New Music Gear Monday: Submission Audio Flatline 2 Mastering Maximizer Plugin

It doesn’t seem all that long ago when engineers began to get access to relatively inexpensive mastering limiters that emulated the gear that only mastering engineers had previously. That led to a wave of way-too-loud mixes that we’re only now beginning to recover from. That said, there’s a whole new category of mastering plugins that put a massive amount of leveling power in an engineer’s hands. Some are super sophisticated, but others have a much simpler interface yet remain powerful. Flatline 2 from Submission Audio falls into that category.

Flatline 2 mastering maximizer plugin

Flatline 2 is much more than a modern mastering limiter. It also features a clipper, and a ‘Hybrid’ intelligent maximizer algorithm, along with the appropriate meter package required by today’s engineers.

The Parameters

The interface is fairly simple. There are 3 controls – a large Threshold control, a Ceiling control that sets the maximum output level, and a third control that varies in use depending upon the mode that’s chosen.

These three modes are Clip, which is a variable soft saturation that the developer says emulates the classic 2000s ‘radio’ mastering sound; Limit, which is a typical brickwall limiter; and Hybrid mode, which is an intelligent combination of the two. While in Clip mode the third control (it’s in the middle) adjusts the amount of clipping that’s occurring. When in Limit mode, the third control adjusts the limiter’s release.

Hybrid mode utilizes an algorithm that combines the best aspects of both clipping and limiting designed to raise the level without the distortion side-effects that sometimes comes with it. This mode features additional envelope controls, tailored charge times, multi-stage release, lookahead, and channel linking for both transient and sustain portions of the signal.

The metering features a large display that shows the amount of clipping or limiting is taking place, as well as comprehensive LUFS metering with targets for major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube on the right side of the plugin. 

Flatline 2 also has oversampling to 64x, a DC Offset Filter, Multi-bitrate Dither, Delta Monitoring, and a preset collection from top producers and mastering engineers. Yes, it’s available for Mac or PC in all plugin formats, and compatible with just about any DAW.

Flatline 2 costs $139 USD and a 7 day trial is available. You can find out more here, or watch the video below.

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