calf limiter behavior

Not strictly an Ardour question…

With the Calf Limiter I hear the sound level increase as I turn down the “Limit” control. It seems like this control actually increases gain while always keeping the limiting threshold at 0dBFS. This isn’t how I would expect the limiter to behave. Is this some kind of bug, or am I misunderstanding what the “Limit” control is supposed to do? What is going on?

The limit threshold is controlled by the Output Gain knob.
The Limit knob appears to be “Decrease Dynamics” more than anything else, likely to cater to the modern day producers who don’t want their output level to move away from 0dB more than absolutely necessary.

The ZaMaxim2 limiter works in the same way and apparently many do, according to .
It says In most cases, the limiter performs the gain-increase automatically - however low you pull down the threshold, the limiter will increase the output gain by the same amount, so the output will always be the at the top of the ceiling

OK that confirms what I thought. And I figured out that reducing the output gain would have the equivalent effect of lowering the threshold. Seems like the controls could be labelled more clearly - like Limit representing, ummm, the limit. Maybe I’m inadvertently showing my noob-ness. But anyway thanks for the clarification!

Take care most limiters sacrifice low-end while increasing perceived volume. You would like to use some saturator to limit some instruments (drum kick) more naturally.

With Calf limiter I use to reduce dynamics some dBs while I balance the limiter output reducing same dB quantity