Stability Issues with Brickwall Filter

I am an avid (excuse the word) UAD fan and had been using the UAD Peak Limiter exclusively for years as my final backstop against clipping. When I purchased WL8 I was very surprised to find that a combination of the Steinberg Peak Limiter, followed by the Brickwall Limiter yielded better sounding results than the UAD limiter.

Unfortunately however, I’ve been running into some serious stability issues. Sessions have been crashing. I’ve gotten error messages sometimes telling me that the Brickwall Limiter was the problem, and other times no message, just crashes. Mostly on exports it seems but sometimes even just when playing.

I also recently opened a Wavelab file from last summer that exported fine then (created before the last maintenance update I guess?) that now crashes intermittently on export (rendering CD tracks). In both cases (my standard operating procedure) the files were 48khz/32bit created in Nuendo 5.5.6 and I was using the Crystal Re-Sampler set to the slowest/higher quality setting in the master bus. At this point I’ve having problems with the Brickwall limiter/Peak Limiter set up more often than not and have basically reverted back to using the UAD Peak Limiter which works fine.

Any help would be much appreciated. It’s very odd to have the house-brand plugs causing this trouble while 3rd party, DSP driven plugs are working fine.


I’m a bit surprised because I never had a similar report.
Some quesitons:
Mac or Windows?
How do you know the brickwall limiter is involved? (any message or crash dump?)
Do you have the same problem is you don’t use any non-Steinberg plugin in the audio chain?

BTW, why using the Limiter in addition to the Brickwall limiter? The Brickwall Limiter alone should be enough.

I realize it seems redundant, but i’ll usually goose the level a little and tweak the hard/soft setting in the peak limiter. Why then using the Brickwall after changes the sound I cant tell you but it does and its nice. The 2 together sound better than either alone.

I don’t have any issues if the Brickwall is not in the chain. I haven’t tried the brickwall alone aside from some sound tests where I decided it sounded better with the Peak before it. Im using them as the last plugs on the master bus of the Montage. I generally run a few UAD plugs before them. Some with high latency like the Ampex ATR-102.

My system specs should be right there in my signature above (I’m on taptalk now and its disabled for some reason). Its Windows 7 Pro - 64bit.

Thanks for the reply.

Oh…and I have gotten errors specifically saying the Brickwall was the problem, but even when Im just getting crashes, removing that plug fixes it always.

Its intermittent too. Sometimes it works. I cant nail down yet why.

Under Windows, you can generate one crash dump from WaveLab if you do so:
While pressing the Alternate key (press first and maintain), select “Gobal preferences” from the WaveLab menu with the mouse.
In that case, there is a new tab called “Diagnostics”. There you can activate several functions.
Activate the option “Enable crash report”, at the bottom. If a crash happens, one crash dump is generated.

That info could help me.

Oh thanks! Do I have to wait until the next crash or will it produce a report of previous crashes? I’m not sure if thats even the right question :slight_smile:. Most of my projects that were crashing i moved to using the UAD Peak Limiter. Generally the crashes with the Brickwall don’t happen right away. First a render will fail and then performance will deteriorate. This often doesn’t happen until a later session (not the same one where I instantiated the brickwall) - after saving, closing, opening at a later date.

This procedure is only for possible future crashes.

Ok, I set up the crash report. I also enabled a report for CD burning. I just ran a project and it burned to CD fine, but it crashed when I tried to render MP3s. Where should I be looking for this crash report? I tried running the tracer.exe app but I did not see a report there. Thanks.

You don’t have to run Tracer.exe
When the crash happens, a small window happens a few seconds after, and you are able to save the report. Didn’t you see this?

No, there was a dialog box but it was blank while the cursor spun and then eventually the whole app closed and there was no other window. The crash seems repeatable. Ill try again. Its only happening on rendering, not CD burning and again, if i replace the SB plugs with the UAD limiter it doesn’t crash.

Ill try again tomorrow.

Ok, so :slight_smile:. This time I very carefully tried rendering first with the UAD limiter (fine), then just the SB Peak Lim (fine) and then the Brick Wall by itself (worked fine). I then did the set up that kept crashing which is the SB peak lim in front of the Brickwall and of course(!) - this time it didn’t crash. the last few days it’s been a repeatable crash. I did manually generate a log right before rendering. Not sure if that will tell you anything since it didn’t crash that time. Perhaps has something to do with how they are instantiated?

Also, I noticed a big difference between the peak and the brickwall limiters. The peak limiter lets a lot more information through - even with an output limit of -.5dbfs I was seeing clips in the master output meters. With the BW limiter I had no clips. FWIW, I was using 48lhz 32bit files with the Crystal Resampler set to 44k and on ultra-slow mode.

If you think the log can be helpful I suppose I can send it to you in a PM?


Yes, the log is the only chance to (maybe) find something.

Well, now it’s working repeatedly. I’ll just wait until I get another crash and make a habit of generating a log before rendering. Thanks regardless!

Whoops - just did a new montage and got a crash on a CD Burn and the error message identified the Brickwall Limiter. I had to manually generate a log after the restart, it didn’t prompt me for one after the crash. Sending it over now.