Originally Posted by Peaks
One poster made a really interesting post that said nothing is really being perserved at all, instead plugins "convey" a greater sense of dynamics. Big difference between preserve and convey. Believe Slate FG-X was also brought up.
Hi, I'm not familiar with that thread, but maybe the poster was referring to how many software processors employ "look ahead" technology which changes the way they respond to transients?
Also, some limiters such as Voxengo Elephant have modes that make use of psychoacoustics (eg Temporal Masking). I'm not going to pretend that I understand how that works
, but I believe the intent is to make the limiter sound like it's preserving some of the original energy of the track (even though it really isn't - our ears/brains are just being tricked).
Computer/dsp-based limiting/compression definitely allows for some interesting options that pure audio hardware (e.g. a 100% analog limiter) cannot offer. That's not to say that software sounds better or worse than the analog hardware, it's just a different approach. The results will depend entirely on how it's used.
I agree completely with Greg Reierson's comment 'Sort of like saying "it doesn't sound as good, but you'll hardly notice."'. One of the common issues I find with transparent-sounding software limiters is that people tend to over use them without analysing what it has done to the sound of their mix.