Maximal 2 is a look-ahead limiter that I first came across in its CM variety a couple of months ago.
I liked it so much I bought the full version. The price is a very reasonable sub $40, and there's often a deal going.
I think I paid $26 for mine.
Limiters are very personal, a bit like guitars. Everyone has favourites. So here's my take on Maximal 2.
What do I like about it most?
> First and foremost, the sound. It makes things sound richer & warmer. For me, this is a special kind of warmth, and I love it on lots of things. Instant improvement.
> The volume. I can get a lot more thick volume from a track. It's now part of my standard channel strip.
> It's adjustable & quick to operate. There are up to 8 levels of look-ahead oversampling, so I can use it on my master out if I fancy. It has 4 types of loudness: Clean, Loud, Tape, Tube, which is very handy when you throw different types of material at it. There's also an adjustable attack, which is very handy as well, eg, fine tuning attacks for bass, drums, lead synths and sounds with snap, compared to thick slow pads. So there's plenty to experiment with, without it being overly complex. I don't take it into the ultra dirty zone much, though it gives plenty of crunch if required.
> CPU is very low. Good code in here, so I can use lots of them.
> I can boost Maximal 2 on output, instead of boosting the input channel trim for level balancing, which can sound better sometimes. It's nice to have the choice.
> i can make choices quickly, as in: Tone? Volume? Go for it.
> I also like the cool black interface. Very tasty, and imo expensive-looking.
Oh, and there's a manual.
What don't I use it for.
> Brick wall limiting on tracks. It's more of a volume & rich tone effect, than a brick wall, although there's no reason it can't do this, with the attack set on zero.
> Dynamic orchestral string parts need to be handled with care, as it can sometimes make them sound plain wrong.
I heartily recommend it. I'm a genuine buyer and not paid to say nice things. I just like it xxx.