Slate VCC with sparse arrangements
Old 26th December 2012
  #1
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Slate VCC with sparse arrangements

Happy holidays folks.
I have a question about Slate VCC.
I'd like to buy it - from what I've heard and listened it seems to be a pretty good investment. However, I mostly record and mix acoustic, very sparse arrangements (by the way, I'm not a professional). My typical project would be something like: 1 or 2 acoustic guitars, sometimes 1 or 2 other acoustic instruments (mandolin, ukulele, banjo), sometimes bass, lead vocal and vocal harmonies, very little drumming and percussion (sometimes nothing at all, sometimes some very "soft" drums played with brushes or percussions).
So, while I can hear very clearly the advantage of VCC on complex projects, with many tracks and thick arrangements, I was wondering ... how about my sparse, acoustic projects? Would VCC provide a similar "amount" of benefit, or it would be minor, instead? What's your thoughts? (PS I know I could demo it but I dont have iLok yet, so it's quite frustrating to have to buy iLok just to demo a product ...).
Thanks a lot, and sorry for my not-so-good english.
J.
Old 26th December 2012
  #2
Gear maniac
 

Hi jomas
Happy Hollidays to you too.
Personally, I thinks it works well on that kind of project.
I often use the trident on acoustic guitars, it gives a very foward mid tone that I like. It gives an overall sense of space. I don' t think all console emu will fit your style but some will absolutely be beneficial.
Old 26th December 2012
  #3
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The iLok is a pain in the %$# indeed as my first reaction would be:
Try it!

But, to focus more on your question. For me VCC has worked equally well on bigger and smaller projects. It gives a nice coherence and sound, regardless of the number of tracks.

If you get the possibility to try it out before you buy I'd suggest you really give it a good testing.
Either use a new mix or remove all plugins from an existing mix and start over. Just slapping VCC on an existing mix will not show you the full extend of what it can do for your sound.
Make sure you adjust the gain going in to each instance (and calibrate the plugin) before you do anything else. Then start adding your EQs and Compressors and other stuff and start mixing.
Old 26th December 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLex View Post
The iLok is a pain in the %$# indeed as my first reaction would be:
Try it!

But, to focus more on your question. For me VCC has worked equally well on bigger and smaller projects. It gives a nice coherence and sound, regardless of the number of tracks.

If you get the possibility to try it out before you buy I'd suggest you really give it a good testing.
Either use a new mix or remove all plugins from an existing mix and start over. Just slapping VCC on an existing mix will not show you the full extend of what it can do for your sound.
Make sure you adjust the gain going in to each instance (and calibrate the plugin) before you do anything else. Then start adding your EQs and Compressors and other stuff and start mixing.
Thanks a lot guys. Yes, I should try it, but the iLok thing makes ma angry, my budget is very, very limited .. so I was hoping for some feedbacks from someone with mixes similar to mine.
It really seems that everbody likes VCC ...
Old 27th December 2012
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoMas View Post
Thanks a lot guys. Yes, I should try it, but the iLok thing makes ma angry, my budget is very, very limited .. so I was hoping for some feedbacks from someone with mixes similar to mine.
It really seems that everbody likes VCC ...
Most people indeed like VCC. However some don't. In some cases I am pretty sure it is because people don't know how to use it or are so used to 'in your face'-effects that they don't hear the subtleties and start fiddling with high drive settings, but in other cases I am convinced people really don't like the plugin. Chances that you belong to the group of people who don't like VCC are small (as it is a small group), yet there is a chance.
Sadly there is no other way to find out if this is for you then to test it (or buy it). Maybe you have a friend with an iLok you could borrow for a few days?

iLok makes many people angry
Old 27th December 2012
  #6
Gear maniac
 

I dont see why people dislike that Ilok so much? I have the version 2 and all works perfectly fine here...?

Considering VCC; I think it can definitely add something to your mixes. It helps giving the tracks a bit more character which make them sit a bit better in the mix. But on the other hand, this is like a small detail compared to how you place a mix/eq/compression etc. It is for you maybe more interesting to go for a good mic...
Old 27th December 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djpassout View Post
I dont see why people dislike that Ilok so much? I have the version 2 and all works perfectly fine here...?

Considering VCC; I think it can definitely add something to your mixes. It helps giving the tracks a bit more character which make them sit a bit better in the mix. But on the other hand, this is like a small detail compared to how you place a mix/eq/compression etc. It is for you maybe more interesting to go for a good mic...
Thank you for the reply. About the iLok .. I'm not against it per se, in fact I think it's a good thing in order to prevent piracy. The problem is with demoing ... having a small budget, I mostly mix with stock plugins (Studio One user), so I never felt the need to buy one. It just would be nice to demo iLok products without having to buy the iLok. But maybe that's impossible. It's unfortunate, because I'm not the only one in the same position.

About VCC ... I tried to listen to mp3 and videos that people posted everywhere. I am impressed with the outcomes, it is subtle but very, very relevant to me. Unfortunately the vast majority of such examples are about electronic music or rock, high count tracks mixes, which is exactly the opposite of what I do, hence my question. Right now, I'm pretty happy with my equipment. I have decent microphones, decent room, decent audio interface etc. But I LOVE that old, analog sound (big fan of CSNY stuff, as an example), so I got interested in analog summing. But, the D-Box is way too expensive for me, for now. I understand that VCC is different from analog summing, but the tone is somewhat similar. That's why I'm so interested in knowing whether VCC would provide a "plus" for sparse, acoustic arrangements. My intuition is that the benefit would be lower with sparse arrangements, but I could be dead wrong. In fact, I hope I am
Old 27th December 2012
  #8
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e-are's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoMas View Post
Thanks a lot guys. Yes, I should try it, but the iLok thing makes ma angry, my budget is very, very limited .. so I was hoping for some feedbacks from someone with mixes similar to mine.
It really seems that everbody likes VCC ...
Hope I'm not derailing this thread but you should try Sominus Satson. A lil more noticable to me than vcc and it is the best bang for the buck. I have both. No Ilok.
Old 27th December 2012
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoMas View Post
Thank you for the reply. About the iLok .. I'm not against it per se, in fact I think it's a good thing in order to prevent piracy. The problem is with demoing ... having a small budget, I mostly mix with stock plugins (Studio One user), so I never felt the need to buy one. It just would be nice to demo iLok products without having to buy the iLok. But maybe that's impossible. It's unfortunate, because I'm not the only one in the same position.
That would not work as the thieves would simply re-set the timer for the demo. iLOK2 is rapidly becoming a way of life now, and it works pretty well from where I am sitting - on a system with an iLOK, an iLOK2, an eLicenser, a CM CodeStick and the gods only know what else - all with no trouble at all.
Best of all I can take it with me if I go to do a mix elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoMas View Post
About VCC ... I tried to listen to mp3 and videos that people posted everywhere. I am impressed with the outcomes, it is subtle but very, very relevant to me. Unfortunately the vast majority of such examples are about electronic music or rock, high count tracks mixes, which is exactly the opposite of what I do, hence my question. Right now, I'm pretty happy with my equipment. I have decent microphones, decent room, decent audio interface etc. But I LOVE that old, analog sound (big fan of CSNY stuff, as an example), so I got interested in analog summing. But, the D-Box is way too expensive for me, for now. I understand that VCC is different from analog summing, but the tone is somewhat similar. That's why I'm so interested in knowing whether VCC would provide a "plus" for sparse, acoustic arrangements. My intuition is that the benefit would be lower with sparse arrangements, but I could be dead wrong. In fact, I hope I am
I think I can reassure you on that score! We do not go near EDM of any description (because I have no knowledge of it and no idea how to handle it and even less inclination to learn in all honesty) and stick to what we know - Rock, Pop, Blues/Folk, orchestral, acoustic - almost anything except EDM.
And (bad grammar there - should never start a sentence with "And") I can assure you the VCC is a great addition to the sound of any mix - not just dense ones. If you are looking for obvious tonal differences, you will most likely not find them - what you will find is a tighter sound overall, better imaging (really) and a more analogue feel in general.
Old 27th December 2012
  #10
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwilkes View Post
That would not work as the thieves would simply re-set the timer for the demo. iLOK2 is rapidly becoming a way of life now, and it works pretty well from where I am sitting - on a system with an iLOK, an iLOK2, an eLicenser, a CM CodeStick and the gods only know what else - all with no trouble at all.
Best of all I can take it with me if I go to do a mix elsewhere.
I think I can reassure you on that score! We do not go near EDM of any description (because I have no knowledge of it and no idea how to handle it and even less inclination to learn in all honesty) and stick to what we know - Rock, Pop, Blues/Folk, orchestral, acoustic - almost anything except EDM.
And (bad grammar there - should never start a sentence with "And") I can assure you the VCC is a great addition to the sound of any mix - not just dense ones. If you are looking for obvious tonal differences, you will most likely not find them - what you will find is a tighter sound overall, better imaging (really) and a more analogue feel in general.
Thank you very much. That's exactly what I wanted to hear
I guess I'm sold on VCC.
Sominus Satson sounds interesting too - and definitely cheaper. But VCC seems to offer many more options. Plus, there seems to be such an overwhelming consensus on how good VCC is, I guess there must be something really good in there ...
Thank you for all your feedbacks folks.
Old 27th December 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 

Old 28th December 2012
  #12
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First off, I think you kind of just have to give in and get an iLok. There are too many good plugins out there that require it these days to not have one, in my opinion (Softube, Slate, Kush, Abbey Road, Metric Halo come immediately to mind). Then you can demo a lot of plugs that may help your productions considerably.

Secondly, I would consider VTM over VCC. If I could only have one of them, VTM would probably be the one. But that's also why you need an iLok up front: you can truly try them for yourself to see what suits your style the most.
Old 28th December 2012
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markham View Post
Secondly, I would consider VTM over VCC. If I could only have one of them, VTM would probably be the one. But that's also why you need an iLok up front: you can truly try them for yourself to see what suits your style the most.
+ 1

Im currently demoing the VCC and Im not totally sure if I'll purchase it. I already own VTM and dont regret getting it at all!
Old 28th December 2012
  #14
nas
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I have found that more often than not VCC get's used on quite a wide variety of arrangements here. The different console emulations and the level of saturation or transparency you have at your disposal makes it quite versatile. It really has brought something to my mixes - regardless of genre or the density of arrangements.

I demoed VTM and put it through it's paces but did not like what it brought to the mixes in the vast majority of cases... and that VCC alone was more than enough.
Old 28th December 2012
  #15
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FYUnited's Avatar
 

On the OP's question, I've found VCC to be helpful. I recently did a minimalist blues session with acoustic guitars (National resonators, 12-string and others), mandolin and vocals using room miking techniques for the most part. We even recorded whole songs mono with a single cardioid omni by sitting performers at suitable distances. The VCC was a starting point for moulding the sound of the whole session and general feel and sound. It seems to have helped with the high pitched instruments (mandolin especially) by gelling them in to the mix better and making later eq and compression decisions easier. Something one appreciates with resonators!
Old 28th December 2012
  #16
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I love using VCC, even with projects that only have a guitar and a lead vocal.

I put the VCC channel on both the guitar and vocal and also on both the reverb channels. The VVC Mixbus is placed on the complete mix. For guitar/vocal, I love the Trident emulation. When disabling VCC or switching between console emulations, I can hear a big difference.
Old 28th December 2012
  #17
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidtrax View Post
I put the VCC channel on both the guitar and vocal and also on both the reverb channels.
Wow, that's quite an idea (I mean putting VCC on the reverb channels). Very interesting indeed, I haven't thought of it. Yeah, I guess, if VCC helps "gelling" together the mix, why not on the effects, right?
Anyway, thank you guys for all your feedbacks, very very helpful indeed. I'm quite new to GS (actually I've been registered for years, but never really participated to the discussions) and I realize now this is a fantastic place with great people. And yes, I'm going to buy an iLok now, and try both VCC and VTM
Old 28th December 2012
  #18
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Great to hear! Let us know what you think about those plugins after demoing!
Old 28th December 2012
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidtrax View Post
I love using VCC, even with projects that only have a guitar and a lead vocal.

I put the VCC channel on both the guitar and vocal and also on both the reverb channels. The VVC Mixbus is placed on the complete mix. For guitar/vocal, I love the Trident emulation. When disabling VCC or switching between console emulations, I can hear a big difference.
Absolutely. I've been playing around with grouping & using VMB on group channels as well - but for sure all effect returns get run through VCC.
Old 30th December 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nas View Post

I demoed VTM and put it through it's paces but did not like what it brought to the mixes in the vast majority of cases... and that VCC alone was more than enough.
and herein lies the importance of the demo process. This is a word to all of us. Personally, I'm wacky crazy in love with the VTM, but I respect that nas is hearing things differently than I am, and probably making some really cool music without it.
Old 30th December 2012
  #21
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i would try waves nls - that one works very good for me on channels.
sometime i use the vcc bus instead of the nls bus on the master chain.
Old 30th December 2012
  #22
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No one but me has had a problem with the vcc bus plug? Whenever I add the bus plug my mouse and keyboard doesn't work anymore. Just that one plug. I dont quite understand it. I have a very powerful mac. Either way, vcc is a good plug.

Sent from my SPH-D710
Old 30th December 2012
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
No one but me has had a problem with the vcc bus plug? Whenever I add the bus plug my mouse and keyboard doesn't work anymore. Just that one plug. I dont quite understand it. I have a very powerful mac. Either way, vcc is a good plug.

Sent from my SPH-D710
Sounds really weird! Havent had any problems with VCC.

What happens if you unplug the mouse and keyboard and put those back again?
Old 30th December 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nott View Post
i would try waves nls - that one works very good for me on channels.
sometime i use the vcc bus instead of the nls bus on the master chain.
I mentioned--NLS misses the point on the busses. They're utterly just F'd distortion boxes. However, the channels, being that is all those are in either...are very flattering. I particularly liked pushing their Neve channel really hard. Don't forget to try the "other 31" channels. That's something they got that Slate didn't--modeling multiple input channels on the board. It allows you to use like Ch23 that tends to eat sibilance...while ch13 is kinda airy and drops low end...etc--even better to tailor the sound that right for the given track. OCD gone crazy. Grand scheme...eh...but, it's fun...

Busses are whack, though, which is, IMO, the more important part of VCC. I can have a driven API buss for the drum sub...a bright scooped trident for the "band sub"...and a Neve on the master they all feed into (along with the bass and vocals and leads)...the promise of products like this, IMO, is giving the ability to have specific sounds for specific aspects...combined with the SONIC function of the DAW (or SSL as mentioned).
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