ISP, Inter Sample Peak or TP, True Peak, refers to peaks in the analog domain. That is, how your peaks will look after your waveform has been converted from a digital stream within your computer, phone, iPod or CD to electrical impulses that can be amplified and played back through your speakers.
Aren’t the waveforms the same as they appear on my screen after the D/A conversion?
No, Your D/A will create a waveform that continuously moves from one sample point to the next. In that process the newly created waveform may peak above the 0dBFS ceiling which individual samples adhere to, thereby causing distortion. Just how bad this distortion depends on the converter used. In some extreme cases, the actual peak can be as much as 3-4dB above the sample peaks detected in the digital domain.
Many of the top mastering business don’t care about ISP so why should I?
No, you don’t have to treat or be aware of ISP but:
- Digital limiters without oversampling (or other ways of detect ISP) will react to the digital waveform, not the true waveform, and thus won’t react as a limiter should react. This does not mean it will sound bad in any way, just that it doesn’t react as intended.
- -Tip: If you want to work with limiters that lack oversampling; up-sample your 44.1 or 48KHz projects to a higher sample rate and by that have the limiter react more accurately.
- We’ll most probably have a loudness standard for streaming media within a couple of years and that standard will be ISP aware and set at -1dBTP. This means that if your audio peak at +2dBTP it will be turned down by at least -3dB before reaching the end user. All that extra loudness you gained by letting random equipment create a positive peak (that might distort) will be lost.
- Encoding to lossy formats; ISP will make it harder for encoders to do a good job. If you don’t have the tools or knowledge to check how your audio will perform post-encoding I would recommend to stay away from positive True Peaks.
Since it’s more or less guess-work, or at least really hard to create a real-time limiter that handles ISP perfectly, we thought we’d put as many limiters as possible to the test. So a handful of mastering colleagues and I (Ian Stewart, Sigurdór Guðmundsson, and Johan Eckerblad) went to work.
We used a mastered track that we boosted by 7.5dB (the peaks were at -1dBTP/dBFS in the mastered file so max Gain Reduction would be 6.5dB), we set the limiter ceiling to -1.0dBFS (or -1dBTP if available in the plugin), rendered it as 44.1KHz, 32bfp wav and measured the True Peaks of the resulting waveforms. Limiters with a result as close to -1.0 dBTP as possible have handled ISPs the best, whereas values over -0.8 dBTP (shown with increasing values in white, through yellow, to red when they exceed 0 dBTP) mean that the limiter has failed to handle ISPs to within the margin of error for measurement we observed during testing (more on that in a bit).
Here’s the track that we used:
- “Yes” or “No” in the TRUE PEAK column indicates whether the developer mentions or claims that the plugin handles True Peak or ISP, either in the manual or marketing. A “No” does not necessarily mean that it doesn’t handle or try to handle ISP, just that it’s not explicitly stated by the developer.
- The results published here are measurements taken using Izotope RX. Additionally, we did measure with Sequoia, Wavelab, and Nugen, and even though we observed slightly different results, they were negligible. The biggest differences were in iZotope’s products. Since they probably use the same detection algorithms in all their software, this was expected. The other software measured within a 0.1 to 0.2 dB difference, which still puts iZotope amongst the best performers.
- Where other settings such as Attack and Release were present we used either the default or adjusted it to a value as close to standard as possible
- This test did not take into account sonic qualities at all. That will have to wait for our planned podcast or another post.
- It’s not recommended to use any of the limiters with a positive score in 44.1KHz projects. They should handle ISP better as your sample rate goes up.
- If your favorite Mastering Limiter ain’t here, send us a link so that we can try it out. However, we’re not in the business of buying every limiter out there, so any you’d like us to try must have fully working demo-versions.
182 thoughts on “ISP/True Peak limiter test”
Can you add A.O.M ‘Invisible Limiter’ to your test subjects?
Its been added to the post.
You didn’t test Avid’s Pro Limiter which is supposed to be a true peak limiter. As far as I know Dyn3 is not true peak.
We’ll add it to the to do list. Thanks for the tip.
Hi Nick. I meant to test the Pro Limiter from Avid, but my trial period was over… years ago 🙂
We also tested a few “normal” limiters to compare how they worked compared to the ISP ones.
I may be able to test it since I have a developer account for Avid stuff…
Great test! Thank you so much for doing this and posting the results.
I’d second the AOM and Avid and would love to know about Flux Elixir https://fluxhome.com/trial and IK Stealth Limiter http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trstealthlimiter/ if you’ve got the time to add them
We’ll see what we can do!
Stealth Limiter, please.
Quite surprised by the result on Voxengo Elephant!
Did you read the comment to the right?
Elephant handle TP perfectly if you put it at max oversample. One of the better ones, just don’t leave it at auto if you work at 44.1
I second the Flux products. The Pure Limiter I would love to see the results. Thanks for all your work guys!
Give this free one a try
It’s been added.
The free Limited-Z doesn’t claim to address ISPs. So why would you include it in a test of true-peak limiters. In fact there appear to be a number of limiters tested here that are not true-peak or ISP limiters. So readers, please keep this in mind that even though this article is about true-peak/ISP limiters the author has decided to include limiters that are not true-peak/ISP – this should not reflect negatively on these limiters as they do not claim to support this functionality.
If you take a more closely look at the list you’ll see that we clearly state which limiters are claimed by their developers to handle ISP or not. We added these limiters since many of them do handle ISP even though the developer doesn’t mention anything about it in their marketing. A digital limiter needs to address ISP to be able to do what it is supposed to do, if the signal goes above the set ceiling in the analog domain it has failed its task to limit the signal. The natural approach while coding a limiter would be to always use oversampling or other methods of TP detection which most developers do. It would be unfair not to include these limiters.
Another reason why we did it (compare “normal” limiters to True Peak ones) was to get a comparison of how they react. So perhaps it should be called a “Limiter test with special interest on ISP limiters”, sexy, I know.
Very interesting comparison!
Here are some suggestions of Limiters to (maybe) include from my side (if possible):
1.) The built-in Limiter from the freeware “Audacity” – http://www.audacityteam.org/
… and (since the IK Multimedia “Stealth” Limiter was already listed here) …
2.) IK Multimedia’s Brickwall Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trbricklim/
3.) IK Multimedia’s Classic Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trclasslim/
4.) IK Multimedia’s Vintage Tube Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trvintubcomplim
5.) IK Multimedia’s Precision Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trpreccomplim/
Thank you for considering! – 🙂
I downloaded Audacity but how do you put an effect on both channels? It only limit the Left channel?
I guess you maybe highlighted only the left channel. – I tried it out a minute ago to be sure, and on my platform (Audacity 2.1.0) the “Hard Limiter” had an effect on both channels. – No problems here. – Hope this helps?
Yeah, solved it.
Wow, that was fast! – 🙂 – Thank you very much!
Please try LA xLimit 2 from TBProAudio.
La XLimit II: http://www.tb-software.com/TBProAudio/laxlimit2.html
Best TP Limiter ever
Thanks for this shootout, and thanks for considering LA xLimit II.
Sonnox has true peak mode only in AAX format. It needs to be activated first.
Ah, that explains it. Thanks!
NOO, It’s not true. Sonnox Limiter has TP in all format AU VST RTAS AAX.. You can realize a ISP/TP Limiting in this way: turn on the “Auto Comp” Button, then the “Recon Meter” to see all the TruePeak Corrected.
Please do not confuse the information spreading misconceptions.
Also, ISPs should only be considered inherent in processors that deal with standardization and Loudness maximisation.
It’s not possible to make a ISP comparing between FabFilterMB and FabFilter Pro-L. They Are two things working in two completely different ways even if you activate the maximum value of Lookahead on MB.
I don’t agree that ISP should only be considered in standardization and Loudness maximization, the problem occur because 44.1KHz ain’t a sampling frequency high enough to accurately draw an exact copy of the DA converted waveform so the limiter will react faulty making it more of an Dynamic shaping tool than an process to stop peaks. One remedy is to work on higher sample rates, you can both hear and measure that even 88.2 make limiters behave more accurately. At 192 most limiters, even the ones that are not ISP aware, handle ISP perfectly. This test is for projects at 44.1KHz.
About FabFilter; yes, agreed, you can’t compare them as similar processors BUT you can handle ISP with both. We chose to include Pro MB (which is not a limiter) to make people aware that you can adress ISP and limiting in general with other means than a dedicated limiter.
Limiters are compressors. And in Pro-MB you can set the compression to 100:1 … sure seems what we call limiting to me 🙂
You’re right, and you’re wrong… Sure, a 100:1 ratio is pretty much a brick wall but when you design a limiter you put your efforts on slightly different characteristics than with a compressor.
Of course 🙂 I would indeed expect plugin developers to make their limiters “limit” properly 🙂 But a limiting ratio is a limiting ratio 🙂 … and there is even a range to that if you look at analog limiters or emulations.
Thank you so much for doing this!
L series from waves?
Thank you for this great shootout!
Could you please add McDSP ML1? (part of ML4000
Thank you a lot!
We’ll see what we can do!
Side note about requested limiters that are not added yet. Some developers make it so hard to install demos that we don’t simply have the time to add them, but we’ll hopefully manage to add them eventually. To perform the actual test takes about 10 minutes, to download and install a demo can take anything from a minute to a day (if you count the time waiting for email confirmation and/or unlock codes).
ML1 have been added to the test
Thank you very much for your effort going into this valuable comparison of limiters!
I have compared quite a number of different limiters, and from the point of view of the sound I always felt Kuassa Kratos to be superior.
But concerning ISP capabilities, I haven’t checked Kratos so far. Current version is Kratos 2 which claims to detect ISPs (which I verified in Kratos’ manual).
Download with unrestricted demo mode (with noises inserted every now and then): http://www.kuassa.com/downloads/
Thanks again, best,
We’ll try to add it asap.
Thanks a lot for having checked Kratos 2 !
Just one correction: “No” in the “TRUE PEAK” column is not correct.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the manual claims that Kratos detects ISPs.
Quoting the manual, page 2 (“Overview”): “Presenting the latest version of… Kratos 2 Maximizer; featuring …, inter-sample peak detection, …
Best wishes, and thanks again,
Thanks, I didn’t read the manual just their site. I’ll update post.
We’ll see what we can do. Version 1 is not ISP aware so we expect peaks above 0dBTP, version 2 will be ISP aware according to Steven Slate.
We should try FG-X … I have it!
Slate should also give us FG-X2 to beta test! 🙂
Oh .. and Vintage Warmer from PSP
FG-X is already in there. But do the measurements so that we can compare!
I thought I had seen it a few days ago! 😀 didn’t show up in my quick search when I commented :p … see it now!
Any chance you could add UAD Teletronix LA-2A to your list? Many thanks!
We’re not going to include UAD LA-2A, it’s not that kind of a limiter and you can’t set it according to the specs for this test so the result wouldn’t be comparable.
I tested / tried it briefly (I use it all the time in mixing!) but It’s impossible and pointless to try it / test it as the others! 🙂
I don’t see any IK Multimedia limiters on here. In particular their new Stealth Limiter.
See what we can do, if there’s a working demo we’ll add it.
Awesome! I know it has issues with it ISPL and I would love to get your take on it.
You can demo it for 14 days. Here is a copy paste from their website:
This audio processor module is part of T-RackS CS “Custom Shop” Mixing and Mastering Plug-In Collection. With T-RackS CS you can:
-install all of the available modules at once
-directly access Custom Shop online store from the module for immediate trial or purchase
-try out any processor for a full 14 day trial period
-purchase any module with credits (via Custom Shop) or currency (via Custom Shop or IK online store)
Stealth Limiter added… It did Ok, I tried a couple of different modes beyond the posted result and it generated similar results.
Now, that you have IK Multimedia’s Custom Shop installed for the Stealth Limiter Test, I wonder if you might want to check out the other IK Limiters I listed here before – here we go again:
1.) IK Multimedia’s Brickwall Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trbricklim/
2.) IK Multimedia’s Classic Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trclasslim/
3.) IK Multimedia’s Vintage Tube Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trvintubcomplim
4.) IK Multimedia’s Precision Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trpreccomplim/
Would love to see a comparison for those as well . – Thank you for considering! – 🙂
As soon I or any of the others have a minute to spare!
Oh, sure – no reason to hurry!
Looking forward to the results!
Thanx in advance! – 🙂
It was mentioned earlier by Mihai, but I’d also like to see the Waves L-series as well. L1, L2, L3 etc.. please.
Waves seem to have 7 days working demos so we’ll add it them as soon we can find the time!
We added L1, L1+ and L2…
What a great and interesting test – Hat off for the strong achievement!
Would like to see onboard/stock Limiters from other DAWs like
Apple Logic, Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, Avid Pro Tools.
Any chance you could add this?
of course you cannot have any DAW (purchase of Dongles etc.)
but maybe you could even ask people who have theses DAWs e.g.
that would be totally great!
We’ll see what we can do!
Did you already measure Avid Pro Limiter? I can test it for the list (both Native and DSP modes if needed), if you submit the same test material and any instructions you have used?
Tonebooster’s Barricade 3 did it pretty good. Could you please test Barricade 4? thanks.
We’ll see what we can do!
Barricade v4 has been added. Same result as with v3.
Is it possible to test the Brickwall Limiter in Cubase 9 please?
If any of us have Cubase 9, yes… I’m afraid I don’t but I’ll ask the others.
Can you add The Wall by Boz Digital to your test subjects please ?
Please, please, remove the video playing in the background or add a way to stop it. It’s super distracting when trying to read the text.
We won’t remove the video but there’s a ton of video blocking add-ons for most browsers so the solution is right at your fingertips. =)
I guess you don’t care, but I wonder how many people turn around and leave without complaining because of the distraction. I wonder why you thought it was a good idea in the first place, though. Especially to use video material with a bunch of fast panning. Even just having the same video but with static scenes would be more acceptable. Why pull focus to the sides of the screen when your content is in the center? It’s bad UX and typical careless modern web design. Your loss, I guess.
I do care but don’t have the time to work with the site atm so a solution at your end is better. I’m building a new mastering studio and I’m putting all my energy there, site maintenance will be on hold until it’s finished. Thanks for all your suggestions, they’re appreciated.
In Voxengo Elephant settings you can change the default ‘Auto’ oversampling amount.
When you first install Elephant, ‘Auto’ will be set to 1x.
Go to SETTINGS > GLOBAL VOXENGO SOFTWARE SETTINGS > Auto Oversampling Level = 8x
After that ‘Auto’ will always be 8x oversampling for ALL Voxengo plugs you have set to ‘Auto’ in the current session, and in any Voxengo plugin in future sessions..
I’ve used it for over 10 years and still do 🙂
Great info! Thanks!
Could you test Dead Duck Limiter VST? it’s freeware.
Dead Duck has been added to the test
I love the sound of MAXIMAL by VENOMODE, but would be interested to see how it handles ISP!
Cheers and thanks.
We’ve been busy lately but we have a list with limiters to add and Maximal have been added to that list. It’ll be a while though, sorry about that.
No worries on being busy. I appreciate that you have added Maximal to the list! Thank you for compiling this list for the audio community. Cheers!
I’m afraid it didn’t do very well in this test. It’s been added to the list.
It would be nice to see tests of FL Studio’s Fruity Limiter and Maximus.
I’ll check if it’s possible to test without buying a license, stay tuned…
Sonic Anomaly Unlimited is one of the best free limiter/maximizer with ISP detection around. Check it out!
It’s been added to the test. Thank you for the tip!
thx for the overview! There is a new limiter from Eventide. Maybe you wanna add it….
Yes, I actually tried it already. Though, I didn’t measure it according to the specs for this test but concluded it does not handle ISP. But I’ll run the test and add the numbers.
Added Elevate to the test…
I am glad to see this post and list being updated! I am also glad you evaluated Elevate – this one was a huge dissapointment because it’s sold as a mastering limiter. As a mastering limiter it should be stellar on handling ISPs. This was the first thing I tested and was disappointed and confused to see it was not. This gives me a sense of credibility of this company.
I wonder if we can dig a little deeper into the ISP side of things: seems to me that the ISP process involves some kind of reconstruction of the waveform that gets clipped. Would there not be differeant methods to do this and that those methods may sound different? Is there an objective way to evaluate a limters ISP quality? And, would it matter?
The best remedy to ISP is to work at a higher samplerate and/or use oversampling, if available. You can also put a gain post your limiter and back off about -1dB to be sure (Sequoia use this method in its built-in limiter amongst others).
That’s all true. However there are limters out there that truly handle ISPs and handle them very well. ISL v2 is an example. See my reply to your comment on LVC below…
Personally, I’d rather use a limiter that truly handles ISP meaning, they do not allow ISPs to occur in their output. Otherwise I’d have to play through the track from start to finish and monitor in an ISP tool like AppleRoundTrip. I’d rather just put trust in a true ISP limiter so I don’t have to manage all this myself. And since there are some good true ISP limiters out there it makes sense to use them and not those that do not handle ISPs very well.
A note about LVC: I saw the entry here for Limited-Z. I have Limited-MAX and just tested it. I didn’t use your methodology. Instead I just wanted to confirm/deny if it was a true-peak ISP limiter. It is not. First, I set it up as a mastering peak limiter with 0.1ms attack, 50ms release, -0.7dB ceiling. I turned ISP on and oversample to 8x and DC filtering. With a target -16 LUFS loudness it only generated an ISP every 60 seconds or so. If the loduness was raised to -14 LUFS it would throw ISPs regularily. I could see using this for -16LUFS as it’s good enough. But no it’s not true ISP. I don’t know what the algo is in the limiter, but I am thinking he decided not to implement a true-ISP correction but rather to make the limiter as good as posible at around a resonable level of loudness. In anycase, Limited-MAX is not a true ISP limiter.
What I can remember LVC claim that Limited-Max do handle ISP and that’s why we put that in the comment field. That does not mean it actually does handle ISP but rather that the developer tried to handle them. I developed limiters myself and ISP is a tricky business!
Limited-MAX does have an ISP mode. However it still not a true ISP limiter. I am not sure what ISP mode does but it helps to quell ISPs. It has to be used with over-sampling to get better ISP handling. Limited-MAX has over-sampling up to 8x. So it is possible with ISP on and 8x over-sample (at 44.1k project rate) to get Limited-MAX to reliably quell *most* ISPs. But again, unless I really want the sound/feature of Limited-MAX I’d rather just use a true ISP limiter like ISL v2 so I don’t have to mess with these parameter and use hope instead of fact.
I can imagine that preventing ISPs is difficult. Although I don’t code and do not do DSP work, I can understand how even just limiting would be a challenge. In both cases you are trying to re-construct a clipped waveform. I have no idea how that’s done. and then with ISPs, there is some trickery going on there to predict when an inter-sample will clip. Amazing stuff you guys pull off with these tools!
Any chance you could test the new retail version of Limiter 6 now being sold by Tokyo Dawn? http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-limiter6-ge/
Cool, I didn’t know it where out yet. I don’t need it but I’ll ask TDR if we can have a copy just for the test.
TDR Limiter 6 GE has been added…
Sonnox Limiter has been updated with the result from the latest version…
FabFilter just released Pro L 2 , a True Peak Limiter. There’s a demo. Any chance you can test it and add it to the results?
Will try to add it during the Holidays!
Honestly man… I like Pro-L much more. Paradoxically it is more “true-peak” than Pro-L 2 in my opinion. The ISP button in Pro-L does the better job.
We’ll see when we find the time to test Pro L2! =)
Haha! As I said! I don’t really like how the Pro-L sounds in contrast with Pro-L2! 🙂
Sorry I mean I don’t really like how the Pro-L2 sounds in contrast with Pro-L! 😀
I wanna thank you so much for your test! Here are some limiters that probably missing in your list:
FabFilter Pro-L 2 – https://www.fabfilter.com/download/#download-pro-l-2-limiter-plug-in
IK Multimedia Stealth Limiter/Brickwall Limiter – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trstealthlimiter/
DDMF NoLimits – http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/trbricklim/
BOZ The Wall – https://www.bozdigitallabs.com/product/the-wall/
bx_XL V2 – https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_xl_v2.html
CamelCrusher – http://www.audiopluginsforfree.com/camelcrusher/
Not exactly limiter, but this guy recommend it as a limiter = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-cD4N0RI7w&t=
Avid Maxim – http://www.avid.com/plugins/maxim
Avid Pro Limiter – http://www.avid.com/plugins/pro-limiter
HoRNet Magnus MK2 – https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-magnus-mk2/
D16 Frontier – http://d16.pl/frontier
EasyLimiter – https://vst.saschart.com/easylimiter_peaks_attenuation
W1 Limiter – http://www.yohng.com/software/w1limit.html
LVC Clipshifter – http://lvcaudio.com/plugins/clipshifter/
*DDMF NoLimits – https://ddmf.eu/nolimits-limiter-plugin/
It’s been added to the todo-list..
GVST GMax – http://www.gvst.co.uk/gmax.htm
It’s been added to the todo-list..
Thanks for all suggestions, we added the ones that weren’t on our todo-list, we’ll try to add as many of them ass possible as soon we have time…
You are awesome! Thanks! Can’t wait!
Pro L2 has been added!
Surprised that FabFilter’s Pro-L2 is “bested” slightly by Pro-L. I realize both measurements are within the margin of testing error, both in reference to -1 and to each other, but I was still hoping it would show up a little closer to -1. Maybe I’m getting pulled in by the “ranking” factor that lists often entail.
Question: In practical terms, do you feel that all the limiters you show in the green (which indicates within the .2 margin of error) are equally acceptable for mastering work? I suppose this is where the separate test / podcast you mention about quality of the results would come in. Any plans for that any time soon?
Along those lines, I would second Seabeast’s mention of Boz’s “The Wall” in his very good list for testing and would hope we could see it sooner rather than later. At least on the recent mixes I’ve used it on since acquiring, it has added a surprising musicality. Those mixes / masters just breathe and flow better than when using my other “usual suspects,” which -by comparison- come off as somewhat constricted. I’m finding the Wall just opens things up dynamically speaking.
Would be interested in Hornet’s Magnus Mk2 as well.
Thanks for adding Pro-L2 to the list, and also for this endeavor in general!
This test is purely technical, it does not include sonic differences so a measured green value only means it handles ISP’s as supposed. If it’s suitable for mastering is a whole other story.
If you ask me what limiters I would recommend for mastering I would say DMG Limitless (my preferred choice), Voxengo Elephant, Pro-L, Pro-L2, Sonnox Limiter, Sequoia sMax11, Izotope or Flux… But I only say that because I’ve used them and know they’re good, my guess is that we’ll find several more of the plugins on this list good or great if we were to test them sonically.
Thank you -and I also appreciate your recommendations.
Of your own personal list, I have sMax11 (in Samplitude), Pro-L, Pro-L2, Sonnox Limiter and iZotope; would trust them all to do an excellent job in all genres of music I work in. From all those listed in this blog, along with the Wall (which I’m still getting to know but liking very much at least on pop/rock/alt-folk), I also have Tonebooster Barricade v3, PSP Xenon, Vladgsound Limiter No6 / Tokyo Dawn TDR Limiter 6 GE, Kuassa Maximizer, and a couple of the others that are “down in the red.” My go-to’s have been the Pro-L, Sonnox, and Xenon. The others I just haven’t played around with that much -any or all could be great as well as far as I know. Picked up the Hornet Magnus MK2 recently and on a quick listen I found it useful for clean, neutral limiting and gain.
Once, at need, I mastered a mix using PSP’s MasterQ2 on a laptop with headphones -it came out surprisingly well! A lot of functionality bundled up in that one!
The Wall by Boz Digital Labs has been added!
Hahahaha! Yikes! The Wall didn’t fare so well “technically” did it! Thanks for including it. As I said, I like it musically -but seeing this result I’ll be likely to place another limiter behind it at the end of the chain to deal with ISP’s.
Hahaha, no it didn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless. If you like it I would put a True Peak meter (for example Tone Boosters EBU Loudness) last in the chain and keep an eye on the meter rather than add an additional limiter. A true peak limiter may take away all that Mojo you got (and liked) with The Wall and you end up with additional plugins for no reason. I did that mistake with FG-X, I realized that everything FG-X did for the music got killed with a TP limiter behind it and I got a much better result just skipping it completely.
Good point, thank you! Makes much better sense. 🙂
Image Line Maximus has been added. It’s not really a Mastering Limiter even though it does have a built-in peak limiter, it’s mostly a multiband compressor.
Hullo! Your list is still useful these couple of years later!
Just wondering if you could test:
Ozone8 with 16x oversampling
Voxengo Elephant v4
Huge thanks for your insights!!
We’ll see what we can do!
I am the developer of LoudMax and have added inter-sample peak detection with the latest version. Would you mind updating the true peak limiter test with LoudMax v1.23?
We’ll run it through the test as soon as possible. Thank you for letting us know about the new version.
That was quick, thanks.
I´m a bit surprised that it failed. I tested the same track and settings with several true peak meters and got results around -0.9 dBTP. Did you turn on ISP?
I do not want to annoy, but I would like to know why you measured a value of +0.13 dBTP. At all my tests with the same settings, the results are between -1.0 dBTP and -0.9 dBTP.
Two questions for you Thomas:
1. Are you sure that the newest version has been tested for this test?
2. Did you test it using the exact same material and methods we did and describe?
I tested it a while back, it should be the latest version but I’ll double check tomorrow.
Sorry, It’s been a bit hectic so I haven’t had the time to follow up on this. I’ll take a look tomorrow, I could be using the wrong version (even though I don’t think so) and I’ll check that everything been setup correctly.
You were 100% right, I didn’t realize that the text ‘ISP’ functioned as a button so I did the test without ISP detection activated. My apologies and I’m glad you reach out to make us aware, much appreciated!
Thanks, now I’m relieved. I will soon release a new version with more recognizable buttons.
I tested your limiter using the demo v1.23. I used a drum plugin and apple’s roundtripAAC tool that measures ISPs. When ISP is enabled on LoudMax there were NO ISP warning in roundtrip.
Thanks! That’s good news for me, as I’ve heard that Apple has very accurate ISP detection.
my browser doesn´t show a reply button to your answer, so I use the main reply.
I downloaded the track Morbit Orbit at https://siggidori.bandcamp.com/track/morbit-orbit
Then I processed it in Reaper with LoudMax v1.23
Settings: Thresh -7.5 dB, Out -1.0 dB, ISP On.
Measured the resulted 32 Bit float WAV with Nugen LM Correct, TB EBULoudness, Youlean Loudness Meter and dpMeter3. The results are -0.9 dBTP with dpMeter3 and -1.0 dBTP with all others.
When I switch off ISP the results are between +0.1 and +0.2 dBTP. Since the ISP button is not directly recognizable as such I thought you might have overlooked it and suspected that ISP is always on.
No problem 🙂 It sure seems like everything is as it should! Though I’m a bit curious how you got the track from my Bandcamp page 😀 I haven’t received any “coffee tips” (sales) from Bandcamp 🙂
Looks like I’m an old miser using evil technology 😉
Hope it was worth the time and effort! 😉
this review was god sent, Elevate has a true peak limiter now also version 1.5,
This is cool!
DMG Limitless has redone the ISP section in the latest update. Would be cool to see the results for the newest version!
Of course, we’ll test it as soon we can find the time!
Yes Newfangled Audio Elevate now has True Peak Limiting. I can send you an NFR if you need one to test it.
Sorry for the late response, it has been a couple of busy weeks and I’m slowly catching up on everything. We’ll gladly update the test with the latest version. I guess we would need an NFR since we’re most probably out of demo time? You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, could you please test the limiter included in Cubase?
You could install Cubase Elements trial, no need of USB dongle.
We’ll see what we can do, we added it to the to-do list.
Hey could you add BUTE Limiter to your test subjects? http://signumaudio.com/bute-limiter
We put it on the to-do list, thanks for the suggestion!
Plugin Alliance has become very popular and they have many more limiters than bx_limiter: bx_XL, bx_masterdesk, Lindell 254E, Magnum-K and their console emulations. Would be very interesting to see, how they perform this task 😊
We agree, they should all be tested and on this list. We don’t have that much time at the moment but we add them all to the to-do list and they’ll show up eventually.
Sounds good 🙂 All of their plugins have free fully functional demos. There’s a 14 day limit, but they’ve just reset the stats, so everyone can demo everything again.
Could you add the Kilohearts Limiter? It’s free and no one talks about it but it sounds pretty good to me.
Absolutely, we’ll run it through our test as soon we’re back from our summer break.
Kilohearts Limiter has been added to the list!
Thanks! Now, I would ike to mention something important about it: Event though installing the Kilohearts package requieres a serial through e-mail, the Limiter is on of the Kilohearts free plugins, so it would be good if you mention it’s free on the list.
True, thanks for pointing that out.
Another recommendation: Almost two years ago, the Maxwell Smart V3 was released. It’s still free and 32 bits Windows only.
We’ve added the Maxwell Smart v3
Another tips for limiters & clippers here! What about to add ADClip7, BlockParty, ClipOnly, NC-17, OneCornerClip, PurestDrive, Righteous4? They are all free for download and made by Chris from Airwindows. https://www.airwindows.com/
Here is a great sheet about his plugins made by one fan: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F3dIFKZNANSA_87T3CWMtwqIdbK3dpIBkzjGeDSGVsk/edit?fbclid=IwAR3b1ftinqk5a18StW1LGWjx29br0ydY6E9tcwTTzI1GsCZ_YbdXLyTJuS8#gid=418114461
We’ll add them as soon as we have the time! Thanks for the tip.
NC-17 was the only plugin that handled limiting in a way so that it could be added to the test. However, we did try the other ones and measured the peaks, it seems like if Airwindows doesn’t handle True Peaks in any of their plugins.
please test this limiter HoRNetMagnusMK2_x64
We’ll see what we can do!
None of these are pure limiters, they do have a clipper section so it could be interesting to test but I don’t think they’ll handle TP in the way this test aims to measure. If they do we’ll add them as soon we can find the time!
I really appreciate your test and this enormous list. May I ask which samplerate the source was? Did you have to make a samplerate conversion with the rendering?
We did all tests at 44.1. No SRC involved.
Your list is amazing, thank you for sharing.
Also this: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_limiter_true_peak.html
Yes, we aim to measure PA’s true peak as soon as we have the time!
Hello, may I ask you to check the new kid on the block – Signum Audio BUTE Limiter 2. It claims to be True Peak crystal clear.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the tip, it’s been Added.
Please add G200k’s VeeMax it is free too and has an ISP switch
little secret, it sounds SUPER clean at 48k+ sample rate.
We added the VeeMax, thanks for the tip.
We added Smart Limit by Sonible.
Epic list and very informative. Thankyou.
Would be great if someone were to add the stats for ReaLimit, the first VST Limiter introduced into Reaper with a recent release.
Prima facie it seems great but it would be nice to see how it scored
We’ll add it as soon we can find the time, thanks for the reminder.
Brainworx bx_Limiter True Peak
Acoustic Audio HWMC
LoudMax developer Thomas Mundt has released version 1.08 of LUveler.
Could you please try out Limit from Acon Digital?
Sure, we’ll see what we can do.
Hey, there. I’d like to know if you could please try Flatline, by SubMission Audio…?
I want to know if theres much else going for said plugin besides the average YouTuber shilling and so on, so on.
Btw, I absolutely love this article! I’ve been following it for years now, it’ll never leave from my browser bookmarks. Thanks for the awesome work.
I’ll see what I can do, I put it on my to-do list.