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Marketing, plugins and "almost" emulations Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 4th February 2019
  #31
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atma's Avatar
Haha, dude—don't take this so seriously!

I've strictly been attempting to discuss objective issues that are based upon historical fact and reason/logic as much as possible; so as soon as you make purely subjective opinions based upon how things sound to you, there isn't any rational or logical way to debate that.

If you want to argue that audio hasn't grown exponentially along with every other software/technology in the world because "it doesn't sound like it" to you, then, of course, there's no genuine logical debate there. Same with your argument about PT not sounding any better than it did 20 years ago; this is a totally subjective opinion that can't be argued—

My only point there (also somewhat related to your last [original] question), was that DAWs aren't intended to emulate vintage analog consoles; they're intended to be completely transparent, and they are. PT or any DAW may have a handful of "analog" modeled plugins, but as a whole, the complete DAW package isn't intended whatsoever to sound like a vintage analog mixing console and/or studio.

If you WANT your music to sound like it was mixed that way, there are specific methodologies and plugins that can be utilized in a certain way that follows the old-school analog studio work-flow and sound, and there are tons of producers out there doing modern/ITB mixes that are very convincingly analog/retro, etc. (especially the slew of early 80s sounding electronic artists out there now).

But to argue that for no apparent reason whatsoever, audio tech has ostensibly not evolved along the same progress curve as every other software technology, and will not continue to exponentially progress (save a nuclear holocaust) is simply ignoring the actual science and historical facts as well as basic reasoning.

And again, stating that you personally cannot audibly discern a difference vs. audio tech circa 1999 is a completely subjective opinion that can't be debated by anyone with any argument based in logic.

I don't have any issue whatsoever with that opinion, but I have to disagree with it, and I've somewhat tried to back up that argument with more meaningful and objective information than a simple, "I can't hear it, so you're likely wrong" argument.

In any case, I don't think most people actually believe at all that everything analog has been modeled perfectly.

I do think there's enough incredible analog modeling out there by specific developers, which, when utilized correctly by someone who has the experience and comprehension levels of what actually goes into an analog sounding or vintage mix, that it's very possible to approximate such a sound to varying degrees (based upon what exactly you're trying to reference or approximate).

But most people lack the deeper comprehension levels to have a genuine idea of how vintage analog mixes came to sound the way they did (and the specific work-flow and intricacies that were involved), nor are they willing to take the time to set up a modern DAW with analog modeling plugs in a way which closely follows the aforesaid workflow—because it does actually involve a lot of specific routing and processing with specific emulations—you need a good console emulation on every single channel, tape emulations on every channel, etc.

And again, it also really depends exactly what you're trying to achieve... Some things are nearly impossible to emulate without specific studio/hardware setups (like old 60s soul / r&b / Motown stuff), and other things aren't quite as difficult to approximate at this point.

SO! All that being said, I never intended to be condescending or argumentative, and I'd like to simply drop it and agree to disagree. I certainly understand and respect your personal feelings on the matter, and I don't take any of this personally, so I hope you won't either.

peace.
Old 5th February 2019
  #32
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
No, that's like saying, I've listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, therefore I know how to play guitar and sound like David Gilmour, or produce a record that sounds like it. It's not that simple.
Not really it's like saying "I love that guitar sound I'm going to try to get close to it myself using whatever tools I have at my disposal." you were saying "You first have to know exactly how a mix done with vintage analog gear should typically sound, before being able to accurately emulate it using any kind of software." and "nor have any experience with something like a LFAC, or really any "vintage" analog gear, for that matter." I'm saying if you listened to the music you know how it sounds and you do have experience of what vintage gear and a lfac mix sounds like even if you haven'e personally twiddled a knob on a big desk, you almost seemed to be implying that you couldn't really hear the sonic differences unless you had experience of the gear. I never said the new generation knows how to produce a record like dark side of the moon or whatever (sadly they clearly don't lol) I said they can hear the difference (hopefully).
Old 5th February 2019
  #33
Here for the gear
 

"there are tons of producers out there doing modern/ITB mixes that are very convincingly analog/retro, etc." So do all of these guys have loads of previous experience on neves with racks of outboard etc? because your earlier posts seemed to imply they should? anyway can you post some examples please? because maybe I am just not looking in the right places. Also and I'm not saying this to say you're wrong in anyway I just found it interesting what you said here: "it does actually involve a lot of specific routing and processing with specific emulations—you need a good console emulation on every single channel, tape emulations on every channel, etc." because in my experience taking that approach actually took me further away from the "vintage/LFAC" sound I guess I was aiming for. I believe all the extra processing did more harm than good to the overall sonic picture I now try to get things close as possible to how I want them to sound before I hit converters and then try to use as little as possible of the least coloured plug ins, I think "emulations" are part of the problem for me as the extra processing involved trying to recreate the colour or subtle distortions of some piece of analog gear takes away from the signal more than it adds any "analog warmth" or whatever.
Old 5th February 2019
  #34
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meez61 View Post
"there are tons of producers out there doing modern/ITB mixes that are very convincingly analog/retro, etc." So do all of these guys have loads of previous experience on neves with racks of outboard etc? because your earlier posts seemed to imply they should? anyway can you post some examples please? because maybe I am just not looking in the right places. Also and I'm not saying this to say you're wrong in anyway I just found it interesting what you said here: "it does actually involve a lot of specific routing and processing with specific emulations—you need a good console emulation on every single channel, tape emulations on every channel, etc." because in my experience taking that approach actually took me further away from the "vintage/LFAC" sound I guess I was aiming for. I believe all the extra processing did more harm than good to the overall sonic picture I now try to get things close as possible to how I want them to sound before I hit converters and then try to use as little as possible of the least coloured plug ins, I think "emulations" are part of the problem for me as the extra processing involved trying to recreate the colour or subtle distortions of some piece of analog gear takes away from the signal more than it adds any "analog warmth" or whatever.


The concept that if you just apply distortion plugins in every stage that a console has some type of distortion, you'll end up with a LFAC like sound is a product of marketing departments. On this very forum, I've read posts saying one company's plugins are better because they modeled the x,y,z and a,b,c stages, while another Co only modeled a,b,c.

Or, one company's plugins are better because they use 2018 technology while another company released their plugs 5 years ago.

It's crazy.


First off it assumes the distortion is modeled accurately in a distortion plugin, despite the fact that the plugin that models a piece of gear doesn't include the distortion. And when it's pointed out that this makes no sense, we end up with a discussion of DAWs being designed to be clean as possible, or a discussion of how there are so many people who haven't worked on actual gear that it doesn't matter.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

I had the privilege to watch a Multi-Platinum, Grammy nominated producer mix something down (while getting paid to be there). He has hits from each decade, from the 70's to now. It was very enlightening to watch him work, I also was there when the song was tracked.

Though he has the rack of most people's dreams, it was weird to see him track through Tube-Tech CL 1B, with it basically doing nothing (for character not compression), he then emulated it through plug in. Seems silly, especially as he visually looked at the unit while mixing. Same as he used plug ins of keyboards he owned when he wanted to add something.

As we got further in the mix, I see him going back and re-tweaking things, the mix starts opening up. Realize he has a BIG 48 channel console with eq, compression, etc, on each fader (not a Neve or SSL, some budget version but still desirable), he only uses it to monitor. He's got huge mains but using high end near fields.

In many ways, I realized I went the same route, just not as expensive or extensive. I have a small but decent front end, and am mostly DAW. Though I don't have his credentials, I have my mine.

Don't get me wrong, he could use all his outboard and his studio is designed to do such, but it was designed in the late 70's or early 80's. It's definitely updated to each decade of iconic gear, thousands of dollars per preamp but also 8 ADATS and many 90's units people would be happy to own one.

But, at the end of the day, we work where we have to revise more, the artist wants more control, and the clients pay the bills. It was interesting to see someone using plug ins that are familiar to me as a plug in, but familiar to them as hardware. I think that mentality really changed my thought process. To use a plug in of a piece of gear you have owned for 20 years, you know what the similarities and differences are. Even for myself, I essentially have a virtual MPC in Reason, except that it sounds better to ME. It's not better for everyone but I like some brightness, I enjoy 24 bit sampling, and it sounds better in the end. So watching someone with that level of talent using plug ins didn't change my mind, it reinforced that you are as good as your ear, you can let $100,000 in rack gear and a $200,000 console be a "big knob" and it still works. But you have the real if you need it. That gear isn't for him, it's for clients.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

When it comes down to it, software or hardware, if you're great at what you do you'll find a way to make it all work for you rather than work against you, and that's all that matters at the end of the day.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Gear Head
I fully agree with @PettyCash. I think it doesn't really matter.

If you need anything, let it be an eq, there are a ton of useful software eqs. Even if the ones modelled to duplicate a hardware unit don't do the exact same thing, who cares. They do something and one of the x (how many of them you got?) will get you where you want to be. I mean I have a set of goto eqs because they work well for me, but even my stock eq would probably do 99% of the jobs.

I think it's more helpful to regard all the emulations as different models on their own. They behave similar to a unit from the hardware world, so you get a rough idea what they do. As soon as you do, it is just a question of whether you like the software unit, not whether it does exactly the same thing as the hardware one.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, isn't it the case that all hardware units don't sound the same as well? I mean you have a certain fluctuation in electronic components. I actually once had a pile of old but gold hifi amps, all the same model, and if I talk to myself long enough I can convince myself, they all didn't sound exactly the same. (Not that I have a warehouse of several you name what expensive hardware mixing units to compare them...)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #38
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atma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by .drIX. View Post
I fully agree with @PettyCash. I think it doesn't really matter.

If you need anything, let it be an eq, there are a ton of useful software eqs. Even if the ones modelled to duplicate a hardware unit don't do the exact same thing, who cares. They do something and one of the x (how many of them you got?) will get you where you want to be. I mean I have a set of goto eqs because they work well for me, but even my stock eq would probably do 99% of the jobs.

I think it's more helpful to regard all the emulations as different models on their own. They behave similar to a unit from the hardware world, so you get a rough idea what they do. As soon as you do, it is just a question of whether you like the software unit, not whether it does exactly the same thing as the hardware one.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, isn't it the case that all hardware units don't sound the same as well? I mean you have a certain fluctuation in electronic components. I actually once had a pile of old but gold hifi amps, all the same model, and if I talk to myself long enough I can convince myself, they all didn't sound exactly the same. (Not that I have a warehouse of several you name what expensive hardware mixing units to compare them...)
Totally agree. And yeah, especially older vintage analog hardware units really do tend to sound quite different. I've been enjoying some of the newer Plugin Alliance vsts, as several of them now have different channels that behave differently, so if you run several instances of the same plugin, you can set them to different channels to have slight variations.

It's the same with the BX Console emulations; they all have discrete channels that behave slightly different.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #39
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by IM WHO YOU THINK View Post
Why do we believe in entire studio can be properly modeled, despite the fact nobody has succeeded at faithfully emulating the SP1200, MPC-3000,TR808, S1000,S950, S770 etc???

Why does it make sense that no manufacturer has faithfully modeled an SsL E, G, J or K series, API550, pultec EQP1a, 1073, or a tape machine etc.., but people believe if the right mix engineer combines these plugins with other distortion and widening plugs, they will get comparable results to a studio full of gear that's being modeled?

What keeps us from opening a DAW session that sounds identical to LFACs fades being pulled up if the modeling claims are true?
#1 . I dont. I get as much analog gears as I can afford as a result.
#2 . Because it's impossible today, but they are getting closer all the time. I will take 95% of the quality for 5% of the cost., Especially for unobtanium gear that is very rare and costs way to much.
#3 same as #2

There are dozzons of SSL EQ emulations out there. Over time they get better and better. Just one example of a classic piece of gear people desire but can't afford the real thing. Softube and UAD make some good SSL EQ approximations.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #40
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
#1 . I dont. I get as much analog gears as I can afford as a result.
#2 . Because it's impossible today, but they are getting closer all the time. I will take 95% of the quality for 5% of the cost., Especially for unobtanium gear that is very rare and costs way to much.
#3 same as #2

There are dozzons of SSL EQ emulations out there. Over time they get better and better. Just one example of a classic piece of gear people desire but can't afford the real thing. Softube and UAD make some good SSL EQ approximations.
I don't doubt that we will one day get there. In the meantime, I use a blend of hardware/software. I tried to skimp on the HW, but I need both.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #41
Gear Addict
 

Most musicians will have never heard the original equipment in a studio environment to be able to tell how accurate the plug-in is to the real thing.

You're sort of buying the elusive 'magic' feeling from the past and it make more sense for developers to create a nice nostalgic looking interface rather than to spend hundreds of hours to make it sound as authentic as possible.

Only a select few users would be able to tell the difference and they might not even want a plug-in because they have the original equipment.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #42
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
Most musicians will have never heard the original equipment in a studio environment to be able to tell how accurate the plug-in is to the real thing.
Plenty of people will fall into the category of those who have though, and news will travel fast over the internet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
Only a select few users would be able to tell the difference and they might not even want a plug-in because they have the original equipment.
A lot of people who own the original equipment that these companies are trying hard to model would use a software equivalent if a good enough one existed. Why? Convenience. I heavily dislike having to recall mixes that involve more than 2 or 3 pieces of hardware.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #43
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
Plenty of people will fall into the category of those who have though, and news will travel fast over the internet.




A lot of people who own the original equipment that these companies are trying hard to model would use a software equivalent if a good enough one existed. Why? Convenience. I heavily dislike having to recall mixes that involve more than 2 or 3 pieces of hardware.
Exactly. Even though many professionals will have racks of older gear, especially someone who went through real to real, to ADAT, to DAW based tracking but mixing on a console to just DAW based don't often just sell everything they own. Some of the most extensive studios I have worked in have everything but things are still mixed either completely or mostly ITB. That is just fact. Hobbyists are much more inclined to heavily use hardware as their time isn't money, or it doesn't hurt their bottom line.

As you said, it's mostly recall, more than anything. Consider the difference between mixing a track in the 70's and today. It's not just technology, the pace is incredibly different. Engineers have to do many more songs now compared to focusing on one album. It's not just workflow on the technology side, it is a different workflow from just an occupational side.

People think "the pro's" are all analog and the "hobbyist" are digital but its often the other way around. Obviously some pro's are going to be 100% analog, or mostly analog, but it's far from most. Many just don't want to believe that because it isn't the choice they would make without really knowing what it takes to be at that level.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #44
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
Exactly. Even though many professionals will have racks of older gear, especially someone who went through real to real, to ADAT, to DAW based tracking but mixing on a console to just DAW based don't often just sell everything they own. Some of the most extensive studios I have worked in have everything but things are still mixed either completely or mostly ITB. That is just fact. Hobbyists are much more inclined to heavily use hardware as their time isn't money, or it doesn't hurt their bottom line.

As you said, it's mostly recall, more than anything. Consider the difference between mixing a track in the 70's and today. It's not just technology, the pace is incredibly different. Engineers have to do many more songs now compared to focusing on one album. It's not just workflow on the technology side, it is a different workflow from just an occupational side.

People think "the pro's" are all analog and the "hobbyist" are digital but its often the other way around. Obviously some pro's are going to be 100% analog, or mostly analog, but it's far from most. Many just don't want to believe that because it isn't the choice they would make without really knowing what it takes to be at that level.
I'm wondering if the analogue gear he had was more to track with and liked the digital to mix with recall. You are right a great mixer doesn't need gear to get a sound. Most use it to save time and in a real studio gear is not considered "expensive". Salaries, and rent, yep!
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