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

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRian
984 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:14 am

billcarroll wrote:
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.
It's essential, especially for 3e. I like that you can set a peak volume too, I have mine set to -6db and this generally results in good levels for transient material like synth drums etc
Always Read the Manual!

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

881 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:51 am

Guenon wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:40 am
Not really complex :wink:
Okay I'll admit in my intial pretense I may not have thought it through as much as I probably should and posters have certainly added valid opinion on why it probably is more difficult than I implied but it's definitely something that is possible as evidenced by other developers like Hornet, Melda and Letimix with their automatic gain options and in the grand scheme of things if a dev is competent to code a fully functioning synth with all the bells and whistles, surely an automatic gain reduction button would be simple to them no ?

KVRer
17 posts since 21 Jan, 2020

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:16 am

Something that might be useful is a utility VST that sits on every track in a mix and connects to a controller VST that sits on the master. After building your tracks, you’d hit “gainstage” on the controller and it would calculate and set each track’s optimum gain values according to ReplayGain type principles. This would be a good starting point for mixing, essentially the same thing as using the pink noise leveling method, which is tedious.

Yes, I realize I’m probably describing Izotope Neutron here, though I haven’t used it. Still, this type of utility would be useful for those who don’t need Neutron’s other bells and whistles - or its expensive CPU usage and cost. It might be a good thing to build into a DAW, as well.

KVRAF
8281 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:30 am

I love how Surge handles this. They have a global volume fader. And it stays put as you change presets. So just set your global volume down -12, -14, -18db or whatever and you're good to go. Next favorite is U-he and other synths that let you lock the overall output level control. I usually set it low, lock it, and for about 95% of presets, that generally works.

I hate presets that are near-clipping with no headroom. I hate having to constantly grab the volume control and turn it down. I don't want to have to insert a utility plugin after the synth when the synth has an output level knob. I think that's just sloppy craftsmanship to be honest. Reasonable preset levels, or a global lock are much better approaches.
Last edited by Funkybot's Evil Twin on Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

881 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:35 am

Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:30 am
Next favorite is U-he and other synths that et you lock the overall output level control. I usually set it low, lock it, and for about 95% of presets, that generally works.
I did not know this because I don't RTFM, to save me breaking that tradition how do we make it work ?

User avatar
KVRAF
18483 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:43 am

Digivolt wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:35 am
Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:30 am
Next favorite is U-he and other synths that et you lock the overall output level control. I usually set it low, lock it, and for about 95% of presets, that generally works.
I did not know this because I don't RTFM, to save me breaking that tradition how do we make it work ?
right click - select lock (u-he plugins)

User avatar
KVRAF
1667 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:45 am

Digivolt wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:51 am
in the grand scheme of things if a dev is competent to code a fully functioning synth with all the bells and whistles, surely an automatic gain reduction button would be simple to them no ?
No :) - not in the way you were suggesting previously. Analyzing how all different parameters/controls on a synth correspond with preset loudness and compensating based on that, per preset, is extremely nontrivial. An autogain working directly with an audio signal is a different thing, as is something with a much more limited set of predictable controls, with more clearly defined outcomes (think automatic gain compensation on certain effect plugins, for example).

Nothing wrong with the "hey wouldn't it be cool, if..." type of initial idea, it's just really not that simple.

KVRAF
8281 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:48 am

Digivolt wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:35 am
Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:30 am
Next favorite is U-he and other synths that et you lock the overall output level control. I usually set it low, lock it, and for about 95% of presets, that generally works.
I did not know this because I don't RTFM, to save me breaking that tradition how do we make it work ?
pdxindy already answered the how, but Synapse and some others also allow you to lock parameters. And not just the output level. Always good to right click a knob and see if there are hidden options.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

881 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:26 am

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:43 am
right click - select lock (u-he plugins)
ah that's awesome, thanks! :tu:
Guenon wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:45 am
Nothing wrong with the "hey wouldn't it be cool, if..." type of initial idea, it's just really not that simple.
It sounds simple though, take max peak from output volume and reduce it down to -18dfs on button press but obviously it's a little more nuanced than my simplification and sometimes I fail to see that after simplifying it

User avatar
KVRAF
1667 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:32 am

Digivolt wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:26 am
It sounds simple though, take max peak from output volume and reduce it down to -18dfs on button press
Yep, like noted, operating on the resulting audio signal itself and implementing autogain there is a different matter, and I do agree sometimes it would be nifty.

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

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:18 pm

I use something called fader for this purpose... I can’t remember a DAW which doesn’t have that on every channel. The big advantage of that is, that its usually assigned to my fader box... The other advantage its not fixed, I can adjust by ear...

User avatar
KVRAF
4399 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:30 pm

the reason this problem becomes complex imo, is that we just don't know how loud your patch is before pressing the gain attenuator/accentuator button

it's a good idea imo

KVRist
201 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:00 pm

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:18 pm
I use something called fader for this purpose... I can’t remember a DAW which doesn’t have that on every channel. The big advantage of that is, that its usually assigned to my fader box... The other advantage its not fixed, I can adjust by ear...
We're talking about the stuff happening before the channel fader and 2-buss fader. Every sound source should have a reasonable level at the source or some plugins after it react unpredictably and sound bad. Reasonable level also prevents unpleasant loudness surprises and reduces the tendency to think something sounds better just because it's louder.

No condescension intended, if you're not up to speed on gain staging google will bring up lots of good info on it. If you are, maybe you're on some next level stuff I don't get. If that's the case, please give us the benefit of that wisdom.

User avatar
KVRAF
32234 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:03 pm

How long is a piece of string?
Hi-de-Hi!

User avatar
KVRAF
4399 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:47 pm

--and which was the short end? heh

Return to “Instruments”