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Old 27th July 2019
Gear Maniac

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.