Gain matching plugins

I’ve always done my gain matching and A/Bing manually but I hear there are nice plugins that do this for you automatically.

I’d like to know: how do these plugins calculate the loudness? Is it based on RMS, peak level or some kind of longer-term average loudness (LUFS)? If so, do you have to play the audio first before they adjust the loudness?

Also, if you know of any good gain matching plugins please mention them.

I’m not sure what DAW you are using, and this is not a plugin per se, but Reaper has an “SWS Extension” (a kind of DAW macro) called SWS loudness that can analyse any number of files, then turn them down to a fixed LUFs level. Comes in pretty handy sometimes.


That sounds interesting for sure. I use Reaper, I’ll check this out.

I was thinking more about a plugin that can instantly gain match a dry individual track or bus to its wet counterpart. Is that a thing?

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Hey, there is a JS plugin which is trying to replicate the Perception plugin, before it exists.

The interface is very knoby and its purpose was to compare a mix before and after the mastering process.
The calculation is done on RMS values, while Perception is LU values.

If it helps…


Here you go…


Hornet is a small Italian plugin manufacturer that has several plugins with different kinds of gain staging and automatic level control. Including one based on LUFS:
the HoRNet LU Meter MK2. Some of his plugins are great, others too unpredictable for my liking (I just don’t understand what they do and why - but that could just be me). Thing is: they cost next to nothing (3 euro’s this week!), so you can always try.