I’m done with hardware multi effects. (Mostly)

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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KVRAF
12653 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:23 am

Sorry, Roland SDE-3000. I had a Korg SDD-2000 before, it was just ok.

KVRian
843 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:37 am

I think hardware is just it's own thing. It's not to be fetishized. It's got a lot of cons in a mostly ITB world, but there's a few pros (tracking live instruments with compression and EQ). It's very seldom magic fairy dust for audio like some make it out to be. I think most of that comes from people who don't use any hardware and think that doing so would magically give their mixes a 20% boost in quality over plugins. It won't.
This!
But i think it also comes from hardware guys who simply dislike software or haven't tried the good ones.
And it often seems to come from people who love 60's flavored music (no offense or anything, just an observation) who want 100% authenticity, including noise, the workflow / tangibility / the whole experience, which might be good advice for people who want to sound like The Beatles or Black Sabbath and can't accept that something else could sound great aswell in it's own right, even if it happens to slightly differ in sound here and there.
Just because something has been there first, it's not automatically THE BEST (on everything, unless you only accept 100% accurate sound of a certain era as the only adequate solution)
And for people who aim for a “modern“ sound, it might even be not the best advice and even your DAW bundled digital plugins might actually better suite “modern“
There's no Logic to Windows

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KVRAF

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11290 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:39 am

Uncle E wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:33 am
There's no equal to fuzz pedals in software. Also, the only way to get the uni-vibe into fuzz effect is with analog pedals because digital effects screw up the impedance for the fuzz. Then there's the interaction with the amp (also goes for boosts/overdrives/Tube Screamers).

Roland SDD-2000 sounds amazing. I don't know why. Plugins just don't do the same thing.

I got a couple of expensive Stam compressors recently. Overrated. The Drawmer 1973 and 1978, OTOH, are underrated and quite a bit better than the plugin.

My Roomer plugin uses impulses to emulate the Kurzweil KSP8 laserverb effect. I don't think any plugin emulates it algorithmically. You have a lot more control with the hardware.
I hear what you’re saying, but I’m not sure whether the effect you’re describing is emulated in my AxeFX 3, or I don’t care. I moved away from a pedal based guitar rig to rack multi-effects sometime in the 90s due to the demand of my music in a live performance setting. No easy way to instantly go from a dry crunchy sound to a wet modulated delay with reverb in a moment, while singing.

It’s not that I didn’t notice my sound had changed. It’s more like I don’t feel it was some perfect, precious gem that needed to be perfectly preserved. I did what I always do. I find the tool that suits my vision and exploit it for what it is, ignoring what it isn’t. My only criteria is “do I like this?”
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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KVRAF
12653 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:31 am

Sure, for practicality, digital wins almost every time. The Drawmer 1973 is one of the few where that's not the case, since the tactile control trumps the minor inconvenience of patching it in. Knobby synths, too, although instant recall makes a bigger difference there.

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KVRAF
9152 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:12 pm

Uncle E has some great points that are in my opinion worth discussing. Especially when it comes to stacking several quite heavily distorted things in series.. like stomp boxes for a guitar based rig.

This is something that digital still struggles with due to aliasing noise. You will need to _extremely_ heavily oversample things to get into the same tonality of a quite simple fuzz + booster + additional distortion pedal combo in the analogue domain.

Ever wondered why digital heavily distorted tones seem to be a bit shrill in way that is not really possible to correct easily? That is aliasing at work. Why is it so problematic especially with guitar pedals in series? Due to the way each component heavily boosts the incoming signal and sends it forward. Aliasing down into -100dB, which normally wouldn't be a problem at all, suddenly gets brought up into the problematic range.. and then on top of that, the aliasing from the first plugin gets aliased again in the next step, in addition to the "new" aliasing happening as well. Then rinse and repeat with each step.

This is where analogue distortion, of all kinds no matter how many stages, still remains supreme and is extremely hard to do in digital.

The brute force method is of course oversampling but doing enough oversampling (+ proper filtering) in a serialized system means that even the strongest CPU's of today will most likely fail to run it in real time, especially when stuff is component modeled and complex to begin with.

As I already mentioned earlier, that aliasing is extremely difficult to mask or "get rid of". No matter how much you try to notch out annoying ringing frequencies with an EQ, it just doesn't end up sounding right. It'll still be shrill but now with a hole in it. Whereas in the analogue domain, a shrill tone simply gets tuned down with a simple EQ move and the shrillness is gone.
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

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KVRAF
12446 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:30 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:24 am
but when I hear Arturia’s Bi-Phase, I honestly don’t think “the pants are beaten off this.” It just sounds great to me.
I agree, the difference isn't in the sound or function directly. Given enough effort and CPU power almost anything can be mimicked closely enough that we'd never be able to A/B... but to be honest it isn't like we're really ever focused that much on a simple phaser or other effect either.

I just find the fun of simple filthy pedals and such is much more than software. If you just want to do rhodes -> pedal -> amp cabinet. When it comes to actually recording something though the amount of trouble is definitely not worth the as far as I can tell generally imperceptible difference in timbre.

When focused on fun though software has the opposite effect, fun is replaced by mucking around in all sorts of GUIs and I generally lose my inspiration or totally lose interest before I get far enough to play anything.

So I think there is a balance to be found there. I've never thought the trendy pedals were worth it, but neither is a vintage wine. The inflated prices don't come from a proportionate increase in quality, it's just what someone is willing to pay. If I really had a thing for a specific sort of pedal, or instrument, or a dish of food or anything else I'd probably be willing to pay around 10x the going rate. That all just depends upon how much I enjoy that particular thing. (Often I'd be willing to pay about 1/2 or 1/4, since I suppose I enjoy things proportionately so.)
Free plug-ins for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Xhip Synthesizer v8.0 and Xhip Effects Bundle v6.7.
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KVRAF

Topic Starter

11290 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:35 pm

Uncle E wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:31 am
Sure, for practicality, digital wins almost every time. The Drawmer 1973 is one of the few where that's not the case, since the tactile control trumps the minor inconvenience of patching it in. Knobby synths, too, although instant recall makes a bigger difference there.
I make music in a specific and sort of unusual way. All my instruments are always hooked up to my Apollo and I use an audio looper like MSuperlooper or Enso to make live improvised tracks on the fly. Having to repatch and adjust a 1973 every time I want it on a new instrument would not work. Also, it’s just for me and my cat at this point. If I were interested in releasing music for commercial consumption, it would be a different story.

So for that type of thing, I find the UAD plugins to suit my needs really well. I’ll use TrackComp sometimes too, as it has a really nice and transparent sound. Good for the 2 bus.

For this thread, I should have been more clear in the title that I’m specifically talking about multi effects processors. I guess the Apollo is that.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRAF
8877 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:42 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:35 pm
For this thread, I should have been more clear in the title that I’m specifically talking about multi effects processors. I guess the Apollo is that.
Yeah, I mean, it's totally a hardware multi-effects unit!

KVRian
843 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:07 pm

btw @zerocrossing as you mentioned you're still keeping some HW FX:
how do you rate your Analog Heat against software?
There's no Logic to Windows

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

11290 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:54 pm

aciddose wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:30 pm
zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:24 am
but when I hear Arturia’s Bi-Phase, I honestly don’t think “the pants are beaten off this.” It just sounds great to me.
I agree, the difference isn't in the sound or function directly. Given enough effort and CPU power almost anything can be mimicked closely enough that we'd never be able to A/B... but to be honest it isn't like we're really ever focused that much on a simple phaser or other effect either.

I just find the fun of simple filthy pedals and such is much more than software. If you just want to do rhodes -> pedal -> amp cabinet. When it comes to actually recording something though the amount of trouble is definitely not worth the as far as I can tell generally imperceptible difference in timbre.

When focused on fun though software has the opposite effect, fun is replaced by mucking around in all sorts of GUIs and I generally lose my inspiration or totally lose interest before I get far enough to play anything.

So I think there is a balance to be found there. I've never thought the trendy pedals were worth it, but neither is a vintage wine. The inflated prices don't come from a proportionate increase in quality, it's just what someone is willing to pay. If I really had a thing for a specific sort of pedal, or instrument, or a dish of food or anything else I'd probably be willing to pay around 10x the going rate. That all just depends upon how much I enjoy that particular thing. (Often I'd be willing to pay about 1/2 or 1/4, since I suppose I enjoy things proportionately so.)
I hear you and agree on all of that. If someone asked me to come into a studio and play a guitar solo in the style of Hendrix, if I thought the track was going to reach a big audience, I’d go and rent or borrow a Small Stone, Big Muff and a Marshall. If it was for a video game… or small thing, I’m just bringing my AxeFX, which I’ve done before. I can’t let perfection be the enemy of good.

I’m more talking about the types of things that can be done with a Poly Digit or MXXX. Not really focused on analog emulation, but more like what a starving musician’s Eventide H3000 is.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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KVRAF
7273 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:12 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:35 pm
Uncle E wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:31 am
Sure, for practicality, digital wins almost every time. The Drawmer 1973 is one of the few where that's not the case, since the tactile control trumps the minor inconvenience of patching it in. Knobby synths, too, although instant recall makes a bigger difference there.
I make music in a specific and sort of unusual way. All my instruments are always hooked up to my Apollo and I use an audio looper like MSuperlooper or Enso to make live improvised tracks on the fly. Having to repatch and adjust a 1973 every time I want it on a new instrument would not work. Also, it’s just for me and my cat at this point. If I were interested in releasing music for commercial consumption, it would be a different story.

So for that type of thing, I find the UAD plugins to suit my needs really well. I’ll use TrackComp sometimes too, as it has a really nice and transparent sound. Good for the 2 bus.

For this thread, I should have been more clear in the title that I’m specifically talking about multi effects processors. I guess the Apollo is that.
I was going to respond but seeing this now, I get it.

Much of the devices you were talking about have their purpose (IMO) as something to get away from a computer, or as a way to minimize the number of pedals needed in a given setting.
I’m primarily using my poly effects Beebo as a practice all-in-one. I’m running Polytune into Beebo, then into a Mooer headphone amp. It’s quick and easy but it doesn’t replace my dedicated effects pedals.

I actually just cancelled my order for a Positive Grid Spark because I’ve got what I want from just Beebo.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

11290 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:53 pm

FapFilter wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:07 pm
btw @zerocrossing as you mentioned you're still keeping some HW FX:
how do you rate your Analog Heat against software?
It is really good, and definitely falls into the category of “analog does distortion best.” The filter is really the star of the show as well. I’ve never really done an a/b with software, but it’s pretty unique sounding, so I doubt it would really make a difference.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRian
962 posts since 12 Jan, 2013 from Foolish Shepherd

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:16 pm

I am for the pure Nord lead 4 .
Anything like the pure lead?
I am really looking for a pure multi effect HW.

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KVRAF
12446 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:14 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:54 pm
I’m more talking about the types of things that can be done with a Poly Digit or MXXX. Not really focused on analog emulation, but more like what a starving musician’s Eventide H3000 is.
For sure. I've always sort of disliked the workstations or multi-effects because while they do allow you to avoid a lot of frustration associated with using a PC and plug-ins they have their own set of quirks.

From the point of view of giving advice to someone on "where to start with music and effects?"; I'd immediately ask if they'd ever patched a bunch of pedals together with a multi-bus mixer. From that point though it gets really difficult not to jump directly into the DAW with something like reaper, as it's free to try without limitations and can immediately do almost anything right out of the box. (Reaper, or any other host's pros/cons aside. Reaper seems a little like a bad example given it doesn't have a massive set of effects... but it does have the Rea- set and the JSFX plug-ins model the "choose 1/1000000 of these plug-ins to use" feeling immediately out of the box, in the box really.)

I can't see myself ever recommending the more complex hardware multi-effects having any huge benefit over software. Sure, mouse, keyboard and touchscreen vs. knobs, blinking LEDs, buttons and faders... but the lines are super blurred at this point.

I'd have to own one and really love it to feel confident enough to recommend it. Not sure if that would ever be possible. I still want to at some point do my modular multi-effects version of the xhip stuff which I'm sure biases and would further bias my opinions. That and the drum sequencer, and the other dozen or more projects I'd set my clones to work on.
Free plug-ins for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Xhip Synthesizer v8.0 and Xhip Effects Bundle v6.7.
The coder's credo: We believe our work is neither clever nor difficult; it is done because we thought it would be easy.
Work less; get more done.

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KVRAF
3256 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Post Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:34 pm

I have tried incorporating HW effects to my workflow and it was always a big inconvenience even if I liked to tweak sounds on the HW

But after trying eventide units I will for sure at sme point get the H9 bundle for the reverbs and delays.
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