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Recreating analogue limiter distortion Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 5th April 2019
Gear Maniac
maria's Avatar

Recreating analogue limiter distortion

I'm trying to create the sound of an oversaturated analogue limiter.

Apart from shaping the dynamics this type of distortion/compression seems to generate a lot of low end harmonics. Sometimes below the fundamental harmonic which gives the sound size (izotope spectrogram). I hope this makes sense.
Old 5th April 2019
Lives for gear
The only way to truly recreate a specific oversaturated limiter's distortion would be to train a neural net with it.

Every other approach is algorithmic, basically "I think I hear this going on, so I'll simulate that one thing in a digital path and see if it gets me closer."

There are plenty of ways to create distortion digitally - and lots of distortion plugins - but each is only an approximation of what happens in a given analog circuit.

So you've got a couple of choices:

Either string together your own series/parallel path of plugins in a DAW (or your own circuit of modules in something like Bidule or Sonic Birth) until you're happy...

of if you're just looking for low-end harmonics, try something like Waves' LoAir or Vitamin.
Old 6th April 2019
Lives for gear
Mundox's Avatar
Saturation can occur at multiple points on an analog device.
You can overcook the input for example and get a transformer sizzle before hitting the circuit. And by squashing that, you'd bring up the harmonic distortion. So the limiting circuit itself doesn't necessarily need to be doing the distorting.
Old 7th April 2019
Gear Maniac
maria's Avatar

Great replies! Thank you.

I’d love to know how would one recreate the saturation/limiting of let’s say a sound devices 722 with a heavily saturated pre/limiter combo.
Old 8th April 2019
Lives for gear
Mundox's Avatar
Is it because you're trying to match something?
I'd say 722 limiters will have very fast attack and a slow release.
Try with something like the AVID Pro Limiter chuck an EQ pre and post, tweak to taste.
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