The Best Limiter Plugin

The BEST Limiter Plugin? – FabFilter Pro-L2 Review & Tutorial


The BEST Limiter Plugin? 

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In this tutorial video, Ian Gallagher does a review of the new FabFilter Pro-L2 limiter.  You’ll see a couple of killer new features as we put it through its paces in some audio examples.  

Overview of New Limiting Algorithms

You’ve got all kinds of limiting styles, including the original transparent, punchy, dynamic, and allround, plus 4 new ones: aggressive, modern, bus, and safe.

You’ll see the new “Audition Limiting” feature, where you can isolate and hear the sound of Pro-L2’s processing. This is super useful to zero in on how much gain reduction is happening, and the distortion the limiter is introducing to your signal.

Unity Gain Feature

Bus Limiting Algorithm

Here you’ll see an example of how to use Pro-L2 in a bus limiting situation, where Ian Groups up a bunch of drum tracks and processes them together.

Unity Gain Feature

One of the hazards of applying a limiter is that it can fool you into thinking the louder signal is better because our ears tend to prefer a louder signal. The new Unity Gain feature makes that issue a thing of the past by intelligently turning down the signal as gain is boosted into the limiter.

This is a huge advantage when working with this limiter because you can be more objective about how much gain reduction you’re applying. It allows you to get better results when mixing and mastering.

Best Limiter Plugin Algorithms

Unity Gain for Mastering

Ian demos how to use Pro-L2 in the mastering process. You hear the aggressive algorithm, again using the the Unity Gain feature to find the sweep spot when dialling in gain reduction.

Then he uses the True Peak limiter setting and sets a Ceiling to allow enough headroom to publish on Spotify or Youtube, where data rate compression adds extra amplitude from compression noise.

Loudness (LUFS) and Streaming Audio Sites

You’ll see a quick overview of how streaming music services like Spotify, Youtube and Apple Music are using loudness normalization to even out the perceived loudness of songs. Pro-L2 has a great new feature that allows you to target the perfect final loudness for your track.

Using the new Loudness metering section, you can view the output in Loudness Units Full Scale (LUFS). Ian shows how to set this to Integrated LUFS and set a -14 LUFS target. For a deep dive into the topic of mastering for streaming / compressed audio, check out our Current Trends in Mastering blog post by mastering engineer, Tarekith:

-14 LUFS for mastering for Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube

Get FabFilter Pro-L2:
Get the FabFilter Total Bundle:
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