I expect many readers are going to want to buy this plug-in within five minutes of trying it. In addition to being a nice limiter for general use, The Wall is superb for adding last minute level to reference mixes. I found that it does a better job respecting the original mix EQ profile than a majority of competing options, and the limited control set

makes it easy to get good sounds. There are two Modes: Smooth, for less-percussive music, and Aggressive, for driving source material. Pick one. Now, set the ceiling to desired max output. Lower the threshold fader until you start to get the level/compression that's appropriate. See that the large red button called Sanity Check? Enable it. Now you hear the post-limiting sound at the same perceived loudness as the input source. Want to level-up your limiting skills? Using a level-matched source is one of the only real shortcuts. The Sanity Check feature provides a defense against the louder-is-better trap and serves as further proof that The Wall is a tool for working engineers. (Remember to disable Sanity Check prior to rendering mixes.)

Across the bottom of the GUI is a Flavor control. Move it left to right until you find the right vibe. Farther to the left yields heavier compression and slower release, while traveling to the right employs faster release times with higher distortion. Use your ears (not your eyes), and your work is done. Extra features include oversampling (very important for tweakheads, less critical for client roughs), dither, MFiT (Mastering For iTunes), and stereo link.

With new digital limiters showing up frequently, we've become numb to the deluge of plug-in choices. Boz Digital Labs designs tools for the working engineer. The Wall is no different here. When time is money, pushing a reference mix out the door should not be complicated. At the same time, you don't want to ruin the mix for the sake of making it louder. With The Wall, simply set a few parameters and odds are high that you'll have a respectable reference. Cheers to Boz Millar for dreaming up this one. ($99 direct; bozdigitallabs.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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