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Console Emulation
Old 1st June 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
Console Emulation

Hi fellow slutz

I'm slowly trying to build an arsenal of plugins for a home setup.
I have a clear idea of what equalizers, comps, reverb and delays I like working with and like the sound of.

What I need some help with, is something I don't have first hand experience with: The effect and feel of a good console emulation.
I've been looking at Slate VCC because of good experiences with the VBC and the VTM that both seem to give a mix a "larger-than-life" kind of feel and glue to it.

The thing is that even though the VCC is on sale at the moment I'm having a hard time deciding whether to buy it since I'm on a limited budget.

The Sonimus Britson on the other hand is within my budget but I have limited experience with their plugins and haven't found any professional reviews online.

Therefore I'm asking for your experience and good advice in deciding if the VCC would be a good investment in the long run or if I would get a similar result from the Britson. I realize that they are two different takes on the same idea and that the VCC has way more flexibility due to the five different console emulation available.

But what I'm looking for is to a tool to instill already good sounding mixes with that "extra thing", that 3D, glue and cohesion that my favorite music often has.

Thank you in advance!
Old 1st June 2014
  #2
I love the VCC, but can't use it now till it's AAX. sigh.
Old 1st June 2014
  #3
I've only used VCC. It sounds great imo. Gain staging is key! 5 consoles at $100 is $25 a console. Great value.
Old 1st June 2014
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
BearOnGuitar's Avatar
 

I haven't used the Britson so I can't comment on it. I compared VCC to Waves NLS though and only VCC would allow me to have the depth and 3D feel of a console ITB. I also really like the Klanghelm SDDR which sounds amazing too, however I haven't had the chance to compare SDDR to using VCC across all channels and master bus yet.
Old 1st June 2014
  #5
Gear Nut
Thank you for your input!

Sonimus Briston is still very new and it seems there aren't that many who have tried out either of their two console emulations, "Satson" and the "Britson" so that makes comparisons very hard. It seems that the VCC is preferable at the moment both sound wise and value wise.

@BearOnGuitar: Cool that you mention Klanghelm! The Desk feature of the SDDR is available for free and his plugins sound really good and have an abundance of features. I hadn't considered the SDDR as an option.

I think I might purchase the Britson to try it out.
It's not gonna break the bank and then I can try it against the VCC demo to see if there is something I'm lacking in the Britson.
Old 1st June 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I was using Satson, and now Briston.

They both add a subtle saturation, and crosstalk.

Good filters on the channel versions.
Not a lot of controls to fiddle with.
Very easy on CPU.

Briston adds a little 3D lift.

The developer is small but responsive, there is a thread on Satson that he responded to.

Old 1st June 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
phas3d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by climber View Post
I love the VCC, but can't use it now till it's AAX. sigh.
Sure you can. Just get Nomad Magma MFX. It's great for running VST plug-ins in Pro Tools.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #8
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdoubleyou View Post
I was using Satson, and now Briston.

They both add a subtle saturation, and crosstalk.

Good filters on the channel versions.
Not a lot of controls to fiddle with.
Very easy on CPU.

Briston adds a little 3D lift.

The developer is small but responsive, there is a thread on Satson that he responded to.

Good to hear some first hand experience. Especially regarding the CPU lightness as that is one of the few complaints I have heard about the VCC. That it can be slightly heavy on the CPU when reaching high amounts of channels (40+ ish) And having a pair of gentle, sweet sounding filters in the same UI is a nice feature.

Any specific reason you chose the Britson over some of the other similar plugins? Maybe besides the good price.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I tried a few and stuck with NLS.

Initially I was underwhelmed by it, until I realised I wasn't using it properly! Usually when I load plugins I use keyboard shortcuts to copy an instances from one channel to another. This does work with NLS, kind of.

NLS models 30 odd channels of each console emulation. Simply copying the plugin loads the same channel over and over again! So you either have to select a different preset from within the copied NLS instances, or load it from the dropdown plugin menus in protools. In the latter, it will automatically select a different emulated channel.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
BearOnGuitar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnemann View Post
@BearOnGuitar: Cool that you mention Klanghelm! The Desk feature of the SDDR is available for free and his plugins sound really good and have an abundance of features. I hadn't considered the SDDR as an option.
IVGI is very similar to the Desk model in SDDR but not exactly the same. Once I bought SDDR I haven't had a use for IVGI anymore since the Desk mode just sounds a lot better and also offers more options. The other models and the bit crusher in digi mode also sound amazing!

Same happened with DC1A once I tried it against DC8C2, which by the way is my favorite ITB comp at the moment. Highly underrated plugins!
Old 2nd June 2014
  #11
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearOnGuitar View Post
IVGI is very similar to the Desk model in SDDR but not exactly the same. Once I bought SDDR I haven't had a use for IVGI anymore since the Desk mode just sounds a lot better and also offers more options. The other models and the bit crusher in digi mode also sound amazing!

Same happened with DC1A once I tried it against DC8C2, which by the way is my favorite ITB comp at the moment. Highly underrated plugins!
You're completely right, my mistake. I now remember reading that the IVGI is similar to the Desk mode and not the same.

I've been looking at the DC8C2 and must say that I'm impressed by the amount of features and control this thing has. And the price is outstanding. Seems like a no-brainer.

I mainly work at a professional studio where we have access to excellent plugins by Sonnox, Waves, Slate and many others but for my own small recording space, I really wanted to look into using and supporting smaller companies and source as many free, good sounding plugins I can find. I've been blown away by the amazing stuff that's out there. And coming across companies such as Klanghelm and Sonimus has convinced me that you can find amazing quality for a fantastic price Budget price but not budget sound
Old 2nd June 2014
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
BearOnGuitar's Avatar
 

I agree, it's a no brainer, just like the SDDR. I have compared the DC8C2 against several Waves and also the Steinberg Portico compressor plugin which gets praised around here a lot, and I personally think the DC8C2 kills them all. It does clean compression amazingly well and is also able to do some very heavy and colored compression too. On top of it the compressor saturation really sounds amazing and thickens the signal up in a very pleasing way just by running through it the plugin. It might not be able to replicate an 1176 but that's what I'm going to use Slate VMR for.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #13
Edit > wrong thread.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnemann View Post
Good to hear some first hand experience. Especially regarding the CPU lightness as that is one of the few complaints I have heard about the VCC. That it can be slightly heavy on the CPU when reaching high amounts of channels (40+ ish) And having a pair of gentle, sweet sounding filters in the same UI is a nice feature.

Any specific reason you chose the Britson over some of the other similar plugins? Maybe besides the good price.
There was an introductory offer for owners of Satson.

I found Satson to be a good value, Briston was a no-brainer.

Old 2nd June 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
bugscoe's Avatar
 

I love the VCC- use it for everything. You won't be disappointed. Another plug to consider adding is Console by Airwindows. Simulates more the 3D aspect of a analog board.
Old 3rd June 2014
  #16
Waves NLS is the best console emulation I've found

they went so far as to model entire consoles...not just a single channel repeated over all your tracks...and it makes a difference

I believe them when they say part of the charm of a large format console is the fact that every channel is slightly different in character...they took this into account and it really shows...definitely adds a certain "it" factor to some sessions

it occasionally goes on sale for $99 and it's worth the wait
Old 3rd June 2014
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugscoe View Post
I love the VCC- use it for everything. You won't be disappointed. Another plug to consider adding is Console by Airwindows. Simulates more the 3D aspect of a analog board.
I checked out Airwindows' website and read the info on the console plugin. What an amazing concept! I will have to try that out

Waves NLS is another one I hadn't considered perhaps due to the price being slightly higher than other competitors. The modelling of separate channels is a very nice feature and something that might move the processing even closer to the feel and sound of a real, physical console.

I think I'm set on trying out the Satson Britson, meanwhile investing in Klanghelm's SDDR for other saturation flavours. Then perhaps the Airwindows Console for bigger "3D"-feel.

But I will have to do a comparison with Slate VCC and Waves NLS at some point to see if I'm missing something or if it will improve my workflow.
Old 3rd June 2014
  #18
Gear Addict
 

VCC is great and was the first i bought.But... is too heavy on cpu.I like to spread the plugin in 24 32 40 channels plus the subs and master.vCC is too heavy.NLS is great and light on cpu,so does satson and the impressive and amazing britson.Light and sounds great.Stripbuss from sknote is great but also very heavy on cpu.
Old 4th June 2014
  #19
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackers View Post
VCC is great and was the first i bought.But... is too heavy on cpu.I like to spread the plugin in 24 32 40 channels plus the subs and master.vCC is too heavy.NLS is great and light on cpu,so does satson and the impressive and amazing britson.Light and sounds great.Stripbuss from sknote is great but also very heavy on cpu.
That was my exact concern. I rock a cool mac mini with i7 2.66ghz and 16gb RAM which is the fastest computer I've had for personal music production. But even that has a limit and the cpu heaviness of plugins is definitely a consideration for me. Thanks for the insight

If we disregard CPU requirements for a moment, there's a lot of love for the VCC. Does anyone have experience with AlexB Nebula console programs?

Personally I've only just tried out the nebula free and liked some of the sounds I got.
Old 4th June 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnemann View Post
That was my exact concern. I rock a cool mac mini with i7 2.66ghz and 16gb RAM which is the fastest computer I've had for personal music production. But even that has a limit and the cpu heaviness of plugins is definitely a consideration for me. Thanks for the insight

If we disregard CPU requirements for a moment, there's a lot of love for the VCC. Does anyone have experience with AlexB Nebula console programs?

Personally I've only just tried out the nebula free and liked some of the sounds I got.
Not just Alex B consoles, but CDSM too! The whole Nebula development has been through the roof for the last year or so, so if you ever considered jumping in, it's really amazing right now. I have been systematically phasing out my "algo" plugins and re-thinking my work-flow with Nebula for almost 3 years now (Yeah, I am a very enthusiastic Nebula user- I test for Acustica and many of the devs too). My audio is happy about that decision. Feel free to PM me if you want more detailed info and don't want to clog up this thread.
Old 4th June 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 
phas3d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnemann View Post
That was my exact concern. I rock a cool mac mini with i7 2.66ghz and 16gb RAM which is the fastest computer I've had for personal music production. But even that has a limit and the cpu heaviness of plugins is definitely a consideration for me. Thanks for the insight

If we disregard CPU requirements for a moment, there's a lot of love for the VCC. Does anyone have experience with AlexB Nebula console programs?

Personally I've only just tried out the nebula free and liked some of the sounds I got.
If you're worried about Slate's CPU usage then be ready to have a panic attack when you use Nebula. I can get over 100 Slate's plug-ins easily plus over 200 more from other developers. I cannot say the same for Nebula when I last tried it. Nebula sounds great but CPU usage and GUI weren't on point for me.
Old 4th June 2014
  #22
Gear Guru
Try Hornet's console too got good reviews and cheap Sknote stripbus is great and I have RC Tube from VCC w/ilok was cheap and like it a lot. Britson is very nice also as is SDRR. SDRR and Stripbus are a lot of firepower for the money!....
Old 4th June 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugscoe View Post
Another plug to consider adding is Console by Airwindows. Simulates more the 3D aspect of a analog board.
You should also give a try to the Desk3/Console2 combo. Just use Desk3 instead of Console2Channel...
It won't impersonate a given classic console, but it will add that subtle yet elegant something that (to my ears) sounds great and feels right (not gimmicky at all).
Old 4th June 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 
dark blue man's Avatar
There's no reason not to vary console emulations across a mix. If you think VCC sounds better on drums and Britson on synths ans Satson on bass.... or whatever, go for it. They're all pretty cheap at the moment. And lets not leave out waves and stripbus. Try them all. There must be at least 100 years of combinations to play with.

But lets not forget, while the well documented phenomenon of confirmation bias plays havoc with our senses, people have been producing magnificent mixes long before console emulations were invented
Old 5th June 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
phas3d's Avatar
 

Absolutely. I vary console models in VCC alone. I even use different models for hihats than the other drums parts. I also mix different models between channel strips and busses too.
Old 5th June 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Nebula has to be on the list of best console emulations, even though that's one of it's lesser areas, lol.
Old 5th June 2014
  #27
Gear Nut
My own personal experience with Nebula is the free version which has some amazing sounds. Even though the interface is not what I would call inspiring or beautiful, I feel I tend to listen more than look when using it, if you know what I mean? And the sounds are pretty darn good! I also like the idea of committing to certain sounds due the pressure it puts on the cpu: Find a sound you love and print/ freeze it! That's a cool way to work and particularly with characteristics imparted by tape or consoles that can help to shape the further mixing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
If you're worried about Slate's CPU usage then be ready to have a panic attack when you use Nebula. I can get over 100 Slate's plug-ins easily plus over 200 more from other developers. I cannot say the same for Nebula when I last tried it. Nebula sounds great but CPU usage and GUI weren't on point for me.
What kind of system do you have?


I'm learning a lot from all of your advice! It is so interesting to hear how many different approaches you can take with the same tools. Thank you
Old 6th June 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 
phas3d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnemann View Post



What kind of system do you have?

A 2009 8 core 2.66GHz Mac Pro. It's a 5 year old computer and I sometimes mix 100 track projects with VCC on all the channels and busses.
Old 6th June 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
bugscoe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
A 2009 8 core 2.66GHz Mac Pro. It's a 5 year old computer and I sometimes mix 100 track projects with VCC on all the channels and busses.
I have the 6 Core machine and have never noticed any problems with VCC on a big track count mixes either.
Old 6th June 2014
  #30
Lives for gear
 

My Quick take:

Start with Satson. Period.

Even if you add others later, you'll still come back to it for the *cleanest* filters on the market. (If not cleanest, certainly for the money- the low-pass is shockingly versatile and valuable for getting rid of overly-bright digital "hash/glare/brittle/lossy" type stuff on the top end of the spectrum.

Btw, I own Klanghelms comp and sat, Britson, satson, NLS, and have demoed console in a few iterations.
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