I need a limiter and two are on sale: IK Stealth or PSP Xenon?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
KVRist
443 posts since 1 Jan, 2018

Post Thu May 06, 2021 2:07 pm

If you're basing your choice on ISP performance, here's a test ranking a bunch of different limiters:

https://www.saintpid.se/en/isp-true-peak-limiters-test/

They found that Xenon performed much better than Stealth Limiter, but LoudMax and Limiter No6 (both free) did better than either of them.

I haven't done any comprehensive tests, but in my experience, Xenon can sound good in some situations where Stealth Limiter fails. I have Xenon in my "make drone big" template because when the audio is comprised of mostly low and mid-range tonal sounds, it can get loud without introducing any higher frequency clipping-type artifacts. It's basically impossible to get Stealth Limiter to hit the same levels without audible distortion. Stealth seems to behave more like a brick wall limiter, and I'll sometimes abuse it as a kind of clipper on drum tracks because I actually do like the sound. Not very stealthy though, in that case.

KVRAF
2257 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Post Thu May 06, 2021 2:17 pm

Despite its name I wouldn't use Loudmax if maximum loudness is your goal.

KVRist
346 posts since 25 Sep, 2002 from Chicago

Post Fri May 07, 2021 11:05 am

I own Xenon. I've been bugging PSP for years to update the gui for hi dpi monitors. They always say they are working on other things. Personally, I won't buy anymore of their plugins until the ones I have (many) can be used.
Mind Riot wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 1:09 pm
Stealth's latency shouldn't be too much of an issue. My mixing and 'mastering' are two different stages, and the mastering stage only has a few plugs before the limiter and a loudness meter after it.

I loaded up Xenon last night and I literally cannot read any of the controls. Even if I lean in close to my monitor and squint, I can barely make out the back lit ones, and the bypassed (and thus darkened) ones, forget it. It is a complete no go from the start. If PSP make a bigger interface then we'll talk. I suppose I could memorize what everything is if I spent enough time with it, but there's too many alternatives readily available to make that kind of commitment. I'm really disappointed, because I like PSP and, well...this is probably immature, but...I kinda would have preferred to end up using a PSP plug over an IK one. Is that stupid? Probably.

I can get Stealth for $18 right now using Jam Points, and it seems like it will handle my needs with ease. The only other limiter in my price range I'm interested in (aside from FIRComp 2, which I should also consider, I know) is the Gentleman's Edition of TDR Limiter 6. It's available used only a few bucks more than Stealth. I'm curious if people regard it as a real professional tool, because its versatility and the level of control it gives you seems really outstanding.

I'll probably just end up getting Stealth. At the price I can get it for now it's kind of a no brainer. But I've still got a few days before the sale ends, I'll do some reading on TDR Limiter 6 while I've got time.

Any opinions on TDR Limiter 6 GE are also welcome. Maybe I'll start another thread for that. Thank you all very much for your contributions to this discussion, I really appreciate being able to tap into all of your experience and expertise. It's an invaluable resource for topics like this.

KVRist
83 posts since 26 Jul, 2019

Post Fri May 07, 2021 11:47 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:21 pm
Check out FIRComp 2. It hits your price range.
I've read quite a lot of good things about it, haven't gotten around to demoing it yet, though. Does it act like a brickwall limiter when set to limiter mode? I could use a nice clean limiter.

KVRAF
1736 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Post Fri May 07, 2021 6:07 pm

itanever wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 11:47 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:21 pm
Check out FIRComp 2. It hits your price range.
I've read quite a lot of good things about it, haven't gotten around to demoing it yet, though. Does it act like a brickwall limiter when set to limiter mode? I could use a nice clean limiter.
Very clean.

KVRist

Topic Starter

104 posts since 3 Aug, 2014

Post Fri May 07, 2021 10:15 pm

Did a couple mixes today. Got as much loudness as I wanted without using a limiter at all, integrated -12db LUFS or so. I used Stealth and the free Limiter 6. I just used the last module on Limiter 6 to protect against ISPs, with the ceiling set at -1.2db being the magic number to prevent overs. Used Stealth the same way, its ISP oversampling wouldn't prevent overs until the ceiling was set to -1.0db, and I only drove the input 1db to compensate.

No immediate, obvious difference in sound between the two. But being that I'm barely using either of them, I supposed that's to be expected. Now I'm wondering if I should spend any money at all or just get to know Limiter 6 better. There's bound to be situations where I'll need something like Stealth, right? I mean, it's $18, for Pete's sake!

Somebody help me, my head hurts.

KVRAF
2257 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Post Sat May 08, 2021 2:26 am

itanever wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 11:47 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:21 pm
Check out FIRComp 2. It hits your price range.
I've read quite a lot of good things about it, haven't gotten around to demoing it yet, though. Does it act like a brickwall limiter when set to limiter mode? I could use a nice clean limiter.
It has no (or very poor) ISP protection, so I would only recommend it as a track limiter.

KVRAF
2257 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Post Sat May 08, 2021 2:30 am

Mind Riot wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 10:15 pm
Did a couple mixes today. Got as much loudness as I wanted without using a limiter at all, integrated -12db LUFS or so. I used Stealth and the free Limiter 6. I just used the last module on Limiter 6 to protect against ISPs, with the ceiling set at -1.2db being the magic number to prevent overs. Used Stealth the same way, its ISP oversampling wouldn't prevent overs until the ceiling was set to -1.0db, and I only drove the input 1db to compensate.
This sounds off to me. What sample rate are your projects? I just tested the free Limiter 6 with an incredibly loud mix (-5 LUFS), ceiling set to -0.5 and ISP protection set to Precise and after conversion to MP3 the highest peak was -0.1dB. I did the same with Loudmax and it went over to 0.3dB.

User avatar
KVRAF
2329 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Sat May 08, 2021 3:31 am

Mind Riot wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 10:15 pm
Now I'm wondering if I should spend any money at all or just get to know Limiter 6 better. There's bound to be situations where I'll need something like Stealth, right? I mean, it's $18, for Pete's sake!

Somebody help me, my head hurts.
Are you talking about TDR Limiter 6 ? You can get TDR Limiter 6 GE for approx £43, might be wiser if its Limiter 6 you prefer.

If it were me then I wouldn't be buying Stealth after reading this thread, even for $18.

KVRist
83 posts since 26 Jul, 2019

Post Sat May 08, 2021 6:59 am

Vortifex wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 2:26 am
itanever wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 11:47 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:21 pm
Check out FIRComp 2. It hits your price range.
I've read quite a lot of good things about it, haven't gotten around to demoing it yet, though. Does it act like a brickwall limiter when set to limiter mode? I could use a nice clean limiter.
It has no (or very poor) ISP protection, so I would only recommend it as a track limiter.
Yeah, I figured. I was thinking of using it with some other limiter that has ISP protection. According to the tests posted above Loudmax seems to handle ISP well. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I were to set the ceiling of both to let's say -1 db it should work.

KVRist

Topic Starter

104 posts since 3 Aug, 2014

Post Sat May 08, 2021 2:48 pm

Vortifex wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 2:30 am
This sounds off to me. What sample rate are your projects? I just tested the free Limiter 6 with an incredibly loud mix (-5 LUFS), ceiling set to -0.5 and ISP protection set to Precise and after conversion to MP3 the highest peak was -0.1dB. I did the same with Loudmax and it went over to 0.3dB.
Projects were 48k, but for the pseudo mastering session resampled to 44.1k, as they were getting prepped for a CD. Final dithering and conversion down to 16 bit was done in the final CD project where all the mastered tracks were imported and lined up with markers and such.

Not sure what else to say, according to Youlean Loudness Meter I get True Peak overs if I don't set my ceiling at -1.0db or so regardless of what else I'm doing before that. I screwed around with some settings for fun and ran things up to a -6db LUFS mix and -1.0db still prevented overs, and I ran nothing but Limiter 6's last True Peak module and still needed -1.0db to prevent the overs. Whether I was slamming everything to the wall or letting it all breathe, the overs needed to be dealt with the same. (I mean, if I dropped it back to -20db LUFS then I wasn't getting any overs, but when I say I'm letting it all breathe I'm talking about -12db LUFS with no limiting except the true peak module on Limiter 6 catching the overs.)

But I'm not converting to .mp3. I'm just going by what Youlean Loudness Meter tells me. Maybe if I tested things like you are the conversion to .mp3 would be more forgiving than the loudness meter is showing. But right now, it's showing me when overs are occurring and I back off the ceiling until they go away. :phones:

KVRist

Topic Starter

104 posts since 3 Aug, 2014

Post Sat May 08, 2021 2:59 pm

Spring Goose wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 3:31 am
Are you talking about TDR Limiter 6 ? You can get TDR Limiter 6 GE for approx £43, might be wiser if its Limiter 6 you prefer.

If it were me then I wouldn't be buying Stealth after reading this thread, even for $18.
Yes, I'm referring to the freeware Limiter 6; I've had it for years. I think it's a quite capable piece of gear, it's just complex, and if I'm going to use it as the end of my mastering chain I think I'll need to buckle down and get to know it a bit better than I do now.

I still think Stealth will do it's job just fine, and its ease of use is appealing. But I'm no longer entirely sure I actually have a real need for a limiter at all, and some of the freeware stuff is compelling.

GAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! I don't know what to do. If circumstances change and I find I really need a good limiter for something later and I passed up an $18 deal on a good one, I'll kick my own ass all over the place. I could probably even resell it for more than I paid for it in a few months if it doesn't work out.

User avatar
KVRAF
2329 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Sat May 08, 2021 3:28 pm

There's two "Limiter 6". Also there's a freeware Vladislav Goncharov "Limiter 6".

User avatar
KVRAF
2329 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Sat May 08, 2021 5:47 pm

Also. Voxengo Elephant has TP.

KVRist

Topic Starter

104 posts since 3 Aug, 2014

Post Sat May 08, 2021 5:53 pm

Oh, sorry. I only knew about the TDR Limiter 6 and the freeware VladG Limiter No.6 that was its predecessor and ostensibly its inspiration. The VladG is the one that I have that I'm referring to when I refer to "Limiter 6". If I'm talking about the paid version I call it "TDR Limiter 6".

What's the other Limiter 6 that's out there aside from these two?

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