Here’s something that is 100% transparent, uses almost 0 CPU and in certain cases, can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, downtime and even worse, hearing damage.
Cerberus Audio Ice9 is instanciated on one’s master bus and acts as if one had fuses installed in one’s studio monitors. There is an adjustable threshold and an automatic reset in the case that that it trips. The UI shows the fuse barrel with the current threshold setting and of course a visual cue when the fuse blows.
When I mix, I’m more of a “look ma’, no hands, no helmet” kinda of guy but I regularly use Ice9 when experimenting with resonant EQ’s, echoes, filterbanks and various softsynths especially new ones where I haven’t yet identified potential hot spots. It is quite remarkable how quickly a resonance or feedback loop can turn dangerous, putting hardware and perhaps one’s precious hearing in jeopardy. Inversely proportional is the speed at which one thought one could quickly hit mute or grab the monitor level control. Add the risk of dinging a favourite guitar in the process or driving away a collaborating artist and this is a must adopt addition to the plug-in folder.
Cerberus Audio looks to be out of business but luckily this gem of a plug-in can still be found at Plug-In Boutique. It is still free however you will need to register and check out, all worthwhile when one considers all the benefits this plug-in brings to the table.