‘THE WALL’ LIMITER PLUGIN
The Wall—A brick wall limiter that eliminates the limitations of limiting.
With straightforward controls that automatically and effortlessly tailor its response to the specific character of any program material.
The Wall is a CPU- and user-friendly limiter plugin that can dramatically increase volume while maintaining the dynamic integrity of your mix.
The Wall is a brick-wall limiter designed to give you a fast and intuitive way to make mixes competitively loud without destroying their musicality and dynamics—and like all Boz Digital Labs plug-ins, that’s not all it does.
The Wall’s elegantly simple controls not only provide the ability to tweak, judge, and compare efficiently and effectively, they provide the results you need in a breeze and make you look like a better engineer in the process. From a straight mastering standpoint, The Wall can make your mixes sound as loud as the competition without compromising all the hard work you’ve done to get your final version to the mastering stage.
On the left side of The Wall’s waveform display, there is a threshold control that also applies gain to maximize the output level. To the right is a “ceiling” slider ranging from 0dB to -18dB that does as its name implies. The Wall also has a unique “Flavor” control that comprises over 30 parameters into a single control. All you have to do is slide and decide.
Flavor enables you to adjust the limiter to match your audio source. The limiter’s behavior is then further refined with the Mode selector. This is where the “one track, one limiter” solution lives.
A/B Bank and Sanity Check
Standard on all Boz Digital plug-ins is an A/B bank for quick comparisons since we lose perspective quite quickly. However, when it comes to making decisions about loudness, it’s far more difficult, since our physiology hardwires us to automatically accept that louder sounds better (hence the loudness wars).
To know if your tweaking and tweezing are for the better, right below the bypass button is a big round friendly button! A beeyootiful shiny button! A jolly candy-like button! A cherry red button when activated, Sanity Check level-matches the output to the input so you can quickly A/B your results with the incoming audio to make sure you aren’t deceived by the loudness increase.
The Oversample and its minions
The Oversample has four minions (buttons): Off, 2x, 4x, and 8x. The higher the oversampling, the better the plug-in will prevent inter-sample clipping. The Wall’s oversampling offers some distinct advantages over typical oversampling. For example, it doesn’t require resampling filters, which can cause pre-ringing or phase distortion. It’s not uncommon for oversampling algorithms to cause more damage than they prevent, even in expensive plug-ins.
The Wall’s oversampling algorithm creates zero negative side effects and is very light on your CPU as a bonus. MFiT’s of Science The MFiT button instantly sets The Wall to be optimized for mastering your tracks to a lossy format (MP3, AAC, etc.). Because these formats can change peak level, MFiT sets the output ceiling to -1dB and sets oversample to 8x, ensuring your lossy encoded track will not clip.
With the stereo link button in its default position (off), The Wall operates in dual-mono mode. Dual mono prevents one side of a mix, where more energy resides, from causing the limiter to clamp down on the side where less compression is necessary. With Stereo Link enabled, The Wall will apply the same amount of compression to your left and right channels to keep your stereo field consistent.
Dithering is one of the more arcane functions of down-sampling to formats with lower bit depth.
Down-sampling truncates or punches holes the digital word describing the waveform, causing random quantization errors, which produce distortion. Dithering fills in the blanks with a consistent noise floor, which itself isn’t heard, and subsequently, neither is the distortion. There are various types of dithering that some limiters generously supply, such as POWr1, POWr2, UV22HR, etc. Which do you use? Can you hear the difference? Most of us can’t. Wouldn’t it be better if you could just select the appropriate bit-depth for the format you’re mixing down to and be done with it? Yes. That’s why The Wall offers buttons for the bit depth you’re down-sampling to and takes care of the rest for you.
This may seem obvious, but we promise you, there are more reasons to use limiting than loudness and preventing overs. If you want to increase loudness and mastering your mixes risk-free, The Wall should be the last insert on your mix processing chain. (A/B and Sanity Check will tell you when you’ve nailed it.) The Wall is purposely designed to tap your CPU as lightly as possible, which enables you to use as many instances as you like. This was done with mixers in mind who use limiters for more than just mix bus processing.
For example, with parallel drum compression, the secret of parallel punch is consistency in the compressed aux bus, so when you sneak it into your mix, it fills the stereo field without fluctuation.
Using limiters, or compressors set to limit (pre-fader) on parallel drum aux channels is one of the secrets of heavy rock producers. Another secret of heavy rock and metal producers/mixers is to use a limiter on individual tracks.
For example, some mixers put a limiter on every component sound of kick, bass, and snare, (e.g.: inside kick, outside kick, sub kick, samples, etc.)
The reason for this is to maintain their imagery and ability to poke through in a dense sonic landscape. If you’ve struggled in vain keep your kick and snare from being swallowed by layers of guitars, keyboards, bass, and background vocals during the choruses in a heavy rock or metal mix, you could automate, but that tends to take time and is guaranteed to produce overs and subsequent tail-chasing.
A limiter on each track is a far more elegant solution. It follows that you need a limiter that’s easy to operate, gets great results quickly, and doesn’t pin your CPU resource meter. In other words, you need The Wall. Download The Wall and visit sonic mayhem on an unsuspecting populace (Bwahahaha) without the demon hordes feeding on the soul of your mix.
The Wall – Just The Facts:
- Huge variety of styles with a simple interface
- Dual limiting modes; Smooth and Aggressive
- Sanity Check normalizes your level so you can compare your original sound with the compressed sound without introducing a level change.
- Flavor fader lets you dial in the settings of the brick wall limiter to match your audio source.
- Up to 8x oversampling to prevent intersample peaks.
- MFiT button sets the output to prevent clipping when encoding to lossy formats