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-   -   THIS is why plugins are the way forward. (http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/618967-why-plugins-way-forward.html)

therealbigd 6th June 2011 08:44 PM

THIS is why plugins are the way forward.
 
Sorry to go back to an old done and done again argument, but I saw this today, and it just screamed out loud to me, "THIS is why plugins are the way forward!"

So, you get a good Helios EQ Emulation (v. rare, and v. expensive), and a good Pye compressor emulation (also v. vare and v. expensive), for $149.



1) Number of units you get:
So, you get:

100+x Pretty-much-as-good-as Helios EQ
100+x Pretty-much-as-good-as Pye Compressor

So you can have one on EVERY CHANNEL of your mix.

2) Increased functionality of units, and reduced liabilities:
Unlike their originals, they all have automation and total recall, fitted free of charge. They can be plugged in, in any country, and used immediately. They need never be serviced. In a fire, they can be recovered and used again within a number of hours. They occupy no space in real estate. All of them can be locked in a safe overnight, and plugged back in in less than 10 seconds. All of them can be taken to another studio in a backpack.

3) Sound, compared to their similarly priced units:
So, how many other combinations of compressor and EQ can you get for $150? I'm not sure there are any. Behringer / Alesis etc, at best. Is analogue really so much better than digital, that a bottom-end Analogue device sounds better than a top-end digital device.... JUST because it's analogue? There's probably some people who convince themselves so, but I highly doubt it.

4) Sound, compared to their true analogue devices:
There is little doubt on the forum that they do not sound as good as their real life counterparts. But, it is generally agreed that they do sound close, and their sound, particularly amongst the more mashed up rock / pop recordings of today, is far less noticeable than in more delicate recordings.

So, if somebody would like to tell me where I can get 80 Helios EQs, 80 Pye compressors (one for each channel of my console), all retro-fitted with automation and total recall, with automatic variable-voltage power supplies, will be serviced free-of-charge for life, and upgraded to future requirements for only a small charge, are fire proof, which occupy no space in my room - and do not produce heat, or consume electricity, come with some kind of fitting where I can put them in my laptop safe over night and just plug them back in in the morning, and will be transported to any studio, of my choice, in the world, in the time it takes me to get there...

PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN BUY SOME!

Until then, I think that there are some vital flaws in the 'plugins / digital etc are sh!t' argument that is presented on this forum, on a regular basis.

Because, I would certainly suggest the above is not sh!t, even if it's sound does not quite match that of it's hardware counterpart.

narcoman 6th June 2011 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)

1) Number of units you get:
So, you get:

100+x Pretty-much-as-good-as Helios EQ
100+x Pretty-much-as-good-as Pye Compressor

So you can have one on EVERY CHANNEL of your mix.

true. But it comes at a slight compromise - just the usual truth of "you need money to do it properly"....
Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)

2) Increased functionality of units, and reduced liabilities:
Unlike their originals, they all have automation and total recall, fitted free of charge. They can be plugged in, in any country, and used immediately. They need never be serviced. In a fire, they can be recovered and used again within a number of hours. They occupy no space in real estate. All of them can be locked in a safe overnight, and plugged back in in less than 10 seconds. All of them can be taken to another studio in a backpack.

yup
Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)

3) Sound, compared to their similarly priced units:
So, how many other combinations of compressor and EQ can you get for $150? I'm not sure there are any. Behringer / Alesis etc, at best. Is analogue really so much better than digital, that a bottom-end Analogue device sounds better than a top-end digital device.... JUST because it's analogue? There's probably some people who convince themselves so, but I highly doubt it.

Well no - of course. A budget analogue box sounds, generally, like ass pipe. Most modern plugins are at least useable.
Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)

4) Sound, compared to their true analogue devices:
There is little doubt on the forum that they do not sound as good as their real life counterparts. But, it is generally agreed that they do sound close, and their sound, particularly amongst the more mashed up rock / pop recordings of today, is far less noticeable than in more delicate recordings.

This is were we deviate.
Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)

So, if somebody would like to tell me where I can get 80 Helios EQs, 80 Pye compressors (one for each channel of my console), all retro-fitted with automation and total recall, with automatic variable-voltage power supplies, will be serviced free-of-charge for life, and upgraded to future requirements for only a small charge, are fire proof, which occupy no space in my room - and do not produce heat, or consume electricity, come with some kind of fitting where I can put them in my laptop safe over night and just plug them back in in the morning, and will be transported to any studio, of my choice, in the world, in the time it takes me to get there...

PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN BUY SOME!

Until then, I think that there are some vital flaws in the 'plugins / digital etc are sh!t' argument that is presented on this forum, on a regular basis.

Because, I would certainly suggest the above is not sh!t, even if it's sound does not quite match that of it's hardware counterpart.

You can also feed yourself on KFC every night and not experience some of the fine foods out there!!heh

badmark 6th June 2011 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)
even if its sound does not quite match that of its hardware counterpart.

So plug-ins are the way forward ... if you want stuff that doesn't sound as good as hardware.

Mmmkay.

joeq 6th June 2011 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721551)
even if it's sound does not quite match that of it's hardware counterpart.


There are always going to be people who are unwilling to settle for second best.

robotpriest 6th June 2011 09:00 PM

You know, they said the same thing about samples a couple decades ago. Today we happily use both samples and live recordings together heh

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by badmark (Post 6721580)
So plug-ins are the way forward ... if you want stuff that doesn't sound as good as hardware.

Mmmkay.

See that's where we disagree. I think that a Software Helios EQ sounds better than a Hardware Behringer EQ.

I feel that in a blind test, most would agree.

Just because it's hardware, it doesn't mean it sounds like expensive hardware.

The point of this post is... if sound were ALL it was, then yes, plugins would lose every time. But, just how much hardware, with the features that I listed, can you get, to the standard of their sound for $150?

The answer, is none.

If I wanted another 'hardware sounds better than software' thing I'd have hit the search button. But when I saw an emulated Helios EQ and emulated Pye compressor, done to high standards (A/B'd by my OWN ears, not by any magazine hype) for $150, with all the benefits I listed of Software over Hardware, I had to wonder, just how big a difference is there in sound?

Particularly with Helios / Pye, where the hardware is simply NO LONGER AVAILABLE, it is easy to see why plugins remain successful and popular, even if there sound is arguably not quite as good as that of their hardware equivalents. Either way, I strongly repute that, as the previous poster suggested, all hardware is better than any software. That is not true in the slightest and they know it.

Flying_Dutchman 6th June 2011 09:09 PM

haha, the real helios vs the UAD hahahahahahaha
better get one helios and start reamping eqs
all this BS is so funny
cheers

rcb4t2 6th June 2011 09:11 PM

This is hilarious..... the hardware-only crowd will hang on to this for as long as they can, but you can't seriously believe that digital will *never* be able to accomplish the analog sound... it's not like you're talking about a vibraphone with real tone-producing parts that move air vs. a soft-synth. The hardware in question is just electrical circuits..... to believe that another electrical system can't eventually reproduce the same effect is ludicrous. The sonic differences are shrinking with each new release, how long do you really think it'll take before they're equal? "Never!" shouts the old school, but that's seeing things on a short timeline, imho. Video has gleefully hopped over the digital fence years ago, it's only a matter of time before we do the same. The upsides of recall, zero maintenance, vastly reduced costs, etc etc should not be shrugged off so lightly.

I'd rather spend my money on quality sources to record than stress the thousands-of-dollars difference for some perceived small benefit in processing, while at the same time crippling my workflow.

narcoman 6th June 2011 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721642)
See that's where we disagree. I think that a Software Helios EQ sounds better than a Hardware Behringer EQ.

That has NEVER been the argument by anyone! IT's always the like for like comparison. I've also always hugely disagreed with anyone who claims that using a Mackie etc is better than ITB.... it just isn't..... the problems and quality issues destroy the potential advantages.


Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721642)
I feel that in a blind test, most would agree.

Just because it's hardware, it doesn't mean it sounds like expensive hardware.

Again - that's never the point. The point is "is the Helios plugin better or equal to the hardware?".

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by narcoman (Post 6721669)
That has NEVER been the argument by anyone! IT's always the like for like comparison. I've also always hugely disagreed with anyone who claims that using a Mackie etc is better than ITB.... it just isn't..... the problems and quality issues destroy the potential advantages.

Again - that's never the point. The point is "is the Helios plugin better or equal to the hardware?".

That was my point in the first one.

Then I replied to somebody's post, who said:

"if you want stuff that doesn't sound as good as hardware."

That to me, reads as all hardware sounds better.

I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS said, Hardware Helios sounds better than Waves Helios. However, I also said:

Quote:

Originally Posted by me
"So, if somebody would like to tell me where I can get 80 Helios EQs, 80 Pye compressors (one for each channel of my console), all retro-fitted with automation and total recall, with automatic variable-voltage power supplies, will be serviced free-of-charge for life, and upgraded to future requirements for only a small charge, are fire proof, which occupy no space in my room - and do not produce heat, or consume electricity, come with some kind of fitting where I can put them in my laptop safe over night and just plug them back in in the morning, and will be transported to any studio, of my choice, in the world, in the time it takes me to get there...

PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN BUY SOME!

Until then, I think that there are some vital flaws in the 'plugins / digital etc are sh!t' argument that is presented on this forum, on a regular basis.

Because, I would certainly suggest the above is not sh!t, even if it's sound does not quite match that of it's hardware counterpart."


Enlightened Hand 6th June 2011 09:18 PM

In a well done mix nobody knows the difference between hardware and plug-ins. That's really all that matters.

I like hardware, but I don't like the cost, the size, the heat, the maintenance, the limited amount of instances of use, the lack of portability and the lack of instantly recalled settings.

Since I can get a killer mix with plug-ins I don't see a need for hardware if any of those gripes I listed is ever an issue.

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand (Post 6721680)
In a well done mix nobody knows the difference between hardware and plug-ins. That's really all that matters.

I like hardware, but I don't like the cost, the size, the heat, the maintenance, the limited amount of instances of use, the lack of portability and the lack of instantly recalled settings.

Since I can get a killer mix with plug-ins I don't see a need for hardware if any of those gripes I listed is ever an issue.

I agree with the bold, but decided to keep that debate out of it, as it always goes on, and on, and on.

But you've summarised the rest of my point. Can the slight better sound - if at all - really make up for the monumental savings offered by plugs?

If so, I will happily buy 48 helios's and 48 pye's off any member of this forum for $149.

AlexDaCat 6th June 2011 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by narcoman (Post 6721564)
true. But it comes at a slight compromise - just the usual truth of "you need money to do it properly"....

yup

Well no - of course. A budget analogue box sounds, generally, like ass pipe. Most modern plugins are at least useable.

This is were we deviate.


You can also feed yourself on KFC every night and not experience some of the fine foods out there!!heh

Subjective!!!!!!.....heh boing

narcoman 6th June 2011 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcb4t2 (Post 6721655)
This is hilarious..... the hardware-only crowd will hang on to this for as long as they can, but you can't seriously believe that digital will *never* be able to accomplish the analog sound... it's not like you're talking about a vibraphone with real tone-producing parts that move air vs. a soft-synth.

Actually it is EXACTLY like that. The reason no-one has successfully modelled instruments with anything more complex that the harmonic theory of strings is precisely why correct circuit modelling wont happen. It's a question of insufficient mathematics. Now - whether you or I can tell the difference by a sufficient, if not accurate, model is the real question.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcb4t2 (Post 6721655)
The hardware in question is just electrical circuits..... to believe that another electrical system can't eventually reproduce the same effect is ludicrous. The sonic differences are shrinking with each new release, how long do you really think it'll take before they're equal? "Never!" shouts the old school, but that's seeing things on a short timeline, imho. Video has gleefully hopped over the digital fence years ago, it's only a matter of time before we do the same. The upsides of recall, zero maintenance, vastly reduced costs, etc etc should not be shrugged off so lightly.

On a technicality.....

A digital system is not an electrical system. Sure - a digital system is implemented via electronics but it is a descriptor and not a direct set of states. Again - whether we can tell the difference is the main thing - but on a technicality - no.... We are no where near accurately modelling electrical circuits as the none linearities cannot be modelled. At some stage you always have to jump off and say "ah well, for these purposes that doesn't matter.... even in designing electrical systems. You account for cross talk , for example, but you cannot say what that cross talk will behave like. In a digital system you either eliminate it or model it - neither are the same.

An electrical circuit is, to all intents and purposes detail, an infinitely parallel set of analogue equations which NO time variant digital system will be able to model..... Turing and Church's thesis confirms this... you cannot compute an infinite series to completion nor can you compute an infinite array of a single step. BUT - I repeat - whether one can observe a difference is something else. The main draw back in a computability problem is exactly that - it has to be computable.... in otherwords representable in a linear or low parallel system. The real world doesn't obey those limiting rules.

Oh - and film looks MUCH better than digital video.... as a subjective aesthetic! :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcb4t2 (Post 6721655)

I'd rather spend my money on quality sources to record than stress the thousands-of-dollars difference for some perceived small benefit in processing, while at the same time crippling my workflow.

Totally.

dabigfrog 6th June 2011 09:26 PM

ya'll are funny..... any one who says "this is the best way" ....just don't know.....everyone here is delusional.

i would take a hardware pair of helios pre/eq (yes they still make them) becaUSE NOTHING digital will come close.....I would aLSO buy the helios/pye bundle because, for a buck fifty, it's nice to have options for the other 30-40 channels.... so BOTH is the only right gearslutz answer!kfhkh

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by narcoman (Post 6721564)
You can also feed yourself on KFC every night and not experience some of the fine foods out there!!heh

But in this argument, the other foods are nigh on impossible to even find, and if you do find them, 1 meal will cost you 100x as much as eating KFC for life.

sailor 6th June 2011 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721642)
I think that a Software Helios EQ sounds better than a Hardware Behringer EQ.

I don't see many people arguing otherwise with respect to those two products.

Quote:

Just because it's hardware, it doesn't mean it sounds like expensive hardware.
I don't see anyone asserting that cheap gear does sound as good as high quality stuff.

Quote:

The point of this post is... if sound were ALL it was, then yes, plugins would lose every time.... ....But when I saw an emulated Helios EQ and emulated Pye compressor, done to high standards (A/B'd by my OWN ears, not by any magazine hype) for $150, with all the benefits I listed of Software over Hardware, I had to wonder, just how big a difference is there in sound?
So your argument is that if sound is the over-riding factor, then plug ins would be seen as inferior to high quality hardware; but once you see how relatively inexpensive plug ins are, you question the difference in the sound quality between the two categories?


Don't get me wrong....I'm all ITB. For practical reasons if not totally by desire. And the work gets done just fine. Indeed there are things my plug ins do that I simply can't accomplish with hardware. But I have to say, the gratifying experience of working high quality hardware processing is not easily replaced by software. And getting pleasing results with good hardware seems to happen much more quickly than with comparable software.

Plugs and hardware will coexist for years to come. Along the way, there will always be people who insist that the latter will never be equaled, and others who insist that the supremacy of the former is inevitable, if not already at hand.

narcoman 6th June 2011 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand (Post 6721680)
In a well done mix nobody knows the difference between hardware and plug-ins. That's really all that matters.
.

Yes and no.

I have the luxury of having high end in both - my best work has always come from the console - in less time as well..... BUT the recalls, man, the damn recalls!!


And if "that's all that matters" was ever a completely valid response we'd all be chasing Katy Perry as some kind of musical ideal..... I mean - who can tell the difference right?heh

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailor (Post 6721715)
So your argument is that if sound is the over-riding factor, then plug ins would be seen as inferior to high quality hardware; but once you see how relatively inexpensive plug ins are, you question the difference in the sound quality between the two categories?

The cost, and the convenience. That is all. You are correct in that.

I am not trying to defend the sound of plugins against their hardware equivalents. Just defending why they absolutely have a place in every studio.

biggator6 6th June 2011 09:29 PM

So.. at the MOMENT - plug-ins are the way forward, compared to low-end hardware... this is the comparison made.

Yes - for $150, the plug in route will be far superior to $150 worth of hardware.

narcoman 6th June 2011 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealbigd (Post 6721712)
But in this argument, the other foods are nigh on impossible to even find, and if you do find them, 1 meal will cost you 100x as much as eating KFC for life.

...avoid the bean sprouts though......

Enlightened Hand 6th June 2011 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biggator6 (Post 6721727)
So.. at the MOMENT - plug-ins are the way forward, compared to low-end hardware... this is the comparison made.

Yes - for $150, the plug in route will be far superior to $150 worth of hardware.

Not necessarily. It doesn't correlate that way.

All else being equal; Invest a few grand in plug-ins and you can mix and signal process anything as well as any recording studio anywhere, so long as you know what you're doing.

Invest a few grand in hardware and you don't even have a studio.

And in any case you can't hear the difference in a well mixed track between hardware and plug-ins, so the notion of hardware being superior is kind of silly in practical terms.

therealbigd 6th June 2011 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biggator6 (Post 6721727)
So.. at the MOMENT - plug-ins are the way forward, compared to low-end hardware... this is the comparison made.

Yes - for $150, the plug in route will be far superior to $150 worth of hardware.

No, that is one of four comparisons made.

The other comparisons are that plugins are often, functionally, more capable; that plugins are cheaper to buy a lot of - and more readily available in the case of rare equipment.

joeq 6th June 2011 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand (Post 6721680)
In a well done mix nobody knows the difference between hardware and plug-ins. That's really all that matters.
.

I disagree!

this is a tired old chestnut in these discussions, but we are talking about tools here.

you may feel that you, the motorist, 'can not tell', as you drive away from the auto repair place, what wrenches your mechanic used. That does not mean your mechanic thinks that some cheap Wal-Mart socket wrenches are "just as good" as a set of Snap-Ons!

How hard or easy was his day? How satisfying? For that matter, how will your car hold up over the next 6 months?

as long as the engineer USING the gear can hear, (or feel) the difference, the resulting mix is going to come out different. And if the engineer prefers the hardware for any reason, 'different' = 'better'

it will not be the SAME MIX as the one he got ITB, whether some kid listening can "detect" plug-ins or not!

if you really want to TEST whether the plug-in is the "equal" of the hardware, the Test Methodology has already been proposed a number of times: matching faceplates - one connected to hardware, the other to the plug, let the engineer who is USING the gear DO A MIX with them and say if he can "tell" the difference!

I personally think it would be very obvious to most of us taking such a test, but it certainly would be interesting to see.

biggator6 6th June 2011 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand (Post 6721747)
Not necessarily. It doesn't correlate that way.

All else being equal; Invest a few grand in plug-ins and you can mix and signal process anything as well as any recording studio anywhere, so long as you know what you're doing.

Invest a few grand in hardware and you don't even have a studio.

..but all else isn't equal.

joeq 6th June 2011 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robotpriest (Post 6721620)
You know, they said the same thing about samples a couple decades ago. Today we happily use both samples and live recordings together heh

speak for yourself

PRobb 6th June 2011 10:00 PM

I think it's a bit apples and oranges.
In a mix context, it's really hard to compare one real hardware item for a grand+ with nearly unlimited instances of the plug for a tenth the price. Throw in automation and reset, and it's even harder to compare.

The hardware is irreplaceable as an analogue front end for recording.

For mixing it's just not that simple. I'm not arguing better or worse, I'm arguing apples and oranges.

narcoman 6th June 2011 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand (Post 6721747)
And in any case you can't hear the difference in a well mixed track between hardware and plug-ins, so the notion of hardware being superior is kind of silly in practical terms.

Ummmm apart from it IS superior in terms of sonics! Well - the good stuff is. And as for "invest a few grand" - do you think there is some conspiracy as to why the top gigs go to the chaps and chapesses who are rather more experienced in studios containing more than a few plugins?

But - you have made a good point. In terms of practicality, then yes, doing the job whatever the tools is the way to go. However there are several things that just don't change in mixing audio...

1. The biggest records in the world are still mixed in big studios
2. the biggest soundtracks are mixed in big high end studios
3. the top mixers in the world are all over 40 (it tales 20 years to get to that level)...

So... whilst I agree one can do a stirling job with plugins and on budget monitors in an Auralex style room - none of it compares to the much more expensive solutions presented by those at the top of the business in ALL areas. I also agree that it's a game of inches and that the more you spend , the smaller increments in improvements you gain. That's a maxim for just about everything in life... but it is still better,provided the pilot is capable of flying the eurofighter....

Gax 6th June 2011 10:10 PM

Im very open minded person, i use plugins (waves cla, uad, nebula, console and tape emulations) but it just doesn't sound right, its kinda lifeless and flat, less wide and less separation between channels compared to a mix thats done with outboard and large format console. and i just prefer workflow otb, its faster, i dont have to chaise my tail trying to emulate analog tone and characteristics.

still, using plugins is better then having nothing.

so use what you got and get the job done but i will never sell my hardware, no matter how close plugin emulation sounds compared to hardware, it can never replicate the WORKFLOW !


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