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Ableton Live 12
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Yohng: W1 Limiter

A free clone of a Waves limiter plugin.

By

2 December 2023

George Yohng is a DSP and Virtual Instruments lead at 4Front Technologies, a company known for making de-facto audio drivers and API for UNIX/Linux and which has recently introduced a set of Virtual Instruments for professional musicians. He is also a senior developer at Vienna Symphonic Library, where he is responsible for the core design and development of VSL software.

With hobby and work being interwoven, Yohng took on an initiative to create professional and consumer DSP solutions and license them out to various companies (firmware, software, DSP, players, decks, etc), and has been working closely with Analog Devices, Denon Electronics Japan, SMPRO Audio, Soundcraft, Studer and other companies.

The W1 Limiter plugin is a clone of Waves L1 and offers identical output as well as an approximation of Waves L2 — all of which was accomplished without reverse engineering any other products. The result was obtained by adjusting 4Front YLimiter, by doing the following:

  • Simplifying release curve
  • Increasing release time 3 times
  • Altering softening circuit filter

The Waves L1 limiter uses release times that are three times longer than actual standard RT60 metric, meaning if you set 50ms release in the limiter, it will actually yield 150ms standard RT60 release time. Different engineers recommend different values for release time, and the default value here is chosen 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.

The current beta version of W1 adds ‘adaptive release’ which attempts to replicate Waves L2, but as an approximation, rather than the digital accuracy of the L1 element due to the complexity of L2’s tangent curves. Waves ARC uses fixed thresholds of 250 and 500ms, while W1 still allows changing release time in adaptive mode, and IDR dithering is not emulated. 

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READ ONLINE NOW
Online
Issue 93

REVIEWED

Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.