Lately L2 hasn't been cutting it for me. Even though it is a look ahead limiter with more extreme settings, the kick and snare get murdered. I can get my mixes loud, but there is still a good 2-3dB that I can get to be more comparable to more dynamic mixes (Sneap, Richardson, Bogren etc) so I went to experiment with a look ahead side chain compressor to use the transients to duck the rest of the mix. One major problem that I noticed that I never noticed before is even when the release is on the fastest setting (1ms) there is a very slow recovery time before the compressor finally opens back up. Basically the compressor is still active and ducking the signal even though the side chain is below the threshold and the release is set extremely fast. This is because the recovery time, or the time constant of the envelope filter is still "discharging" and thus still active. The release control is more of a hold control for how long the compressor begins to react after the envelope signal begins to decrease but does nothing to control how fast the compressor opens up AFTER the signal drops below the threshold. As a result I have a transient that is long gone and the compressor is still on. I have noticed this effect (without sidechaining) with my other compressors. I noticed though that the recovery time is quicker than the RMS meter in the DAW so I know it isn't a limitation of the DAW, but a set time constant in the plugin itself. So without going outboard gear like a crazy mofo are there sidechain compressors that have quick recovery times for the purpose of mastering that have side chain and preferable look ahead? I really like look ahead because the attack of the compressor follows the transient, I just wish I had a compressor that followed the amplitude of the tail end of the transient. I know that automation of every single transient on all the other tracks would work, but doesn't seem viable in the mastering phase to get maximum clean loudness. What is the standard way of mastering to get maximum loudness without obvious clipping, what are the typical methods and gear used to properly track transients and duck the other tracks in perfect time so that you can have a smashed to shit mix and still have a clean kick and snare that has no audible or visible clipping in the waveform.