A selection of completely free limiter plugins for Mac and windows systems. Check out the article for download links and more information!
In this post, last week we discussed limiter plug-ins looking at what they are, how to use them and listened to some examples of audio clips with limiters applied. This week we have put together 5 of the best free limiter plugins that are completely free to download.
We have done our best to pick plugins that are compatible with both Mac and Windows systems and if we have missed any you know of, please let us know in the comments section of this article.
eaRekon FR-Limit 87
The eaRekon FR-LIMIT 87 is a super simple limiter plugin with a single threshold encoder and slow release switch. There is a `LED` meter along the bottom showing you how much reduction is applied, and the slow release `LED` lights up when the slow release is switched on. This plug-in is part of the 87 series of free plug-ins by eaRekon so head over to the website to get yours!
The LoudMax limiter adds a little more functionality to the interface over the FR-LIMIT 87, with additional volume out slider, Link and ISP buttons. You also get more feedback with additional level in (top) and level out (bottom) meters with a reduction amount meter along the right. The link button links the movement of the threshold slider (top) to the volume out slider. The ISP or Inter-sample peak detection button is new addition in version 1.23.
This brick wall limiter is best suited for mastering or live radio streaming where volume limiting is a must.
vLadg/sound Limiter No6
The Limiter No6 has to be the most feature full giving you a complete all in one mastering effects unit with RMS compressor, peak limiter, high-frequency limiter, clipper, peak limiter. Some highlight features are
- ability to switch limiter and compressor order
- true peak limiter
- on/off switch for each module
- live graphing of sound reduction for each module
This plug-in gives you 5 different types of limiting with 4 mode options and a separate high frequency limiter.
LimitedZ is easily the most graphical of the limiters as it shows you in real time the in and out volumes, the gain reduction applied and by hitting the `Hz` button along the bottom you can see a spectrum analyzer of the audio. You can even zoom in along the x-axis and control the speed of the y-axis with the orange sliders at the bottom and on the left.
To the right are the Limiter controls and meters showing you the same information displayed in the real time graph. There is also a Mode section where you can select from nine different presets. Other cool features are the auto gain button at the top and the Learn button, under the gain encoder to the right. These are handy features if you are happy to let the plug-in decide an appropriate gain level.
Definitely worth adding to your tool kit.
George Yhong W1 Limiter
This is a limiter I have been using for a long time now and really love it. I have found that this plug-in is really great when you need a little extra volume from a mix without adding color or distortion. It has a simple interface with just the usual controls you would expect to see on a limiter. The adaptive release seems to work well however, I haven’t used it too often and when adjusting the threshold the plug-in applies a nice compression effect.
So, hopefully you have found a useful limiter among these options. I would recommend downloading them all and giving them a try to see what works for you and which one fits into your workflow. Why not, they are free after all! I find myself most often using the W1 Limiter, and second most used would be the FR-LIMIT 87. I think for me it comes down to the simplicity of the two plugins. I don’t put too much time into limiters since I think (wrongly or rightly) that if a track really needs one, then I should probably go back and fix whatever is causing the issues.
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Thanks for reading!