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v7.x McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter

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McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter

Next Generation Limiter Technology

The McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter is a look-ahead brickwall limiter plug-in with multiband/multi-stage peak detection and limiting.

The ML8000  is the next generation of limiter technology, using two completely separate stages of processing for significantly improved peak-level adjustment.

Visual feedback, multiple metering sources, and an intuitive user interface make the ML8000 an easy choice for the audio professional.




Clean Mastering

Enter the mastering limiter, a device capable of achieving transparent results. In addition, it ensures the output ceiling is never exceeded. McDSP designed the ML8000 with this primary application in mind. To be clear, the ML800 readily suits many musical genres.

Level Control

The ML8000 can setup a maximum output level on a variety of busses, and add subjectively suitable effects to those groups using the Knee, Mode, and Release controls.


Use the Real-Time Analyzer to monitor how the frequency spectrum is being affected.

McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter Features

  • Brick wall look-ahead limiter
  • Multi-stage peak detection and limiting
  • Unique limiter Knee, and Mode controls
  • Snap function instantly sets multi-band thresholds to signal levels
  • Double precision processing
  • Low Latency
  • Collection of presets from award-winning mix engineers
  • Mono and stereo versions


McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter

Find ML8000 in McDSP Bundles

 Active VS Crossover-based Processing

Because the ML8000 offers so many bands of processing, its design has to do a good job of preserving phase without increasing overall latency. For these reasons, the ML8000 uses an active network to process all 8 bands, instead of the traditional cross-over based approach. The result is mighty compelling. Not only does the ML8000 offer less phase distortion (none if not ‘active’), it does so with a minimal penalty to latency. In fact the ML8000 is still one of the best in its class when it comes to latency – barely over 1 msec of delay from input to output.

Even though processing is active-based, the user interface is still setup as a more conventional cross-over based process. There are 7 ‘cross-over’ frequencies that determine the range of each band’s processing. Note each band’s minimum width is approximately one octave, so when an adjacent band is adjusted, it may cause other cross-over frequencies to update if their proximity to each other is less than this 1 octave minimum.


Although the multi-band processing is completely active, there are two static pre-filters (high pass and low pass) that can be enabled by pressing the HPF and LPF icon buttons at the extreme left and right hand side of the frequency response plot. The high pass filter (HPF) and low pass filter (LPF) track the frequencies of cross-overs 1 and 7 respectively. These filters are useful in trimming the input signal frequency range and removing unwanted signal.

It’s a Snap

The large number of bands can make operating the ML8000 difficult. Fortunately the Snap feature can instantly set all the Multi-band Limiter thresholds to current signal levels, for quick setup and adjustment of all bands. Instead of moving all the multi-band thresholds individually, simply press the ‘SNAP’ button – just to the right of the Multi-band Limiter enable control – and all the thresholds are updated. It’s literally, a snap!

The Snap feature is also useful when auditioning presets. Not every preset is best suited for every application, but the Snap feature can update the threshold (output ceiling) settings to current input levels, and thereby allow the user to see if the preset is a good fit.

Limiter Knee and Mode

The ML8000 Master Limiter offers unique Character Mode and Knee controls for processing alternatives, for both the Multi-band and Master Limiters, making the ML8000 useful for a variety of applications.

The Knee control increases the transition between ‘unlimited’ and ‘limited’ signal peaks and creates a wider, nearly compressor-like response, while still preventing signal levels from exceeding the selected output ceiling. A Knee value of 0% is a standard ‘hard knee’ limiter. Increasing the Knee values causes the limiter to preserve more signal dynamics while keeping peaks below the selected maximum (output ceiling).

The Character Mode control effects how the stages of peak detection interact. Note the effect of the Character Mode control is most audible when the Release time is less than 200 msec, and even more noticeable for Release times less than 20 msec. As the Character Mode names imply, they balance the trade off between perceived loudness and audible distortion. Modes like ‘Soft’ and ‘Clean’ give a more pure result, while ‘Loud’ and ‘Crush’ give a more aggressive result.


The Multi-band Limiter has an additional option called Focus. The Focus modes determine how each band of the Multi-band Limiter tracks and responds to the input signal. The Focus modes are:

  • FIXED – standard active processing
  • VARI-1 – slightly narrower active processing ‘bell shape’ in each band
  • VARI-2 – narrowest active processing ‘bell shape’ in each band

Note that in the VARI-2 Focus mode, a portion of the ‘bell peak’ is preserved by limiter processing, and can be observed during aggressive limiting of a particular band.

It’s a Wrap (Snap?)

The ML8000 Advanced Limiter has plenty of options to keep an audio engineer busy. And options are good! It’s a competitive field, and having the right tools for the job can make all the difference. Hopefully the ML8000 will find its way into your audio tool kit!



McDSP System Requirements

McDSP HD and Native plug-ins are compatible with Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Nuendo, FL Studio, Ableton Live, LUNA, Reaper, Sonar, Studio One, and other DAWs that support AAX, AU, and/or VST3 plug-in formats.

Note as of v7.0, VST is no longer supported. VST versions of v6 McDSP plug-ins will no longer be updated, and will be uninstalled.
McDSP Native plug-ins support AAX Native, AU, and VST3 plug-in formats.

McDSP HD plug-ins additionally support the AAX DSP plug-in format, as well as AAX Native, AU, and VST3 plug-in formats.

McDSP plug-ins support Mac OS 10.13.x (High Sierra), 10.14.x (Mojave), 10.15.x (Catalina), 11.x (Big Sur), 12.x (Monterey), 13.x (Ventura), 14.x (Sonoma), and Windows 10 & 11.

Mac OS version 10.12.x (Sierra) may work, but is not officially supported.
Earlier Mac OS versions are not officially supported.

McDSP plug-ins run natively on Intel and Apple silicon processors.

McDSP plug-ins require an iLok2 or iLok3 USB Smart Key, or an iLok License Manager account and an iLok Cloud session for authorization. Each McDSP v7 plug-in contains two activations per authorization.

McDSP HD plug-ins also support the VENUE S6L systems. Note McDSP VENUE plug-ins are packaged in a VENUE specific installer available on the McDSP web site.

What’s new in V7.2 (December 2022)?

The latest v7 release from McDSP now includes support for both Intel and Apple silicon processors for the entire McDSP AAX plug-in product line. McDSP AAX plug-ins are universal binaries, and will run natively on either Apple hardware platform, once Pro Tools Apple silicon support is available.

What’s new in version 7.0?

McDSP’s v7 is the latest generation of McDSP’s professional audio plug-ins. McDSP’s v7 release brings tons of new and exciting features to our entire line of software products, along with amazing high-definition user interfaces. For over two decades our award-winning double precision, zero latency algorithms have stood out from the crowd, and v7 continues this legacy, adding 1500+ additional presets and two activations per license or subscription. All McDSP v7 plug-ins are also optimized for Apple silicon and the latest Intel processors.

  • Optimization for Apple Silicon and Latest Intel Processors
  • Two activations per license / subscription
  • High definition updated user interfaces
  • Over 1500 additional presets
  • Zero Latency Algorhithms
  • Double Precision Processing
  • New features in select products (listed below)
    • Real Time Analyzers in AE400 Active EQ, AE600 Active EQ, Channel G Compact, Channel G, NF575 Noise Filter, ML4000 Mastering Limiter and ML8000 Advanced Limiter
McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter Overview

McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter Overview

In this overview, McDSP ML8000 Advanced Limiter uses two separate processing stages for significantly improved peak-level adjustment.


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