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UAD-1 Precision Limiter VS Sony/Waves/XXX Dynamics Plugins
Old 21st August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

UAD-1 Precision Limiter VS Sony/Waves/XXX

Hello,

Thought I´d search some thoughts, comparisons and comments on the difference, pros and cons between these units:

* UAD Precision Limiter
* Sony Oxford Limiter
* Waves L2/L3
And any other relevant (software) in the biz

Isn´t Sony Oxford Inflator a bit similar to these things?
My demoperiod of the UAD PEQ is gone and now I can´t remember my impression much.

Thanks!
Rob
Old 21st August 2007
  #2
Here for the gear
 

well,just my opinion (with my bad english):color (from the cleanest to the most colored):1 uad (very good for clean mastering without adding artefact ,jazz or classical...) 2 sony (not as clean as uad but very clean as well)
3 wave (to much distorsion for my taste,good for underground rock and roll...)
level:1sony and waves but better transcient on sony with the same level..2 uad good level but not as much as the 2 other.in my taste i find the sony to have a "big sound" very cool to master modern music with big level .it's my default mastering limiter.the inflator doesnt do the same thing,it doesn t give much level and doesnt compress but everything tha is going inside is better after.i like this plug very much .
Old 21st August 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

I recently bought the UAD presision limiter, i can't comment on how it compares to the others because i haven't tried them, i am however very satisfied with it's performance.thumbsup
Old 21st August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
audiomichael's Avatar
 

UAD P Lim: Very soft sound and clean. It just feels a little loose in the caboose to me, I have it, and haven't used it since I bought Waves.

Waves L2: The standard. Tight, punchy, a little hard sounding, but if used moderately 1-3 db, sounds great.

Waves L3: Softer than L2 because of the multiband element. Sounds good, but I prefer it on more organic material than agressive music. I still use L2 much more than L3.

Sony: Sounds great, but it a little tricky to dial in. Sometimes it sounded better than L2, sometimes it sounded worse.

TC Electronic Powercore MD3: My favorite mastering limiter, but I don't want to pay $1000 for it...screw that!!!
Old 21st August 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thanks a bunch for sharing!
Well, this MD3 (I have powercore but not installed yet), would you say it is evenly good for all kind of purposes?
Old 21st August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

Was very unimpressed with the sony limiter, on hiphop, which is primarily what i mix/master. Tried the demo and didn't want to buy it. As much as i hate waves, nothing beats L2/L3 imho.
Old 21st August 2007
  #7
You forget the Voxengo Elephant which I prefer over Waves L2, the Elephant can be pushed harder without distortion (no problem with more then 3dB gain reduction).

1. Voxengo Elephant
- More a Loudness Maximizer. Has a clipping mode, which preserves attacks (but introduces more distortion).
- DC offset and dither included
- Automatic mode (AIGC) and modes for more finetuning...
- K-Metering
- Cheap

2. Waves L2 (Loudness Maximizer)
- Easy usage, the standard... Sounds not good with higher gain reduction as 3-4dB.
- Dither included
- Expensive (only available with a bundle)

3. Kjaerhus MPL1 Pro (very transparent limiter)
- Very transparent (the best) but not the first choice for loudness.

4. UAD Precision Limiter
- Transparent limiter, not the first choice for loudness.
- K-Metering
- only available for the UAD

5. Sony Oxford Limiter
- expensive
- Transparent limiter, not the first choice for loudness


Sony Inflator is more a saturation plugin with psychoacoustic effects to make things louder, I like it sometimes but more on a track as on the mixbus.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
audiomichael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casar View Post
Thanks a bunch for sharing!
Well, this MD3 (I have powercore but not installed yet), would you say it is evenly good for all kind of purposes?
Yeah, the limiter is all around excellent. It's also a really good master comp, eq, + stereo tools. It's great, but a little pricy for software IMO.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Sony oxford and massy L2007 are the best limiters ive heard/used depending on the music one of them always beats out anything waves and others ive tried.
the L2 have a very distinct sound, personaly i hate it and to be it sounds like a now dated radio sound.

as i dont have a UAD card ive never used the UAD limiter

the inflator is not a limiter but it is a loudness maximizer, you can use it before a limiter to get your loudness so you dont have to smash the song to a pancake. with proper mastering the final limiter should only be taking off a couple of db anyway.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
illynoise's Avatar
 

Would someone just get the code and remake the Timeworks Mastering Comp for AU and VST so we can put these discussions to rest! lol

Seriously though I love that thing! I've heard the the UAD is very good though!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I use Voxengo Elephant with 4X oversampling and don't feel a need to try the others.

Voxengo
Old 22nd August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
audiomichael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
I use Voxengo Elephant with 4X oversampling and don't feel a need to try the others.

Voxengo
Those are PC only right?

It's very ugly, so it can't possibly sound good
Old 22nd August 2007
  #13
Gear Addict
 
jerdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
I use Voxengo Elephant with 4X oversampling and don't feel a need to try the others.

Voxengo
my favorite without question. it does have a color. has other uses than just as a limiter.

oh yea... it's only for the geeks on PC's.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Max headroom's Avatar
 

Timeworks mastering compressor ( limiter )

..... check it out before you make your top 5


Cheers


Max
Old 22nd August 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 

I've Tried the L1 the L2 and the L3.The UAD is my favorite by far for most music However I will use the L2 or L3 sometimes for that bit of grit it gives on certain styles of Music.I also like the multiband L3 features.The UAD has a two modes which are a bit different one being a bit more agressive in the bite. Mostly noticably in the Upper Mids. I find if you try to push the gain and or the Threshold to much they all start sounding a bit funky. I try to get a decent gain stage beforehand so i just need to give it a bit of push. This way they all sound decent. I use to think the Waves L2 and L3 were the end all until i used the UAD. Either way they arent cheap. But both Plugin packages are worth it depending what you need
Old 26th August 2007
  #16
Gear Head
 

I don't pretend this to be a totally scientific approach "if indeed atall" but when i was running some beats through the UAD P limiter i was less than impressed.

I ran it side by side with Logic Pro's standard limiter and to be honest i found the UAD to add a horrible distortion to the bass "i had adjusted the volumes/settings etc" .

Even with far less input that the Logic limiter it sounded ghastly.

Worst $199 i ever spent.

The Neve 1081 EQ on the other hand mmm thats bliss!
Old 26th August 2007
  #17
Yeah, it's rather frustrating, as each of these have their strengths and drawbacks; no single limiter will work best for loudness and clarity as these characteristics tend to be polar opposites by their nature when it comes to limiting (or alternatively, there's no such thing as a free lunch

I've just bought the Sonnox Limiter as I want to be able to create a 'loud' sounding master, when necessary, that doesn't sound completely brick-walled (say for Myspace or mp3 in general), and the Sonnox does this very well, especially with the 'enhance' section (though I also have the Inflator and tend to use this before the limiter in (bandpass mode, default curve) instead of the 'enhance' function on the limiter, as although you can get a huge sound using both, this is down to the amount of distortion being generated; both the enhance function on the limiter and Inflator generate distortion, which while tempting as a quick fix will tend to fatigue the listener if used excessively on both.

Paul Frindle has written that the processes involved in the Inflator and Enhance section of the Limiter are different, yet they seem to sound very similar to my ears, generating a similar distortion. I'm not sure if I recall correctly but one of the major differences was that the Inflator applies its distortion statically through time, whereas the Enhance function alters its response depending on the material at any given moment.

The Sonnox limiter offers parameters which aren't entirely intuitive at first glance, such as the Safe Mode, Auto Gain and Auto-Comp buttons, which I'm still trying to get my head round (as I'm used to the ease of operation afforded by the L2 and Precision Limiter with their auto-release). I initially thought the Safe Mode button provided an 'auto' function for the Pre-Process section, but then found that altering the attack/release parameters still affected what I was hearing (safe mode apparently just guarantees no clipping, as a standard lookahead brickwall, rather than a classic limiting compressor - nice to have the option).

The Elephant also offers a plethora of different operation modes and dials which I find confusing, especially given the subtleties between them (and I haven't used it in a while, though I did by it for my laptop so I could use a decent peak limiter live without dongles or DSP cards). The feature set has grown since I last installed it too (I think I'll update now, actually) so this could be a tweakers dream limiter. In use I think I preferred the sound of the PL though to be honest - difficult to really define it, but I think it sounded warmer on the bass (could mean more distortion I guess, but it sounds nice).

The PL is still my go to limiter, as while it perhaps isn't as punchy as the L2 or Sonnox (especially when pushed), it seems to take good care of the peaks, and forces you to keep the limiting to a minimum if you want to avoid excess distortion.

But at the end of the day each one of these does what it says on the tin perfectly well enough, and unless you're really pushing them, I'd say ease of use, convenience, cost and associated non-performance drawbacks are the most important factors. If you only have an iLok and just want a limiter, get the Sonnox; if you have or are considering a UAD-1 get the PL; if you want the rest of the bundle you'll have to buy to get the L2, then get that; if you detest dongles and need to be native, get the Elephant or the Kjaerhus. The L2 and PL are undoubtedly the easiest to use, followed by the Sonnox then the Elephant IMO.
Old 1st September 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
defjamm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illynoise View Post
Would someone just get the code and remake the Timeworks Mastering Comp for AU and VST so we can put these discussions to rest! lol

Seriously though I love that thing! I've heard the the UAD is very good though!

the timeworks (in hard mode) and the uad one are completely different in their sound (like complete opposites). if you need something similar to the timeworks for vst, you could try the t-racks clipper, gclip or the limiter in ozone 3 (in clipping mode).
Old 3rd September 2007
  #19
Here's a pdf from the Sonnox site that's worth reading, as it sheds light on what's going on under the bonnet inside the Limiter, and how the Enhance function compares with the Inflator and the dynamics' 'Warmth' parameter.
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