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3 Best/Worst Plugin Companies To You - 2014 Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 23rd August 2016
  #301
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MusiKLover's Avatar
I should amend my post:

--Apple's LPX sounds great and has excellent SRC. Its plugins only add to the capabilities, such as the compressor & Space Designer. FLEX is very good, like Vari-Audio, Ableton, anything elastique-oriented (Apple's is proprietary,) though Ableton has awesome WARPing capabilities
--UAD Sounds terffic -- both from the interface & software perspectives
--KVR's Synthmaster is quite good sonically and covers many bases, and Steve Duda's Serum sounds terrific as well & can wear many hats with the WTs / Additive. I'll too add Dune 2 to this listing (Alchemy too, but already covered in LPX)
Old 23rd August 2016
  #302
Gear Addict
 
Hardsinc_'s Avatar
 

Top 3, in no order..

1. Unfiltered Audio, for using computer based processing to it's strengths and very good prices and products.
2. Hofa , outstanding quality and ideas, low cpu usage and fair prices.
3. Brainworx, amazing products that live up to their claims (ime), not cheap though.
4. Kush DSP/Sly Fi great products, great sound, great price.

As for 'bad', I guess all the ones I don't use...

Take a look at the top 2 if you've not heard of them, you might get a nice surprise. Sandman and Hofa comp would be my top two picks to demo..
Old 23rd August 2016
  #303
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
With you on that one.
Add me to the list regarding Kontakt's horrid interface.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decano View Post
But i had a bad experience with Fxpansion: Im thinking on their high re-sale fees and and how they treat customers. But i must admit that I love BFD3 sound!
Yeah, I have to agree with this too. I think they really need to shape up their public relations. They have an excellent product in BFD but their customer care and marketing is really lacking and I think that's the main reason why they are loosing out to the competition.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #305
Lives for gear
 

Best: as much as this may sound crazy…Waves has been very good to me.

as a Mercury Tdm owner whenever i've needed help waves has been there and sat on the phone with me for as long as it takes to solve the issue…plus the simple fact that you can get them on the phone.

I know many hate WUP but as a Mercury owner I get:

free plugins every year
unlimited phone tech support
insurance incase my computer dies or is stolen

what is there not to love about this?



Worst:

Plugin Alliance by far.

i own hundreds of plugins and at least one from every major manufacturer. 3x times I have been mistreated/screwed over by Dirk and I own a fairly large number of his plugins. At this point I just really try to avoid his stuff as I am never sure if his gui will cause issues in my system and i know that not only will he not admit that there are problems but he won't take responsibility for the either.

Not a Dirk/Plugin Alliance fan over here at all.


ej
Old 23rd August 2016
  #306
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Worst by far Avid.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #307
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blackcom's Avatar
 

Best ones:
Slate Digital
Plugin-Alliance
Toontrack


...don't really buy plugins from companies I dont like so... I dunno...
Old 24th August 2016
  #308
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Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
Best: as much as this may sound crazy…Waves has been very good to me.

as a Mercury Tdm owner whenever i've needed help waves has been there and sat on the phone with me for as long as it takes to solve the issue…plus the simple fact that you can get them on the phone.

I know many hate WUP but as a Mercury owner I get:

free plugins every year
unlimited phone tech support
insurance incase my computer dies or is stolen

what is there not to love about this?



Worst:

Plugin Alliance by far.

i own hundreds of plugins and at least one from every major manufacturer. 3x times I have been mistreated/screwed over by Dirk and I own a fairly large number of his plugins. At this point I just really try to avoid his stuff as I am never sure if his gui will cause issues in my system and i know that not only will he not admit that there are problems but he won't take responsibility for the either.

Not a Dirk/Plugin Alliance fan over here at all.


ej
Can you elaborate on the gui issue ? I think it relayed to a common template that soundtoys also use ...i m investigating on this here ...
Old 24th August 2016
  #309
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcom View Post
...don't really buy plugins from companies I dont like so... I dunno...
How do you know you don't like them if you've never been a customer?
Old 24th August 2016
  #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
Can you elaborate on the gui issue ? I think it relayed to a common template that soundtoys also use ...i m investigating on this here ...
I found with many of the plugin alliance plugins, the left side of the gui would arbitrarily stop working and I would have to reinstanciate it. This would also happen if I used to the plugin alliance at the same time as hornet or Klanghelm plugins in the same session. Also instanciatiating the plugin alliance stuff would sometimes make the entire gui of the hornet and Klanghelm inoperable. On another side note their spl vitalizer randomly starts emitting a high pitched sine wave that was so loud and strong that it fried the tweeter of the amphion one 18 and made it start smoking. So now I am afraid to use it at all and if I use the plug alliance stuff I have to decide if I want to risk using the Klanghelm or hornet stuff in the same session which irritates me since I should be able to use ALL the tools I've paid for.

I've been doing this professionally for over 15 years and I have never seen this nor had it happen with any other plugin developer.

I reported all of this on several occasions to plug alliance and even addressed it to dirk directly and all I got were crickets. One would think with these issues and considering the rather large number of his plugins that I do own that I would at least get a response. Nothing.

I have heard from him in the past over an authorization issue with the brainwork eq. I needed and Ilok authorization but they had switched to their own system. Their authorization server was not compatible with my Mac OS at the time and their website then wasn't very clear about the system specks. When I realized that I was stuck and could not use the plugin I reached out to them. When it got to dirk he told me flat out that he would not help me, would not refund me and that I should simply sell the plugin if I wanted to get any of my money back. I sat on that plugin for almost 2 years before I was able to use it..... Nice one.

So this plus their lack of response to the gui issues is why I am not a dirk fan and avoid his plugin alliance these days unless it is something so unique.

Plugin alliance gets my vote for the worst developer ever.

Ej
Old 24th August 2016
  #311
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
I found with many of the plugin alliance plugins, the left side of the gui would arbitrarily stop working and I would have to reinstanciate it. This would also happen if I used to the plugin alliance at the same time as hornet or Klanghelm plugins in the same session. Also instanciatiating the plugin alliance stuff would sometimes make the entire gui of the hornet and Klanghelm inoperable. On another side note their spl vitalizer randomly starts emitting a high pitched sine wave that was so loud and strong that it fried the tweeter of the amphion one 18 and made it start smoking. So now I am afraid to use it at all and if I use the plug alliance stuff I have to decide if I want to risk using the Klanghelm or hornet stuff in the same session which irritates me since I should be able to use ALL the tools I've paid for.

I've been doing this professionally for over 15 years and I have never seen this nor had it happen with any other plugin developer.

I reported all of this on several occasions to plug alliance and even addressed it to dirk directly and all I got were crickets. One would think with these issues and considering the rather large number of his plugins that I do own that I would at least get a response. Nothing.

I have heard from him in the past over an authorization issue with the brainwork eq. I needed and Ilok authorization but they had switched to their own system. Their authorization server was not compatible with my Mac OS at the time and their website then wasn't very clear about the system specks. When I realized that I was stuck and could not use the plugin I reached out to them. When it got to dirk he told me flat out that he would not help me, would not refund me and that I should simply sell the plugin if I wanted to get any of my money back. I sat on that plugin for almost 2 years before I was able to use it..... Nice one.

So this plus their lack of response to the gui issues is why I am not a dirk fan and avoid his plugin alliance these days unless it is something so unique.

Plugin alliance gets my vote for the worst developer ever.

Ej
As you well know, there are many hats under the PluginAlliance Umbrella now, and they are even on UAD (though mostly brainworx.)

Is it SPL? brainworx? Unfiltered? Lindell? You do point out brainworx, however, though I tend to see this prong as the "shining star."

It would be easy to think it shouldn't matter, but they are like separate islands, I believe, so it does in some respects.

Even the Vertigos and Elysiums -- I'm not entirely sure exactly where they fall.
Old 24th August 2016
  #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiKLover View Post
As you well know, there are many hats under the PluginAlliance Umbrella now, and they are even on UAD (though mostly brainworx.)

Is it SPL? brainworx? Unfiltered? Lindell? You do point out brainworx, however, though I tend to see this prong as the "shining star."

It would be easy to think it shouldn't matter, but they are like separate islands, I believe, so it does in some respects.

Even the Vertigos and Elysiums -- I'm not entirely sure exactly where they fall.
True to a certain extent but a large part of his plugins are coded by brainworx which I do believe is him. So to be specific, I have had gui issues with:

All brainwork plugins
All elysia plugins
Vertigo comp

I can provide a list of the ones that I own but I can say I own all if not most of them respectively.

Sonic issues with spl vitalizer

Authorization issues with some of the Lindell plugs showing up as incompatible au...so I just gave up on them.

So I don't know where the line is between plugin alliance being a developer vs a distributor but what I do know is that they are the gate keeper to it all. Where else can I focus my frustrations?

Ej

Last edited by ejsongs; 24th August 2016 at 06:56 PM..
Old 24th August 2016
  #313
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
True to a certain extent but a large apart of his plugins are coded by brainworx which I do believe is him. So to be specific, I have had gui issues with:

All brainwork plugins
All elysia plugins
Vertigo comp

I can provide a list of the ones that I own but I can say I own all if not most of them respectively.

Sonic issues with spl vitalizer

Authorization issues with some of the Lindell plugs showing up as incompatible au...so I just gave up on them.

So I don't know where the line is between plugin alliance being a developer vs a distributor but what I do know is that they are the gate keeper to it all. Where else can I focus my frustrations?

Ej
I get it. I primarily use Unfiltered interestingly enough, though it's pre-PluginAlliance takeover so have no idea, hence I pointed it out / asked indirectly. I'm contemplating VSM-3, however, but we shall see.
Old 24th August 2016
  #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiKLover View Post
I get it. I primarily use Unfiltered interestingly enough, though it's pre-PluginAlliance takeover so have no idea, hence I pointed it out / asked indirectly. I'm contemplating VSM-3, however, but we shall see.
I've had my eye on the vsm3 as well but I am scared to pull the trigger for obvious reasons
Old 25th August 2016
  #315
There are a lot of great plugins out there these days. In the hopes that folks from some of these companies are watching this thread, I want to put out a word about how bad I think the iLok system is, with a caveat: Finally more companies who use iLok allow authorization to the computer instead of to the tiny, fragile, easily lost or stolen iLok.

If your plugin requires me to use the iLok, I won't buy it. I actually have a lot of plugins that use iLok, and I try to avoid using them in my sessions. The reason is, I work exclusively on my Macbook Pro, and dock it wherever I am. If for some reason I don't have the iLok with me, which happens occasionally, sometimes I just forget it, I can't open sessions with plugins authorized like this.

Traveling with the iLok is a nightmare, the opportunities for it to disappear or break are myriad. The computer itself is bigger, stronger, and vastly more expensive, therefore easier to keep track of. (I guard it with my life

Kudos to the iLok team for the improvements to their system that now is more cloud based, and allows for direct computer authorization!

I use Pro Tools, and this is ridiculous that they don't allow the ability to authorize directly to the computer. I do have multiple Pro Tools licenses, so I at least leave extra iLoks at the various workstations I use, but I just don't feel like ponying up for second or third licences for plugins. I hope Avid will allow direct computer authorization soon.

With that said, here are some companies that make great plugins, and fit my workflow: DMG, FabFilter, Waves, uHe.

Here are some companies that make great plugins, that I own, that I now avoid using in my projects for above reasons: Slate, Exponential Audio, Antares, Sound Toys. (With the new track commit features in Pro Tools, it does reduce the pain a bit, as I can do things like commit the autotuned track to a playlist).

Anyhow, just putting this out there in case I might have a modicum of influence on my pet issue. Thanks for reading!
Old 25th August 2016
  #316
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
On another side note their spl vitalizer randomly starts emitting a high pitched sine wave that was so loud and strong that it fried the tweeter of the amphion one 18 and made it start smoking.
Ouch!

For the future, you might want to try this plugin. It mutes above a user-specified volume level:

Ice9 Automute :: cerberus audio
Old 25th August 2016
  #317
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1daly View Post
... I now avoid using in my projects for above reasons: Slate, Exponential Audio, Antares, Sound Toys.
Sound Toys now offers HD authorisation.
Old 25th August 2016
  #318
I stand corrected that's good news, Soundtoys is back in my toolbox!
Old 25th August 2016
  #319
best:

Soundtoys for giving away free plug-ins and then having a killer sale allowing you to use the free plug-ins to get like 70% off their bundle, I got all their plug-ins for less than $190 because of that, still can't believe it

Reveal Sound because they keep adding hella features to Spire and also for hooking me up

Xfer for making Serum (honorable mention to Splice for making Serum available for $10/mo)

worst:

any company that still forces you to use a damn usb dongle or dsp hardware

lennard digital for taking half a million years to release a 64-bit version of sylenth1 for mac and for being a dong to anyone that asked when the update was coming

native instruments because how many more effing pianos and reaktor instruments do we need?! update fm8 and massive already!
Old 25th August 2016
  #320
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionFlower View Post
Yeah, I have to agree with this too. I think they really need to shape up their public relations. They have an excellent product in BFD but their customer care and marketing is really lacking and I think that's the main reason why they are loosing out to the competition.
I had some major issues with DCAM back in the day and they would take almost a week at a time to get back at me.. stopped using them after that, don't even know if they ever fixed them

they did give me a $50 voucher for being awful which was nice but I still haven't used it and it's been like 3 years since that happened
Old 25th August 2016
  #321
Gear Addict
 
hodshonf's Avatar
i've been fortunate - no bad experiences so far.

i echo ejsongs comment about Waves - their customer support is top notch.

as much as i like the plugins from smaller developers (some amazing work going on out there), in a pinch, the Waves products always come through for tracking and mixing.
Old 25th August 2016
  #322
Gear Guru
Surprised that there are problems with PIA. I have bothe Vertigos and several others. Bulletproof on Snow Leopard and Harrison Mixbus, the combination not easy for compatability and being supported formats. Always been a breeze.
Old 22nd September 2016
  #323
All of the plugins I buy are great. So generally for me what makes the difference is how they treat their customers.

Best:
Xfer - Steve is a legend, his support is incredible.
Zynaptiq - Again, amazing customer support.
SoundRadix - Great customer support.

EaReckon - For the underrated & absolutely awesome EaReverb 2; I own a lot of reverbs, including 2C Breeze & B2, Softube TSAR-1R, Breverb, Trueverb & EaReverb is the one is the one that I return to time & time again to get that perfect sound.

Worst:
Native Instruments - Great plugins, but the most appaling support & customer service I have ever come across. It seems like they just don't really care about customers as they know that their products will sell anyway.
Old 29th October 2016
  #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1daly View Post
Finally more companies who use iLok allow authorization to the computer instead of to the tiny, fragile, easily lost or stolen iLok.

If your plugin requires me to use the iLok, I won't buy it.

I feel exactly the same way. If I have to use a dongle, forget it. Unfortunately though it's possible to tie your license to a machine you can't reach, say if your disk dies and you replace it with mirrored disk, then that's still enough to make that a whole new machine that need another instance. Getting back to your previous instance is impossible. iLok will help you, but that will take a few days.

I do accept this though as it's so much better than dongles. That just needs to die.
Old 18th December 2016
  #325
Here for the gear
 

Brands

I would like to get in on this thread

Best:

TDR - Yes a very small company but stellar sound and customer support I first bought the Slick EQ GE it was great. Ended up selling it for various reasons but they replied in minutes which was amazing. I guess you never get rid of the good ones I ended up purchasing slick eq again and use it to this day.

Stillwell Audio - Also a small company but have the best plugins on the earth for the price with amazing support. I love companys who care more about the product rather than copy protection. Besides if your product is good the real ones will buy it.

Worst:

Metric Halo - I dislike this brand by alot I bought 3 plugs from them channelstrip 3, multiband dynamics and dirty delay 3. When I bought dirty delay it would not sync with my ilok and would always bring up a verification error.....I never used this plugin and to this day havent used it due to ilok and metric. They would not help me nor would ilok help me they didn't have an answer for my problem and refused to refund me thanfully I bought it on discount for 30 bucks if I had bought it retail ($179) I would be flaming there email!!!

Slate - I'm a user of there monthly bundle but I hate when steven makes a facebook post saying "get your everything bundle all the plugins you need" and advertises a plugin that doesn't exist. Like when he showed the Blue 1176 compressors months before it came out like as if it had already been released.....STOP FALSE ADVERTISING SLATE!!!!
Old 18th December 2016
  #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
native instruments because how many more effing pianos and reaktor instruments do we need?! update fm8 and massive already!
What? Why must they update what is already great? And why are you thinking that this is in opposition to Kontakt and Reaktor developments? How can great products warrant a "worst" grading? Unbelievable.

I love Massive, FM8 and Reaktor (Razor, Monark, Prism, Spark). There's little else like these.

Last edited by Mikael B; 24th December 2016 at 12:06 PM..
Old 18th December 2016
  #327
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
What? Why must they update what is already great? And why are you thinking that is in opposition to Kontakt and Reaktor developments? How can great products warrant a "worst" grading? Unbelievable.

I love Massive, FM8 and Reaktor (Razor, Monark, Prism, Spark). There's little else like these.
With that in mind, I do not like Kontakt and refuse to buy the full version. I have libraries that work with Player, some with Logic's EXS24, and I prefer the latter to Kontakt even w/o the scripting which just confuses the scenario IMO and causes larger CPU usage, particularly core-core. Multitimbral in Logic and Ableton = bad in general. I've read in Cubase too. Bitwig, which I have, is kinda a joke too in this area, it's Sampler no better either (not to mention the CPU issue with Multitimbral Kontakt.) It's Sampler is not as good as Ableton's or Logic's from what I can tell, and I do not believe Cubase includes a formal Sampler, though Halion is evidently pretty good but equally pricey. Logic at least has Alchemy now as another formal Sampler, similar to Falcon from what I can tell, though not multitimbral like UVI's or the older JV with MOTU -- MachFive Three.
Old 18th December 2016
  #328
Gear Head
 

Best: Klanghelm, TDR, Kazrog.

Last edited by JoMas; 23rd January 2017 at 09:39 PM.. Reason: changed my mind
Old 19th December 2016
  #329
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionFlower View Post
Yeah, I have to agree with this too. I think they really need to shape up their public relations. They have an excellent product in BFD but their customer care and marketing is really lacking and I think that's the main reason why they are loosing out to the competition.
I have to update to this and say that my more recent contact with FXPansion support has been a very pleasant experience. Not sure if I just got unlucky in the past, or lucky recently, or if they actually have decided to change their ways. I have changed my opinion regardless. Lets hope it sticks.
Old 19th December 2016
  #330
Lives for gear
One reason I don't like I-lok is the instance issue. I have a dual DAW system, so if I only have one instance of an I-lok I have to pick what DAW gets to use it.

I may test out the Bluecat routing plug as a work around for this.
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