Ratio sets the compression slope. This is defined as the output level versus the input level. For example, if you have the ratio set to 2:1, any signal levels above the threshold setting will be compressed at a compression ratio of 2:1. This simply means that for every 1dB of level increase into the compressor, the output will only increase 1/2dB, thus producing a compression gain reduction of 0.5dB/dB. As you increase the ratio, the compressor gradually becomes a limiter.