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Console emulation plugins = necessary?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6374 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:30 am

Transients-wise, it's analog for drums, guitars, or synth leads, digital for vocals, bass, and pads. That's if we're generalizing here.

When tape was first getting phased out in the 90's, most of us understood that each medium had its place. For someone to make any kind of sweeping statement in either direction, when we can all so easily now have both, is amateurish.
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jam92189
KVRian
 
735 posts since 23 May, 2011, from los angeles

Postby jam92189; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:20 am

honestly if you want one try one i notice when i mix with one I get my mix done faster with less fx then without and it sounds alot better. also its use is less than stellar on a already mixed song.
Lotuzia
KVRAF
 
7312 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris

Postby Lotuzia; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:28 am

@midnight wrote:Feeling a little insecure over here with my lack of proper console emu ;)

What say you? Are these things necessary to get great sounding mixes ITB?

What difference have they made for you?


Not necessary for me. :shrug:

But they are an option, and if it works for you, then its ok. I almost never use them. There's no evidence that one would like to sound exactly like old records, IF these plugs would recreate exactly this, and in this precise case the best thing might be to record like they did in the good old times : Mono drums, mixdown on big tape recorder etc, and/or also use proper preamps, mikes etc etc.

There's no evidence either that all projects should benefit of such a treatment imho. Its up to everyone to decide that. However, I often use a real physical mixdesk, but its an hybrid analog/digital thing, so not really a good old Neve.

Maybe its a bit like these jeans that you can buy artificially used ? :shock:

LtZ
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kvaca
KVRian
 
773 posts since 30 Oct, 2005

Postby kvaca; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:52 am

Uncle E wrote:Transients-wise, it's analog for drums, guitars, or synth leads, digital for vocals, bass, and pads. That's if we're generalizing here.

When tape was first getting phased out in the 90's, most of us understood that each medium had its place. For someone to make any kind of sweeping statement in either direction, when we can all so easily now have both, is amateurish.


I hope you are talking about real analog hardware here /and not that analog-like digital nonsense/ :?


because frequently the main difference between real analog and any "analog" emu is in transient handling...
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Kaboom75
KVRian
 
1383 posts since 4 Sep, 2011, from England

Postby Kaboom75; Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:00 am

My music sounds better with Slate VCC and VTM on, more interesting than they do off and less EQ is needed to get the mix right. Trust your ears and not statements or opinions.
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11109 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:32 am

@midnight wrote:What say you? Are these things necessary to get great sounding mixes ITB?

What difference have they made for you?


In all honesty?

These things are (IMO) not necessary to get a great sounding mix ITB - especially if you know how to use the right metering tools. But they can clearly help you get there.



The best thing these "console" emulations did, and this is certainly also thanks to Steven Slate, is to teach you how it should be done in the best way possible.

Like a merge of "old days mixing" with "current days mixing", but sans the overcompression, however without the weaknesses of the gear from yesteryear (noise, maintenance, etc).



Example:
Plugins with a reference level of -18dBFS are nothing new. They're actually around for quite a while now. But barely anyone knew that. So the time the switch from analog realm to digital realm was performed (80ies and 90ies), people were like "let's break the limits" - and this is the case up until today.


Now let's go back a couple of years with the release of Nebula and the first console type plugins. Suddenly, a so called "reference level" was the anchor point in production again. Yet people still think "it doesn't matter, we have a 32bit float mixing engine - we can do what we want".

However - what tools like VCC and also SATSON did right, was teaching people how to use their equipment. Telling them what worklevels are, where the hotspots reside and how to get everything out of your equipment with less hassle as possible. And I don't need to think about cleaning fader's or poti's, checking PSU's, taking care of noise from electronic parts, etc.

That they also add mojo to your signal is another sideeffect, but this can either be good (if done delicately) or absolute terrible (if overdone). So instead of going too loud these days, people need to learn how to work more delicate rather than overdoing things as well.



For me this made a great difference.

I use less compressors (though EQ is still essential!), since the introduction of EBU R-128 even just one or two different limiters. And that while (pre)mastering only. I have no trouble integrating my hardware with my DAW or the other way around, I have a healthy worklevel while still having an excellent fader resolution.



If these things (console emulations) do anything right, then it's teaching us how to use a console, and how metering should be done.

It's not about getting a certain console sound.
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Phase47
KVRian
 
850 posts since 21 Aug, 2011

Postby Phase47; Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:19 am

Compyfox wrote:Plugins with a reference level of -18dBFS are nothing new. They're actually around for quite a while now. But barely anyone knew that. So the time the switch from analog realm to digital realm was performed (80ies and 90ies), people were like "let's break the limits" - and this is the case up until today.


Now let's go back a couple of years with the release of Nebula and the first console type plugins. Suddenly, a so called "reference level" was the anchor point in production again. Yet people still think "it doesn't matter, we have a 32bit float mixing engine - we can do what we want".

However - what tools like VCC and also SATSON did right, was teaching people how to use their equipment. Telling them what worklevels are, where the hotspots reside and how to get everything out of your equipment with less hassle as possible. And I don't need to think about cleaning fader's or poti's, checking PSU's, taking care of noise from electronic parts, etc.

If these things (console emulations) do anything right, then it's teaching us how to use a console, and how metering should be done.

It's not about getting a certain console sound.



This is absolutely right, and it's really just this simple. What these tools allow are for proper "virtual" calibration and metering and gain staging with reference to the tools your using - reverbs, delays, compression, whatever. It's not about a sound per se, it's more about setup and workflow, etc.
lfm
KVRAF
 
2766 posts since 22 Jan, 2005, from Sweden

Postby lfm; Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:31 am

Phase47 wrote:
Compyfox wrote:Plugins with a reference level of -18dBFS are nothing new. They're actually around for quite a while now. But barely anyone knew that. So the time the switch from analog realm to digital realm was performed (80ies and 90ies), people were like "let's break the limits" - and this is the case up until today.


Now let's go back a couple of years with the release of Nebula and the first console type plugins. Suddenly, a so called "reference level" was the anchor point in production again. Yet people still think "it doesn't matter, we have a 32bit float mixing engine - we can do what we want".

However - what tools like VCC and also SATSON did right, was teaching people how to use their equipment. Telling them what worklevels are, where the hotspots reside and how to get everything out of your equipment with less hassle as possible. And I don't need to think about cleaning fader's or poti's, checking PSU's, taking care of noise from electronic parts, etc.

If these things (console emulations) do anything right, then it's teaching us how to use a console, and how metering should be done.

It's not about getting a certain console sound.



This is absolutely right, and it's really just this simple. What these tools allow are for proper "virtual" calibration and metering and gain staging with reference to the tools your using - reverbs, delays, compression, whatever. It's not about a sound per se, it's more about setup and workflow, etc.


I don't agree one bit - it's all about the sound you gain.

Talk about workflow with these plugins - it's not close. No daws are built for these formats.

I think Cakewalk might be on the path of building a standard for console like workflow with their Pro Channel. Plugins created for a certain format that also fits the gui of the daw.

Add a touchscreen and you almost there as with a physicals console.

You might learn about levels and sweetspots as well - but cannot agree on that it's not about the sound. It's all about the sound.
:)
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11109 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:51 am

Then you obviously haven't seen the "Imperial White" skin for Reaper, Cubase 7's new mixing console and especially the new RAVEN MTX Console by SLATE Pro Audio.

Also, Harrison Mixbus to a certain extend - if that system wouldn't be so buggy.



Of course it's about the sound as well. But this shouldn't be due to analog modeling devices as "only solution" to get there.
@midnight
KVRAF
 
1584 posts since 22 Apr, 2011, from The House of Zaid

Postby @midnight; Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:55 am

I'm just wonderinng about how these changes the sound

To me I feel ithey present you with a different "snapshot" of the mix, not necessarily better or worse, just a slightly different sound then what you heard before, making you think its "better" (it may or may not actually be)

Its sort of like taking some of the control out of your own hand, in a way
Has anybody ever really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
lfm
KVRAF
 
2766 posts since 22 Jan, 2005, from Sweden

Postby lfm; Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:30 am

Compyfox wrote:Then you obviously haven't seen the "Imperial White" skin for Reaper, Cubase 7's new mixing console and especially the new RAVEN MTX Console by SLATE Pro Audio.

Also, Harrison Mixbus to a certain extend - if that system wouldn't be so buggy.


Thanks for the tip - I never bothered with alternate skins for Reaper yet.

I checked Harrison out as well - from a link at Reaper forum.

Been looking at the external stuff from Mackie Universal-something. But it's darned expensive.

I'm thinking of a second monitor - touchscreen , right in front of the normal but in 30 degree angle or something like that.
Then place Reaper mixer floating on that monitor.

I think it might be cool and close to physical thingy.
:)
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6374 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:41 am

kvaca wrote:I hope you are talking about real analog hardware here /and not that analog-like digital nonsense/ :?

because frequently the main difference between real analog and any "analog" emu is in transient handling...

The following analog emulation plug-ins have dramatic impacts on transients:

UAD-2 Ampex
UAD-2 Studer
Slate VCC RC
URS Saturation
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kvaca
KVRian
 
773 posts since 30 Oct, 2005

Postby kvaca; Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:45 pm

Uncle E wrote:
kvaca wrote:I hope you are talking about real analog hardware here /and not that analog-like digital nonsense/ :?

because frequently the main difference between real analog and any "analog" emu is in transient handling...

The following analog emulation plug-ins have dramatic impacts on transients:

UAD-2 Ampex
UAD-2 Studer
Slate VCC RC
URS Saturation


good to know...

but it looks like you have intentionally mentioned dongled plugins which cannot be demoed easily - are there any "normal" ones?
bitman
KVRist
 
76 posts since 18 Aug, 2008

Postby bitman; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:24 pm

Everything is necessary.
User avatar
Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6374 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:26 pm

kvaca wrote:but it looks like you have intentionally mentioned dongled plugins which cannot be demoed easily - are there any "normal" ones?

Try the Waves REDD and NLS.
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