By using this site you agree to its use of cookies.
Location: Downloads / GMax / Manual

GMax Manual

Welcome to GMax

GMax is a maximizing limiter. The most common usage is to boost the perceived level of a signal by increasing base amplitude while preventing clipping. It works by first increasing the level of the incoming audio by a given amount. Then, any audio that becomes too loud is "turned back down", ensuring that the level never exceeds the "ceiling" level. While a maximizing limiter is often used to make an entire song seem "louder", it may also be used in place of a compressor to help control individual tracks.


  1. All GVST plug-ins come compressed in a ZIP file, so the first step is to extract the files from the ZIP file.
  2. Once extracted, you should have one or more DLL files, these are the plug-in files.
  3. You need to copy the plug-in files to the appropriate folder for your host program.
  4. In most cases, you will need either to restart the host program or re-scan the plug-in folder in order for newly-installed plug-ins to appear.


  • The gain reduction meter shows when the limiter is affecting the signal. You should listen carefully to these sections to make sure that you are not pushing the signal too hard (or maybe to make sure that you're pushing it hard enough!).
  • When maximizing a mix, it's a good idea to leave a little headroom. Some audio equipment doesn't cope well with signals that reach the maximum peak level of 0 dB. Setting the ceiling a little lower - at around -0.3 dB, for instance - is a good starting point.


GMax user interface

The GMax display features three knobs. Each has a label above it and a display of its current value below it. At the bottom-right of the GUI is a gain-reduction meter.

Gain: The desired signal gain. The incoming signal is boosted by this amount before going to the limiter.

Ceiling: The threshold of the limiter. The limiter prevents the peak signal from exceeding this level.

Release: This is the time taken for the limiter to recover after reducing a too-hot signal. When GMax is used for light peak suppression, the release time should be quite short. You only want to dip the volume briefly and affect as little audio as possible. However, the release time becomes much more important when using GMax for heavier limiting. In such cases, the only way to find the best setting is by ear.

Meter: The gain-reduction meter shows how much the signal level is reduced by the limiter. The resolution is 1 dB per bar.


  1. GVST plug-ins are provided to the user at no cost. While every GVST plug-in is tested to the best of the developer's ability, no warranty or guarantee is offered to the end user.
  2. No suggestions made by the developer or his representatives (i.e., freely offered support) are to be taken as an implied warranty or guarantee.
  3. These plug-ins may only be distributed by the official GVST website, or by parties explicitly given permission by the developer.
  4. GVST plug-ins are to be distributed only in their original form as intended by the developer (i.e., the unaltered archive).
  5. GVST plug-ins are freeware, meaning you are never under any obligation to pay for them! However, should you wish to help support continued development of GVST software, please consider donating through the official website.


  • Development, code, website and graphics by Graham Yeadon.
  • Documentation by Greg Pettit and Graham Yeadon (many thanks to Greg for all of his help).
  • VST technology copyright Steinberg GmbH.
  • The "VST" name and logo are registered trademarks of Steinberg GmbH.
  • "Windows" is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  • "Mac" and "OSX" are trademarks of Apple Inc.
<< Back to GMax
E-mail GVST Make a Donation