Soft limiting is basically applying a soft knee type of process to a limiter. Soft limiting rounds the peaks of audio to allow a hotter signal to be printed to tape or disk without clipping. It comes in especially handy for digital recording. Digital converters are more accurate at higher levels (up to clipping) so applying a soft limiter to the signal allows the overall signal to be captured several dB hotter while not sounding overly compressed (only the peaks are altered). In many ways a properly configured soft limiter will emulate the natural characteristics of analog tape saturation and can thus produce a very pleasing and familiar sound in digital recording.