replace. The compression on both units is pretty-good, but not OUTSTANDING like the EBS Multicomp or other top-notch favorites. Again, though, I wanted more than just compression.

    BTW, ever see this URL (tons of reviews!)?
  7. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Actually it is like dadodetres said above- it depends on what function you want the compressor to do. If you are happy with your sound and are just looking for something to protect your speakers or control dynamics, I recomend the dBX 160X. This is just an older (and some say better) version of the current dBX model 160A, which was the designation placed on it when HK bought dBX (at least I am told).

    The 160X has 1/4" balanced in/outs, is fully metered and is also a limiter. It is very transparent and extremely quiet, as you would expect from a studio quality compressor. They can be had on eBay for $150-$200 and take up a single rack space.

  8. If the dbx 160x is out of your price range at the moment (like it was for me) I would also recomend checking out the dbx 163x. It only has one slider basically (so it is easy to use) and (for me) it gets the job done. These usually go for about $40-50 on ebay.