Free DAW Plugins!

Discussion in 'Computing' started by kmetal, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I initially noticed similarly to the guy in the video about the Cakewalk CA-2A crushing the transients a little more and the Waves CLA-2A allowing those brighter transients through, like hihats.
    Maybe this is what I was observing Kyle...the Waves CLA-2A does appear a little brighter to the ear now you mention it.

    Having said that, I think that the Cakewalk CA-2A version is pretty good for a freebee...it adds to the palette and gives you another option when auditioning / assigning compressors.

    I haven't trialled it against the T-Racks CS White 2A version as yet or the Thrillseeker LA (another free version) but I'm sure it would stack up.

    Now that would make a good shootout...

    Capture.JPG
     
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.

    I honestly liked the cakewalk better than the waves based on the vocal example in the first vid. Even tho there wasn't a comparison i know what the waves does for vocals, from messin w it.
     
  3. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the type of track, one may be better suited than another, I guess it comes down to what you are looking for and what you want to achieve.
     
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  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    That's where I draw the line on whether I keep a oluggin or not. Is it it useful, does it do something the others don't.

    Like to fatten the snare the cakewalk won. To brighten the Snare the CLA won.

    It's important to have a good fattener and a good brightener. You don't need ten of them just there's certain things we do I like the most immediate path to it.

    I think in threes in a lot of things. bright nutral dark. Transparent, character, colored. Light med heavy, Ect.
     
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  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    I had the same experience @DonnyThompson. No download ever started.
    Later, I tried a different browser and it went just like you'd expect.

    What browser were you using?

    On the first attempt this morning I was using Safari and it did nothing. Tonight I tried Firefox and it worked just fine.
     
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  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    Firefox
     
  7. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Did you try the links I posted above D?...I know there were a few on the Fb page that said they had an issue downloading it at first, but were successful on a second attempt.
     
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Looks like someone did a shootout of a bunch of la-2a plugs. It's interesting to me how subtle the differnces are, especially considering the base price differnces. I'm on an iPhone so I'm sure I'm not getting the complete picture.

     
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd post this for those who might be interested...

    Plugin Alliance is offering a free version of the Brainworx BX Rock-Rack guitar amp sim.

    I haven't used it myself, but have heard from a couple friends who have, and they like it... and they are both Amplitube users.
    Neither is saying that this new sim "blows away" Amplitube, but they are saying that they do like it.

    Brainworx RockRack

    If you do end up DL'ing it and using it, if you could perhaps post your thoughts about it here ?

    ;)

    FWIW
    -d.
     
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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Just discovered this company recently. They have some rather smooth sounding plugins. This is a freebie limiter from them. I haven't tried it yet, but I did grab a few of their other plugs (reverb, fazor, chorus)

    http://d16.pl/frontier
     
  11. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing Kyle, I may have to check it out.

    This thread is really evolving (y)
     
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  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I understand trying qualified demo's for the goal to up-sale. So my comment is only based around the freeware that is suggesting they are making something that is competitive. I have never understood freeware for these reasons.
    1. Why would anyone produce a free plugin?
    2. Why would I use freeware in a pro recording system?
    3. What comes free that is better than what comes stock within your DAW platform?
    4. Why use a DAW platform that requires you to look for freeware?
    Just because you can't see it doesn't mean its not there. Freeware code reminds me of this, ITB:
    ratsnest-cable.PNG

    Being said then, if freeware is so easy to code, either we are being seriously ripped off or there is a lot more to be taken into consideration.
    If so, what would these considerations be and should we be worried about freeware?

    The first consideration for me is: I want to see it has been fully tested on my current OS and DAW platform.

    I treat wire my DAW like I wire my rack. I know for a fact... how cabling is placed, tied, length, gear adjacent to another product can have a cause and effect.

    Food for thought, and to stimulate more conversation...
    Would code be any different?
     

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  13. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    There are many reasons one would produce a free plug-in Chris...I'll name just a few.

    In the case of Tokyo Dawn Records, they offer a Standard Edition of their plug-ins for free, namely their Slick EQ, Feedback Compressor, Kotelnikov & Nova EQ as a stepping stone for users to try their plug-ins with the option to buy their Gentlemens' Edition versions of the same plug-ins which feature some additional features. As freeware, these are some of the best plug-ins available as those who have tried them can attest.

    Another reason is for plug-in designers to get their name out there in the plug-in market...in this case VladG comes to mind. His free Molot & Limiter 6 plug-ins introduced him as a designer and this led to him working with Tokyo Dawn Records to help design the TDR Kotelnikov Compressor.

    Another reason is as a way for a brand to market other products within their range, such as the case with the Cakewalk Ca-2A free plug-in above. Cakewalk are more widely known for other things than just a free plug-in, and an offer such as this may lead the consumer who downloads the free plug-in to purchase other audio related products or software from the brand.

    Some developers may offer the plug-in for free once a new or updated version comes to market, again with a view to consumers purchasing the new updated version with what the newer version offers.

    Some freeware plug-ins are designed and developed as a thank you to loyal users who may have purchased a product or service from a particular brand previously. Focusrite are one such brand that offers a free plug-in every now and then for users of their brand just for registering a product.

    Plug-in developers also offer free plug-ins on anniversaries or special dates, Waves being one of them who do this every year on Black Friday, where they actually give you one of their plug-ins for free. Last year it was Trueverb, which even today still sells on their site. Again, with a promotional angle in mind, Waves uses this promotion to bring more customers onto their site with a view to purchasing other plug-ins, if not now then at a later date.

    These are just some of the reasons, I'm sure there are many different ones apart from the examples above. Just because its free does not mean it is not useful or unique in its function.

    I think any plug-in, be it free or not, adds to the sonic palette...it is another tool in the toolbox for us to use. Something extra in our arsenal that gives us a choice that may just be the solution when what we have already just may not be a right fit for the job. I have a few freeware plug-ins that are quite unique in what they do and are not like anything that comes native in my DAW.

    I have a few plug-ins that I wouldn't say are better than the plug-ins in my DAW, but are unique or work differently than those in my DAW.

    The TDR plug-ins come to mind. Their Nova EQ is an active EQ and is a really good option as far as EQ's are concerned, again not better, but different than the native EQ in S1 and even other EQ's I have purchased...not cheaply either mind you. Again its about having another option to exercise.

    VladG's Limiter 6 & Molot are great freeware plug-ins, and I know one well known engineer & producer, I won't name him here, who openly admitted he used Limiter 6 on the master bus on a particular track on an album he produced that won more than one award...because the native plug-ins he had that came with Samplitude just didn't do things the way this did and it was the tool that did the job when all else did not. If I mentioned the guys name here, I'm sure you would recognise the name and know of his work...he is quite well known and some would say a household name in these circles. ;)

    I don't think it comes down to the DAW platform that dictates why a user looks for freeware, some of the reasons I have listed above are just some. I know in my case, S1 has some great native plug-ins, but they are but a part of the spectrum on offer out there...if that wasn't the case then there would be no such third-party plug-in developers like Waves, T-racks, McDSP and the like. Don't get me wrong, the many of my plug-ins I have purchased from the third party guys like those I've named above, but I have the odd free one as well...and I'm glad I was open-minded to try them as well in the first place, because I have found some gems in the rough as well. Again for me it all adds to the sonic palette and the tools I get to play with to get the job done.

    Free doesn't always mean cheap & nasty...some of the free plug-ins perform on par if not better than some of the plug-ins I have paid good money for.

    IMHO of course.
     
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  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Thanks for chiming in.

    Never heard of this company lol! But regardless of me being so out of touch or this company being so far off my radar, this is for upsale then.

    exactly my point then.
    So if it doesn't come with your DAW, it therefore must be something more along the lines of special effects then?
    If its simply a standard process, its no different to how ridiculous it would be to having 10 consoles to mix a song. Sorry, but I still don't get it.

    Okay, this is the kind of answer I am looking for and at this point, cannot understand how this EQ could do anything that a stock EQ can't do just as well? Is the plugin EQing or is it altering and changing? Is it an effect/EQ combo?

    In all do respect, I think if we actually did shootouts with all these so called third party limiters (freeware again), we would discover the value of what we really think is going on, would likely prove to actually be an illusion. Meaning, sometimes we are at a point in a mix that its too late to turn back to fix something that has ^#$%ed us totally.

    I would love to find a way to do shootouts on plug-ins.
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Lmao love that picture!!

    I'm not into freeware stuff in general. I've found most of it is crap.

    The stuff I might actually keep is the teaser versions of actual pluggins.

    The ampeg Svt pluggin from amplitude was actually killer sounding and free. I used that a fair bit.

    The softube overdrive plug is a freebie that sounds good too, it's from and excellent company.

    I just enjoy this thread in general becuase there are some diamonds in the rough.

    As far as pluggins go, I made a very specific list of instruments and effects and skipped all the rest. I don't want stuff I'm using clogging up my new system.

    I stuck w tried and true 'standards' and cream
    Of the crop stuff, from about 5 manufacturers total. Plugs and instruments.

    Vsl and BFD are Hollywood level instruments, UVI sounded great to my ears, and waves and slate and ozone and wavemachine labs are used everyday in top studios. Sonnivox instruments was the only company that I've not seen used in magazine articles, but sounded excellent.

    As far as stock pluggins go I've not used samplitude yet, but the only stock pluggins I found excellent were Adobe auditions. The rest I found rather weak or cumbersome.

    Overall ive stuck w standards and code that's been refined vs freeware.

    One big reason I chose a select set of 3rd party plugs was because they can travel from cross platform across multiple daws.

    Now this may cause some issue becuase stock plugs are designed to work exclusively.

    But since my current future is uncertain I wanted the ability to take my pluggins with me since I may find myself at various studios, or mixing projects w various aftermarket stuff already instanciated.

    I understand this is a compromise vs the clean concise way of using just the built in plugs. I'm also splitting up my processing between multiple computers.

    So I have the option of leaving all third on my instrument PC and processing the vsti and busses excelusively on the slave PC. This allows me to print processed, mix ready tracks into a nice clean daw session, ideally w little or no processing at all on the daw session.

    Basically it's pre mixing, and using the daw for audio only balances and edits.

    It's one possible way I have to work. Inneed to experiment w the best way. But the master/slave configuration opens up a lot of possibilities. It allows for a clean daw computer becuase the 3rd party instruments and plugs are on the slave computer not the master computer where the daw is.

    To my mind, and we will see how it actually turns out, this is the best compromise between stock only and 3rd party galore workflows. I think of the plugs as stomp boxes for the slave CPU.

    Beyond that my NLE video softwRe can run 3rd party plugs and i certainly don't want to use thenatock avid plugs lol.

    Also since my musical tastes have changed I've employed a couple things that or a bit cheesy or lo fi becuase they can have a role in more elcteonic based music.
     
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  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I get it, but don't buy into it at all.

    I get it from an EM point of view, but when it comes to tracking real music, not much is needed or should be needed. If something is tracked well, why are we needing some wow EQ or compressor that does something so amazing, to the basic ones that are in a good DAW system.
    I have used some of the best compressors made, same for EQ's, both analog and digital. They either work or they don't and the better ones are always more about less BS or noise. They don't change the bandwidth to say the least.

    If I want a wide curve, I set up the wide curve, If I want a fine notch, I set it to a fine notch. If a sound has something spiking, I take it out. If I want it to be dynamic, I use it in a side chain and use something else in the mix to trigger it. How could any other EQ do more than what comes with my DAW platform? I would rather put my attention into the music. Need a different sound, I look to the library of sound over loading in some plug-in with a picture that fools me into thinking it actually is out preforming what I already have .

    I do think some of us my not realize (at the time in a tense mix) we may need a more gentle or aggressive approach, and therefore may load another model into a song, that does that for us.
    As an example, maybe a pultec plugin is merely a really wide bell curve lol.

    I do get VSTi though, but to a point as well. Those who know about sampling, and libraries, know the mass of what makes those sound so great is a lot to do with other processing algorithms.

    I do however, trust good companies who are giving away some code as a "gift" but I do not believe there are dozens and dozens of better EQ's other than the basics that we all have in most top level DAW systems. I think the engine and how our DAW's sum is more important to all the EQ's and limiters we can use up in a folder. Basically I am saying, I don't believe most of any of this anymore.

    Good DAW's have the ability to edit and do it in more depth. The DAW engine, its basic layout and how it incorporates code, runs without issue, mixes musically and how it sums is where I look. I think we are being seriously fooled with a lot of images.
     
  17. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I agree...it is an upsale for them.

    Do you not believe that a plug-in has its own unique sonic signature?...just as the hardware that some of these plug-ins emulate has on audio?

    If the answer is no, then why are we all not just using the same one EQ?, the same one compressor?, the same one of everything across all DAW platforms?

    Why do software developers such as Waves even exist?...how are they successful in offering different EQ's, different compressors etc if not for the different sonic signatures that these different plug-ins offer and the different things each one can do? How does this make a plug-in any different just because it is offered free and not with a $199 price tag?

    If different consoles, and different pre-amps for that matter, can color a sound differently, why are plug-ins any different? Are they not the software emulations of these very things found in consoles?

    I'm not trying to be a smart-arse, I'd really like to get your thoughts on this.

    I don't think its doing anything that you cannot do with a stock EQ in a sense with how an EQ works, but its doing it in its own way...imparting its unique characteristic that would make it different than any other EQ. Do you think your stock EQ in Sequoia is exactly the same as a stock EQ in Protools if you took away the basic functions?

    I certainly never said there were dozens and dozens...I named a couple, being Slick EQ and Nova EQ as two that I personally found useful and unique in the way they shape the sound in their own way.

    I think this thread would be more helpful to the average person starting out or someone who may not be able to afford $199 on a third party branded plug-in from the likes of Waves and was looking at an alternative to those that does the job...I certainly was contributing to it with that in mind. At the end of the day its the fact that you are doing it, regardless of how you do it that is important. I've been able to spend money on third party plug-ins to give me choice and variety whereas someone starting out or who doesn't have the budget may just find this thread beneficial and that one free plug-in may help them improve their mixes. Isn't that what its all about with RO?

    To be honest Chris, and I don't mean to offend you, I respect your view on this subject and I respect your knowledge on the technical aspect, your knowledge from a gear perspective and what you have achieved in audio in nearly 40 years, but you are coming across sounding a little elitist when it comes to this subject IMO.

    Again, no offense, but thats how your posts seem to be coming across.
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    i think you might have hit the nail on the head unintentionally.
     
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  19. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Yes, but I do not believe that is anything to helping us. That is, from an EQ or basic process. VSTi otr something "coined as tube emulations" then I see that as something intend to add noise or an effect etc.

    Good question :)

    Personally I think Waves had its day when Pro Tools conversion was so poor. I wouldn't buy a thing form Waves but that's just me. This isn't an attack on Waves. Its more about freeware and possibly directed at EQ's, comps etc.

    Pretty much lol. ;) Just a different DAW and how to do it.

    I was being broad.

    You are taking this as an attack on you Sean. Please don't do that. This is shop talk. NOT DRAMA.(n)
    This precisely why I am in this thread. because I don't think er even need to be spending a dime on all this nonsense. But that's just my opinion lol. If I was starting out, the last thing I would be telling mu kids or friends to do is believe we should be buying into all this freeware or third-party hype. Learn how to record and mix with the basics, its all there.. Is that elitist :)

    Yup, So how am I any different than you then. You believe it and I don't. I have used both and share my thoughts as you. Its not personal attacking.

    Really? So you are once again taking this as an attack. Where I am actually saying to the youth, we don't need to spend anything more until you learn to mix with the basics . A simple DAW has it all lol. Don't believe in all the hype about buying into Waves, etc.

    I think you are seriously miss reading my thoughts and comment about how I am an advocate of keeping it all simple and clean. I believe we have most of what we need, right in the basic platform of our DAW systems. How is that elitist. Are you kidding.

    You are being defensive with someone who is talking shop. Please do not turn this into DRAMA.

    :)

    If I was teaching a class and we all have the same tracks, the first thing I would do, would be to give all the student a pile of software and plug-ins and then say go. You have 1 hour to mix this song.
    Just a hunch... I bet those who used a basic DAW would end up producing the best sounding mixes.
     
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    It was intentional
    :)
     

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