I work in Ableton and use exclusively the stock plugins. I find them decent enough for what I do and while I know there are much better out there, it’s one of many rabbit holes I have yet to go down in my meandering path of music production. I’m happy to keep it that way - easier on the wallet and CPU!
One exception though may be cropping up in the realm of mastering. In the music I do for myself and with my band, I generally haven’t worried much about either mixing or mastering. I push out roughs of material being worked on to listen to, but either leave it at that or in the case of my band, have a professional do the mixing.
But I’ve had a few opportunities for creating music for licensing come up recently and in this scenario it’ll be my responsibility to mix and master. Beyond what I lack in terms of skills and knowledge in this department, I’m wondering what I can expect in terms of overall improvement if I invest in a 3rd party plugin limiter. I use Live’s limiter to get things to a competitive loudness level and I suppose it does a decent job. I generally keep the ceiling at -0.3 dB and raise the gain until I’m just starting to see peaks up to maybe -4dB in terms of gain reduction. But sometimes even with a light hand, I hear distortion and degradation of the mix quality.
So…long-winded as usual…but what are your suggestions for 3rd party limiter plugins? What do you like and why? Will I notice sonic improvement as an obvious thing, or will I still flounder with a limited skill set? Will I get noticeably louder mixes before the brick wall shitstorm kicks in?