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CS-5501 - Channel Strip Plugin for Windows and Mac OS X
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Software CS-5501 - Channel Strip Plugin for Windows and Mac OS X

TBProAudio announces CS-5501, a channel strip plugin with EQ, gate/expander, deesser compressor, limiter and saturation, flexible module routing and oversampling.



CS-5501 offers following features:
  • 2x 7 band EQ
  • 2x noise gate/expander
  • 2x compressor, VCA/FET/OPTP design
  • 2x deesser
  • 2x limiter
  • saturation
  • thermal noise for analogue sound emulation
  • HQ over sampling
  • signal overshot protection
  • linkable input/output fader including phase inversion
  • extended metering, input/output/gain reduction, Peak, RMS, EBU and VU
  • perceptual loudness matching (powered by AB-LM Lite)
  • module routing
  • extensive side-chain support for many effect modules
  • many comfort functions like soloing and signal monitoring
  • preset management
  • selectable colour theme
  • large and easy to use GUI
  • 64-bit internal processing
  • very efficient CPU usage design

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 6/7/8/9/10, FL Studio 12.x, ProTools 10/12/2018
  • All sample rates

Demo version available

Price: 59€
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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looking good. what about 3301 owners? is there an upgrade path?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Interesting. Too bad every tb pro audio plugin I've tested is glitchy on my system. May not be that way on all systems but they don't run very smoothly on mine and my system has nothing wrong with it. Hoping this one runs well for me because it seems to be one of the most comprehensive channel strips ever made.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAudioBot View Post
looking good. what about 3301 owners? is there an upgrade path?
Sorry, no upgrade path:-(
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Also have problems with TB plugins in general. And the problems have started again after trying the demo of this for a few minutes.

I was SUPER impressed with the functions, sound, different saturation options, new compressor etc.

Absolutely fantastic plugin but it's buggy.

I just clicked on the "limiter 1" tab on the right and suddenly the left output fader moved down and I can't move it back anymore.

CS 3301 is the plugin I don't use anymore since a long time because of unsolved bugs since years. You can't sell a license either, so for now I definitely have to skip this release. if I wouldn't havce problems I'd instantly buy it, though...


EDIT: just saw your reply about upgrade path. I'm out.
Attached Thumbnails
CS-5501 - Channel Strip Plugin for Windows and Mac OS X-tb.png  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAudioBot View Post
I just clicked on the "limiter 1" tab on the right and suddenly the left output fader moved down and I can't move it back anymore.
Thank you for your feedback.
Which OS/DAW/plugin format?
Thank you.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Personally I do like the CS3301 so I'm going to give this a look even though I really don't need another channel strip but then maybe I do no no no I really don't...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
Would have purchased if there was an upgrade path. I don't use my CS-3301 because the compressor didn't cut it. Too slow to dial in for me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Guys, IMO this is now the BEST *workhorse* channel strip on the market. It's absolutely phenomenal. I love it. Congrats to the developer for a superb plugin that will hopefully find much love and respect in the market. This developer deserves it.

For those that might have an issue with the lack of an "upgrade" price -- have you really checked out what this plugin can truly do, how it sounds, and what the asking price is compared to CS-3301? This is not CS-3301 V2! This is not an upgrade IMO. This is a whole different beast. The main things in common with CS-3301 are the aesthetics of the UI, Gate/Expander, and EQ module -- but even those modules have been improved -- for example, the EQ module has been enhanced with per-band monitoring, L/R/M/S support, and steeper LC/HC slopes... not to mention there are 2X EQ modules... so maybe that kind of improvement might merit belonging to a CS-3301 V2 upgrade... but have you checked out the other modules?

All the other modules are either brand new or brought over from the developer's other outstanding plugins... plus some nice features that don't exist in ANY other channel strip on the market that I know of. And I have many channel strips. And all for what, 59€? Everyone who buys TBProAudio's plugins knows they have a very simple no-nonsense licensing system... there are NO discounts, NO upgrades, NO bundles, etc... just a simple one price and no crazy marketing BS constantly trying to get you to upgrade. They just have great prices right from the beginning. For 59€? For what this does? This is like a "Best Of" plugin that includes the developer's top algorithms in their more expensive plugins. And even if CS-5501 WERE an upgrade to CS-3301 (which I believe it is not), the price of 59€ is basically equivalent to upgrade pricing anyway from other developers IMO. This plugin is definitely a 100€+ plugin, so the price is totally reasonable.

As for bugs, I own several plugins from the developer, and I've had great performance and stability. Any rare time I had a small issue, I've detailed it to the developer, who was very responsive to address it. So if you are having issues, just write a detailed explanation to replicate the behavior of the plugin, including OS, host, specific steps to cause the bug, etc., etc. This is one of the most responsive developers I've ever interacted with. And for the record, I haven't had any issues like those described in this thread so far.

Back to the plugin... and comparing it to CS-3301... and BTW, no disrespect to CS-3301 -- because IMO CS-3301 was (and is) already a great channel strip. But CS-5501 eclipses it in every possible way.

EQ: CS-5501 is much more flexible with 2X EQ modules, and some very nice touches like per-band monitoring, and very useful L/R/M/S. Obviously more powerful and flexible than CS-3301.

Gate/Expander: CS-5501 - 2X modules, improved metering, sidechaining, L/R/M/S. Much more powerful than CS-3301.

Compressor: CS-5501 - 2X modules from TBProAudio's Impress plugin with L/R/M/S, sidechaining, VCA/FET/OPT options! Vastly superior to CS-3301.

Deesser: CS-5501 - these are actually 2X fully-featured excellent-sounding dynamic EQs with L/R/M/S, sidechaining, etc. from TBProAudio's dEQ6 plugin, not just deessers! Excellent! CS-3301 has no deesser, let alone dynamic EQ!

Limiter: CS-5501 - these are excellent 2X limiters from TBProAudio's LA xLimit II plugin, L/R/M/S, sidechaining, etc.. CS-3301 has no limiter.

Saturation: Brand new module for CS-5501 with flexible parameters. CS-3301 has a simple saturation feature.

Perceptual Loudness Matching: CS-5501 is the only channel strip on the market that I know of to offer this feature. I love it. CS-3301 obviously doesn't have it.

Routable, Configurable VU Meters: CS-5501 is the only channel strip on the market that I know of that has all these great features in their VU meters! IN, OUT, GR, VU, Peak, RMS, EBU, L/R/M/S! CS-3301's VU meter doesn't compare.

And all of that fully routable, super flexible, and the developer even threw in some different-colored UI skins for the fun of it. All for what? 59€?

I hope this developer gets some much deserved recognition for this and their other plugins. CS-5501 is fantastic. And if there are any little bugs with 1.0, then I'm sure they will be ironed out soon. Just send the dev some detailed reports. I've tested it on Windows 10 with Nuendo, Studio One, and Reaper, and so far it's been very stable like their other plugins. Of course YMMV, but seriously... 59€? For all this? Forget the price, it's just a great channel strip, period.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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DrAudioBot's Avatar
sure, this plugin sounds excellent and offers a lot but the bugs I have since years with TB plugins are a deal-breaker.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAudioBot View Post
sure, this plugin sounds excellent and offers a lot but the bugs I have since years with TB plugins are a deal-breaker.
Thank you, no problem: Please let me know the issues, we will fix it!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAudioBot View Post
sure, this plugin sounds excellent and offers a lot but the bugs I have since years with TB plugins are a deal-breaker.
Like I mentioned, if you can write up a detailed explanation to help the developer replicate a bug, I'm certain he'll address it. He's one of the nicest developers I've ever communicated with.

And if you post specific bug recipes here, I'll try to confirm them too... maybe something is happening on your specific combination of OS/host/etc... so I'm happy to try to replicate a bug to help the developer solve the problem. If there's an actual bug in one of his plugins, I want them eradicated too! I just haven't experienced anything serious though with his plugins... they've behaved really great for me so far on Win 10, Nuendo, Studio One, and Reaper.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Update 1.0.1:
- FIX: Fader, no action, if fader handle is not hit (except mouse wheel)
- FIX: Fader, revised min/max bounding check
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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Hmmmm... This looks very interesting. I'm in need of a good channel strip, as I purchased Waves Scheps channel strip, but am having a lot of difficulty installing and using it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
Hmmmm... This looks very interesting. I'm in need of a good channel strip, as I purchased Waves Scheps channel strip, but am having a lot of difficulty installing and using it.
Scheps Omni Channel is the logical Waves channel strip to compare to CS-5501. It's my favorite of the mountain of Waves channel strips (and I have almost all of them I've picked up over the years like many other folks). Omni Channel sounds very good and is overall an excellent channel strip, and by far my most used of the Waves channel strips. However, with the release of CS-5501, I see no reason that I'll use Omni Channel again other than for legacy projects that already have it on tracks, or when I'm working in a studio that doesn't have a license for CS-5501 (and I'm recommending all my colleagues to check out CS-5501 so we can all be using the same plugins on shared projects, lol!). IMO CS-5501 is better without hesitation, and that's saying something, since Omni Channel is an excellent plugin! Of course that's totally subjective, since every person has different needs and tastes. So no disrespect intended to Omni Channel.

The biggest downside for Omni Channel for many people will be the bloat, baggage, and hassle of Waves in general. The licensing system and installer of CS-5501 is so utterly simple, light and refreshing, it blows away the Waves system. YMMV.

Omni Channel does come with a boat load of celebrity presets, if you're into that kind of thing. Omni Channel also allows for loading additional Waves plugins in its built-in insert slot, an idea I initially thought was great, but in practice I ended up never using it. 99% of the time I don't want to load another Waves plugin in the chain, lol, so that turned out to be useless to me!

Other than that, IMO module-by-module CS-5501 either matches or surpasses Omni Channel in every way, and then has some fantastic extras that Omni Channel doesn't touch. Of course that's all subjective again, so everyone who's interested should try them out personally to compare.

My opinions on the modules in Omni Channel vs CS-5501 below:

Saturation/PRE: comparable, I give slight edge to CS-5501

EQ: Both sound good TBH, but I give edge to CS-5501 for flexibility and overall power and workflow... 2X modules are definitely handy for some routing scenarios.

Gate: Honestly comparable, I'd have no problem with either one for normal gate needs. But in CS-5501, you get 2X gates, so maybe slight advantage to CS-5501.

Compressor: Nothing terrible about Omni Channel's single compressor, it's usable, but I would definitely reach for the CS-5501 compressors before Omni Channel, plus you get 2X of them, which again is great for some routing scenarios. They come from TBProAudio's excellent Impress plugin.

DeEsser: Waves basically has 2X *simple* limited dynamic EQs for their DeEssers, which are usable for many scenarios, but very limited in comparison to CS-5501, which uses 2X full-featured, WAY more powerful dynamic EQs for their DeEsser. CS-5501 is obviously better here... very useful, and TBProAudio didn't dumb down the dynamic EQs from their dEQ6 plugin. Awesome. Big advantage for me. Love it! On this alone, I'd go for CS-5501.

Limiter: Omni Channel does NOT have a limiter... unless you consider their "LIMIT" feature, in which case it doesn't even remotely compare to the 2X excellent limiters in CS-5501. Omni Channel's "limit" feature is more like CS-5501's CLIP feature, so for a real limiter, CS-5501 completely blows away Omni Channel, and you get 2X limiters from TBProAudio's LA xLimit II plugin. What's not to love? For this alone, it sets CS-5501 above Omni Channel IMO.

AB-LM perceptual loudness matching feature: Waves obviously does NOT have anything like this on any of their channel strips. It is a genius feature, way more useful than you might think. CS-5501 should get big kudos for offering such a useful tool in their channel strip IMO.

VU Meters: CS-5501 is clearly more powerful and useful than Omni Channel on this. And they're routable. Might be very minor to many people who might never use this, but I think this will come in very handy.

Sidechaining and L/R/M/S in general: Omni Channel has good sidechain and L/R/M/S flexibility, which is *very* nice compared to a lot of channel strips on the market, but no worries there, CS-5501 essentially matches or exceeds that!

GUI: Omni Channel is harder to read on my screen, but Omni Channel does have drag-and-drop routing, which from a UI perspective is nice... and CS-5501 has drop-down menu routing. I would prefer drag-and-drop routing on CS-5501, and I hope TBProAudio will implement drag-and-drop in the future. However, the drop-down menu routing is totally fine for now.

Having said all that, Omni Channel is indeed an excellent channel strip... it's in the top tier of workhorse channel strips IMO, and if you're happy with the Waves installer and licensing, and if you like celebrity presets, and if you can get Omni Channel for the insane price of $29 when Waves does their endlessly crazy discounts/sales, then Omni Channel is a great plugin to have in your library. However, CS-5501 has taken the crown at the top of workhorse channel strips IMO, is more powerful, more flexible, sounds as good or better in every module, introduces some good ideas (like AB-LM and configurable VU meters), is very efficient with no bloat, has a simple and efficient installation/license approach, and is easily worth every penny. Plus you'd be supporting a small independent developer who is a really nice guy and works hard to be responsive to his customers. YMMV!

Can you tell I'm a fan of TBProAudio?

Last edited by uarte; 2 weeks ago at 03:05 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uarte View Post
Can you tell I'm a fan of TBProAudio?
I certainly can, and nothing is wrong with that. Thanks for your comparison of the two. I'll try the CS-5501, but fortunately I won't have anything to compare it to lol. The only thing that bothers me with the Waves Scheps Omni Strip is that...well, I purchased it and have never been able to install and use it. I mean, I bought it...it's mine to use. But you're right, Waves install process and licensing software can be a headache. And I've never gotten any assistance from Waves, so that in itself is a deterrence. It's very disappointing, and although it's very affordable, I still feel like I've wasted my money and time there.

I've used Waves plugins in the past, and I have some old projects with some of their plugins, but going forward, I don't think I want to be stuck in their ecosystem. I feel the same way about UA's stuff - great stuff, but I couldn't be bothered to be tied to their hardware. Slate has some really good stuff as well, but I absolutely deplore the subscription model. Of all the big names in the plugin market, I think I like Softube the best. I'm going to purchase the Console1, and I'm strongly considering using SSL's Duende Bundle as a supplement to that.

For mastering, iZotope's and Fabfilter's stuff is appealing, but I've decided to go with IK Multimedia's T-RackS 5. And of course, the CS-5501 will be my workhorse channel strip going forward, most likely.

I've been down the path of having more than 300 effect plugins, collecting and boarding plugins, but eventually you find yourself using only a few, and the rest pretty much become money down the drain lol. As I've grown in my music composition and mixing experience, I now prefer a simpler approach and believe less is more.

Thanks for the comparison, because unfortunately, I won't be able to compare them myself. Thanks a lot Waves, for nothing!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
I've been down the path of having more than 300 effect plugins, collecting and boarding plugins, but eventually you find yourself using only a few, and the rest pretty much become money down the drain lol. As I've grown in my music composition and mixing experience, I now prefer a simpler approach and believe less is more.
Agreed completely. I have spent so much money on so many plugins over the years, it eventually became an obstacle for my productivity. It became a mess in my plugin folder. At one point I realized I wasn't using over 2/3rd of the plugins I owned (probably more!), and all the extra crap just got in the way. In recent years, I've been simplifying and have consolidated my projects around a smaller group of trusted plugins that I know I can rely on. TBProAudio is a recent addition to my personal "trusted plugin" list, and I'm so glad I stumbled into them. And I happen to like supporting really smart, talented, and nice independent developers who know what they're doing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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Major digital 'pops' and complete audio breakdown during Playback in Logic X after sitting idle for about 30 minutes. Not sure if the 2xOS is the cause but the only way to get it resolved was to remove it.
Great feature set, tho...

Could this have anything to do w/it being the Demo Version, idk?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acmusic View Post
Major digital 'pops' and complete audio breakdown during Playback in Logic X after sitting idle for about 30 minutes. Not sure if the 2xOS is the cause but the only way to get it resolved was to remove it.
Great feature set, tho...

Could this have anything to do w/it being the Demo Version, idk?
Thank you, we will dig into it. Talk to you soon.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Thank you, we will dig into it. Talk to you soon.
I tried again in the same session and it seemed ok (although I didn't let the session idle more than a minute or two). I also happened to have Logic's CPU Meter open and there wasn't even anything noticeable when the 'pops' were happening. And they were very random and happening when there was no audio playback.

hope this helps ~
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acmusic View Post
I tried again in the same session and it seemed ok (although I didn't let the session idle more than a minute or two). I also happened to have Logic's CPU Meter open and there wasn't even anything noticeable when the 'pops' were happening. And they were very random and happening when there was no audio playback.

hope this helps ~
Thank you. Well, there is a 1 sec silent period every 90sec (demo version)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Thank you. Well, there is a 1 sec silent period every 90sec (demo version)
Yeah, nope, it wasn't that. This was randomly generated 'pops' after being away for 30 minutes or so. And then, the session wouldn't play properly until I removed the CS. Then it played fine so I closed and reopened, then re-instantiated CS and it seemed ok, but I didn't leave it set for 30 minutes. It sounded a little like when the SAT would be totally cranked and maxed out (farting out)...like it was that kind of digital 'pop'. Except there was no audio playing.

hth~
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
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This is a cracking channel strip - sounds great.

@ TBProAudio - the dials are indeed very 'fast' (big jumps), I'm nearly always holding down shift. Would you be able to implement left click for fast/normal dials, and right click for slow/high resolution (same as shift). That would be kickass.

Consider how it sounds and what it can do €59 is a steal.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
This is a cracking channel strip - sounds great.

@ TBProAudio - the dials are indeed very 'fast' (big jumps), I'm nearly always holding down shift. Would you be able to implement left click for fast/normal dials, and right click for slow/high resolution (same as shift). That would be kickass.
Thank you, we will change this for the frequency dials.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Looking forward to try this one once all the small bugs are sorted out.

3301 is certainly an outstanding channel strip, with an incredibly efficient EQ and a very tasteful (yet simple) saturation option. My only complain about it was the compression, which wasn't very versatile.

5501 seems to be perfect.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBProAudio View Post
Thank you, we will change this for the frequency dials.
Fantastic - thanks for listening!

Could you add it to all dials? Applies to all of them really. Specifically gain and frequency.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Fantastic - thanks for listening!

Could you add it to all dials? Applies to all of them really. Specifically gain and frequency.
Well, yes:-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMorgan View Post
5501 seems to be perfect.
Thank you
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
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Update to 1.0.2:
- Revised speed of all knob dials
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
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The only thing that I did not find for myself personally is the dual mono mode for dynamic processing. I would be very glad if it appeared here. I understand that the dual mono mode can be organized using two compressors (gates etc), but then it must have a link parameter button. All I need is 2 INDEPENDENT WORKING dynamic processing modules, but with EQUAL and SIMULTANEOUSLY ADJUSTABLE parameters. Ideally - Dual Mono mode in CH. MODE selector in addition to the existing modes.
Many of my stereo tracks in fact is dual mono (double tracked guitars, backing vocals etc). In Pro Tools, the problem was solved simply - I used dual mono plugins instead of stereo. But now I don’t work with Pro Tools, and many other DAWs can't do that.
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