Sometimes I want a limiter that makes a nice safe transparent wall at the end of the signal path, to make sure nothing goes into the red. Like masking tape when you're painting, you peel it off and nobody knows it was there.
Other times I want a sledgehammer limiter that does to sound what the vineyard does to grapes.
You've heard about the loudness wars, right? Here's a loudness weapon you can use to destroy your tracks, your bus groups and even your master 2mix if you really want to.
Frontier requires very little experience. I mean -- it's basically one knob that gives you a big fat dose of LOUD on whatever you touch with it.
Let's do an audio test.
Here's what's happening in that playlist. First I go through four sounds, a drum loop, bassline, and two analog synth parts. I let them play through once in their natural state, then smush them down to where it sounds good, but at the end of each I crush them totally to full destructo.
(this is on medium release time btw)
The last file is a stereo mix of the four loops, and when the limiter gets serious I do an on/off with it so you can hear the real effect A/B on your mix.
It's amazing what one single limiter can do, if you have your levels done well in the mix first.
I like thinking about recording sessions in the early 1960's -- to get the levels, they would make the musicians move closer or farther away from the mics... sometimes even with only one mic.
For radio broadcast, they would run the whole song through a "voice leveller", which is what we now call a limiter. Half of the reason for levelling the radio voice was to make it intelligible to the audience. The other reason was to avoid blowing up the radio broadcast tower!
If you think about it, a volume spike in sound is also an electric spike that can blow up amps and transmitters. Remember that next time you see clip lights flashing red on an amplifier.
A famous saying goes like this, "there are a lot of mistakes you can't make with one microphone."
It means great recordings come from simple tools used the right way, and no amount of studio gear can make a boring performance into great music.
Try the D16 limiter on a rough mix and see what you get. Just do a basic mix using volume and pan, then hit the limiter. You might be surprised what you can achieve that way.
FYI -- for this demo I used a highpass filter on the two analog synths @ 125 hz and I side-chained the kick drum into the bassline. Other than those, the only plugin was the Frontier limiter.
The link goes to the D16 site where you can download it free.