Decapitator: Is it really the bees knees?

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_leras
KVRAF
1802 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:44 pm

sambaji wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 12:07 pm I just prefer not to take a chance when I can so clearly hear it with my tests, particularly when there are other options.
Have you tried this with any non sin wave type sources?

And... which other options would you recommend that you are referring to here?

I'm always happy to hear new distortions and saturations.

Junolab
KVRist
85 posts since 1 Jun, 2020

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 4:35 am

Just get Kelvin. It's amazing and work with many sources. But there's tons of very fine saturators out there so don't sweat it. All will do the job just fine.

Used to have all Soundtoys but sold it. It's still great but just a bit too many newer alternatives available.

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Burillo
KVRAF
4391 posts since 15 Nov, 2006 from Hell

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:27 am

why would anyone decapitate the bees?
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standalone
KVRAF
5783 posts since 8 May, 2008 from ssssskipping ......... I left you there

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:58 am

If you think about how many careers have been ruined by aliasing and how many hit records have been made with Plugin Doctor a shiver runs up your spine.
"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig."

Michey
KVRist
170 posts since 24 Sep, 2019

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:42 am

Burillo wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:27 am why would anyone decapitate the bees?
No no no... you're making a BIG mistake.

We deal here with bee's KNEES... therefore we AMPUTATE, not decapitate.
Unfortunately, the product "Amputator" (upward compression+ amp sim) has remained in beta state forever and never left SoundToys' office. it remained unrealized, unfulfilled (great) idea.

Shame :roll:

:P :clown:

sambaji
KVRist
132 posts since 31 Jan, 2021

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 11:47 am

standalone wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:58 am If you think about how many careers have been ruined by aliasing and how many hit records have been made with Plugin Doctor a shiver runs up your spine.
False equivalence. Plugin Doctor is an analysis plugin, not an effects plugin. The same could be said about using multi-thousand-dollar recording equipment, such as high-end microphones. Multi-thousand-dollar microphones don't create hits, artists do. Yet, recording engineers, audiophiles striving for the highest-fidelity audio capture, typically seek this more expensive equipment even though the average listener may not even notice the difference.

The bottom line is if you like the overall sound of Decapitator, then buy it, use it. It may just be the ticket for specific tracks. But if I were a first-time buyer, looking for a general-purpose saturator, I wouldn't buy it. As I mentioned before there are other great-sounding saturators that provide anti-aliasing: Tone Projects Kelvin, Kazrog True Iron, Fabfilter Saturn, etc.). In addition, there are several free saturators, worth checking out, with yes, oversampling--Gsatplus, Chowtape, Voxengo Tube Amp, Melda Msaturator.
Last edited by sambaji on Tue Sep 27, 2022 12:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Fendrix
KVRer
15 posts since 4 Apr, 2022

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 11:54 am

standalone wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:58 am If you think about how many careers have been ruined by aliasing and how many hit records have been made with Plugin Doctor a shiver runs up your spine.
LMAO

Fendrix
KVRer
15 posts since 4 Apr, 2022

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 11:56 am

Decapitator is great, even though I own many higher-end saturators. Sometimes decap is the best tool for the job.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
10228 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 12:23 pm

I think someone else in this thread already made this point too, but I don't think of Decapitator as a saturation effect. Saturation to me is the adding of harmonics for warmth. Tape saturators, preamp saturation, box tone, etc. Decapitator, in my mind, is a full-blown distortion effect. At least, that's how I use it. So comparisons to Kelvin seem inappropriate to me because I'd never drive Kelvin the same way I would Decapitator.

I dunno...maybe it's just my guitar player's mind where we differentiate between overdrive, crunch, distortion, and fuzz, but I think of Decapitator as a distortion box, not a saturator. Other similar plugins would be the Dist TUBE-CULTURE plugin from Arturia, dirt and Driver from NI, Kombinat from Audio Damage, SDRR2 at certain settings, etc.

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_leras
KVRAF
1802 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:10 pm

Junolab wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 4:35 am Just get Kelvin. It's amazing and work with many sources. But there's tons of very fine saturators out there so don't sweat it. All will do the job just fine.

Used to have all Soundtoys but sold it. It's still great but just a bit too many newer alternatives available.
Thanks, I have Kelvin - but I think that's a different thing.

I was looking more specifically for sambaji's list of 'saturators without aliasing' - as he seems to find Decapitar unusable.

sambaji
KVRist
132 posts since 31 Jan, 2021

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:47 pm

_leras wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 1:10 pm
Junolab wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 4:35 am Just get Kelvin. It's amazing and work with many sources. But there's tons of very fine saturators out there so don't sweat it. All will do the job just fine.

Used to have all Soundtoys but sold it. It's still great but just a bit too many newer alternatives available.
Thanks, I have Kelvin - but I think that's a different thing.

I was looking more specifically for sambaji's list of 'saturators without aliasing' - as he seems to find Decapitar unusable.
Hello,
Decapitator may well be very useful for specific cases--particularly, as a distortion effect, as someone else pointed out. However, it wouldn't be my first choice, particularly if I was looking for a general saturator to add subtle "analog" warmth and/or crisp to non-distorted signals (acoustic instruments). I've listed some alternatives in my previous post.

As I said, the bottom line is if it sounds good to your ears, use it. But if you already have Kelvin, do you need Decapitator? Have you demoed the Decapitator against Kelvin, matching loudness? For my uses, I would choose Kelvin over Decapitator.

Some on this thread have made fun of me using Plugin Doctor, spectrograms, and tone generators to analyze and compare the behavior of different "analog" emulating plugins (e.g., saturators). But for me, these types of tools are valuable for learning. Melda offers a great free tone generator, MOscillator, that allows the user to generate either a pure sine wave or a sine wave with harmonics, mimicking a real instrument. Span is a popular free spectrogram.

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
12524 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 2:03 pm

Leo1999 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:42 pm its aliasing is not an annoying side effect, but an integral part
of its character.
Uh... maybe to you. I've always EQ'd out the aliasing in Decapitator.

Frankly, Decapitator collects virtual dust in my world because of said aliasing. If I want digital artifacts, I'll add them using an appropriate plugin and control how much. There's a lot better stuff out there now and SoundToys should be embarrassed that they've left their plugins to rot for so long. Arturia's EX Collection blows away the Soundtoys bundle in pretty much every way.
Zerocrossing Media

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ToMegaTherion
KVRer
7 posts since 15 Oct, 2020

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 8:43 pm

Decapitator aliases heavily but it doesn't sound that bad if you use it as a bandpassed parallel send to stop the bass farting and treble issues. This makes it hard to be just be something to click through for distortion flavor though.

Winstontaneous
KVRAF
2254 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:57 pm

Decapitator shines for me as a 'character channel strip', especially on vocals.

Like @ToMegaTherion I often use it as a bandpass (dialing down both HP/LP filters with the bumps engaged) with just enough saturation parallel mixed, so I don't really encounter aliasing.

When good ITB saturation is needed I reach for Goodhertz Tupe, ToneProjects Kelvin, PSP Saturator and Voxengo plugins. I find Soundtoys plugins inspiring even now, but they haven't done meaningful development in maybe 5 years.

kev2525
KVRist
406 posts since 7 Apr, 2010

Post Tue Oct 04, 2022 2:35 am

briefcasemanx wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:44 pm Yeah, both Culture Vulture and ColdFire from Arturia are great. ColdFire is mostly known for insane distortion but can do very nice saturation with some of the subtler analog models.
Arturia seem to have nice saturation algorithms. I got the Arturia plate 140 as a freebie and recently realised that it has a drive knob. You and run audio through the plate with the reverb switched off and gently saturate. I haven't owned decapitater, so can't compare, but it sounds good to my ears...

https://www.arturia.com/products/softwa ... 0/overview
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