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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think?
      #1033855 - 18/02/13 01:47 AM
Both have had good SOS reviews, and have provoked a lot of hysteria on a certain other forum. Has anyone here used either or both?

I can't demo either product until my Ilok 2 arrives later this week. Meanwhile I would like to hear any opinions about this stuff, good or bad. Thanks!


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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
Posts: 233
Loc: Denmark
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1033861 - 18/02/13 06:34 AM
Excellent, both. The VCC is harder to quantify, but remove it from your mix and it won't sound or sit right anymore. I've become a big fan of Slate and Fabrice Gabriel.

Cheers,
Sam

--------------------
http://www.soundcloud.com/sambrox
seedy.dk


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1033862 - 18/02/13 07:32 AM
Well, I'm afraid I'm not a fan. I have VCC and I've played around with it a lot. What happens, for me, is that while it initially sounds good, I find there's a mushiness to the mix that bothers me. So I back it off, then take it off some things, then take it off everything and suddenly the mix opens up and sounds better again. It's adding noise and crucially distortion, and this is something that we find time and again that the computer is not yet capable of doing well. The difference with analogue is that analogue manages to add the harmonics, the colour, without making things turn to mush. I'm always keen to check out any new developments in this area but this one doesn't really float my boat. Just an opinion.

J

--------------------
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Mixedup
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1033876 - 18/02/13 09:41 AM
I've used VCC quite a lot and have been playing with VTM lately too. I agree with Jack that real analogue is still preferable, sonically, and by quite a way (to any plug-ins, not just these). Though obviously not everyone has the luxury of being able to work with analogue all the time these days, and there's definitely a place for plug-ins like this IMO.

I keep changing my mind about VCC. I find that it works on some mixes really well, and not so well on others. If you do want to hear what it does, just whack it on a bunch of channels and busses, and leave the drive settings where they are. Then try bypassing them as a group. I don't like the effect of increasing the drive, and using just one instance on something and trying to add colour seems to yield nothing useful.

The VTM is really good for a plug-in. Arguably the most 'authentic' sounding tape emulation in plug-in form, and certainly less of a pain in the arse than real tape. But I've found that it's not always the best choice — sometimes the UA Studer/Ampex emulations are better tools for the job, sometimes not.

Bottom line is you'll need to play with both demos, compare with other things, and make your own judgments.


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The Elf
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1033880 - 18/02/13 10:21 AM
I've played around with Slate VCC, but it didn't do anything wonderful for me. I didn't even find it gave me the extra headroom I'm looking for in saturation plug-ins.

I used to use URS Saturation a lot, usually over my mix buss, and for a while everything seemed to sound better for it, but mix by mix I gradually lost faith. At first I felt it was an improvement, but eventually each time I hit the bypass button my mixes seemed to sound better. It didn't work on every mix, anyway, but the hit/miss rate seemed to be reducing.

I'm in a similar honeymoon period with Cubase 7's new saturation options. It certainly gets me where I want to be, and at the moment I really like it. It really helps snares to pop, for example. I'm actually trying not to overuse it - and definitely not across the mix buss. Maybe this is the one? But in 3 month's time?...

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Dave Rowles



Joined: 28/02/08
Posts: 1460
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: The Elf]
      #1033927 - 18/02/13 01:03 PM
While I haven't used these products, I did listen to the audio demos of the VTM from the SoS review as I'm exploring options for my next purchases. I didn't hear anything that much better about the mixes that warranted the cost, or looking into it any further for me.

To be honest, all it did was make the mixes a little noisier, and a little less defined. For me, they didn't sound warmer or have any more character than the clean mixes. It could be used as an "effect" but I've decided I'd rather just mix better with what I've got.

--------------------
www.manninmusic.com Bandcamp
Sound Engineer, Music Teacher, Isle of Man


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Dave Rowles]
      #1034012 - 18/02/13 11:20 PM
Quote Dave Rowles:

...I didn't hear anything that much better about the mixes that warranted the cost, or looking into it any further for me.

To be honest, all it did was make the mixes a little noisier, and a little less defined. For me, they didn't sound warmer or have any more character than the clean mixes. It could be used as an "effect" but I've decided I'd rather just mix better with what I've got.




Thanks for the opinions guys. Having listened to the SOS files, I'm inclined to agree with the above. Quite disappointing, even a bit of a joke considering the hype.

I'm gonna pass on this stuff. And having decided that, I'm already a couple of hundred quid richer, have saved myself loads of time and faffing about – and my mixes will still sound great!

(Though I do like the way the reels go round and around on the VTM's graphics).


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1034013 - 18/02/13 11:22 PM
It's not possible to not like that.

--------------------
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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
Posts: 233
Loc: Denmark
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: sambrox]
      #1034074 - 19/02/13 10:30 AM
Well, I guess it depends what you're aim is when using these plugins. I certainly aren't using them for obvious saturation. Most of the work I do is media composing, where everything is in the box and for most part software instruments. For me, they take the digital 'plastic' edge off everything in a way that doesn't compromise the character of sounds, and as I said, in the case of VCC just helps them to sit better or blend. I'd love to go the analogue route (that's where I started, after all) but don't have the time/money/space for it! This is as close as I've gotten via software (haven't tried Nebula, though).

What these plugins won't do though is magically make your mixes sound like Chris Lord Alge

Cheers,
Sam

--------------------
http://www.soundcloud.com/sambrox
seedy.dk


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sc1460
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1036035 - 03/03/13 05:35 PM
I think to dismiss them would be the wrong way to go. I have both. I use them when they make the track sound better. But I don't always use them. There is definitely a sweet spot around which tracks can sound a little cold and digital and the other end where they sound over processed. It really takes fresh ears to judge whether these plugs improve a track or not.

I find on orchestral and ensemble recordings I rarely use them, as listeners seem to prefer a natural sound and most plug ins take away from that. On rock and pop tracks I find both plugs can really work well, but they won't help if your mix is muddy or sucks anyway. On electronic music I don't find they help much at all. But that's what my ears at saying, yours may say different.

I'll tell you one thing UAD, Waves, cytomic, slate etc etc have really helped me make radio or iTunes ready tracks without having to go into expensive studios for musicians on a limited budget! I wish these had been around years ago!!!!


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narcoman
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1036364 - 04/03/13 10:34 PM
I quite like the VCC (not withstanding the bugs I experience on a Nehalim (sp??) processor). I initially really liked the Neve model but I've found myself using the SSL one a bit more recently. It doesn't do MUCH but it does help get you that sheen just that tiny bit quicker.

I dont disagree with what Jack said , though. But it gets used occasionally here.



VTM - really like the 30 ips 2 track. Work for me (again, a little buggy on my system).


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awjoe



Joined: 08/03/11
Posts: 126
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1036833 - 07/03/13 03:48 AM
I use the VCC and like its ability to soften the edges of my mixes ever so slightly - I like the sound and use it on all my mixes these days. What I don't like about it is that the meters don't work when I use it in Audition. (They work when I use it in Reaper.) Another thing I don't like is how complaints on my part about the meters (and complaints from other users about various things) have been met with a series of excuses and promises from Steven Slate for over a year, but nothing's happened (other than the Slate company coming out with a bunch of new products). Irritatingly crummy support, in other words. I'm interested in VTM, but I'm not touching it until they pick up the ball on the VCC.

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https://yousemusic.bandcamp.com/


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1049988 - 26/05/13 06:51 PM
Little follow up to this...Following my earlier comments I have demo'd the VTM. I think it's better than VTC overall. It's really pretty nice and worth a try. But annoyingly it adds a lot of gain which makes it really hard to AB...does anyone know how to defeat the in/out linking so that you can get closer to unity gain? I'm using a trim to take -1.6dB off but it's clumsy. Surely there's a way to disable that functionality?

Anwyay, I like it...It's good. Thumbs up here.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Andi



Joined: 02/09/04
Posts: 1203
Loc: Berkshire, UK
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1050003 - 26/05/13 08:53 PM
I use and like both, VTM is easier to quantify, VCC took me a while to hear what it was doing. They are most definitely at their best when they appear to be doing little which is where I think the problem occurs - you buy or trial the product and you really want to hear it so you turn it up; and A/B ing something like this is very difficult. I think the best way to test is to put it on every track and buss, turn the drive low and keep your levels matched and mix with it, then turn-off all the inserts at once (you can do this easily in Cubase by slot), I hear a significant difference when I do this and in every case to date I've wanted the VTM/VCC combo in place (though I do tend to check for every mix to be sure).

This said, take a look at some of the retweets by Slate Pro Audio with a sick-bag handy - "I've been mixing for a week and I've had had VCC for 3 minutes and it's changed my life and it's the best thing ever and it's fixed every problem I've ever had yadayadayada" Some people clearly have significantly goldener ears than I.

--------------------
Andi, www.thedustbowlaudio.com Mixing, Mastering, Audio Editing (and articles) at The Dustbowl Audio


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1050039 - 27/05/13 09:51 AM
Ah ok you CAN unlink the IO controls. There's a little icon.

Yeah I agree about the gushing comments. It's always nice to be excited about something new but usually it's short-lived IME.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Posts: 22031
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: awjoe]
      #1050056 - 27/05/13 12:09 PM
Quote awjoe:

Another thing I don't like is how complaints on my part about the meters (and complaints from other users about various things) have been met with a series of excuses and promises from Steven Slate for over a year, but nothing's happened (other than the Slate company coming out with a bunch of new products). Irritatingly crummy support, in other words.




It takes two to tango, and it is entirely possible that the problem lies with Audition rather than Slate. I've come across several vst plugs that work fine in other programs but not AA. Although there is a defined standard for the way the vst interface should be coded and the way the host should integrate into the system, not everyone follows it correctly or completely! The fact that it works in Reaper imply that it probably isn't all Slate's fault....

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Andi]
      #1050059 - 27/05/13 12:16 PM
Quote Andi:

This said, take a look at some of the retweets by Slate Pro Audio with a sick-bag handy - "I've been mixing for a week and I've had had VCC for 3 minutes and it's changed my life and it's the best thing ever and it's fixed every problem I've ever had yadayadayada"




It's the gearslutz school of AWESOME praise There are some very odd aspects to the VCC which I commented upon in our review, but in general the software adds some shaped noise, distortion, crosstalk and EQ to replicate the typical degradation imposed in a large analogue console. It's very subtle (or should be) but it adds up to resemble the familiar 'analogue character' that helps to glue things together and add that weight and sheen that we're used to. You need to be a bit careful though -- the Neve mode adds a huge amount of subsonic LF boost which an muddy things up quite dramatically!

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1050075 - 27/05/13 02:35 PM
I quite like the VTM, especially with lots of headroom on sparser music. Gives a spaciness and bass 'air'. Not tried it on lots of tracks, yet. But the animation is kind of annoying; takes up processor cycles, and space.

Not tried the VCC; I'm not spending that much on it!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Rob Collins
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1050129 - 27/05/13 08:16 PM
I got both the VCC and VTM a few weeks ago for £150 and really like them - as with a lot of things , a little goes a long way.


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Andi



Joined: 02/09/04
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1050192 - 28/05/13 10:30 AM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

the Neve mode adds a huge amount of subsonic LF boost which an muddy things up quite dramatically!

H




It certainly does, I've seen noise all the way to around 20 Hz, although when I just quick-and-dirty checked a single track with the N console drive dimed I could see it boosting to around 50Hz at about -76dBfs using Voxgeno Span.

Re the metering, VCC does not (as I recall, it's a while since I looked at this) use AES' (can't remember the standard -some flavour of AES17?) standard VU calibration and measures 3dB different to VTM which does. I spoke online with Steven Slate about this and he said that they would look at it but I never heard anything back (and frankly it doesn't really impact me, I was just surprised that they let that slip).

In fairness to Slate though, they have brought out a couple of maintenance releases that have done wonders for unexciting stuff like CPU usage. Also be aware that there are periodic really good offers on Slate plugins - you don't want to impulse purchase at full price.

--------------------
Andi, www.thedustbowlaudio.com Mixing, Mastering, Audio Editing (and articles) at The Dustbowl Audio


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PB+J



Joined: 17/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060267 - 01/08/13 02:28 PM
I'm not a professional engineer, not even close; I'm just a local gigging musician, home recordist and mixer of my own band's stuff. So I'm no expert.

I've been using both VCC and VTM for a while now. Bught them moslty on the basis of SOS reviews. I like them both a lot, and use them on pretty much everything, but I also feel vaguely suckered. Slate is brilliant at hype--as soon as they release a product there are a bunch of "celebrity mixer" endorsements and a drooling fanboy chorus. I kind of feel like Slate makes things "familiar" rather than better, and in that sense they are perfect for guys like me, who aren't experts--"slap this on and it sounds more X!" But there are other options that would get me very close to what VCC and VTM do without having to use the Ilok or feel quite as much like I'm following the marketing.

There are times when I suspect all VCC is doing is adding a slight gain boost. There are other times when I feel like it's really made a big, important difference. Frequently I end up "turning it down" and reducing the drive.

I recently demo'd VBC and decided not to buy it. One thing was the Ilok; the other was the feeling that it was too much--too much digital artifacting, too much "this will make it all sound the same," if that makes sense. There are just a ton of good comps out there, including clean, non analogue modeling comps like the free (!!!!) Tokyo Dawn Feedback compressor. I think I'm better off exploring what good digital sounds like rather than slapping on a familiar gloss. Does that make sense?


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060268 - 01/08/13 02:34 PM
Yeah it does.

Steven is a great marketing guy. And his products are quite good. Personally I just don't love his digital 'vision' of what transformers do. I still think the VTM is the one to get if any.

J

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www.jackruston.com


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060270 - 01/08/13 02:49 PM
...EXCEPT: I don't think avoidance of iLok is a great reason not to use something. It's by far the most common form of copy protection, and much as people don't like it, it makes a lot of sense to own one, and have an account. You never know when you might need something that's iLok protected.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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PB+J



Joined: 17/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060275 - 01/08/13 03:04 PM
I do like them both and use them a lot.

Also I have an ilok, but I'm sorry I have it. The process of registering was intrusive and made me feel like a criminal slate had to be protected against, and then there was the famous software upgrade meltdown of last month.

There are lots of great non-ilok plugins. I just bought some Waves stuff partly because they ditched ilok. I'm not sure Slate is indispensable. I like the products a lot, but given a choice I'll dodge the Ilok.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060278 - 01/08/13 03:10 PM
So you prefer a company who charge you a 'update' fee every year, to one who ask you to use an iLok? I use Waves stuff a lot because it does a certain job, but I can't say the WUP warms the cockles of my heart. I'm more than happy to use iLok because it's not the developers fault that practically every producer in the world had a system full of cracked plug ins a few years back. That's the doing of the community, not iLok and not the manufacturers. The server meltdown was unfortunate...it can happen to anyone.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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niallharp



Joined: 03/12/04
Posts: 64
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060288 - 01/08/13 04:43 PM
I've ben using metric halo's character. I'm finding it really interesting. Just different flavours. Some very subtle, some not. All Tasty.


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PB+J



Joined: 17/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1060296 - 01/08/13 07:10 PM
Quote Jack Ruston:

So you prefer a company who charge you a 'update' fee every year, to one who ask you to use an iLok? I use Waves stuff a lot because it does a certain job, but I can't say the WUP warms the cockles of my heart. I'm more than happy to use iLok because it's not the developers fault that practically every producer in the world had a system full of cracked plug ins a few years back. That's the doing of the community, not iLok and not the manufacturers. The server meltdown was unfortunate...it can happen to anyone.

J





Yes, although what I'd prefer is neither. I like ValhallaRoom a lot, for example. I like Equilibrium a lot, which manages to require no dongle and no upgrade plan. UNPOSSIBLE! I like the Airwindows plugins a lot. I've used Stillwell plugs a good deal. I've used Tritone Digital's 560 plug. None of them require an Ilok or an upgrade plan.

I bought the waves plugins on sale. If I like them a lot, I can decide in a year if i want to pay a fee, depending on what the fee is. I don't like that, but it was worth a shot. I didn't like the Ilok, but thought it was worth a shot. Then the server meltdown happened. The idea that the server problem "could have happened to anybody" is ridiculous--they didn't test, they didn't prepare, they let the user community be their beta test force. Pace is a company that treats the customer like a menacing enemy.

Slate obviously isn't hurting as a result--I even demo'ed VBC to see if it was enough better to justify my distaste for Ilok. It wasn't. But lots of people love it and I truly wish him all success.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060300 - 01/08/13 08:21 PM
Well there's a sort of hysteria around slate plug ins which is slightly out of proportion for sure. I agree, I love valhalla, Massey too. In fact Massey are probably the plug ins I use most. Demoing UAD at the mo. The quality of their emulations are so much better than other stuff. It's surprising.

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www.jackruston.com


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PB+J



Joined: 17/03/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1060310 - 01/08/13 10:10 PM
Agree about the hysteria. Never tried UAD, the hardware barrier stops me.

I suspect that in a few years plugins will be--if they aren't already--indistinguishable from the hardware they emulate. In a way, it's a shame. I kind of wish the attention was being paid to making better digital, not making digital that imitates analogue. The freeware TDR Feedback Compressor is really good, but it makes no effort to add analogue artifacts.


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sambrox



Joined: 20/12/08
Posts: 233
Loc: Denmark
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: PB+J]
      #1060417 - 02/08/13 02:58 PM
I absolutely love the VBC, but I guess I'm becoming a bit of a Slate fanboy, hehe;-)

Unfortunately I got into recording and production too late to be able to take advantage of all the wonderful analogue outboard that was otherwise available to me when I was a signed 'artist', so anyone doing whatever they can to bring that sound closer to me gets my thanks. I've never had a problem with iLok, so no bellyaches there. Whether Slate's compressors sound truly authentic or not doesn't really matter in the long run, as long as what they do is usable and appropriate for whatever project I'm working on at the time.

I also have some Waves singles (CLA Compressors and JJP EQs and Puigchild amongst others) and the upgrade thing hasn't really bothered me yet. It's not like they stop working if you don't upgrade, as long as you don't majorly upgrade your system. The hardware block is also stopping me from trying UAD, although I expect I eventually will take the plunge.

Cheers,
Sam

--------------------
http://www.soundcloud.com/sambrox
seedy.dk


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060419 - 02/08/13 03:14 PM
The problem arises when you want to buy a new plug in which is a different version number to your older ones. It's always better if they're all the same version and you end up having to pay the WUP.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Mixedup
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Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1060425 - 02/08/13 03:48 PM
So... this iLok meltdown issue, then... is it 100% safe to go back in the water yet?

I've not had cause to dip my toes in since it went pear-shaped... but I suspect that they'll have learned their lesson from this fiasco and won't be doing that again.


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17585
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Mixedup]
      #1060806 - 05/08/13 09:38 PM
Well I completely forgot about the meltdown problems and updated to the latest iLok drivers over the weekend with no problems at all.

Not that this is a 100% recommendation


Martin

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YewTreeMagic


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4546
Re: Slate Digital VCC and VTM – what do you think? new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1060821 - 06/08/13 06:41 AM
I imagine it is. But as Martin says it's hard to test. I updated mine right at the height of it all with no issues whatsoever. So it's hard to say definitively. I think we'd be hearing about it if there were still issues though...?


J

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www.jackruston.com


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