Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
fVk.kVr
Banned
7 posts since 21 Jan, 2018

Post Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:42 am

fuseaudiolabs wrote:trying to provide the best quality you can
An 'analog' device that aliases. Too bad us laymen lack the tools and the skills to really dive in and see how the other important aspects were implemented - like THD, attack/release compared to the original, etc. Native Instruments did a Pro-52, Pro-53 some time ago, too. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

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RPH
KVRian
1097 posts since 21 Nov, 2005 from The Netherlands

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:45 am

fuseaudiolabs wrote: RPH, you'd observe heavier figures with the VCL-4 if you left the compressor at a neutral state and cranked the makeup amplifier all the way, basically hard clipping the audio. Mind you, the original unit wouldn't sound good in this out of spec. region, either, minus the aliasing of course..it's simply not what it's supposed to do - it's a compressor after all, not a saturator.
Conclusion: Watch the UI's overload LED and you'll be fine :).
Hi Ray,

Thanks for your elaborate comment.
For realtime usage I would never crank up the makeup towards 10, within recommended spec the compressor works great.
Think my measurements support what you said exactly, use higher samplerate when pushing the compressor above recommended spec.
Within it's definitely not needed, at 44.1 kHz it behaves beautifully and at very low CPU usage.

While reading some information about the original unit noticed what I was testing was not compressing, but limiting, as I set the ratio up to 20.
So, I hope nobody uses the measurements to conclude anything.

The sweet spot for me is at ratio 4 and threshold 5 or 6, output level set to about 6 or close to 7.
Of course all depending on the input source and level.

Question:
The (original) compressor has variable attack and release, I could not find information about that on your site.
Could you tell us more about what the min and max values are to be expected, and does the ratio have some influence on that?

Sincerely,

Rob.

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Lesha
KVRian
1373 posts since 18 Feb, 2005 from Serbia

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:14 am

RPH wrote:Question:
The (original) compressor has variable attack and release, I could not find information about that on your site.
Could you tell us more about what the min and max values are to be expected, and does the ratio have some influence on that?
The original LA-4 manual says that attack should be 1-10 ms, release 100 ms - 1 sec, and the 2:1 ratio has a lower threshold than the other ones.

I am not completely sure how ratios correlate to attack and release values, maybe Ray could say something about it.

Image
It's easy if you know how

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fuseaudiolabs
KVRist
79 posts since 13 Jan, 2018 from Duesseldorf, Germany

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:58 am

RPH wrote:
fuseaudiolabs wrote: RPH, you'd observe heavier figures with the VCL-4 if you left the compressor at a neutral state and cranked the makeup amplifier all the way, basically hard clipping the audio. Mind you, the original unit wouldn't sound good in this out of spec. region, either, minus the aliasing of course..it's simply not what it's supposed to do - it's a compressor after all, not a saturator.
Conclusion: Watch the UI's overload LED and you'll be fine :).
Hi Ray,

Thanks for your elaborate comment.
For realtime usage I would never crank up the makeup towards 10, within recommended spec the compressor works great.
Think my measurements support what you said exactly, use higher samplerate when pushing the compressor above recommended spec.
Within it's definitely not needed, at 44.1 kHz it behaves beautifully and at very low CPU usage.

While reading some information about the original unit noticed what I was testing was not compressing, but limiting, as I set the ratio up to 20.
So, I hope nobody uses the measurements to conclude anything.

The sweet spot for me is at ratio 4 and threshold 5 or 6, output level set to about 6 or close to 7.
Of course all depending on the input source and level.

Question:
The (original) compressor has variable attack and release, I could not find information about that on your site.
Could you tell us more about what the min and max values are to be expected, and does the ratio have some influence on that?

Sincerely,

Rob.
Hey Rob,

Thanks for your comments.

Unfortunately there is no simple and universal answer to your question. Program dependent behavior is something that's intrinsic to the photo resistors that are used in an opto compressor's gain cell. The fundamental effect that's going on here is that higher excitation of a photo resistor yields decreased response times, which is especially pronounced in the recovery/release phase. I give a brief discussion and some measurements on that topic on Igor's blog: http://nc-rec.com/blog/fuse-audio-labs-vcl-4/.
While the figures presented in the HW manual - as quoted by lesha - give a rough outline of the attack/release time range that is also met by the emulation you can generally expect shorter response times when more compression is going on. To answer your question on the influence of the ratio setting, higher ratios = shorter attack/release = overall more aggressive behavior when processing the same signal at the same threshold setting (bluntly put). The same also goes for higher threshold settings when processing the same audio at a fixed ratio setting.
I'm afraid I can't give you a more in-depth answer or more detailed measurements now, as I'm very busy preparing two new releases right now. It's also recommended to check the plugin manual as it contains some technical insights and measurements into/of the emulation.
I'll try to put up some burst measurements at a later date, but I hope the above answers are sufficient for now :troll:

Best,
Ray

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DuX
KVRAF
3630 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Underworld

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:40 pm

Nice that there's no incredibly stupid faux reflection on the VU "glass". :clap:

Bad that there is unnecessary skewing of the knobs. :( And the whole GUI is so big, with only two knobs that have dual-function? Talking of stupid design decisions. Only to look more hardware like.

I wouldn't mind it look like an Airwindows plugin [no GUI at all], for as long as it is resizeable and all the 4 controls are easily accessible. I thought people would start to develop vectorised GUIs, finally, at this point. It is very necessary because some people use small monitors and some use 4k monitors. You can't expect everyone to use the same size GUI.

I also thought devs finally got over that whole 1:1 hardware lookalike BS. UA is not using 1:1, IKM is not using 1:1 stupid fish eye GUIs, u-he, Toneboosters and Cytomic... Some rare Waves plugins are using it, but generally it's a no-no. Just stop it. Screws in the gui?? It's not 2009 any more. :roll:

When I see a faux 3D GUI these days it makes me think the dev is trying to sell a hardware lookalike GUI with a generic DSP. In other words, he is trying to sell a GUI design that has nothing to do with the sound. :scared:

Sound? This one sounds really nice and transparent. Just the way a compressor should sound like. It's a steal for the money. :tu: I'm siding with those who say that a nice oversampling algo should be available with an on/off switch, though. Many people like to have HQ options like that, so why not providing them with those? It's just a little on/off switch. You want to say there is not enough space for it there? :hihi:

But the GUI... :roll: same with BRA plugins. Too big for only a couple of controls, trying to look like hardware and its functionality suffers. We are working in a DAW, on a computer and we need controls easily accessable. We need to work fast and see all the controls clearly. We shouldn't waste time on trying to find a control knob in a 4 knob control plugin. Try designing a synth with 166 control knobs, pots and sliders and see how far this philosophy will take you. :x

Maybe talk to Urs about "Industrial Design"? :hihi:

Who gives a rotten banana about a plugin looking like hardware? Look up Fabfilter plugins and other pro plugins I mentioned. Persisting on this fisheye looking nonsense with 1:1 hard to use hardware controls is ridiculous. Stop the nonsense. ;)

But yes - sound is the most important and the compression algo in this one works beautifully. :tu:

Cheers!
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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fuseaudiolabs
KVRist
79 posts since 13 Jan, 2018 from Duesseldorf, Germany

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:32 pm

DuX wrote:Nice that there's no incredibly stupid faux reflection on the VU "glass". :clap:

Bad that there is unnecessary skewing of the knobs. :( And the whole GUI is so big, with only two knobs that have dual-function? Talking of stupid design decisions. Only to look more hardware like.

I wouldn't mind it look like an Airwindows plugin [no GUI at all], for as long as it is resizeable and all the 4 controls are easily accessible. I thought people would start to develop vectorised GUIs, finally, at this point. It is very necessary because some people use small monitors and some use 4k monitors. You can't expect everyone to use the same size GUI.

I also thought devs finally got over that whole 1:1 hardware lookalike BS. UA is not using 1:1, IKM is not using 1:1 stupid fish eye GUIs, u-he, Toneboosters and Cytomic... Some rare Waves plugins are using it, but generally it's a no-no. Just stop it. Screws in the gui?? It's not 2009 any more. :roll:

When I see a faux 3D GUI these days it makes me think the dev is trying to sell a hardware lookalike GUI with a generic DSP. In other words, he is trying to sell a GUI design that has nothing to do with the sound. :scared:

Sound? This one sounds really nice and transparent. Just the way a compressor should sound like. It's a steal for the money. :tu: I'm siding with those who say that a nice oversampling algo should be available with an on/off switch, though. Many people like to have HQ options like that, so why not providing them with those? It's just a little on/off switch. You want to say there is not enough space for it there? :hihi:

But the GUI... :roll: same with BRA plugins. Too big for only a couple of controls, trying to look like hardware and its functionality suffers. We are working in a DAW, on a computer and we need controls easily accessable. We need to work fast and see all the controls clearly. We shouldn't waste time on trying to find a control knob in a 4 knob control plugin. Try designing a synth with 166 control knobs, pots and sliders and see how far this philosophy will take you. :x

Maybe talk to Urs about "Industrial Design"? :hihi:

Who gives a rotten banana about a plugin looking like hardware? Look up Fabfilter plugins and other pro plugins I mentioned. Persisting on this fisheye looking nonsense with 1:1 hard to use hardware controls is ridiculous. Stop the nonsense. ;)

But yes - sound is the most important and the compression algo in this one works beautifully. :tu:

Cheers!
Hi DuX,

Thanks for your comments. The idea of making a GUI look like or similar to the original HW also has to do with paying homage to that unit. I get your point though and there might be different plugins in the future (not analog emulations) where a vectorized GUI would be more suitable...from a "vibe-standpoint" I mean. I also get the practical aspect of it, it's funny though that most customers have complained about the GUI being too small. You're the first one who finds it too big. The only recommendation I can give in your case for now: Select a smaller GUI size from the drop-down menu in the toolbar (goes for both the Rooster as well as the Fuse plugs).

Best,
Ray

rasmusklump
KVRian
777 posts since 13 May, 2004 from Germany

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:24 am

Please keep your design decisions. I for one for example would never ever buy an airwindows plugin exactly for that reason.

Halonmusic
KVRAF
1596 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:28 am

rasmusklump wrote:Please keep your design decisions. I for one for example would never ever buy an airwindows plugin exactly for that reason.
This. :tu:

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fuseaudiolabs
KVRist
79 posts since 13 Jan, 2018 from Duesseldorf, Germany

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:01 am

Thanks Jerry at ITD for this nice review of the VCL-4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqCOKoWKIyo

User avatar
DuX
KVRAF
3630 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Underworld

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:33 pm

Is it just me or this Jerry sounds a bit pitched too high? Is that really his voice? :hihi:
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

Halonmusic
KVRAF
1596 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:49 am

DuX wrote:Is it just me or this Jerry sounds a bit pitched too high? Is that really his voice? :hihi:
Haha he does indeed sound a bit pitched. :lol:

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sqigls
KVRAF
3040 posts since 25 Dec, 2004 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:48 am

just picked this up, finally.
I'm starting to feel it out, but haven't been using it for long.
...anyone have any tips in regard to controlling the attack and release?
I've been upping the ratio to max, and lifting the threshold. I guess that's about the extent of it?

Would be ultra handy to have a dry/wet control.

s28
KVRist
100 posts since 9 Aug, 2017

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:07 am

sqigls wrote:just picked this up, finally.
I'm starting to feel it out, but haven't been using it for long.
...anyone have any tips in regard to controlling the attack and release?
I've been upping the ratio to max, and lifting the threshold. I guess that's about the extent of it?

Would be ultra handy to have a dry/wet control.

It's completely program dependant so there's no physical control over attack and release. It's an excellent compressor and can really sit things in their place, one of my favourites.

A dry wet would be handy. Enjoy, it works great on plenty of sources!

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kj.metissage
KVRist
271 posts since 20 Feb, 2014 from Paris - FRANCE

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:43 am

rasmusklump wrote:Please keep your design decisions. I for one for example would never ever buy an airwindows plugin exactly for that reason.
+100

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sqigls
KVRAF
3040 posts since 25 Dec, 2004 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: Fuse Audio Labs releases the VCL-4 Vintage Opto Leveler

Post Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:43 am

s28 wrote:
sqigls wrote:just picked this up, finally.
I'm starting to feel it out, but haven't been using it for long.
...anyone have any tips in regard to controlling the attack and release?
I've been upping the ratio to max, and lifting the threshold. I guess that's about the extent of it?

Would be ultra handy to have a dry/wet control.

It's completely program dependant so there's no physical control over attack and release. It's an excellent compressor and can really sit things in their place, one of my favourites.

A dry wet would be handy. Enjoy, it works great on plenty of sources!
yeah i get that, cheers

i'll rephrase what i said earlier... any tips to get the most out of it?
push and stretch it to its limits...?

i'm loving the tight low-end.
good on the drum buss too. great on most things :)

what's next for Fuse Audio Labs ?
my request... Ibanez FP-777 Flying Pan!!! oh yeah baby... but add pan depth and tempo sync
Love your work Ray!!

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