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Most Magic Plugins
Old 18th May 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Most Magic Plugins

If you had to curate a set of plugins that attempts to rival the organic dopeness of analog, what would you pick? Plugins with luv.

I have my eyes set on an ITB setup where I'm getting very high quality into digital (think JCF), and then using the absolutely finest sounding plugins.

For me, soundtoys has sounded good. Maag EQ. Clariphonic. That weiss thing looks good...haven't heard it.

Looking for suggestions.

Last edited by swappler; 18th May 2018 at 11:17 PM..
Old 19th May 2018
  #2
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
There are quite a few. CraneSong Phoenix II cones to mind - what it can do to the tone of a track is unlike any plugin I’ve ever used before. Very musical. I agree about SoundToys. Decapitator especially. Some of the UAD plugs are so good. The manley massive passive, the mid boost on the helios 69 legacy and the TLA-100A. I love me the 3 Kush Omega preamps a lot! And I can’t wait to try their new REDDI plugin.
Old 19th May 2018
  #3
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
There are quite a few. CraneSong Phoenix II cones to mind - what it can do to the tone of a track is unlike any plugin I’ve ever used before. Very musical. I agree about SoundToys. Decapitator especially. Some of the UAD plugs are so good. The manley massive passive, the mid boost on the helios 69 legacy and the TLA-100A. I love me the 3 Kush Omega preamps a lot! And I can’t wait to try their new REDDI plugin.
Don’t try it...BUY IT

That reddi is great on everything
Old 19th May 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 

excellent suggestions thanks thismercifulfate
Old 19th May 2018
  #5
Gear Guru
The ones I reach for are Clari Electra Omega VSC-3 and VSC-2. Soundtoys are great. Love VCC and BR Pre 84.

Demo maker here, but these are my staples and make everything sound better. FWIW.....
Old 19th May 2018
  #6
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i tried lots and never found one plugins are great and precise tools. but when looking for something special i only find it in hardware. good luck.
Old 19th May 2018
  #7
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brockorama's Avatar
 

Acustica Audio: Cream, Gold, Pink2, Cobalt, Diamond, Crimson.
Old 19th May 2018
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swappler View Post
If you had to curate a set of plugins that attempts to rival the organic dopeness of analog, what would you pick? Plugins with luv.
I've always loved the thing Jorma Kaukonen (and other SF guys) used to do where they'd park a wah pedal in one spot. With McDSP Filterbank F2 (the hpf/lpf) you can do the same thing, but you can fine-tune it and automate it and give something a lot of attitude and expressiveness and movement. "Attitude" is awfully vague, I know, but I'm sticking with it. :-)

And unlike a real wah, you can run it in parallel.

I really like what it does for my Tele through my AC15, especially. And recently when a guy sent me a song to mix with a prominent guitar printed through a sim (gah!) it took probably 75% of the stink off. Enough that when he got the mix back, he accused me of replaying the part.
Old 19th May 2018
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
i tried lots and never found one plugins are great and precise tools. but when looking for something special i only find it in hardware. good luck.
this is honestly a welcome contribution.

I'm trying to create a bedroom, efficient setup. Maybe I'll have to get a little 500 series rack and fall in love with some hardware pieces. Maybe there's no replacing hardware.
Old 19th May 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swappler View Post
this is honestly a welcome contribution.

I'm trying to create a bedroom, efficient setup. Maybe I'll have to get a little 500 series rack and fall in love with some hardware pieces. Maybe there's no replacing hardware.
nah.... no point in investing too much in a bedroom setup. just stick with plugins and work on you performance. building a high end bedroom studio is a pitfall. its either half assed or you end up spending 100k down the road like so many of us just book a proper studio for tracking when you are ready. its a much better option - trust me. best
Old 19th May 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
nah.... no point in investing too much in a bedroom setup. just stick with plugins and work on you performance. building a high end bedroom studio is a pitfall. its either half assed or you end up spending 100k down the road like so many of us just book a proper studio for tracking when you are ready. its a much better option - trust me. best
no no dont worry about it. I'm not making straight ahead recorded acoustic music etc. I make electronic hybrid stuff, experimental, etc etc. Think aphex twin, Oneohtrix.

One man layering experimental takes into experimental compositions.
I just want ultra organic and high quality stuff that I can really get involved with.

If i had 500 series **** etc, I'd really put it through its paces. Also getting some synth stuff. It's a whole deal.
Old 19th May 2018
  #12
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that makes it much easier and the bedroom is a viable option in case you are working with analog synths and samplers id invest my money in a great frontend. like the one you had in mind and maybe look at the burl bomber too. the pad would actually allow you to get some interesting colouration by driving them accordingly. good luck
Old 19th May 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
that makes it much easier and the bedroom is a viable option in case you are working with analog synths and samplers id invest my money in a great frontend. like the one you had in mind and maybe look at the burl bomber too. the pad would actually allow you to get some interesting colouration by driving them accordingly. good luck
yes indeed. thanks
Old 20th May 2018
  #14
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Don’t try it...BUY IT

That reddi is great on everything
My only hesitation is that I already own the hardware!
Old 20th May 2018
  #15
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deuc647's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
The ones I reach for are Clari Electra Omega VSC-3 and VSC-2. Soundtoys are great. Love VCC and BR Pre 84.

Demo maker here, but these are my staples and make everything sound better. FWIW.....
I have the VSM-3 sitting and i still haven't tried it yet.
Old 20th May 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
nah.... no point in investing too much in a bedroom setup. just stick with plugins and work on you performance. building a high end bedroom studio is a pitfall. its either half assed or you end up spending 100k down the road like so many of us just book a proper studio for tracking when you are ready. its a much better option - trust me. best
If looking for magic. I also think hardware is the way to go. However, I have an SSL MX4 card that is fantastic, but that falls into non-CPU driven in the box area. I would expect UAD (I have never used) to be in the same relm. Using anything off the CPU tends to be better than on the CPU when it comes to the basics (EQ, compression, reverb). Software written for specific chips sets sounds better in almost every case to me. Most of that comes in the form of rack gear, but sometimes can be inside the box.

The simplest solution is to get a good hardware EQ and compressor to use on the way in between the mic/DI and converters. No need to make things complex for your first few pieces of good gear.
Old 20th May 2018
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Software written for specific chips sets sounds better in almost every case to me. Most of that comes in the form of rack gear, but sometimes can be inside the box.
This is really interesting. I haven't heard anything from this realm but it makes some sense.

I imagine the cranesong plugins might be in this camp. Everyone says there's somethin about them. I heard em on Pensado and was super impressed. Unfortunately I'm a logic guy and they're all written for specific Pro Tools formats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
If looking for magic. I also think hardware is the way to go.
Another vote counted. I've got some cool ideas for this.
Old 20th May 2018
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
The ones I reach for are Clari Electra Omega VSC-3 and VSC-2. Soundtoys are great. Love VCC and BR Pre 84.
These are great suggestions thanks.
Old 20th May 2018
  #19
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
If looking for magic. I also think hardware is the way to go. However, I have an SSL MX4 card that is fantastic, but that falls into non-CPU driven in the box area. I would expect UAD (I have never used) to be in the same relm. Using anything off the CPU tends to be better than on the CPU when it comes to the basics (EQ, compression, reverb). Software written for specific chips sets sounds better in almost every case to me. Most of that comes in the form of rack gear, but sometimes can be inside the box.

The simplest solution is to get a good hardware EQ and compressor to use on the way in between the mic/DI and converters. No need to make things complex for your first few pieces of good gear.
Softube (for instance) runs the same code for native as it does for uad... same for the plugin alliance stuff, so, the idea that non-native code base is sweeter is just some crazy mythbusters stuff... now, the stuff that doesn’t exist in the native world from uad is awesome... but only is unique because there’s no itb 1:1 native to compare it to...
Old 20th May 2018
  #20
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by swappler View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
nah.... no point in investing too much in a bedroom setup. just stick with plugins and work on you performance. building a high end bedroom studio is a pitfall. its either half assed or you end up spending 100k down the road like so many of us just book a proper studio for tracking when you are ready. its a much better option - trust me. best
no no dont worry about it. I'm not making straight ahead recorded acoustic music etc. I make electronic hybrid stuff, experimental, etc etc. Think aphex twin, Oneohtrix.

One man layering experimental takes into experimental compositions.
I just want ultra organic and high quality stuff that I can really get involved with.

If i had 500 series **** etc, I'd really put it through its paces. Also getting some synth stuff. It's a whole deal.
I just don’t even remotely get the idea of blowing big $$ on a rig where you’re doing captures of synths... I know that makes me a butthole and all, but, if that were my bag I’d make sure my room treatment, conversion was on point and then I’d buy the usual suspects as far as plugins and spend the dough on outboard that just doesn’t exist in the plugin world...

Capturing vox, mic’d Cabs, gtrs, etc I say outboard preamps of as many flavors as you can afford... a few outboard comps and maybe an eq or two.. 500 series isn’t my bag, but, that’s just me...
Old 20th May 2018
  #21
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The acustica stuff overall is the closest I've heard. I will say that softube pretty much nailed the summit tla100...problem for me is that the tla 100 is not one of my favorite compressors...lol.

As much as I use plugins and we have tons, I'd be lying if I said that I've found any that beat out our hardware.

We just picked up a focusrite isa 215 and We simply don't have any plugin that can do what it does. I've yet to hear an ssl buss comp that I like better than the obsidian. Real 1073's beat out any 1073 plugin I've heard....and so on.

After you get your room treatment, monitors and convertors on point...then and only then would I seriously go down the plugin rabbit hole. Again though if you really want great analog emulations I'd start with the acustica stuff...don't let gui's fool you. Also I'd get trippy plugin that do stuff that doesn't really exist in the analog world...stuff like ott, waves one knobs, snap head or some of the cable guys stuff...there are some amazing plugins out there other than the meat and potatoes eq, compressors and such.

Ej
Old 21st May 2018
  #22
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
In plugin world...

For lovely smooth rounded midrange UBK-1 "smooth" compressor preset is awesome. Plenty of analogue style character to add with the other 2 modules too.

Kazrog Kclip tape setting is nice, as is TB Reelbus.

TDR Nova does really nice things to the signal, both as a wideband and multiband comp. Smooth and clear with nice compression action. Very musical

Softube Valley people Dyna mite is awesome for transient enhancement and extreme waveform shaping... Set the release super fast for some great synth and reverb / room sound mangling.
Old 21st May 2018
  #23
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the only digital stuff that sounds like 'organic dopeness' would be the eventide stuff (hardware)
Old 21st May 2018
  #24
The one plugin I would pick over hardware, based on sound, is the PSP 2445. It’s that good. For most others it’s price + convenience + sound = (more than?) good enough.

r,
j,
Old 21st May 2018
  #25
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TurboJets's Avatar
You can find organic dopeness in Stillwell Audio plugs, particularly Bad Bus Mojo, Vibe EQ, all of his compressors - The Rocket, Major Tom and Event Horizon.

On the mix buss I find that The Bombardier or The Rocket are really nice. The Bombardier, for instance, has 2 presets I love called "2 inch in My Cupboard" and "Glue It Up". These are all great character plugs and you can demo them all. Don't let the price fool you.
Old 21st May 2018
  #26
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
It's rare that I get what I'd call "magic" from plugins in the same way you can get from hardware. Various Acqua / Nebula libraries are the only things that come to mind. I use dozens of dozens of plugins from UAD / Plugin Alliance / Waves etc, but those all fall into the "good" or occasionally "great" category. Magical is not a word I can remember using to describe any of them, I think.
Old 21st May 2018
  #27
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
In plugin world...

For lovely smooth rounded midrange UBK-1 "smooth" compressor preset is awesome. Plenty of analogue style character to add with the other 2 modules too.

Kazrog Kclip tape setting is nice, as is TB Reelbus.

TDR Nova does really nice things to the signal, both as a wideband and multiband comp. Smooth and clear with nice compression action. Very musical

Softube Valley people Dyna mite is awesome for transient enhancement and extreme waveform shaping... Set the release super fast for some great synth and reverb / room sound mangling.
Wow I agree with Smooth! What a great setting and there is a very cool video where Greg uses the UBK-1 on a whole mix. Nothing else. It is that good. I didn't list it or MJUC SDRR, since they are more color shapers..... Honestly my first plugs were VCC, Clari and UBK-1. With VVV and Echoboy and an eq could have stopped there. BTW Nova was a developers award winner from KVR. Vlad is a genius and TDR is really a dream team collaboration.

Embarassment of riches with plugs. Nothing listed here are anything less than great tools. Since this is the high end forum, be interested in hearing what the golden ears like to substitute when primo hardware is tied up or unavailable.....
Old 21st May 2018
  #28
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When you say curate a set of plugins I think you meant to say create?

Allot of silly posts in this thread made by people who simply don't understand the differences between analog and digital. This is the problem when you have people with no experience using the actual hardware these plugins are attempting to duplicate combined with a shallow understand of what is being done to sound digitally.

Plugins are virtual audio algorithms. There is no actual "sound" involved. You just think there is. Its an illusion created by the GUI and the Algorithms simply manipulate the binary data it sees. Without a doubt most plugins out there use the exact same algorithms and simply change how they look by redoing the GUI. Maybe you're high end plugin companies will add a parameter or combine parameters of an older piece or code to a new code. They rarely risk stability and speed to write an entirely new code. It takes far too long and costs too much money to build a new plugin from scratch. What you think you're buying is bran new by the way it looks but the code itsels is nothing bt a code that's been recycled thousands of times.

I doubt there's a dimes difference between most plugins when adjusted to one extreme or the other. What makes one seem better is the number of steps between those two extremes. I remember many old plugins started off as having maybe 16 steps or levels. A few years later they increased it to something like 256 which made it seem so analog like in comparison. Then they'd jump to something like 1024 steps to where it faked you out to the point where the GUI had an analog fluidity by making those changes smaller and smaller. None of that changed what happened at either extreme however. If the two extremes are +10dB and -10dB thay simply added more steps between those two points and like a boob you were tricked into thinking they did something to improve the actual sound quality.

I suppose that kind of deception began with the first cartoon using a series of fixed pictures to made the brain think they were seeing something alive. Then you have Disney come along and quadruple the number of pictures to make it seem even more fluid like.

Granted a smooth GUI may make it seem more analog like and therefore improve the work simply by it being more comfortable to use or having more steps between the extremes, but does that equate to the plugin actually improving the audio quality? If it does it should be easy to prove using a Frequency analyzer. My testing proved to me the audio quality is only as good as the original tracks were and what your interface is capable of creating. Everything else is simply a pretty good illusion making a whole lot of money for the code writes who know how to pull chains.

I doubt the basic algorithms between one plugin and another are very different. They cant be. Its far too difficult and expensive to write long codes for scratch. What they do is simply use older codes and modify them. They don't reinvent the wheel every time they offer a new EQ. They simply take a parameter from one and add that math to another one a big blocks of data that are easy to test and troubleshoot then then give it a new GUI. Then they convince the buyer its some new plugin you just got to have.
Old 21st May 2018
  #29
Lindell TE-100
Old 21st May 2018
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Magic and plugs is a tricky one. More likely if lucky you get ones that don't KILL the magic you have created with hardware on the way in rather than actually create their own. But try these:

bx console N
sknote Marconi1
Airwindows Air
Kush Clariphonic
Fielding Reviver
ACME Opticom
Arousor
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