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Precision Limiter vs. MPL-1


Kjaerhus Audio has released their new precision mastering limiter...the MPL-1. It's getting rave reviews in discussion forums where the members have tried the demo.

It uses a new stereo linking technique that permits peaks to be limited individually on each channel (while the longer lasting gain reductions remain linked.) Supposedly, this technique ensures that peaks in one channel do not produce artifacts in the other, while the average compression still remains the same in each channel to avoid disturbances in the stereo balance.

It's also supposed to handle low fr. distortion, sideband effect & wideband crossover more transparently than other \"industry standard\" mastering limiters.

Question is:

Wonder how it stacks up against our prized Precision Limiter ???



I would suggest downloading the demo - 14 day fully functional trial. My first impression (e.g. take all of this with a grain of salt), is that it takes more work to get it sounding right through a whole mix without a lot of automation, compared to others - especially in trying to keep it from affecting the balance of frequencies (lows seemed to disappear quickly, where Elephant slightly smears and boosts the low end - different compression techniques I'm sure).

I mainly use brickwall limiting just to give me a little safety zone to drive the mix buss slightly without clipping, but not slamming to ridiculous rms levels. Even so, MPL-1 just didn't hold up as well as I would like after 1-2dB of input gain, and even seemed to take a bit of work to keep it transparent without affecting the low end with no gain at all - just catching a few stray peaks.

That can be good and bad - set it and leave it is hardly a proper mastering approach, but at the same time, I had a hard time keeping it's response consistent throughout a mix, which means it could have adverse affects on a mix if you don't automate it very carefully (settings are not subtle), assuming that would work (I didn't try it). It did seem cleaner than Elephant in general, but Elephant's gain seemed more consistent, even if more colored. Again, best to try the demo, as always, YMMV.
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