Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Is an 1176 really a limiter though?
It sorta can be at 20:1,
i'm with ya, jay... that when someone says "limiter" i first think of L1, L2, T.C electronic boxes, etc. etc. but if you think about what's going on at ratios like 20:1... for the output signal to go up by one dB, the input has to go up by 20 dB. 3dB of output change has to have had 30dB of input change--more than a third the entire dynamic range of tape (just for example). i think 20:1 is certainly putting the smack on whatever you run through it., i.e. "limiting".
in my classes @ school (for what they were worth), the textbook definition of where "compressing" turns into "limiting" is 10:1. i have no idea what they base that on, other than some guy's opinion 30 years ago.
fwiw, when i use 1176's (rarely), they're on 4:1. and that's a *really* high ratio for me. i'm one of those "really small ratio, really low threshold" kinda guys. last night the renncomp on the lead vocal had a ratio of 1.75:1 or so. with a really low threshold--low enough that it was still doing between 3-5 dB of compression. to my ears, the compression sounds more natural that way, you don't hear the knee of the comp.
i've babbled enough now. good thread!