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Compressor Plug-ins Now High END?
Old 14th May 2006
  #31
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picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
It's the poor arrangements by novice producers who can't afford the hardware compressors IMHO.
Kenny, although I think I would agree with statement to some degree, I'm not sure that I can understand the correlation between a great production and top quality compressors.
Old 15th May 2006
  #32
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jumpnyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
At this point in time I am convinced, it is not track-by-track ABing that is the downfall of ITB compressors. It is high track count with loads of compressor's/eq's and whatever else tickles your fancy that is the sonic death of ITB. I have heard qualified engineers who have many multi-platinum records make an ITB mix sound flat with no definition. These same cats make beautiful mixes in the OTB environment. AND they admit it.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Welll - I have seen the opposite happen as well - lots of premium outboard comps making the mix small and lifeless and ITB - dynamic, aggresive and big.

I think this topic has gone off topic with Kenny's remark - I was just asking if some of the cats who use hardware found any use for the stuff I think is starting to sound pretty good ITB. whatever.
Old 15th May 2006
  #33
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Alexi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebor Flow
If you want to use a software compressor go ahead.

I use a Sonalksis 315 on my mix bus and I have learnt to tweak this little jem to FOOL even a seasoned pro as to whether I am using a SSL G384 or the Sonalksis.

It can be done - I have caught out many people and left egg on their faces. I never listen to opinions, the only thing I beleive in is blind A/B listening tests.

So many times on this forum I hear people say "oh this is better than this, or harware always blows away software" my dream is to have an internet teletransporter and to transport them into my studio with the two items of kit being compared and to stick a blind fold on them and say OK hot shot, pick it 10 times out of ten.

I have tested sooo many freinds, pro's and muso's over the years with blind testing stuff like RME multiface/apoggee rosetta and native 32bit and 48 bit fixed, this reverb over that reverb, this software aganist that hardware. I have learnt that without doubt some things are a no brainer, but on so many counts people cannot hear the difference when blind tested between gear differeing by $1000's!!

If you have a software compressor you love - use it, if you have a great song, you'll still have a great song and it will sound great through your software plugin, it may sound better with a hardware compressor - but could you pick it?

........ Energise Captain.

Trebor



would you mind sharing your sonalksis 315 settings?


cheers
Old 15th May 2006
  #34
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Dangerous Dave's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
NOPE.


NEVER.



NOT INTERESTED.




What he said..
Old 15th May 2006
  #35
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Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw
And these 'poor' arrangements are going to dissapear when they acquire a shiny tin and plastic box with 'real' knobs to turn?........

Are you saying that these producers are going to become better arrangers with a hardware comp. Believe me there are already enough rubbish producers and arrangers out there with mountains of hardware.

I would much rather listen to a well produced and aranged song mixed with quality soft comps than a badly arranged song mixed with and using all the usual hardware suspects.

I can't quite determine if your comments are insulting......perhaps you were joking?
Some guys are instead of gearslutz, "gearsnobs" i agree with you...just b/c u own the best in outboard gear, it doesn't mean ur going to become a great producer or great engineer......It helps to have good tools to work with don't get me wrong but if a person is hungry and they have rice on they plate with no fork....they'll get the job done with their fingers....meaning someone who is really serious about their music just b/c they don't own an 1176 doesn't not mean he can't take a plugin that most ppl would not use and make it sound good...b/c some ppl really love what they do and will make the best out of whatever they have...just my two cents
Old 15th May 2006
  #36
Rep
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Rep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traxx
just b/c they don't own an 1176
doesn't not mean he can't take a plugin and make it sound good...

some ppl really love what they do
and will make the best out of whatever they have...just my two cents
True ...... We would all like the best of everything,
but we should Not just sit and do nothing, just because we don't have it.

Better tools really help get there to "that" point ,
but it does NOT indicate that with out it , we would get No-were at all ..
Old 16th May 2006
  #37
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
It's not the high track counts that are ruining ITB mixes.

It's the poor arrangements by novice producers who can't afford the hardware compressors IMHO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
Kenny, although I think I would agree with statement to some degree, I'm not sure that I can understand the correlation between a great production and top quality compressors.

Perhaps I should clarify this statement as I typed it quite late at night.

BTW - I'm typing quite late again now.

High track counts don't ruin productions. Badly arranged productions do. The ability to record 128 tracks is easily abused by novice producers resulting in poor results. But high track counts aren't to blame. It's inexperience.

As far as owning hardware compressors, they are quite expensive to amass. Thus, people making lots and lots of money (usually producing music at a high level) own these high end toys. So people with Hi End toys tend to make better music. But not because they have better toys.

That was my point. I hope I'm being a bit clearer tonight.

About 10 years ago I was forced to produce a record using a Mackie Console and Adats. I had a bunch of Neve, API, Telefunken Pres but I had to mix on the Mackie.

I took my time and actually mixed a pretty good record. When I A/Bed it against some really top notch pro mixers mixing on an SSL, it sounded pretty damn close.

So I realized that that gear wasn't neccessarily that awful (it is actually) but that 99% of the people using it didn't know what they were doing. It's not their fault. We all didn't know what we were doing at some point. But as we got better, we got paid more, and bought more expensive toys. So eventually the guys with the good toys make the better records.

I hope this makes sense to someone.

Peace.
Old 16th May 2006
  #38
Gear Nut
 
TedF's Avatar
 

If plug-ins make you happy then use them!
Yes, the digital emulations of classical compressors are getting good.... they can reproduce the attack and decay characteristics beautifully, but there's always more to it than that!
As an example, think about an old Altec 436C; it was not well thought of as a compressor, but it had a certain sonic appeal.... and it was not expensive. Nowadays it's a secret weapon, it adds complex colour to the sound, an effect that has not been achieved in a plug-in..... that may be because no-one has asked the question
So if you believe that good sounds can be made greater by using good analog gear, you won't want to get trapped into ITB artifacts no matter how easily the settings can be recalled.
Old 16th May 2006
  #39
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
I hope this makes sense to someone.

it does... you're talking about 'correlation', and people got worked up because they read 'causation'.

different animals entirely. and, for the most part, i agree with you, except i'd say those cats are making great productions, not necessarily great music.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 16th May 2006
  #40
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnyc
Welll - I have seen the opposite happen as well - lots of premium outboard comps making the mix small and lifeless and ITB - dynamic, aggresive and big.
Not if you know what you are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnyc
I think this topic has gone off topic with Kenny's remark - I was just asking if some of the cats who use hardware found any use for the stuff I think is starting to sound pretty good ITB. whatever.
I find the UA plugins are decent for certain behind the scenes tracks. I have also found some plugins good for softening hi frequencies. Phoenix/UA Pultec, ect.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 16th May 2006
  #41
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante
You know, they have been making those plastic blow-up dolls so much better now than before... Plus, who has the time or the $$ these days to take a real girl out to dinner... And it is such a hassle to have to deal with going through the motions of dating and everything... Also, in a poll where people who use plastic blow-up dolls a lot, not everyone could tell which was the blow-up doll and which was the real girl... Anyone else think like this??
Wow, you're comparing hardware boxes to sex with women? Time to get out, dude.


-Mike
www.mikeleone.com
Old 16th May 2006
  #42
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robot gigante's Avatar
A joke, my friend... just a joke.
Old 16th May 2006
  #43
MDM
Gear Addict
 
MDM's Avatar
A good quality compressor ( and also EQ and other things ) I find the Sony Oxford Bundle..
It makes sense, because the Sony Oxford mixing desk is all digital.
The company who makes the plugs , is also Sony Oxford - it is EXACTLY the same as the console - I find those plugins sound really, very very nice - Much nicer than any UAD1 imitations of analogue gear, or any of the wavesthings.

Try them
Old 16th May 2006
  #44


I've noticed something around here.
a guy sinks a lot of $$ and emotional investment in his tools.
understood.
a guy gets upset when he hears an opinion which doesn't build up his idea of
what he has .
understand and disagree.tutt

its not personal.
its our fault we get mad if we want to hear that our tools are loved or percieved to be "good"by others.

anyway
I use outboard compression for mix buss api 2500.theres more good stuff going on
with outboard not in the controls but the sound beyond how you use its settings alone.
ITB i'am really cautious .you can get cool results but to me its like comparing
reverb and eq.
it feels to me as if soft-comps are a totally different function/ application and there is an art to them and a good sound to be gotten. i think sonalksys is some cream or thick . and massey ct4 airy
and the drawmer comp has cool snap .

incidently the summing vs ITB check out digi's site there are samples of mixes recorded ITB and thru a Neve you remember this right listen for yourself.

but that said , i find blind tests are less telling then we'd like to (or not) think.
In my experience I find a piece of gear becomes clear to its sound(s) over time
in your set-up only.
you see its not magic ,sounds happen in this moment and change.

and then we "think" about the sound which is different then the sound its our thing.
the nature of sounds is that they change thru time ;they aren't always test tones (hopefully) their textures frequency and etc. are interacting with the given technology and changing thru time and are commented on by our particular point of view.

all that said i do like to hear peoples appreciation of what they like how they used it
how it didn't work for them/ did etc...
thats always appreciatted
Old 14th September 2006
  #45
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Just yesterday, I was mixing a song that needed a long reverb on the tambourine. Had all my outboard reverbs tied up. I tried many plug-ins, they all failed, if smog had a sound, that is what it was emulating. I ended up recording the effect with a Lexicon. This happens quite a bit with other types of plug-ins. If it is a featured part, I always end up with the outboard.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 14th September 2006
  #46
Gear Addict
 

Great performances, great mics, great outboard, and great ears make great recordings. How you blend it all down is a moot point if you get it in the box properly to begin with.
Old 15th September 2006
  #47
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
Perhaps I should clarify this statement as I typed it quite late at night.

BTW - I'm typing quite late again now.

High track counts don't ruin productions. Badly arranged productions do. The ability to record 128 tracks is easily abused by novice producers resulting in poor results. But high track counts aren't to blame. It's inexperience.

As far as owning hardware compressors, they are quite expensive to amass. Thus, people making lots and lots of money (usually producing music at a high level) own these high end toys. So people with Hi End toys tend to make better music. But not because they have better toys.

That was my point. I hope I'm being a bit clearer tonight.

About 10 years ago I was forced to produce a record using a Mackie Console and Adats. I had a bunch of Neve, API, Telefunken Pres but I had to mix on the Mackie.

I took my time and actually mixed a pretty good record. When I A/Bed it against some really top notch pro mixers mixing on an SSL, it sounded pretty damn close.

So I realized that that gear wasn't neccessarily that awful (it is actually) but that 99% of the people using it didn't know what they were doing. It's not their fault. We all didn't know what we were doing at some point. But as we got better, we got paid more, and bought more expensive toys. So eventually the guys with the good toys make the better records.

I hope this makes sense to someone.

Peace.

Bravo! I couldn't agree more with this. It TAKES TIME to get good at this game, to learn how to arrange and produce a mix where everything fits in it's own unique pocket, resulting in sound that is 3 dimensional and BIG! Of course, the music and the performance has to be good to begin with, or the gear will be absolutely useless. How many overly "polished turds" are produced today with $millions$ in gear, and yet are soul-less and boring ?

You really need to HEAR what great outboard compressors can do for your individual instruments in a mix. For example, a friend of mine has an old UREI Blue-Stripe 1176 and this thing is the absolute BOMB for heavy electric bass. It sounds more like a distortion pedal than a compressor, but all you need to do is insert it on a totally lifeless sounding bass track and suddenly it's LARGER THAN LIFE, IN-YO-FACE ROCKIN'!!! If the bass track is actually good to begin with, then it will BLOW YOUR FRICKIN HEAD OFF! It's basically a guaruntee that the bass won't get lost in the mix, NO MATTER HOW LOUD the guitars and drums are. For anyone experienced in mixing complex and heavily layered aggressive rock music, a tool like this is the Holy Grail for mixing and makes the job much easier. The difference is literally night and day, and no plug-in compressor i have ever heard can do this. And many of the other hardware compressors out there will impart their own unique characteristics to a track, which is HUGELY IMPORTANT for making 3 dimensional mixes that have PUNCH and POWER!

That's why I'm about to plop down $30K in outboard compressors and EQs alone to patch in to the console for mixdown. And I'll probably still need to rent a *hitload more for the really demanding mixes.

Plug-in compressors do work well on drum machine sounds like hi hats though. No need to have an 1176 for that!

Sage
Old 15th September 2006
  #48
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasandi View Post


I've noticed something around here.
a guy sinks a lot of $$ and emotional investment in his tools.
understood.
a guy gets upset when he hears an opinion which doesn't build up his idea of
what he has .
this cuts both ways-

for every guy saying "XXX is better" because he spent a lot of money on his XXX and wants validation for his expenditure, there is another guy saying "YYY is just as good" because he knows he can't afford an XXX and he wants to tell himself he can reach the top with just his YYY.
Old 15th September 2006
  #49
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taturana's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo M View Post
this cuts both ways-

for every guy saying "XXX is better" because he spent a lot of money on his XXX and wants validation for his expenditure, there is another guy saying "YYY is just as good" because he knows he can't afford an XXX and he wants to tell himself he can reach the top with just his YYY.
couldn't have said it better....
Old 15th September 2006
  #50
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo M View Post
this cuts both ways-

for every guy saying "XXX is better" because he spent a lot of money on his XXX and wants validation for his expenditure, there is another guy saying "YYY is just as good" because he knows he can't afford an XXX and he wants to tell himself he can reach the top with just his YYY.
That is right, and if yyy was as good at producing as he thinks he is, he could afford xxx gear. Although, xxx might suck and could just have some rich parents.
Old 15th September 2006
  #51
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Well no matter how good software may sound, now or in the future, I'll not like it as much as hardware. Simply because I HATE twiddling a mouse instead of turning a knob or pushing a fader.

I didn't get in to music to enter 'values' with a keypad.
Old 15th September 2006
  #52
Lives for gear
 

There is hard to handle dense trance or dance mix with software compressor. I've tried many of them - for me, closest to perfection might be emulation of LA-2A from UAD. But hardware Smart C2 works much better than Waves SSL with dense mix. I heard also that Algorithmix is preparing to create a software compressor. Maybe they can do it the way they did with EQs...

and finally today UA is releasing emulation of NEVE compressor... just can't wait for testing this one.....

Maybe there is compromise needed. Nothing from hardware produces the sound Inflator does. From the other hand no software comes close to ex. Manley Vari-Mu.
Old 15th September 2006
  #53
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
That is right, and if yyy was as good at producing as he thinks he is, he could afford xxx gear. Although, xxx might suck and could just have some rich parents.
Right!

Also, with the mindset that he can't afford xxx, our hapless yyy user can end up buying yyy after yyy until, a couple years later with the thousands of dollars spent on yyy's, he feels like justifying them even more (their resale value is now somewhere in the region between dirt and compost, so xxx is still out of the question)- then the new yyy bundle is released... out with the credit cards once again.

I've seen it happen plenty of times.
Old 16th September 2006
  #54
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heathen's Avatar
 

I agree a lot of software comps sound good on thier own, but as soon as you a/b them with the real thing they are not even close, the first thing I always notice is the crappy lifeless bottom end with plugs, but yes they are getting better.
Old 16th September 2006
  #55
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
You know, they have been making those plastic blow-up dolls so much better now than before... Plus, who has the time or the $$ these days to take a real girl out to dinner... And it is such a hassle to have to deal with going through the motions of dating and everything... Also, in a poll where people who use plastic blow-up dolls a lot, not everyone could tell which was the blow-up doll and which was the real girl... Anyone else think like this??

awesome post!!!!

Old 16th September 2006
  #56
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 

Ohhh Noooo ! I finally figured out what this is....

It's another hardware vs software debate "disguised" isn't it...? heh
Old 16th September 2006
  #57
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lordmiguel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
Ohhh Noooo ! I finally figured out what this is....

It's another hardware vs software debate "disguised" isn't it...? heh
nail hits head, this thread will likely follow such a pattern.

i an very excited about the inroads that software is making, but we're at least 5 years out to get something compelling. maybe once processors / algos hit 128 bit and 3-5 times the power they are now will you see attitudes change.

having said that, most can't afford $50-100k in outboard (but i'm just a producer), so we all watch in anticipation to the future "urs".

not close yet, kinda still like working 16 bit in windows 3.1
Old 16th September 2006
  #58
Gear Addict
 
huarez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
Bravo! I couldn't agree more with this. It TAKES TIME to get good at this game, to learn how to arrange and produce a mix where everything fits in it's own unique pocket, resulting in sound that is 3 dimensional and BIG! Of course, the music and the performance has to be good to begin with, or the gear will be absolutely useless. How many overly "polished turds" are produced today with $millions$ in gear, and yet are soul-less and boring ?

You really need to HEAR what great outboard compressors can do for your individual instruments in a mix. For example, a friend of mine has an old UREI Blue-Stripe 1176 and this thing is the absolute BOMB for heavy electric bass. It sounds more like a distortion pedal than a compressor, but all you need to do is insert it on a totally lifeless sounding bass track and suddenly it's LARGER THAN LIFE, IN-YO-FACE ROCKIN'!!! If the bass track is actually good to begin with, then it will BLOW YOUR FRICKIN HEAD OFF! It's basically a guaruntee that the bass won't get lost in the mix, NO MATTER HOW LOUD the guitars and drums are. For anyone experienced in mixing complex and heavily layered aggressive rock music, a tool like this is the Holy Grail for mixing and makes the job much easier. The difference is literally night and day, and no plug-in compressor i have ever heard can do this. And many of the other hardware compressors out there will impart their own unique characteristics to a track, which is HUGELY IMPORTANT for making 3 dimensional mixes that have PUNCH and POWER!

That's why I'm about to plop down $30K in outboard compressors and EQs alone to patch in to the console for mixdown. And I'll probably still need to rent a *hitload more for the really demanding mixes.

Plug-in compressors do work well on drum machine sounds like hi hats though. No need to have an 1176 for that!

Sage
Same experience with my blackface Urei 1176 LN . No soft comp I tried (Oxford,waves and more )even came close to this on electric bass
Old 16th September 2006
  #59
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
Right!

Also, with the mindset that he can't afford xxx, our hapless yyy user can end up buying yyy after yyy until, a couple years later with the thousands of dollars spent on yyy's, he feels like justifying them even more (their resale value is now somewhere in the region between dirt and compost, so xxx is still out of the question)- then the new yyy bundle is released... out with the credit cards once again.

I've seen it happen plenty of times.
How about the choice Universal Audio made when discontinuing TDM. All the poor bastards that bought their Plug-ins now have to buy their card. What if you have no slots available? Then you have to buy an expansion chassis. At this point you could have bought the hardware unit. This will be the case more often than not. Nice work UA.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 19th September 2006
  #60
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

One real disadvantage of Plugs for me is the non-existing sidechain (mastering and track compressors included). If i compare the hardware stuff to Plugs, well the Plugs are getting closer, but its really not the same yet. Its like amp-modelling or real guitar amps. I can really get good results with plug-ins, but with good hardware it´s better. Off course, its diffuclt to say that "sth is better" in general, but the compressor question is 100% answered for me.
Just another thought: One major disadvantage in the past was the non-existing mono mode (indepent l/r control), which could be usefull for M/s operations, but well, the new Neve at UAD can do this.
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