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When To Use Ozone Maximizer vs. DMG Limitless & Ozone EQ vs. Equilibrium Dynamics Plugins
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
When To Use Ozone Maximizer vs. DMG Limitless & Ozone EQ vs. Equilibrium

I've got several questions, and I will try to sum them up into a short post.

I've heard a lot about DMG Audio Limitless, and I used it a few years ago. I also used Equilibrium a few years ago. I'm considering using them again.

For the EQ's (Ozone 8 EQ vs. DMG Audio EQuilibrium):

Does Ozone's EQ compare to Equilibrium at all, or does Ozone's have any advantage? Do they sound "different," or is EQuilibrium just better (hands down)? If there are any advantages to Ozone's, over EQuilibrium, when should it be used, and how should it be used? Does EQuilibrium take up more CPU than Ozone's EQ?

For the limiters (Ozone 8 vs DMG Audio Limitless):

I'm hearing a lot of people stand behind DMG Limitless as the better of the two, but I also hear that they are different and should be used for different situations & different genres.

Which genres or genre types (or types of sounds, as in speed, harmonic quality, transient presence or lack there of, etc) would you use either of them for? Would you use them in combination? In what scenarios does one usually do a better job than the other?

I tend to use 1-3 Ozone Maximizers, doing a maximum of -3.5 dB of GR (after that, it tends to get nasty). I'll use a clipper, in combination with them (if need be, or if it works). Clippers that I've used are Standard CLIP, KClip 3 Pro, and the Air Windows ones (mostly ADClip 7).

In what ways do you use your limiters (especially, if you use Ozone in combination with Limitless)?

I tend to use one Ozone Maximizer at the beginning of my limiter/clipper stage (after all other mastering plugins, other than NotJustAnotherDither). If I need more than 1 maximizer (or if the material is bass heavy), then the first one is set to IRC IV, Modern, has a slow character (as slow as I can get it, to push the bass through, and it does 0.5 to 2.5 dB of GR (-1 to -1.5 is the sweet spot, usually... but, sometimes up to -3.2 dB of GR if I really am trying to get stupid loud). This first limiter usually replaces any need for a multiband compressor (or any compression, for that matter). I won't go into more details, but usually my last maximizer is set to fast, and does more GR than the first one.

How much gain reduction can Limitless pull off, without getting nasty? How easy is it to dial in? Is it primarily transparent, coloring, or both?

What are the advantages of Ozone 8 Maximizer, and what are the advantages of DMG Audio Limitless?

If you had to pick one, which one would it be?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Just try the demos of both on your own material and pick which seems best to you, if you can only choose one. It seems like you are over thinking it!

As for DMG EQuilibrium and Limitless, I love them both. I don't really think you could go wrong with either, although I have never used Ozone to compare them to.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
I played around with DMG Limitless, and I have to say that I am impressed! It already seems to be an improvement over what I was doing with just Ozone.

The only gripes I have about it is that it doesn't handle true peaks as well as I'd like it to, the clipper isn't too easy to learn, the lowest band can only be centered as low as 20 Hz (I wish it could go to 0 or 10), and that the transient separating could use some more detailed options for shaping them. I wonder if they updated the clipper, since 2016 (I was reading in an older thread about some things people were saying about the clipper not being built as well as they'd like a mastering clipper to be built).

With the true peak issue, its nice that we have a ceiling parameter; but I'd like to get all of my loudest peaks to hit just below 0 dBTP, at the same point. With some material, there may be just one peak that is louder than all of the others. Thus, I found that many of my peaks were hitting around -0.5 dBTP, where as only one single peak was hitting -0.0 dBTP. This is not ideal, and I prefer the handling of true peaks that Ozone's Maximizer offers.

It would also be nice if there was an optional attack (or lookahead) knob on each of the 6 bands, so that you could let each band be hit faster or slower.

I'm also unsure about a few things still and will be doing my homework.

I ended up slapping an Ozone Maximizer after Limitless, to handle true peaks and to a tiny bit of further limiting (and to dial in the transient settings).

One thing that I started to try to do with Limitless is change the center points of the bands based on what Eventide/Newfangled Audio Elevate does with their filter bands, as far as where the crossover points are and how steep or narrow the filtering slopes are. I don't fully understand how Elevate's filtering works, so I am unsure about this, but I really like how Newfangled developed their system based on how the human ear perceives sound.

I also haven't figured out how to find the "center" point in Limitless, in order to mimic what Elevate does. I've got to spend some time reading up about Elevate, as well as about Limitless.

I'll develop this further, once I learn a bit more. But, here is how I set the bands in Limitless (based on trying to mimic Elevate's usage of the MEL thing):

Band 1 centered at 26 Hz (20 Hz or 0 Hz might be better), 2 at 102 Hz, 3 at 503 Hz (might pick 678 Hz instead), 4 at 2013 Hz (might pick 1669 Hz instead), 5 at 8483, and 6 at 20 kHz. I'll change this if I figure out better ways to try to do it; or I'll scrap the idea if I find out that it won't work in this way, in Limitless.

The reason why I centered the first two bands so low is so that the subs area is handled differently from the bass area. I used to do something like this with multiband compression, but I really prefer to not use compression in my mastering chain (unless it is absolutely necessary).

I really like Elevate, but I found it to have an extremely steep learning curve; and it takes too long to "dial in". Its got everything you'd want, for tons of configurable options for shaping things in many different flavors; but sometimes more is less. It also has so many flavorings available, that I'll find it difficult to find one setting in which I prefer the most. I end up with 5 different settings that all sound different; and I can't pick which one that I'd consider to be the "best," (especially when considering that the client might prefer one, where as I prefer another). Elevate is more of a coloring final plugin, where as Limitless seems to win the war of being "most transparent" in a way that is configurable but still fairly easy to dial in.

Limitless and Elevate both seem to be able to a higher amount of limiting while remaining fairly transparent, when compared to Ozone 8 Maximizer. With Ozone, I find that anything over 3.5 dB of attenuation begins to create "badness," and so I have needed 2 (or even 3) of them, in many cases in which I am pushing the loudness wars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermetech Mastering View Post
Just try the demos of both on your own material and pick which seems best to you, if you can only choose one. It seems like you are over thinking it!

As for DMG EQuilibrium and Limitless, I love them both. I don't really think you could go wrong with either, although I have never used Ozone to compare them to.
Thanks again! I've only started to scratch the surface of reading your posts in the Limitless topics. Would you care to share any of your go to settings, in fine detail; and to explain which types of material you process with preset settings that you've built?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMuzzl3 View Post
...
The ozone eq has soft saturation worth a test, not really super-drivable clipper but could be useful for early stages.

Also, this list may be helpful; ISP/True Peak limiter test – Saintpid Mastering
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Enlightening comparisons in that link
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
The ozone eq has soft saturation worth a test, not really super-drivable clipper but could be useful for early stages.

Also, this list may be helpful; ISP/True Peak limiter test – Saintpid Mastering
TY for your reply. I did notice the soft saturation in Ozone's EQ but I have not played around with it.

Oh my goodness! I recall having that link saved, 2 years ago, before my macbook pro was stolen... and I have been looking for it, ever since!! Thanks!

In regards to my latest reply, I stated that Ozone was handling true peaks well and that Limitless wasn't. Its because I didn't activate the little button at the top right to turn on ISP. I had turned on ISP filtering in the settings though, and am not sure exactly what that is or why it didn't then turn on the handling of true peaks like the button at the top right did.

Also, I've been doing some adjustments to the bands and haven't decided on good spots for them yet. I'm still kind of trying to somewhat mimic what the MEL system does within Elevate, but I am keeping in mind some other things.

I had previously set it up with 5 bands. The mid-points were 33, 102, 503, 2171, and 8177 Hz. The cross-overs points appear to be around 63, 240, 980, and 4300 Hz. The main reason for this, is to process the subs and bass areas separately. But, I also split the low-mid to mid area into two bands, so that one handles the muddy area and the area before 1 kHz, and the other handles the 1-3ish or 1-4ish kHz area (where our ears are most sensitive). I have kept slopes at 24 dB/octave, for now... but I read about lowering the slopes and raising the separation.

I am considering switching to just 3 bands, so the low subs and bass and processed separately, and then the rest of it is processed the same... but it seems like there are tons of options and I may play around with building presets for good varying ways of handling things.

I am also considering sticking with 6 bands, so that the sub-bass, bass, low-mids, mids, high-mids and highs are processed separately... and then play around with the band separation until some amount of broadband stuff is going on, and just adjust it by ear every time.

It would be nice if you could click and drag the cross-over points, which would move the mid-points (like you can in Fabfilter Pro-MB).

In regards to the release shape, I haven't quite figured out what exactly Inverse Log vs. Log are.

As for clipping, I did play around with it quite a bit; but I found it fairly difficult to dial in. I will probably end up sticking to Airwindows ADClip 7 for my clipping purposes (which surprisingly replaced both StandardCLIP and Kazrog KClip 3 Pro). Go figure... one invests in the "best" plugins on the market... and THEN one discovers airwindows AFTER they already invested. Poop on Google~!

*EDIT* After a quick google search, I realized that a 7th band would be pretty handy. This way, it could be separated into categories of Sub-bass > Bass > Low midrange > Midrange > Upper midrange > Presence > Brilliance. See this link:

Audio Spectrum Explained - Teach Me Audio

I altered my bands so that cross-over points are around 65, 245, 520, just over 2k, and around 5k Hz. The only downfall is that the "presence" and "brilliance" are now processed together, and so the highs might get squashed too much... and so a baxandal static EQ shelving boost might be appropriate.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Its too bad that they didn't redo that test, since 2016. There has been many updates, since then.

I am curious as to how well Limitless and Elevate would rank on that list, now.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMuzzl3 View Post
As for clipping, I did play around with it quite a bit; but I found it fairly difficult to dial in. I will probably end up sticking to Airwindows ADClip 7 for my clipping purposes (which surprisingly replaced both StandardCLIP and Kazrog KClip 3 Pro). Go figure... one invests in the "best" plugins on the market... and THEN one discovers airwindows AFTER they already invested. Poop on Google~!
Cool, for clippers I don't use a mac to compare but give this one a shot too; Free Clip | Venn Audio

Notice and explore the lower 3 option menu too
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMuzzl3 View Post
Its too bad that they didn't redo that test, since 2016. There has been many updates, since then.

I am curious as to how well Limitless and Elevate would rank on that list, now.
Well, they are both on that list now
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 
DGillespie's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by scalawag View Post
Well, they are both on that list now
Ah, cool, I should contact them and let them know that Elevate now does true peak limiting.
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