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Dynamic Frequency Limiter

Dynamic Frequency Compressor/Limiter Plugin by SirSickSik
Dynamic Frequency Limiter
Dynamic Frequency Limiter by SirSickSik is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin.
This is a 32-bit plugin, so if you want it to run on a 64-bit host, please use something like jBridge.
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Important Note
This plugin, as every SynthEdit plugin, needs to extract its SynthEdit-modules to a folder next to the .dll file. Though, to do this on the C:\ drive within program files, it needs admin rights. So the modules then can't be extracted. For this reason I've added a folder with the needed 'sem' files (SynthEdit-module) together with the .dll. This sem-folder should be in the same directory as the .dll file and have the same name as the .dll. If your VST (i)-directory isn't in the "program files" folder, there should be no problem extracting these files from the .dll the first time it is being run. As of 6-8-2014 I've also added a 13-page manual describing all the knobs and their functions and various usages of the plugin.
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Dynamic Frequency Limiter is a combination of a band- peakfilter / compressor / limiter / transient designer.

The plugin scans a frequency region in the spectrum to find the dB level of this region and use it to dynamically control the volume of the same or another frequency region either (sidechained) ducking, compressing, limiting, enhance transients or everything together at the same time.

In comparison to normal compressors/limiters, which compress the whole signal or a wide band, this compressor uses biquad filters to apply the gain reduction/addition needed even if the bandwidth is just a single frequency (e.g. using it as a feedback destroyer).

The GUI is straight forward and what you see is what you get. Having learned from the former DC, I tried to keep this plugin dead simple so everybody can understand it.

The cutoff frequency and bandwidth of both the scanning of a region and the alteration of a region can be independently controlled or linked together.

The compression part of the plugin contains all the normal controls for a compressor: threshold, ratio, attack, decay, gain, which meaning should be known to all. Though, the threshold is applied to a band-filtered signal, reading the amplitude of only that frequency region. Then goes through a delay, envelope follower and clipper to calculate the gain reduction, which is then applied to a biquad peak filter. Also, the gain is not applied to the whole signal, but is added to the peak-filter's gain. Using the make-up gain (adds the inverted threshold dB to the gain) or gain knob a sustain function for a certain frequency region is created. Using short attack&release values this can make up some wild, dynamic distortions.

Using the transient knob, the attack stage becomes a transient designer. This part isn't delayed by the envelope-delay. So combining these can create a LOT of punch! Also adding boost and grid when using the plugin as a distortion.

Using the exaggerate button, the compressor ratio is multiplied by 2, creating a ducking effect when the signal surpasses the threshold amount. Combined with the transient knob, this allows for fully accentuating drum punch/hit while ducking the sustain part at the same time.

A delay on the envelope allows you to delay the gain reduction, to allow the passage of a short burst of sound before the compression kicks in.

The internal routing ends with a simple hard limiter to protect your dear speakers. Only the release time can be adjusted and the threshold is 0dB (maximum loudness)

Uses can be:

  • Removing (compressing/limiting) annoying peaks in a certain frequency region without altering the volume of other regions in the spectrum.
  • Feedback destroyer.
  • Creating peak-controlled resonances.
  • Shaping the overall envelope of sounds (excellent on both drums and synthesizers).
  • Leaving a frequency region through, while blocking another.
  • On short attack/decay times, all kinds of (very nasty) shapable distortions can be created. Combined with the sidechain functionality this can create lots of interesting effects.
  • Maximizing loudness/sustain of a frequency region.
  • Overall soundsculpting.
  • Sidechaining by another channel to induce sound effects ranging from simple compressing/ducking, resonating, expanding frequency regions, dynamic distortions to audiorate AM modulation.

The sidechain switch wasn't functioning yet, do to wrong internal values. This is fixed in the V1.1 version.

V1.11 has it's knobs changed from rotary mouse-control to horizontal mouse control.

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Comments & Discussion for SirSickSik Dynamic Frequency Limiter

Discussion: Active
4 August 2014 at 11:35am

maybe a nice inside on this plugin as a DC14 entry.

The first 1 3/4 month I'd been working on a project featuring a chord-progression generator, arpeggiator/pattern generator and a polyphonic synthesizer.

Though this came out really nice (it's awesome to be honestly) I did suddenly remind someone telling me last time after the DC:

"try making something, that people can actually understand. You're plugin is awesome, but I don't know what I'm doing haha"

and another:

"all the winners of the DC are almost always effect"

So about 1.5 weeks ago I started building my Dynamic frequency Limiter and that's why you're all enjoying this lovely small, understandable Dynamic frequency limiter instead of a song/synthesizer monster with tons of knobs and thingies ;)

There are a lot of uses for the Dynamic Frequency Limiter, so please give it a shot!

Still, there was a single use as a reason for me when I started making the plugin.
Sometimes in recording audio, peaks on certain frequencies arise often in a track, either due to bad microphones, used instrument or feedback problems. So I wanted a frequency dependent dynamic limiting effect which could limit these and only these frequencies without altering the rest of the track. Thus the idea of the plugin was born.

Applying a normal compressor reduces the volume of the entire track, leaving only this annoying peak for the listener to hear. Also, a normal compressor will also react to other frequency parts of the track, while these might not be wanted to be altered or should not be influencing the compression.
The biquad filters in my plugin, which are used to provide the analysing and gain-compression, are based upon the same calculations.
So when analyser and compressor stage have the same frequency and bandwidth (link switch) and the threshold is set to -12dB, ratio on 1x (fully clockwise, no exxagerate) and attack on zero, the max peak on the selected frequency really IS -12dB.

The plugin can thus be used to remove unwanted peaks in certain frequency regions without altering the rest of the track.

But of course, I couldn't leave it there...

-I added the exxagerate button to multiply the gain-reduction by 2. Thus, instead of normal limiting, it starts ducking the signal when it passes the threshold. Making it possible to add loads of punch to your sounds (mix the plugin with the original sound using your vst-host).

-I then added a transient-generator routing, using the difference between the envelope follower of the analyser and a secondary envelope follower with another curve and timing. The transient-knob multiplies the amount of difference and then adds this to the gain-stage.

-Then I added a delay in the gain-reduction path for further possibilities in punch-shaping and resonance control. This only delays the compressor's gain reduction, not the transient shaper. So the transient shaper can boost the attack part of the signal, after which the compressor kicks in and completely shut down the volume.

-At the end I added the limiter as the transient shaper was capable of generating LOADS of gain boost (you'll probably don't ever want to go over half the range of the knob, though for some distortion settings (very short envelope times) this can be nice).

-I finished it off with a fresh new background and creating some new knob images, cleaned up the project and quickly created some presets.

-No time for betatesting, as the deadline was there and up and away went the entry.


6 August 2014 at 9:18pm

I've uploaded a 13-page manual with descriptions for all the controls and how to use it, have fun.


15 August 2014 at 1:16pm

made an extra version of the plugin with horizontal-mouse controls (why did I set those knobs to 'rotary' anyways?!?)

6 April 2015 at 4:29am

Would love to try this, but the download link is dead (404).

23 November 2015 at 4:39am

WoW... glad I kept this. Checking on my unused plugins I almost let it go. It's nifty. AND it as a added bonus of being able to distort dynamically to frequancy settings with ADD TRANSIENT engaged. very nice when trying to get something xtra in the middle of a kick... Reaaly nice methinks. Ihope the dev didn't pull it.

23 November 2015 at 9:49am

Sorry for the dead link guys. I've just uploaded the file again and updated the link.


1 October 2018 at 8:36pm

In FL Studio it detected like synth. So it's impossible to use it as it doesn't have audio input.

2 April 2019 at 6:17am

Just to add to arseniy2's remarks, same problem in Cubase 10 (Windows 10).

I jBridged successfully but was only able to open the plugin as an instrument. AFAIK (new to all DAWs) I cannot route audio to it - at least it's not available as a 'send' from an instrument channel strip.

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