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Cleaning up my act
Old 5th June 2012
Cleaning up my act

Hi Everyone,

I hope this thread will be of interest to all and not just to me.
Subject is how to get a cleaner sound. I think for the last 15 years many of us have been pretty obsessed with dirt, colour and warmth as if this is what makes our favourite records great. Dirt or distortion does of course play a big role in making a track glue together or create an illusion of intensity. Too much dirt and darkness though especially off the back of a long chain of retro EQ, analog summing, virtual tape and character compressors rather than create the depth of sonics we want, produces a pretty disappointing impenetrable slab of loud gummy, dynamicless fudge, with a rhythm and a melody occasionally emerging out and reminding us our mixes still sound amateurish. Sure we may be able to create a huge fat throbbing bass or a kick drum that could break your nose but in reflection this is the easiest part of production and mixing. Far harder is to create tone and an ambience that entices in the listener and does more than sounds like generic musak.
So my new approach will be to seek out 'clean' plugins to use in forthcoming mixes, incorporating far fewer 'vibe' tools and to try and avoid being seduced by the un-doubtedly sexy and always imaginative GUIs that accompany them. Thing is looking down my list of plugs, it is striking how few of them suggest they are 'characterless' or rather are ruthlessly clean processors, far more of my collection, judging by the coffee stains, nicotine and graphical wear and tear are firmly committed to dirge and low maintenance. Dont get me wrong I have loved that for a long time but now...I think I want greater clarity.

So far I am only aware of a far shorter list of what I consider to be genuinely clean software products, please though wade in and show me how wrong I am.

I am looking for very clean but musical plugin versions of:


To kick this off I'm going to hog the easy ones...

Sonnox Sony Plugins
UAD Precision plugs

Uhmm...any others?
Old 5th June 2012
Here for the gear

Massey Plug-ins.
Old 5th June 2012
Blast9's Avatar

What DAW are you using?

Flux are great for "clean" EQ and comp... very flexible and feature-laden (sometimes rather mind-boggling)
Old 5th June 2012
I'm in Nuendo on Windows 7, taking a look at Flux plugs right now.
Would love to get my mits on the Massey alas dont think Digidesign will let that happen.
Old 5th June 2012
Lives for gear
Hey man try demoing PSP old timer,waves API 2500, vertigo vsc1,the glue.

There are a few more,but these are proven to be very clean.

They cleaned up a very noisy mix for me.some vintage emulations add alaising for that vintage vibe, beware!

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz App
Old 5th June 2012
I've got the API product, funny I just don't find myself reaching for them.

I'm going to try the Brainworx and The Glue demos.

I am just as interested to hear of software that aims to do the vintage vibe but does this without weighing down the audio. I am not sure that many products if any really do this, I think the problem here is that by being 'vintage' it seems to let the designer off in regards to ensuring its also transparent and interacts with other subtleties.

I need to find a good goto delay that is really super clear but has some musical depth, and likewise some modulation.
Again, there are plenty of 'cool' looking products, modeled on a plethora of vintage delay units but I could do with something sharper and more precise.
Old 5th June 2012
Welcome back from "the dark side".

You may be ready to step up into some hardware.
Old 5th June 2012
The kind of hardware I've had and the hardware I want are why I'm mostly in the software domain.
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