Soft Clip Limiter

One of the biggest problems of digital audio technology is setting the right recording level on AD converters. The main challenge is that there is no level reserve beyond the maximum of 0 dBFS which could catch short peaks. In the moment a signal is digitally overdriven it is damaged irrevocably, because the original structure can hardly be reconstructed later.

Depending on the source signal, this type of peaks will produce audible distortion, as the signal is cut off and does not correspond to the original source anymore. In addition, this kind of clipping produces lots of new harmonics that do not always fit into the desired musical context.

The Soft Clip limiter has been developed to solve these specific problems. It is specialized in catching short and transient-like signals reliably. The technical principle is different from a classic 'brickwall' design which completely forbids further level increases beyond a certain threshold.

Instead, it is working similar to an analog tape machine driving loud impulses into saturation, acting like a 'natural' limiter. The Soft Clip limiter is based on discrete transistors, and just as with tape, its characteristic saturation curve results in rounding peaks instead of cutting them off. Especially when the source material contains variable peak values, the Soft Clip limiter comes in very handy.