The term "saturation" is used to describe a "limiting" effect where little or no increase in output level results from an increase of input level above the "threshold." The main differences between "hard" or "brick wall" limiting and saturation are that the signal below the threshold basically linear and the lack of "attack and release" time constants found in traditional limiters and compressors. Above the threshold, all audio signals are affected instantaneously in the same level-dependent manner.
There are two forms of saturation in Lavry converters: analog and digital.
- Analog saturation is also referred to as "soft limiting" or "soft clipping" and takes place in the analog audio circuitry before the input to the AD converter circuit. Due to non-linearities of the electronic components and variations in component tolerances; this approach tends to be less precise and produce a more audible effect than
- Digital saturation; which is a digital signal process that is extremely precise and controllable.
For more information; see soft saturation.