The main reason why software brickwall mastering limiters sound different is because of proprietary "ALGORITHMS" used by the developer.

You can think of algorithms as different styles of approach which are meant to process audio with the motive of handling different program material.

For example, some musicians may want their music to sound "loud and proud", thus the software plugin developer will take this into account by making provision of an algorithm specifically suited to handle loud audio material.

In contrast some musicians may want their music to be more "dynamic" especially with a concern of transient preservation. As such the developer will also take this into consideration by coming up with another algorithm suited for that specification.

Some brickwall limiters will have an option to select different styles of limiting as follows:
  • Transparent
  • Pumping
  • Vintage
  • Aggressive
  • Dynamic
  • Transient
  • Modern

▶ The Case Of One Trick Pony Audio Mastering Limiters

If a mastering limiter doesn't offer different options or a selection of "algorithms" then there is a high chance you are dealing with a "one trick pony" type of mastering maximizer.

The idea behind offering a reasonable selection of limiting algorithms is to give a mastering engineer the privilege to make a suitable decision for a better tailored sound.

The downside of these one trick pony mastering limiters is that once you push them to the edge they all start to fall apart and produce unbearable harsh distortion.

On the other hand with mastering limiters which provide a wide variety of algorithms you rest assured that at least there is a choice of algorithms that will do your music justice in the event that you want to push the limiter really hard.

Now that doesn't mean one trick pony mastering limiters aren't good, it's just that they are less capable of handling diverse program material.


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