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Sick and tired of Cubase effects
Old 17th February 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Angry Sick and tired of Cubase effects

Hello Everyone ,

Im mostly doing either trance or film music. been using cubase delays / reverbs / flangers / choruses etc for over 10 years now ,

But im really sick and tired of the "computer sounding and cold"vibe these plugins have (esp the cubase stock plugins)

demoed most of the waves stuff ( much better than cubase plugins , but still didn't satisfy me )

most pro guys on the trance scene are using either eventide boxes or built fx of the access virus ti2.

i don't need a virus as i already have a NL4. outboard rack wll be very slow to work with since i will have to process 1 track at a time or maybe 2 (depending on the engine )

Next option is UAD , which a lot of film scoring guys use and im planning to go for the Custom Octo bundle.

Any other ideas ? I just need the realism and warmth with fx that cubase plugins are not giving atm.

right now the dry mix sounds sweeter to me than having those Sh**ty cubase fx on...


please advice

best regards,
W.
Old 17th February 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Detch's Avatar
 

There are many pro engineers who use Waves, a lot of them actually, and they sound great, warm, fat, cozy, nice, sweet and deep. This is subjective thing.
If your budget allows, go for uad, there is no guarantee that you'll be satisfied but at least psychologically you'll be covered, nothing more expensive out there

In the mean time you can try Slate everything bundle.
Old 17th February 2017
  #3
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
Hello Everyone ,

Im mostly doing either trance or film music. been using cubase delays / reverbs / flangers / choruses etc for over 10 years now ,
Delay: SoundToys EchoBoy
Reverb: Waves H-Reverb
Flanger: Softube Fix Flanger
Chorus: Lexicon PCM Native FX
Filter FX: Waves MetaFilter
Old 17th February 2017
  #4
Gear Head
 
SilverCrucifix's Avatar
 

You can check the Eventide native plugins, and Soundtoys ones which are made by ex-Eventide programmers. D12 also make pretty good modulation effects.
Old 17th February 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I'm a big fan of Kush for organic, valvey-sounding plugins.
Old 18th February 2017
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
PVJesper's Avatar
For me, it's klanghelm, valhalla, soundtoys and kush. Those companies together gives everything you could want in a mix, with sounds that are nothing like sterile. MJUC from klanghelm and UBK-1 from kush gives a lot of great sounds, they are all over my mixes, they do a big part of the cimpression i do.

Also the new api eq plugins from volko audio and channel4 from airwindows makes for great sounds.
Old 18th February 2017
  #7
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JulenJVM's Avatar
 

For creative reverbs, you must try Zynaptiq Adaptiverb. It will change your life. You're welcome
Old 18th February 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Cubase FX are equal to or in most cases better than Waves, IMO.

You've been using Cubase 10 years. What is the typical chain that's not giving you what you are looking for? Maybe I can give some things to try.

If you want affirmation to buy plugins, well this is gearslutz... You'll get that, but with 10 years, I'd assume you have typical chains of plugins you use.

What version of Cubase?
Old 18th February 2017
  #9
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
Plenty of pro engineers using stock plugins only. The plugins won't make the difference in your productions. Can you please share a recent track for context? Might be more usefull to discuss your productions than subjective plugin preference. If you can't get where you want to be with stock plugins, something else is wrong.
Old 18th February 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jikky View Post
Cubase FX are equal to or in most cases better than Waves, IMO.

You've been using Cubase 10 years. What is the typical chain that's not giving you what you are looking for? Maybe I can give some things to try.

If you want affirmation to buy plugins, well this is gearslutz... You'll get that, but with 10 years, I'd assume you have typical chains of plugins you use.

What version of Cubase?
I completely disagree. im using cubase since v2 , currently on version 8.

channel eq's suck , compressor have no definition ( i found the NI compressor and eq to be much much better and the waves API and SSL stuff even better )

even simple delay and reverb sends are not working for me , atleast when im comparing them to the Virus TI or UAD FX , which is what im competing with.

price wise also , entire cubase DAW i got for 500USD , some waves stuff only costs that much . also considering the time and R & D they spend in coding the developing those plugins.

even the fx on my NL4 sound thicker....

its the thickness that im not finding

and my room is fully treated with genelec 8250 monitors , so no issues of not *hearing* stuff properly


thanks,
W.
Old 18th February 2017
  #11
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
Context is everything, can you share some of your work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
I completely disagree. im using cubase since v2 , currently on version 8.

channel eq's suck , compressor have no definition ( i found the NI compressor and eq to be much much better and the waves API and SSL stuff even better )

even simple delay and reverb sends are not working for me , atleast when im comparing them to the Virus TI or UAD FX , which is what im competing with.

price wise also , entire cubase DAW i got for 500USD , some waves stuff only costs that much . also considering the time and R & D they spend in coding the developing those plugins.

even the fx on my NL4 sound thicker....

its the thickness that im not finding

and my room is fully treated with genelec 8250 monitors , so no issues of not *hearing* stuff properly


thanks,
W.
Old 18th February 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
I tend to agree. I dislike most Cubase stock effects. The EQ is fine (most digital EQs null and Cubase' EQ is no exception), but the dynamics processors, modulation and delay are just average at best.

Personally, I am not a fan of Waves and their licensing nor business model. I tend to find most their plugins pretty average too if I'm being honest.

Compression: I would check out Cytomic The Glue and Softube plugins (including the ones they designed for Native Instruments). All of these are the best compressors I have heard
Limiter: FabFilter's Pro-L or DMG Audio Limitless are some of the finest limiters on the market today

EQ: FabFilter Pro-Q or DMG Audio EQuilibrium will give you that little bit more control you may be missing from the stock EQ.

Reverb: Relab's LX480 (replica of a Lexicon 480L) and Lexicon PCM90-based plugin offerings are my favourite currently. Of course you now have TC's VSS3 and the new Relab VSR24 (which is a VSS6) if that's your thing.

Delay: SoundToys are truly hard to beat here, both EchoBoy and PrimalTap are incredible. I also quite like Replika XT by Native Instruments too.
Modulation: The Softube Fix series and SoundToys plugins come to mind again, both absolutely top notch.

Distortion: SoundToys Decapitator is the finest distortion I've personally heard.

Sidechain Volume Automation: Cableguys VolumeShaper or xfer records LFOTool are the best of the bunch

I think you'll find that for cinematic music, EQ and Reverb will be your two most important tools. Possibly a little dynamics processing too, but for the most part, EQ and Reverb. For trance, I use a wider variety of plugins primarily focused around EQ, compression, reverb and delay. I tend to use modulation effects that come built into synths.

With regards to synths, I personally love Sylenth1, Spire, Massive, Serum, Hive and DUNE 2. Omnisphere and Kontakt I use more as romplers, they are great to have.

P.S.: I produce trance primarily but also work on cinematic music too
P.P.S: I used to own a Virus TI and think it's the most overrated synth in history, I don't miss it one bit.
Old 18th February 2017
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
thanks guys , ill upload a sample soon of a latest track im working on which only has stock cubase delays and reverbs. somehow it sounds very computerish to me.

i even have a TC G major 2 , which has more thicker and real sounding delays and verbs , but i want even better !!!!
Old 18th February 2017
  #14
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
I completely disagree. im using cubase since v2 , currently on version 8.

channel eq's suck
The default stock EQ bell filters are decramped (no frequency response warp towards Nyquist.) The controls/UI are OK too.

I don't know if the internal processing is 64-bit float or 32-bit float, but unless Steinberg have messed up, it really should sound the same as any other (IIR) clean EQ.

IIRC there's no gain/Q interaction, so it might not achieve the expected result compared to other EQs... but if you're using it for years then...

But for general purpose applications, it's really the UI/controls/control scaling that's the difference, NOT signal integrity.
Old 18th February 2017
  #15
Gear Maniac
[QUOTE=hypersync.09;12451062]Hello Everyone ,

Im mostly doing either trance or film music. been using cubase delays / reverbs / flangers / choruses etc for over 10 years now ,

But im really sick and tired of the "computer sounding and cold"vibe these plugins have (esp the cubase stock plugins)


I felt the same, until I started using Acoustica and Nebula stuff.Things sound vibrant and alive now.

Demo The Black Series from Prime Studios, Great comp. and Limiter, but I think the EQ really sounds alive. Core 9 Nebula derived. Bass, acoustic, drums, love it.
Old 20th February 2017
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
please find attached sample of my track . used only stock cubase verbs and delays

just not liking the cold and lifeless vibe.

also , i feel the delays and verb are just doing their thing, but there's no damn realism to it
Attached Files

cubase effects.mp3 (10.46 MB, 1546 views)

Old 20th February 2017
  #17
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
please find attached sample of my track . used only stock cubase verbs and delays

just not liking the cold and lifeless vibe.

also , i feel the delays and verb are just doing their thing, but there's no damn realism to it
Actually I'd say that's pretty good. What's most lacking is a bit of final 'mastering.'

I'd think about using 'Micro Pitch Shift' (different pitch offsets panned L/R) on appropriate parts to get some 'width.' Eventide QuadraVox is good for this.

Try EchoBoy for the delays and they could feed into a small room reverb effect.

For this and other reverb, Sonnox Reverb would work well IMO for this track.

On the mix bus try the Sonnox Limiter, don't set attack to minimum, Safe Mode with Enhance at 20%ish.
Old 20th February 2017
  #18
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
please find attached sample of my track . used only stock cubase verbs and delays

just not liking the cold and lifeless vibe.

also , i feel the delays and verb are just doing their thing, but there's no damn realism to it
This does sound good, but some nice reverbs and delays would take it to another level.
There are so many better options out there than the stock Cubase plugins, but maybe the UAD package would suit your situation best.
Old 20th February 2017
  #19
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greggybud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post

But im really sick and tired of the "computer sounding and cold"vibe these plugins have (esp the cubase stock plugins)
Not agreeing or disagreeing with you, but I think it would help if you please state the Cubase version you refer to since upgrades occasionally happen with Cubase processors. This way we are at least on the same page and know you aren't using Cubase VST24.

Thanks
Old 20th February 2017
  #20
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
most pro guys on the trance scene are using either eventide boxes or built fx of the access virus ti2.
FYI most pro trance producers predominantly use plugins these days.

Personally I've never had any problems with Cubase delay plugin, and quite like their basic compressor plugin for sidechain duties. I have always used third party eq plugins for equing though as I never liked Cubases internal ones over the years.

There's a ton of third party plugins to chose from now so there's bound to be something you'll like

Listened to your audio example and whilst it really didn't sound bad at all, the issue to me wasn't really the choice of fx plugins themselves but just finding their sweet spots better, could do with bit better equing overall, and that lead sound that plays from the start definitely needs improving, its somewhat thin dull sounding lead.

Sometimes when producers don't have a strong enough source sound they will try to over-compensate by mixing too much reverb or delay in, but you have to realise its not the delays fault then, you just have to focus on making the raw sound better. Btw I'm not saying using tons of reverb or delay is necessarily a bad thing as it can work great on great sounds, but its good to recognise when its being used to compensate rather than enhance.
Old 20th February 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
please find attached sample of my track . used only stock cubase verbs and delays

just not liking the cold and lifeless vibe.

also , i feel the delays and verb are just doing their thing, but there's no damn realism to it
Firstly, in case you didn't know Arksun (above) is kinda a legend in trance and is spot on

As a trance producer myself (artist name 'Sonic Element'), I'll try to provide some feedback on the clip.

This is actually pretty good mate, but ultimately the bigger problem on your mix is technique if I'm being completely honest. I don't doubt that you could do better with 3rd party plugins too though.

Some tips:

* Your kick drum lacks subbass, in fact, perhaps a different kick drum should be tried. This one feels too "small" for the tune.
* Many sounds are too dry (reverb, particularly with modulation is very useful in trance).
* Your percussion is a little lacking, where's the offbeat open hihat? The percussion needs a little more groove than it has now too I think.
* Various sounds need their low end chopped (e.g. that little stereo sound that pans from left to right)
* The main lead doesn't fit well, nor does the melody on it (imho)
* I wouldn't start the kick without the bassline at 3:11, the build up needs a little work there mate
* I feel that the chord progression should be present after the tune kicks in

If you render out some stems or provide Cubase project, I can show you some ideas (using only the stock Cubase plugins). I'm on Cubase 9 Pro though, not sure if you are on the same version. Revelation (the Reverb included in newer Cubases) is actually pretty good and also includes modulation in the tail too.

Once again, as I and others have said above, there's absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that there are better plugins than Cubase stock plugins. But I personally don't think that's the only thing which hurts this track. There are various problems with technique too.

If you were to look at 3rd party plugins, I would start with a new reverb and delay. The reverb and delay both should offer modulation on their tails (VERY USEFUL in trance!). ValhallaVintageVerb for the Reverb would be perfect, and for Delay, even something like Echoboy, NI Replika XT or u-he's Satin would be a good choice.

In Cubase, you can use a Vibrato followed by a Delay on a send channel to get a modulated delay, so there are actually ways to make do with the Cubase plugins if you are a bit creative

I really hope my feedback is helpful

Last edited by fgimian; 20th February 2017 at 10:11 PM..
Old 20th February 2017
  #22
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgimian View Post
ValhallaVintageVerb for the Reverb would be perfect, and for Delay, even something like Echoboy, NI Replika XT or u-he's Satin would be a good choice.
Leaving aside my own views of tape emulation, I'm not sure Satin makes sense? High CPU use for one. The advantage of EchoBoy is that it does 'fancy' things with delay with convenient user controls to get there.

Whilst on the subject of u-he plugins, though, Hive is good for trance. :-)

Thumbs up to Valhalla VintageVerb too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgimian View Post
modulated delay
Nice tips on this. :-)
Old 20th February 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Leaving aside my own views of tape emulation, I'm not sure Satin makes sense? High CPU use for one. The advantage of EchoBoy is that it does 'fancy' things with delay with convenient user controls to get there.

Whilst on the subject of u-he plugins, though, Hive is good for trance. :-)

Thumbs up to Valhalla VintageVerb too.



Nice tips on this. :-)
Yeah, you're right about Satin. Satin wouldn't be my first choice, but it does honestly have an awesome delay built in. I must admit that Replika XT also is pretty high on CPU. EchoBoy strikes the right balance and sounds amazing

I just actually did a bit of experimenting and Vibrato -> Stereo Delay works just perfect. Of course you get no saturation, and there's no way to link most of the left and right knobs (which makes it annoying to adjust), but it sounds totally fine.

I also suggest Vibrato -> REVelation (instead of using REVelation's built in modulation). Also be sure to down the early reflections completely in REVelation for trance. It's really not a bad reverb at all.
Old 20th February 2017
  #24
qwe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgimian View Post
EchoBoy strikes the right balance and sounds amazing


Quote:
Also be sure to down the early reflections completely in REVelation for trance.
Not disagreeing--just wondering what your reasoning behind this is? :-)
Old 21st February 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Not disagreeing--just wondering what your reasoning behind this is? :-)
The ER section appears to be quite over the top (annoying!) in REVelation in my honest opinion. When I tried it on some trance leads this morning, it really didn't work the same way I would usually use ArtsAcoustic Reverb, LX480 (Lexicon 480L) or VVV, all of which have far more natural sounding ERs.

Further to this, the ER section made the modulation of the reverb sound more like a chorus as the ER section was so upfront.

I should probably have said "imho" somewhere in there, sorry about that
Old 21st February 2017
  #26
qwe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgimian View Post
The ER section appears to be quite over the top (annoying!) in REVelation in my honest opinion. When I tried it on some trance leads this morning, it really didn't work the same way I would usually use ArtsAcoustic Reverb, LX480 (Lexicon 480L) or VVV, all of which have far more natural sounding ERs.

Further to this, the ER section made the modulation of the reverb sound more like a chorus as the ER section was so upfront.

I should probably have said "imho" somewhere in there, sorry about that
Hey, no worries. :-) So you would use the ER section of other reverbs on material such as trance?
Old 21st February 2017
  #27
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login's Avatar
For delay: replika xt, can do big, dirty, clean and whatever. Echoboy is also very nice (but I don't like UI that much).

So If I was in your place I wanted some different flavours I would get: soundtoys (you get useful stuff for coloring) and valhalla vintage verb.
Old 21st February 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Hey, no worries. :-) So you would use the ER section of other reverbs on material such as trance?
Yeah, certainly not a huge amount (as trance is usually more dreamy / ethereal sounding) so I find the tail to be the most important. In VVV, I would sometimes turn the attack up a little to help focus on the tail a bit more and similarly in LX480 but ArtsAcoustic is pretty dense on its default preset so I haven't really tweaked in a way as to specifically remove ERs on that one.

I think it also does depend on the sound you're affecting to be honest. I do tend to use longer, lush reverbs (with modulation) for many aspects (primarily leads and effects) and short reverbs (NonLin in VVV is a good one) for percussive elements like claps or little stabs.

I usually put the longer reverb on a send, but the short reverbs often go on as inserts tailored to each sound. If you want a bit more power / glue, you can actually run a compressor after the short reverbs too.

e.g. EQ -> Reverb -> Compression

Each reverb that I use has a different character / purpose in a mix too.

ArtsAcoustic Reverb is a really amazing "glue" reverb, it sounds incredibly on leads. The modulation in AAR is truly unique, nothing else sounds like it. The modulation is pretty pronounced and very consistent (even for long tails) and so it really starts to become part of the sound you're adding it too. It can truly make pad sounds come to life.

LX480 is a very open lush sounding reverb, it sounds awesome on everything but doesn't "glue" to the same extent that AAR does (which is often a good thing if you want an open and airy sound).

VVV is a bit of a swiss army knife, it can do so much, but imho it just can't do what LX480 or AAR do, so I keep all three for their strengths

Old 21st February 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
trance
I thought trance was meant to sound bad. Or else, why does it sound like it does?
Old 21st February 2017
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersync.09 View Post
Hello Everyone ,

Im mostly doing either trance or film music. been using cubase delays / reverbs / flangers / choruses etc for over 10 years now ,

But im really sick and tired of the "computer sounding and cold"vibe these plugins have (esp the cubase stock plugins)

demoed most of the waves stuff ( much better than cubase plugins , but still didn't satisfy me )

most pro guys on the trance scene are using either eventide boxes or built fx of the access virus ti2.

i don't need a virus as i already have a NL4. outboard rack wll be very slow to work with since i will have to process 1 track at a time or maybe 2 (depending on the engine )

Next option is UAD , which a lot of film scoring guys use and im planning to go for the Custom Octo bundle.

Any other ideas ? I just need the realism and warmth with fx that cubase plugins are not giving atm.

right now the dry mix sounds sweeter to me than having those Sh**ty cubase fx on...


please advice

best regards,
W.
For creative FX, I reckon Soundtoys is a real good place to start. Just get the full bundle and you`ll be sorted for a few years.
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