Generally, a device in which some characteristic of its output is automatically prevented from exceeding a certain value. In particular, a TRANSDUCER in which the AMPLITUDE of the output is LINEAR with respect to the input up to a predetermined value, and constant thereafter.
The device is used in commercial radio transmission and in popular recording techniques to avoid distorting respectively the outgoing or incoming signal, and therefore to keep the signal within the DYNAMIC RANGE of the system.
See: COMPRESSION, DISTORTION, MODULATION. Compare: PEAK CLIPPING, TRANSIENT RESPONSE.
Relation of input to output levels in a compressor, limiter and expander. The limiter is shown as a horizontal line indicating that the output signal cannot exceed a certain level, regardless of the input level.