A Quick Guide to Setting The Output Ceiling for Maximus or Fruity Limiter When Mastering

The rule of thumb when mastering music is that you should set your final output ceiling to roughly between the range of -1 dB or -0.5 dB.

This is done to prevent any unforeseen inter-sample peaks in the event that the music is transcoded to a different lossy format such as MP3 or AAC.

For example, if you bounce or render your project with the ceiling of the brickwall limiter set to 0 dBFS and upload your music online as an uncompressed wave file.

Chances are your music will be transcoded by the music streaming service to a bandwidth efficient format such as AAC or MP3. And the downside is that your music might gain 1 dB in overall output resulting in distortion.

Therefore it makes sense to leave enough headroom room by setting the brickwall limiter’s ceiling to -1 dB to account for any unwanted distortion artifacts cause by music conversion to different formats.

Dialing -1 dB Output Ceiling on Image-Line Maximus

To precisely dial a setting of -1 dB output ceiling for Image-Line’s Maximus in FL Studio follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Image-Line Maximus and click on the Master Compression target band.

Image-Line Maximus - Master Band Compression


Step 2: Hover your mouse to the “Post Gain knob” and hold CTRL on your computer keyboard while dragging the mouse down to a value of -1 dB.

Maximus Post Gain Level -1dB

NOTE: That’s it really; after you have done that this means Image-Line’s Maximus will brickwall any levels that reach -1 dBFS. In other words Image-Line’s Maximus ceiling is set at -1 dBFS to prevent peaks to go above that level.

Dialing -1 dB Output Ceiling on Image-Line Fruity Limiter

Step 1: Open Fruity Limiter and hover your mouse to the  “Ceiling knob” and hold CTRL on your computer keyboard while dragging the mouse down to a value of -1 dB.

FL Studio Mastering Output Ceiling for Image-Line Fruity Limiter - Ceiling Knob

NOTE: After you set the limiting ceiling of Image-Line’s Fruity Limiter to -1 dB this means the brickwall limiter will not let any peak to go above -1 dBFS. Eventually this give an additional headroom of -1 dB in the event that you transcode your music to a lossy format like AAC or MP3.

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