Just want to add some things that alone would not justify a separate review.
At first VCC was so subtle that i could not understand all the hype about it. It takes some time to appreciate the models.
E.g. Trident rounds of the transients a bit. The documentation really could be more verbose on this.
Many people still hit their tracks at 0 dbfs in their DAWs despite running at 24-bit resolution, so VCC gives them different clipping sound.
Then there is an advantage of VCC that i don't read too often about: The Volume resolution goes from -6db to +6db in steps of 0.1 over a midisignal that has 128 steps. This means you can fine tune the volume automation in which each midistep corresponds to 0.1db. Not many DAWs allow to automate the trackvolume in that fine resolution. So all in all VCC is a nice mixing tool that i'd give 9 out of 10 because of the lack of a verbose documentation of the models.
No I've never done that. I just did another trial today however with the SSL console on huge mix, 50 instances of Reaktor + Drums and so on.
Could I hear a difference after mixdown? With casual listening between with and without, Nope. More than likely I would notice with other consoles, but then its the EQ curve I think that would make the difference.
I use a SSL aws 900 every day and a neve 75 almost every day i noticed two things NEVE is low end heavy its hard to get things to sound thin with a neve. a ssl is clean but when you hit it hard i notice this slight coloration that seems to sound like its hitting harder more in your face when you hit the ssl emulation at +3VU on its meeter is when you can really hear its tone. I agree with you about how its a subtle sound that is not "NEEDED" but when you need to help something gel together easy i love it. all in all I agree with most of your review great job. also i would like to add sometimes for fun when im on the SSL i put VCC on neve mode for bass its fun.
with all that said try calibrating your groups to be hit in a certain way I like to make my drums one group and calibrate the group when you do this you notice a change in the sound of the VCC it helps add to the emulation of a console. I also do with on my subgroups with VTM and it works wonders less compression and eq but it sounds full and fat.
That's a really neat input. My contention is simply this, it's great n all that, but when it boils down to it most of what you can actually hear is simply the EQ adjustment it is making, which can be done with just a nice EQ.
Having said that, sometimes it feels like it's doing a tad bit of compression, probably it's saturation. That's cool too, but I mostly don't like to push it that far, if others do then they get more mileage.
VTM is definitely doing some compression. But you know sometimes I found I was tricked a little by seeing the meters move back and forth and I think that re-inforced the idea of it making it "lively" and adding movement. This is for VCC as well as VTM though VTM is much less subtle. Though more subtle if you just take out the noise.
Anyway, when it starts to get to that stage where I am not sure if I am hearing right or if my mind is playing tricks on me I start to wonder how much this processor is really doing if I have to squint and second guess myself like that!
It's nice that you have really done an in depth review rather than 2 lines.. but i got to disagree. they are a 9.5 for me.. they would be a 10 if the gain had more range.. that's it. I can't fault them in any other way.. GUI, usability, CPU usage, zero latency, sound quality.. just totally transformed my sound.. love it.
and the others don't really compare.. not satson.. not cs1v.. not waves.. but of course that's IMO.
It's in my standard template now in logic but what i am going to do in my next song is print it with all instances disabled then all enabled (i mix with it from the beginning and gain stage correctly, always). Then people can here the dramatic difference it makes to many aspects of the music. (for the better!).
I've had some more experience with it and added an edit note at the end. I was wrong about SSL not doing anything noticable, I was right about it being that way on one track I tested, but on something a bit heavier and sparser I'm working on right now there was a difference when adding the SSL.