Apogee Digital Announces FREE Soft Limit Plugin (Coming Soon)


Apogee Digital announced at NAMM 2022 that they will release a new freeware plugin called Soft Limit in June 2022. Interested users can sign up now to be informed about the release.

We don’t have an exact release date for this freebie, but we know it will drop this month (June). If you want to be one of the first to download it, you can add your name and email address on the product info page, and Apogee will contact you as soon as it’s available.

Soft Limit is something that Apogee first released back in 1992 with the AD-500 converter. The same proprietary technology can be found in Apogee’s current roster of audio interfaces, like the Duet and Ensemble.

Soft Limit aims to eliminate distortion caused by digital clipping by rounding off transient peaks before they hit the A/D converter. The result is potentially a few dB of additional apparent loudness that you might otherwise lose.

Anything that allows us to push further without losing control of nasty peaks will always sound appealing. I’ve never owned an Apogee audio interface and have no experience with the Soft Limit technology, so I’m interested to see how well this plugin works.

If anyone here owns an Apogee interface or even an older standalone converter, it would be great to hear what you think of them in the comments. I’ve heard mostly good things about them, and I’ve gone through a few interfaces over the years (currently the Arturia Audiofuse 8Pre) but never got to Apogee.

It’s purely for my curiosity, but feel free to share!

The Soft Limit plugin promises more than extra apparent loudness; it offers tape-like harmonics and subtle analog warmth. If using it on an instrument channel, it could be a cool way to add some crunch without fear of getting too harsh. It should be a useful plugin for both tracking and mastering.

So, stay tuned for Soft Limit; it looks like a good one!

More info: Soft Limit (coming soon)

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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. “it offers tape-like harmonics and subtle analog warmth”
    So kinda like soft-clipping? Or am I way off here?

    • It has a couple of different settings, two of which are only limiting and two which have asymmetrical soft clipping (i.e tube saturation) as well as limiting.

      -2 dBfs – Soft Limit begins to attenuate transient peaks at a level of -2 dBfs. This is the most transparent Soft Limit setting.

      -4 dBfs – Soft Limit begins to attenuate transient peaks at a level of -4 dBfs. This is the threshold of previous implementations of Soft Limit.

      Soft Saturate – a lower threshold, plus asymmetrical clipping in a manner similar to tube circuits.

      Soft Crush – The most extreme setting, where audible distortion and dirty mojo are required. Take that, drums.


  2. I have a duet, and you have to push the input quite hard in order to hear distortion. It’s pretty cool stuff!

  3. I had a 2ch AD converter from Apogee a while back and I loved it. The soft limit function was a life saver for drums

  4. I still have and use my old trusted “Mini-Me” for tracking. It has the Soft-Limit function which I’ve never needed for tracking. But now I’m curious to try it for mastering next time…

  5. Jeppespelar


    I haven’t really read up on the subject but how can a dsp-utility/-plugin/-device affect the audio before the DA? If the audio isn’t digitized yet, how can a digital processor process it?

  6. It’s just a fancy wording for a soft-clipper. Apogee AD/DA converters had the soft-clipping built in, hence they were a very popular trick to gain some extra loudness back in the days. These days any generic soft-clipping / waveshaping plugin can achieve the exact same, so it’s not rocket-science. Most limiting plugins have a soft-clipping stage anyways these days.

  7. Michal Ochedowski


    I recently spent some time with a waveshaper. I was trying to emulate what dedicated soft clipper did. The goal was to minimize the number of plugins at my disposal. I have to admit that it wasn’t that easy. A lot of fiddling with various parameters. I still didn’t get it to sound as good as dedicated plugin. At the end it all came down to simplicity of use and how quick I could get the results I was after. For instance until now I wasn’t aware that with a clipping plugin custom harmonics were being generated depending on the knob position between soft and hard setting. Therefore I’m looking forward to this release, because I know it can bring something new, despite being an old and well known concept.

  8. Eventide sale and a coupon; GROOVE32022 (25$)
    i have bought “Blackhole” for 4$ and ShimmerVerb for the same price!
    You can use the coupon multiple times!

    • considering arturia v9 collection was recently released, are some of the new sounds included in this analog lag intro?
      or is this unnecessary, if one owns a year old version of lab intro?

  9. By the way: This plugin is free and requires NO license for use. The System Requirements on the download page are wrong!

  10. If the download link is not working, try right clicking the link and choose “SAVE LINK AS”. My browser also decided to discard the file so in addition I had to click it to keep it. I hope this helps.

  11. Michal Ochedowski


    I like this plugin. Sounds really pleasant on drums while rounding off transients by 5 dB. Of course it can be pushed much further with audible distortion. Definitely useful tool, especially with oversampling which can be switched off to save CPU.

  12. Very nice plugin. It works well with synth bass and leads, nailing them nicely in place if there is modulation going on. Unfortunately current version (v1.09) does not keep plugin settings when reloading projects (Tested on Win11 / Reaper 6.62).

  13. I just sent a bug report to Apogee, let’s hope they take it seriously and fix it. I don’t know how they manage to do it, but even with 16x OS enabled, the CPU usage remains VERY low on my system. In fact It took about 30 instances (with 16x OS enabled) to move my CPU meter to 1%. My disbelief was so big that I had to check if the oversampling was working in the first place, with the help of a tone generator and a spectrum analyzer. Oversampling was indeed working and Reaper’s performance meter showed me that one instance of SoftLimit uses only 0.04% on my computer. This is some very impressive coding.

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