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User Review

Flexible Digital Limiting - Reviews Sonnox Oxford Limiter

The Sonnox Oxford Limiter is a software plug-in to be used inside a DAW. It can be downloaded off the Sonnox website for installation, and authorized using an iLok.
The purpose of a limiter is to control the loudness of a signal without causing the signal to clip. The Oxford Limiter can be used to achieve this goal, and also contains a fair amount of flexibility compared to other limiters.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The measure of a limiter is how loud it can make a signal before it starts to sound significantly worse. Digital limiting has been around for a while, and have seen many improvements over the years. The Oxford Limiter sounds better to me than other older limiters like the Waves L1 and Maxim.
There are many different parts of mixing where limiters are useful. The most obvious place is for the mix bus to achieve CD level amplitude. My current preference for mix bus limiting is the Slate Digital FG-X plug-in over the Oxford Limiter.
However, I also like to subtly use a limiter on vocals and on my drum bus. I find the FG-X limiter to be a little bit overkill in these situations, so I usually use the Oxford Limiter. I pretty much use this plug-in for all 'auxiliary' limiting situations, rather than on the mix bus.

OVERALL OPINION

The Oxford Limiter has been popular for a long time. It contains several controls such as 'attack', 'release', and 'knee' that are typically seen on compressors and not 'stand-alone' limiters. This offers some unique flexibility compared to the competitor plug-ins. The 'Enhance' feature is also unique. Supposedly, it can be used to preserve that transients in a signal that can be destroyed during digital limiting. This can be helpful if you are using the plug-in on your mix bus.
Dithering is important part of mix-down/mastering. Any limiter used for this part of mixing should include a dithering section. The Oxford Limiter has an extensive dithering section, and was designed to be a true mastering limiter.