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#2165137 - 02/16/10 10:42 AM VST plugins
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Hi, guys. Just getting into mixing and I'm looking for some good plugins. I'm working with Cubase 5, should I limit myself to VST plugins or are there other forms of plugins that'd work well, too? Other considerations I might be missing?

Also, what are some good plugins to consider? I'm interested in the UA 1176 and Empirical Labs Distressor particularly, but can't afford them in hardware version. Do they offer these in plugin form or is there something similar?

I've heard that EQ's can add a "sound" to a mix. Is that just their hardware versions? Should I be investigating EQ's to add a certain touch to my mixes based on the style I'm looking for? I'm assuming the EQ from Cubase is pretty transparent?

Sorry I'm so full of questions. facepalm Maybe I should start multiple threads? Please offer some suggestions on how I should proceed? Thanks! laugh


Edited by simpleman3441 (02/16/10 10:44 AM)
Edit Reason: Adding a smile to clarify that, while I'm overwhelmed, I'm lovin every second of this.
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#2165330 - 02/16/10 07:36 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
I should clarify that by "sound" I don't mean the boost or cut in frequencies that you apply using the processor. I mean that it was described as an almost abstract thing that is brought to the music that an experienced ear could detect. Focusrite Red series was one example that was said to have a certain characteristic sound.
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#2165413 - 02/16/10 11:00 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
There are thousands of plug ins, from free to thousands of dollars. Many of the eq variety claim to be 'warmers' or 'analog' or whatever. The best that i have used are the Algorithmix eqs, but these are over $1k each. The Sony Oxford plus get high marks too. In a lower cost option the PSPs are well thought of.

I've not been a fan of the Distressor to start with, so if there is a plug, I've missed it.

I found the Waves products to be good, but the price is a little steep... I have the Platinum bundle.

If you are using a PC, plugs called 'native' plugs will work for you, too.

The best 1176 emulation that I know of comes with the UAD card, but then you are locked into hardware and if you look around the web you'll see a lot of people crying about UAD and compatability and latency and other PITA issues.

I know that I have said this to you before, but getting those sounds on the way into the computer is my preferred way, making the right choice of mic, placement, preamp, eq, and room.
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#2165487 - 02/17/10 07:27 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Yeah, I think I'd probably prefer that as well, but I have to make concessions based on my low budget and lack of room for hardware. The room I have to work in is something like 6'x10'. Hoping to remedy both those situations asap, at which point I'll use minimal plugins. Thanks for the direction. I'm looking into the PSP series as we speak... I mean as I type! smile If anyone else has other suggestions, it'd still be appreciated.
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#2166163 - 02/19/10 06:50 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Since you've mentioned PSP, I've been seeing the name all over. Looks pretty interesting. Have you had experience with any of them?
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#2166259 - 02/19/10 09:53 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Originally Posted By: simpleman3441
Since you've mentioned PSP, I've been seeing the name all over. Looks pretty interesting. Have you had experience with any of them?


I did beta test a few pieces for them years and years ago, but I never kept any of their products on my machine.

I tell you what, if you go to the sawstudio users forum website and ask, you'll get a boatload of suggestions from some pretty knowledgeable people who will be happy to share their experiences. There are a LOT of plug in suites to pick from, and over time these guys have gotten the useful list down to a handful of affordable and free options.

http://www.sawstudiouser.com/forums/
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"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

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Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#2166277 - 02/19/10 10:40 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
"I reach for [PSP VintageWarmer] a lot these days when I need to give a track some extra 'wow' factor."
-Craig Anderton, EQ Magazine

Is the "wow" factor a reference to the artifacts between 0.1-10Hz caused when using tape? (I've been reading a lot of things that I don't understand, hoping that it'll help get me to the point where I understand! lol) Or is that just a statement of the impression that he's looking for from listeners?
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#2166284 - 02/19/10 10:53 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Has anyone had experience with Focusrite's Scarlett? There seems to be absolutely no info beyond OS compatibility on their website.
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#2166285 - 02/19/10 10:56 AM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Let me take you back to the beginning again.... In my opinion, you are better off capturing the original sound source the way that you want to hear it than you are trying to paint it a different color after the fact. No putdown of your original tracking meant here, but how much time do you want to spend polishing a turd?

Now, you can become an expert at capturing sound, learning how to use the gear that you have in the space that you have to get the best sound that you can.... or you can spend your time trying to polish that turd. Which would benefit you the most? You've talked about getting great guitars sounds, and some of the every best were recorded using cheap microphones, close miced (to eliminate room effects) and the tone and sound were gotten by the player from his amp, not through any studio magic. The other things apply too.... the magic in the tracks should be coming from the performance and if you've captured a great performance well, you don't have to do much else to make a great recording. If the magic isn't there to start with, the best gear in the best room won't save the recording.

You seem to want to find a magic piece of software that you can run all your mixes through to make them great. You are not alone, and every guy starting out (and some long past that point) finds some magic box or piece of software..... and later on they're caught saying, "What was I thinking??????!!!!!!"

There is no substitute for learning the basics. It gets boring to work on them and perfect them, but once you know them, a lot of this becomes a lot easier.
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"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

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#2166333 - 02/19/10 01:35 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Bill@Welcome Home Studios
You've talked about getting great guitars sounds, and some of the every best were recorded using cheap microphones, close miced (to eliminate room effects) and the tone and sound were gotten by the player from his amp, not through any studio magic. The other things apply too....You seem to want to find a magic piece of software that you can run all your mixes through to make them great...There is no substitute for learning the basics. It gets boring to work on them and perfect them, but once you know them, a lot of this becomes a lot easier.


I'm totally interested in basics and simplicity. I brought up the guitar thing because I'm interested in the art of mixing and want to try something a little more interesting than having one guitar track straight down the center. I'm happy with the guitar sounds I'm getting from a 57 straignt on the horn. I'm getting good recordings from everything now (except drums), but there is a definite difference between how my vocals sit in the mix with and without compression. I've heard that different compressions offer different feels and I'm just interested in finding a nice one. I didn't want to purchase anything without checkin with some people that are more experienced about how the different options measure up and I figured I'd get some other little curious questions answered along the way.

I'm experimenting with all sorts of things and I'm totally not bored! grin
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#2166371 - 02/19/10 04:58 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
The native compressor in SAWStudio is neat, the AM products in Samplitude are great, and I like the Waves compressors.
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#2166576 - 02/20/10 05:09 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Oh, I forgot DirectX plugs, which will also work with PC DAWS
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#2166595 - 02/20/10 06:44 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
simpleman3441 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Right on. It's funny how things are all around you sometimes and you just don't notice it until it's brought to your attention. There's just so much out there that it's hard to keep track of it all. Ever since you mentioned PSP, I've been reading great stuff everywhere about their Vintage Warmer. I think I'm gonna try that.
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#2170034 - 03/05/10 02:26 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Next time someone asks for a magic piece of software, tell them it's the PSP Vintage Warmer 2! Definitely a much nicer sounding compresion than what came stock with Cubase. Thicker, creamier, Warmer... grin
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#2170753 - 03/08/10 05:53 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
simpleman3441 Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 819
Loc: Ohio
Ok so I was overly excited. It's not magic. It does however offer a much thicker mix. I still have not found the comfort with it to have good results with vocals. The controls are not your usual compression parameters. For example, there is no mention of threshold anywhere.
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#2276560 - 02/23/11 05:17 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: simpleman3441]
eightyeightkeys Offline
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 556
If you were to get one "set" of plugs that does the job exceedingly well, I would recommend UAD. They really have set the bar for many plug-ins. The stock plugs can go a l-o-n-g way, but, there are some really nice optional plugs.

UAD seems to be a solid company with solid drivers and they don't look like they're going to bail on their customers like some have...(cough)TC Electronic...
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#2285012 - 03/22/11 02:54 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: eightyeightkeys]
GabeCarter Offline
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Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 15
...


Edited by Griffinator (02/12/12 06:49 AM)
Edit Reason: spam redacted

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#2371700 - 01/02/12 08:45 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: GabeCarter]
flatfinger Offline
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 15

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#2371709 - 01/02/12 09:53 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: flatfinger]
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: flatfinger
http://www.simulanalog.org/


I downloaded it, I'm certainly going to try it out, and I'll probably think it's pretty good for the money (free), but color me skeptical that a 300K file is actually doing "every component in the audio path of the original instrument has been modelled (sic), except for the secondary effects of some active devices"

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#2427867 - 07/25/12 01:18 PM Re: VST plugins [Re: Griffinator]
Mike Leghorn Offline
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Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Illinois
I'm still learning about VST effects for mastering, but after a year or so of dabbling, these have become my favorites:

Reverb: Valhalla Room ($50).

EQ: Nomad Factory British NEQ-1972 (I got it on sale for $20). This seems to be natural sounding, and doesn't add any unwanted artifacts. Avoid the vintage mode though -- it sounds horrible.

Leveling (and compression): IK Multimedia White 2A Leveling Amplifier (I got it at a discount for $50). I find that it adds warmth and body to the sound. It sounds pretty good when used as a compressor -- no pumping.

I use these plugins in my synth arrangement of The Planets.

I'm very interested in FabFilter Saturn, but don't have the budget for it. It's extremely versatile.


Edited by Mike Leghorn (07/25/12 01:19 PM)

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