Plugin Limiters are an important tool for Audio Production as they allow professionals to control the dynamic range of an Audio Signal and add punch and clarity to tracks to make them sound sophisticated. Many limiter plugins are available, each with unique sound and features. In this blog post, we will look at some of the best limiter plugins on the market, discuss their features, sound, and pricing, and provide some tips on how to use them effectively.
FabFilter Pro-L 2 is one of the most used plugin limiters available in the market and is known for Its transparent sound, versatile features, and intuitive interface, making it a favorite among Audio Professionals.
Drawing from our experience, FabFilter Pro-L 2 ensures one of the most accurate limitings by analyzing inter-sample peaks, resulting in greater precision and transparency.
Another thing we like about this plugin is its visual feedback, including true peak levels, gain reduction, and dynamic release curves. This visual feedback will help you make the right adjustments easily.
With time, sound has evolved tremendously, and now people are looking for surround sound in their audio. FabFilter Pro L-2 is perfect for surround sound projects, enabling seamless multichannel limiting and spatial control in-built.
The Waves L2 Ultramaximizer is another Plugin Limiter that has gained popularity for its high-quality sound and ease of use. With its intelligent IDR (Increased Digital Resolution) dithering, Waves L2 Ultramaximizer will maintain audio quality during mastering.
This plugin limiter is known for its advanced dithering algorithms that are useful in preventing quantization errors and maintaining top-notch audio quality.
One feature that makes L2 different from others is its Look-Ahead Peak Limiting which allows the limiter to analyze the audio ahead of time and then effectively prevents clipping and distortion that results in transparent peak limiting.
The Pre-release control will allow you to control the limiter's response so that you can shape your audio's transients and overall character in the way you prefer.
If you want to master individual tracks and complete mixes, L2 will provide separate control over mono and stereo signals.
iZotope Ozone 10 Maximizer comes from the famous Ozone suite. It is a combination of a powerful limiter along with powerful mastering tools so that it can deliver terrific results in an all-in-one package.
The intelligent Release Control (IRC) IV algorithm in Ozone 10 Maximizer will allow you to produce a smooth and transparent limiting achieved by dynamically adjusting the release time based on the type of input audio signal.
By analyzing the input audio and suggesting an appropriate threshold setting, iZotope Ozone 10 allows you a much faster and more intuitive workflow that increases productivity.
One thing that makes Ozone 10 unmatchable with the other plugin limiters is its vintage-inspired limiter modes that will allow you to add analog character and warmth to your audio, perfect for achieving classic sounds.
If you are looking for transparent sound and, more importantly, precise limiting capabilities, you will have to look no further. Sonnox Limiter lately has become one of the most popular choices among mastering engineers and producers for the same reason.
Sonnox’s advanced level detection algorithm allows it to analyze the input audio signal accurately, which eventually helps it produce precise gain reduction and accurate limiting.
The ARL feature is an intelligent system that helps the plugin limiter to rebuild the audio waveform post-limiting, which reduces the overall artefacts and preserves the audio's natural dynamics.
The amount of control this plugin limiter provides over the limiter's attack, release, and curve settings is unmatchable. It is the reason behind its ability to manage the detailed shaping of the audio's envelope.
Known for its high-quality analogue emulations, and limiting with top-notch, Universal Audio Limiter has earned its position in this list of Best Plugin Limiters. We love how this plugin combines vintage warmth with modern functionality without damaging the natural dynamics of the audio signal.
With its UA analogue modelling technology, this plugin limiter is one of the few plugins that will allow you to add the warmth and character of a classic analogue limiter to your digital productions without making it sound fake.
Most Audio Professionals always prefer to have a sidechain filter as an available option they allow you to enable frequency-dependent limiting that ensures certain frequency ranges are treated differently for enhanced control.
With comprehensive metering options like VU and peak level meters, the Universal Audio Precision Limiter helps users with accurate gain reduction monitoring and precise control to produce perfectly calibrated audio.
PSP Xenon is another powerful mastering limiter plugin in this list of the best Plugin Limiters that offers both transparency and versatility that will help you achieve optimal loudness yet manage not to sacrifice the audio quality.
Not many plugin limiters offer what Xenon does. With its three release stage modes, this limiter plugin will ensure that you have the highest amount of flexibility in tailoring the limiter's response to different audio materials.
The look-ahead feature in the Xenon plugin limiter helps audio professionals analyze the audio ahead of real-time playback, which can play a crucial role in preventing distortion and ensuring transparent limiting even with short attack times.
Many of us miss the sound of the classic analogue mastering console in the digital era. Thanks to the Slate Digital FG-X Virtual Mastering Console, you can now have precise control and sonic excellence without investing in an analogue console.
The FG-X utilizes an intelligent algorithm designed solely to preserve the transients and the natural dynamics of your input audio signal, resulting in a sound that feels open and natural to the listener.
Talking from our firsthand experience, we can say that this unique feature will always help your sound stand out as it will allow you to enhance the perceived loudness and impact of your audio so that it sounds more present and competitive in any mix.
The Trims mode will allow Sound Professionals to individually adjust the gain of different frequency ranges without affecting the rest of the track so that you can fine-tune the balance and impact of your audio.
The most common and obvious application of plugin limiters is in Music Production and Mixing. Plugin Limiters play a crucial role in controlling the dynamic range of individual tracks and the overall mix while ensuring that no audio signals exceed a specific threshold, preventing clipping and distortion.
Audio Professionals use plugin limiters on individual tracks, such as vocals, drums, or guitars, to achieve a more balanced and controlled sound at the same time. These limiters will allow you to maintain consistency between different levels of song sections, making the listening experience more cohesive.
Apart from music production and mixing, another of the primary applications of plugin limiters is mastering, where engineers often use these limiters to refine the dynamics, loudness, and overall sound of a mix, all without sacrificing the dynamics or introducing undesirable artefacts.
These days every form of content is being streamed and broadcasted to different parts of the globe which has increased the use of plugin limiters. Maintaining a consistent loudness level is extremely important when it comes to streaming content to ensure a consistent listening experience, which a limiter can help achieve simply by controlling peaks and ensuring that the audio remains within the allowed dynamic range.
Plugin limiters are extremely popular in films and other video productions as they control and enhance the audio quality of dialogue, sound effects, and background music.
Plugin Limiters are of great help as they balance the levels of different audio elements, ensuring clear and intelligible dialogue while maintaining an immersive audio experience.
Plugin Limiters are also commonly used in live sound reinforcement, a domain where maintaining optimal audio levels and preventing system overload are extremely important. In live performances, a plugin limiter is important so that an audio engineer can control the dynamic range of instruments and vocals while ensuring the sound remains clear and distortion-free.
Another important role of the plugin limiter is to tame the loudest parts of the performance to protect the sound system from clipping and damage, ensuring a professional and enjoyable live sound experience.
In the last couple of years, podcasting has taken the world by storm, because of this, Plugin Limiters have become an invaluable tool that can help technicians control the dynamic range of spoken words so that you achieve a consistent and professional sound.
The latest application of Plugin limiters is to restore or enhance old audio recordings. Plugin limiters will help level out inconsistent audio levels, reduce background noise, and restore the dynamic range of distorted audio signals.
In conclusion, Plugin Limiters play a crucial role in Audio Production, providing precise control over the dynamic range as well as enhance the overall sound quality of the incoming audio signal. The Plugins mentioned in this blog will help you achieve transparent limiting, maintaining optimal loudness, or preserving natural dynamics. These plugins cater to various audio needs.
From music production and broadcasting to film and live sound, plugin limiters will help you achieve brilliance in different domains. All you have to do is put in the work, go through the learning curve, and you will have your desired sound!