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1176 hardware versus plugins

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1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby maartenl945 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:36 am

I recently compared my Warm Audio 1176 clone against a couple of plugin emulations of the original hardware and made a video about it.

What are your experiences when comparing this well known compressor hardware against software based emulations ? Clear difference or all very usable ?

Regards,
Maarten
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:30 pm

I'm getting a little uncomfortable that pretty much all your posts are directing people to your own videos elsewhere. I appreciate that they are of topics likely to be of interest to SOS Forum members, but your approach seems to me more about taking from the traffic benefits of the SOS site, and rather less about sharing your experience and knowledge directly with the SOS forum members.

Perhaps you'd like to write up your comparisons and post them in the User Reviews section to add value to the forum...
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby maartenl945 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:15 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm getting a little uncomfortable that pretty much all your posts are directing people to your own videos elsewhere. I appreciate that they are of topics likely to be of interest to SOS Forum members, but your approach seems to me more about taking from the traffic benefits of the SOS site, and rather less about sharing your experience and knowledge directly with the SOS forum members.

Perhaps you'd like to write up your comparisons and post them in the User Reviews section to add value to the forum...

Hi Hugh,

I'm so sorry about that. It IS the topic that is on my mind and would like to discuss because I've just been busy with it.
And yes at the same time, I'd like potentially interested people to be aware of my videos which take a lot of time to make. Making those videos IS my way of sharing my home recording experiences with people.

I used to post links to the videos as well, but was already reminded by your moderators that that was not allowed on this forum. So I was hoping that this unobtrusive way would be ok, and that it would add value to the forum if it was a subject that the forum members would be interested in and could spark a discussion over here. Whether they first checked out my video or not.
But I understand it is a fine line which I'm apparently not quite able to find. And since you are getting uncomfortable with this I will stop posting on this forum about anything related to my videos entirely.

Regards,
Maarten
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby Dave B » Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:56 pm

To answer your question, I haven't done a like for like comparison for the simple reason that it isn't actually feasible.

When software engineers build a model of a classic piece of hardware, they have a choice :

a) pick a 'golden' unit
b) get a selection and look for characteristics within their batch that they think are worth modelling

No two hardware units (certainly older ones) will ever sound exactly the same, so the above choices are required. In the first case, you end up with a plugin which gives the same tonality as a really good unit - and many people may not have such a glowing example. This was common in convolution modelling : and that threw a number of people.

In the second case, you are trying to determine the characteristics that are both common, and yet find something pleasing that you can justify including in your model. Let's say you get a collection of six 1176s and four of them are a little brighter than the other two. Do you try and take an average? Or do you go for the best sounding option? Neither approach is totally truthful.

What is more, in your case, you are comparing a clone of an 1176 against a model which (hopefully) should be based on a good, but older, unit - which is 'correct'?

For the record, a few years ago, one of the regulars was working in a nice studio with a truly awesome, well maintained and stunning sounding old Neve desk. And he had a Liquid Mix (convolution) and the UAD (traditional software modelling) plugins to hand so he did a blind test for his own amusement. The differences were subtle to a trained ear (his) but indistinguishable to others and nobody could tell in a mix. So I tend to go with that.

And this is assuming you actually want to use a software model of a particular unit ... some of us are less fussed as there are lots of different plugins these days which are all pretty darned spiffy. And they may do something that an 1176 doesn't. Plus, whilst I'm not going to knock hardware in any respect, you'll only stop me working ITB by force. Maybe if I doing this full time, I'd modify my stance somewhat, but for me - and given the target demographic of this forum - I think it's a moot point. So I'm happy that the plugins I have will be much more powerful than my ability to record and mix things for many years to come

:)
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:10 pm

maartenl945 wrote:I'm so sorry about that. It IS the topic that is on my mind and would like to discuss because I've just been busy with it.

We'd all be very happy if you discussed the topic here... but your modus operandi has continued as a quick sentence or two about the subject followed by "... and my video about it is over here...".

That's self-promotion of your YT channel, cashing in on the high traffic and SEO value of the SOS forum, not contributing to the forum community.

So I was hoping that this unobtrusive way would be ok, and that it would add value to the forum

Fundamentally, it isn't because it doesn't.

I will stop posting on this forum about anything related to my videos entirely.

Very happy to have you start -- and contribute to -- threads on subjects which you might also make videos about... but we really would like to see worthy contributions rather than covert adverts.

You seem to understand the point we're making. The line really isn't that fine. Get involved and contribute in discussions and we can tolerate the odd video mention. But if your sole reason for coming here is to promote your videos we shall see a parting of ways.

This is a policy we have always maintained. The forums are free to members but cost a lot to run. The owner of SOS is keen on fostering a community where people share and contribute. Those looking solely to take advantage of SOS's generosity are not welcome.
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby maartenl945 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:39 pm

Dave B wrote:To answer your question, I haven't done a like for like comparison for the simple reason that it isn't actually feasible.

When software engineers build a model of a classic piece of hardware, they have a choice :

a) pick a 'golden' unit
b) get a selection and look for characteristics within their batch that they think are worth modelling

No two hardware units (certainly older ones) will ever sound exactly the same, so the above choices are required. In the first case, you end up with a plugin which gives the same tonality as a really good unit - and many people may not have such a glowing example. This was common in convolution modelling : and that threw a number of people.

In the second case, you are trying to determine the characteristics that are both common, and yet find something pleasing that you can justify including in your model. Let's say you get a collection of six 1176s and four of them are a little brighter than the other two. Do you try and take an average? Or do you go for the best sounding option? Neither approach is totally truthful.

What is more, in your case, you are comparing a clone of an 1176 against a model which (hopefully) should be based on a good, but older, unit - which is 'correct'?

I think I understand what you're getting at, and I'm not really trying to find the most truthful model of this compressor. I've done a couple more comparisons like this where I compare hardware units that I happen to own with plugins that emulate the same hardware unit type. Yes every instance of an 1176 probably sounds different but I believe there is still some shared characteristic which has made it so popular Or at least which has made our ears get used to the sound of it in many many productions over the years.

I compare them just because I'm curious about the differences and whether that makes me prefer one over the other in certain situations. What will I go for when I'm looking for that 1176 sound ? But also, is there something about the hardware versions that I inherently like better ?

As you probably know, there are those with very strong opinions about this :D .

Dave B wrote:For the record, a few years ago, one of the regulars was working in a nice studio with a truly awesome, well maintained and stunning sounding old Neve desk. And he had a Liquid Mix (convolution) and the UAD (traditional software modelling) plugins to hand so he did a blind test for his own amusement. The differences were subtle to a trained ear (his) but indistinguishable to others and nobody could tell in a mix. So I tend to go with that.

And this is assuming you actually want to use a software model of a particular unit ... some of us are less fussed as there are lots of different plugins these days which are all pretty darned spiffy. And they may do something that an 1176 doesn't. Plus, whilst I'm not going to knock hardware in any respect, you'll only stop me working ITB by force. Maybe if I doing this full time, I'd modify my stance somewhat, but for me - and given the target demographic of this forum - I think it's a moot point. So I'm happy that the plugins I have will be much more powerful than my ability to record and mix things for many years to come

:)

Yes ITB effects are definitely so much easier and myself I use most of my analog hardware only during recording nowadays. To give those recordings a bit more analog vibe and color instead of just recording the parts as clean and neutral as possible. Committing to that sound at the time of recording.

I also have a couple of hardware units that I still use during mixing though (on the mix bus) since I feel they give me just that little bit extra that I haven't found in comparable plugins yet. But that is personal taste, getting used to something over a number of years, and maybe even just hearing with my wallet that bought those units :lol:
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Re: 1176 hardware versus plugins

Postby maartenl945 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:02 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
maartenl945 wrote:I'm so sorry about that. It IS the topic that is on my mind and would like to discuss because I've just been busy with it.

We'd all be very happy if you discussed the topic here... but your modus operandi has continued as a quick sentence or two about the subject followed by "... and my video about it is over here...".

That's self-promotion of your YT channel, cashing in on the high traffic and SEO value of the SOS forum, not contributing to the forum community.

So I was hoping that this unobtrusive way would be ok, and that it would add value to the forum

Fundamentally, it isn't because it doesn't.

I will stop posting on this forum about anything related to my videos entirely.

Very happy to have you start -- and contribute to -- threads on subjects which you might also make videos about... but we really would like to see worthy contributions rather than covert adverts.

You seem to understand the point we're making. The line really isn't that fine. Get involved and contribute in discussions and we can tolerate the odd video mention. But if your sole reason for coming here is to promote your videos we shall see a parting of ways.

This is a policy we have always maintained. The forums are free to members but cost a lot to run. The owner of SOS is keen on fostering a community where people share and contribute. Those looking solely to take advantage of SOS's generosity are not welcome.

I think I understand what you are saying. I don't mean to debate the policy of SOS on this as it's their/your forum and I appreciate you hosting an audio forum at all. Even though my involvement in the forum has been limited so far, I do try to follow-up on posts that I start.
I have also been a long term reader of SOS magazine and do appreciate its contributions to the audio community greatly and to my home recording endeavors specifically. It's definitely one of my sources for music production knowledge that I used way before YouTube even existed ;) . Being featured in the Mix Rescue series in the August 2008 issue with one of my early band mixes was quite something ......

Anyway, enough said from my side, I get your points.
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