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Duende vs. Liquid Mix vs. Waves V Series + 4000 Collection Dynamics Plugins
Old 7th September 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Duende vs. Liquid Mix vs. Waves V Series + 4000 Collection

Hi, i've been searching the forums for weeks looking for the answer... i know that there is no definitive right or wrong to the question, i think i just need a few opinions from actual owners of the products...

I was getting ready to purchase the Duende because i loved the idea of having the SSL in my rack taking some of the load off of my cpu... i rarely have problems with my processor though, so i'm not too worried about the load, it's more the SSL sound to me... then i start reading reviews, and find that a lot of people are happy with the liquid mix's emulations of 60 different eq's and comps... so i start reconsidering and pocketing half the cash and put it towards the next piece of gear... now the third wrench thrown in is, while all of this is going on i demo the new waves v-series and am really blown away... so now i'm stuck with the question of ssl duende, liquid mix, or both the v-series & the 4000 collection of waves...

any help or educated opinions would be greatly appreciated... thank you
Old 7th September 2007
  #2
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I'm not really the right person to answer this, but I have a question for you that might help others give you a better response: What DAW are you using? It better have delay compensation...
Old 7th September 2007
  #3
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elambo's Avatar
Are you ready a lot of positive reviews about LiquidMix here at GS? I don't pay much attention to them, but I had the impression that IN GENERAL it wasn't looked upon very highly.

Waves is Waves. Good products - sometimes very good - from a horrible company. I'm always eager to explain how I've found a BETTER version of everything Waves makes (that's useful to me) from other companies.

Duende is the best sounding eq and compressor I've used with a DAW and I've demo'd or owned most of the others that are considered "the best". I've had a lot of stability problems with Duende, but they've ironed themselves out and it runs pretty smoothly now in each of the 5 rooms where I've installed it.
Old 7th September 2007
  #4
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiff View Post
It better have delay compensation...
I'd have to stress this as well. Delay comp isn't required, but it will save you a lot of time and headaches.
Old 7th September 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

The performance of my G5 2x2 based system increased a lot since I started to use the Duende. (I was using mostly Logic's and Waves Ren plugins before) So your thinking that external DSP will take some load off you CPU is absolutely correct. Sure software samplers and reverbs do hog your computer, but EQ and compressors on almost every channel add up quickly.

The latest version of the Duende drivers are stable.

Yes - I'm talking waaay to much about the Duende at this forum. I'm in love.

EDIT: then of course it's the GS way of getting all of those you mentioned. I mean, they actually can do somewhat different things. Watch out for compatibility between the Duende and the Liquid though.

Last edited by Mile-High; 7th September 2007 at 08:22 AM.. Reason: Extra slutinezz
Old 7th September 2007
  #6
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As the proud owner of Focusrites Liquid Mix I can go ahead and give you the thumbs up on it as long as...

you have automatic delay compensation.

The LM sounds gorgeous. It's like have 40 different types of the PSP Vintage Warmer 2 PLUS 20 sick ass completely different EQ's. If you like the PSP Vintage Warmers sound you'll LOVE the Liquid Mixes.

With that said... being a Pro Tools LE owner... it's a PAIN IN THE ASS not having automatic delay compensation. Sure you can apply a delay plug in to the tracks that don't have the LM inserted but man... it's a pain bro. Well it just forces you to take a detour away from your workflow... and that can be a dealbreaker for some.

Overall I think how much it does, how well it does it and its price... even with the headache that the latency causes... makes the Liquid Mix a no brainer for anyone who doesn't already have outboard gear. Even if you have outboard gear the LM is like having a 60 racks of outboard processors in a tiny ass little box. Not even professional studios have THAT much gear.

I love it.
Old 7th September 2007
  #7
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Duende is about as good as it gets. Liquid mix is usable but IMHO it's not in the same league.
Old 7th September 2007
  #8
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7161's Avatar
 

cant comment on duende, but having lived with liquidmix and tried ssl waves i think

1. is realtime use imprtant as you compose? cos liquid cant do that but sssl waves can if your audio card goes lo enuff

2. liquid gets more sound variety & they are pretty damned good sounds for the cash

i'd prolly go for waves simply cos it's more usuable and not just something to add afterwards if you like that sound

but then there's the whole 'do i want to patronise waves as a company' issue

oh, and what Krumbz said about delay compensation... a pain
Old 7th September 2007
  #9
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macgee's Avatar
where possible i always go with total native solutions. i like being able to take an ilok somewhere and have my plugs ready but with LM & Duende you have to trek a piece of hardware around and that's just not me. i have the v-series and it's great. the waves SSL is a very popular bundle and would probably be my preference in this case - i have quad 2.66 mac pro so CPU isn't much of a concern
Old 7th September 2007
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Thank you guys for your opinions... i think you have spelled out what i was already thinking and that was...

a. ssl duende is ofcourse the best emulation of an ssl... liquid mix is good for the money and the waves are good if you can get over that they're waves...

b. the delay compensation is a pain if you can't manage it... i am in fact using a PTLE/002r system so i don't have the ADC feature... about 50% of what i'm recording is my solo work so i am conceptualizing, tinkering, tracking, overdubbing, mixing, etc. all at the same time... i think this may be the downfall of both of the external systems...

so unless anybody has any terribly negative comments about the quality of the waves plug-ins, i think i may be leaning more heavily towards those...

thanks again guys...
Old 7th September 2007
  #11
CKK
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CKK's Avatar
 

Make shure to look at the waves API too - sweeeeet!!!

hehhehheh
Old 7th September 2007
  #12
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I have owned all of the above. The Duende is just not stable enough. Do a search, but its still an issue today as it was the day it came out. You will find people who have not had any problems, buy you will find many more who did. I found it very frustrating, but sounded incredible.

Liquid Mix, is very good, a great bang for the buck, I would only use it with a DAW that had Delay Compensation, not protools LE. You can use it in LE, but it requires work.

Waves SSL- Very Very Good, to me, a Must Have.

Waves V - I love them as well. I'd pick the SSL plugs over them, but I would not give them up.

Waves API, Very Very Good, strong contender with the Waves SSL, but if it got down to it, I'd go SSL.

Hope this helps.
Old 7th September 2007
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
I have owned all of the above. The Duende is just not stable enough. Do a search, but its still an issue today as it was the day it came out. You will find people who have not had any problems, buy you will find many more who did. I found it very frustrating, but sounded incredible.
I had huge problems with the Duende when I first got it, about 5 months ago. It wasn't stable. Alot of issues. They have gradually gone away, with new driver releases. Now there are none on my system and it's just amazing, but as barryjohns says, it's very hard to know what's it gonna be like in your setup. Can you borrow one and try?
Old 8th September 2007
  #14
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Duende, hands down, for me!

I own 4 UAD-1 cards. I've demo'd the Waves stuff. I bought and returned a LM. The LM wasn't 'bad' at all... in fact, it was pretty good. But not nearly as good as ther UAD stuff and not in the same league as the Duende, IMO.

Remember, for all intents and purposes, the Duende is not an 'emulation'. It is thew actual algorithm from the SSL digital console. The exact same code used on the the board itself.

What others say about stability is true. I've been lucky from the word go with mine. Never any issues. The new drivers seemed to have cleared up a lot of issues for a lot of people.

I can not state enough how great this device sounds and works.

Also, the latest drivers let you stack 2 of them together. How cool is that? I'll have the ability to run 32 stereo or 64 mono channels in any given mix (at 48k, which I use). Plus, if you can cough up the money ridiculously over-priced Drumstrip plug-in, it will change the way you record, mix and think about drums. Well......I can't say that, can I? It did for me! It *might* for you.

I haven't been impressed with SSL as a company when it comes to the Duende. Their support is shoddy and web/e-mail only. They have also been evasive, defensive and and marginally dishonest about different aspects of support, drivers, new releases, etc.

But, in the end, the sound of this thing makes all of that seem unimportant. As soon as I load it up on a channel or bus and start tweaking, It is the deal of the century. It really is, to me, like buying 16 or 32 high-quality, outboard EQs and/or compressors for 2k.

You did not mention UAD as an option. I would SERIOUSLY consider it. They all sound unbelievably good. Plus you have far more versatility than the Duende. Not to mention, UA is a dream to work with in terms of customer support, appreciation and service.

Like another poster mentioned, I have been gushing about the Duende (and the UAD-1 stuff) a lot lately. I am starting to sound like a commercial. I guess I just get excited when I think about how much those tools have improved my mixes for such a relatively small price!

Look at it this way. My 4 UAD-1 cards, all of the UAD-1 plugs, my PCI expansion chassis, My Duende, the Drumstrip plug-in and the new Duende that I will be buying soon comes to a grand total of...~$8,000. I can mix as many tracks as I'll ever need with those tools and get an ITB mix that rivals a lot of OTB mixes.

If I add up $8,000 worth of outboard gear sitting in my rack, i come up with 3 channels of compression and 2 channels of EQ.

Don't get me wrong, I love (and prefer) *decent* outboard gear, but I'm not rich, nor am I a big studio that can afford24 or 32 channels of kick-ass, outboard compression, EQ, etc.

Wow, I'm rambling. Bottom line - if the Duende actually works on your system, it has no equal, in the plug-in world, that I know of!
Old 8th September 2007
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Krumbz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
where possible i always go with total native solutions. i like being able to take an ilok somewhere and have my plugs ready but with LM & Duende you have to trek a piece of hardware around and that's just not me. i have the v-series and it's great. the waves SSL is a very popular bundle and would probably be my preference in this case - i have quad 2.66 mac pro so CPU isn't much of a concern
Honestly the Liquid Mix is almost small enough to fit in your pocket bro. Its VERY small and the only thing you need to connect is one FireWire to the FRONT of your Mac. If you have a Mac.

Take the FireWire out of the front of your Mac. Pick up the Liquid Mix and go.

It's really that simple. Um but you'll need to have the LM software on whatever computer you're working on to use it. But if you have a laptop the LM is ideal.

This is how small it is.

In the reply box... it would be from the left side of the actual box you would write in (this box i'm writing in now) to the right line on the RIGHT of the Smilies box.

8 inches maybe?
Old 8th September 2007
  #16
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Daniel Antix's Avatar
I'm more then happy with my liquid mix i use it all the time max it out and never have a problem. I'm happy with the sound, i think for the money it's a good buy.
Old 21st September 2007
  #17
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I've tried all the waves emulations plug ins and they rank in this order for me:
SSL4000
V-Series
API Bundle
Old 22nd September 2007
  #18
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
I have owned all of the above. The Duende is just not stable enough. Do a search, but its still an issue today as it was the day it came out. You will find people who have not had any problems, buy you will find many more who did. I found it very frustrating, but sounded incredible.
Didn't you sell your a long time ago Barry? If so, you wouldn't be able to have any 1st hand experience with newer drivers, instead just reading about them nd I don't think most happy Duende owners are posting anything at all about them, which would certainly make it seem like the vast majority of people are unhappy.

I wasn't afraid to tell everyone how much Duende's drivers sucked. It was one of the most frustrating things I had to deal with in recent memory. But with the latest drivers and a buffer setting of 256 I haven't had a Duende issue on any machine for quite a while and a couple of these are daisy-chained with hard drives. I'm glad I finally get to say that it's stable...

Sonically, it's the best option available. No question about it.
Old 22nd September 2007
  #19
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duende is awesome when working

waves 4000 is good but no way ssl...

waves v-series is good but uad´s neve-series is better.

i don´t like LM, cause it sounds like quantity instead of quality
Old 22nd September 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddierodriguez View Post
duende is awesome when working

waves 4000 is good but no way ssl...

waves v-series is good but uad´s neve-series is better.

i don´t like LM, cause it sounds like quantity instead of quality



The degree of difference between Duende and Waves SSL is minute

UAD's neve plugs are very good, but you can you get a few instances per card, I own all of them as well, and since buying Waves V, I never use UAD's Neve EQ's any longer.

Liquid Mix is a High Quality unit; I've owned it as well. It is a utility piece and performs very well.

I don't feel that FW devices like Duende and Liquid Mix have a place with MacPro's being so powerful now.

UAD's will stay around for a while longer, simply because their plugs are the best you can buy, so I (we) continue to put up with the grossly outdated PCI(e) Card to be able to use these plugs. I mainly use UAD for 1176 and LA2A, as well as the precision plugs.
Old 22nd September 2007
  #21
Gear Nut
 
MeatPye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tGauge View Post
it's more the SSL sound to me...
If it's more the SSL sound that is important to you... well, the Duende EQ sounds like the SSL EQ I have in my rack. It's nailed and it's done with taste.

(a happy user since v1).
Old 22nd September 2007
  #22
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KBOY's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddierodriguez View Post
duende is awesome when working

waves 4000 is good but no way ssl...

waves v-series is good but uad´s neve-series is better.

i don´t like LM, cause it sounds like quantity instead of quality
Dude, I swear I was wiping my LCD screen trying to get that bug off my screen. Wondering how it got behind it.

Great avatar
Old 22nd September 2007
  #23
Gear Nut
 
bonneybear's Avatar
 

Concerning delay compensation, I have Digi 002, there is a point to click to measure how much delay the plug in creates. Cant you just , then take that track and move it forward that many samples?
Old 22nd September 2007
  #24
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manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
The degree of difference between Duende and Waves SSL is minute

UAD's neve plugs are very good, but you can you get a few instances per card, I own all of them as well, and since buying Waves V, I never use UAD's Neve EQ's any longer.

Liquid Mix is a High Quality unit; I've owned it as well. It is a utility piece and performs very well.

I don't feel that FW devices like Duende and Liquid Mix have a place with MacPro's being so powerful now.

UAD's will stay around for a while longer, simply because their plugs are the best you can buy, so I (we) continue to put up with the grossly outdated PCI(e) Card to be able to use these plugs. I mainly use UAD for 1176 and LA2A, as well as the precision plugs.
My opinion is quite different. I found the difference between the Duende and Waves SSL to be fairly significant. Aside from the fact that they represent different SSL consoles and have different sonic characters, the Duende has a much higher quality of sound to my ears. It really sounds like my hardware EQs, where all of the rest of my EQ plug-ins (while good) sound like plug-ins. That is not a knock, it is just a statement. I happen to also like the sound of plug-in EQs. I prefer the 'thing' that hardware EQs do to the sound. it adds that proverbial air and 'width'. As much as those sound like buzz words, they are true for me. I really can hear a difference every time.

The amazing thing is, the Duende does that hardware thing too...which is proof, IMO, that plug-ins ARE capable of sounding as good as OTB gear!

Mind you, I have 4 UAD-1 cards along with every UAD plug except for the Cambridge and the Helios. The Neve stuff is outstanding....amazing, in fact. Every mix I've done for the last 1.5 years has consisted primarily of Duende and UAD-1 Neve plugs for all of my ITB mixing.

I use a combination of OTB and ITB mixing tools. The Duende and the UAD-1 stuff is the only stuff I've used that can actually hang with my hardware gear, IMO.

The beauty of it is, it is 100% opinion and driven by taste and sensibility. So, none of us are right or wrong here.
Old 31st March 2009
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Zoot's Avatar
LM and UAD1 Rock. Period.

I use a Liquid Mix and 2 UAD1 cards - mainly for verb (dream and realverb pro) and the 1176, sometimes I'll toss an LA2A on a kick to limit it a bit... but LM's LA2A sounds pretty damn good, too.

As for the Liquid Mix, to use it is to love it. Sonically, it may not be as good as Duende... although, I've never used a Duende, since it's made by SSL, and costs twice as much as a LM, I'd assume it's pretty sick, and sounds incredible. What I can say is that, if you know how to mix, and know what kind of board/eq/compression you want the sound from, you simply can't go wrong with a liquid mix... it's SO diverse. You can go from an amazing SSL G4000 channel strip to an API or Neve... I'm currently mixing an album as if I had a G4000 console, and it sounds great.

I feel that if you really know the sound you are looking for, for a particular project, you can go wrong with the combination of UAD and Liquid Mix. I'm sure Duende is amazing, and if you love SSL and would use it all the time, do it up... but, having a diverse array of plugins is great, it really helps get some cool vibes going on... as if you had a wall of geat (that we all wish we had).

My personal highlights:
UAD: 1176, LA2A, DreamVerb, RealVerb Pro, Pultec EQP, Cambridge
Liquid: Comp - 1176, SSLG4000+, Distressor. EQ - API550, SSL G, Avalon 747, Neve, Focusrite ISA

...For under 3 G's. Can't beat it!
Old 1st April 2009
  #26
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

Quite an old thread, but I'll contribute for the new readers who are interested in the topic.

I'm using the Duende PCIe, UAD-2 Solo, UAD-1, and Liquid Mix on a dedicated firewire card. It's all one the same machine, working flawlessly. Windows XP, SP3.

Love: UAD-2 33609, Duende X-Comp, Duende Bus Comp

Like: UAD L2, UAD Precision Limiter, UAD 1176LN, Liquid Mix Alan Smart C2

The Duende EQ is good... basic digital EQ.
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