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Slate Digital FG-X Mastering Processor (Dynamics Rack)
Old 10th June 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Slate Digital FG-X Mastering Processor (Dynamics Rack)

The past decade has been flooded with debate about what to do about the Loudness Wars. We've all been at the mercy of this epidemic, and the fatiguing, squashed, lifeless music that is its result. Even the general public is becoming aware of the problem.

Lets first agree on one thing: There is a general standard of loudness in modern music that is not going away. So at some point, if you are a working pro who produces music, you have to make it louder for the final medium.

The standard tool to make things louder has been the digital peak limiter. It seems that almost every year, dsp companies release another one of these beasts.. which to my ears have been the leading cause of the degrading sound of music. The reason is not because they have not been designed well, or have poor code. No, its my opinion that the process is not fit for the amount of level that engineers now add to mixes.

Fabrice Gabriel and I sat down in 2008 and realized that there had to be a solution.

After months of trying out ideas, and years of improving them, we came up with a very complex process called ITP, or "Intelligent Transient Preservation". This process analyzes each transient in the mix and optimizes an specific algorithm to "absorb" it in the most transparent fashion. So a snare drum peak gets treated differently then a kick drum peak. The result is a means of loudness enhancement that is extremely transparent, and that does not affect the balances of the mix.

The FG-X dynamics rack also consists of a world class mixbuss compressor/leveler that is based on both VCA and Optical topologies. It can add the ultimate final glue and punch to your mix, without making it sound altered or colored.

The FG-Level also includes functions to control the low end and upper midrange punch, as well as offering a unique control called "Dynamic Perception", which allows you to simulate more dynamics and movement in the final master.

A detailed set of metering tools completes this package, allowing you to have control over the final levels via your own customized preferences.

The feedback from our beta users has been nothing short of phenomenal, with power users like Sterling Sound's Dave McNair quoting "The FG-X is amazing in its clarity and openness, even at today's modern levels it preserves the sound of the mix”.

You can try the FG-X right now by visiting the SLATE DIGITAL WEBSITE and going to the FG-X product page under "demo". You can purchase the FG-X in the Slate Digital webshop and very soon at retailers worldwide.

Steven Slate
Old 10th June 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 
fingerbeats's Avatar
 

So its officially out then,

Hooraaay.
Old 10th June 2010
  #3
Can't get the demo to work.
Old 10th June 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Never1's Avatar
 

Will be buying for sure!!!

Any chance us legacy customers of other SSD will get a discount/promo offer?

Sorry, just had to ask!!heh
Old 10th June 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
marchhare's Avatar
 

Bought it and it won't work!
Old 10th June 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 
rhythmtech's Avatar
 

whats with the crappy demo limitations?

if this is to be an ilok product why not a full 10-14 day trial like every other company provides?

render mode deactivated????? no automation?????

seriously guys, for the purposes that this product is aimed at, the above would be an intrinsic part of deciding on whether to purchase or not, no?
Old 10th June 2010
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Chauvin's Avatar
Doesn't pass AU validation in Logic Pro 7


Here's the message I get :-




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
AU Validation Tool
Version: 1.2.0a11
Copyright 2003-2007, Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Specify -h (-help) for command options
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

--------------------------------------------------
VALIDATING AUDIO UNIT: 'aufx' - 'FG-X' - 'SlDg'
--------------------------------------------------
Manufacturer String: Slate Digital
AudioUnit name: Slate Digital FG-X
Component Info: FG-X Virtual Mastering Console
Component Version: 1.0.0 (0x10000)
Component's Bundle Version: 0.0.0

* * PASS
--------------------------------------------------
TESTING OPEN TIMES:
COLD:
FATAL ERROR: OpenAComponent: result: -50,0xFFFFFFCE


AU VALIDATION CRASHED.
Old 10th June 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
feck's Avatar
Bought it, working great in Nuendo 4 on Mac.
Old 10th June 2010
  #9
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CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Does this work on PPC?

I know the demo doesn't, but is the full installer Universal?
Old 10th June 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Well f*ck me freddy! No PPC support???... Intel only??? *grabs dick and slams it in the fridge door*
Old 10th June 2010
  #11
Gear Addict
 

We've been playing with this at the studio I work at all day.

Believe the hype, its unbelievable. My boss currently has a song he mixed that is in the top 40 and was mastered by one of the big dudes. With FGX we got his mix louder but it was way more clear and waaaaaaay punchier. This was on PT HD Mac but I also played with the demo in Nuendo and it worked fine. We had no problems with the demo or the purchased version. I can't wait to use this on client refs.

This plugin is definitely a huge epic win, congrats Slate Digital.

Junk
Old 10th June 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Slate, I'm getting a lot of bad, high-end crackling in the tone of my distorted guitars when I have ITP on anything but "Smooth." I can't imagine this is normal, as no one has mentioned anything like it yet. Any ideas? Transients knobs are at 0, I've got gain at 10dB. I get the crackling with Constant Gain Control both on and off, and Dither on and off. Sounds fine with ITP on Smooth. FG-Comp is bypassed.

It's clearly not overloading my D/A, as it occurs with Constant Gain on, and other limiters I have are not causing this crackling.
Any ideas?

I can post clips if need be
Thanks
Old 10th June 2010
  #13
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Melodath, send me the track at [email protected] and I'll test it out for you.

Josh Fields, check your PM.. we've got a lot of successful PT users by now so your situation is a bit unique now, but we'll work on itthumbsup

I'll find out more about PPC availability and report back. And I'll check if there are Logic issues but I use the retail version on Logic with no problems.

To anyone having some early tech issues, hang in there, and send a support ticket.

To the guys already having fun with the FG-X.. Cool!thumbsup
Old 10th June 2010
  #14
Got it working! thumbsup

Had to do the ilok thing for the demo.
Old 10th June 2010
  #15
wow!!! totally impressed within the first 5 minutes of demoing
Old 10th June 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
ryst's Avatar
 

Congrats to Steven & Co! I know for a fact these guys have been working their asses off to get this out there. Cheers guys!
Old 10th June 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
Melodath, send me the track at [email protected] and I'll test it out for you.
You've got an email. Thanks
Old 10th June 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Folks, even if you think you have the latest ilok drivers.... download them again before installing the FG-X.. this one step has cleared a lot of problems people were having.
Old 10th June 2010
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
chrisma's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
Folks, even if you think you have the latest ilok drivers.... download them again before installing the FG-X.. this one step has cleared a lot of problems people were having.
If it still doesn't show up. Uninstall FX-G, rescan (for new plugins) and then reinstall and rescan again. This worked for me using Cakewalk Sonar 8. Seems as though the ilok driver failure breaks the FX-G install. So to bullet point the initial correct steps:

1. Update your ilok driver.
2. Login to ilok.com and setup the license and download it to your ilok.
3. Run the FX-G installer.
4. Launch your DAW and let it find the FX-G

You should be good to go.
Old 10th June 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
marchhare's Avatar
 

Just tried that. Should I remove FGX and reinstall it now that I've downloaded
the Ilok drivers?
Old 10th June 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
marchhare's Avatar
 

Did it. Didn't work. Never got the email. Send again?

Thanks.
Old 10th June 2010
  #22
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Hey Josh, lets chat via PM
Old 10th June 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Hey Josh, please post if you get this resolved, we use 7.4 too and i don't
want to purchase until i know it's working (and available for PPC).
Old 10th June 2010
  #24
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

There might be an issue with this initial installer and Pro Tools 7.4.. i can't confirm it yet.. The good news is that it worked fine in beta with 7.4 so its just a fix that has to be done with the mac installer and isn't a serious issue. Vince our DSP programmer has succumb to his biological need to sleep (he's in Europe) but he will be up soon to look in to the issue.

I'm hearing a lot of people say they fixed any of the ilok issues by updating to the newest ilok driver software and reinstalling.

I'm also hearing a lot of ecstatic people who are saying that this plugin is really amazing, hopefully they'll start to pop over here too.
Old 10th June 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
 
CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Yeah, everything worked fine for me on my laptop running LE 8.0.

I had no ilok issues and i used Safari (never had a problem with ilok and
safari) and this was within 5 minutes of the demo going live. The PPC is
probably biggest concern. Thanks Alex.
Old 10th June 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Hope209's Avatar
 

Logic Pro 9.1.1
new 2.66 Intel Core i7 Macbook Pro
Mac OSX 10.6.3

Demo plug-in not showing up in Logic. I can see it in Logic's plug-in "Component" folder, though...

I tried deleting the plug-in and reinstalling the newest iLok driver, but still no go.
Old 10th June 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
I've been testing the demo for an hour or so and here are my impressions. I don't like the Leveler as much as I like the TC Electronics Brickwall limiter. I think it's at least partially because I like the oversampling on the Brickwall limiter. So I'll be staying with Brickwall for that. I think for people who want a real in-your-face sound, the FG-X may be able to achieve that better than Brickwall. But that's not what I'm trying for in most of the stuff I'm working on.

The compressor in the FG-X is just amazing. It's probably the best buss compressor I've heard for a full mix. It beats UAD's 4K buss compressor and the UAD Precision Buss Compressor. Somebody should A/B it with the Waves and Duende buss comps. It's the sound I've been looking for on mixes. Just a touch (.5 dB) and everything is glued in a very transparent and musical way. Also, I tried this compressor on a lead vocal and I liked it better than the Abbey Road RS124. It is a super clean compressor. I had very nice results on bass and electric guitar too. I think I'll buy FG-X just for this compressor alone. I'm looking forward to the Virtual Console.
Old 10th June 2010
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
ampwax's Avatar
 

Posting my findings here.

Two weeks ago my API 2500 showed up.
A week and a half ago I got trigger.
Today I bought the FGX.

Tonight I feel that I have reached "That Sound", and I didn't have to send off to my mastering guy.

I have been bypassing the compressor in FGX, and just using my API, pushing the level to -10 at rms, pushing up the detail knob a bit, and dialing in the dynamic perception. Used it today on a metal mix and a very dynamic worship song with no samples.

This is my new chain for sure. Great job. You are so damn lucky that the hype was backed up, cuz there was going to be a lynching I think. lol.

Off to order a Dragon here soon.


I have mp3's if anyone wants to hear this thing in action.
Old 10th June 2010
  #29
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

MarsBot.. The FG Level is completely oversampled. I'd be really curious to see if the TC can match the FG-X's transparency, can you post some A/Bs? The FG-X doesn't really impart any sound until you really slam it, and even then its pretty subtle on the transients. Glad you like the comp, I was worried that with all the craziness surrounding the FG Level module, that it would get lost in the reviews.

ampwax thanks for the review, can't wait to you slam a vocal or some drums with them DRAGONs!!

Make sure to read the manual folks to get to know the controls too.. And when using the FG Level, start with CONSTANT GAIN in the ON position.. then use the FG Level's power button to A/B.. and use the controls to first match the sound of your original mix. It should be fairly easy. The cool thing is if you want some more kick or snare smack, they're just a knob away.
Old 10th June 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 
marchhare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHook View Post
Hey Josh, please post if you get this resolved, we use 7.4 too and i don't
want to purchase until i know it's working (and available for PPC).
I'll post tomorrow as soon as we get it sorted out. Really looking forward
to using it! Thanks to Alex for getting in touch with me so fast, very cool.
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