Voxengo Elephant is a mastering limiter plug-in for professional music production applications. The most remarkable feature of this signal limiter is its sonic transparency. Elephant brings sound limiting and loudness maximization without audible "fuzz" and "pumping" sonic artifacts.
Elephant is a highly competitive plug-in for mastering applications: it features a variety of limiter modes that can be deeply customized, and a comprehensive set of level metering tools, including headroom estimation, EBU R128 and K-system metering. Elephant's built-in linear-phase oversampling is an important element in achieving high-quality peak limiting and loudness maximization without inter-sample overshoots (true-peak limiting).
Elephant limiter can be used for mixing and mastering of both stereo and multi-channel music and sound material, at any standard sample rate. Limiting process can be visualized both as gain reduction meter and real-time waveform graph.
Elephant, also featuring a DC offset filter, and a high-quality bit-depth converter with an optional noise-shaping, allows you to finish your music and audio productions with a spark.
Elephant is an excellent brickwall limiter, staying in line with the design and workflow of all Voxengo VSTs. The interface is utilitarian and ergonomic, if not sexy. It features a real-time wavform graph as a visual aid on your sound's transients, adjustable metering, and the statistics one would need in mastering applications or when reference levels for sonic consistency are important, along with end-of-chain functions DC filtering and dithering.
There are lots of good Mastering Limiters out there that are free, cheap, or are DAW defaults, as are there general dynamics processors with brickwall functionality that work great in the same capacity, such as Cytomic's The Glue when peak limiting is engaged.
So why Elephant? It comes into it's own if you put the time in to learn it's algorithms and settings in order to get that extra "three percent" or so. With conservative gain reduction levels, say, a few dB on a buss, playing with the settings is really placebo-ville to me, and I don't necessarily detect a difference between varied capable plugins. Hitting it hard, though, is when being careful with the controls, learning the sound of the different algos and settings, can make the difference between Elephant and other limiters, whether it's the ability to push your sound a little bit louder without noticeable degradation than would be otherwise, or to impact it in an audible, musical fashion. When you go heavy,
It's a flexible pluggie, great on flattening the tops of vocal tracks, drums, anything with overbearing dynamics that need to be whipped back in line. I like using Elephant in a track chain with the threshhold pulled low when designing synth sounds or browsing presets, or trying out different drum sounds in a sequence, both a safety limiter for my ears/speakers, and to more comfortably monitor with consistent levels.
"El Uni" mode works as soft-knee, providing the most transparent gain reduction, and can be extra smooth when release is engaged and is set to match the music. Whereas "clipping" mode is aggressive, but, with oversampling engaged, akin to running red into a fancy hardware converter more so than harsh DAW clipping (within reason). Try it on snare tops. I like clipping mode when the music is already grungy such as drum sequences with already-heavily processed and abused samples.
If you would have *fun* tweaking out controls, and it's worth it to you to put the time and money in to get your sound only a few degrees better, I recommend Elephant as a premium Brickwall Limiter.