I’m just a MIDI hobbyist and was too busy that I haven’t touched it for a while.
I don’t have a good memory and any music software installed on my PC currently, so I can’t list the exact compressors and limiters I used to use here.
But what I can tell you for now is, DAW and audio plug-ins must support real-time processing.
I started writing songs using MIDI in 2000, and I’ve spent a lot of money to achieve real-time performance like any other MIDI user.
For example, we bought expensive 10000 RPM SCSI HDDs when 5400 RPM IDE HDDs were normal in the early 2000s, we needed ASIO cards to achieve low latency, etc.
DAW isn’t linear audio editing software, unlike Adobe Audition.
We need to record, edit, and monitor in real time.
And many musicians like YouTuber Pianodownloads practice their instruments using DAW or virtual instruments, and some artists like Billy Joel even use them in their concerts.
So yes, any audio plug-ins in DAWs and virtual instruments can be and need to be used in real-time.
And many of them offer real-time audio effects including limiter and compressor.
Examples are Cubase, Cakewalk, and Kontakt.
Omnisphere 2 also offers the Tube Limiter and its product page says: “Range: 0.1ms ~ 400 ms”.
Oh, I just remembered one software with a built-in limiter.
As you can see from the screenshot, this virtual piano has a built-in limiter at the master output.
As you know, a grand piano’s dynamic range is very wide.
So pops and clicks can easily be heard from amateurishly recorded piano performances on YouTube.
And recent virtual piano samples are really big and have very high energy just like real grand pianos.
So when playing these virtual pianos without any limiter or compressor on, audio clipping will likely occur.
While I appreciate your tips above and will follow them whenever possible, I disagree with your opinions about the FMOD’s built-in limiter and compressor.
They really need improvements.
If they were plug-ins for DAW software, all musicians would call them useless…
Don’t get me wrong.
As I always say, I really love FMOD and it’s the best audio API.
Also, the supports from the FMOD team are always awesome.
The only weaknesses are those DSPs, I think.