In this edition of bpb Freeware Studio, I’ve tried to list all the quality freeware limiters, and for a good reason.
Follow the links for screenshots & download info:
- AradazMaximizer5 by Aradaz (Mac, Windows)
- BuzMaxi3 by buzzroom (Windows)
- Classic Master Limiter by Kjaerhus Audio (Windows)
- FR-LIMIT 87 by eaReckon (Mac, Windows)
- LimitX by Bill Wall (Windows)
- Limiter No6 by vladg/sound (Mac, Windows)
- Lookahead Limiter by Christian Budde (Windows)
- LoudMax by Thomas Mundt (Mac, Windows)
- MLimiter by MeldaProduction (Mac, Windows)
- Simple Peak-7 Limiter by LOSER (Linux, Windows)
- TLs Pocket Limiter by TbT (Windows)
- W1 Limiter by 4Front Technologies (Mac, Windows)
- You Wa Shock! by Red Shine Sound (Windows)
My favorite limiter on the list is LoudMax by Thomas Mundt. It can be pushed hard and still remain quite transparent, has a nice clean GUI, and works flawlessly on my machine.
W1 Limiter by 4Front Technologies is an almost perfect recreation of the L1 Limiter by Waves. A comparison between the two is available on RedFaux Transmission website. Although W1 is GUI-less, a version with a GUI is available via BetabugsAudio (Windows only).
TbT has made some awesome freeware VSTs in the past, and TLs Pocket Limiter is a great examples of his work.
Back when I first started producing, Classic Master Limiter by Kjaerhus was my main limiter VST. It’s a simple one-knob design and is a great tool for quickly snatching a few extra dBs of loudness.
You Wa Shock! was a marketing experiment by Image Line, who released it under a false name in order to test their (then) upcoming Maximus maximizer plugin. So, You Wa Shock! basically includes four presets from Maximus in a simple one-knob interface. Best of all, if you keep the main setting at zero, it works very well as a transparent brick wall limiter!
FR-LIMIT 87 by eaReckon is a very interesting zero latency brickwall limiter. I haven’t used it too much yet, but a commercial limiter developed by the same company (using the same algorithm as FR-Limit 87) is actually used in live program by a well-known German television company.
BuzMaxi3 by buzzroom is an oldie, but still a very good transparent limiter with a built-in spectrum analyzer and very low CPU hit.
Make sure you check out other limiters on the list too, leave your impressions and suggestions in the comments section below, and have fun mixing!