Sonible’s smart:limit plugin promises instant, automatic loudness - without sacrificing dynamics

Loudness is a controversial subject in music making, particularly when it’s seen to be prioritised at the expense of dynamics. However, Sonible’s new smart:limit plugin is designed to remove the worry from peak limiting, promising to help you find the right balance between loudness and dynamics in a matter of seconds.

This is the latest addition to Sonible’s range of AI-powered plugins - previous offerings have included smart:EQ and smart:reverb -  and works by analysing the incoming audio signal’s characteristics. Based on this analysis, it suggests limiter settings that ensure that you can hear the mix’s details and that it has space to breathe.

To help you find that sonic sweet spot, there’s a loudness monitoring section, while the quality check option draws your attention to problematic parameters and hints at what should be done to fix them. 

There’s also ‘Instant Impact Prediction’, in which every change is reflected in all loudness and dynamics values in real-time without you having to repeatedly play back the input signal.

When you want to dive into the detail, smart:limit offers four sound-shaping tools. The Style knob is used to set the level of the limiter’s ‘aggression’; the saturation control boosts perceived loudness without increasing the peak level; the balance control enables you to tweak the spectral balance prior to publishing; and the frequency-selective bass control lets you enhance the low-end of a signal.

smart:limit runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats and is available now for the introductory price of €89. This applies until 10 January, after which the price will rise to €129. There’s also a 30-day trial version.

Find out more on the Sonible website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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