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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KVRian
880 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:18 pm

One that you can press that sets the volume of any preset to -18dbfs (or a simple drop down of your preferred gain stage volume)

I know there's the argument I've seen that users should be able to have the volume whatever they like but having a simple button that overrides the volume knob and sets it auto at a set volume would surely satisfy users from both sides of the argument, the ones who want to clip into their plugins simply don't have to press that button, the ones who don't just press the button

The amount of time saved from tweaking the volume knob so it sits at zero or as close as humanly possible on the VU meter would be huge

Just imagine browsing through presets and they're all at the same volume, it would be amazing no ?

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KVRAF
5670 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:43 pm

The plugin can't predict if you're going to:

-- never send a full velocity note on
-- if using pressure, never send full pressure
-- do parameter automation that has an effect on the output level
-- only play notes at frequencies that happen to be naturally quieter than peak

So in many cases, the amount of time saved would be... zero

User avatar
KVRAF
29443 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:47 pm

Couldn't you use a utility plugin? Most DAWs have one built in afaik.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

880 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:00 pm

foosnark wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:43 pm
The plugin can't predict if you're going to:

-- never send a full velocity note on
-- if using pressure, never send full pressure
-- do parameter automation that has an effect on the output level
-- only play notes at frequencies that happen to be naturally quieter than peak

So in many cases, the amount of time saved would be... zero
Ok you misunderstood, it would be a button that doesn't let the audio exceed the select gain stage volume, so obviously velocity sensitive notes would be based on whatever their velocity with 100% velocity being the gain stage volume and everything else calculated below that

Likewise with parameter, the max volume would be the gain stage volume anything lower be whatever % within the parameter

It's not really complex when it's basicaly just a function of % of a max volume

The only time I ever raise the volume on a VST is when I've gone too far in lowering it for gain staging

User avatar
KVRAF
29443 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:09 pm

So ... a limiter? :shrug:

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

880 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:23 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:09 pm
So ... a limiter? :shrug:
No, a gain reduction that sets that maximum possible volume to -18dfs (or the RMS k scales) limiter would introduce soft clipping for anything that goes above the threshold

KVRAF
2293 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:39 pm

In theory, probably a nice idea for customers.
But practically speaking, I can't see (m)any developers being too bothered about this because loudness sells products (presets) and it's just an extra hassle to code with potential for yet another thing not working perfectly across different platforms.

User avatar
KVRAF
18453 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:52 pm

foosnark wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:43 pm
The plugin can't predict if you're going to:

-- never send a full velocity note on
-- if using pressure, never send full pressure
-- do parameter automation that has an effect on the output level
-- only play notes at frequencies that happen to be naturally quieter than peak

So in many cases, the amount of time saved would be... zero
Or play 1 note vs a 5 note chord...

Like you said, a plugin cannot know what you are going to do before you do it.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

880 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:09 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:52 pm
foosnark wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:43 pm
The plugin can't predict if you're going to:

-- never send a full velocity note on
-- if using pressure, never send full pressure
-- do parameter automation that has an effect on the output level
-- only play notes at frequencies that happen to be naturally quieter than peak

So in many cases, the amount of time saved would be... zero
Or play 1 note vs a 5 note chord...

Like you said, a plugin cannot know what you are going to do before you do it.
It's relative volume though

The result I want now is achieved by turning down the volume, why is it so complex or even alien to some people to have a button that just turns the volume down relative to a set max amount ?

40% at max volume or user asigned volume is still 40% the relative ratio is kept all that's lowered is the max volume possible, it should not in anyway have any effect on dynamics as it's simply reducing gain

KVRian
1154 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:54 pm

I´d definitely prefer an IR slot by far. The Volume is just a fingertip away. The frequency response is part of the DNA.

User avatar
KVRAF
18453 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:16 pm

Digivolt wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:09 pm
The result I want now is achieved by turning down the volume, why is it so complex or even alien to some people to have a button that just turns the volume down relative to a set max amount ?
Where does the definition of the max amount come from? The only way the VST would know what the max volume would be is by self analysis and running through all permutations of playable notes, max polyphony, controllers like modwheel, aftertouch, etc. It would also have to account for slowly evolving envelopes as one of the parameters.

There would be nothing simple about that gain staging button.

And if you decided to play that preset differently than its guess for max volume, then you would have to manually adjust gain anyway.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

880 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:37 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:16 pm
Digivolt wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:09 pm
The result I want now is achieved by turning down the volume, why is it so complex or even alien to some people to have a button that just turns the volume down relative to a set max amount ?
Where does the definition of the max amount come from? The only way the VST would know what the max volume would be is by self analysis and running through all permutations of playable notes, max polyphony, controllers like modwheel, aftertouch, etc. It would also have to account for slowly evolving envelopes as one of the parameters.

There would be nothing simple about that gain staging button.

And if you decided to play that preset differently than its guess for max volume, then you would have to manually adjust gain anyway.
It's all maths & ratios though isn't it ?

the volume of 5 chords is a ratio relative to 3 chords to a single note

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 :?:

User avatar
KVRAF
18453 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:39 pm

Digivolt wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:37 pm
I don't understand why you're appearing averse to a time saving solution :?:
I'm not. I don't think it will solve anything cause I don't think it will work.

But hey, of course you are free to advocate for it! :tu:

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

Post Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:58 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:39 pm
I don't think it will work.
hehe
It's a button that changes the volume, I think it's possible
--so it changes it to what u ask--
weeell
the simple answer is another volume

just messing sorry
I think it could be done, the button push reads current rms, then adjusts a certain amount away(down) from the master gain, then reads that, now we can adjust master gain to an rms value which user/dev has input with these 3 figures

KVRist
201 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post 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...

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