- in Production by Bobby Owsinski
New Music Gear Monday: Musik Hack Master Plan Limiter Plugin
There sure are a lot of master buss limiters on the market these days. The way I look at it is that now there’s something available to fit almost everyone’s budget and tastes. A new one that touches all the bases is Master Plan from Musik Hack.
It used to be that buss processors were more or less a one trick pony doing just one thing only, but doing it well. Most modern buss processors are different though, as they combine many features like compression, EQ and limiting into a single plugin in an effort to make your mixing life easier. That’s where Master Plan comes in.
Lots Of Parameters
The parameters of the plugin are well laid out. The large Loud control in the center of the plug adjusts a special limiter/clipper circuit designed to maximize loudness while maintaining clarity. You can enable or bypass this function by clicking on the Loud label. There’s also a stereo widener (Wide), and Low and High tone controls for that little extra that you usually seem to need to finish off a mix.
Then it gets interesting. A Thick button allows you to add analog-inspired saturation, with the amount controlled by a slider below. Clean removes mud in the lows, again with a slider below to increase the effect.
Then comes Multi, which is a multiband compressor, with L, M,and H sliders to control the amount of gain reduction in the low, medium, and high bands of your mix. I’m not exactly sure what Smooth is, but the manual says that it will “Gently tame dynamics very slightly and add subtle glue to the sound of your mix.”
Calm is used to tame harsh high frequency buildup that tends to make its way into modern music production thanks to lots of saturation, again with a slider to control the amount of the effect. And Tape provides tape saturation that will tighten up the bass at low levels, and then will tame the high end as you push it harder.
The metering section just concentrates on numbers instead of traditional ladder meters and that’s fine. You have LUFS-I (Integrated Loudness), LUFS-S (Short Term Loudness), Peak (the loudest true peak since the last reset, and Crest, which is the difference between LUFS-S and Peak and basically an indication of dynamic range.
There also an Auditioning emulation (mid-range speakers, mobile, mono, etc.), and it wouldn’t be a modern limiter with a ceiling control, which in this case is called Out.
And if all that is too much for you, just push the Quick Master button on the bottom and have it all done for you automatically.
Master Plan is now available for $50 for a one year license and $125 for a forever license. It’s Mac and PC compatible and also has a free 5 day trial. You can find out more here.