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A bit of plugin testing/comparison

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

File 1
1
17%
File 2
1
17%
File 3
2
33%
File 4
2
33%
 
Total votes : 6

Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby IAA » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Just listened through my studio headphones and the difference is subtle but I think 3 has more "clarity: particularly that piano and guitar towards the end - I thought 1 and 2 sounded very similar as to deny me any useful comment! :D
4 I thought was slightly softer - warmer I suppose the people who know on the Interweb might say

Anyway - I quite enjoyed listening to it - a nice composition and some understated playing, whatever the plug in is - buy it, you know that You can hear the difference even if all of us with cloth ears can't :bouncy:
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:25 pm

blinddrew wrote:This is, allegedly, a bit of a special plugin, hence thinking about opening my wallet! I live in Yorkshire, it's not an easy thing to persuade me to do... ;)

Try to set up a send to a flanger with a little chorus (the free Blue plugins work just fine) from whatever track you use the plug (or the master bus, if that's) and add it back in a small dose, my guess is you'll get the same feel. If you want even more movement, a slow panner can also do...
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby John Willett » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:30 am

blinddrew wrote:10? 10? What kind of an economy do you think we have up here? I've only ever seen a 5/-
;)

We never ever had a 5/- note and the 10/- note was stopped when we went to decimal currency.

And just in case you have forgotten what a 10/- note looked like ..... :mrgreen:

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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:34 pm

Lots of listens (according to soundcloud) but very few votes.
Any last commenters before I put you all out of your misery and reveal what's what?
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:42 pm

Give me an hour...
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:47 pm

For you sir, take two. :D

Seriously though, thank you for everyone who has taken the time. :thumbup:
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:05 pm

I'm hearing more 'air' in 1 and I find that quite appealing, especially as it gives the vocal reverb a bit of 'zing'.

3 is similar, but doesn't have quite the same 'zing'.

4 is the least appealing to me - I don't feel as 'inside' the mix as the others.

Subtle stuff, though. I don't think anyone would throw out any of these versions.
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:23 pm

:thumbup:
Thank you sir. :)
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby AlasdairEaston » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:08 pm

Ooft, I'm nervous to comment amongst the illustrious folks here but it's about time I got over that and just contributed something to this great forum.

I'd say, for my ears, the main lesson is very clear: there's no need to spend any money on this plug-in. The differences are so subtle I'm really struggling to draw any other firm conclusions. If you'd played the files once through to me, then told me they were all the same then I wouldn't have argued with you.

In the spirit of the game though, I forced myself to choose one as my favourite. Loaded them all into Reaper, looped a section and switched between them as it played. After some agonising, my only insight is that I like File 2 the best. I think the vocal sounds clearer and simpler, and I like that. If the intention was to have a subtle effect on it then the other files might suit you better. File 1, to me, sounded like there was some sort of resonance in the mids on the vocal, that was not present in File 2. And I thought there was a phasiness/smeariness (again in the vocal) that's more prominent on Files 3 and 4 too.

I just liked the simplicity and clarity of File 2.

Have to confess though, I'm really working hard to distinguish differences, and perhaps I've just convinced myself on some things that don't exist. Or maybe I looped the wrong section.

Liked the song though, and the spirit of it. "You're not a good shot but I'm worse..." Nice!

Thanks for posting.
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:21 pm

Thanks for taking the time Alasdair, it's appreciated. :thumbup:
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:41 pm

Thank you everyone who's taken time to listen and comment, it's much appreciated.
I shall now put you out of my misery. :)

Firstly though I should point out (in response to a couple of the nice comments) that it's not my song, sadly I'm not that good! It's a cover of a song by Josh Ritter that I'm recording as part of a wedding present for my brother. It's from the excellent The Animal Years album, which I highly recommend.

Anyway, getting back to plugins...

File 1 is the unadulterated, pre-mastering mix. It's a fairly complex mix and I've worked pretty hard to try and reduce mud and noise but still get a fairly fat and full sound.
File 2 has a multiband compressor applied. Split into 6 bands and applying up to 2-3 dB of compression across the whole mix. I tried this after looking and listening to what was happening in File 3...
File 3 has Gullfoss on it. I've not gone heavy on the settings but what I'm hearing is a bit better separation between the lead instruments and also the voice seems to sit in the mix a bit better.
File 4 has both the compressor and Gullfoss.

All of which leaves me unconvinced. I do like the effect of Gullfoss, and I think if I was mixing into it (rather than just slapping it on afterwards) I could make better use of it.
But it's a lot of money.
But I think it does do something that none of my other tools do.

[EDIT - I'll leave the tracks up a bit longer to let people have a second listen]
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:28 am

Interesting.

I stand by what I said - the more processing you apply, the less appealing I find it. The first mix has all it needs to walk out in the world.
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Re: A bit of plugin testing/comparison

Postby CS70 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:36 am

blinddrew wrote:File 3 has Gullfoss on it. I've not gone heavy on the settings but what I'm hearing is a bit better separation between the lead instruments and also the voice seems to sit in the mix a bit better.

I once went on agonizing for about 10 minutes hearing subtle differences when applying different settings to a plugin. Very subtle, but absolutely, positively there.

Only then I realized I had been tweaking a muted track all along. :D

Imho, an effect's gotta be like any other song part: either you hear it clearly (at least some of the time), or let it go and mute it. There's a few specific exceptions (like dynamic synths for enhancing bass, space reverbs and a few others) but otherwise, if you can't hear it properly, don't bother :)
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