Review: Indespensible Limiter Plugins for Mastering
Ian Vargo is an LA-based Producer, Mixer, and Audio Professor, and he has created for Pro Audio Files, and it is basically a review of 5 products that he loves for mastering, 3 of which we sell at Toolfarm. We also have a few others on our list that you may want to check out!
A true peak limiter is an essential tool for every mastering or mixing engineer. Are you looking for a professional, feature-packed limiter that is loud and transparent at the same time, equipped with extensive loudness metering? Then FabFilter Pro-L 2 is your weapon of choice!
This plugin was a game changer for me. As with every other FabFilter plugin, the user interface is perfect. The metering alone makes it more valuable than most other limiter plugins. The different style algorithms and versatility of its controls make it extremely easy to find the right kind of limiting for the job. It isn’t the most transparent limiter on the list, but it’s definitely the most functional. If I could only have one limiter plugin, this would be it.
Unique feature: The sound is great of course, but the metering, which gives you a brilliant readout of average loudness is the standout feature of the Pro-L.
As the industry’s most comprehensive mastering suite, Ozone 8 adds to its legacy by introducing new intelligent signal processing like Master Assistant, track referencing, and more. Enhanced to meet demands of the modern mastering workflow, Ozone 8 is your one-stop for a competitive, professional master. Create a loud, full master with seven multiband mastering processors: Imager, Maximizer, EQ, Dynamic EQ, Dynamics, Exciter, and Vintage Limiter
These two modules found within iZotope’s Ozone 7 are extremely deep. I can’t think of another dynamics processor that is multiband, works in mid-side mode, and has a parallel processing feature.
All of these features wouldn’t matter if it didn’t sound great — but it does. The vintage limiter is great for adding coloration and vibe to your material if needed.
Unique feature: Any plugin that has a wet/dry blend feature is a winner in my book, and this plugin has about half a dozen unique features, but the ability to preview the .mp3 or .aac codec is a standout.
Waves L3-LL Multimaximizer
L3-LL Maximizer comes in the Waves L3-16 Multimaximizer package. Powered by Waves patented PLMixer™ Peak Limiting Mixer technology, the L3-16 maximizes your sound with pinpoint precision and breathtaking detail. With a wide variety of sonic flavors ranging from analog warm to digital cool, no matter what genre, no matter what sound, you’ll stand out from the crowd, loud and clear.
What makes the L3-LL so great is that it allows for multiband limiting. If you’ve got buildup in the low mid-range, or harshness because of sibilance, the L3-LL allows you to hone in and process whichever specific range(s) you desire. Additionally, it has many of the other features that one would want in a typical limiter including dither and master release controls.
I like using the L3-LL because it isn’t transparent when pushed. If, (and this is a big if) I want to make a master sound larger-than-life and hyped, it does the trick.
Unique feature: Being able to solo the separate bands when processing really allows me to find any problematic frequency ranges very quickly.
Other Limiters You May Like
The ML8000 Advanced Limiter is the next generation of limiter technology, using two completely separate stages of processing for significantly improved peak level adjustment.
The first stage of the ML8000, the Multi-band Limiter, uses 8 bands of active processing for superior phase response over traditional cross-over based processing. Each band has its own gain and threshold (output ceiling) control. Additional overall band controls include release time and limiter modes, calibrated similarly to the modes of the original highly acclaimed McDSP ML4000 limiter. An additional focus mode provides subtle articulation changes in how each band tracks and limits the incoming signal.
Developed from the ground up, the Avid Pro Limiter AAX plug-in lets you maximize the loudness of your mix—in up to 7.1 surround—without distortion or harshness. Designed to be completely transparent sounding, Pro Limiter prevents audio from clipping and pushes the volume of your mix further, while preserving the sonic quality and underlying dynamics of the performances.
Posted by Michele Yamazaki