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Bla Jedza

apprentice
What would y'all recommend as a general-purpose go to best settings for FabFilter Pro-L VST mastering limiter?
 
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@Scorpio is right in what he is saying.

If you just want some guidelines then you can follow my suggestions below:

Lookahead Settings:
  • For styles like Transparent, Dynamic, All-Round, and Punchy don't exceed 0.80 ms lookahead time.
  • Ideally, you want a setting between 0.30 ms and 0.50 ms lookahead time, and if it distorts go to 0.75 ms.
  • If you are using the limiter as a mixer insert instead of mastering music, you can go lower than 0.5 ms lookahead time e.g. between 0.1 ms or 0.2 ms depending on the amount of gain reduction of course.
Ceiling Settings:
  • Either -0.2 dBFS or even -0.1 dBFS will do.
Channel-Linking (or Stereo Independence):
  • Set both the transient and sustain...

Scorpio

grand master
It's a matter of taste and also it depends on how far you wanna push the limiter.

Therefore the best setting is subjective.

It's like asking what's the best setting when using DMG Limitless or iZotope's Ozone Maximizer.

Well, my answer remains true, still.
 

Black Panther

grand master
@Scorpio is right in what he is saying.

If you just want some guidelines then you can follow my suggestions below:

Lookahead Settings:
  • For styles like Transparent, Dynamic, All-Round, and Punchy don't exceed 0.80 ms lookahead time.
  • Ideally, you want a setting between 0.30 ms and 0.50 ms lookahead time, and if it distorts go to 0.75 ms.
  • If you are using the limiter as a mixer insert instead of mastering music, you can go lower than 0.5 ms lookahead time e.g. between 0.1 ms or 0.2 ms depending on the amount of gain reduction of course.
Ceiling Settings:
  • Either -0.2 dBFS or even -0.1 dBFS will do.
Channel-Linking (or Stereo Independence):
  • Set both the transient and sustain knobs to 0% (i.e. fully unlinked limiting makes things sound stupid loud and wide than linked).
  • In the case that you want to maintain the stereo image then set transient to 0% and sustain channel linking to 66% or 100%.
Limiting Styles:
  • Personally, I like Transparent or Dynamic. But most of the time it's Transparent sometimes Modern.
Oversampling:
  • Turn it off because for some reason it makes the transients sound soft.
  • However, 4x oversampling is enough. But you may want to set it to 2x if CPU usage is an issue.
Attack and Release Times:
  • Start with a release setting of 100 ms or 50 ms for moderate limiting.
  • Alternatively, you can start with a release time between 5 ms for clipping transients only followed by a slow limiter.
  • For the attack time, start off with 150 ms, assuming your lookahead time is set to 0.5 ms or 0.75 ms.
  • If the mix distorts then lower the attack time to 100 ms
  • If it still distorts then lower the attack time again to 75 ms. From there you repeat the process in decrements of 10 ms until you find a sweet spot.
  • As for the lookahead time you can use increments of 0.1 if you hear distortion artifacts but only up to 0.80 ms.
In summary, your main focus when using FabFilter Pro-L should be the attack and lookahead times. These two settings play a huge role in shaping the sound you want in a more noticeable way.
 
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Black Panther

grand master
What happens if you select more than 1 millisecond for lookahead time on FabFilter Pro-L VST.

The transients will sound washed or less pronounced if you use more than 1 ms look-ahead time.

Of course with the exception of FabFilter's Pro-L 2 new style called "Modern" which tends to emphasize the sound of transients and keep them more intact than the other previous Pro-L styles.
 
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