[PD] compander-limiter from slop~-help.pd

Miller Puckette msp at ucsd.edu
Mon May 3 17:08:41 CEST 2021

Ahhh, you noticed that "warm tube-compander" sound - producers pay top $ for
that :)

I think it's pretty easy to get lower distortion by making the response curve
exactly flat below maximum amplitude - I didn't do that in this application
thinking that the limiting is going to kick in often and so there will
often be distortion anyway... anyone who hits, say, 0.7 with any frequency is
also going to hit 0 sometimes, and that will be the loudest sound where the
distortion is also most noticeable.

It's possible to add a "blanking" interval like some analog solid-state
limiters did.  In digital, if you add "lookahead" (also known as "delay")
you can do much, much better without having to think too hard (that's what
Ableton's built-in compressor does; it won't do zero-delay at all).

For live applications I prefer to make them zero-delay, preferring some
inevitable distortion to adding delay.

all part of the Dark Art (tm:)


On Mon, May 03, 2021 at 09:14:42AM +0200, Peter P. wrote:
> * Miller Puckette via Pd-list <pd-list at lists.iem.at> [2021-04-24 17:45]:
> > As far as I can tell limiter design is a dark art.  Here's one (that imposes
> > a hard limit just within the (-1, 1) range - I made this for "music101" where
> > I needed a hard limit and am assuming the input signal is a voice (so unlikely
> > to have extremely fast attacks)...
> Thanks Miller, 
> it seems that this implementation causes harmonic distortion to a (200Hz
> in my case) sine wave scaled to less than 0dBFS [*~ 0.9].
> best, P
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