Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
Caine123
KVRAF
5245 posts since 5 Aug, 2009

Post Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:52 pm

i'm still usin the brickwall limiter from tracks and it is ok, never really cared much for limiters. after watching the fabfilter plugins i really dig them visually and it seems they got a GREAT support? a great collection of options and are TOP tier?

what are your go tos and why? how would you compare/rate the Fabfilter L2? would u think to replace the tracks limiter would give some benefits?

thanks as always! :tu:
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plexuss
KVRAF
2186 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:13 pm

I went through a bit of a journey with limiters. Master buss limiters I am talking about, but also track limiters to some degree. I could tell you the path I took from limiter to limiter but here is where I am at now:

Nugen ISL2 - my go-to transparent limiter. it just sound good on everything. no colour.

Limitless - my go-to master buss limiter because I like the ability to limit bands specifically, or rather, adjust loudness of specific bands during mastering. Usually multi-band tools sound poor to my ears and I only use them when nothing else will do better. But Limitless' mulit-banding is pretty transparent. It also has some nice metering tools which makes my workflow eaier.

Pro-L2 - has some colour so usually use this for tracking and sometimes as a "pre-limiter" in mastering to get some colour going on.

bx_XL2 - just never jazzed me. I tried to like it and used it a lot but it just didn't cut it and its not true peak so its not appropriate for mastering.

iZotopes Ozone limters - sometimes these are good for getting some interesting vibe on tracks

I have IK Stealth which I got recently but I haven't had a chance to check it out.

LVC-Audio Limitless limiters - great for more colour and getting some funky limiting sounds. Also has some interesting parameters to help with workflow.

I have McDSP ML8000 which is also interesting as a multi-band limiter. I find it has more colour than Limitless but I might choose it for a darker sounding track.

Also BOZ's The Wall is also interesting but I have to get more experience with it to slot it in somewhere.

Thats my take and how I use these various limiters.

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plexuss
KVRAF
2186 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:13 pm

double post - server stall

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Apratim
KVRian
555 posts since 29 Dec, 2016 from India

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:25 pm

For me i use multi band limiting from melda inthe master
And for single track i use mlimiterx from melad again with minimum lookahead (to to keep level below 0 db) and no signal colouration or saturation

I want a limiter to work like a limiter and not to introduce any character (so called transparent limiters ) of their own so these are my go to

And compared to FF
Yeah the gui is awesome compared to melda but dont use it becaus i love to control each and every part of audio signal
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Sam-U
KVRist
44 posts since 8 Jan, 2018

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:04 am

ProL2 is very intuitive, light weighted and of high quality like all FF plugins. Imo it is very transparent. Besides different processing styles for different audio material you can also enable true peak limiting, oversampling up to 32x and choose different noise shapes for dithering. The lookahead is of course adjustable and it provides settings for example for how much the transient/release processing between the channels is linked.

ProL2s visual feedback is fantastic. You can see the gain reduction over time (and can choose which scrolling mode to see more or less) and they also provide a real adjustable loudness meter.

There are some goodies that makes it my favourite limiter: optional DC filtering, Sidechain input (for example when bouncing mastered stems), unity gain (adjusts the volume to compare input and output), "Audition Limiting" (hear only the difference between the input and output) makes it easy to compare the impact even of small changes to the settings, ...

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
2736 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:28 pm

If you are mastering your own stuff then you cannot go wrong with Pro-L 2. I think it would be a huge step up from the old T-Racks classic Brickwall Limiter - things have advanced quite a lot since then.

I preferred Pro-L2 in Transparent mode over both Limitless and Elevate (multiband beasts) on a track recently.

Stealth is good but not for more than 2db.

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ATN69
KVRAF
1795 posts since 5 Oct, 2015 from Swedish / Living in Hong Kong

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:39 pm

I been using a number of limiters from various developers, such as Melda, Fruity Limiter, etc. Now I only use Pro-L2 because I like both the interface and the result I can get. Once in a while I actually also use Limiter no6. It's free and it does a very good job. Limiter no6 is actually compressor and some different types of limiter in one box. Not bad for a freebie.
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DJErmac
KVRian
585 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:00 am

Do try Limitless... You're free to dislike it, but you have to try it.

mike_the_ranger
KVRist
96 posts since 16 Feb, 2017

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:37 am

ProL2 - great sound, best workflow.
iZoptope ozone - can be pushed hard.
HOFA IQ Limiter - good sound but way to few control over it, it's more like AI approach.
UAD precision limiter - old but nice for track limiting.

IK multimedia, melda, waves - in my experience unfortunately more marketing phrases than convincing outcome.

Toneboosters Barricade and Limitless are worth a try.

adl
KVRian
1037 posts since 26 Jun, 2005

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:18 am

There have been a lot of talking about limiters, especially when Fabfilter L2 came out and i never saw someone mentioning Voxengo Elephant 4. I use it since version 3 i think and am just wondering if i am the only one (still) using it? :scared:
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DJErmac
KVRian
585 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:43 am

No, this is the second limiter I use the most. Now I only use Limitless and Elephant. Limitless when I need loudness, and Elephant when I need super clean sound.

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plexuss
KVRAF
2186 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:45 am

MogwaiBoy wrote:[snip] I think it would be a huge step up from the old T-Racks classic Brickwall Limiter - things have advanced quite a lot since then. Stealth is good but not for more than 2db.
I suppose Stealth fails as a brickwall limiter because it doesn't do a good job preventing ISPs. This is unfortunate. Even at 16x oversampling it will still throw a high ISP density.

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bmanic
KVRAF
8026 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:28 am

plexuss wrote:
MogwaiBoy wrote:[snip] I think it would be a huge step up from the old T-Racks classic Brickwall Limiter - things have advanced quite a lot since then. Stealth is good but not for more than 2db.
I suppose Stealth fails as a brickwall limiter because it doesn't do a good job preventing ISPs. This is unfortunate. Even at 16x oversampling it will still throw a high ISP density.
.. just in case some newcomers to the audio world read plexuss comments about how ISPs are the main cause of failure, I'll just insert this here:

It isn't (unless you go crazy overboard at which point all the other ordinary distortion takes over anyhow).

ISP is also really easy to avoid in todays world as everything goes through automatic systems.. just put the peak level low enough.

Plexuss makes it sound like the ISP prevention (or lack there of) is what constitues the "sound" of the limiter. It isn't. Not even remotely true. IK Stealth limiter works just fine even if it may let some ISPs through.. just set the output lower. That's it. The plugin has it's own character which you either like or dislike, has nothing to do with ISPs at all.

ISP has become a weird buzz word and there's way too much bad information out there (thanks to people like plexuss here). Chances are that whatever music you like to listen to, take it from any year since early 90's, there are tons of ISPs on music you love.. even on stuff you would deem excellent sounding and "reference" quality.

So yeah, lets stop the misinformation in it's tracks.

@OP:

Each limiter offers a different take at the task of brickwall limiting an audio signal. There's definitely no way to objectively categorize these as "better" or "worse". Most of them are highly program dependent and very much non-linear in how they operate.. thus it all becomes a subjective thing. If you can afford it (or just use free ones, there are plenty), it's usually a good idea to have quite a few of them so that you can choose the one that suits best for each task.

Personally I use Limitless, TDR Limiter 6 and Pro-L2 the most. I've yet to purchase Elevate but it's definitely on my list as it did indeed give something the others can't provide. I also still use Voxengo Elephant (been using it since v1 way back in the olden days) and for clipping Standard Clip.

For people who have Pro-L2 it's worth exploring the presets in the "Basic" folder/category. Especially the 3 different options for the 'modern' algorithm show how interactive the controls are (look-a-head, attack and release). It may not be immediately obvious how much is going on under the hood depending on the position of these controls, so make sure you explore them.
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Elektronisch
KVRAF
2242 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:43 am

Im working on hardstyle music so its important to have punchy kick with bassline being present. I have tried various limiters and for me IK Multimedia Stealth Limiter wins over all. Its quite heavy on CPU but when it comes to loudness, punchy Pro L2, Ozone 8, Limitless falls behind.

This is my personal expierience wich led to Stealth being my limiter of choice :)

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plexuss
KVRAF
2186 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Fabfilter L2 vs. T-Racks (and others?)

Post Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:09 pm

bmanic wrote:[snip...]
Generalizing, you are wrong. I won't go into all the details about ISPs and limiters here because there are enough resources out there covering this and it essentially disputes bmanic's points.

Go looking for all the loudness information out there in the form of the standards that define them. Look for posts from Ian Shepard and Bob Katz - they pretty much cover it all and from there you will get citations to all the research and standards.

ISP are not created by limiters and the sound of a limiter has nothing to do with ISPs. I never said anything otherwise. ISPs are created by DACs.

bmanic is taking what I said and interpreting it in their own way and then arguing about it. Stick to the facts - The facts are out there: starting with Ian Shepard, Bob Katz and all the AES, IBU and IEEE standards that define all this stuff. If you don't understand what is being written in these things, use google to learn as you go.
Last edited by plexuss on Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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