When mastering, it's essential to have a final tool that does the job right, that's flexible and powerful, and not hindering ideas from becoming professional reality; this is what Clipped-MAX is to me.
The final limiting in mastering is not a easy task, it can be done easily but the results vary in directions of the final director. It's important to have a tool that gives you full control over the dynamics of the pre limited material, and even though there's many good tools out there, not many does it as good as Clipped-MAX or has the extra handy tools as this has.
The first section of Clipped-MAX is the "Shifter" which is a clipper and or compressor, you can set it to be very aggressive full on clipping the top of the material, or set the attack, release, shaper and drag the Initial fader for it to do compression before the clipping, which also can be adjusted by the End slider to not clip at all. You can even control the type of harmonics it will produce when effecting the audio, by setting the Harmoncis knob down it will produce even harmonics, all the way up is odd harmonics, and as it's a percentage, guess what 50% does.
The Second section is the "Stereo", and as you might have guessed, it's doing stuff in the stereo world, more specific, stereo dynamics, adding dynamic control in M/S independently, so you can contain very wide mixes, or vice versa, it can expand the stereo image pretty wide, while still containing it not to exceed the overall volume, bringing out details without making already loud stereo sounds too loud. It also has Balance and Width control, quite handy to have built into a limiter.
The Third section is the "M-Band", M stands for Multi and band stands for, well just band, making Clipped-MAX a multi-band limiter as well. It has up to 6 bands in total, more than enough i think, and it also has five different modes of limiting, from hard to soft, tube and distort. The point is to set a type, and then adjust amount and shaper until it feels right, i found that weird to start with, as i expected to have control over attack and release, but it's really not necessary, as you can set the shape on the soft ones to make that balance. Again you can set Harmonic here as well, and on each band, so you can set one band to be odd, and one even, and one in between if you like.
The final section is the "Master" section, and this alone is worth the plugin price of $50.00; the algorithms in this section is partly taking from the acclaimed Limited-MAX plugin, some new, and some from the Clipshifter, if im not wrong. It also has both an ISP mode and an ISP button, so choosing another algorithm will but leave you unISP, you can always just click the ISP button, and you are Inter-Sample Peak protected, and it works perfectly. It's easy to adjust the input on the Makeup knob, easy to set the threshold or Margin as it's called here, and again you can choose Harmonic character, that's it, dead simple, yet super effective, as the algorithms are super good, and the range is vast enough for most if not all types of music, a good advise is to read the manual for the specifications on the algorithms, which is quite detailed.
Surrounding the plugin is oversampling up to insane 128 times in four different quality modes, you can Autogain the output to match the input, Bypass and control the Wet/mix effect. It also has some nice visualizers suited for the task you are performing, it makes perfectly sense to visually see the amount of reduction in the Shifter or Master, and when in Stereo you see a vector stereoscope, in M-Band you see a normal spectrum analyzer which also is a wise choice, but if you disagree, you can always just change it in the bottom of the plugin, very thought out and super effective. On the right side you have some meters, one for either the amount of clipping/limiting done and one for the input, you can change which one by clicking the bottom button in the meter, and another meter which can be set to Dbfs, the k- ones or EBU integrated lufs i believe.
All in all, this is a one limiter to rule them all, it can more than most, and sounds as pristine as the best. The price, features and quality makes it a no-brainer for both newbies and pros.Read Review
It's time for me to write a review of this one, as I've used it for quite some time, on off in between testing other EQs, always trying to find that thing that just works. I think I've bounced between Toned-MAX and others because it had minor bugs some time back, they are all fixed and more features have been added as well, so yea, here it comes.
First off it's said to shine most at mastering, and while it's excellent for that, i actually almost only use it for mixing. The reason why is because it's just so fast and easy to work with while being complex if needed. It has lots of filter types with as many slopes as possible (or usable), with 96db in pass and shelf, it has analog styled types, a new vibe style, also an analog emulation, all pass also up to 96db, constant-Q bell, notch, tilt, and of course band pass. I find it very sufficient and has not met a barrier here, no matter what i want to do, from classic analog low shelfs to super precise surgical bells, it is very handy and sounds top notch while being that.
BUT, it's not only an EQ, it's also a analog circuit emulation, with various types and saturation methods, variation in L<->R and added noise which both can be activated/deactivated according to the job and purpose. The emulations sounds pretty good, and the variation is nice, but the naming is hard to understand, at least for me, as i have no clue what it does or what it's emulating, but i can hear a difference when shifting between the emulations, so i'm forced to use my ears when selecting, which in the end is all that matters.
BUT, there's more, it also has a good gain stage toolbox, with pre or post clipping and drive gain, that effect the analog emulations as well, input and output controls is also there, making it easy to master the volume pre and post effect.
BUT, yes, even more, it also as a stereo toolbox, with width control, a low mono filter to force the low end to roam in mono, a panner, channel switcher R<->L, and a phase flipper.
And to top it all of, the EQ bands can work dynamically with an adjustable threshold, attack and release. It's not as versatile as what i would like, as there's only one dynamics control that controls all the bands that's set as dynamical EQ band, so no one band one threshold mechanics unfortunately, but it's still useful in some situations, mainly in mastering.
The interface is easy, dark mode in clear colors (adjustable), and i like it, it's not trying to look like anything else than a versatile EQ, and i love that. Its spectrum analyzer is showing current and average spectrum, but it's a bit slow, no not slow, it's just not updating as fast as i would like it to be updating, like it's running 30hz or so; it's not really a problem, it's not annoying, but still something i would change and make faster.
Adding bands is done fast by double clicking in the spectrum, like you would imagine, changing type, fine tuning and so on is easy in the bottom box, which can be hidden if needed, or by right clicking a band. They are easy to drag around, easy to adjust Q with middle mouse button, double click again and it's deactivated, very standard controls and industry demanding, so standard is good in this case.
It also has oversampling in minimum and linear modes, in LQ and HQ modes, but i never use them, never really felt the need.
I want to say it has a sound, and not really, it depends how you use it, which is the beauty of it, and i cant hear any quality issues; with that said, I've tested it in PluginDoctor, and it has a rather high noise floor compared to other top quality EQs, but when using it in a mix, and a lot, this is not audible at all, i actually find it opposite, the mix sounds crisp a clearer compared, and trust me, I've compared, as i started out saying, I've compared it with almost everything.Read Review
Great features with a small paid.
One of the most usable limiter that I have ever used.
Bug fixes are also frequently implemented.
It is strongest if input is strengthened in the future.Read Review
I tried the demo, I enjoyed the FETPress and OptoPress modules on guitars and bass. The free Phuzz module, that boasts 7 individual multi-band saturation settings, is a no-brainer, it could easily be a paid plugin. There's also a free gate, filter, EQ and compressor.
The preamps sound fantastic, to my aging ears, at least. I ended up getting the White Pre during the recent sale. The OMPre also sounded rather good, the others also had their own unique flavours, the analog vibe is great, low CPU, too.
I tend to only use the TCS platform at the moment. My only gripe is the interface, don't get me wrong, it serves it's purpose.
I would like a scalable interface, but that's just me. I also tend to prefer simpler interfaces, I can find too many options overbearing. I use the simpler single TCS option.
A demo, or the free modules, are definitely worth a try.
I felt they deserved a review, hence me writing this.Read Review
Limited-MAX by LVC Audio is a fully featured mastering limiter that provides a loud and transparent sound. To accomplish this, MAX dynamically selects from three different algorithms — Clean, ClipShifter (fast transients), and Peak Saturation (sustained loudness). The dynamic decision is made via the flashy dynamic algorithm, which can be easily overridden by sliding around on the X/Y pad. MAX is truly invisible — it limits the peaks and enables the average level to be raised and prevents clipping without adding any color, harmonic tint, distortion, or pumping. When mastering, increasing the perceived volume of an entire track is usually desired. However, as is true with any powerful limiter, if pushed too hard the dynamics get flattened to death. MAX is more than capable of gently reducing the odd waveform peaks by a few dB without causing any harm. The end result is a smoother mastered stereo track that has all of the perceived dynamics. Back in the day, analog clipping wasn't always bad. In fact, sometimes levels were intentionally pushed to their limits to maximize sound quality, but in the digital world clipping can easily become digital distortion, which is nasty (in a bad way). Audio is often set at -3dB of lower to prevent such nastiness. MAX has look-ahead and therefor can be thought of as a true brickwall limiter; yet, with the right settings, the track will not crash into the wall and die. My favorite features:
The selectable output metering features a color scheme of gold against the white background with red indicating the reduction. It took a little getting used to, but it grew on me; The factory presets are really good and work well as is and/or can be used as a starting point to adjust from; however, it would be nice to have more presets to choose from.
When mastering, I believe it's vital to use a limiter that protects the track and doesn't add anything unwanted — the only "character" I want in room while mastering is me! A limiter is the cleanest way to boost average level without clipping, and MAX does this very, very well. MAX can be strapped across the master buss as one of the last processes with the goal of total transparency and no added coloration. This plugin is extremely precise and won't allow anything over their upper limit, once set. MAX will undoubtedly become my mastering safety net. I highly recommend this fine mastering limiter to anyone working with digital audio who is looking for a clean, transparent, and natural sound. I give Limited-MAX two transparent thumbs up.Read Review
Limited-T by LVC Audio is a straightforward, yet versatile track and buss limiter that allows users to add a wide range of pleasing color that ranges from digital clarity to analog warmth via the X/Y controller. This plugin successfully captures the nuances of vintage compressors and limiters without having to heat-up any tubes. Despite its ability to add warmth, it's fairly transparent — any added tonal characteristics are gentle and help work wonders on busses. The plugin is responsive, and it's very easy to finely adjust the output ceiling to provide protection without flattening the track into oblivion. I demoed this plugin on a dynamic vocal track, and with little effort I created a smoother track with a constant level — the tracks peaks were sculpted without any obvious loss of dynamics. I pushed the levels to the extreme and avoided clipping and digital distortion. I especially like the following features:
This might be an odd request, but how about a randomizer to generate a variety of possibilities?
For tracks and bussing, I think it's important to have the ability to make some adjustments according to the needs of that specific segment of audio. Limiting while mixing can be tricky — it creates safety, but often at the cost of musicality. Limited-T makes it easy to use sparingly or heavily after recording the tracks. Regardless of where and when — Limited-T delivers. I highly recommend this plugin to anyone tracking digital audio. For those looking for something to master with, LVC released a mastering limiter plugin that pairs up nicely with this plugin — both being sold at a great price. For performance and value I give Limited-T an unlimited thumbs up.Read Review
*Disclaimer: I'm a songwriter, producer, and educator. My writing style may read like a billboard ad, but my user review is sincere and authentic. I only appraise a product I consider extraordinary, hence the high rating. I don't work for the developer. In fact, I rarely work at all. :-) I hope you find my review useful. — Tommy Zai
PreAMPed by LVC Audio is an analog preamp simulator plugin with more than a dozen unique modules that effectively and convincingly recreate and emulate the nuances* of top hardware gear. The interface is tidy, eye pleasing, and user-friendly. It has just enough buttons and knobs to enable users to work wonders without being over-stimulated and lost in a menagerie of visual chaos. The sound quality is fantastic, especially when using maximum oversampling (8x) — great algorithms. The sonic pallet ranges from crisp and clean to hot and dirty. I have had a lot of success using PreAMPed to process individual audio tracks, especially guitars, bass, and vocals (as an FX). I have read, and can easily imagine, using this plugin globally to enhance the entire mix.
MY FAVORITE FEATURES
PreAMPed is an outstanding and useful analog hardware preamp simulator plugin. Some compare it to its Klanghelm counterpart. Perhaps some of the features overlap, but IMO both units are unique and worth having in the virtual toolbox. I highly recommend this plugin to any eMusician, producer, film/game scorer, DJ, sound designer, etc., who is looking to expand their sonic timbre with a fantastic set of analog preamp modules. Tommy Zai gives PreAMPed two fat thumbs up. Thank you, LVC, for creating such a useful and affordable plugin.
*EQ response curves, frequency saturation, L+R channel differentiation, crosstalk, noise, transformer/coil impulse response, saturation, etc.Read Review
Review for version 1.1.0 beta...
this is my first review here on kvr and I picked the free ClipShifter by LVC-Audio. Why just a simple clipper? Because this little tool is full of powerful features when it comes to simple clipping up to dynamic limiting, dynamic distorting, dynamic saturating and also a bit of compressing. You can also use it as a simple tool for analysing the transients and the dynamic range of your audio material.
The version 1.1.0 is a bit different from the version 1.0.3. which was a part of the DC'12 here on KVR. The new version include a realy nice waveform viewer and an alias filter with up to 3x oversampling.
With a bit of tweaking you can push drumloops with a huge dynamic range easily into the maximum. And that for my taste in a realy musical and still dynamic way. The secret lies in the possibility to tweak the attack-, releasetime and the shape of the clipping curve. Other controllers like harmonics, initial and end values for the threshold also affects the dynamic.
As a nasty distortion or saturation tool you can put Clip Shifter on material like basslines or leads. You can automate all parameters and so you can get some nice distortion movements in sounds like a simple sinewave or complex reese basses. I think for all you dubsteppers and DnB guys this is a nice extra tool in your distortion arsenal ;-)
I compared ClipShifter with some other free clippers and limiters and have to say that this little gem plays by far in the upper league.
BTW ClipShifter comes in 32bit and 64bit VST format.
Bye, Impulslogik...Read Review