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What is the Sonnox sound? Dynamics Plugins
Old 13th September 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 

What is the Sonnox sound?

This is my first post here.

Short version: Can someone describe to me the characteristic tone/behavior of Sony Oxford (Sonnox) plug ins?

Long version: I'm currently researching and buying a cross sections of plug ins for mixing. In addition what is packed in Logic, I already have much of the UAD collection, Waves RenMaxx and IR-1 (hating waves these days outside of these plugs), and the URS N and A Eq's. I have a good sense what these sound like and how to use them.

Now, I'm considering UA Neve bundle (or maybe just compressor), PSP Warmer (and delay bundle), Eliosound Aireq, Sonalksis SV line, Chandler limiter, and the Sonnox line (eq, comp, limiter mostly, and maybe some of the others for fun). Not going near Waves API or SSL. I'm tying for a blend of more colored and more precise/clean tools (I love 1176 and Plutec on acoustic sometimes, but other tiems I want more transparent processing). NO need for any mastering plugs (I stay away from the main outs, leaving that to mastering engineer). For fun with demos, Logic tools, or maybe Isotope Ozone would be fine.

I have a pretty good handle on what the others are about and what they sound like. But I can't get a bead on what to expect from Sonnox stuff, except that it is beloved by many. I know I could demo it, but as someone historically more into composing, arranging, perfroming and tracking, I'd appreciate the input of others who know and can help me know what to listen for and help me decide (as I grow into mixing) regarding the Sonnox sound.
BTW, my music is 1/3 acousitc, 1/3 britpop, 1/3 americana. So say if Michael Hedges, David Grisman, Ryan Adams , Neil Finn, Oasis, and Norah Jones were my only clients, would Oxford fill the bill? (and could I not get the Sonalksis stuff if I got Sonnox?)
Thanks!!!
Old 13th September 2007
  #2
clean, transparent and most important, they keep the sonics in the right place.

I am still not impressed by the EQ and bumping frequencies, but I was never on any known EQ.. besides this, maybe best value for the cash you pay.

cheers
Old 13th September 2007
  #3
I'm a huge fan of Sonnox Oxford, those are almost without comparison some of the best plug-ins right now, and that includes both the EQ, Dynamics, Limiter and Inflator.

Describe the sound? Precise yet with lots of musicality, especially the Inflator adds some of the analog distortion characteristics you're missing from mixing OTB, which produces a (usually) fuller signal on many sources.

If you got the whole range of Sonnox Oxford plug-ins you wouldn't really need Sonalksis in my opinion, but I also very much like and use my Sonalksis EQ+Compressor+Gate when mixing.
Old 13th September 2007
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
I'm a huge fan of Sonnox Oxford, those are almost without comparison some of the best plug-ins right now, and that includes both the EQ, Dynamics, Limiter and Inflator.

Describe the sound? Precise yet with lots of musicality, especially the Inflator adds some of the analog distortion characteristics you're missing from mixing OTB, which produces a (usually) fuller signal on many sources.

If you got the whole range of Sonnox Oxford plug-ins you wouldn't really need Sonalksis in my opinion, but I also very much like and use my Sonalksis EQ+Compressor+Gate when mixing.

me too.. :D

so you need to buy both.. best thing: I work mostly on deathmetal and blackmetal stuff... and as you see, lagerfeldt covers the gay-sector in music, so you can use them on everything, and it works hehhehheh
Old 13th September 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

I own the Trans Mod and the Inflator, and have been demoing the dynamics and eq.

TransMod: great tool for adding punch to beats. I find that it add the essential transients to almost any percussive sound, meaning that you have much more control over which sounds you use. In the past I have felt confined to a limited vocabulary of punchy kicks and snares, but this really gives you some freedom.

Inflator: I'd use it for mastering if I were making pop, Britpop perhaps, I also reckon it's great on acoustic stuff. I make mainly electronic music, so I tendto use it on individual elements in a mix such as pads to give them some extra warmth. It's great for adding some pleasant distortion to plug in instruments.

Dynamics: I would say this is the best all-purpose dynamics section available ITB. The compressor has a very open tone, so you don't end up getting muffled Hi freqs when you squash sounds. It also works very well at more subtle settings, it's not like the Waves plugs, which I find you need to push quite hard in order to get a good sound. For spitty, API-style compression it's not so good, but it can still pump if you want it to. The inclusion of great Limiter, Gate, Expander and side-chain sections with dedicated interfaces make it incredibly flexible. You can really achieve a wide variety of sounds. The warmth parameter I personally find less useful, but I've only had it for a week or so.

EQ: I'm never really sure how to go about comparing EQs, for me they are very functional things. I did A/B the sonnox with the Waves API EQs, and I found that the latter were more 'interesting' and unpredictable. However, I wouldn't be inclined to use them for surgical frequency cutting. You can tell when you sweep the filters on the Sony EQ that it is very throrough in eliminating unwanted frequency bands with few side-effects. I find that the boost it imparts is a little harsh, similar to Logic's channel EQ perhaps, but it does offer more options and those that have spent longer periods with it seem to like it.

Reverb: Tested this ages ago and remember really liking it, sadly I can't exactly remember what it sounds like. Similar, if perhaps not as good as, other high end algorithmic reverbs such as TC Electronic VSS3 I reckon.

Overall I could imagine mixing entire albums with these plugs and being very happy, especially for commercial, poppy works. My priority is to write, so I just want to know that when I come to mix I will have the most flexible tools for achieving the sound I want. In addition to the Sonnox plugs, it might be worth adding a nice 'gluing' compressor/limiter for the drum buss, perhaps the EMI Chandler. Then again, you might not need to.
Old 13th September 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 
mitgong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
I own the Trans Mod and the Inflator, and have been demoing the dynamics and eq.

TransMod: great tool for adding punch to beats. I find that it add the essential transients to almost any percussive sound, meaning that you have much more control over which sounds you use. In the past I have felt confined to a limited vocabulary of punchy kicks and snares, but this really gives you some freedom.

Inflator: I'd use it for mastering if I were making pop, Britpop perhaps, I also reckon it's great on acoustic stuff. I make mainly electronic music, so I tendto use it on individual elements in a mix such as pads to give them some extra warmth. It's great for adding some pleasant distortion to plug in instruments.

Dynamics: I would say this is the best all-purpose dynamics section available ITB. The compressor has a very open tone, so you don't end up getting muffled Hi freqs when you squash sounds. It also works very well at more subtle settings, it's not like the Waves plugs, which I find you need to push quite hard in order to get a good sound. For spitty, API-style compression it's not so good, but it can still pump if you want it to. The inclusion of great Limiter, Gate, Expander and side-chain sections with dedicated interfaces make it incredibly flexible. You can really achieve a wide variety of sounds. The warmth parameter I personally find less useful, but I've only had it for a week or so.

EQ: I'm never really sure how to go about comparing EQs, for me they are very functional things. I did A/B the sonnox with the Waves API EQs, and I found that the latter were more 'interesting' and unpredictable. However, I wouldn't be inclined to use them for surgical frequency cutting. You can tell when you sweep the filters on the Sony EQ that it is very throrough in eliminating unwanted frequency bands with few side-effects. I find that the boost it imparts is a little harsh, similar to Logic's channel EQ perhaps, but it does offer more options and those that have spent longer periods with it seem to like it.

Reverb: Tested this ages ago and remember really liking it, sadly I can't exactly remember what it sounds like. Similar, if perhaps not as good as, other high end algorithmic reverbs such as TC Electronic VSS3 I reckon.

Overall I could imagine mixing entire albums with these plugs and being very happy, especially for commercial, poppy works. My priority is to write, so I just want to know that when I come to mix I will have the most flexible tools for achieving the sound I want. In addition to the Sonnox plugs, it might be worth adding a nice 'gluing' compressor/limiter for the drum buss, perhaps the EMI Chandler. Then again, you might not need to.
I agree with this so completely, it's as if I wrote it. What a strange feeling. A real time-saver, too.
Old 13th September 2007
  #7
good review yes thumbsup
Old 13th September 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitgong View Post
I agree with this so completely, it's as if I wrote it. What a strange feeling. A real time-saver, too.
Thanks to all. This is VERY helpful. I think I love it here. Sounds ilke Sonnox will both fit my music and compelment what I already have.

Now I wonder if the UA Neve bundle is adding anything vs. URS, and if the SE versions (which let's face it, these are probably what I'd usually use) are worth the price of another card and the bundle (net $1k), given all else. Sounds like a bunch of Sonnox, the PSP warmer, and maybe some Sonalksis or Chandler will do me. I'd love to NOT have to spend $1k just to get that UA Neve compressor which I crave(could find workarounds to use it once on drum group if I had to and just get the plug, not the card or bundle).

Anyway, Sonnox here I come....
Old 13th September 2007
  #9
my goto mixing pluggos are:
sonnox bundle
sonalksis bundle
some verbs..
URS bundle
psp vw, delay
drumagog
Old 13th September 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
me too.. :D

so you need to buy both.. best thing: I work mostly on deathmetal and blackmetal stuff...
Really? We must talk sometime thumbsup
Old 13th September 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

To answer the original poster... The Sonnox Oxford stuff is based on the "Oxford console". I guess that's the flavor. I agree that it's good stuff and they would fit any type of music. The EQ is among the best I've used (and I have a lot)... But it's ugly, so watch your eyes.
Old 13th September 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiff View Post
To answer the original poster... The Sonnox Oxford stuff is based on the "Oxford console". I guess that's the flavor. I agree that it's good stuff and they would fit any type of music. The EQ is among the best I've used (and I have a lot)... But it's ugly, so watch your eyes.
yeah, we have the sony DMX100 at our studio.. its the same (the native have even more features!!!).

cheers
Old 13th September 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
and as you see, lagerfeldt covers the gay-sector in music, so you can use them on everything, and it works hehhehheh
fuuck haha, man.. champagne bubbles are coming out my nose reading this!

Is this is reference to my mastering of Tom Boy "It's Okay To Be Gay" or just a general reference to cheesy dance music? Heh heh
Old 13th September 2007
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
fuuck haha, man.. champagne bubbles are coming out my nose reading this!

Is this is reference to my mastering of Tom Boy "It's Okay To Be Gay" or just a general reference to cheesy dance music? Heh heh
I know that my deathmetalboys never will pay my rent...

I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU THIS AQUA-project.. even if it sold a million copys.. if there is a god, you will burn in hell for that kind of **** hehhehheh

and yes, you might invite poor deathmetal-longhaired-freak-George to a nice bottle of champagne next time we meet
Old 13th September 2007
  #15
I surely will if you ever come to Denmark. Send me an email first!

Again, I only produced a medley+remix for Aqua, not their album. My friend Anders however wrote one of the songs (28 million+ sold albums & singles).

I did produce a number of other million selling super cheese acts even worse than Aqua :-) Included two mega gay ones, ain't it nice.

Sonnox Oxford is my preferred gay plug-in. Okay this is getting way OT now.. I'm slightly drunk sorry
Old 13th September 2007
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post

Sonnox Oxford is my preferred gay plug-in. Okay this is getting way OT now.. I'm slightly drunk sorry
no problem.. if its get out of hand, I can delete your account here and block your IP hehheh

congrat man, at least you did it and earned some money

cheers & nice evening
Old 13th September 2007
  #17
Cheers!

I recently used the Sonnox Oxford Inflator + Limiter on a double platinum project, and I'm very happy with them. I think they are wonderfully musical (if such a word can be used about equipment).

But there's not 1 greatest piece of equipment for all jobs, so you need a bigger arsenal to choose from.

What I particularly like is the precision of the equalizer while not being sterile. I also very much like the distortion properties of the Inflator, adding warmth and low level details (beware of sibilance though). The Limiter is very cool, especially the way it handles transients: setting the attack time and adjusting the enhancement sliding is quite novel for a brickwall limiter AFAIK.
Old 13th September 2007
  #18
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
The only advice I have is Try before you Buy. All software plugs can be demoed. Demoing tells you more about their capabilities than words ever will.
Old 13th September 2007
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Yes, try before you buy. I'm kind of lucky, as a dealer they hooked me up with all of them which I've been using in Nuendo. I am very impressed with each, need more time with them but they all seem excellent!

The EQ is good, compared to the UAD-1 Cambridge EQ (an obvious "clone" by looks at least) I must give it up to the Cambridge as far as enjoying a slightly more aggressive sound. I'm very used to the Cambridge so that's likely part of my preference, just the Sony seems more gentle by comparison (I have set them up identical to each other and still the Sony seems a bit smoother).

War
Old 14th September 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 

I decided to go with URS Strip Pro and Mc DSP E. Bundle.
Old 14th September 2007
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alécio Costa View Post
I decided to go with URS Strip Pro and Mc DSP E. Bundle.
why did you made that decision?
Old 14th September 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alécio Costa View Post
I decided to go with URS Strip Pro and Mc DSP E. Bundle.
Well, that will cover most flavors. I think I could live with using only the Emerald Bundle
Old 18th September 2007
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Sonalksis vs. Sonnox

I don't want to hijack a thread but I wonder what is some general opinion about Sonalksis vs. Sonnox plugs.

I would like to extent my plugs collection.... and I already have a whole Sonalksis bundle. Do I need Sonnox plugs then ? or which particulary Sonnox plug ...to complement and play nice with my Sonalksis.

Thanks in advance,

Sven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post

If you got the whole range of Sonnox Oxford plug-ins you wouldn't really need Sonalksis in my opinion, but I also very much like and use my Sonalksis EQ+Compressor+Gate when mixing.
Old 26th September 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Sirocco's Avatar
 

seeing the sonalksis talk..
...if you need a gate..get the sonalksis

best itb gate for me and ive demod them all.....

just had to throw that in there
Old 26th September 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Farshad's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirocco View Post
seeing the sonalksis talk..
...if you need a gate..get the sonalksis

best itb gate for me and ive demod them all.....

just had to throw that in there
For me the gate in Waves SSL heh
Old 28th September 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Kindred's Avatar
 

+ 1 for the Gate in Sonnox

but strangely my go-to Gate is still that old cheap Ultrafunk Sonitus Gate from years ago...!
Old 28th September 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
yeah, we have the sony DMX100 at our studio.. its the same (the native have even more features!!!).

cheers
Oops, hadn't looked here in a while. I actually meant the OXF-R3, but perhaps the FXs are the same? Damn, I've always wanted to try a Sony console, if I'm ever in your neighborhood I'm stopping by! heh
Old 18th October 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Downloaded the Sonnox, Waves API, SSL and Channel strip pro. So far what I have found is that they all have a sound to themselves. I am still trying to get a grip on the Channel Strip Pro but it is def the most flexible. The Waves SSL was good but I thought it overlapped with the URS, however the API bundle was the most musical eq and I couldn't replicate it with the URS. Now the Sonnox (EQ and dynamics) stuff was good. I thought the dynamics were great and I love the warmth feature. The eq good but surely there has got to be a better eq somewhere on the market that can be surgical with cuts yet sound good boosted as well. I agree with everyone here that it was the least impressive when boosting frequencies. I have a UAD card and I still love their plugs compared to the waves...I just need some native processing power if I run out of card power. Right now the tools look to be the URS and maybe the Sonnox dynamics. Now I really want a good native VST "tape" emulation plug.
Old 18th October 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
 
PhonoquO's Avatar
 

check out colortone pro, has lots of nice impulses for getting tape like saturation
Old 18th October 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
 
PettyCash's Avatar
 

Has anyone found an actual REAL use yet for the warmth section on the Sonnox Oxford Dynamics plugin?
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