Apogee Releases FREE Soft Limit Plugin

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Apogee releases Soft Limit, a freeware tape saturation and limiter plugin for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS.

The plugin emulates the Soft Limit feature found in Apogee’s standalone analog-digital converters ever since the AD-500 model. In short, Soft Limit is an analog circuit that adds harmonics and subtly transforms the transient before the A-D conversion takes place, simulating the effects of analog tape.

Now that exact same feature is available in plugin format. Apogee offers a faithful software recreation of the original Soft Limit circuit, packed with modern features like oversampling and automatic gain makeup.

We already discussed Apogee Soft Limit in a recent article, but let’s take another quick look at the plugin’s features and GUI design.

Soft Limit sports a simple and well-design interface. The top half of the GUI is where you’ll find the Input, Soft Limit, and Output meters. The meters also offer clip indicators to help identify and prevent distortion.

The bottom section hosts the Drive, Soft Limit, and Output control knobs, along with the In, Oversample, and Auto Makeup switches. The Oversample knob lets you apply up to 16X oversampling to enable smooth and artifact-free saturation.

If you need help with any of the control parameters, click the question mark in the upper-right corner to display tooltips. You can also use the size switch in the upper-left corner to resize the GUI.

Soft Limit isn’t the type of plugin that will magically make your mix sound amazing. However, use it sporadically on multiple channels, and you will end up with a warmer, rounder, and possibly more pleasing-sounding mix. Use it in tandem with our free BPB Saturator plugin for added saturation and analog warmth.

Apogee Soft Limit is available in VST2, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for compatible plugin hosts on Windows (Windows 10 and above) and macOS (macOS 10.14.6 and above). Apogee lists the plugin as a $99 value, but it is free to download from their website. Submit your name and email address to receive the download link from Apogee.

If you’re looking for more similar tools, check out our lists of free saturation plugins and free limiter plugins.

Download: Apogee Soft Limit

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About Author

Tomislav is a content creator and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

12 Comments

  1. Michal Ochedowski

    on

    If anyone is interested, this plugin also works on Windows 8.1. No guarantees of course, all depends on the system configuration etc. I’m glad that it’s not exclusive to Windows 10 and above, like PreSonus does with their plugins.

  2. Just a heads up to any Reaper users out there: Before you start using Soft Limit on your projects, check if the plugin is recalling it’s settings properly. I’ve sent a bug report to Apogee as it’s not recalling settings on my system (Win11 / newest Reaper). Plugin itself sounds very good and doesn’t use much juice, even with it’s 16x OS enabled.

    • Michal Ochedowski

      on

      I’ve just checked it and Soft Limit doesn’t recall settings on Windows 8.1 either. I use Ableton Live. Good to know that you sent a bug report. In my situation they could’ve written that my system isn’t supported. You’re on Win 11 so I hope it will be fixed. Thanks for sharing that info.

      • Michal Ochedowski

        on

        I’ve just checked it again, this time in Cakewalk. VST2 and VST3 recalled all settings properly, when a pre-saved project was loaded.
        I also noticed one strange behavior in Ableton Live. When I copied and pasted an instance within the same project, the copy didn’t retain any settings. They went back to default. Now that’s really weird.

    • It’s okay for reducing a 1db or so of transient peaks, but not really superior to any other (free or paid) soft clipping plugin. The CPU hit seems quite low with oversampling enabled, that’s maybe the main pro of this plugin!

  3. Michal Ochedowski

    on

    Apogee support have been really responsive. They already fixed the problem regarding Reaper and Ableton Live. Now Soft Limit properly recalls settings in these DAWs. I’m on Windows by the way.
    Version 1.0.8 of the plugin worked fine in Cakewalk, but now the latest version 1.0.11 causes a problem and doesn’t recall settings. Only VST3 though. I’ve already reported it back to the team.
    It’s good to see this genuine interest to solve the issues, even though it’s a free product.

    • Michal Ochedowski

      on

      If someone is interested in getting the latest release, just use the download link you received in the email after registering on Apogee’s website. Very convenient I must say.

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