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PSP Vintage Warmer - Mix engineers friend / Mastering Engineers Foe Saturation Plugins
Old 3rd June 2016
  #1
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CPM's Avatar
PSP Vintage Warmer - Mix engineers friend / Mastering Engineers Foe

Im sure we are all familiar with Audioware's PSP V-warmer plugin, but after listening to Ian Shepherd's podcast (which I recommend you all check out, regardless of your level of knowledge*), where in one episode he says that he is seeing an increase of mix engineers over using this plugin.

Im wondering who else is seeing this increase as I certainly am in agreement with Ian. Is there a discussion we need to push towards our clients and ascertain what their trying to accomplish with this saturation obsession?


*Great discussions, insight and importantly humour!

Ian's Podcast - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...095931813?mt=2
Old 3rd June 2016
  #2
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Distortion and the sound of degradation is fashionable right now.

It is what it is.
Old 3rd June 2016
  #3
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I thought the Vintage Warmer had it's peak many years ago? So it's back now again then?

Too bad.
Old 3rd June 2016
  #4
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Isn't that the artists prerogative? I would engage in a discussion, but I would not want to be 'pushed'
Old 3rd June 2016
  #5
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Psp = " i have no idea wht i am doing so if i make fake analog saturation i will become a genius "
Old 3rd June 2016
  #6
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CPM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
Isn't that the artists prerogative? I would engage in a discussion, but I would not want to be 'pushed'
I often try and have a discussion about why they feel they want to use this plugin (or any saturation plugin) to such an extent and then see if I can help them achieve that in a less destructive way.

Im not saying every mix that has it on is bad, just its very easily over used.
Old 3rd June 2016
  #7
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Muser's Avatar
I have nothing but good experiences of PSP plugins. but this is probably the only one I didn't really like. there's something about the interface and obviousness of result that works for users, but I just never thought that result was anything more than just that.
Old 3rd June 2016
  #8
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Franco's Avatar
 

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When I read this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPM View Post
...where in one episode he says that he is seeing an increase of mix engineers over using this plugin.
I then looked at the date of this post just to make sure it was from this year (and not "necromanced" like some people like to do with some ancient ass threads).

I've been working with people that have been sending in mixes that use this effect for ages now.

I have an interesting client story about this one: A client once sent me a mix with two versions (after his first mix was "PSP Vintage Warmer'd Deluxe"). I asked him to remove the VW and to let me see what I could do to "match" the level of "grimey" he wanted. He picked my version. I was able to give him a warmer master that had quite a bit more depth (if I recall, it was pretty much just clipping my HEDD with a little bit more "tape" and "triode") and since then, he's been sending mixes in as clean as possible.

It's still useful for me in the sense that it helps me see the direction of what level of distortion the clients want, but besides that, it's still not the greatest tool for harmonic distortion, IMO.

PS - I didn't listen to that gentleman's podcast. I respect everyone's opinion (meaning, I respect that everyone has an opinion) but personally, I'm in a place where I just do my own thing; I like pushing myself to do things differently each time and I find that listening to other people talk about how they do things simply takes me away from time that can be spent on "self discovery".
Old 3rd June 2016
  #9
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CPM's Avatar
Thanks for you post and sharing your experience! I think its important to discuss the sound with the artist/mix engineer and try and help them create the sound they need in a way which is not destructive. I think asking for 2 mixes with and without is always the first route to go down when confronted with this kind of issue, as you pointed out in your situation.
Old 4th June 2016
  #10
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Why especially the vintage warmer? We also could replace it with nearly every plugin based saturation/comp/tape unit out there and the message would stay the same. The problem is: its avaible, you can use nearly as much as you want and a lot of people never learned to use it with sense.
But is it not the same with every processing (overequing, overcompression)...?
Some people are quite good in sucking the life out of the music, and stuff like the vintage warmer can support that, of course. But thats not the fault of a single plug in, its the fault of the people using it. Instead telling people what plug ins to avoid, tell them how good saturation can sound and how bad one will destroy the music...
I want my clients to deliver the best possible sound they could achieve. I dont want to second guess their unique vision of sound. Mixing is mixing and mastering is mastering.
Old 6th June 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPM View Post
I think its important to discuss the sound with the artist/mix engineer and try and help them create the sound they need in a way which is not destructive. I think asking for 2 mixes with and without is always the first route to go down when confronted with this kind of issue, as you pointed out in your situation.
You got it. With this kind of approach, you end up beating any plug-in!
Old 8th June 2016
  #12
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Reiner's Avatar
 

VW, really? Thought it's something like the really first "vintage digital" because of its age.
Old 27th February 2017
  #13
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Although this thread is from last year's summer I would like to add a few remarks.
I realized that in a couple of forums PSP's Vintage Warmer is discussed rather controversial. This seems quite understandable to me. In the past I tried the VW on the mixbus and was very much dissapointed because it tended always to make the sound blurry and less transparent. So I banished it and almost forgot, that it is still in my toolbox. 2 weeks ago I rediscovered it - and voila: what a great plugin! But not on the mixbus, only on single tracks which need some sound sculpturing. It can fatten a bassdrum very nicely
or enhance special fx stuff but one has to be very careful not to exaggerate it. I anyway tend to keep my mixbus very slim and leave enough space (and headroom)for mastering. So my verdict is: Vintage Warmer can be a very special and great waepon to improve the quality of single tracks but it's capacities can easily lead to a complete sonic nightmare especially when used on the mixbus.
Old 27th February 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umkuczka View Post
only on single tracks which need some sound sculpturing.
As long as these single tracks don´t mean 80% of the arrangement .
Old 28th February 2017
  #15
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mmarra's Avatar
Not the VW but I recently used the FabFilter Saturn on a mastering project that was all ITB and it did a fantastic job at adding some subtle saturation. I used the VW back a while ago and never got into it...but the FF Saturn just seems more controllable.

I thought it was a great saturation plugin, non tape, that got me the sound I was aiming for in a very subtle way pretty quickly.
Old 28th February 2017
  #16
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The name implies it's "Vintage" I prefer to not destroy the high resolution & wonderfully clean, affordable conversion to medium we have been blessed with.

i used VW years ago when I was in my "experimental years" mixing in the box.

The only thing I ever found it useful for was a demo period, swiftly followed by a winXP trashcan.
Old 28th February 2017
  #17
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Like a mechanic some tools only come out of the box and are useful every blue moon. But when it's needed it's good to have it. It's just another tool. Some are used 90% of the time, others 1%. But when that 1% comes up, it's good to have in the tool box.
Old 28th February 2017
  #18
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I wonder what the percentages are...

I suspect that it's a small percentage of projects with overt 2buss sat that is actually sent to an actual ME. I'm sure it and it's kind are well overused by amateur cats and of that group a small amount are being sent out to internet based "mastering houses" **

But, real working mixers working on tunes where there's an actual budget for pro line mastering?

** = by mastering house I'm talking about dude running ozone 5 advanced who charges 10 to 25 bucks a tune
Old 28th February 2017
  #19
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I remember an interview with Dave Kutch (no amateur), he was asked what piece of kit does he reach for that would surprise people. He said "surprisingly" he reaches for T- Racks multiband for some mixes and it's the only thing that works. Dave McNare in an interview said he reaches foe Waves Linear Phase Multiband from time to time because sometimes its the only thing that works. Another major ME said in an interview said he reaches for a sonic maximizer from time to time. And when it works it's the only thing that does. And you make a good point about many pros. But another point is that pros know what the tools are and how and when they need to use them.
Old 28th February 2017
  #20
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I don't have any major beef with Vintage Warmer and infact I think PSP are reasonably great (check out Master Q2 and also the absence of aliasing in some of their harmonics generating plugins compared to, say, Waves) but yes I'd only use it in production and mixing. Someone above put it perfect when they said it's too obvious an effect for mastering - I agree with that.

My guess is that Ozone abuse would be a more common headache for MEs, not some obscure saturation/comp.
Old 28th February 2017
  #21
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Psp's new 1176-ish comp is quite good...
@Slug1:
There are plenty of tools in the toolbox so I'm never really surprised when a "pro" uses any particular piece of hw or SW... I was addressing more specifically using a color box on the 2 buss to the point of crapping up the program. That isn't something I'd expect a pro to do, but see and hear a lot among the younger/just getting started mixer slash producer slash artist set. Does that make sense?
Old 28th February 2017
  #22
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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I think some of my clients are using a "shredder" plugin. The mixes are so distorted and over done that it is hard to master them. When asked the clients say "ya but it gives that analog sound I am looking for" Not sure analog ever sounded this bad unless the tubes and the coupling caps were going bad and the inputs were severely overloaded. Everyone seems to be looking for that "vintage" sound and are equating distortion with vintage. Go figure. FWIW
Old 28th February 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MogwaiBoy View Post
My guess is that Ozone abuse would be a more common headache for MEs, not some obscure saturation/comp.
Not really.
It´s much easier to ask for switching off a bus comp/limiter than to undo 30+ tracks of saturation/tape emulation etc.
Old 28th February 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
But another point is that pros know what the tools are and how and when they need to use them.
One other important aspect is that pros are not automatically sluts.

Some just work with what they have and got used to, often not even knowing about the latest developments.
Old 28th February 2017
  #25
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@mmarra,
Farbfiltern Saturn is a great plugin! I use a lot of saturation plugins. Each has its own sonic character (from the good ones :-)). My favorite is Soundtoys Decapitator. I use parallel saturation often instead of boosting high filter bands.
Old 28th February 2017
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I think some of my clients are using a "shredder" plugin. The mixes are so distorted and over done that it is hard to master them. When asked the clients say "ya but it gives that analog sound I am looking for" Not sure analog ever sounded this bad unless the tubes and the coupling caps were going bad and the inputs were severely overloaded. Everyone seems to be looking for that "vintage" sound and are equating distortion with vintage. Go figure. FWIW
It's probably The Sausage Fattener plugin. Yes, there is such a thing.

SAUSAGE FATTENER | Dada Life
Old 28th February 2017
  #27
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P.S.:
To say it more precise: I mean saturation/distortion :-)
Old 28th February 2017
  #28
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12tone's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Everyone seems to be looking for that "vintage" sound and are equating distortion with vintage. Go figure. FWIW
To be fair, using distortion in varying degrees is a good thing within the analog realm. (especially when used subtly and judiciously, and also in parallel settings)

This is in no way making a statement about ill advised usage in the digital domain that you speak of, of course.
Old 28th February 2017
  #29
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I have that plugin but I've never found it very useful. Other then the GUI having a cool vintage look, (which in most likely the appeal of users) its not much use to me. There are others with similar designs. The Vintage Channel plugin bundled with Sonar is similar in many respects except its sound quality blows the doors off the PSP. There are others too.

If the goal is to saturate, There are many others that do that job much better. I don't need that very often but I have gotten good results using various tape emulators which are more selective in how you can get tape saturation in a digital environment. Lately I been messing with the new Voxengo tube amp emulator which is pretty good. It lets you select different preamp tube types for subtle changes in saturation.

Most of my professional mastering work dates back to my video production years in the 90's. Everything else since then has been mostly personal, but I've sure done allot of it, at least 8 thousand at this point. The one plugin that's caused issues is the BBC effects. It causes some weird EQ effects when you try and master over it. For awhile many guitarists would use the hardware version is rack rigs too. I guess the rack version wasn't as big a problem because the amps were miced and removed most of the phase issues, but the plugin was always a problem.
Old 1st March 2017
  #30
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PSP MicroWarmer (scaled version of VW2) has a splendid sound on percussion using the "knee" setting.

I find the drive quite obvious.

But, with great respect, I still think PSP VW was spectacular for its day and price point.

I think a lot of folks who over used it (and I include myself here once upon a time) suffer from: bad rooms, ear fatigue, and an inferiority complex during the worst part of the loudness war.

That isn't the plugs fault.
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