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.