I just stumbled on a good quality free mastering limiter plugin by Jeroen Breebaart. It’s called a Barricade Pro and it might very well become your next go-to tool for all your limiting needs – such as loudness maximizing.
Here’s an example audio clip. I used one of the Barricade Pro presets to “squash” the dynamics of my beat (yes, trying to compete on the “loudness war”).
First, my beat WITHOUT any limiting:
And same clip WITH the Barricade Pro limiting applied:
Yes yes, maybe not the greatest audio example, but you got the idea…
You can download the plugin on Jeroen Breebaart’s plugin page. It comes as part of a bundle of plugins.
Installation is simple: just unpack the .zip file as is to your default vst plugins folder and if you’re using FL Studio, re-scan your plugins folder and it should appear in the list.