In electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

, a limiter is a circuit that allows signals below a specified input power to pass unaffected while attenuating
Attenuator (electronics)
An attenuator is an electronic device that reduces the amplitude or power of a signal without appreciably distorting its waveform.An attenuator is effectively the opposite of an amplifier, though the two work by different methods...

 the peaks of stronger signals that exceed this input power.

An FM radio receiver usually has at least one stage of amplification for this purpose. It provides a constant level of signal to the FM demodulator stage, reducing the effect of signal level changes in the output. If two or more signals are received at the same time, a high performance limiter stage can greatly reduce the effect of the weaker signals on the output. This is commonly referred to as the FM capture effect
Capture effect
In telecommunication, the capture effect, or FM capture effect, is a phenomenon associated with FM reception in which only the stronger of two signals at, or near, the same frequency will be demodulated....


Generally, FM demodulators are not affected by amplitude variations, since the baseband is contained in the frequency deviations. Some detectors, including the Ratio Detector, inherently limit gain by a nature of the circuit design. In AM radio, the intelligence is located in the amplitude variations, and distortion can occur due to spurious signals that could cause the baseband to be misrepresented.

Mastering engineer
Mastering engineer
A mastering engineer is one skilled in the practice of taking audio that has been previously mixed in either the analog or digital domain as mono, stereo, or multichannel formats and preparing it for use in distribution, whether by physical media such as a CD, vinyl record, or as some method of...

s often use limiting combined with make-up gain to increase the perceived loudness
Loudness is the quality of a sound that is primarily a psychological correlate of physical strength . More formally, it is defined as "that attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud."Loudness, a subjective measure, is often...

 of an audio recording during the audio mastering
Audio mastering
Mastering, a form of audio post-production, is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device ; the source from which all copies will be produced...


See also

  • Dynamic range compression
  • Flow limiter
    Flow limiter
    A flow limiter or flow restrictor is a device to restrict the flow of a fluid, in general a gas or a liquid. Some designs use single stage or multi stage orifice plates to handle high and low flow rates.-Uses:...

  • Limiting
    Limiting: Any process by which a specified characteristic of the output of a device is prevented from exceeding a predetermined value....

  • Negative feedback
    Negative feedback
    Negative feedback occurs when the output of a system acts to oppose changes to the input of the system, with the result that the changes are attenuated. If the overall feedback of the system is negative, then the system will tend to be stable.- Overview :...

  • Voltage-controlled amplifier
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