The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Have we reached the ceiling of effect plugin quality?
Old 9th August 2020
  #151
Deleted fa7f7b2
Guest
I don’t know if we’ve ‘reached the ceiling’ of plugin quality... What I do know is the majority of them do not get used and have ‘reached the ceiling’ of my hard drive.

Sadly for my hard drive (and wallet), it took me years of tinkering around, demoing, buying/selling and making terrible mixes before I even knew what to listen for...

In the digital world I could be perfectly fine with only 10 plugins tops.

I’m more excited about the future of digitally controlled analog. I think what McDSP is doing with their APB will catch on; and also, hopefully one day the mix world will catch up to Access Analog and appreciate it as much as I do.


Also....
Quote:
Originally Posted by nil hartman View Post
There’s something hard sounding and metallic to Serum, no matter how set, that I hate with a passion.
I agree. Feels like ice picks stabbing my ear drums.
Old 9th August 2020
  #152
Lives for gear
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
#

I'm not trashing it. It's just that it's just a two osc Wavetable Synth. It's just not that mindblowing, there's not much innovation in there. U-He Zebra has so many more features, such a huge range of sound, that's just off the top of my head before my 1st morning coffee.

I don't think anyone could argue it's not a good synth, I don't think anyone could say it's sounds bad. But there's certainly much more powerful stuff around, and claiming it was powerful is what I had issue with.

More to the point, there's older stuff, that sounds better and has much more power and flexibility.
Of course, u-he does indeed amazing sounding synths. No doubt!
Old 9th August 2020
  #153
Gear Guru
Ok I’ll play! I personally think certain plugins and developers have a sound. Kush comes to mind. This can be subtle and not sure where decision making comes in when writing code.

Guitar amp sims will never be able to be the two way street that actual setups are where the guitar and amp react to each other.

Too many choices! I could have stuck with my first three sims and kept on songwriting.... Back in the day had one thing and learned every inch of it. Spx 90 anyone?

Saturation is too varied to ever be “captured” even in analog....you buy certain boxes for certain sounds... it also is random that computers don’t do well being linear processors...

AI will never capture the nuance of a human voice or performance. The Simpsons is still animated on cels and there’s a reason despite all the advances in CGI. You can’t program random and make it work like you want...

I realize sweeping statements but honestly I think Decapitator is a great example. It to me has gotten gear status since has a sound and all you have to do is listen to the Black Keys to get a sense of what it can do...

I personally have made a switch to Acqua just the sound/depth and have enough horsepower to handle it finally after switching to pc... it doesn’t really do distortion well yet...

Singer/songwriter here so send my stuff out to a wonderful pro who sorts it out. Fantastic times we’re living in liberated from tape with syncing and all the cumbersome crap we used to have to deal with. A computer holds a roomful of crap from back in the day. That’s a blessing but iconic gear exists for a reason and those that can hear the difference deserve respect.....tape tubes transistors and transformers are magic and that’s a good thing....
Old 9th August 2020
  #154
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Hardware advances allowing software to advance. There is no magic in old technology, just nostalgia. Tape is for museums. Mac Pros can have 28 cores and 1.5 TB of ram. We are at the beginning not the end of technological advancement. Eventually “saturation” will be considered a silly distraction, some kind of emotional attachment to distortion that was an anachronism.
Old 10th August 2020
  #155
Lives for gear
 
Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Saturation, by adding harmonic content (especially odd-order), can help elements pop out of the mix, so IMHO there'll always be a place for it.
Old 10th August 2020
  #156
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
The Simpsons is still animated on cels and there’s a reason despite all the advances in CGI...
Unfortunately I'm here to be "that guy", and mention that The Simpsons has apparently been digitally animated for nearly 20 years:

Quote:
"Cel animation was used in the production of The Simpsons during seasons 1 - 13 (1989 - 2002). Since season 14 (2003), the show has embraced advancements in technology and now uses a more cost effective digital system which eliminates the need for cels and the hand painting process altogether."

http://www.simpsonsforever.com/cels/index.php
I'm probably just triggered to reply because I've also got 3 different amp sims - 4 if you count the hardware digital sim unit I bought - and I would probably have finished a lot more music if I just focused on getting everything I can out of one instead of always buying more plugins
Old 10th August 2020
  #157
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyneRyder View Post
Unfortunately I'm here to be "that guy", and mention that The Simpsons has apparently been digitally animated for nearly 20 years:



I'm probably just triggered to reply because I've also got 3 different amp sims - 4 if you count the hardware digital sim unit I bought - and I would probably have finished a lot more music if I just focused on getting everything I can out of one instead of always buying more plugins
You’re right! But actually the point I was making had to do more with hand drawing. Inking and painting is a pain but the random element comes thru the drawing and impossible to do with a computer although some mechanical functions can be shortened by computers like cycles, etc...

Don’t get me wrong amp sims are fine but like a photograph of the amp. Only goes so far. Pickups and amps react to each other. Preamps and mics and all analogue circuitry do also to some extent but not as intensely. People often overlook this in the A vs D debates. If you’re a guitar player it’s a big deal at least to the guys I play with....
Old 10th August 2020
  #158
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Saturation, by adding harmonic content (especially odd-order), can help elements pop out of the mix, so IMHO there'll always be a place for it.
indeed, up there with compression and reverb as one of my most essential mixing tools.
Old 10th August 2020
  #159
Lives for gear
 
IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Of course we haven't reached a ceiling. But I wouldn't expect advancement each time new plugins are released.
Old 10th August 2020
  #160
Lives for gear
 
Space1999's Avatar
 

I have been reading articles about how companies make plug-ins and the different methods they use. I am fascinated about the modeling of circuitry in plug-ins.

One article from one of those famous circuit modeling company’s web site, interviewed one of the designers who spoke to the fact that they can indeed develop plug-ins that can emulate things like a room space to a much higher degree of realism. The problem is we don’t have nearly enough DSP in our computers to run those algorithms any better than they are now.

So yes, I think plug-ins will improve, but we will have to wait for the horse to catch up to the cart.

Pat
Old 10th August 2020
  #161
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
I have been reading articles about how companies make plug-ins and the different methods they use. I am fascinated about the modeling of circuitry in plug-ins.

One article from one of those famous circuit modeling company’s web site, interviewed one of the designers who spoke to the fact that they can indeed develop plug-ins that can emulate things like a room space to a much higher degree of realism. The problem is we don’t have nearly enough DSP in our computers to run those algorithms any better than they are now.

So yes, I think plug-ins will improve, but we will have to wait for the horse to catch up to the cart.

Pat
If this is true we are in for exciting times indeed!
Old 14th August 2020
  #162
Gear Nut
It's interesting that as AD/DA converters in interfaces get better, some plugins sound worse or at least different. My chain has changed drastically over the years not because plugins have gotten better or worse but because the raw signal has definitely gotten better - not comparing to a big board so sit back down.

Here's a good example. When I had a Clarett Pre x and Pro Tools, the Arturia Trident plugin blew me away. Now, with an Apollo and Luna, it's just a also-ran. And it's not that UAD plugins are any better, it's just that the raw sound is so much better that the Arturia doesn't add as much.

I'm thinking I need to learn how to properly use my basic plugs, eq, comp, and maybe gate and I'll be good.
Old 14th August 2020
  #163
Plugins are getting better every year. I used to say that top notch plugins from 2000 could easilly be replaced with freeware plugins these days. Just compare y. 2000 Waves Trueverb with recent FabFilter Reverb and Eventide Blackhole. And then compare the latter ones with the brand new Arturia Rev Intensity - the new killer reverb.

Moreover the computing power of our PC's is increasing. I had an interesting experience lately. I changed my 10 years old pc which was still functional to a new very powerful one. I managed to clone the system disk with all Cubase, my plugins and software and it worked (with new Windows license of course). I had to do some licenses renewal but basicall I made the "cloning" efortlessly and it works perfect. Btw I made it many times and it is not truth that you have to perform "clean windows install everytime you have the new machine because there are drivers from the old one which interfere blah bla blah" - it's bul**t.

But what I am going to tell you is that sound quality improved! The same hardware, the same software, just new more powerful PC. It seems to me that the computing power makes dsp processing more efficiently thus affecting sound quality audibly. The reverb tails, the stereo image - all changed.

Think about it, dear Collegues. If there is a forum thread about a plugin and one guy works on old Powermac that he got used to and he cannot imagine changing it, and some other guy has new powerful PC they probably hear different things.

Interesting isn't it ?

PS Moreover I think that software is the only part that evolves quickly in our business. I have 15 years old RME Fireface 800 and I am more than happy with it as the new hardware does not seem to offer me much more. I also do not imagine that anyone including me could trade their Focusrite Isa or other precious hardware for "new" one.

Best, Tom

Last edited by vasylek; 14th August 2020 at 02:09 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 14th August 2020
  #164
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasylek View Post

But what I am going to tell you is that sound quality improved! The same hardware, the same software, just new more powerful PC. It seems to me that the computing power makes dsp processing more efficiently thus affecting sound quality audibly. The reverb tails, the stereo image - all changed.
That's not how it works. DA/AD is what makes those reverb tails better, not a better intel.
Old 14th August 2020
  #165
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
That's not how it works. DA/AD is what makes those reverb tails better, not a better intel.
In my case AD/DA was the same before and after because I use the same RME (with additional RME ADI-2 DA for listening). Of course, Mac or PC can be equally good or bad, depending on model. I didn't want to affect anyone's feelings here

I suppose, that bigger computing power makes plugins' mathematical operations slower or faster; perhaps there is more "ecomomic" regime used in weaker workstations... Just my hypothesis but I think that the analysis should go this way.

What surprised me is that the "old" computer was not bad at all. I did not experience any performance problems. Just one SSD stopped working in AHCI mode, but it was still very fast. It was a signal that motherboard is starting to fail and due to being more than a decade old the process is irreversible. Of course I chose new chipset, because the old one is not supported anymore. Hence new cpu, new very fast ddr4 ram, new m2 disks et etc. It turned out that computer can have "sound" too...

Regards, Tom
Old 14th August 2020
  #166
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasylek View Post
what I am going to tell you is that sound quality improved! The same hardware, the same software, just new more powerful PC. It seems to me that the computing power makes dsp processing more efficiently thus affecting sound quality audibly. The reverb tails, the stereo image - all changed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vasylek View Post
I suppose, that bigger computing power makes plugins' mathematical operations slower or faster; perhaps there is more "ecomomic" regime used in weaker workstations... Just my hypothesis but I think that the analysis should go this way.
That's definitely not how it works.

The CPU computes whatever it's told to compute and it sends it to a buffer. The audio interface takes completed calculations (samples) from that buffer. If the buffer empties then you get a glitch. If it doesn't empty then the stream of numbers is intact and the sound is as it should. So a faster CPU allows for more calculations per second, and/or more complicated ones, and that allows it to feed "more" to the buffer "faster".

Other than a clear error in a computation or an empty buffer there is no sonic difference. No difference in tail, image or anything like that. If you load up the same software on 10 different computers with 10 different CPUs, but the same software same DAW project same converters same OS versions etc then the same is either:

a) the same
b) glitchy / failing (i.e. errors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasylek View Post
It turned out that computer can have "sound" too...
No, computers don't have a "sound". If you heard a difference something else was the problem and it got solved when you upgraded.
Old 14th August 2020
  #167
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
..... but the same software same DAW project same converters same OS versions etc then the same is either:
a) the same
b) glitchy / failing (i.e. errors)
There must be some magic involved then.... Or maybe I was prone to suggestion that the new is better because it is always possible. I could swear there is a difference, but who knows, I could be wrong.

Thanks for your thorough explaination

Tom
Old 14th August 2020
  #168
Gear Guru
 

It's very easy to think something is different for a particular reason because of our emotions and inherent bias. Heck, if I buy new running gear I'm going to swear it's better and makes me faster. My watch might tell me something else. Same with a bike. Same with converters. Same with a computer. I know I'm imperfect and subject to my own bias, so I always try to remember to "trust but verify"..

So I'm betting you changed something without realizing it, and that thing could have changed things enough for you to hear a difference... or you're just imagining things...
Old 14th August 2020
  #169
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
It's very easy to think something is different for a particular reason because of our emotions and inherent bias. Heck, if I buy new running gear I'm going to swear it's better and makes me faster. My watch might tell me something else. Same with a bike. Same with converters. Same with a computer. I know I'm imperfect and subject to my own bias, so I always try to remember to "trust but verify"..

So I'm betting you changed something without realizing it, and that thing could have changed things enough for you to hear a difference... or you're just imagining things...
I keep buying plugins (and hardware) because I just KNOW that the next one will make me a better musician. The last one didn't for some reason. But the next TOTALLY will!
Old 14th August 2020
  #170
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
I keep buying plugins (and hardware) because I just KNOW that the next one will make me a better musician. The last one didn't for some reason. But the next TOTALLY will!
This is the forum for you!
Old 14th August 2020
  #171
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
I keep buying plugins (and hardware) because I just KNOW that the next one will make me a better musician. The last one didn't for some reason. But the next TOTALLY will!
I did that with guitars... No muy bien.
Old 15th August 2020
  #172
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
I keep buying plugins (and hardware) because I just KNOW that the next one will make me a better musician. The last one didn't for some reason. But the next TOTALLY will!
I fully agree There is a fun factor in buying plugins too. I have to admit that I am on vacations now and I already bough few plugins :/

Tom
Old 15th August 2020
  #173
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
I keep buying plugins (and hardware) because I just KNOW that the next one will make me a better musician. The last one didn't for some reason. But the next TOTALLY will!
What happens when you buy stuff and it does make your music better? Am I going to get banned?
Old 15th August 2020
  #174
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
What happens when you buy stuff and it does make your music better? Am I going to get banned?
We touch philosophical questions here but I think that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Both talent and gear can help make music better.

Tom
Old 15th August 2020
  #175
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Focusrite LiquidMix was the only device I know that had plugins that emulated hardware extremely closely. None other plugins come close
Old 15th August 2020
  #176
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 View Post
Focusrite LiquidMix was the only device I know that had plugins that emulated hardware extremely closely. None other plugins come close
That piece of plastic now sold for 60$ around the planet was close to hardware?
Never liked it, it is not even close to the newer and even some older plugins in my opinion...

The world is great because everyone is different
Old 15th August 2020
  #177
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 View Post
Focusrite LiquidMix was the only device I know that had plugins that emulated hardware extremely closely. None other plugins come close
Completely disagree.
Old 15th August 2020
  #178
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Completely disagree.
Well, then that is great for you as you can buy all the Liquid Mixes laying around the world unused in some dark corner of attics and basements for cheap as chips... win win for you!
Old 15th August 2020
  #179
Gear Guru
 

???

"completely disagree"..
Old 15th August 2020
  #180
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
That piece of plastic now sold for 60$ around the planet was close to hardware?
Never liked it, it is not even close to the newer and even some older plugins in my opinion...

The world is great because everyone is different
Its emulation of Avalon vt737sp EQ was pretty much spot on
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 218 views: 88587
Avatar for M_nyh
M_nyh 19th June 2018
replies: 50 views: 6168
Avatar for Lazer Toms
Lazer Toms 8th December 2016
replies: 56 views: 12067
Avatar for Dave east
Dave east 6 days ago
replies: 793 views: 47649
Avatar for RyanM
RyanM 1 week ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump