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3 Best/Worst Plugin Companies To You - 2014 Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th April 2014
  #151
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rotundness's Avatar
Best:
1. UA - The quality is superb, the support is second to none and
they have given me $275.00 in coupons and vouchers over
the last 11 months. That combined with their regular sales makes the
"price too high" argument ridiculous.

I paid $200.00 for the API Vision.
I paid a total $203.00 for the Fairchild Collection and the MXR.
I got the API EQ Bundle for $199.00.
In fact the API Vision is the first plugin that cost me more then $125.00
in a very long time.

2. Steinberg/Portico 5043/5033 - Once they dropped the price that is.
Very High Quality with very low CPU hit. They take over when I run out of UAD juice.

3. U-He - Amazing Sound Quality. Great support with quick fixes.
You can talk to the developer directly on the U-he/KVR Forums.
Seriously, their synths just sound better then most imho.

Honorable mention: Massey, but I wish they would get their 64bit versions of the
vst collection sorted.

Can't really comment on the worst...
Old 10th October 2014
  #152
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* Crysonic could very well have Sknote beat. They've been promising a 'Crycoder' for years now.
Old 10th October 2014
  #153
Lives for gear
For me best ones Acustica Audio ,Sknote,Uad and Slate i don't use the worst so i can't name some
Old 12th October 2014
  #154
Lives for gear
Best - Softube ,Exponential audio, Kush

Worst - Flux, just try and use their tracker support system,I have given up trying to sort out issues with them. Lexicon.
Old 12th October 2014
  #155
I'm confused by the waves hate.

I have a fair few all bought during sales etc,and quite a few have passed their WUP date[which Iv'e never paid],so the other day I got a bit of a scare as I bought that Abbey Road TG12345 for $99, and used the latest installer,and for a moment I thought **** what about the un "WUPPED" ones?-it might not re-instal them?

Well everything Iv'e ever bought got installed and authorised to the latest V9 15.0.498... but buying Izotope Ozone 5 for full price literally minutes before the announcement of the $199 Ozone 6 deal is another story.
Old 12th October 2014
  #156
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greggybud's Avatar
Best:

UAD. Call them for support and there is no phone maze. You get a human with an answer within minutes.
U-he: Excellent support excellent products.
Wavelab. Excellent support through the Steinberg forum by PG, the creator of Wavelab.


Worst:

Arturia:
Updating the Pro-5 with a broken sustain function is inexcusable. Either fix it immediately or don't sell it until it's fixed.
Old 12th October 2014
  #157
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Fanu's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
Worst:

Arturia:

Updating the Pro-5 with a broken sustain function is inexcusable. Either fix it immediately or don't sell it until it's fixed.
Unfortunately, I'd give a thumb down for Arturia, too: many Microbrutes have had a pitch wheel problem (e.g., you pitch it up, and before it actually pitches the sound up, it makes a quick yet deep dip down, etc), and that's been discussed on their forums. Been looking like they're a bit lazy to address it.
They did manage to finally come up with a firmware reset thingy that fixes the problem but that's only for PC, not Mac, in spite of users' requests.
Old 13th October 2014
  #158
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lestermagneto's Avatar
yeah, looking at this thread it seems like Arturia comes up a lot.....
Old 13th October 2014
  #159
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanu View Post
Unfortunately, I'd give a thumb down for Arturia, too: many Microbrutes have had a pitch wheel problem (e.g., you pitch it up, and before it actually pitches the sound up, it makes a quick yet deep dip down, etc), and that's been discussed on their forums. Been looking like they're a bit lazy to address it.
They did manage to finally come up with a firmware reset thingy that fixes the problem but that's only for PC, not Mac, in spite of users' requests.
And here I thought they were allocating too many resources to their hardware while ignoring their emulation software.heh

Their support ticket system is a time waster. It seems no matter how specific of a problem you describe....even in great detail....the initial reply is going to be a generic "please install the software exactly like this..." I replied by asking how this software installation is going to fix the sustain bug.

It's a bit insulting when Arturia doesn't take each and every support ticket on it's own merit. So after the initial reply, and a few more wasted days, my specific problem got "elevated" to someone who apparently knew of the sustain bug and claims there will be a fix in November.

I too will say "unfortunately" because Arturia is a company I would really like to support....but not if this nonsense continues.
Old 13th October 2014
  #160
Gear Nut
1) UAD - superior quality

2) SoundToys

3) Slate Digital

(Honorable mention; Softube, waves, Kush, Izotope, eventide)



Worst

1) Image Line
Old 13th October 2014
  #161
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Best:
UAD - great plugins, 100% reliable
FXpansion - very creative plugins, BFD3 is indispensable, great service

Worst:
URS - just disappeared without a trace
Old 13th October 2014
  #162
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
UAD is often on peoples favorite lists. In other threads UAD is often thought as charging too much for their tools, and criticized for the "expensive dongle."

I wonder if "you pay for what you get" might be true?

Regardless, excellent customer support is something I always consider when giving them my money. I'm thinking they even know this.

Wavelab is another I should have listed as "BEST." While there is no phone support, PG, the creator of Wavelab participates in the Wavelab forum on a almost daily basis. Nothing better than timely support from the creator!
Old 13th October 2014
  #163
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billcarroll's Avatar
 

The great:

U-He
Cytomic
Xfer Records

Universal Audio and KV331 Audio get a mention as well.

The bad:

Arturia
Old 13th October 2014
  #164
Lives for gear
I will give Arturia a break for now, I've had it for a year, and haven't needed to dig so deep to find bugs. I have gotten good sounds out of the collection, and the one support query I had from some issue with my license was rectified, not immediately, but after a few days.

And the sale I purchased all of this stuff on, I mean it seems like I bought these things at a yard sale. They aren't supposed to work
Old 14th October 2014
  #165
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
URS - just disappeared without a trace
Yes, so much for looking out for your customers.

Nothing. Niet. Nada.
Old 14th October 2014
  #166
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
Yes, so much for looking out for your customers.

Nothing. Niet. Nada.
Bob's pretty darn quick to respond if you express interest in buying one of the plugins, actually....
Old 15th October 2014
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha View Post
Bob's pretty darn quick to respond if you express interest in buying one of the plugins, actually....
Really?

I bought a number of the plugins that now languish in my "no AAX upgrades available" folder.
Old 22nd October 2014
  #168
Gear Nut
 
Buggaluggs's Avatar
I've been recording for 30 years, or more accurately, for one year 30 times. It doesn't seem to matter what technology I'm using I never appear to progress beyond newbie skill levels! So take anything I announce with a pinch of salt. I'll mention some that I have not seen here yet.

I like Betabugs. They don't work as well in the 64-bit environment, but they're free and I can always find something I like in their collection. The corrosive is the best lo-fi plug I have. Cakewalk Pro Channel. Not really a plugin company but I like the pro channel plugins - they're easy to get good sounds from. And they seem to be adding products to the family. Toontracks ezdrummer and ezpiano. I like the sound of both and they are both innovative (to me) in the way they interact. It's possible that both are more clever than they are good, but I get way more out of them than i've gotten out of other drum machines / software or any method of getting keyboard midi into my daw.

Bad: Nomad blue tube. I have a pretty big collection that came with Sonar. I might just be too stupid to make them work right, but I can never get them to sound good. I always find something else that sounds better. Even freebies sound better. They look nice, mind you.
Old 22nd October 2014
  #169
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Buggaluggs's Avatar
...

Last edited by Buggaluggs; 22nd October 2014 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: Double post.
Old 23rd October 2014
  #170
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Best:
UAD - great plugins, 100% reliable
I just updated my UAD software. In doing so, something went wrong and the outcome was the plug-ins showed in Cubase, but wouldn't load.

After spending 45 minutes I gave up and called UAD support. I hadn't done this in years so I was wondering if they might of downgraded their live support to shave employee expenses.

Within one minute I was talking to a UAD tech support person. With his guidance the next 5 minutes was spent trying a few things that ultimately didn't work. His next recommendation was to delete everything, and re-install the update. I had tried this previously, but apparently didn't delete absolutely everything. He was pleasant and said to call back if the re-install didn't work. I did the re-install (studio PC off line) and everything works and is back to normal.

The result: UAD still gives fantastic tech support. There were no phone mazes, voice mails, no "Arturia generic emails" that have nothing to do with my issue and unlike Cubase I didn't have to submit a "ticket" and get an email a few days later that may or may not solve the problem.

So next time when I'm in the market for a tool, in spite of higher prices, I'll remember UAD.
Old 26th October 2014
  #171
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RaySoul's Avatar
 

This is a very strange thread. By very definition of the title, Slate Digital HAS TO BE one of the WORST companies, and Waves HAS TO BE one of the best. I own some of both, so, relax...

Slate, while having great concepts and some good releases, is 1) often buggy. 2) Big on hype, slow on delivery(this is new products I'm referring to). 3) Questionable CS. And last but(most certainly) not least 4) for the PT crowd(of which I am a member), a year and a half behind on delivering the format in spite of their consistently, broken promises.

Waves on the other hand, is absolutely top of the heap on CS. And say what you want about what sounds best, or WUP(because, clearly, folks have differing opinions on that), but their plugs always work and are available in every format they claim to provide coverage for. Now, again, we're NOT talking about 'who has the best plugins'(not like Waves is actually slouching in that dept.), we're talking about the best plugin COMPANIES.

So, while I use a bunch of different things, the top three I'm USING are:

1. Waves ( Cla Comps, H Delay and Comp, JJPuigchild, lots more...)
2. Plugin Alliance (Vitalizer, BX Control)
3. Lexicon (ALL of them)

And the worst would be:

1. Slate
2. IK (because that Custom Shop crap has been nothing but nuisance for me).

And, on quality, I'll give honorable mention to UA. I don't own any of it, but will get around to it as I've used it and like a great many of their plugs...
Old 27th October 2014
  #172
shi
Gear Nut
 

My rank takes into account:

- Plugin quality (totally subjective)
- Support quality
- Licensing system

to a lesser extend:

- Manual quality
- Price model
- Innovation


Great:

1. Fabfilter
Great plugins, great customer support, nice plugs, licensing is based upon trustfulness

2. Native Instruments
Great plugins, great customer support, nice plugs, licensing allows up to 3 installation

3. iZotope
Great plugins, great customer support, nice plugs, licensing allows up to 3 installation(if I remember properly)
They did understand that free ebooks(inbound marketing) explaining how to
mix with their plugins was the way to go. I like that spirit.
(other companies makes you pay for books not really good. waves/IK)

Good:

1. Soundtoys

OK, their plugins are just so great it was hard to decide.
Hopefully, they will switch to a ilok dongle free system in November
so that I can buy all of them^^ and switch to 1st place.

2. IK Multimedia
A lot to like(pricing is dirt cheap I think, plugins are great)
but custom shop and ugly logo/UI kills the vibe for me(very subjective lol).
You can install on up to 10 computers I think though.
Too CPU hungry though...

3. Waves
Great plugins, great customer support, nice plugs
only 1 computer authorized at a time
Pricing model(& heavy marketing) & WUP not so cool

Bad:

1. Arturia

I love the sound of their synths(on the ipads, even better than mac I think)
but lot of sluggish animations, bugs, the licensing system is horrible and the customer support cannot even be called "customer support".


Special Mention:

1. PSP audioware

Really great plugins but manual not so.

2. Plugin alliance

Used to be really great I think. I don't use them as much.

TO BE SEEN:

1. Slate Digital

2. Softube

I don't have an ilok dongle so I couldn't test their products...
(Softube did switch some of their plugins though)

3. UAD

the entry is very expensive but so far their plugins seems great(from what i've heard on the internet though)
Old 28th October 2014
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shi View Post
2. Softube

I don't have an ilok dongle so I couldn't test their products...
I for one, just do NOT understand the anti-iLok agenda - while at the same time, giving a thumbs up to companies that allow authorisation across multiple computers.

An iLok effectively allows you to authorise an unlimited number of computers.
Old 28th October 2014
  #174
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Red Black's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
I for one, just do NOT understand the anti-iLok agenda - while at the same time, giving a thumbs up to companies that allow authorisation across multiple computers.

An iLok effectively allows you to authorise an unlimited number of computers.
Shi simply stated that they didn't have an iLok.. that's hardly pushing an "anti-iLok agenda".

I use iLok but can easily understand the potential pitfalls of such a copy-protection scheme from an end-user perspective, especially over a longer period of time. There are numerous existing threads dedicated to this tired topic though, so...
Old 28th October 2014
  #175
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
An iLok effectively allows you to authorise an unlimited number of computers.
No, it allows for one authorisation of exactly one computer *at a time*.

On the other hand, some developers like NI allow for several authorisations on different computers *at a time*.
Old 28th October 2014
  #176
At least demos should be iLok-free... I don't like to go thru that hassle just for demoing 2 weeks.
Old 28th October 2014
  #177
shi
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
I for one, just do NOT understand the anti-iLok agenda - while at the same time, giving a thumbs up to companies that allow authorisation across multiple computers.

An iLok effectively allows you to authorize an unlimited number of computers.
Well, there are certainly pros&cons to this kind of system.
I am against a dongle system to "lock" me that uses a USB port, that cost $50 where I live, that can't be refund if there is a problem(it breaks, u lose it),ilok itself needs some work:
* WARNING * - Do NOT install new iLok software!

I've jumped on the "de-materialization" bandwagon for my plugs(no box whenever possible), for my books(ipad is fine),my videos(Hulu),my games and that's been great so far.
No fear of a new hardware dongle to buy, no fear of a different hardware licensing sytem war(you lost, e-licenser) and on top of that, it's eco^^;

iLok cloud system offers a better system for me than the hassle of a physical dongle. YMMV.
If you like your USB dongle, fine with me!
You certainly find advantages to this system that I don't and that's OK.

As for me, I don't like dongles so I don't buy plugins using them.
so I can't test some plugs that I am interested in and just stipulated it.
Old 28th October 2014
  #178
Lives for gear
best and worst: Slate


Very effective analog emulations when they show up and when they work

Endless hype, endless promises, endless no show
Old 28th October 2014
  #179
Gear Maniac
 
lapsang's Avatar
 

Best definitely Sound Toys and iZotope!
Old 28th October 2014
  #180
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slammy80's Avatar
 

Best:
1) UAD - Simply the best sounding, most dependable, pleasurable plugins to work with. Excellent customer support, excellent sales $$, coupons, vouchers, etc.
2) Slate - Never had a problem with what some call "buggy" programming. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had an issue. Excellent quality plugins.
3) Fab-Filter - Excellent quality. Never had any issues with them. They're quick to use, easy, etc.
Honorable mention of "best" - Waves and Soundtoys: good quality, great pricing, no complaints.

Worst:
1) DUY - unbelievably bad customer service. So-so plugin quality. Expensive.
2) TC Electronics/TC Helicon. Never - ever - ever again will I purchase anything from that company. (and that includes Tannoy). I've never had any luck with any of their products. Three "hall of fame" reverb pedals in a row came to me completely unable to work. THREE! Had the same issue with some other outboard of theirs. Rude customer service, crappy quality. When it works, I feel like it's going to crap out at any second. Just...no.
3) ehh, can't think of another one. If they really poop the bed, they don't stay on my radar very long.
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