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ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN Review

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ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN Review Featured

The ISL 2 True Peak Limiter is a simple plugin that can be used on individual channels or on busses. It has the ability to add loudness and punch to tracks, while protecting them from clipping. Its interface offers three modes of operation: Gain, Limit and Loudness. Each mode offers the user different options for processing.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN Review

ISL 2 is on the review table today, NUGEN tools are used by professionals in countless studios and production houses. As there are many professional limiters to select from when you deliver the final mix. I did use ISL 2 in the past two months to learn more about its features and to prepare this review.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN Review

I can tell you early that there is not a clear winner and that you would need more than one limiter to work in the professional space as you want to be able to select the result that sounds best to your customers. ISL 2 is one of the tools you need to have in your toolbox. NUGEN did send a review copy with no strings attached.

Installation

The plugins work as AAX, VST, VST3, AU, and AudioSuite. The AAX DSP version supports 7.1 audio up to 48Khz and 4 channels at 96kHz.

Sound

ISL 2 is an essential investment if you are a mixing or mastering engineer, you need another limiter besides it to have options available, I would recommend a combination of FabFilter’s Pro L2 and ISL 2 by NUGEN.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter in FL Studiio by NUGEN Review
ISL 2 True Peak Limiter in FL Studio

NUGEN’s ISL2 is an inter-sample true-peak Limiter and follows many of the ITU. The sound quality of ISL2 is honest. One of the key features of this tool is its transparent look-ahead limiting. Features like it prevent further distortion that could be introduced by compression and audio codecs. ISL2 can not only prevent inter-sample clipping, but it also restores the original quality of the audio signal. I would recommend ISL2 to anyone working with content that could benefit from a true peak limiter.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter Small UI 1
ISL 2 True Peak Limiter Small UI

ISL 2 should be used as final limiter just before tools like MasterCheck Pro, the tool also works as a broadcast limiter. The limiter works for scores ranging from mono through 7.1 surrounds mixes. It is compatible with ITU-R BS. 1770.

ISL 2 Modes

ISL 2 gives the user three different modes to choose from depending on how they want their track to sound. The three modes are Gain, Limit, and Loudness. A description of each mode is as follows:

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  • Gain mode allows users to adjust peak reduction without adding loudness.
  • Limit mode offers the ability for further peak reduction and the option of adding subtle loudness.
  • Loudness mode is very similar to Limit mode, but it offers more options for fine tuning output levels.-It’s important to note that ISL 2 always processes audio according to its current sampling rate and bit depth.

Gain Mode

The Gain Mode allows users to adjust peak reduction without adding loudness. In Gain mode, the user can adjust Threshold, Ratio, and Output Gain controls. The Threshold control sets where the reduction will begin.

The Ratio control determines how much gain is reduced from the signal once it crosses over this threshold point. Reducing gain at a 2:1 ratio means that for every 2 decibels of input end gain, the output signal will lose 1 decibel of gain. For example: If the input level is at 0dB and goes up 3dB, it will only go up by 1dB after passing through this plugin. This mode offers the user a quick way to attenuate peaks without making any other adjustments, but it doesn’t add loudness.

Limit Mode

The Limit Mode offers the ability for further peak reduction and the option of adding subtle loudness. This mode gives users variable true peak limiting, with additional options for adjusting processing behavior. The Threshold control sets where the gain reduction begins.

The Ratio control determines how much gain is reduced from the signal once it crosses over this threshold point. Upper and lower threshold controls allow users to set different loudness targets for the upper and lower signal levels. The Output Gain control allows users to adjust overall output gain on a per-channel basis without changing the dynamic behavior of the limiter. This mode also provides two additional meters: one that displays true peak levels and another that shows how much limiting.

Brings Music to Life

The ISL 2 used correctly can improve the audio quality of anyone who has access to this plugin. It can also bring music more to life in video game design, it works excellent on cinematic scores, and its threshold is perfect for use with dialog. However, I do not recommend using this tool for any source with frequencies lower than 100Hzes

If you are mixing, mastering, or even doing some video game design you need another limiter besides it to have options available. I would recommend a combination of FabFilter’s Pro L2 and ISL 2 True Peak Limiter.

ISL 2 can be used as a true peak limiter and it is easy to use. It has only the necessary parameters, and one will need less than 5 minutes to understand how this plugin works. That makes it perfect for beginners or people that want a quick solution to their loudness problem.

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User interface & Usability

When it comes to presets NUGEN did include the ones to cover all the standard industry ones you need to deliver against for the different platforms,  broadcast, and even the good old DVD mastering.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter Presets
ISL 2 True Peak Limiter Presets

The UI has the NUGEN standard professional look and feels that is geared towards results. There is also a small UI available to reduce the real estate used by the plugin.

Conclusion

The ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to improve their audio quality. This plugin is easy to use, and it offers a variety of options for peak reduction and loudness. The ISL 2 is perfect for mixing, mastering, or video game design.

Pros & Cons

+ Easy to use

+ Great preset library

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+ UI is clean and intuitive

+ Good value for the price

– It has a very good tool, and the price is much lower than a lot of other plugins for this job. However, it may not be powerful enough to meet all your needs at once, so you will need another one as well to use alongside it.

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN Review
ISL 2 True Peak Limiter UI

Rating:  Five out of five stars

ISL 2 True Peak Limiter by NUGEN is a look-ahead brick-wall limiter that helps you to prepare your mono,  stereo and surround mixes for various streaming platforms or when you deliver scores to picture. Even in the YouTube days you need and should add a limiter at the end of your chain before you load up a new video to Google’s sharing platform.

ISL 2 sits as the final limiter on a master bus it is perfect for broadcast and post-production. Combine this limiter with tools like MasterCheck Pro and you are ready to enter and compete in the loudness wars.

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Brainworx

Brainworx bx_limiter True Peak Introductory Sale

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Brainworx bx_limiter True Peak Introductory Sale

bx_limiter TP (True Peak) from Brainworx is a completely new design, crafted to avoid the shortcomings of existing true peak limiters. Use it to confidently hit your loudness targets without leaving behind any distortion-inducing inter-sample peaks, and without compromising on the sound quality of your masters.

original bx limiter True Peak DAW Screenshot pluginboutique
Brainworx bx_limiter True Peak Introductory Sale 64

Designed from the ground up to be the ideal true peak limiter

Until now, most digital limiters that include a true peak mode have simply added it on as an afterthought. This has left a lot to be desired, with users complaining about unstable low end, compromised stereo imaging, harsh artefacts, and smeared transients. But with the bx_limiter TP, Brainworx has taken a new approach, designing the TP algorithm from scratch to make it perform and sound better than other digital limiters – while also eliminating troublesome inter-sample peaks for even cleaner results.

Use bx_limiter True Peak (Affiliate Link) to confidently hit your loudness targets without leaving behind any distortion-inducing inter-sample peaks, and without compromising on the sound quality of your masters.

Pricing and Availability

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Brainworx bx_limiter True Peak Introductory Sale 65

Buy bx_limiter True Peak (Affiliate Link)now for only £219.99 / $249.99.

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Signum Audio

Signum Audio’s New BUTE Loudness Suite 2 – Smart, Convincing Loudness Metering and True Peak Brickwall Limiter for Post-Production

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BUTE Loudness Suite 2

Smart, Convincing Loudness Metering and True Peak Brickwall Limiter for Post-Production

Signum Audio release today BUTE Loudness Suite 2 (BUTE-LS2) and BUTE Loudness Analyser 2 (BUTE-LA2), major updates to previous versions, making the mixing and mastering journey even smoother.

BUTE Loudness Suite 2 is a smart, integrated and responsive loudness metering and audio limiting plugin that delivers the tools studios, media, and broadcasting producers need to mix and master professional audio within loudness specifications.

Many producers are moving towards mixing and mastering within loudness specs set internally or by major streaming and broadcasting platforms for quality assurance. By providing metering and limiting functions in the same plugin with smart workflow features to maintain creative flow, BUTE helps optimize the quality of mixes and masters, while avoiding potential distortions downstream.

New in BUTE Loudness Suite 2

The Suite 2 will not overwrite your previous version of BUTE Loudness Suite, so you can have the two plugins running in parallel and not worry about previous projects.

  • New integrated limiting functionality within the main user interface allowing configuration of auto-adaptive release, post-gain, and selection Transparent, Natural and Smooth curves presets (not in BUTE-LA2)
  • New display settings within the main user interface, including new True Peak/LUFS Metering view, Relative/Absolute Scale, and Max/Live modes
  • New Dynamic Range reading as requested by users
  • Improved compatibility with a wide range of DAWs (VST / AU / AAX including AudioSuite)
  • Auto-syncs to DAW on load-up so plugin engages on launch
  • Improved window resizability in full and compact read-out view to optimize screen estate when using multiple programs
  • The compact read-out view retains access to limiting controls
  • Ability to switch tooltips on and off 
  • Simplified read-outs for added clarity
  • Better responsiveness all-round
  • Surround version – auto-detects channel configuration you are using and lets you select the configuration from the drop-down menu in main display to test inputs for up to 7.1.2 Atmos
  • Industry-standard (IEC 60268-18) meter bar fallback behaviour or more natural feel

The Loudness Suite 2 includes Bute Limiter 2,  Bute Normaliser, and Bute Analyser 2 with a bonus integrated TP Limiting feature.  Smart, powerful loudness metering and True Peak Brickwall limiting toolkit for post-production.

BUTE Loudness Suite 2 Settings
Signum Audio's New BUTE Loudness Suite 2 - Smart, Convincing Loudness Metering and True Peak Brickwall Limiter for Post-Production 75

Where can you use BUTE Loudness Suite 2

Mixing & Mastering

  • Produce consistent masters
  • Avoid ‘level shifting’ and clipping downstream
  • Ensure accurate representation of your audio/music
  • Measure and refine dynamic content

Post-production & Broadcasting

  • Hit target levels easily with a wide range of implemented presets
  • Ensure and prove compliance with regulation
  • Balance dialogue, music and effects
  • Manage live broadcasting & streaming levels accurately and efficiently
  • Optimise dynamics for streaming content

Game Design

  • Balance sound effects and dialogue
  • ASWG 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound support (Surround Version)
BUTE Loudness Suite 2 small UI
Signum Audio's New BUTE Loudness Suite 2 - Smart, Convincing Loudness Metering and True Peak Brickwall Limiter for Post-Production 76

Key Features of BUTE Loudness Suite 2

  • Integrated True Peak limiter and loudness metering in one plugin
  • Smart history overview for completely interactive browsing of up to 10-hours of loudness data at a glance
  • The custom alert system flags up areas that need attention with severe (red) or warning (yellow) pointer on the historical overview. User settings can be defined in the settings panel.
  • A smart auto re-metering feature that syncs to DAW on load-up, and auto-detects and reflects any adjustments you make in the DAW on the graphical display
  • Powerful compact read-out view which is completely resizable vertically and horizontally to optimize screen space while keeping readings visible and limiting settings accessible
  • An adaptive auto-release function can be tweaked by a scale factor using the release knob, enabling fine-tuning
  • Ultra-transparent True Peak limiting algorithm means mastered audio stays faithful to the original mix
  • 3 different release curves for Transparent, Natural, and Smooth limiting (BL2 includes an additional “Pumping” and “Linear” release curves for creative music production)
  • Display Settings on the main user interface to switch between True Peak/Metering, Relative/Absolute Scale, or Max/Live modes
  • A highly responsive and informative graphical interface
  • Auto-detects DAW channel configuration with a dropdown menu to select mono, stereo or surround configurations (Surround Version)
  • A wide array of built-in presets for the very latest loudness standards and recommendations
  • Highest quality linear phase upsampling
  • Industry-standard (IEC 60268-18) meter bar fallback for a natural, analog feel
  • Clean and comprehensive read-outs for short-term & momentary loudness, True Peak, and traditional RMS
  • Reloadable session data
  • Save, Load and Export metering data
  • Includes additional copies of BUTE Loudness Normaliser standalone application and BUTE Limiter 2 plugin
  • Available in Stereo or Surround version. The Surround version expands support for multi-channel configurations up to Atmos 7.1.2
  • Available for Windows 7 or higher and Mac OSx 10.9 Lion or higher
  • Compatible with VST / VST3 / AU / AAX (including Audio Suite)
  • Pro Tools 12.5 or higher for Audio Suite format
  • Free future updates

BUTE-LS and BUTE-LA Existing Users

The update will be sent out free to all existing users of BUTE-LS and BUTE-LA. If you have purchased a BUTE plugin from us before, Signum Audio would be happy to offer a discount on the upgrade. Just get in touch with Signum Audio using the email you are registered with, at support@signumaudio.com.

Pricing and Availability

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The new BUTE Loudness Suite 2 is available now.

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Signum Audio

BUTE Loudness Normaliser is MAGIC for Audio Broadcast Standards

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BUTE Loudness Normaliser

The Bute Loudness Normaliser is a high-end standalone application for Windows and Mac, assisting post-production engineers with the final checks of the mastering journey. With our automated solution, you can rest assured your audio is on point before submission in just a few clicks.

Signum Audio’s Bute Loudness Normaliser is absolutely magic. It’s 2step loudness normalization for a large assortment of loudness standards. Radio, TV, Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, and many more, these plugins get your perfect results in a few clicks.

Note: This product is the Stereo version. The Surround Sound version of Bute Loudness Analyser is also available.

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