Limiters

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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LeVzi
KVRAF
2102 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:38 pm

Looking for a limiter, that will have to work quite hard.

I have a few limiters, l1, l2, l3, ikm brickwall etc that do the job as I rarely need limiter, more just to catch a few peaks.

But, I'm doing some work that requires very hard limiting, and require a limiter that can handle v hard limiting and is as transparent as it can be. I realise that hard limiting is going to cause distortion but I need a limiter that will handle as much as possible.

Suggestions please. Thanks.
Forward ever, Backward never

Digivolt
KVRian
637 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:48 pm

Tokyo Dawn Limiter

Shiek927
KVRian
519 posts since 14 May, 2014

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:50 pm

If transparency is what you're after, definitely check out Eventide Newfangled Audio Elevate.

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dangayle
KVRian
1056 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:32 pm

Fab Filter's Pro-L 2 can take a BEATING and still come out strong, particularly the safe mode. I threw some loops together to demonstrate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sskm2v3e4gM

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dangayle
KVRian
1056 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:33 pm

I don't use it for funk, btw, I'm a techno producer, and I use it to slam beats into submission, like this track I finished off yesterday: https://soundcloud.com/dangayle/w-2/s-zF7hp

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dionenoid
KVRist
484 posts since 3 Jan, 2019 from Holland

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:20 pm

You can't go wrong with Fabfilter Pro-L2.
More BPM please

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3892 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:30 pm

LeVzi wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:38 pm
Looking for a limiter, that will have to work quite hard.

I have a few limiters, l1, l2, l3, ikm brickwall etc that do the job as I rarely need limiter, more just to catch a few peaks.

But, I'm doing some work that requires very hard limiting, and require a limiter that can handle v hard limiting and is as transparent as it can be. I realise that hard limiting is going to cause distortion but I need a limiter that will handle as much as possible.

Suggestions please. Thanks.


Voxengo Elephant can be very very transparent. It also has a nifty little clipper in it as well. I think there's a sale on at the moment.

Toneboosters Barricade is also up there. You might even be able to source a cheap free version somewhere. I think CM did one basic older version. The very old versions can be found and are free. Whether they are as transparent as the most recent version 4 is another matter.

I think most people would agree these two are up there with the most 'clear' of all limiters. * But the Tokyo Dawn Limiter might be better, depending on your program material. I find myself flitting about through all three of those depending on source. Especially if I'm just after peak control and not smashing. That's probably what most people mean by 'transparent' I assume. Though the thing is you can really smash these and get massive gain reduction (volume boost) before any audible distortion.

* They were a while back anyway and I'm sure a Mastering Engineer knows a lot more about this than me, but still, I do still see them suggesting these when the question comes up.

If you want to try a free limiter that is also known to be able to push massive dB and still be clear, then look at LoudMax - https://loudmax.blogspot.com/

It's almost like a volume knob! Insane levels of gain and peak control.

Again, I assume that this is the kind of thing you are looking for when you say 'hard limiting'. That you have some source material that really needs pushing up in the gain department.

I'd say for my stuff that Voxengo Elephant has the very slight edge. But there isn't much in it really.

I would also seriously consider putting a Clipper in line as well. Maybe you already know this 'trick' and I don't want to teach granny LeVzi to suck eggs, but putting a clipper (usually) at the very end of the mastering chain (after your Limiter) can really tame those errant pesky peaks as well. Sometimes you might put it before and sometimes you might even put it 'before' and 'after', but that's the way I see most people using it.

Many people disagree and many posts have been written on this subject, but really, I think you will know what is working for you. Sometimes using a clipper is totally useless (depending on program material). Just consider it if you haven't already.

Elephant has one built in that may or may not be useful.

Someone had something to say about this over at GS:


Clipping is effectively extremely fast limiting, and often it's the best sounding limiting for certain things - e.g. drums.

Most forms of distortion induce clipping, and are worth trying instead of a limiter.

I generally use Voxengo Elephant as my limiter, and it has a clipping option, and depending on the material, clipping may or may not sound the best.

I would tend to use clipping last, because it's fairly extreme. Further compression after clipping would expose a lot of ugliness.

FWIW - the top mastering engineers in recent years have been pushing the loudness wars by clipping mixes with their high end A/D converters. Not digital algorithmns, but literally abusing the analog front end of their A/D for a clipping effect. That sort of confirms my belief that it's best left last in the chain.

But whatever sounds good, don't knock it. There is plenty of material where clipping must be avoided at all cost.


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/masteri ... osite.html

Most people would agree that clippers work their magic best on drum heavy material, but not so much stuff that is already pea soup thick with lots of distorted guitars where the signal is already mashed.

He also talks about distortion as a method for control as well, so if you still need another tool in your box for this consider a wave-shaper. I have one in my Fruity FX pack (3rd party VST) and it's great. It can sound very dirty or 'do I have this turned on?'.

If you are new to clipping and want a quick try out as proof of concept:

A good free one is made by GVST - https://www.gvst.co.uk/gclip.htm

It's kind of the 'industry standard' of free clippers and has a very nice visual display to see shaved peaks.

I use StandardCLIP - https://www.siraudiotools.com/StandardCLIP.php

But you probably don't need to get that fancy if you are going to be using them in Combo. Clipping is really just an aid to the process. But it may be that you don't need it at all. I'm sure you already know all this granny LeVzi, but if not...

I've read far too much on this subject and experimented far more than I really needed to. In 90 percent of cases just about any modern limiter (like the ones mentioned) will do the trick. However, I do see an awful lot of people saying that the FabFilter Limiter is the most transparent one in existence. On most program material.


Elephant.
Barricade.
Tokyo Dawn Limiter.

Maybe a Clipper somewhere in your chain if needed.

Clippers are the most transparent limiters ever and you know pretty sharpish when they are introducing distortion. For example, to my ears anyway, GClip is pretty much invisible, but push (or rather cut) those nasty peaks too much and it is like a distortion unit. Other paid for clippers can go a bit further, but it doesn't take much for them to get in to wave-shaping territory and sound just as bad. I would say that when you really need a clipper as the right tool for the job, the GClip vst will do you proud 80-90 percent of the time. Which is a lot for a 'free' VST. Just my impression.

It's always nice to donate a couple of bucks as well for things like GClip and LoudMax if you get some use. They're essentially 'free' as in beer, but I'm sure any small acknowledgement of their hard work is appreciated. If nothing else it might cover hosting costs...


Not sure what you're looking for or how much you have to spend, but don't forget there's an old but very usable version of Barricade floating around on the net somewhere as well. When you are dealing with very difficult material or just trying to make the best of a bad job, it helps to be able to try out a few different options. If this is just a one-off job and you don't want to spend too much, you might be surprised what you can do with free stuff.

That GS post I quoted is over 12 years old now - has the state of the art of Limiting come that much further in that time span? Yeah, of course, but only exponentially so.


TL;DR:
Voxengo Elephant.
ToneBoosters Barricade.
Tokyo Dawn Limiter.

(in no particular order)

FabFilter if you got that cash!

(is probably the best of all and why it's so expensive)
Compression is for kids. Limiters are for lunatics!

escalona
KVRian
574 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:36 pm


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Dirtgrain
KVRist
353 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:36 pm

dangayle wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:32 pm
I threw some loops together to demonstrate
Damn fine of you (excepting that now I have to add Pro-L 2 to my list, ha).

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do_androids_dream
KVRAF
2878 posts since 26 Oct, 2007 from Kent, UK

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:00 pm

If you want to really brickwall a signal then a clipper will be better. Or a combination of limiting and clipping. Also consider a little by little approach with a few different processors.. Also consider areas of the frequency spectrum that, when pushed, will have the effect of making a track seem very loud.

In my pro mastering work the main limiter on the end of my signal chain is still Loudmax (mainly because it's one of the few limiters that reliably limits ISP's..). But, the heavy lifting (if unfortunately needed) will be done by a clipper before it.

kidslow
KVRist
33 posts since 26 Aug, 2019

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:31 pm

HoRNet Magnus MK2 is a clipper-limiter and amazing value at 70% off right now.
https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/h ... agnus-mk2/

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3892 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:01 pm

kidslow wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:31 pm
HoRNet Magnus MK2 is a clipper-limiter and amazing value at 70% off right now.



I forgot about that one. Yeah it's very good.

It doesn't work on such a wide range of program material though as those suggested, but it does work on quite a bit.

It's a slightly niche product but sounds superb and you'd be silly to pass it up at that price!

I even like the gui:

Image
Compression is for kids. Limiters are for lunatics!

pascual
KVRist
419 posts since 15 Jul, 2003 from costa rica / oregon

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:26 pm

dangayle wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:33 pm
I don't use it for funk, btw, I'm a techno producer, and I use it to slam beats into submission, like this track I finished off yesterday: https://soundcloud.com/dangayle/w-2/s-zF7hp
πŸ•ΊπŸ»
paz por esos mundos

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3892 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:32 pm

pascual wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:26 pm

πŸ•ΊπŸ»

:party:
Compression is for kids. Limiters are for lunatics!

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3892 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Limiters

Post Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:44 pm

These would be good cheap alternatives for anyone looking for a good limiter or clipper type thing at the moment. 75 percent off for the next few hours so buy them soon!


http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/limited-max/

http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/limited-t/

http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/limited-z/

http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/clipped-max/


Practically giving them away. 50 percent off tomorrow, and cheap at half the price!

http://lvcaudio.com/purchase/


This one might be of interest to you:

http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/pressed-max/
Compression is for kids. Limiters are for lunatics!

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