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Best Limiter Plugins

Whether you are a mastering engineer, or just looking to get more into doing the full production of your tracks, you always could use a limiter. It is an important piece of making sure the volume and power is there for your tracks, without peaking.

Now as mentioned, a limiter is used most often in mastering chains for song, but it may come in combinations with other plugins. It is available in the Ozone 9 package, the CLA 76, and even the Pro-DS de esser.

Before going and buying a top of the line limiter in a specific plugin, look through what plugins you have and try your hand at using that. It can help you figure out what you are looking for in a limiter and leave you well informed on your next purchase. 

Top Limiter Plugins To Consider Adding to Your DAW

What To Look For When Choosing a Limiter Plugin

There is a lot more to look for in a limiter plugin than you would initially think. A limiter will have different functionalities that will decide whether or not you need one for mastering or if you want a plain one for a regular channel or bus. But before you look at that, here are the basic factors that we consider when first looking at plugins.

Pricing

Limiters can become one of those pricier plugins due to how detailed and precise they need to be. Sometimes for the best limiters, you have to get them in packs that they are included with.

Compatibility – System Requirements

As with most other plugins, companies will have a version of the plugin that is compatible with the most recent version of whatever operating system is available. Now there is only so far back that they will go, so you must make sure your computer is up to date or at least up to date enough to run the plugin well. 

DAW Compatibility

Every plugin company’s goal is to be as usable as possible to sell as many copies as they can. That being said, some DAWs are simply not compatible with some plugins. One of the most common is Pro Tools inability to run Sausage Fattener and other plugins of the same type.

If you are looking to learn more about your DAW check out what we have to say for starters here

Frequency of Use

With a limiter, you may not use it very often. However, the investment can be quite useful down the line. Especially if you buy the limiter in a pack such as Ozone 9 which comes with many other functionalities. 

Skill Level

As always I suggest looking up tutorials of the plugins you buy, as well glancing through the manual. You want to know that you can use it as effectively as possible. 

Best Limiter Plugins

Without further ado, here are our choices of the 5 best limiter plugins (in no particular order)

1. UAD Precision

– Universal Audio

UAD Precision Limiter
UAD Precision – Universal Audio

Universal Audio is known for making some of the best hardware on the market, as well as plugins that rival their analog counterparts. With many plugins, especially compressors and limiters, they are geared to create the same unique sounds as the real deal, the Precision Limiter is made with a function called “colorless limiting” which tries to cut down on the shaping of your track so it stays as clear and accurate to the original as possible. 

  • Who’s it for? Intermediate and above
  • Price: $199.00
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Logic

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive
Operating System10.15Windows 10

2. L1 Ultramaximizer – Waves

L1 Ultramaximizer
L1 Ultramaximizer – Waves

This is a basic and easy to navigate plugin that Waves created. I’ve used this on almost every single track I’ve recorded and mixed myself. Whether it be on a master bus, or just a regular channel bus. It says Ultramaximizer, but it is a combo of the L1 Limiter and the L1 Maximizer.

  • Who’s it for? Beginner and above
  • Price: $149
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Reason

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive
Operating System10.12.6-10.15Windows 10 64 bit

3. Vintage Limiter – iZotope

Vintage Limiter
Vintage Limiter – iZotope

Based off of the classic Fairchild 670 hardware limiter, iZotope created this amazing piece in their Ozone family. You have different modes you can look through to pick the coloration of the limiter as well as many visual representations of what you are affecting about the audio itself. This limiter is only available through Ozone Standard or Advanced.

  • Who’s it for? Intermediate and above
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Cubase

Price:

  • Ozone Standard – $246
  • Ozone Advanced – $499

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB RAM
Operating System10.11-10.15Windows 7 64 bit – 10

4. Pro L2 – Fabfilter

Pro L2
Pro L2 – Fabfilter

With the Pro L2, you can adjust the attack, release and even link multiple channels and tracks together. One of my favorite settings is the style setting that allows you to change the style of limiter to match the music you are working with. You can have one focused more on punch and attack for a funky sound, or one that is all about the transients and piercing clarity for electronic music.

  • Who’s it for? Experienced and above
  • Price: $199.00
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Reaper

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive
Operating System10.8 or higher (64 bit only)64 bit – Vista, 7, 8, 1032 bit – XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 

5. Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain – Waves

Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain
Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain – Waves

The Abbey Road Series from Waves has some of the best music production software that was ever created. That includes their mastering chain which can utilize every piece at once or focus specifically on using one facet at a time.

  • Who’s it for? Intermediate and above
  • Price: $199.00
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Pro Tools

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space on the system drive
Operating System10.12.6-10.15Windows 10 64 bit

No Limit to Creativity

Using your plugins to the best of your ability comes both with education as well as your own experimentation. Limiters have more use than just a master bus, but how will you know what works on your tracks best without trying it? Always set aside some experimentation time when it comes to mixing your sessions. Whether you have it included in your paid hourly rate or you simply do it on the side in your free time, it is important to always be looking for new ways to enhance your tracks.

If you would like to learn more about Ozone 9, mastering plugins, or any plugins, we have a great catalog available for you to learn with here

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