Limiter / Compresssor

Limiter / Compressor front view

Limiter / Compressor front view

To handle the great dynamic range of the Shakuhachi I needed a compressor for my Shakuhachi 2 Synth project. Because a limiter is not that different I added this feature as well. This comes in handy with my Vocoder project also. The structure used here is derived from “Small Signal Audio Design” by Douglas Self p682ff. The audio signal did not flow through a VCA as in many other implementations. Instead the compression or limitation is done by subtracting the audio signal at the output summing node according to the control voltage derived from the audio signal.

Specs and features
• Switch compress or limit
• Switch Compression/Limit rate 50% or 90%
• Compression/Limit rate adjustable 0–max
• Runs on +/-15V and +/-12V (with minor resistor changes)
• Power consumption below 15mA each rail

The documentation for download can be found in my website.

Limiter / Compressor schematic 01

Limiter / Compressor schematic 01

The audio signal flows unaffected through IC1A/B. When the compressor – limiter kicks in the inverted signal is added (=subtracted) at the summing node of IC1A. The signal level to subtract is regulated through a Sims VCA. The CV generation for the VCA is pretty standard. Linear for the compressor and exponential for the limiter.

Limiter / Compressor schematic 02

Limiter / Compressor schematic 02

Precision full wave rectifier with filter to generate the control voltage for the VCA from the audio signal.

Limiter / Compressor populated PCB

Limiter / Compressor populated PCB

Limiter / Compressor back view

Limiter / Compressor back view

1 thought on “Limiter / Compresssor

  1. Interesting circuit, it got me hooked I need to know more and read that book.
    All the last modules are a wide range of functions, I like that.

Comments are closed.