Limiter plugins are quintessential for great mixes. Your track may have good sound but without a limiter, it won’t be great.
Limiters are the main tool for mastering. You can use EQ or compressor at this stage, but the limiter does the main job.
So, to create great songs that sound great in all environments, you need to use limiters.
What Is A Limiter
A limiter is a tool that makes songs louder. Limiters are like hard compressors, with infinite ratios. They bring up the volume of the song and make them louder and juicier.
But in the end, all of them do the same job. They should make tracks louder and great sounding in every kind of speaker and environment.
In this post, you will find the best premium and free limiter plugins. You can add any of these limiters to your home recording studio gear arsenal and make awesome songs.
Top Premium Limiter Plugins
Premium limiter plugins offer great sound and features. With these plugins, you can make your mixes even greater. Let’s dive in and see what features these plugins have to offer.
FabFilter Pro-L 2
FabFilter Pro-L 2 is an amazing, high-quality limiter VST plugin with great features and control abilities. It’s a true-peak limiter. Very professional and has some amazing features not found in many of its competitors.
Pro-L 2 has all the features you need. You can choose between different types of limiters such as mastering, modern, hard, etc. Also, you have attack, release, and lookahead control knobs.
Other features include the true-peak limiting option, oversampling for better quality, and dithering option among others. Has a great interface and you can visually see what the plugins do to your sound.
But one of the best features of FabFilter Pro-L 2 is the LUFS feature. LUFS is a built-in feature and you can easily control the output level of your song for different streaming services.
FabFilter Pro-L 2 Feaures:
- Amazing sound
- Built-in LUFS
- The best interface
- Easy to understand
Slate Digital FG-X
FG-X Mastering Processor by Slate Digital is one of the best limiter plugins you can find. And it’s a very unique one that works slightly differently than other limiters. Has great features and sounds awesome.
First of all, it’s two tools in one box. You have a mastering compressor that sounds great. You can add another layer of consistency to your mix. You can control attack, release, ratio, and threshold. Also, has a VU meter to see the gain reduction.
After that, you have a limiter section which is a little different from other limiters. In the transients section, you can control lows, mids, and highs. You have a big knob for gain and also FG-X allows you to control dynamics.
You can also control the smoothness of al limiter and has a dither option. It has a peak and RMS meter where you can clearly see what’s going on with your sound. For more control, you have two VU meters.
FG-X Mastering Processor Features:
- Transparent and high-quality sound
- Compressor and limiter in one plugin
- Frequency and dynamic control
Ozone 9 Maximizer
Ozone 9 Maximizer is one of the best and industry-standard limiters. It’s a very high-quality tool for mastering. This limiter is a great option for every home recording studio.
It’s a modern tool with modern algorithms. Offers transparent limiting without pumping on higher volume levels. With Ozone 9 Maximizer your mixes won’t have clipping problems.
This limiter has an equalizer and imager built-in which makes it more awesome. You can tweak some EQ and also add a stereo image to widen it even further. Features are almost unlimited.
You can choose different limiting modes, control ceiling, threshold, limiter character, transients, and sustain. Maximizer by iZotope is a fully-featured mastering tool.
Ozone 9 Maximizer Features:
- Transparent limiter
- EQ and stereo imager included
- Includes LUFS feature
Waves L2 Ultramaximizer
Waves L2 Ultramaximizer is another great tool from an amazing brand. Many famous mixing engineers use this plugin because it’s one of the best. It doesn’t have a modern interface but it’s very easy to use.
L2 Ultramaximizer is a true peak limiter plus level maximize plugin. Comes with great features and can make your songs professional-sounding. Powerful yet easy to use and understand.
The plugin has controls for threshold, ceiling, release, and attenuation. Additionally, you can choose different options for quantizing, dither, and shape. Really simple but powerful limiter plugin from Waves.
Waves L2 Ultramaximizer Features:
- Limiter and maximizer
- Automatic release control
- Shaping and dither options
Weiss MM1 by Softube is the very unique and powerful limiter. Has a really simple and beautiful interface. Its minimalistic approach makes it easier to use. Very clean plugin with great options.
First, you get a beautiful meter for input, output, and gain reduction. You can see how limiter shapes your sound. Next, you have three knobs – amount, dry/wet, and gain knobs. Very simple.
But the greatest feature is that you can choose between five different limiter styles. Modes you can choose from are transparent, loud, punch, wide, deess. It’s a very versatile limiter VST plugin with great sound. Also, has a bypass switch.
Weiss MM1 Features:
- Modern design
- Five limiter styles
- Rich and transparent sound
Sonnox Oxford Limiter
Oxford Limiter by Sonnox is one of the best limiter plugins. It’s a true-peak limiter with a modern approach and really awesome sound. With this plugin, you can make your mixes professional-sounding without much effort.
Oxford Limiter has three sections – input, pre-process, and output. You can control threshold and input gain in the first section. In pre-process section you have controls for attack, release, knee, and also you can use the auto gain button.
And in the last, output section you have options for curve, trim, peaks, and more. You have all the features you need to create great songs. Also, the interface is remarkably simple and easy to understand.
Sonnox Oxford Limiter Features:
- Enhance feature to increase loudness
- Dither and depth feature
- True-peak limiting
Top Free Limiter Plugins
Free limiter VST plugins offer great features without spending a cent. Many free plugins are created by independent developers and offer great and unique features. Let’s see some of the best of them.
Limiter #6 is the best and most feature-packed limiter plugin that is free. Has really cool interface and features of a professional limiter. Offers brick-wall and soft limiting in one package.
This plugin has five independent sections with various options. This section includes a compressor, peak limiter, HF limiter, clipper, and protection which controls output and ceiling. All of them have dedicated controls and VU meters.
Also, Limiter #6 offers ISP limiting, 4x oversampling, and analog-style indication. Really an amazing free tool for mastering and a great addition to your home recording studio.
Limiter #6 Features:
- Five independent modules
- ISP limiting
- High-quality signal processing
LoudMax is a very simple yet powerful free plugin. It may have a simple interface and minimalistic design but can make any mix greater. Sometimes simplicity is better.
You can control input and output gain. Set a threshold, tweak outputs, see the gain reduction and that’s it. It’s that simple.
LoudMax is free and gets frequent updates. So, it’s always evolving and improving. With this limiter VST plugin, you can make tracks sound louder very easily.
- Simple and easy to use
- Quality sound
- Clean and transparent
Modern Amplifier is another very simple limiter and compressor plugin for mastering. This will be a great addition to any home recording studio. It offers great features, sound, and is free.
You have a beautiful VU meter to see the limiter effect on the sound. Two knobs are for gain and peak reduction controls. With a little switch, you can choose between the limiter and compressor.
Also, you have the option to choose a fast or slow limiter and compressor with a switch. The Modern Amplifier limiter plugin is a simple tool that can do its job quite well.
Modern Amplifier Features:
- Easy to use
- VU meter
- Compressor and limiter
Unlimited is one of the most feature-packed limiter plugins you can find for free. It’s a loudness maximizer and limiter for stereo and surround sound. Offers many features and you can tweak almost everything.
You can control left, right, and center channels separately and see the gain reduction for each channel. You can use it as a limiter or as a compressor. Also, includes options such as character, classic mode, true peak, etc.
Not only you can control input and output gain, but it also has a LUFS feature. It makes it easier to control output levels for different streaming services like Spotify, Youtube, etc.
- Avoids audible distortion
- Compressor and limiter
- LUFS included
Limiter plugins are must-have tools for every home recording studio. Your songs and mixes won’t sound professional without a limiter. Fortunately, there are hundreds of premium and free plugins you can use and make great and high-quality tracks. Try them, find the one that works for you and start making great songs.