mark3 Is A FREE Mid/Side Limiter Plugin By DSPplug


DSPplug releases mark3, a freeware limiter VST plugin for digital audio workstations on Windows.

mark3 is a mid/side limiter from DSPplug, a developer we have covered a few times before. Like previous DSPplug offerings, mark3 is Windows only, but macOS support is in the works. That’s good news for people like me who talk about getting a Windows system but still haven’t done it.

mark3 features a three-band graphic EQ for mid and side and a dBFS and peak RMS mastering solution.

The colorful GUI seems somewhat of a departure from the look of a typical DSPplug product. It’s a bit more modern but looks pleasingly straightforward.

The mid and side processing controls are the same, besides Punch on the mid and Width on the side. Each, when selected, can make use of the central graphic EQ. I can’t speak too much on the results until a macOS version drops, but I like the intuitive layout.

The benefit of mid/side limiting is that you can independently tackle the mono/stereo information. Unlike full-band limiting, you can deal with problem peaks in the mid signal while maintaining the stereo balance. There are various mid/side limiter plugins available, some cheap and some relatively expensive, like bx_XL V2 from Brainworx somewhere around $200 (approx).

The code design credits for mark3 go to DSPplug, Kirkagur, Exonerate, Infuzion, and Trogluddite. Martin Vicanek and cytoSonic are credited for the linear delay and peerless peak detection, respectively.

The DSPplug website mentions that mark3 is not an official release by VoS or a collaboration between VoS and DSPplug. The developer, Robert E. Langford, speaks about mark3 beginning as an emulation of a discontinued plugin. However, he decided to rebuild the plugin to be a unique product.

Hopefully, (for me) macOS support comes soon, and I can run through mark3 for myself. Until then, your comments and opinions are always appreciated.

If you’re looking for a different kind of free limiter, DSPplug has esquire3, and Frontier from D16 Group is an excellent freebie.

mark3 is available in VST2 and VST3 format for Windows.

Download: mark3


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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


  1. All the other toneboosters plugins are kind of free also if you use the demo mode. From their site:
    “ToneBoosters provides free demo software of all products available for download here. In contrast to many other plug-in vendors, the demos have no time restrictions but saving of settings is disabled when a plug-in is running in demo mode.”
    Also you have to always click OK to the demo info to get rid of it.

    • Thats kind of right, but the main problem of the demo is, like you mentioned, that they don’t save the session state, so you’d need to edit them everytime you restart the DAW. But the V3 plugins, formerly known as “Track/Bus Essentials” are obviously free now, and they are not only ridiculously great, but also cover almost every mixing need as a bundle. I bought them already before, but I thought the news would be interesting for somebody.

      • Johannes, you must have a compatible issue with your daw. My TB eq or limiter demo mode adjustments stay completely normal every time I open my projects. But I can’t make any presets. Maybe I could still make a preset inside my daw, but with the eq and limiter it’s not useful to me, and also I would then rather support the company. Not so expensive plugins anyway.

    • It’s on the support page, because that’s where the installers for previous versions reside. Just that in this case the older version has now been declared freeware.

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