There is a wealth of plug-ins emulating the punchy, cohesive sound of SSL consoles. But I can’t recall one that’s specifically modeled after the SL4000 E series’s limiter section. Not that there aren’t SSL limiters out there, but developer Korneff Audio’s Talkback Limiter plug-in may be the most detailed of the bunch. In addition to emulating the circuit, it gives you the freedom to manipulate each individual modeled component!
Talkback Limiter plug-in
In the original SL4000 E console, the limiter had the important duty of protecting the control room monitors and other listening equipment from loud peaks. More often than not, they originated from the talkback system. This, the plug-in is named Talkback Limiter. But here, the limiter is used as a mix and mastering effect.
Talkback Limiter features the following controls: Input volume, line/mic signal selector, dry/wet mix knob, and make-up gain. The analog switch lets you switch non-linear behavior on and off. There’s also a gain reduction meter, and under the hood, the plug-in lets you adjust Distortion, FET bias, low-pass filter, oversampling, and GUI zoom. This way, you can customize the limiter’s sonic character to obtain a smoother or more aggressive kind of sound. As far as I know, this is the only SSL-modeling plug-in that lets you toy with the components, not unlike some tube guitar amp modelers.
The compression ratio is set to 100:1 by default, while the Attack is very fast but not too fast. The resulting sound is aggressive and in your face, so if gentle or transparent limiting is the preferred application, you ought to look at a different plug-in.
Price and availability
Priced USD 40, Talkback Limiter is available in VST3, AAX, and AU formats for 64-bit Windows and Mac computers. A demo version is available for free download. A free iLok account is required for authorization of the full version.