Why don't all VST instruments come with a simple gain staging button ?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRAF
5868 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm

mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
I’d love it. I hate all these clipping presets, always reaching for the master volume on a synth or just hornet vu meter so I don’t have to worry about it...
then just lower the volume in the plugin or your DAW :P
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KVRist
201 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:15 pm

Halonmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm
mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
I’d love it. I hate all these clipping presets, always reaching for the master volume on a synth or just hornet vu meter so I don’t have to worry about it...
then just lower the volume in the plugin or your DAW :P
I do, as I said. I’m just wondering if life could be even better than that. Which I know, we already have an embarrassment of riches, but why not more?

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KVRAF
5429 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:52 pm

How should that button know by what amount it has to be lowered??? Its the responsibility of the patch designers to adjust levels correctly!
Unless you mean to lower the level of chords according to the number of notes played, but even that is not predictable, as it depends on envelopes and the times you play the individual notes and I would never want that ever anyway...

KVRian
789 posts since 8 May, 2018 from Sweden

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:36 am

As mentioned already, a hard limit at a certain volume would by definition be a limiter or clipper (depending on how it deals with levels exceeding the threshold). A synth patch is dynamic, the output level depends on a number of factors, such as the number of voices/oscillators, filter cutoff and resonance, and of course any modulation routings targeting the VCA level. You can't just lower the level by a static amount, because that might make quieter patches or soft playing too quiet.

Mixer faders, compressors, volume automation, limiters and clippers are designed to solve precisely these problems. That's what we call "mixing". You're essentially asking for synths that mix themselves.

KVRian
984 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:57 am

HornetVUMeter is 3e on sale (now and regularly throughout the year), just use that. It's a bit of a pain to do it per sound you use, but at least it works and you're in full control, rather than at the mercy of devs and or sound designers.
Last edited by PieBerger on Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar
KVRAF
5868 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:14 am

mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:15 pm
Halonmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm
mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
I’d love it. I hate all these clipping presets, always reaching for the master volume on a synth or just hornet vu meter so I don’t have to worry about it...
then just lower the volume in the plugin or your DAW :P
I do, as I said. I’m just wondering if life could be even better than that. Which I know, we already have an embarrassment of riches, but why not more?
im sure there are plugins which does that. i myself always lower the volume myself as i hate clipping
EnergyXT3 - Reaper | Roland SH201 - Waldorf Rocket ||
Audiomack - SoundCloud - hearthis

KVRian
1175 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:55 am

mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:15 pm
Halonmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm
mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
I’d love it. I hate all these clipping presets, always reaching for the master volume on a synth or just hornet vu meter so I don’t have to worry about it...
then just lower the volume in the plugin or your DAW :P
I do, as I said. I’m just wondering if life could be even better than that. Which I know, we already have an embarrassment of riches, but why not more?
The problem is often fundamental. Maximum project gain. Panorama law. "Boring issues" many people have never thought about.

No clipping here. Ok maybe when I play really big chords.

But that may for sure be different with some synths/soundbanks.

KVRAF
1596 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:56 am

ya dont eff'n need it

User avatar
KVRAF
1667 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:40 am

Digivolt wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:37 pm
same with polyphony, modwheel, aftertouch it's all ultimately mathematical within the box, set a standard where max possible volume is all the things, then just calculate the ratio of what things are used vs max possible volume to then calculate where peak should be relative to chosen gain stage volume. There's plugins that do this that work fast enough, so why not just a button that does it on the synth to save time having to add the plugin and disabling/removing it after adjusting volume in the synth.

I don't understand why you're appearing averse to a time saving solution :?:
I think nobody is averse to a time saving solution per se :), but the way you are saying it's "not really complex" to implement the way you describe it. Above, it's already creeping into "pretty complex" territory, hehe.

Basically, it boils down to: just calculate all possible permutations for all possible user interactable parameters of said synth, see which permutations produce the loudest synthesized sound, and then analyze whether that permutation is something the user is likely to arrive at when using the synth with a particular preset. Compensate the volume accordingly. Not really complex :wink:

KVRist
201 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:39 am

Halonmusic wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:14 am
mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:15 pm
Halonmusic wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm
mjudge55 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
I’d love it. I hate all these clipping presets, always reaching for the master volume on a synth or just hornet vu meter so I don’t have to worry about it...
then just lower the volume in the plugin or your DAW :P
I do, as I said. I’m just wondering if life could be even better than that. Which I know, we already have an embarrassment of riches, but why not more?
im sure there are plugins which does that. i myself always lower the volume myself as i hate clipping
Yep, I mentioned one. I’m picking up what you’re laying down though man, you’re not into the idea of it being built into vst instruments. I think it’d be a nice little convenience.

User avatar
KVRAF
5429 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:14 am

Btw. the easiest way to avoid clipping is to lower that master in the DAW significantly and adjust level analog at your amp/mixer... Never set it to 11, thats for shredders...

KVRist
201 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:30 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:14 am
Btw. the easiest way to avoid clipping is to lower that master in the DAW significantly and adjust level analog at your amp/mixer... Never set it to 11, thats for shredders...
That’s a good reminder but I think what we’re really getting at is proper gain staging at each point in the signal chain and ways plugins can facilitate that.

KVRian
1318 posts since 7 Jun, 2007

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:46 am

I'm not sure which plugins you're referring to exactly, but it seems like you mean instruments, rather than effects.
I agree that a "dim switch" built into synths etc would be handy, especially if you can type in a value or turn down a knob to the desired amount of dimming, -18db as you suggest. But it would have to be on the instrument itself to be truly useful in a DAW context. One use case would be when surfing presets, just switch the dim button on and you know your ears should be safe.
I mean I'm imagining you flipping through presets in Massive or something and some are clipping Massive's output, which has nothing to do with what comes after Massive in the signal chain. So a normal limiter insert wouldn't change the fact that Massive's outputs are clipping, and the timbral characteristics of that clipping which might not be desirable to you, but might have been intentional from the sound designer's point of view.

KVRian
1318 posts since 7 Jun, 2007

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:49 am

Actually maybe a more handy feature would be a "lock master volume" switch, so you can turn it down and lock it there for patch changing.
Or am I missing the point? :D

User avatar
KVRAF
2066 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:50 am

PieBerger wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:57 am
HornetVUMeter is 3e on sale (now and regularly throughout the year), just use that. It's a bit of a pain to do it per sound you use, but at least it works and you're in full control, rather than at the mercy of devs and or sound designers.
This is a great solution especially considering each preset can have a different volume. With HoRNet VU Meter MK4 you set a target volume and it works regardless of the preset volume.

Also, HoRNet is a great company to support. Hard working independent developer.

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