W1 Limiter

W1 Limiter Image
Professional sound limiter.
  w1limiter-win.zip12.1MBWin beta
  w1limiter-osx.zip21.3MBMac '24
  w1limiter_old.zip162KBOld ver

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Donations are not required, however if you appreciate my work, then perhaps mentioning my site on your blog or social media is good enough.

The W1 Limiter has been updated to version 3.0 for Windows and macOS. It also supports Apple Silicon. The old projects saved with the previous version should be able to load; however, the current version hasn't been thoroughly tested. If you came here for a macOS version and it does not perform well, please submit a bug report. 

W1 Limiter is a clone of Waves L1, with identical output, as well as an approximation of Waves L2.

This was accomplished without reverse engineering Waves products, and the result was obtained by adjusting 4Front YLimiter by doing the following:

  • Simplifying release curve
  • Increasing release time 3 times (see notes below)
  • Altering softening circuit filter

Waves L1 famous limiter (and thus W1 - for compatibility reasons) uses three times longer actual release time than the standard RT60 metric. This means that if you set a 50ms release in the limiter, it will actually yield a 150ms standard RT60 release time.

Different engineers recommend different values for release time; the default value is chosen reasonably to provide a smooth limiting for most typical usage of the limiter. If one is not experienced with limiters, keeping the default release time is recommended.

The current version also adds the adaptive release. I tried to replicate Waves L2; however, their tangent curve is very complex, so I could only approximate its behaviour (which actually should be pretty close, but unlike the L1 part, it won't be digitally identical). Waves ARC uses fixed thresholds of 250 and 500ms, while W1 still allows changing release time while in adaptive mode. Also, IDR dithering is not emulated, but most DAWs these days have dithered export options.

Formats included:

  • AudioUnit (macOS)
  • VST2, VST3 (Windows, macOS) 
  • AAX (Windows, macOS)

ARM64 support for Windows on ARM is experimental. ARM64EC is not supported, but because the algorithm is lightweight, an x64 version should work on ARM64 just fine.

Current versions:


You can also use the download links on the left side of the page. If you need a 2013 version of the limiter, use these links:


A comparison to the Waves L1 limiter was made on this page: