The Maximizer allows you to create an overall louder or fuller master by limiting the dynamic range and boosting the perceived overall level of the mix. Ozone’s acclaimed IRC (Intelligent Release Control) Loudness Maximizer lets you boost the level of your mixes without sacrificing dynamics and clarity. The Maximizer applies to the entire bandwidth of the mix and is not a multiband effect.

Key Features

   Intelligent limiting modes provide amazing results, greatly reducing pumping on transients and letting you get louder, fuller mixes without unwanted artifacts

   Character control helps you fine tune the Maximizer’s response perfectly to your source material

   Gain Reduction Trace provides valuable visual feedback of gain reduction

   Interactive Threshold/Margin control allows you to adjust the amount of limiting in visual relation to the level of the incoming signal

Ozone Advanced Exclusives:

   Stereo Link feature allows you to limit the left and right channels independently

   Transient Recovery feature allows you to preserve transients through limiting

Limiting Modes

IRC I: This mode provides intelligent digital loudness maximization of the signal. Unlike the analog modeled limiters (Soft or Brickwall), the Digital processor is designed for neutral or transparent limiting. It does this by analyzing the source material and applying limiting in a psychoacoustically-pleasing manner, reacting quickly to transients (to prevent pumping) and reacting more slowly to steady bass tones (to prevent distortion).

IRC II: Similar to Intelligent mode (above), but this mode is optimized to preserve transients even more, so they sound sharper and clearer in the output signal, even when aggressive limiting is taking place.

IRC III: This is a new processing mode for Ozone 5.  Intelligent III mode allows for the most aggressive limiting by using an advanced psychoacoustic model to intelligently determine the amount of limiting that can be done to the incoming signal before producing distortion that is detectable to the human ear.  It is however, very CPU intensive and with high latency especially at higher sampling rates.  You may find that at sampling rates greater than 48kHz you are unable to use Intelligent III mode in real-time.

Hard: The hard limiter uses the Margin point as an absolute guide, and the final output level will not exceed this point.

Soft: The soft limiting algorithm uses the Margin (or final output level) as a guide but not as a fixed limit for the output level. It provides a natural "soft" limiting effect at the expense of allowing the level to exceed the margin.


Limiting Controls

Threshold: Determines the point that the maximizer will begin limiting. Turning down the threshold limits more of the signal which in turn will create an overall louder mix. In other words, by turning down the Threshold you limit the dynamic range of the mix, and the maximizer automatically adds gain proportionally to maximize the output level.

Margin:  Determines how much to boost the output signal after limiting. If the Margin is set to 0 dB, the signal will be boosted all the way up to 0 dB. If the Margin is set to -0.3 dB, makeup gain will be applied until the output signal is at -0.3 dB. Note that in the Soft mode, the level may be allowed to cross the Margin setting, while in Intelligent or Hard modes the Margin serves as an absolute "stop" point.

Intersample Detection:  Intersample Detection enables “True Peak” limiting by examining not just the levels of each digital sample, but the levels of the analog signal that will eventually be produced by D/A conversion. This is sometimes necessary, since an analog signal's peak level can exceed its corresponding digital signal's peak level by more than 3 dB! This option will increase CPU usage slightly, but if your mixes are running very hot you may want to enable it to ensure that absolutely no distortion is introduced when your audio is finally run through a D/A converter.

Release: When the Maximizer is set to Soft or Hard mode, this is the release time for the limiting. In general, more extreme limiting will benefit from longer release times.

Character: The IRC modes provide intelligent release control (the release time is automatically varied depending on the audio material). When using the Intelligent modes the release slider is replaced by a Character slider. This control allows you to modify the behavior or "character" of the limiter, by controlling how fast and aggressive it is.



The Threshold Control is a meter that allows you to adjust the Threshold and Margin of the maximizer in visual relation to the levels of the incoming and outgoing signal.

The Threshold Control can display gain reduction as it is taking place with level meters.  To enable the gain reduction meters, right- (or control-) click on the threshold control’s meter window and choose the Gain Reduction option.   Two meters display the levels of the incoming signal and as gain reduction begins to take place, a gain reduction meter appears in red between the two level bars.  The Threshold Control meter also displays the amount of gain reduction in real-time with a dB readout at the bottom.  

Threshold Control Histograms

The Threshold Control can also display a histogram, a history of level over time. To enable the histogram, right- (or control-) click on the threshold control’s meter window and choose the Histogram option. This allows you visualize the overall "level content" of the audio by providing a running display of the history of levels in the audio.

Learn more about gain reduction meters and histograms here.


Mini-Spectrum Window

The window at the top of the module features a display of the signal spectrum, however, with selections on the left it may also display the Gain Reduction Trace meter as well as the Dither Shape Display. 

Gain Reduction Trace- also found in the Dynamics module, the Gain Reduction Trace is a scrolling meter that displays the incoming signal’s waveform with a superimposed tracing that illustrates the amount of gain reduction taking place in real-time.  The Gain Reduction Trace can help you to set attack and release controls appropriately and monitor the envelope of gain reduction.   

Note:  You can adjust the scale on the left by hovering over it and using your mouse wheel.

Dither Shape Display- when selected and dither is turned on, this window illustrates the noise shape and amount of the dither being applied.

Note:  You can adjust the scale on the left by hovering and using your mouse wheel.

 Stereo Link: The Ozone limiter defaults to 100% stereo linking which imposes one limiter across the stereo image.  When selected, Stereo Link allows the left and right channels to be limited independently (0%).  At values between 0-100, a gain envelope generated by a ratio of the individual channel and the entire stereo image triggers two independent channel limiters.  Values less than 50 favor the independent channels’ gain and values higher than 50 favor the stereo image’s gain.


 Transient Recovery:  This feature allows you to fine tune the shaping of transients before limiting takes place helping to preserve sharper sounds like drums while still optimizing loudness.  The higher the amount of transient recovery set the more pronounced the transients will be after the limiting process.  

Maximizer Advanced Features


The active or bypassed state of the maximizer applies only to the Maximizer processor. Dither is independent of the Maximizer. When the Dither type is set to "None", there is no dither or word length reduction applied. To turn dither and word length reduction on, click the "None" button to select MBIT+, Type 1 or Type 2 as the dither type.


 Component Maximizer Plug-in

If you are using Ozone 5 Advanced you will also have the ability to instantiate Ozone 5's Maximizer module as an individual component plug-in.  Ozone 5 Advanced includes component plug-ins for all six of Ozone's modules complete with all the same features as the module within Ozone.  Any module presets saved within Ozone will open within the component plug-ins' module preset system.

Component Maximizer Plug-in