You can follow the gentle Compressor effect with the Leveler effect and get similar results. I think somebody posted an actual peak limiter with suitable controls.
I’ve tried the Leveller a few times and it distorts the sound quite a bit. Don’t really know what exactly that effect does, nor there is any documentation about it AFAIK, but as a compressor-limiter it is not what I am looking for. In some cases, even with gentle to moderate settings I got some ugly distortion, so I am not using that at the moment.
Right in the first paragraph of Chris’s Compressor he posts the reason for all the coding. He’s trying to listen to opera in the car.
I know Chris’s Compressor (RIP by the way; poor Chris passed away a few months ago) and it’s really good, especially for classical music and some progressive rock sources, but mainly “drum-less” music or without a prominent rhythmic track that creates aggressive transients. Not that you can get any pumping with it, because of its “look-ahead”, but if it finds a percussive transient it gradually reduces the volume and that may be a bit annoying sometimes. It’s good for, say, Ravel’s “Bolero” and Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”, but not for Metallica, if you know what I mean. One example would be the latter’s “Enter Sandman” song, on which Chris’ Compressor would gradually decrease the volume on the intro almost from the start to prevent the aggressive bass drum that follows, which makes the compressor unsuitable for this particular source.
I noticed in multiple postings that you never address the music. (…) What is your goal?
I like my music rich and dynamic… at home. I mainly use compression for music on my portable player/cell phone/car CD player, to listen to it in noisy environments like the train, the city streets, our car, etc. I’ve found really useful plugins that offer nice peak limiting without ugly distortion, but that is the last step for me. Because much of the music that I listen to has a wide dynamic range, in many cases I must apply compression before (or instead of) limiting to even the overall loudness a bit. I am perfectly happy with the way Audacity’s built-in compressor works… except for the attack and decay times, which are way slower than those on most software compressors (no idea about hardware compressors). With a 0.1 sec attack time I can hear the compressor working (slight pumping effect) in some transients, which would not happen if the attack/release times were a bit shorter (like they are on most plugins btw). Again, I get great results with Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” (which is unsuitable for portable playing without compression) and “Amarok”, but I can hear it more clearly in Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”, when John Bonham’s powerful drums make their entrance after the soft, bluesy intro, or in Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, where I get a (very) slight pumping on the snare drum.
Hope I made myself a bit clearer this time. This is not a crucial request for me, as I am pretty much happy with how the compressor works, but it would be nice if it worked with milliseconds like most other compressors to avoid those small issues that I noticed. Maybe I’m a bit too fussy with DRC artifacts…