W1 Limiter

W1 Limiter Image
Professional sound limiter.
  w1limiter-win.zip2.8MBWin beta
  w1limiter-osx.zip3.8MBOSX beta
  w1limiter_old.zip162KBOld ver

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A few people asked if they could donate.

Donations are not required, however if you appreciate my work, then perhaps mentioning my site on your blog or social media is good enough.

Currently W1 Limiter 2.0 is in beta. The final version will introduce limiting meters and a graph. Please also note, the OS X version is not backwards compatible, while Windows version is backwards compatible. However on both systems projects saved with W1 v2.0 will not load with the previous obsolete version. 

W1 Limiter is a clone of Waves L1, with identical output, as well as an approximation of Waves L2.

This was accomplished without reverse engineering Waves products, and the result was obtained by adjusting 4Front YLimiter, by doing the following:

  • Simplifying release curve
  • Increasing release time 3 times (see notes below)
  • Altering softening circuit filter

Waves L1 famous limiter (and thus W1 - for compatibility reasons) uses three times longer actual release time than standard RT60 metric. This means that if you set 50ms release in the limiter, it will actually yield with 150ms standard RT60 release time.

Different engineers recommend different values for release time, the default value is chosen reasonably to provide a smooth limiting for most typical usage of the limiter. If one is not experienced with limiters, it is recommended to keep the default release time.

Current beta version also adds the adaptive release. I tried to replicate Waves L2, however their tangent curve is very complex, so I could only approximate its behaviour (which actually should be quite close, but unlike L1 part, not digitally identical). Waves ARC uses fixed thresholds of 250 and 500ms, while W1 still allows changing release time while in adaptive mode. Also, IDR dithering is not emulated. 

Formats included:

  • VST (Windows, OS X) 
  • AudioUnit (OS X)
  • RTAS (Windows, OS X).

I apologize for not being able to support ProTools/AAX at this time. Avid/Digidesign people charge $500/year for the permission to distribute AAX plugins, and it feels over the top for a freeware plugin. 


A comparison to Waves L1 limiter was made on this page: