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TBProAudio: ISOL8 - Mix Monitoring Plug-in for Windows and Mac OS X Metering & Analysis Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
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Software TBProAudio: ISOL8 - Mix Monitoring Plug-in for Windows and Mac OS X

TBProAudio has released ISOL8, a mix monitoring plugin with a 5 band filter and volume dim function.



ISOL8 offers following features:
  • 5 adjustable frequency bands
  • Solo/mute function for each band individually
  • Linkwitz-Riley crossover filter design
  • 24/48dB/Oct filter slope
  • Multiple filter channel modes (Stereo/Left/Right/Mid/Side)
  • Multiple monitor modes (Stereo/Left/Right/Mid/Side)
  • Adjustable output level
  • Loudness dim function
  • Large and easy to use GUI
  • 64-bit internal processing

System Requirements:
  • Windows XP or newer
  • Mac OS X 10.5 or newer
  • Win: 32/64 Bit VST, 32/64 Bit VST3, 32 Bit RTAS, 32/64 Bit AAX
  • OS X: 32/64 Bit VST, 32/64 Bit VST3, 32/64 Bit AU, 32 Bit RTAS, 32/64 Bit AAX
  • Tested with: Cockos Reaper, Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo/Wavelab 6/7/8/9, FL Studio 12, ProTools 10/12

Price: Free
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

What? Free? That's crazy!
Thanks a bunch! Looks like a super useful tool
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdilletteMan View Post
What? Free? That's crazy!
Thanks a bunch! Looks like a super useful tool
Yes, it is free
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 
Amberoot Audio's Avatar
Ridiculously underrated developer, I've been a fan for a very long time. So to good to see another release from you!
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thank you so much!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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jsblack's Avatar
 

X-mas time..? already..?
Thank you TBProAudio, that's really generous. ( plus the GUI is awesome )
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Thank you for your generosity, TBProAudio!
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Most generous
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Great Idea.

My thoughts, we are so spoiled in 2017, with the quality and number and thoughtfulness of plugins, and amazingly many of these are freely downloadable.

Sadly there are only 24 hours in a day, and many of these gems go unnoticed, and underutilised.

Thanks for this TBProAudio. I do hope it gets used, looks awesome, like hardware!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Arionas's Avatar
Thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Can't wait to crank up the monitors tomorrow and give this a spin.

I suspect this is going to substantially improve my workflow......

Looks amazingly useful and simple; wondering why nobody thought of this before?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
Already added this to the workflow of my mixbus. It really does sound great and extremely helpful in getting less harsh upper mids and highs and more articulation in the lows and low mids.

Ive been trying to read up on the Linkwitz-Riley filter design but every article Ive read including Wikipedia just goes over my head


Could someone with a better understanding of the significance of this filter design please expound in short? Thanks.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Bay View Post
Could someone with a better understanding of the significance of this filter design please expound in short? Thanks.
"The phase difference amounts to 360°", so summing of such filters avoids phase shift.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Great! Thanks for this gift.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Beatworld's Avatar
Thanks for this, very handy
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Great Idea.

My thoughts, we are so spoiled in 2017, with the quality and number and thoughtfulness of plugins, and amazingly many of these are freely downloadable.

Sadly there are only 24 hours in a day, and many of these gems go unnoticed, and underutilised.

Thanks for this TBProAudio. I do hope it gets used, looks awesome, like hardware!
Initial Follow Up/Feedback, further to my initial use.

1. Display

Tried this out, looks great, if a bit large on my 1366 x 768 resolution 15 inch diagonal laptop display. Not unusual, noticed that more recent plugins also seem to take up far more screen estate, than older plugins, probably the effect of monitors/displays with so much more resolution as technology/cost has evolved.

I can imagine that on a larger display/higher resolution display, this would look just about right.

On the display I guess its always going to be a bit of a juggling act, between aiming to fit on a variety of screens, as probably the easiest way to encode the display widgets is to use a fixed size.

2. CPU

My dual core i5 laptop throttles down to 1.5 Ghz - so this may not be representative of the median processing power of many users, but using Reaper which is considered the most efficient DAW, which adds the least overhead. over and above the CPU demands of each plugin - at least this has been my experience.

CASE 1 - Monitoring a recording via the DAW

Not unusable, but when used during monitoring of a recording, monitoring via the DAW, (and in my case conservatively set the audio interface/DAW buffers to 1024 - to introduce the least load from CPU interrupts by the audio interface)

So @ 1024 samples buffer size and also @ 567 samples : ISOL8 uses between about 2.5% and 4.5% CPU consistently as reported by Reaper, depending on where my CPU speed is between its Turbo boost of 2.3Ghz and its throttled speed of 1.5Ghz , higher CPU speeds yield a lower CPU usage for the plugin.

CASE 2 - During Mixing - with monitoring/recording via the DAW off

Reaper reported about 0.1% less for the values above.

Using the 48dB per octave setting instead of the 24dB per octave filter setting, almost doubles the CPU usage in either of the cases reported above, to between 4.6% and about 8%, depending on the variable laptop CPU speed, and whatever else was running in the background (Windows 10 !! - there are so many processes and things running in the background - not the best recipe for real time audio - my opinion, compared to plain old windows XP or Windows 7) - Rant - who needs Cortana eating up CPU cycles - Microsoft forcing their will on all of us, and we pay for it!!! - monopolies!!?

Everything works as expected - also checked the results via Voxengo's also excellent frequency analyzer - also free - another great indispensable tool.

In conclusion, for those who have the horsepower(CPU), this is a tool you can place anywhere, ideally on your master bus - to really understand the contribution of various frequency bands to the final result. I consider it an excellent listening tool. Pretty much like having your own mastering grade monitor controller. In many respects these are the kinds of plugins that really beg for tactile use - via a touch screen

In a full blown setup with multiple screens, e.g. Display 1 - Track Display 2 -
layout/sequencing, Mixer, and at least a third ideally with a touch enabled device - dedicated to displaying and controlling all monitoring plugins - for frequency, stereo, levels, VU meters, etc, plus ISOL8 as my master controller - all on one screen - with touch that would be awesome.

On that note the demise of Cakewalk and Sonar which probably made the most effort to be compatible with Microsoft's touch API's is regrettable.

The evolution plugin technologies from VST's earliest days have been awesome, so much is now possible in spite of the inconsistencies between evolutions in the plugin standards, operating systems, and the plethora of host DAW's that plugin makers are required to support - not an easy job.

If I had the money, I would pioneer a coalition of all affected parties, to develop a unified standard for audio/MIDI plugins, with full involvement of all the DAW makers, which much like Apples apps would also address the distribution of these - with an offline option, so that installs or reinstalls are not tied to the availability of the software manufacturer or the distributor (in case any of these businesses go bust).

The current challenge with plugins is that it is a bit difficult to effectively use any more than just a few - learn them very well, and track all the revisions, which many atimes have to done manually, or with every major plugin maker having their own custom online installation management tool!

This way we could also push certain functions like bypassing the plugin or things like muting the audio chain at this specific plugin in the chain, outside of the plugin as functions that no longer need to be duplicated in every plugin, in a slightly different way - and becomes part of a default set of automatable features of all plugins - provided by the host.

In my mind's eye - I also see services such as monitoring and frequency display, and even things like console emulation as subscription services/or higher level plugins, which could provide such services to all other plugins, this way, we could have a default monitor plugin that displays audio and controls audio from the currently selected plugin. Therefore each plugin maker does not have to incorporate these features in their product, wasting CPU cycles, only the currently selected plugin will consume display resources and CPU cycles, via these helper plugins. We end up with specialisation, plugin makers focus on what they are good at - processing, displays, etc, rather than the current inefficiency where a plugin maker is expected to excel at everything - coding, look and feel, distribution, - a new hopefully also an open ecosystem for plugins, that's what we need. This way I could use a plugin like ISOL8 on every channel, or on the output (or input) to every plugin, without having to set this up myself, manually - and eating up extra CPU cycles, like a contextual tool, enabled and disabled transparently in the background when needed.

Kinda like a linux and github for plugins - you get the idea.

Like google, I do hope we can use ideas such as these to completely rip up the audio engineering paradigm, way beyond all the current mechanisms that are bound to familiarity of traditional mixing precedents. With digital audio, technically - anything can connect to any other thing, and it should become a lot easier to do, than the current restraints of the existing plugin model.

Well we can only dream.

Thanks again TbProAudio.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
In conclusion, for those who have the horsepower(CPU), this is a tool you can place anywhere, ideally on your master bus - to really understand the contribution of various frequency bands to the final result. I consider it an excellent listening tool. Pretty much like having your own mastering grade monitor controller. In many respects these are the kinds of plugins that really beg for tactile use - via a touch screen
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Sorry to have to reach out to you again, with some concerns. Hopefully resolvable or explainable.

I have a strong computing background - my primary career, but I am no expert in DSP or audio processing technologies, only a well informed adherent.

I was curious as to the artefacts of ISOL8's processing, so I did two things :

I work in Reaper usually @ 96k but the observations below are similar @ 48k, cos I needed to lower CPU usage to make it easier and more consistent, during testing, on my "underpowered" laptop.

Played back some audio streams and audio files - .wavs of commercial tracks.

ONE - Level Anomaly

Placed a bit depth measurement plugin Bitter from Schwa Audio after ISOL8. and it was reporting overs above 0dBFS and a more than usual occurrence of intersample peaks. My aim was to determine the bit resolution of ISOL8 which was 64 bits into Reaper, to the best of my knowledge as reported by the plugin.

Then I placed two instances of Voxengo SPAN before and after ISOL8. The analyser placed after ISOL8 reports levels above zero - even when the bypass switch in ISOL8 is enabled - see image attached. while the instance of SPAN before ISOL8 does not exceed -0.1DBFS This was also confirmed by an instance of Waves PAZ - another analyzer, placed after ISOL8.

But audibly there is no change in volume, which is really strange.

TWO

I tried to establish if there were any artefacts, so sent audio from

Track A to Track B via sends

ISOL8 is the only insert plugin on Track B

Track B to Track C via sends

Track A to Track C via sends

Placing Voxengo SPAN analyser as the only plugin on Channel C

Typically by reversing the polarity of one of the sends from B(or A) to C, I should expect a null in SPAN

Unexpectedly I observe frequency spectrum dips in either the sum or difference(one of the sends to C being phase reversed) which are related to the crossovers in ISOL8, as long as ISOL8 is not bypassed by the DAW. Engaging the bypass via ISOL8 does not change the observed dips.

See image attached, one for the 24db setting and another for the 48db filter setting, so these dips in the sum and difference of the "clean" and "ISOL8 modified" sends are obviously induced/related to something that ISOL8 must be doing. @ 48db filters, as you see, more bands show up in the spectrum.

I am obviously not listening to the sum and difference in track C, just analyzing to be sure that no damage has been done to the output of ISOL8.

One other reason why I am sure it is related to ISOL8 is that the dips are correlated with any changes to the cross over values, you immediately see the frequency of the related dip change in the analyzer.

Is Reaper not sample accurate in its sends - I certainly hope so?

I have no explanation for these observations.

Happy to contribute time and effort and beta testing, to your projects, whenever possible.

Look forward to your clarifications

EDIT: I think i have figured the bypass issue - it only bypasses the filters, not the whole plugin such as the level. So no problems there, but the other issues are still concerning.
Attached Thumbnails
TBProAudio: ISOL8 - Mix Monitoring Plug-in for Windows and Mac OS X-isol8-level.jpg   TBProAudio: ISOL8 - Mix Monitoring Plug-in for Windows and Mac OS X-isol8-24db.png   TBProAudio: ISOL8 - Mix Monitoring Plug-in for Windows and Mac OS X-isol8-48db.png  
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Look forward to your clarifications
Maybe you could PM me the Reaper project?
It is hard to follow wo the project, thank you.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Maybe you could PM me the Reaper project?
It is hard to follow wo the project, thank you.
Sure. You should have this in your inbox, in about 5 minutes from now.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Sure. You should have this in your inbox, in about 5 minutes from now.
Thank you for sharing the Reaper project:
What you have investigated is fairly common to multi-band applications based on LR4 algorithm.
BTW: this phenomenon is avoided by applications using linear phase filters.

I hope this helps
Old 4 days ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
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Thread Starter
Update to 1.0.1:
- GUI: orthographic rendering
- Filter Bypass: complete filter bypass
- Monitor: option to either monitor in-place or centered
Old 4 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
- Monitor: option to either monitor in-place or centered


Was hoping this would come. Thanks!
Old 4 days ago
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Update to 1.0.1:
- GUI: orthographic rendering
- Filter Bypass: complete filter bypass
- Monitor: option to either monitor in-place or centered
Hi there !

I would like to test this awesome plugin, but the installer is blocked by Windows SmartScreen, and it’s also recognized as a virus by my antivirus solution.

Could you provide a download with the VST dlls only (without the installer)?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards!
Old 4 days ago
  #26
Gear Nut
 
DRAZERS's Avatar
Suggestion: It would be great, if there was an option to use a shortcut like holding down some key to be able to toggle between the solo buttons instead of latching.
Old 4 days ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRAZERS View Post
Suggestion: It would be great, if there was an option to use a shortcut like holding down some key to be able to toggle between the solo buttons instead of latching.
Good idea. We will consider this, thank you!
Old 4 days ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Good idea. We will consider this, thank you!
Or midi learn so we can assign some buttons to our midi controllers.
Old 4 days ago
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojhmusic View Post
Or midi learn so we can assign some buttons to our midi controllers.
Hmm, let me think about this.
But should be fairly easy with DAW capabilities e.g. Reaper.
Thank you.

Last edited by TBProAudio; 4 days ago at 08:25 AM.. Reason: Edit
Old 3 days ago
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Sorry I'm not a pro user and am having a bit of a thick day! what is this and what are its applications? Many Thanks
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