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DMNW Production School: One limiter to rule them all

In the past 10 years, digital plugin limiters have seen huge changes in functionality. Waves L1 set the standard early on for other plugins to offer peak limiting with look-ahead functionality. FabFilter also did much to improve the graphical interfaces and ease-of-use of plugins. However, expanding beyond the typical capabilities of limiters has proved difficult. Waves L3 sought to reinvent limiting through their revolutionary multiband limiting capabilities, but the controls are limited and it is often criticized for shrinking the stereo image of audio and lack of oversampling controls.

Newfangled Audio Elevate Bundle has completely changed the game with their plugin’s unique functionality, unparalleled sound, and striking GUI. Their one-of-a-kind limiter features 26 critical filter bands modeled from the human ear, as well as frequency-specific transient shaping. It has impressive versatility as both a mastering and tracking limiter. In addition to the Elevate all-in-one plugin, the individual modules can also be used as separate plugins in your sessions. The ‘Punctuate’ transient shaper is now one of our favorites in our collection.

“Elevate uses adaptive algorithms similar to the functions found in iZotope products, reduc[ing] audible artifacts, while providing plenty of additional controls give you maximum flexibility with professional results” –Eventide

While the world of limiting now looks great through our rose-colored glasses, Elevate is not without minor shortcomings. A true “CPU Hog”, we experienced CPU loads of 30% on 2.5Ghz i7 with 16GB of RAM. A feature we would like on future versions is the option to control audio fidelity while monitoring, as well as an offline export function.

We also would welcome the ability to meter in LUFS, as we find ourselves using a separate loudness meter plugin afterward. These critiques aside, we have no qualms about the interface or functionality of the plugin or its modular counterparts. We’d love to see their unique 26 filter band processing implemented in a Multiband Compressor!

Elevate Bundle is $199 and you can request a demo through their site. We’d love to hear what you think about it!

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