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WAVES LTD., a supplier of DSP software for the professional audio and multimedia markets, demonstrated the L2 Ultramaximizer a 2U 19" rackmount hardware audio limiter/converter at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in San Francisco on September 26-29, 1998. The heart of the L2 is the proprietary brick wall look-ahead peak limiter algorithms and IDR (Increased Digital Resolution) dithering technology from the award-winning L1 software.

The L2 Ultramaximizer hardware features 48-bit internal processing and support for 96kHz sampling rates. Featuring digital and analog I/O with 24-bit A/D and D/A converters means the L2 is ideal for the maximum number of audio applications, from mixing to mastering to concert sound. The L2 Ultramaximizer performs high quality re-quantization to 24, 22, 20, 18, and 16-bit outputs, plus the Waves ARC (Auto Release Control) technology continuously controls the optimal release time for maximizing levels and minimizing audible distortions.

Mastering - The L2 Ultramaximizer and IDR processing enhances the perceived sound quality by as much as 18dB. For example, 16 and 20-bit masters can have the perceived resolution of 19 and 23-bit signals, respectively. Recording and Mixing - The L2 Ultramaximizer can be used to requantize 24-bit input signals to a 16-bit signal suitable for typical 16-bit recording equipment. This is ideal for mixing to DAT or CDR. L2 Ultramaximizer eliminates the danger of clipping when recording hotter signals to the mix-down deck (or other downstream components, whether for live sound or broadcasting). Additionally, the L2 can be used for stereo or dual-mono operation.

I/O:

  • Balanced analog (24-bit AD and DA converters)
  • S/PDIF (RCA) or AES/EBU (XLR)
  • Sampling rates of 32, 44. and 48kHz
  • x2 function for doubling sample rates (88.2 and 96kHz)
  • Choice of sync to external clock (BNC), digital input, or internal
  • Waves IDR; Master Dither System:
  • 2 master dither choices (type1 and type2)
  • 3 noise-shaping curves (moderate, normal, and ultra)
  • Re-quantizer output: 24, 22, 20, 18, and 16-bits

L2 Limiter:

  • Adjustable Threshold (0 to -30.0dBFS)
  • Output Ceiling (0 to -30.0dBFS)
  • Release time mode: auto (ARC) or manual (0.1ms to 1000ms), independently selectable on each channel.
  • Display/front panel:
  • All options are controlled from the front panel.
  • All meters are resettable infinite-hold peak LED ladders, with dedicated numeric displays.
  • All controls have dedicated rotary controls (no menu pages or LCD displays).
  • Full bypass for all processes. Link for stereo/dual-mono operation.
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