For us music mixers out there I'm very sure a limiter of some kind will always be the last plug-in on your mix buss'. In this article I'm going to share with you, in no particular order, my top 4 brick wall limiters.
FG-X By Slate Digital
FG-X by Slate Digital has been my go to limiter for over three years now. The built in buss compressor was also my go to mix buss compressor before Slate released VCC. This is a very popular limiter as it quickly delivers very transparent results across a wide range of genres. It has controls that help to maintain transient detail especially under heavy load. I personally love the metering in the FG-X as it responds quickly providing me with great feedback when mastering.
In my opinion though the FG-X has had a slightly troubled past. It wasn't ported to AAX 32 or 64 Bit when AVID rolled out Pro Tools 11. Now a lot of developers took their time in porting to AAX but FG-X really did took a long time. For me the FG-X was the last plug-in I needed porting to AAX before I could fully move over to Pro Tools 11. That said though, at least we have FG-X in current versions of Pro Tools and Slate have informed us that FG-X 2.0 is on the horizon. I'm sure the PTE team will have a wrestle to get the review slot for version 2.0 when it is released.
The Stealth Limiter By IK Multimedia
The Stealth Limiter by IK Multimedia is the newest limiter plug-in to be included in my 4 top. Like the FG-X The Stealth Limiter helps to prevent damage to the transients when reducing the peaks but this is all done in the background of the algorithm. To my ears I feel I can push my mixes through The Stealth harder than the FG-X with fewer artefacts. The Stealth can also be used in two "windows" either in IK Multimedia's brilliant TRacks plug-in, which lets user load multiple IK plugins, or as a standalone instance.
Pro-L By FabFilter
I find FabFilter plug-ins a lot of fun to use as they all have very clear visuals that I find help me to confirm my setting choices. In my opinion Pro-L by FabFilter is by far the best presented limiter in this list as it doesn't appear to be mimicking anything from the past. Pro-L has several standard metering options that work in combination with the central display which can be resized. The realtime graphic may not be to everyone's liking, however FabFilter have included a compact mode that only displays the main metering and controls. I really can't hear a difference between The Stealth Limiter & Pro-L, which is a good thing I suppose as this will let users decide which workflow they would rather have suppose to which one sounds better.
KClip by Kazrog
KClip by Kazrog is a great, no thrills, no nonsense limiter. I quite like how it performs over a mix but have recently found it to be even better on individual tracks. This does a very good job of beefing up synths and drums. For the price I really do think this is a no brainer purchase and a must have for music mixers. Unfortunately KClip lacks metering and gain matching functions that the other three limiters have but again I have found a new purpose for it in my workflow, so realistically it doesn't matter.
So that is my top 4 brick wall limiters. What are your favourites and why?