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Dynamics Processors (hardware)

February 1, 2001

Waves L2 UltramaximizerFor years, mastering engineers relied on computer-based mastering compressors to maximize a mix's overall level. Of the various software solutions, Waves' L1 Ultramaximizer is an established favorite. In 2000, Waves released its first hardware device, the L2 Ultramaximizer, and a praiseworthy entry it is, too.

Like its software sibling, the L2 performs limiting and normalization without adding coloration. Thanks to Waves' Increased Digital Resolution (IDR) technology, the L2 provides dithering for word-length reduction without audible artifacts, while at the same time bringing low-level information (for example, reverb tails and the room sound) forward in the mix. The L2 lets you work in real time, which makes the it handy for any situation that requires limiting to avoid digital overs, such as recording rough mixes to DAT or CD-R.

Besides the convenience of real-time processing, the L2 offers individual input level control over each channel, 48-bit internal processing, and support for sampling rates up to 96 kHz and word lengths up to 24 bits. You can use both digital outputs simultaneously, letting you master two devices at once. Despite the professional features, setting up and using the L2 is easy.

If you want to fortify your mixes with enough power to compete in the big leagues, the L2 is worth the investment.

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