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THIS is why plugins are the way forward. Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 7th June 2011
  #91
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
You don't actually get 80 instances of a plug-in for $400 or whatever you paid. It's sharing DSP with all your other plug-ins, and you can't use the same plug-in on every track or the crap factor starts to build up. You're getting more like 1 or 2 instances.

Then there's rapid obsolescence and the need to re-purchase all your plug-ins and replace all your hardware every 5 years or so. Computer hardware isn't designed to be repaired. And the endemic bugginess that afflicts ALL computer systems is a much bigger PITA than maintaining analog equipment.

Then there's the fact that even low-priced analog gear sounds better than any plug-in IN THE CONTEXT OF A FULL MIX. So much better that if I run out of hardware compressors or EQ's, I would rather do without than resort to a plug-in.
Wow, you must have been using some crappy plugins! I will take a good plugin over a cheap piece of hardware almost every time, and I love hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
So the answer is no, plug-ins are not the way forward. They're the way to mire yourself in a never-ending cycle of frustration and wasted money.

All the digital gear I ever bought is now junk and I regret every dollar I spent on it.
Some real sour grapes here. Whether or not they are the way forward, I certainly wouldn't agree with the "frustration and wasted money" part. Maybe you've just been dealing with the wrong developers, I have dealt with some very good newer ones these last couple of years, it is refreshing to me. The blanket statement about digital gear is a strange one, some of the best hardware pieces these days are digital! Sorry you feel the way you do.
Old 7th June 2011
  #92
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lagavulin16's Avatar
 

Think of how the best sounding plugins sounded 15 years ago, and how many instances you could run at any given time. Now think of 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and today.

The improvement has been dramatic, and I do expect a time, probably in the next 20 years, where none of the golden ears on this forum will be able to tell the difference between the best plugins and the best vintage gear 90% of the time.
Old 7th June 2011
  #93
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dualflip's Avatar
 

cheap plug-ins.... wheres the yawn smiley? ohh wait here it is, wake me up when the analog counterparts sell for that price...
Old 7th June 2011
  #94
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
Some real sour grapes here. Whether or not they are the way forward, I certainly wouldn't agree with the "frustration and wasted money" part. Maybe you've just been dealing with the wrong developers, I have dealt with some very good newer ones these last couple of years, it is refreshing to me. The blanket statement about digital gear is a strange one, some of the best hardware pieces these days are digital! Sorry you feel the way you do.
That and some who just can't mix a record to save their lives, and like to blame it on the fact they can only afford an ITB rig, and if they had a tape machine and some outboard, all their mixes would be amazing.
Old 7th June 2011
  #95
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Thread Starter
Oh dear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
You don't actually get 80 instances of a plug-in for $400 or whatever you paid. It's sharing DSP with all your other plug-ins, and you can't use the same plug-in on every track or the crap factor starts to build up. You're getting more like 1 or 2 instances.
Really? Really? No.

I use, and many good mix engineers also use, an instance of Waves SSL G Channel on every channel of our mix... that can make 40+ instances, I don't notice any 'crap factor' creeping up on me. Certainly not as much 'crap factor' as the noise induced by 40 pieces of outboard. It's just one of those imaginary phenomenon invented by people to support their argument.

Quote:
Then there's rapid obsolescence and the need to re-purchase all your plug-ins and replace all your hardware every 5 years or so. Computer hardware isn't designed to be repaired. And the endemic bugginess that afflicts ALL computer systems is a much bigger PITA than maintaining analog equipment.
More bullsh!t. Replaced every 5 years? Sorry the software I was using in 2005 is still current in Waves Mercury. Some better stuff in Waves Mercury now too, but sod it, that's why you get the WUP, when better stuff comes out you get it free. You don't get that with any analogue gear. Never heard of anyone buying an SSL G series and getting a free K series when it came out.

Endemic bugginess? Evidently you're half handy with a soldering iron but know nothing about software. But don't blame it on the software. If you know what you're doing, you can run a completely stable ITB setup. How do I know that? Well, I do.

Quote:
Then there's the fact that even low-priced analog gear sounds better than any plug-in IN THE CONTEXT OF A FULL MIX. So much better that if I run out of hardware compressors or EQ's, I would rather do without than resort to a plug-in.
You really must have some SH!TE plugins!!! That's all I can say really. That or you're only hearing what you want to hear. But... as I have said before...

THIS THREAD IS NOT A DISCUSSION OF 'DOES ONE SOUND BETTER THAN THE OTHER?' !!!

PLEASE READ THE F!!!!!G QUESTION BEFORE JUST KICKING OFF YOUR 'I LOVE ANALOGUE' BULL. IT'S BORING AND IT'S BEEN DONE TO DEATH.

</rant>
Old 7th June 2011
  #96
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badmark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
PLEASE READ THE F!!!!!G QUESTION
What question? "THIS is why plugins are the way forward" is just a contentious statement.
Old 7th June 2011
  #97
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
What question? "THIS is why plugins are the way forward" is just a contentious statement.
well spotted shakespeare.

then read the rest.
Old 7th June 2011
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
There are always going to be people who are unwilling to settle for second best.
+1

That's why I'm going back to OTB heh

Gladly I don't need 80 channels, but the mixdown will be a challenge without total recall
Old 7th June 2011
  #99
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I'm certainly no expert in this area.
Well, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I am !! heh
Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
But I do understand the simple idea of resolution and how more "little bits" make a more detailed picture. And I can "see" it with my ears going from 16 bit to 24 bit. It's real to me.
Yup sounds better - but not because of resolution. But let's not sidetrack the thread.....
Old 7th June 2011
  #100
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
You don't actually get 80 instances of a plug-in for $400 or whatever you paid. It's sharing DSP with all your other plug-ins, and you can't use the same plug-in on every track or the crap factor starts to build up. You're getting more like 1 or 2 instances.
Well we'd better return that Ivor Novello and Grammy for that nice soundtrack mixed ITB with a lot of Waves API plugins.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
All the digital gear I ever bought is now junk and I regret every dollar I spent on it.
All the digital gear I have is the same junk factor as yours. The thing is - it's all paid for itself 100 times over and gets replaced every few years. If i'm in the black surely that junk has been worthwhile?
Old 7th June 2011
  #101
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BOOM!
Old 7th June 2011
  #102
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
Top mixing engineers are top mixing engineers because the records that they work on happen to become hits. They get chosen to work on those projects because they've been around long enough to develop enough connections to be on the short list of some record company's picks for mix engineer. It ain't always about the quality of their work. It's about who they know and where they happen to be working.
two points:

1. How does that explain me? Not (well) known but working on some of the biggest projects in the world.
2. I'm afraid there is some truth in what you say - but it ain't the whole story. That's the way of the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
Hits and projects associated with big dollar and/or big name productions win awards.

The assumption is: "Well that guy has a grammy so he must be doing something right." But since when is a grammy a great indicator of skill? Thousands of cutting edge, excellent mixes go unnoticed, not because the people that mixed them suck, but because the songs aren't hits or big name projects. Besides that making hits isn't the job of the mix engineer.

I think this industry is full of pretentiousness and sucking up to people to "get over". But really if we're honest (honesty being in short supply in the music business) most of the big name guys aren't responsible for their name recognition due to their contribution to the project. You work and you take on work until the work you take on gets noticed. If it never does, you never get noticed. Not because you can't mix. But because you don't get attached to hit projects.
Do you know how much of that sounds like someone who is unhappy with their lot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post

Has nothing to do with gear. Has nothing to do with plug-ins. Has nothing to do with the console in your control room or your monitors or your golden ears. If my dog mixed a record that sold 10 million copies then there would be all kinds of clones trying to emulate the mix tactics and all kinds of magazine interviews and Waves would come out with Fido's collection of plug-ins and everybody would say; "That dog can really mix." It's all a bunch of hype that has nothing to do with reality. Reality being that skillful mixing and hit making are not directly correlated, while name recognition and association with hits are. The other point being that skillful mixing and the use of analog signal processing or exclusively digital or whatever are also not directly correlated, while a great sounding mix and a skillful engineer are, regardless of the tools used.
Half of that is just silly.

Sending you a PM.....
Old 7th June 2011
  #103
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badmark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
well spotted shakespeare.

then read the rest.
I did. It was a
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
</rant>
... "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"
Old 7th June 2011
  #104
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Fenris's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Oh dear!
I use, and many good mix engineers also use, an instance of Waves SSL G Channel on every channel of our mix... that can make 40+ instances, I don't notice any 'crap factor' creeping up on me. Certainly not as much 'crap factor' as the noise induced by 40 pieces of outboard. It's just one of those imaginary phenomenon invented by people to support their argument.
In my experience, even the EQ on a cheap Studiomaster console is noticeably better-sounding than the best EQ plug-ins. A DIY inductor eq (which doesn't have to be expensive) is MUCH better.

When I mixed ITB, I invariably had to audition 2 or 3 different EQ's on every instrument to find one that worked. These famous AE's who say "I use Plug-in X on every channel of my mix" are spouting pure unadulterated bull****.

Quote:
More bullsh!t. Replaced every 5 years? Sory the software I was using in 2005 is still current in Waves Mercury. Some better stuff in Waves Mercury now too, but sod it, that's why you get the WUP, when better stuff comes out you get it free. You don't get that with any analogue gear. Never heard of anyone buying an SSL G series and getting a free K series when it came out.
The WUP consists of charging users money to keep using the plug-ins they already paid for.

Unlike software, analog gear doesn't have compatibility issues. You can use a microphone from 1930 with a preamp from 2005. If something doesn't work, you can fix it or modify it. You can find a schematic for almost any piece of gear, even if the manufacturer is long gone. When you buy something, you OWN it instead of leasing it.

Quote:
Endemic bugginess? Evidently you're half handy with a soldering iron but know nothing about software. But don't blame it on the software. If you know what you're doing, you can run a completely stable ITB setup. How do I know that? Well, I do.
You can know what you're doing and still have serious computer problems. The problem with computers is that unlike analog gear, they are not modular. If ONE piece of software develops a problem or conflicts with something else, the system doesn't work at all.

You haven't done the math and calculated how much your DAW system is costing you over time. And you don't seem to have much experience working in a proper analog studio, otherwise you would know that the workflow is about 3x faster than working with a DAW.

I'll keep hammering away at the rampant advertising BS perpetrated by the manufacturers, because encouraging a beginning AE to spend all his money on a DAW is fraudulent and sadistic.
Old 7th June 2011
  #105
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
You haven't done the math and calculated how much your DAW system is costing you over time. And you don't seem to have much experience working in a proper analog studio, otherwise you would know that the workflow is about 3x faster than working with a DAW.
I have - about £20k every three years.

Workflow quicker? Actually - when you consider the whole job your statement is wrong. I mix soundtrack work - DAWs are the speed king there!
Old 7th June 2011
  #106
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Well we'd better return that Ivor Novello and Grammy for that nice soundtrack mixed ITB with a lot of Waves API plugins.....


All the digital gear I have is the same junk factor as yours. The thing is - it's all paid for itself 100 times over and gets replaced every few years. If i'm in the black surely that junk has been worthwhile?
These are my points exactly. The thoughtline goes like this.

EVEN IF using a HW API2500 sounded loads better than a software one, a big studio might only own 2 or 3. So to use it on 16 channels of a mix requires you to go through each one 8 times. That means, a 5 minute mix takes 40, plus rewinding the tape (I assume if plugins are so useless, so is DAW, it's the same technology after all). So that's probably no less than an hour for a 5 minute song, if you're tape op is really good, and you have all your settings noted down so you can change the compressor settings quickly. More like 2 hours really.

Then it's the same situation on the HW SSL Channel Strip you have. You could put a soft one on every channel, but no, you maintain the HW one is better, so you want that on 24 channels of a mix. That means 24 runs through it, at 5 minutes each - 2 hours straight off. Inc tape time, setting time, all the rest, it's going to be 4 hours.

And, the list goes on.

So all these extra hours accumulated, are getting billed to the label. And when the label says is "you mixed a track for me, it took 100 hours. Somebody else mixed one for me, it only took 20. I was paying $100 an hour for the studio and $50 and hour for you, meaning I spent an extra $12,000 with you. Why is that?" you can only answer with "because I was using hardware, not plugins". So when they say "Oh, and why's that?" and you say "because it sounds better, plugins are sh!t" (despite the fact that they are perfectly happy with the plugin mix) they will probably not be amused. Seeing as they are footing the bill. And, personally, I don't think it would be unreasonable for them to say "you used hardware because you like hardware, despite this plug-in based mix being completely fine, why should I foot the bill to pay for you to have fun? I'm only paying you for 20 hours".

That may not happen on the top top records, it but it may. But hey, since when has this industry been all about the top top records. That is not where all the money is made, there is also a significant amount elsewhere. No self-financing band (which is becoming all the more common) is going to foot the bill for you to spend 4 times as long in the studio doing something, just so you can have it on hardware for a slightly possibly better sound. That's the reality - take your head out the clouds and see it.

Nobody gives a flying funk what you think about plugins. They really don't. I hate to tell you it, but no paying client gives a toss. They want their product at the best price, and going 400% on the cost to get an arguable 5% extra on the audio does not make business sense.

but EVEN if they did, that 400% is not sufficient to prop up a hardware based studio against a software based one. the cost of buying tape machines and tape vs pro tools, hardware vs plugins, and so on, is far greater than 400% of the cost. You'd need to be looking no less than 1000%. Which is just not going to happen, at any commercial level.

So, no matter how much you love the sound of your analogue gear, when you can pick up great sounding plugins for $149 a pair; it becomes commercially inviable to run your studio around analogue gear.
Old 7th June 2011
  #107
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
And you don't seem to have much experience working in a proper analog studio, otherwise you would know that the workflow is about 3x faster than working with a DAW.
Really? I would say it is you.

This morning I brought up a project of over 100 tracks in Pro Tools, each with 2 or 3 signal processors on.

To recall the settings took about 15 seconds.

I am not sure how long it would take to recall a 100+ channel console, plus 2-300 hardware signal processors, but I am pretty sure it would be more than 5 seconds, which is 3x faster.

To be honest, I probably finished working on the session (only did an hour on it) before I would have started it, had I had to recall that on analogue gear! How would I justify that 2 hour charge to the client - when they are perfectly aware that it can be done on DAW with no recall time?
Old 7th June 2011
  #108
Old 7th June 2011
  #109
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narcoman's Avatar
 

I agree with the original statement.

Whether anyone likes it or not - plugins and digital are what we are all going ot be doing.

I love my Neve - 35 years old and awesome. It gets used all the time - but it's now a sonic effect rather than my work horse.

That's where we are - plugins. Like it or not. whether they're ready or not is another thing - we can rightly debate the qualities..... but that wasn't what he said. He said thats the way forward. In fact my only argument would be "it's not that it's the way forward, or a choice of preference.... but it is where we are and nothing will change that".
Old 7th June 2011
  #110
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AlexDaCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
I agree with the original statement.

Whether anyone likes it or not - plugins and digital are what we are all going ot be doing.

I love my Neve - 35 years old and awesome. It gets used all the time - but it's now a sonic effect rather than my work horse.

That's where we are - plugins. Like it or not. whether they're ready or not is another thing - we can rightly debate the qualities..... but that wasn't what he said. He said thats the way forward. In fact my only argument would be "it's not that it's the way forward, or a choice of preference.... but it is where we are and nothing will change that".
Old 7th June 2011
  #111
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
I agree with the original statement.

Whether anyone likes it or not - plugins and digital are what we are all going ot be doing.

I love my Neve - 35 years old and awesome. It gets used all the time - but it's now a sonic effect rather than my work horse.

That's where we are - plugins. Like it or not. whether they're ready or not is another thing - we can rightly debate the qualities..... but that wasn't what he said. He said thats the way forward. In fact my only argument would be "it's not that it's the way forward, or a choice of preference.... but it is where we are and nothing will change that".
+1

Although I'm going back OTB, there will still be cool plugins irreplacable by hardware. Every discussion about HW vs. SW seems to end whether or. But people should concentrate on their needs and get the best of both individually for them.
Old 7th June 2011
  #112
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
And on top of that. A lot of these analog die hard folk's mixes ain't sounding all that great anyway......so, there's that too.
realy? what kind of statement is that, you think skill is tied to the technology?
Old 7th June 2011
  #113
No I don't but if you read the rest of my posts in this thread you would know that.
Old 7th June 2011
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
I agree with the original statement.

Whether anyone likes it or not - plugins and digital are what we are all going ot be doing.

I love my Neve - 35 years old and awesome. It gets used all the time - but it's now a sonic effect rather than my work horse.

That's where we are - plugins. Like it or not. whether they're ready or not is another thing - we can rightly debate the qualities..... but that wasn't what he said. He said thats the way forward. In fact my only argument would be "it's not that it's the way forward, or a choice of preference.... but it is where we are and nothing will change that".
This may be the best, clearest explanation yet.

I personally still like grabbing an EQ knob... I can just dial stuff in faster that way - but surely can't recall it later in a second.
Old 7th June 2011
  #115
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
No I don't but if you read the rest of my posts in this thread you would know that.
your other posts don't clarify that at all, but nvm,
i agree though with the OP that the convenience of the plugs can't be beaten imo, but as long as fantastic sounding albums are made without recall on everything people will not get to the point where hardware becomes obsolete and plugs are the way to go..
Old 7th June 2011
  #116
Really, because the post you took that statement from says this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
And on top of that. A lot of these analog die hard folk's mixes ain't sounding all that great anyway......so, there's that too.

Plug-in or not, if you can't mix you can't mix.

Plug-in or not, if you CAN mix then you can mix.
So what's your point guy?...that you lack understanding?
Old 7th June 2011
  #117
Gear interested
 

why does everyone want plug ins to sound like hardware? isn't all plugins do is make everything easier and cheaper (perhaps with the odd exception)?

basically, to me it looks like plug ins are currently only really useful for people with tighter budgets to take the clients from the big studios..

what things can you accomplish today that weren't possible 20 years ago (excluding the pathetic ability to tune vocals)?


just a few thoughts....
Old 7th June 2011
  #118
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I fail to grasp how plugs are inevitely the "way forward". They are and will continue to be simply a tool choice. Each tool has it good and bad and plugs are no exception. While plugs most likely will get better as time marches on, you have to be in fairytale land to suspend your belief that as a tool in the next 10 years they will have erased all their negatives. Each studio owner /engineer is an independent contractor making their own decisions regarding tools, what they pay for them, and their fees to clients for services rendered. If the market (labels or whomever) wanting cheaper all the time was the only factor then it would be only $40 Chinese mics into Behringer gear using ear buds for a monitering system in a bedroom setup with no physical overhead costs. Plugs are only one tool in the whole chain and if you make the "cheaper but still gets the job done regardless of sonics" argument then you might as well apply that principle to the WHOLE signal chain. Given the OP fails to do this with the choices he has made with his whole signal chain it's hard to see how much of this type of logic applies to the real world (do as I say, not as I do). While the OP has focused on a few trees in the forest to justify his prediction of the future, I look at the forrest and see a much different future more in line with past. A recording past in which new tools were simply integrated with existing ones. Any economic arguments fails to grasp that engineers are mechanics and thus take pride in their workmanship since their name and reputation are associated with it. A great reputation affects future earnings for the engineer and as such, not picking the cheapest tool that still gets the job done regardless of sonics is in their own best interest.
Old 7th June 2011
  #119
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Really? I would say it is you.

This morning I brought up a project of over 100 tracks in Pro Tools, each with 2 or 3 signal processors on.

To recall the settings took about 15 seconds.

I am not sure how long it would take to recall a 100+ channel console, plus 2-300 hardware signal processors, but I am pretty sure it would be more than 5 seconds, which is 3x faster.

To be honest, I probably finished working on the session (only did an hour on it) before I would have started it, had I had to recall that on analogue gear! How would I justify that 2 hour charge to the client - when they are perfectly aware that it can be done on DAW with no recall time?
he's not talking about recalls i think? but about workflow, during recording, while mixing..etc etc and recalls are usually in the budget it aint a sin
Old 7th June 2011
  #120
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Washington's Avatar
 

I have a strong feeling that the question of audio quality - raised by some in response to the original statement - is not the point, actually. Whether anyone is able hear the difference between a plugin and analog equipment is subject to much caution, or at least is endlessly debatable.

I for one will do my job with the plugins that came with my DAW if need be. I tend to believe that a more respectable result than I thought can be acheived that way. But... I'll admit I own a modest amount of very good outboard, and also a large ton of top-quality plugins. That's quite an investment.

Why did I spend the money then ?

Certainly not speculating on the listener's experience. But to make sure that whenever something is not good enough, I can't blame it on anything else than myself. In my experience, the only good reason to fork the über-bucks for top-of-the-line equipment is personal improvement.

Neverending, that.
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