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Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

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Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:30 am
by Mick DuBollî
Hello good people,

Having the will but not the means to jump on the UAD wagon, and owning quite a vintage rig- 2011 Quad i7 MBP, OSX 10.8.5, Logic 9 - my interest has been peaked by Liquid Mix 32's going cheap 2nd hand. Partly for the tactile aspect of the hardware.

Fully aware of the redundancy and depreciation issues with Firewire peripherals, would the Liquid Mix offer any sonic improvement or characteristics over more recent native plug-ins? Is there still to be any case made for the Liquid Mix?

My Thanks,
Mick

Re: Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:34 am
by Jack Ruston
In terms of this sort of approach, the latest Acustica plug ins will offer a superior result and feature set. But they will also require some heavy lifting processor-wise.

J

Re: Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:28 am
by Dave B
There's a lot of issues around the whole 'deprecation' side of owing a Liquid Mix - I have 2 and have reluctantly stopped using them. They can be brought back to life using 32lives (which is a plugin wrapper) if you already have the software installed. But I'm not sure about installing from scratch. And the wrapper isn't perfect (sometimes - it tends to vary minor bugs with different os/releases) so it may bug you a bit.

In terms of sound, the Liquid Mix was pretty much top of the game all those years ago. It had a couple of issues (mainly around large boosts to the low end) but was all but indistinguishable from the hardware it modelled. So it's a helluva beast.

But, as Jack points out, the Acustica plugins have taken up the convolution mantle and are pretty darned awesome (if a little hard on CPUs - although that's improving with better versions and better cpus).

You mention the UAD platform - that has a lot of fans, again, for good reason. They produce excellent plugins and once you learn to play their pricing game, you can get them at a 'reasonable' cost (for a given value of 'reasonable'). I know someone who, a few years ago, compared the UAD and Liquid Mix emulations of Neve kit to the real thing. His findings were that they were all great and the differences we in the region of what you'd expect comparing similar 'vintage' units. So, it's all good sonically.

Re: Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:11 am
by Matt Houghton
Hi Mick,

As the others have said, I think the issues — on the Mac platform at least — are too great to be worth adding a Liquid Mix to your setup. If you had one knocking around it might be worth seeing if you could breath some life into it, as they did sound largely very nice. The EQs at any rate (the compressors tended to have a nice character but with the action being a little more suspect...). But if you're on Mac/Logic, then you're at the mercy of so many factors — Firewire, 32-bit support etc etc. It wouldn't be a long term solution IMO.

Acustica's stuff has taken that tech much further. It's relatively taxing on CPU, but there are ways around that... just pick one or two choice plug-ins for putting on busses (eg. see the earlier thread about mixing into EQ...) and one or two that you can use to process source tracks and render the results and you can get away with it on an older machine without problems.

I think their Ceil plug-in is still free for a week or so yet. And their Tan compressor remains free. It won't offer everything you want but it will give you a flavour of the sort of quality you're talking about.

In terms of analogue modelling plug-ins, yes UAD are consistently very good. But there are plenty of cheaper options of high quality that are worth checking out. See, for example, Klanghelm, Softube and Tokyo Dawn, who all offer some nice-sounding freebies — as well as more feature-rich paid versions, and TB Audio who offer a decent and reasonably priced tape simulation.

That said, you should already have some decent options bundled with Logic...

Re: Liquid Mix Vs. Currrent Native Plug-ins

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:14 am
by Humble Bee
Melda Productions have a nice free vst pack to and the free reaper ones are good...