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plugins and SOS leader this month

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plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby narcoman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:00 am

Pauls right! The path of ultimate authenticity is an admirable philosophy but unfortunately it stops short of nirvana (first one to do a Kurt joke buys a round).

However, Paul has stopped short... manufacturers of plugins don't often add, say, a side chain as "the original didn't have one". But thats ultimately not true - many times, with hardware, one can do technical modifications to get the gear to work the way you might want. Upgrading components in Aphex limiters or changing a filter on a compressor etc... allowing a software path of modification is MORE in line with the hardware. By sticking rigidly to the stock version of a piece of gear the plugin is achieving far less than he possibilities of purchasing an original. I'd like to see plugins having connectivity points to change signal routing or handling.

Thoughts?
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby The Elf » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:38 pm

I think Focusrite got this very right with their Liquid Channel - the ability to switch their compressor emulations between 'As Original' and 'Free'. It's great to get behind the panel of on an LA2A, for example - equally it is comforting to use 'as is' and get a familiar result.

I see no reason why plug-ins can't do the same.

While I have a lot of love for vintage gear, I do feel there is too much emphasis on emulating it.
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby narcoman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:30 pm

Exactly - software should allow us to faithfully model the vintage or modify in a way transcends the original. Sticking an EQ filter after the input, for example, but before compression on a Fairchild model would be something worthwhile. Software like Ableton moved us away from the traditional tape machine model; maybe something similar on a plugin scale?
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby James Perrett » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:50 am

We now accept the software equivalent of potting all the interesting components into an opaque block in the same way that Aphex did with the old Aural Exciter or Dbx did with some of their compressors. In the old days there was not shame if your circuit used something close to a standard text book circuit whereas software is expected to be innovative. If developers released their source code so that it could be modified, I'm sure quite a bit of their blurb would be seen for what it is - pure hype.

One of the reasons I like Reaper's JS plug-ins is that you can easily modify the code.
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby SecretSam » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:08 am

While I do agree that emulations take up far too much of the plugin market, I find that the plugs I use most often have fairly obvious controls, and I wouldn't welcome more complication in them.

If I wanted to set up something with a specific architecture and signal flow, there is always Reaktor (or Max for Live).

Of course, you blokes is more talented that wot I am, and don't have to fit music in around a day job :-)
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby Mixedup » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:27 pm

Be careful what you wish for. Go too far down this road, and I foresee a world of precise analogue modelling plug-ins where you can buy upgraded components and mods 'App-style'... for a modest fee, of course. Try one and you'll be hooked ;)

Seriously, there's no reason on earth why you can't extend the functionality of a plug-in in this way. I don't understand why more DAWs don't offer more functions on a per-insert-slot basis, as Reaper does with wet/dry blend, for example.
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby Wease » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:32 pm

How interesting ....I completely disagree with you all...here's why....

Why do we still buy expensive hardware....why is the series 500 format so popular......why is it when I go round urthlope's place I just want to twiddle his real knobs (!)?

Because we want the limitations of real hardware, because we are musicians......not programmers, engineers, mathematicians....musicians....who have preconceived conceptions on how to play...what key is most comfortable, what 'rules' we need to stick to when composing

And what we want from a plugin is something that looks musically familiar, and acts in a familiar way. .....for much less cash than the real thing! (We'd rather have the real thing...but can't afford it!).....and is easy.....and gets the sound we want quickly

So....how do we know what kinda plugin we want and what we want it to do? We don't....otherwise we'd all be using a system like max and building our own....we are told what want by the media (like SOS), current top selling records/producers and, the plugin manufacturers....all of whom have a vested interest.....hence the waves sig plugins, the licensed UAD emulations, the manufacturers own plugin versions etc etc

And articles like classic tracks...and equipment review etc etc

I play a yamaha kit cause I like their sound....and use korg synths for the same reasons (don't like the sound of Roland's) .....from my plugins I want a cheap version of a classic that I probably have never used, but someone used it on a record recently that I liked, read about, read reviews and looked on tinternet....and found a format I could use/afford etc etc.....and use it like a musical instrument

It is interesting that red bladder narco man and James often state they use quite cheap software for specific jobs cause they do something technical (and may look non-user friendly) ...cause they require, and make a living from quite intensive sound engineering tasks....and a modifiable plugin would probably be very useful.....but not for me.....it's not my interest.....I want to create ;)

Although I reckon we'll see a new update to someone's plugins in The next 6 months with exactly this idea :)
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby narcoman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:11 pm

i own various compressors, pre amp, microphones, EQs etc etc.... Quite a lot of them have had technical changes by me or some other screwdriver armed idiot. That very ability to change the specification is what makes outboard so appealing (on top of the sound). I have a nice vintage Neve console sat here - half of the EQ cassettes have been changed to my specification! Gimme that in software and I'd be jolly happy


Classic tracks? A lot of those classic tracks were recorded using modified gear... heck its almost the raison d'être of 60s recording (haha).... its part of recording culture but its been removed. I've got about 40 guitars and 20 basses - many have had custom modifications - coil taps, rewound pickups, new pickups, altered filter circuits (and in one case - a built in distortion hahahahaharrr!!).

Most studios "back in the day" modified their consoles, tape machines and much outboard. Of purse, this is not from a musicians perspective but, as a session bass player of well over 1000 records, many places i worked in in the late 80s and early 90s had custom "stuff".



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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby Wease » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:37 pm

I totally agree narcoman.....you would be an ideal candidate for a modifiable plugin

And would use it very well.....but to be honest, you are in quite a different league to myself...and I am supposing the majority of forum members /SOS readership.....I would be confused by too many options........and you have a skill of knowing what to modify and why that I don't have.....or am really that interested in, if I were honest.....lazy drummer see...

...and my signature recording sound comes from dodgy rooms, inappropriate mic usage and cheap gear......I've got all the dodgy modification I need....some stability would be nice! :headbang:
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:56 pm

I don't see why adding functionality to a plug-in needs to make it significantly more complicated.

Let me give an example, based on Wave's SSL Buss Compressor...

Rather than give me switchable 2/4/10 ratios, why not let me use the control freely to sweep across all the ratios in between? It's a simple option, and wouldn't even add another control on the panel, but it would introduce a useful non-original feature.

...which is precisely what my Liquid Channels do - and another reason I love 'em to bits! :D
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby dmills » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 pm

Wease wrote: because we are musicians......not programmers, engineers, mathematicians....

I can think of more then a few here about who are musicians AND {engineer, programmer, physicist, mathematician}.... The two are not even close to mutually exclusive, I would even go so far as to observe that the intersection of those technical fields with more then average amateur musicianship is far more common then some might expect.

Sure a simple minded plugin can have its place, as can something like Max, Beast, C sound, and the like, all tools have a correct use case.

Designing to be able to insert into plugins at interesting points in the dataflow would be fun, but has a few issues when it comes to building the data flow graph for execution as loops become possible (that must then have latency introduced to restore causality), not an easy thing to retrofit without some thought.

The other cost of this sort of thing is in the need to break the dataflow at the insert point, with highly parallel SIMD operations being important for performance this is potentially unwelcome, still for some things it would be useful and relatively easy to implement.

Regards, Dan (Who has been known to write matlab scripts to get an effect he was after).
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby narcoman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:21 pm

Wease wrote:I
...and my signature recording sound comes from dodgy rooms, inappropriate mic usage and cheap gear......I've got all the dodgy modification I need....some stability would be nice! :headbang:

hahahha! i like that! Works though:)
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby Stroppa » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:32 pm

I think as creative technical people you always want more, ultimately an infinite amount of possibilities as needed. I believe as stated Reaper's js plugs have this type of functionality though I have never (yet) delved that far into it, and maybe other developers will follow suit.

As far as the options a b or c that we would like in the software, the developers may see a as 1.01 b as 1.02 etc ie ££££.

We have seen a massive drop in plugin prices recently for whatever reason competitive edge, new business model, desperation, it could go one of two ways: they give more flexibility for the price or they give less, in the current seemingly never ending economic climate I would suggest the former :)

Failing that if you have the time you could reverse engineer and do it yourself... no no sorry DO NOT do that it's illegal :D
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby A. AuCr » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:14 am

James Perrett wrote:One of the reasons I like Reaper's JS plug-ins is that you can easily modify the code.

Nigel Tuffnel has been at a couple of mine. Some of my JS plug-in controls now go to 11. :D
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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:06 am

Great stuff! :bouncy:

I bet they sound better too :beamup:


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Re: plugins and SOS leader this month

Postby CS70 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:30 pm

I don't see why adding functionality to a plug-in needs to make it significantly more complicated.


It's software, so lots depends on how it's done. In your example, there could be a difference between storing settings in a pre-computed array and having a function to compute them on the fly, with the relative complexity. I'm not saying it is not possible (or particularly hard) in your specifc Wave plugin example, only that in software the distance between functionality as seen by the user and its realization can be quite unintuitive - as thousands of product customers find out the hard way every year. Every bit of additional complexity tends to sum up, and in a non-linear way - and depending on the specific architecture end-user things which seem very easy can be hard to implement (and the opposite, at times).
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