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Music Equipment, Recording, MIDI, Digital Audio, Indie How-To

Software Review:

ANWIDA's L1V 1.1 Limiter/Maximizer VST Plug-in for PC
Reviewed by
James A. Putnam
Dennis L. Trunk


L1V 1.1 Limiter/Maximizer

Like their CX1V Compressor/Expander (see our review), ANWIDA's new L1V Limiter/Maximizer VST plug-in for PC is designed for ease of use and transparent sound production.

Its interface sports an attractive brushed-aluminum appearance which displays a few simple and easily adjustable hardware-style controls: Gain, Peak Ceiling (with an "above" indicator to show when the limiter is acting on the input signal), Release, Hard or Soft Knee, and Look Ahead on or off. There is also an input/output level VU meters display which includes the currently selected parameter value. A small help manual briefly describes each function.

Two of the functions (ones not always found on other limiters) provide extra flexibility and control. The Look Ahead function, which allows the limiter to respond faster to the input signal, is effective in preventing above-threshold peaks from coming through. The Hard and Soft Knee settings, on the other hand, determine whether the limiting action will be firmer or softer. In our tests, the response was always smooth on either knee setting, and we didn't experience any abruptness or harshness even on the hard setting.

However, by its nature, the soft knee setting can allow some above-threshold signal peaks to get through. This can be useful. Although the suppression of all such peaks might seem desirable, certain kinds of music can sound more expressive when some transients are allowed to get through while the average level remains limited. That can be achieved on the L1V by turning the look ahead off and the soft knee on.

Eight significant presets are included (although their availability depends on the host). The pumping preset, for example, creates a very distinctive pumping sound which can be used as a special effect. Another preset, the level maximizer, is important because it conveniently provides the settings needed for using the L1V as a maximizer.

Again like the CX1V, the L1V limiter offers 64-bit internal processing, as well as support for 24-bit/96kHz audio. And, given the similar algorithmic design, it's not surprising that the sound is just as consistently clean, transparent and smooth. That makes it an excellent tool for use in both multi-tracking and mixdown.

Overall, we are as favorably impressed by the L1V as we were by the CX1V, and for the same fundamental reasons that we don't mind repeating - simplicity of use and superb sound quality.

(See also our reviews of ANWIDA's CX1V 1.1 Compressor/Expander and their GEQ15V 1.1 and GEQ31V 1.1 Graphic Equalizers.)

System Requirements:

  • 200 mHz Pentium processor (or higher), or 100% equivalent
  • At least 32MB RAM
  • Windows 9x/ME/NT4/2000/XP (soon available for MAC OS)
  • VST2.0 compatible audio host application

Product pages:

Price: $59.00 USD

For more information, visit ANWIDA Soft.

Reviewed in February 2003.

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