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SPL IRON mastering compressor by Brainworx
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1021
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Calagan's Avatar
 

Hello everybody.

It's been few days I posted the blind test, and so far I had (only) 10 answers.
8 persons think B is oversampled
2 persons think A is oversampled.

The last week, around 15 different persons posted something regarding aliasing in SPL Iron, so it seems there is more posters than blindtesters...

I hope nobody will accuse me of biased interpretation, but it seems most of answers didn't show any "wow" factor regarding difference in audio quality : some blindtesters didn't find much difference between files, and some of them can't say one is better than the other but just find them different.

Anyway, it looks like most blindtesters did guess (by hearing or analytic tests) correctly because B is indeed the oversampled drum loop.

Personnaly, I think differences are very tiny (but still audible). I prefer the B version because it's a bit more clean, less congested in the mids/hi-mids, and less "badly squashed" in terms of dynamics (is it "goodly squashed" ? yes, a bit more IMO), but the A loop is still ok and to me it just sounds a bit "dirtier".

My own personal conclusion (open to endless debate) : there is definitely more aliasing in Iron than in other compressors (from PA and from other developers), and it seems there's a problem there when compared to Alpha or others, but it's not a big deal when using it "normally".
Yes there's a problem in the coding (because it seems very easy to solve that problem in others compressors from PA), but it doesn't make of Iron a bad plugin.
This blind test was about squashing a drum loop with 3 compressors in serie, and I would never do that in normal life. Or if I did, I wouldn't mind about dirty result.
I don't think any of you did find the A "badly sounding". Most of you did find the B "better sounding" than A, which means something very different.

So of course, if I put one instance of Iron on each track, and if I smash each track (lot of GR, quick parameters) while running the mix at 44kHz, aliasing would accumulate and make it a bad mix. But anyway, smashing each track would make it a bad mix even @ 352 kHz...
So I would be pleased if PA could improve the oversampling, and if they could stop to tell us there is no problem, but it's not such a big deal in my opinion...
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1022
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dirtROBOT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calagan View Post
Hello everybody.

It's been few days I posted the blind test, and so far I had (only) 10 answers.
8 persons think B is oversampled
2 persons think A is oversampled.

The last week, around 15 different persons posted something regarding aliasing in SPL Iron, so it seems there is more posters than blindtesters...

I hope nobody will accuse me of biased interpretation, but it seems most of answers didn't show any "wow" factor regarding difference in audio quality : some blindtesters didn't find much difference between files, and some of them can't say one is better than the other but just find them different.

Anyway, it looks like most blindtesters did guess (by hearing or analytic tests) correctly because B is indeed the oversampled drum loop.

Personnaly, I think differences are very tiny (but still audible). I prefer the B version because it's a bit more clean, less congested in the mids/hi-mids, and less "badly squashed" in terms of dynamics (is it "goodly squashed" ? yes, a bit more IMO), but the A loop is still ok and to me it just sounds a bit "dirtier".

My own personal conclusion (open to endless debate) : there is definitely more aliasing in Iron than in other compressors (from PA and from other developers), and it seems there's a problem there when compared to Alpha or others, but it's not a big deal when using it "normally".
Yes there's a problem in the coding (because it seems very easy to solve that problem in others compressors from PA), but it doesn't make of Iron a bad plugin.
This blind test was about squashing a drum loop with 3 compressors in serie, and I would never do that in normal life. Or if I did, I wouldn't mind about dirty result.
I don't think any of you did find the A "badly sounding". Most of you did find the B "better sounding" than A, which means something very different.

So of course, if I put one instance of Iron on each track, and if I smash each track (lot of GR, quick parameters) while running the mix at 44kHz, aliasing would accumulate and make it a bad mix. But anyway, smashing each track would make it a bad mix even @ 352 kHz...
So I would be pleased if PA could improve the oversampling, and if they could stop to tell us there is no problem, but it's not such a big deal in my opinion...
Cool idea for a test, but you didn't compare it to any other plugin under the same circumstances so there's no way of scientifically knowing if what you all think you're hearing here is unique to Iron or just a problem with any vst compressor using similar parameters.
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1023
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtROBOT View Post
Cool idea for a test, but you didn't compare it to any other plugin under the same circumstances so there's no way of scientifically knowing if what you all think you're hearing here is unique to Iron or just a problem with any vst compressor using similar parameters.
There is a lot of things needed to be changed to have any scientific value. For example not knowing what other people think. And test leader should not either know witch one of methods applied to each sample. The tester should also have a random tag so preferences of A vs B has any impact. All the listeners should be tested to have the capability to hear whats needed. And their listening environment should be equal. And all tester need to be provided with multiple samples. List goes on and on. But this test was more conclusive than the usually are here. Too bad that so few took part. It should be a counter on you profile for your contributions regarding tests.
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1024
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Calagan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtROBOT View Post
Cool idea for a test, but you didn't compare it to any other plugin under the same circumstances so there's no way of scientifically knowing if what you all think you're hearing here is unique to Iron or just a problem with any vst compressor using similar parameters.
I don't think it's possible to compare different plugins if they emulate different gear. It's like comparing apples and orange.

If you test different plugins with a sweep, it's clear Iron is aliasing more than most (I did a very quick non scientific test with a sine sweep feeding DMG TrackComp, Arturia's comp, other comps from PA and even the built in Live comp : Iron was the only one to show some strange stuff that I could hear).
But in normal life, I never experienced any problem, and I love the sound of Iron. Of course, after that kind of test I'll not put Iron everywhere in my mix without thinking about it.
Reason why it could be good from PA if they just recognize the problem and give us some fix.

My point here was just to show what Iron sounds like oversampled (X8) and non-oversampled, in the same exact conditions (you can even reproduce the test if you've got iron and metaplugin, because you've got the dry loop) and using a blind test to show that it's actually very difficult to tell which is which.

To me, it means there is a problem indeed but it's not a big deal.
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1025
Gear Maniac
 
UltraByte's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calagan View Post
If you test different plugins with a sweep, it's clear Iron is aliasing more than most (I did a very quick non scientific test with a sine sweep feeding DMG TrackComp, Arturia's comp, other comps from PA and even the built in Live comp : Iron was the only one to show some strange stuff that I could hear).
if it was live's "glue compressor", thats cytomic's "The Glue" as built in version, which is top notch. He wasnt enthusiastic about live's oversampling though (you can activate by right click if i remember right) it introduces AFAIR a bit transient smearing which is the reason he still suggested using The Glue (external with own oversampling) when available.
Old 14th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1026
plx
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtROBOT View Post
Cool idea for a test, but you didn't compare it to any other plugin under the same circumstances so there's no way of scientifically knowing if what you all think you're hearing here is unique to Iron or just a problem with any vst compressor using similar parameters.
...
my original test (the one you deemed "ridiculous") was 4 compressors, voxengo, fabfilter, spl iron and uhe presswerk under same conditions. 19k sine blasting into around 20dB of gain reduction.

or, it was scientific. it was deliberately bizarre just to highlight how different compressors handle being pushed.

and SPL IRON exhibited so much more aliasing distortion it wasn't even a contest, it was absolutely the worst of the bunch.
(dirk proceeded to comment than two of the 3 developers - all of which compressors performed better - are good. Implying one is not. which is hilarious in its own right)

however when a test is presented like that, you don't like it either.
when its a blind test and people overwhelmingly vote correctly, ergo, can discern between aliasing and non-aliasing material, you're not convinced either.

there has been so much told about PA's SPL IRON already, and everyone who has basic reading comprehension and knows digital audio basics KNOWS that it aliases pretty badly - and much worse than any competition.

The question is not whether it's unique or not, the only question here is whether your personally care or not. everything else has been proven over and over.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calagan View Post
Reason why it could be good from PA if they just recognize the problem and give us some fix.

My point here was just to show what Iron sounds like oversampled (X8) and non-oversampled, in the same exact conditions (you can even reproduce the test if you've got iron and metaplugin, because you've got the dry loop) and using a blind test to show that it's actually very difficult to tell which is which.

To me, it means there is a problem indeed but it's not a big deal.
yeah, i wouldn't count on it.
Dirk berated me badly when i highlighted this issue, and support closed two tickets without any explanation.
They don't care, enough people drink their kool-aid and they get enough money from them not to waste time on any quality updates.
Subscribers want new plugin, or better - two new plugins every month...

That's why to me getting Weiss, which is one (well 4) plugins for the price of a YEAR of PA is worth 10x as much as one year of 10 good plugins and 50 pedals, old digital eqs, crappy reverbs and aliasing pretty GUI messes.
Old 15th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plx View Post
...
my original test (the one you deemed "ridiculous") was 4 compressors, voxengo, fabfilter, spl iron and uhe presswerk under same conditions. 19k sine blasting into around 20dB of gain reduction.

or, it was scientific. it was deliberately bizarre just to highlight how different compressors handle being pushed.
You need top push them that hard to have a visual indication on what's going on. This blind test shows that is there for "real-life" scenarios too, and the not so obvious energy measurement method also "see" a difference on ordinary music content. This Plugin-alliance plugin should not be used in 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling rates, case closed.
Old 10th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1028
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plx View Post
...
my original test (the one you deemed "ridiculous") was 4 compressors, voxengo, fabfilter, spl iron and uhe presswerk under same conditions. 19k sine blasting into around 20dB of gain reduction.

or, it was scientific. it was deliberately bizarre just to highlight how different compressors handle being pushed.

and SPL IRON exhibited so much more aliasing distortion it wasn't even a contest, it was absolutely the worst of the bunch.
(dirk proceeded to comment than two of the 3 developers - all of which compressors performed better - are good. Implying one is not. which is hilarious in its own right)

however when a test is presented like that, you don't like it either.
when its a blind test and people overwhelmingly vote correctly, ergo, can discern between aliasing and non-aliasing material, you're not convinced either.

there has been so much told about PA's SPL IRON already, and everyone who has basic reading comprehension and knows digital audio basics KNOWS that it aliases pretty badly - and much worse than any competition.

The question is not whether it's unique or not, the only question here is whether your personally care or not. everything else has been proven over and over.

yeah, i wouldn't count on it.
Dirk berated me badly when i highlighted this issue, and support closed two tickets without any explanation.
They don't care, enough people drink their kool-aid and they get enough money from them not to waste time on any quality updates.
Subscribers want new plugin, or better - two new plugins every month...

That's why to me getting Weiss, which is one (well 4) plugins for the price of a YEAR of PA is worth 10x as much as one year of 10 good plugins and 50 pedals, old digital eqs, crappy reverbs and aliasing pretty GUI messes.
Several types of saturation plugins results in perceived pitch changes, is that a result of aliasing, added overtones or mysterious psycho acoustics? In that respect Iron sound quite OK.
80% of my 20+ saturation, distortion, tape, preamp etc plug-ins have that audible side effect.
I have absolute pitch, so sorry, I’m not sure how other people hear that.
Old 13th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1029
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bace View Post
You need top push them that hard to have a visual indication on what's going on. This blind test shows that is there for "real-life" scenarios too, and the not so obvious energy measurement method also "see" a difference on ordinary music content. This Plugin-alliance plugin should not be used in 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling rates, case closed.
It also explain why I dont' have any issues, because one, I'm not slamming 19kHz tones into the compressor and two, I work at 96kHz. When used as the compressor is intended I don't notice any artefacting.

I believe in the grater scheme of things this HAS to be taken into account, using a device how it was intended to be used. As Buckan stated "80% of my 20+ saturation, distortion, tape, preamp etc plug-ins have that audible side effect".

As we go into the future this will be more of a non-issue as CPUs will get faster, sampling rates oversampling higher. Analogue has its artefacts, many of them too, aliasing is really the only digital bugbear these days. Even then, its so easily managed it's barley an issue, until you do some uneathly thing with something that wasn't designed to behave well in those circumstances. Push alot of analogue things too, not many of them will hold up either.

None of this will help make music. Its barley academic as there is very few instances where this kind of hyper focused analysis of how a plugin deals with ultra high frequencies under extreme circumstances will come in useful. It's the results that matter in the end, it's only important to ourselves and our own ego how we get there.

Often when choosing a compressor for an important task, mix buss, vocals, bass, whatever, I will audition several and chose the one I think sounds best for its given context. Often Iron will be there getting compared with others, sometimes it gets chosen, other times it doesn't because of the aesthetics I'm going for. It's never not getting chosen because it sounds crap in the high frequencies.

But again, I do work at 96k, so my experiences could be different
Old 13th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1030
plx
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.billington View Post
It also explain why I dont' have any issues, because one, I'm not slamming 19kHz tones into the compressor and two, I work at 96kHz. When used as the compressor is intended I don't notice any artefacting.

I believe in the grater scheme of things this HAS to be taken into account, using a device how it was intended to be used. As Buckan stated "80% of my 20+ saturation, distortion, tape, preamp etc plug-ins have that audible side effect".

As we go into the future this will be more of a non-issue as CPUs will get faster, sampling rates oversampling higher. Analogue has its artefacts, many of them too, aliasing is really the only digital bugbear these days. Even then, its so easily managed it's barley an issue, until you do some uneathly thing with something that wasn't designed to behave well in those circumstances. Push alot of analogue things too, not many of them will hold up either.

None of this will help make music. Its barley academic as there is very few instances where this kind of hyper focused analysis of how a plugin deals with ultra high frequencies under extreme circumstances will come in useful. It's the results that matter in the end, it's only important to ourselves and our own ego how we get there.

Often when choosing a compressor for an important task, mix buss, vocals, bass, whatever, I will audition several and chose the one I think sounds best for its given context. Often Iron will be there getting compared with others, sometimes it gets chosen, other times it doesn't because of the aesthetics I'm going for. It's never not getting chosen because it sounds crap in the high frequencies.

But again, I do work at 96k, so my experiences could be different
ugh. I'll try to go as slow as possible this time.

I made the 19k tests, it was to as graphically as possible show the differences between various compressors - in that particular test, FabFilter Pro-C2, Voxengo Marqius, u-he and IRON.

IRON is newer than all three, and has much worse aliasing than all three, and also has much worse aliasing than BX's own Alpha Compressor.
At 96k the problem is obviously shifted way outside hearable range. That's the point. That's why you can use oversampling.
So when you work at 48k plugin works at 96k or 192k. Or you make it work at 96k all the time - it oversamples at 48k and DOESN'T oversample at 96k.

Oversampling in a compressor also IMPROVES TIMING.

I started testing IRON in and out because it didn't sound right to me when used at 44.1/48. I did NOT KNOW that plugin doctor existed until way after - I tested IRON in Logic with Voxengo Span.

Moreover, in a blind test conducted 10 posts ago people overwhelmingly picked oversampled version out, that's more than random occurence.

Also, it has nothing to do with CPU, there are thousands of ways to deal with this, that's why every self-respecting developer in 2020 that does non-linear processing either enables oversampling, or has separate offline-render options, or has auto-oversampling based on at which sampling rate you work at.


Have you used hardware IRON? I did. You can push it. It doesn't alias. So plugin that's supposed to be an amazing emulation is not designed to do something that hardware easily handles, and you're supposed to have that divined in your brain by dirk? Since you know, it doesn't say in the manual "it's kinda like hardware but you can't push it at all since we didn't bother to oversample it".

If plugin cannot be used at 44.1/48 in 2020 it's because it is poorly executed. There's absolutely no other excuse here.
Last but not least, it has a price tag of 299$.
That's twice as pretty much everything else out there sans Weiss DS1... Everything else that on a technical level works MUCH BETTER. There's simply no excuse for this.

Working at 96K won't help you make music either, but here we are...


You know i really used to like your posts over at logic forums because they were insightful and impartial. Be apologetic about half-assed plugin releases all you want, but that's on you
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