(Click for a close-up)
(Click for a close-up)
Waves has created a new class of limiter to follow the company's L1 and L2 limiters. The L3 Peak Limiter begins by using a linear-phase crossover with user-definable frequencies to divide the audio into five bands without phase distortion between bands. The signal then enters the patent-pending Peak Limiter Mixer employing psychoacoustics to maximize headroom use, intelligently determining how much attenuation to apply in each band. The result is maximum loudness and minimum intermodulation, without losing brick-wall limiting -- all controlled with a simple master threshold parameter.
In addition, the PLMixer automatically controls the gain relationship between the bands, eliminating the need for an overall wideband limiter to catch overshoots. A Priority Control allows control of the relative amount of limiting in each band, providing extensive adjustment of the tonal character of the L3, while also producing classic brick-wall limiting. Each band can also be boosted or attenuated by up to 12 dB in addition to limiting, functioning effectively as a linear phase equalizer placed in front of the limiter. This feature makes the L3 an ideal mastering finalizer.
Additional functionality enables the L3 to take on a different character according to the application, including the emulation of classic limiters. The Separation control adjusts the relative independence of each band to change tone, while the Master Release alters the L3's ARC (Adaptive Release Control), offering the tonal options of Warm, Scaled, Aggressive and Manual. The L3's feature-rich set is completed by Waves dither and noise shaping capabilities.
Two versions of the L3 are available: the Multimaximizer provides full functionality, while the Ultramaximizer uses the same PLMixer technology along with a more basic feature set.
Both versions of the L3 are available together for $1200 for TDM or $600 for Native (MSRP). However, registered Diamond Bundle users currently covered by the Waves Update Plan (WUP) will receive both Ultramaximizer and Multimaximizer free of charge, while registered Platinum Bundle users who are covered by WUP will receive the L3 Ultramaximizer at no charge.
System Requirements -- On the Macintosh, the L3 requires a G4 running at 867 MHz, 512MB RAM and 800 x 600 display resolution, or better; on Windows XP or 2000, a 1GHz P3 or Athlon XP or better is required with 512MB RAM and 600 x 800 display. TDM and RTAS are supported on both platforms, as well as Audio Units, VST and MAS on the Mac and DirectX and VST on Windows.