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The Dust Has Settled. Time For a New Console Strip Pro Thread. Dynamics Plugins
Old 16th August 2007
  #1
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The Dust Has Settled. Time For a New Console Strip Pro Thread.

It's daunting to be faced by an 19-page long thread that runs the gamut of demo issues, demo issue fixes, licensing issues, licensing fixes, speculation, knee jerk bashing, knee jerk praise, and of course, worthwhile, thoughtful posts. Most of us just don't have that much time to wade through it all.

No that the dust has settled, the knee-jerking is over, and folks have had some time to mess around with the plug, I feel it's a good time time to re-approach the discussion.

So if there are some folks out there who have been working with it for a while now and have been able to explore... how do you feel?

I'm going to demo it on friday. I've always loved the URS eq's, but have been a tiny bit disappointed due to my high expectations for their comps. Like anyone else, I'm hoping for a great plug that has a bit of the elusive character that most plugs lack...

I'm up for a dialogue if anyone still has the energy for it after 19 pages of Console Strip Pro talk. Yikes.
Old 16th August 2007
  #2
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I'll bite ...

Been trying it out on some mixes for the last few days, and loving it. For the first time on any plugin i've ever tried, there's an audible difference between an LA2 and an LA3 model. There are also audible differences between the different models on the EQ side.

In other words, for me at least, it functions like outboard in that the outboard has both a sound and a function. All too often with plugins, it's only the latter. Having said that, I still use my outboard where/when I can, but now I feel less compromised when I reach for a plugin to do the same job. Equally though, there are times where I can get a comp/EQ combo in the CRS Pro that matches a particular track better than any outboard I have.

It has also confirmed for me which of my other plugins hold up well - Chandler and Massey compressors, URS A and N EQ's etc. etc., and which outboard I'd love to own ... 1073 and LA2 being top of the list.

I have a pretty extensive range of plugs, but I'll be buying this. I don't have Waves or UAD or Duende, so can't compare there though.

My 2c.

B
Old 16th August 2007
  #3
qua
Gear Head
 

I'll echo a lot of things Bing has said. I am really enjoying this plugin and purchased it immediately after using it exclusively on a job. I had a small budget job on- mixing a track for a compilation, and instead of going into the studio I thought I'd give my favorite plugins a go in my home studio. To my surprise I ended up using only two plugins on everything (CSP & Tritone Colortone Pro) and I must admit... the results were impressive. Since then I tend to reach for CSP at least once in every job I do and the best part is I don't always pull it out for the one sound. I find there are many uses for it. hell... just the input stages sound good. There are so many colours and possibilities.. and as Bing said... all the models (input stages, Compressors and Eqs) are extremely audible. Having experience with some of the models emulated, I can vouch for a fairly true emulation. And those models that I'm not familiar - who cares... they sound good! I don't own heaps of plugs .. but I've got some good hardware and I can say this compliments my outboard gear very well.
Old 16th August 2007
  #4
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Sigh........I can't help myself. I'm totally in love with this plug. I guess its not for everyone, which I don't understand, but honestly for me its made an unbelievable difference in my happiness and feeling like I could actually do this well. I have retired all my tritone digital plugs, as this one sounds better, uses less cpu, and is stable as hell. The comps are the first software comps that for some reason make mixing drums a total blast, and give me the option to really shape the sound in any way I please. The comps really have totally different colors/behaviors. Say what you will, but I never had that kind of freedom when using the sonalksis, waves ren comp, ua plugs, or anything else. I love the eqs as well, they are very pleasing and warm, without the haze/harshness I associate with pretty much every itb eq. And the input stages, though subtle are very high quality (don't compromise the sheen) and react with the compressor in a way that makes the tracks blend together in a very smooth way.

No one talks about this, but the sidechaining is really awesome. I've never had luck with dynamic eqs, tried them all. This one works and sounds great. For deessing, awesome. For taking the boom out of the low e on an upright, beautiful.

I have tried the waves emulations. To me it sounded like they are trying to hard to sound analog, and just end up sounding more digital in the process (some harshness and lack of dimension). I got no love from them. Duende is really awesome sounding, but in a A/B this plug is totally on the level (I think the URS eq is better). I never felt the UAD emulations gelled well in a mix, I don't know why. They always made things feel dry to me (even the plate, which I use a lot).

Anyway, it really is the only plug I use now for compression and eq (including the little strip which sounds great). I keep expecting to find the loophole (I will eventually, don't we all) but so far its been a month long honeymoon!
Old 16th August 2007
  #5
Here for the gear
 

I also bought this plugin last month eventhough the compressor didn't impress me at first. However, I loved the eq. I've never been able to get guitars & overheads to sound as good as with this plugin. High profile audio also had a really really good deal on this . Now I've been using it more and more on different sources and I'm really getting impressed by the compressor too. Since I'm not that experienced yet and the compressor/input section is pretty complicated and versatile, it took me a while to get into it. I'm not that experienced with the hardware units they're emulating here either, so that also might be one reason it took me a while to get into the compressor. At the moment I'm especially digging the "stress" model on snare and drum bus. I've also tried waves SSL, but I definately like this more (sound & GUI). And CSP is sooooo versatile !!!! I just want to say that if you're not that experienced with different compressors like me, prepare to spend some time with the input/compressor/side chain section.

It's just too bad the stereo instances seem to eat guite a lot of cpu resources...
Old 21st October 2007
  #6
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Anyone know anywhere online where someone has listed (or made an educated guess) which hardware each preset represents? I'm not well versed in hardware history to decipher it all, especially stuff like "Iron". I'm guessing the British stuff = Neve, and that's about as far as I got.
Old 21st October 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikem View Post
Anyone know anywhere online where someone has listed (or made an educated guess) which hardware each preset represents? I'm not well versed in hardware history to decipher it all, especially stuff like "Iron". I'm guessing the British stuff = Neve, and that's about as far as I got.
The info you're looking for can be found in the PDF file you'll get when you download the plug installer.

I believe the specific models were listed in the old thread, but perhaps it should be reposted here for posterity. The old thread is thorough, but too weighed down by bickering and already resolved compatibility issues to be useful or intriguing to future search users.

I'm loving the EQ's on the CCSP. The comps? Good, but somewhat less excellent in my opinion, and much easier to screw up.

The EQ's are based (in chronological order) on Pultec, API, Neve, and SSL.

The compressor models use an input stage that corresponds to the sound of that model, and start with preset attack, release, and ratio settings that vaguely emulate fixed settings or basic starting points on each unit.

The attack and release characteristics and range of control for each compressor preset is not truly modeled after the units they were inspired by. For instance, if you start with the LA-3A preset, you'd be able to adjust your attack time to 50ms if you so desire.... that's not gonna sound a whole lot like an LA-3A!. If you pick the dbx 160 emulation (called the vca 60) the default release setting might not react much like the somewhat variable auto-release on a hardware 160 at all.

Still, the compressor presets can be valuable starting points, and the EQ's are killer... for software. I'm a big supporter of URS, but I don't think Bobby's company has ever hit the mark with their compressors as well as they hit the mark with their EQ's.
Old 23rd October 2007
  #8
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The worst part about this plugin is the Hype. My review will atempt to balance some of that with a dose of reality. We all see the world slightly different also, so dont assume I mean your wrong, or this plugin is not great

There is something in human nature that causes people to do this, I dont know what it is, but when a bandwagon is being boarded, regardless of where its going, humans will jump on it

Out of all the reviews I have seen here there have been many balanced, well rounded perspectives. The problem is they are drowned out, 20 to 1, by people claiming the Messiah has come.

Another thing is ....I believe that because many people havnt used a lot of VST plugins they dont know that much of whats in CSP is already available. I am a firm believer in the power of bias and am well aware of how it colors the mind and ears

So without the hype.
The input stages are cool. Maybe people are not aware that Voxengo has stuff like this and you can even get it elsewhere for free. Input stages that truly drive have been around for a while.

The Eq's are excellent. But again, there are excellent EQ's all over the place. The reason why this plugin is nice is because you can change them with a click without loading another plugin. You can change the input color driving the EQ if you feel that you need a slightly different voice--or if you have some harshness you can thicken it up a bit with the Tube stage input

These individual things are available already. The actual sonics of each individual peice is not the key to this plugin. Its that its all at your fingertips, without loading a bunch of plugs in series.

The compressors are decent. Better than the Classic bundle--which obviously was a pumping inaccurate mess. Sorry, I dont give a pass on something claiming to emulate if it doesnt even come close to emulating. Again, you have an input stage, a compressor and an eq going usually---but just the compressor alone, to me, is not worth all the hype.

The power is in the ease of use. To be able to build the sound without using a long list of plugins. There are better tube input stage plugins. There are better tape plugins and there are better individual compressors. There is no true driving of the input and no true driving of tape. There is stuff out there that can drive to bubbling distortion and thick saturation and do subtle stuff. So think about this fact when making the sonics out to be a god. How does this help URS improve? Guitar amp modeling companies have already mastered the input stage and are lightyears above what this plugin does. URS needs to know they hardly scratched the surface here in regards to what the components actually do when overdriven.

What Im saying is if you took the best of all these individual peices from different plugins and put them in series it will top this thing. The only reason this has to even be said is the hype. As I said, many people recognize this, and have said so here, but I think its worth repeating--that this is about convienence. Its an excellent plugin but if doesnt deserve to be hyped beyond belief--because it can be believed and there is much room for improvement.
Old 23rd October 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
The worst part about this plugin is the Hype.
There was a guy in the earlier, long CSP thread who had tested it with an analyser and found the input stages are actually just a collection of subtly applied EQ. The EQ stage itself is nothing but ordinary bi-quad filters with different kinds of shapes and ratios. There's nothing in there which isn't done already or better, including quite a number of free plugs. A very well-respected developer said on KVR that URS is generally vastly overrated in terms of price/performance (and in the same post praised another competitor of his own, so it was unlikely a question of bias).

Yet the price is part of what makes people buy into the hype, along with what is indeed a really cool retro looking interface.
Old 23rd October 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
The worst part about this plugin is the Hype. My review will atempt to balance some of that with a dose of reality. We all see the world slightly different also, so dont assume I mean your wrong, or this plugin is not great

There is something in human nature that causes people to do this, I dont know what it is, but when a bandwagon is being boarded, regardless of where its going, humans will jump on it

Out of all the reviews I have seen here there have been many balanced, well rounded perspectives. The problem is they are drowned out, 20 to 1, by people claiming the Messiah has come.

Another thing is ....I believe that because many people havnt used a lot of VST plugins they dont know that much of whats in CSP is already available. I am a firm believer in the power of bias and am well aware of how it colors the mind and ears

So without the hype.
The input stages are cool. Maybe people are not aware that Voxengo has stuff like this and you can even get it elsewhere for free. Input stages that truly drive have been around for a while.

The Eq's are excellent. But again, there are excellent EQ's all over the place. The reason why this plugin is nice is because you can change them with a click without loading another plugin. You can change the input color driving the EQ if you feel that you need a slightly different voice--or if you have some harshness you can thicken it up a bit with the Tube stage input

These individual things are available already. The actual sonics of each individual peice is not the key to this plugin. Its that its all at your fingertips, without loading a bunch of plugs in series.

The compressors are decent. Better than the Classic bundle--which obviously was a pumping inaccurate mess. Sorry, I dont give a pass on something claiming to emulate if it doesnt even come close to emulating. Again, you have an input stage, a compressor and an eq going usually---but just the compressor alone, to me, is not worth all the hype.

The power is in the ease of use. To be able to build the sound without using a long list of plugins. There are better tube input stage plugins. There are better tape plugins and there are better individual compressors. There is no true driving of the input and no true driving of tape. There is stuff out there that can drive to bubbling distortion and thick saturation and do subtle stuff. So think about this fact when making the sonics out to be a god. How does this help URS improve? Guitar amp modeling companies have already mastered the input stage and are lightyears above what this plugin does. URS needs to know they hardly scratched the surface here in regards to what the components actually do when overdriven.

What Im saying is if you took the best of all these individual peices from different plugins and put them in series it will top this thing. The only reason this has to even be said is the hype. As I said, many people recognize this, and have said so here, but I think its worth repeating--that this is about convienence. Its an excellent plugin but if doesnt deserve to be hyped beyond belief--because it can be believed and there is much room for improvement.
I would like to know what VST plugs for PC I can find better tape emulation and better tube input stages. I am still debating getting this thing but I agree that alot of its usefulness to me is that it will be a nice "all-in-one" to play along with my UAD's and keep the balance of native vs. UAD dsp power in check.
Old 24th October 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdunard View Post
I would like to know what VST plugs for PC I can find better tape emulation and better tube input stages.
Me too .. though for Mac. Not sure why we're not naming names here.

I have URS Pro, and like it a lot especially the EQ. There are other plugs around, sure, but being able to open just one makes life that much easier.
Old 24th October 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
In my limited time playing with the URS plugs, I can not say that Voxengo's tape plug is better. I use the **** out of Voxengo tape, but if I get CSP, I doubt I will anymore. To me CSP nails the SSL sound really well..I would take a snare and switch inputs, and when you get to the 1980, you get that real nice snap. I dont know anything for free that is near the level of CSP. If there is something, let me know so I can save the money.

CSP is appealing to me because I can use it and move on. I could use that on every channel I need and not need any other EQs or plugs to be honest. I say that because I watched a friend do just that on a record and it sounded awesome.
Old 24th October 2007
  #13
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krank View Post
There was a guy in the earlier, long CSP thread who had tested it with an analyser and found the input stages are actually just a collection of subtly applied EQ. The EQ stage itself is nothing but ordinary bi-quad filters with different kinds of shapes and ratios. There's nothing in there which isn't done already or better, including quite a number of free plugs.
That wasn't the definitive word on what the input stages do... just one person's findings.

Of course the models apply EQ, because all of the machines they modeled have an EQ curve.

But, it's more than just EQ.

Also, I don't know of any other plugin that does what the Channel Strip Pro does.

It's by far my favorite EQ/ compressor plugin.
Old 24th October 2007
  #14
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Mikem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
That wasn't the definitive word on what the input stages do... just one person's findings.

Of course the models apply EQ, because all of the machines they modeled have an EQ curve.

But, it's more than just EQ.

Also, I don't know of any other plugin that does what the Channel Strip Pro does.

It's by far my favorite EQ/ compressor plugin.
I don't claim to understand the physics or computer science behind it, but isn't gear emulation basically just modeling the EQ and compression "curves" of the different sources, as they react to different program materials at different dynamic levels?

I also don't claim to fully follow that "one person's findings" you mentioned, but he seemed pretty worked up about it. If the URS CSP had completely failed at imitating it's intending targets, this crowd would be the first to call it out on the carpet. I've yet to see that happen, but a lot of stuff seems to get initially rave reviews here and then panned over time. So only time will tell. A lot of people seemed satisfied with it, though.

If there are other plugs out there that do a better job at input stage emulation (tape, etc.), show us so A/B comparisons. Like another poster said, let's name names!
Old 24th October 2007
  #15
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krank View Post
There was a guy in the earlier, long CSP thread who had tested it with an analyser and found the input stages are actually just a collection of subtly applied EQ. The EQ stage itself is nothing but ordinary bi-quad filters with different kinds of shapes and ratios. There's nothing in there which isn't done already or better, including quite a number of free plugs. A very well-respected developer said on KVR that URS is generally vastly overrated in terms of price/performance (and in the same post praised another competitor of his own, so it was unlikely a question of bias).

Yet the price is part of what makes people buy into the hype, along with what is indeed a really cool retro looking interface.
Man, people are hilarious. Did you know the Beatles generally used 3 chords in their songs? How can that be as good as Allan Holdsworth, who used a bazillion chords in his songs and used only new chords that he made up?

I know you think its different, but its not. You can get an amazing song out of 3 chords, and you can get an amazing plug with biquad filters.

I've used every plug out there. All of them. I prefer this one not just for convenience, but for sound.
Old 24th October 2007
  #16
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Mikem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Man, people are hilarious. Did you know the Beatles generally used 3 chords in their songs?
C'mon, now you're just being unfair to the Beatles. Name 3 Beatles songs that only used three chords. "Twist and Shout" was a cover, so it doesn't count. Maybe there's a few pre-1965 songs I can't think of, but even their early stuff would throw in a minor 2 or minor 6 chord or something.

Now, had you used the example of U2 instead, I would not have objected. Especially since Adam Clayton always plays the same bass part, regardless of the song.
Old 24th October 2007
  #17
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Ok, maybe 5 chords.

Edit: Actually, tomorrow never knows is only 1 chord (with an implied 2nd chord in the upper voices). I love that song.
Old 25th October 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Man, people are hilarious. Did you know the Beatles generally used 3 chords in their songs? How can that be as good as Allan Holdsworth, who used a bazillion chords in his songs and used only new chords that he made up?

I know you think its different, but its not. You can get an amazing song out of 3 chords, and you can get an amazing plug with biquad filters.

I've used every plug out there. All of them. I prefer this one not just for convenience, but for sound.
I love Alan Holdsworth. The UK disk he played on is insane.
But come on the Beatles used very complex chord progressions.

People always equate complex music with Rush and Dream Theatre
I bet the Beatles used more chords than those bands. Not that that matters.

Personally I think the Beatles cd's sound bad but their songs and sense
of melody is second to none.
Old 25th October 2007
  #19
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JesseJ's Avatar
 

I'm really glad of this new CSP thread. Looks like it's staying on topic very nicely.
Old 25th October 2007
  #20
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Mikem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseJ View Post
I'm really glad of this new CSP thread. Looks like it's staying on topic very nicely.
When the Beatles sang, "All You Need is Love", I'm sure they really meant all you need is a single plug-in that emulates dozens of classic pre's, EQ's and compressors in unified, convenient GUI.

Better? thumbsup
Old 25th October 2007
  #21
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thermos's Avatar
"All you need is csp."

I love Holdsworth too.
Old 25th October 2007
  #22
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
"All you need is csp."

I love Holdsworth too.
Anyway, in the interest of at least trying to stay on topic (sorry), if my computer was powerful enough, I would just open every new session with CSP inserted on every channel and call it a day.
Old 25th October 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Anyway, in the interest of at least trying to stay on topic (sorry), if my computer was powerful enough, I would just open every new session with CSP inserted on every channel and call it a day.
Agreed.

This is what I was hoping for when I bought the plug, but alas my dual 2ghz g5 with 3gigs of RAM just isn't up to the task on full-blown PT sessions.

But I still use it, and I actually kind of like the fact that the interface is fairly bleak and boring and uncolored. In a way, it helps me focus on the actual sound of what I'm doing more than the vibey eye candy of their earlier classic EQs (which, incidentally, I still use on every mix).

I like this plug a lot, but here I am, months later, and I find myself using my older URS eq's much more often. I think it's mainly because of the limitations of my system. If I had a newer quad processor mac, or an HD system at my project studio, I'd just throw option-click and throw one every track at the start of the mix, just like I was using a real console.

Alas, this is not the case. So I select which eq I think will best serve the sound on a case-by-case basis, and don't bother initiating plugs I may not use.

Although the compressors in the CSP are far better than URS's previous efforts, I still find them lacking compared to their eq's. Anyone agree.

I'm still searching for plug-in rtas comps that I actually like. I use the massey CT4 all the time, Smack pretty damn often, RenComp with some regularity, and PSP vintage warmer on at least one bus per mix. I like the UAD comps, but working around their latency in PTLE just isn't worth it for me. I'd love to see URS step up to the plate and really deliver with a comp one of these days. I think they can do it, but they won't get by on hype alone.
Old 25th October 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
Agreed.

Although the compressors in the CSP are far better than URS's previous efforts, I still find them lacking compared to their eq's. Anyone agree.
I agree. The URS API, Neve & SSL EQ's have a sound that works for me but the comps just aren't happening. It may be because I am so used to hardware Urei's, optos, Manleys's, Smart's, etc...
For me, the stock comps in C4 at least control dynamics without messing up the sound.
I'm still looking for a great VST comp.
But hey, after 15 years of mixing OTB, I'm new to C4 & VST compressors and haven't tried that many but, with the hardware I have I probably won't be purchasing a software comp anytime soon.
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