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Mixing with the DAW's plugins

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

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KVRist
 
306 posts since 3 May, 2007, from UK
 

Postby djscorb; Sat May 31, 2014 9:00 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:I think it's pretty clear what that the OP wants to know.

However, a better wording of his question might be;

"Can I make professional mixes using only stock DAW and FREE plugins or do i need to spend a lot of money?"

The answer to that would clearly be yes you can get pro results without spending extra cash on plugins.
My honest answer will be, "I don't know if you can get pro results to begin with". And 'pro results', what is that exactly? So as a thread, it becomes a wider issue for discussion. I think to try and frame people's remarks as 'changing the question' from the OP is a distorting maneuver as though in service of winning an argument and not too useful.


Well, the OP is clearly not a native English speaker and seemed to only be able to find tutorials for Waves plugins. I was pretty careful to say a better rewording of the question MIGHT be...

I also think the term professional results is pretty well understood in this context by most of us here. Could a professional and skilled engineer get great results with stock DAW and free plugins? I think yes.

I and plenty of my peers are professionals and I know most of them share this view. Do I only use stock and free plugins? No, but I spend a long time considering my purchases and the main reason for buying a processor is to solve a problem that is either more time consuming or difficult to achieve with my current tools or to speed up and make my workflow more enjoyable.

Cheers

Scorb
I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored...
KVRAF
 
3054 posts since 25 Jun, 2004
 

Postby highkoo; Sat May 31, 2014 9:27 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Uncle E wrote:
highkoo wrote:Always! :)
There is some weird stereo mess going on in parts of that, I remember...


Yes, that and the balance. The one gear-related thing that I imagine would make the biggest difference is your monitoring. I'm guessing you're not hearing the problems and obviously you can't work on them if you can't hear them.

Thanks.
Well... :oops:
I have fairly decent monitoring, but its in a pretty bad room/set up right now.
Do you mean the freq balance? Def a major bass issue in this room, that I try to account for, but its bad.
Also, lots of working in headphones lately.. (AKG 240)
Cuz of all that, I tend to have bass-heavy mixes at first pass- Or more accurately, muffled high end.

That particular track was a collab though, and while I did do the mixing of it, there was a lot going on that my ears were not fully 'intimate' with. And its a bit outside my usual style.
But Id be interested if you hear the same issues in my other stuff though.
Lots of messy stuff on my SC right now, but the couple before and since that collab are all 'me', with my normal gear.

And Im plunking paragraphs into this thread now, so.. sorry errone. :clown:
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KVRAF
 
3521 posts since 24 May, 2009, from spain

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Sat May 31, 2014 9:29 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

jancivil wrote:
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Uncle E wrote:[it sure does make it easier and faster to get quality results when you've got one great EQ, one great compressor, and one great reverb.


your mission, should you choose to accept it :

name your "one great" for eq, comp and verb.....for 3 price brackets - cheap-seats, mid-priced, need-a-2nd-mortgage

thanks :D
I can give you mid-priced answer, Vienna Suite; also with a one great Multiband Comp (with a brickwall limiter toggle), Exciter, Limiter, and Mastering EQ. Actually I think for what it is, it's 'inexpensive'. Transparent compressor but with a 'Fat' button which gives you sort of tape compression effect.


looks interesting. good value with all that's included
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KVRAF
 
3521 posts since 24 May, 2009, from spain

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Sat May 31, 2014 9:31 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

fedexnman wrote:StudioOne 2 and Live 9 , both have good enough EQs , Compressors/limiter , and Reverbs . If you can't get a descent mix in these 2 hosts using stock FX then its not the tools fault . 3rd party plugins are great if you use more than one host or need more options or colors to work with . I use Tracktion which totally lacks FX . So I use 3rd party stuff and use a less is more approach . So I reach for .. DDMF Eq , Valhalla reverbs or liquidsonics reverberate IR and Cytomic The Glue for Compression /limiting . So basically a handful of plugins . If I had and only used LiVe9 or StudioOne2 I'd be Happy with just the stock effects . We are really really lucky to have tools like these in the box / computer .


i am happy with the logic plugins, also. that doesn't mean that there are not circumstances (as have been covered in a few short pages in this thread), where people might be better served looking to third party plugs
KVRAF
 
9272 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat May 31, 2014 9:44 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

djscorb wrote:
jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:I think it's pretty clear what that the OP wants to know.

However, a better wording of his question might be;

"Can I make professional mixes using only stock DAW and FREE plugins or do i need to spend a lot of money?"

The answer to that would clearly be yes you can get pro results without spending extra cash on plugins.
My honest answer will be, "I don't know if you can get pro results to begin with". And 'pro results', what is that exactly? So as a thread, it becomes a wider issue for discussion. I think to try and frame people's remarks as 'changing the question' from the OP is a distorting maneuver as though in service of winning an argument and not too useful.

I also think the term professional results is pretty well understood in this context by most of us here. Could a professional and skilled engineer get great results with stock DAW and free plugins? I think yes.
"ghettosynth" replied to Uncle E, 'you're changing the question from the original' by bringing up ease of use.
I don't agree actually that 'Pro results' is completely meaningful in itself. As you reframe it, it looks reasonable. :shrug:
Some 'professional results' are not 'good' to me. I'm sensing an EDM proponent and too much of that stuff is really badly mixed, to me. So in terms of restricting discussion to the literal question in the OP, I said I wasn't interested in defining the thread like that. Apparently you have a similarly nuanced view as mine, but for some reason there is this one answer that must be right.

I remember when I was learning how to mix ITB, and I would see this quality of answer: "If you can't get a decent mix using stock FX then it's not the tools' fault" and I think it is kind of a red herring. I think one could follow that unquestioningly and waste a lot of time.
KVRAF
 
3740 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 10:15 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

jancivil wrote:
ghettosynth wrote: I think that Diva is pretty much necessary for anyone who wants the best ITB analogue sound available today.
You're refuting your own argument 'I don't buy that everyone NEEDS...'. Your subjective 'best ITB analogue sound' requires this product? That's fine. Yet, I'm interested in 'analog sound' in some way and I think I don't need this one product to do it. I have totally got 'fat Moog bass' in Absynth.


Cmon, you know that I'm aware of that. I'm being very specific. If the OP was being specific, my answer would be different. If you want the closest thing to analogue ITB today, you buy Diva, or perhaps Monark. This is a question about technology. Do you need those synths to get every analogue sound, no you don't. Do you need those synths if you want to do high res filter sweeps and not have a certain type of distortion, yep, you do. Ok, there are some other competitors now, I don't think that they sound of good, and yes, that is subjective.

I also have Absynth, in fact, I've recently discovered that I really like it for a lot of things, but in no way does it sound like Diva or Monark for the kinds of things that I'm talking about. It is interesting, but it is absolutely not "the best analog ITB sound today."

I am not at all suggesting that the plugins that come with your DAW are all as good as anything else, some are really good, some less so. I've often suggested that Komplete is a great way to round out your DAW and fill in some gaps.

This actually counters the argument 'you should be able to get all you need in the one host' and goes even further in support of buying things for a certain sound. Totally in agreement, I need things that aren't in Cubase 5 (and the first host was SX1 then SX2 and I found I should probably have better tools) for the best sound*.


I didn't argue that 'you should be able to get all you need in the one host', I argued that most hosts today come with enough tools to produce a "professional" recording. For specific needs, not everything comes with a DAW. That doesn't mean that one can't get "professional results" with what comes with a DAW. I thought that I spelled my opinion on that clearly. If the OP had asked more specific questions, then my answer would have been different.

Yet, I think there is discipline to be found in trying to make do with what you have before buying. I'm not taking one side of the issue to prove it.


Yep, and I think that it's probably a good idea to work with what you have long enough to formulate a few specific questions. Does Cubase 5 come with enough tools to create a professional recording, of course, can I get any sound imaginable from it at the best possible quality, absolutely not. The tools have many limitations.

(*: which may not agree with the OP's 'pro sound', or your great EDM records, so this has to be a wider topic just out of the lack of definition as to things 'pro' and 'good'.)


I think so, in fact, when anyone uses "pro sound" I roll my eyes a bit. That said, I view the bar as pretty low. Great EDM records, in this context, means successful ones and many of those were made with really rather primitive equipment.

Uncle E wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:Again, you're moving the bookends, the question was "professional", not "best sounding", people have made "professional" recordings with pre-RE reason.


I see, you and I are defining "professional" differently. You seem to be defining it as anything that has been offered for sale, which is the accurate definition. I was defining it as anything that's been on the Billboard 100 charts, which I think is closer to what the OP was asking for, even if those weren't the words they used. I would venture to guess that less than .001% (if any at all) of music ever on the Billboard 100 was mixed solely with pre-RE reason.



Cmon, you're putting the cart before the horse. A large number of demos that eventually became hot 100 hits were recorded on much much less. Of course they were then remade with the best tools because, well, someone's getting paid.

The OP is on KVR asking a generic question about recording, he's not working for anyone making top 100 hits and no amount of money spent on tools is likely to change that anytime soon. At some point, however, the question becomes about how much difference exists. I was considering stephen slate's console collection because, well, I like knobs and meters and I just got an ilok, I listened hard to the demos, that's a small ass difference. I was forcing myself to look away from the screen and just listen to see if I could tell when it was in and when it wasn't, I could hear it, and I liked the results, but in no way do I think that difference would make or break a record.

I think that Nick what's his name pointed this same thing out in the other thread re hardware vs software in the fairchild demo, the effect of high end plugins tends to be quite subtle. Whether or not the sum of all of those little differences matters is a question that only makes sense in context.
KVRAF
 
3740 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 10:27 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

djscorb wrote:I also think the term professional results is pretty well understood in this context by most of us here. Could a professional and skilled engineer get great results with stock DAW and free plugins? I think yes.


Exactly.

I and plenty of my peers are professionals and I know most of them share this view. Do I only use stock and free plugins? No, but I spend a long time considering my purchases and the main reason for buying a processor is to solve a problem that is either more time consuming or difficult to achieve with my current tools or to speed up and make my workflow more enjoyable.


Workflow and ease of use might even trump sound in terms of just getting something done. Or, as someone else pointed out, having a bunch of usable presets.
KVRAF
 
6028 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California
 

Postby Uncle E; Sat May 31, 2014 10:42 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Uncle E wrote:[it sure does make it easier and faster to get quality results when you've got one great EQ, one great compressor, and one great reverb.


your mission, should you choose to accept it :

name your "one great" for eq, comp and verb.....for 3 price brackets - cheap-seats, mid-priced, need-a-2nd-mortgage

thanks :D


Here you go: :)

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=412764
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User avatar
Rah
KVRist
 
230 posts since 30 May, 2013, from Space is the Place
 

Postby Rah; Sat May 31, 2014 10:47 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

I use a mix of 3rd party and DAW plugs.
KVRAF
 
9272 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat May 31, 2014 10:54 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:
jancivil wrote:
ghettosynth wrote: I think that Diva is pretty much necessary for anyone who wants the best ITB analogue sound available today.
You're refuting your own argument 'I don't buy that everyone NEEDS...'. Your subjective 'best ITB analogue sound' requires this product? That's fine. Yet, I'm interested in 'analog sound' in some way and I think I don't need this one product to do it. I have totally got 'fat Moog bass' in Absynth.

Cmon, you know that I'm aware of that. I'm being very specific. If the OP was being specific, my answer would be different. If you want the closest thing to analogue ITB today, you buy Diva, or perhaps Monark. This is a question about technology. Do you need those synths to get every analogue sound, no you don't. Do you need those synths if you want to do high res filter sweeps and not have a certain type of distortion, yep, you do.

I also have Absynth, in fact, I've recently discovered that I really like it for a lot of things, but in no way does it sound like Diva or Monark for the kinds of things that I'm talking about. It is interesting, but it is absolutely not "the best analog ITB sound today."
It's going to be vastly easier to get it in Monark because of these particular things. Right? So this cuts both ways, if you know your tools you can get it with something that isn't the ideal choice, but you may simply want to make life easier and get busy with the track. I'm real interested in synth technique so I'll do what for a lot of people may never bring any joy at all to, and there are people more invested in being a 'mixing engineer' while I got sick of Cubase 5 plugins. Absynth is not the best tool for a certain filter characteristic/behavior vis a vis Minimoog, but saying it's impossible is a statement about chops. It seems to have 'that Absynth sound', but that is a limitation of programmers at least to an extent.

I just want to illustrate how every part of this argument cuts both ways. And I did see that you said if the question were more specific you'd have other things to say.
KVRAF
 
3740 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 11:13 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:
jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:I think it's pretty clear what that the OP wants to know.

However, a better wording of his question might be;

"Can I make professional mixes using only stock DAW and FREE plugins or do i need to spend a lot of money?"

The answer to that would clearly be yes you can get pro results without spending extra cash on plugins.
My honest answer will be, "I don't know if you can get pro results to begin with". And 'pro results', what is that exactly? So as a thread, it becomes a wider issue for discussion. I think to try and frame people's remarks as 'changing the question' from the OP is a distorting maneuver as though in service of winning an argument and not too useful.

I also think the term professional results is pretty well understood in this context by most of us here. Could a professional and skilled engineer get great results with stock DAW and free plugins? I think yes.
"ghettosynth" replied to Uncle E, 'you're changing the question from the original' by bringing up ease of use.
I don't agree actually that 'Pro results' is completely meaningful in itself. As you reframe it, it looks reasonable. :shrug:
Some 'professional results' are not 'good' to me. I'm sensing an EDM proponent and too much of that stuff is really badly mixed, to me.


You can't dismiss my example so easily. I used EDM records as an easy to discuss and difficult to refute example but they are certainly not the only example. Now you are introducing your own subjectivity into the equation by saying that you "don't like the mix" of some of those records. So what, they were mixed to be successful in a specific environment and they did exactly that.

Most of us on these forums do not mix for a living, I don't, IIRC, you don't either. As the PRO has told you, a skilled engineer can get a "professional" mix with just the DAW's tools. I suspect with much less, as has been done for decades. Yes, like you, I buy shit to make some things easier. I buy too much shit in fact, but that's a different discussion.

So sure, other tools may make producing better mixes easier for some of us but that doesn't imply an argument of necessity in general. Now, for specific effects, it may be the case that a particular necessary technology may be absent from your DAW's tools and you simply will not get that result without something else.
KVRAF
 
6028 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California
 

Postby Uncle E; Sat May 31, 2014 11:37 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:A large number of demos that eventually became hot 100 hits were recorded on much much less. Of course they were then remade with the best tools


Again, it's not that you and I disagree, it's that we're talking about different things. I've been answering a different question than you've been answering. You're answering the question that the OP literally asked, I'm answering the question that I think the OP intended and that I think most KVR members are interested in. Personally, I have no interest in reading what gear people use to make demos.
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KVRAF
 
3740 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 12:25 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Uncle E wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:A large number of demos that eventually became hot 100 hits were recorded on much much less. Of course they were then remade with the best tools


Again, it's not that you and I disagree, it's that we're talking about different things. I've been answering a different question than you've been answering. You're answering the question that the OP literally asked, I'm answering the question that I think the OP intended and that I think most KVR members are interested in. Personally, I have no interest in reading what gear people use to make demos.


No, we're not really talking about different things. The point that I'm trying to make is that there is not a very strong causal relationship between using the best gear and being in the hot 100. Their is a strong correlation, yes, but any inference of causality is likely spurious. There IS a strong causal relationship between having a large record company behind you, however, and that will imply the use of the best tools. So while it may seem like tools matter to be in the hot 100, this is most likely only a consequence of having a large record company behind you. You can't test for this easily in an experimental setting because what record company is going to risk their next big hit by not using a tool that they have, e.g. a waves plugin, instead of something that comes with a DAW? The best gear is used at these studios to record flops as well. On the other hand, some big hits did not use the best equipment or techniques of the day, Rapper's Delight comes to mind here.

There are a lot of examples of hits that made it into the hot 100 that were recorded in home studios and for which the demos attracted enough attention to obtain backing, Primitive Radio Gods comes to mind here. So if you want to argue that there is a causal claim between using the best gear and being in the hot 100, then you have to make it at the point in the causal chain where there is an actual risk/reward tradeoff being made, e.g. at the demo stage. Here the artist might legitimately ask "is it worth it to buy this plugin?", whereas at the big studio stage, they've already purchased the best gear, so of course they're going to use it. So, while you may not be interested in what demos are recorded on, I'm not either BTW, it matters a lot if you want to make a causal claim that gear matters to be in the hot 100.
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Tp3
KVRAF
 
1516 posts since 7 Feb, 2007

Postby Tp3; Sat May 31, 2014 1:09 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Uncle E wrote:FWIW, it's a relatively recent phenomenon and stock plugins were truly awful for many years.

Not quite.

10 years ago, I was learning to operate Cubase and about audio technology.

One of our tutors was a technician who had worked with David Bowie, Sting, Robert Plant, Blur, Texas, David Gilmour ... and many many more (rhyme not intended :lol:).

While we sat around him, he had transformed a CUBASE SX3 mix (rock)... "from mundane - to INSANE" (rhyme intended ! :D)
This was with CUBASE SX3 STOCK PLUGINS, yes ?...

Now, the fella works with SSL on a daily basis... and yet, when you are PRO, every (EVERY) tool is acceptable. could it (the mix) be better on an SSL ? maybe... well, probably. if you are nitpicking. was it IMPRESSIVE ? for sure ! it good enough....

Our industry has long gone into consumer(ism) territory. we buy food, we buy sucks... and we buy plugs (or hardware - for those with a lot of money to burn).
"eventually, they all sound the same - more or less" as one pro said to me once.

Uncle E wrote:and Cubase's stock plugins are either really excellent or really terrible, with nothing in between, IMO.

Try NOT mixing anything for two weeks. then, try again. I guarantee you'll start hearing different things...
Try letting someone else mix it and blindly judge it. self persuasion can trick us very easily...

The reason pros will not shift to new tools is because what they know and use just works for them. they tend to use - for instance - Waves plugs, some are 12 years old (the plugs, not the Engineers...) because it just work.


FOR THE OP :

The best advise in modern days is - USE WHAT YOU HAVE.
Free tools are good enough.
The whole notion of Analog vs Digital emulation has long gone haywire...
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Tp3
KVRAF
 
1516 posts since 7 Feb, 2007

Postby Tp3; Sat May 31, 2014 1:10 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Tp3 wrote:
Uncle E wrote:FWIW, it's a relatively recent phenomenon and stock plugins were truly awful for many years.

Not quite.

10 years ago, I was learning to operate Cubase and about audio technology.

One of our tutors was a technician who had worked with David Bowie, Sting, Robert Plant, Blur, Texas, David Gilmour ... and many many more (rhyme not intended :lol:).

While we sat around him, he had transformed a CUBASE SX3 mix (rock)... "from mundane - to INSANE" (rhyme intended ! :D)
This was with CUBASE SX3 STOCK PLUGINS, yes ?...

Now, the fella works with SSL on a daily basis... and yet, when you are PRO, every (EVERY) tool is acceptable. could it (the mix) be better on an SSL ? maybe... well, probably. if you are nitpicking. was it IMPRESSIVE ? for sure ! it was good enough....

Our industry has long gone into consumer(ism) territory. we buy food, we buy sucks... and we buy plugs (or hardware - for those with a lot of money to burn).
"eventually, they all sound the same - more or less" as one pro said to me once.

Uncle E wrote:and Cubase's stock plugins are either really excellent or really terrible, with nothing in between, IMO.

Try NOT mixing anything for two weeks. then, try again. I guarantee you'll start hearing different things...
Try letting someone else mix it and blindly judge it. self persuasion can trick us very easily...

The reason pros will not shift to new tools is because what they know and use just works for them. they tend to use - for instance - Waves plugs, some are 12 years old (the plugs, not the Engineers...) because it just work.


FOR THE OP :

The best advise in modern days is - USE WHAT YOU HAVE.
Free tools are good enough.
The whole notion of Analog vs Digital emulation has long gone haywire...
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