Free DAW Plugins!

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

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    you all know i think it all (digital audio) sounds bad. so my philosophy is to go as cheap as possible. cheap converters, cheap DAWs /software and there isn't anything cheaper than free, is there? you're going to toss it in the bin in a few short years, just about the time you've figured out how to use it fully, so why invest on something that's in the bin or a digital door stop? it's nice to have the best, but unless someone's sending you free stuff, it doesn't any make sense to me to put out a lot of hard earned cash on it.

    cheap freeware isn't always bad. i used to run windoze but after 3 or 4 hd failures i switched to Linux. no more problems. free can be good!
     
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  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Im not taking it as a personal attack Chris, not at all.

    My question would be if two plug-ins that are supposedly modelled on that same piece of analog hardware, say an 1176 for instance, from two different plug-in developers, are not coded exactly the same, would they not sound different or have a different effect on the audio?

    The way it processes the audio would be differ.

    That's the point I was trying to make in regards to freeware is about giving you a choice...some may work better or sound better in one application over another..the la-2a video above is an example of this, one sounds sonically better on the snare over another.
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Good, I think your comment to me about being elitist was uncalled for. But no worries. Its shop talk and that's all. I don't care what others buy or use. I happen to believe that we really don't even need Pro tools or Apple anymore too. I think we could actually make great sounding music in a studio that cost no more than $3000. In fact I am 100% sure of that. The last 5% to pro pro pro sounding is where it goes from $3000.00, to $100,000.00 real fast, just to get that bigger sound.Which is all about tracking and nothing to do with mixing plug-ins.
    I'm far from an elitist. More like realist not caught up in labels and marketing. :)

    This is where I think we are all being fooled. An LA2A has the biggest impact in the tracking. ITB a basic limiting amp model does it better. Same goes for an 1176. But this is my opinion. I'm not at all trying to convince you of that. I am merely enjoying the engagement and stimulating thought here. I would love to find ways to do shootouts.All in the name of blowing the whistle on so much marketing BS.

    I see most of these plugins as pictures with the exception of bit distortion added into some of the code to fool us into it sounding analog lol.
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    To add, I bet there would be a completely different approach to what we chose if we couldn't see the image modeling faceplate. I wonder how we would all mix if we mixed in the dark.
     
  5. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Why couldn't a shootout similar to the one in the video be conducted?

    And what would be the point of the shootout?...to prove that native plug-ins are better than third-party counterparts or that they do exactly the same thing?

    Or are we trying to prove or disprove the point about imparting a unique sonic signature to the audio?

    You would have to use one DAW platform...then create a control samples using the native plug in for your EQ, comp, limiter, etc.

    You would most likely have to create presets where the settings were the same for each plug-in.

    Using the same audio sample for each track, apply a different plug-in of the same type to each with the volume level matched.

    I think you would need to do a series of different sample tracks too, say one each for vocal, snare, guitar etc...not just one example for each.

    The tracks could then be numbered and grouped into their type (vocal, snare, etc) and the type of plug-in used (EQ, comp, limiter, etc).

    Then the results could be posted on its own thread.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    shoot outs on the internet are pointless unless you use wave files. YouTube doesn't. and shoot outs for the most part are moot because everyone works in different ways and likes different things. it's art.

    if i were 20 years old and i knew what i know now, i wouldn't spend more than a few hundred bucks on anything audio related, especially anything that is digital. the tech is changing too rapidly to be able to make it pay and if it doesn't pay then it's a hobby and why spend $2000 a year for new software every time it's upgraded and $2000 on a new computer every time they are upgraded and $2000 on new converters that have compatible drivers for that new computer and software you just paid for the fifth time? if they (the digital pundits and manufacturers) had their way, we'd all be dumping $10K a year we could never recoup on potential door stops and software stuff. it's stupid imo. i'm not going for the banana in the tail pipe any more. heres what i would get.

    s-l225.jpg s-l225.jpg s-l225.jpg
    ..... and i would be good to go until i die!
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Seriously, I think what you are calling a sonic signature is more like, smearing and adding a cloud over a issue which I am pretty confident, whatever it is that you are attracted too, can be had and done better, another way, for free in the DAW you have, without needing more freeware. ;)
     
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    Software products are difficult to price. Unlike hardware, once developed, software products cost a relatively small, fixed amount to manufacture. Most of the revenue that gets back to the manufacturer goes into marketing, sales costs, development costs, support costs and profit. There are no op-amps, transformers or circuit boards to source and build, and the packaging and shipping costs are small.

    The pricing model that makes the most sense is feature cost - there are cut-down versions with basic operation at a relatively low cost, but the extended features that the professionals need come in the more expensive versions. Look at how Magix have run with this model.

    So what do you charge for software? The old adage of "what the market will bear" does not work across all sectors. Bedroom recordists expect their software to be low or zero cost; professional studios are reluctant to use software that does not have an obvious financial structure to fund support and continuing development. However, for both of these sectors (and the continuum in between), there is not necessarily a correlation between audio performance and purchase price.
     
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  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I'm not sure how one would go about this, other than someone maybe producing a track that needed example, a compressor. Then we all grab the comp plug thought so great, and listen to examples. Would that work? I don't know. I doubt it.

    One could also take a mix of a 4 piece band and be required to mix it with only the basics plugs. Again, I think the basic would be good enough which would prove, that's all we need to get the job done.
    I'm just thinking out-loud. Personally I don't need the convincing. Obviously the best answer to what we all use is... ... its Art. Let me use what I want and piss off. If I like using something, who cares. :)
    I agree with that but its always been of interest to find out more about plugins which brings me to the other side of this.

    I feel we are being ripped off left right and center all the time. The money needing spent on all this stuff could be put to Art itself, the analog front end and acoustics. All the rest is a calculator. A good EQ is a good EQ, when it gets more complicated... Spectral editing, reverbs well.. then it gets more complicated I suppose.I don't completely believe everything I am saying as gospel, but I think I have some points in this.

    @DonnyThompson
    If you were teaching a class on this subject, and my question challenged the group, how would you go about this?

    I don't think its as simple as saying, its all art. I mean, are there plugins that do specific tasks and are there 50 of the same thing, only with a different image that could do what stock plugins do just as well.
    I would love to see whether the big different to a 1176 plugin is any different than most fast and aggressive settings that can be done to a stock plugin. .. There isn't a tranny, that's for certain. How do we emulate the noise?

    I think I can make a stock plugin comp react like an 1176, LA2A, API 2500, SSL G series and so on. Once you own the real deal, you learn what it does best.
    Each of these has a sweet spot.
    In the tracking world, those differences make a difference but I'm not so sure this is the same in the mixing world... I'm not convinced all the colourful plugs are actually that noble at what they do colourful.

    What would the point of a challenge be?

    I suppose it would tell the newbies or class they can make great sounding recording with the most basic system once they know what these vintage comps did best, and to not be fooled into thinking they need extra " installed in a DAW, to sound any better.

    I don't like to pick on anyone one product but because this is a prime example of what I am talking about.
    Dangerous Music has the BAX EQ as hardware and software. I owned the EQ hardware and after I realized what their $2000 EQ did best, it was no better to a stock UAD, PT or Magix software EQ ....
    I sold it to someone still lusting over the hype. The best thing about the analog BAX was the LPF. Rolling off the high freq allowed converters to deal with the transients better on the AD pass. Once ITB however, those sweet analog transients are all whacked above the 20hz so why would I need to stack analog gear that always changes something in a pass. You cannot use analog gear without changing the sonics in some way. As we stack gear it only degrade more and more. So, that is about the only good thing analog has over digital in that respect.

    The BAX is a good EQ but nothing the most novice mixer can't accomplish with basic understanding of how that particular EQ and filters curves work.

    Do I need to buy it then?

    Digital Pultecs, don't get me started.:rolleyes:

    I'm inclined to believe a lot of this stuff is created as a way for hardware companies to still keep making money in a world where hardware sales is diminishing. I am also inclined to believe that Brainworks may approach these companies and together they come up with an emulation that works like the hardware. Everyone is doing a version.
    Not much different than webdesign.

    Again, I know there is better code, that has less conflicts and simply does particular things better, or includes more of what you need to complete it, but its all packages and sold with graphics to add to the wow factor which would kill it all if that image wasn't there in the first place.

    Don't hate me for being the devils advocate on this. I buy nice gear but also sell it when I learn how to emulate it now. I'm not helping business by saying any of this, that's for sure.
     
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    That's not all that easy to answer.

    Off the top of my head, I think I would teach that audio recording is a science, but that it's also a creative science. There are things about it that are concrete, parameters based on math - like sampling rates, bit resolutions, decibels, voltages, amplitudes, etc.
    and on physics - like acoustics. But there's also the subjective side, the artistic side, and these are the personal preference things sonically that are going to vary from person to person. We can't rely on just the math, because in the end, no one - particularly the "average" music listener - really cares about how you went about getting a sound that they like ( or don't like), all they know is what they hear, and they either like it, or they don't.

    We also have to factor in that we are audio engineers, and in that regard, we hear things that your average "civilian" does not. My girlfriend is a formally trained musician, receiving her degree in '93 from Heidelberg University, which is a highly-respected College of The Fine Arts... ( much like Oberlin, or Berklee ) so she definitely has an ear for music, and she could pick out a minor 7 chord, or a 2nd inversion, or a suspended harmony, without even blinking an eye... but, I could let her A/B two separate reverbs on a vocal track, and I don't believe she'd be able to hear the differences between them.; because her ears simply aren't trained to do that. She knows what she likes in terms of music, and from her POV, as long as she can hear the vocals, and the other parts of a song, and as long as it's a good song, that's what matters to her. But how that recording was made really makes no difference to her.

    To that end, workflows will differ. Someone like yourself ( Chris) has found, through his own trial and error, that your current way works and sounds best to you, and for that you should be proud. You didn't just stumble upon this realization in a day - you took the time to try many different workflows before you reached your realization that your current method is what works best for you. There are others, like Kurt ( @Kurt Foster ) who have an appreciation for analog, and this format would be his go-to, if he could afford to do it the way he wanted to. In that regard, I think we could refer to both of you as "purists" of your methods.... please notice that I said "purist" and not "elitist"... those two things do not mean the same thing.

    I've heard analog recordings that sounded wonderful to my ears... and I've also heard more than a few analog recordings that sounded bloody awful.
    I've heard digital mixes that sounded sterile and cold to me, and I've also heard digital mixes that gave me goosebumps because of the clarity and definition.

    As far as plug-ins go, a good bit of it is economic, and unfortunately, that's just a part of the equation that cannot be ignored.
    Because the recording studio business has pretty much tanked in the last few years, very few smaller and mid-level studios are making enough money anymore to be able to afford a rack of the real stuff, so the emulations are the next best bet for them. Does a plug-in Pultec sound the exact same as the hardware? Maybe not...probably not ... but I've heard plugs that knocked my socks off. The Waves SSL E-Series channel strip was one of these - it responded and sounded exactly like a real SSL E series strip ( and I've had quite a bit of time on the real thing, back when I was first starting out and learning the craft, so I feel qualified to make this distinction).

    I do know that modeling is getting to be very good these days; from VSTi samples ( drums, pianos, synths) to emulated classic OB pieces ( LA2's, 1176's, Neve and SSL channels...) so, while the various VST Pultecs you have used may not sound exactly like a "real" Pultec, it still gets a good bit of the way there, and in that regard, it can still be very useful at certain times.

    Technology is growing fast; I think I've always been one to embrace it instead of negating it. We have no idea where it will take us, even just a few short years from now. There are things happening now, that fifteen years ago, we wouldn't have dreamed of.
    I think that many of these plug manufacturers have had to learn to walk before they can run, and I think that's the case with any new form of technology, and I don't think that sonic modeling is immune to the same trial and error period. There's always a window with new technology where things don't work or go as planned... "yet".
    For everything that works, there was a time when it didn't.
    We set foot on the moon in 1969, but just 9 short years before that, we couldn't even get an unmanned rocket to leave the launch tower without it blowing up on the pad.

    All of what we are discussing is "sonic character" to me. A processor either adds a character I like, or it doesn't; and I'm referring to both the emulations and the real things, too. The real 1176 is a fine compressor, but it's not gonna be my choice for every single compressor need, because it imparts a character to it that is often attractive, but not always so, depending on what I'm doing.

    It's difficult to tell someone that there is a "right" or "wrong" way of doing things; I'm not sure those words even exist within the context that we are discussing it... personally speaking ( just my opinion so take it FWIW) is that I don't believe that there is such a thing as "better" or "worse"... there's just different, and that's where it comes down to personal perception, and you really can't teach that. There are some people who like chocolate ice cream, others who like strawberry... some like Coca Cola, others like Pepsi... so how do you tell either one of these people that they are wrong in their personal tastes? ;)

    IMHO of course.
     
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  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Well said.
    And there is also something called eye candy related to business and hype that directly effects our decisions which have nothing to do with the audio itself.
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    your remark makes it sound like plugs and DAWs are a solution to a problem when in reality they are the cause, like a dog chasing it's tail or like water circling around the drain. i saw this coming down the pike in 2001 when i cashed out and closed the doors on my studio.

    some dumbass who decides he wants to be an "enguneer" but can't afford the good stuff, so he goes out and buys a cheap or freeware DAW and plugs and goes into business in his mommies basement at rates cheaper than everyone else. a super-storm of ineptitude and bad gear. result; another "pro" room with the "real stuff"making great recordings goes belly up and bad recordings inflicted on the listening public.

    pretty soon (it didn't take long) the audience forgets how great those older recordings sound as they become acclimatized to the sh*t sound that's pumped out. i don't believe it's the fault of digital recording (i've heard digital recorders that sounded just fine including the old ADATs) but mixing on a computer / DAW digital mixing / summing just bites. i'm a big fan of the stand alone recorders.

    much like like Judas and the 30 pieces of silver, the folks who put out this stuff make bank but, with every sale another little piece of the industry they are marketing to falls off the vine. it's a very short sighted business model imo. sooner or later (just about now) the whole industry goes belly up and we are left with a bunch of "bedroom wizards" who think the rack crap and cracked plugs they have is the snizzel. a real race to the bottom. i wish the muckie mucks had been a little more protective of the industry in the first place.
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    There is definitely better or worse for me. I know when something is wrong, bad, good, better or best within seconds. Especially if I create a way to compare without too much pause as well.

    Its as simple as hearing mic positions, phase, a sound, timing, tuning, noise, too much, too little and so on. I try and not over think things to a point I boil a mix or become unsure. More times than not, once I hit the point where I am unsure, its usually time to take a break or time to shorten or lengthen the duration so my mind stays focused.

    Rarely is anything ever considered different to me. Its either right or not. Sonically better or compromised in some way or another, that is related to the overall goal I am reaching for.
    Good open tube vs microphonic clang and hum, clean power or bad. noisy op-amps, crackly backgrounds, solid conversion or noisy. Cold or warm upper mids. Clean or brittle., Too much compression or bad compression, The examples of this go on and on just as bad use of gear or plug-ins that don't do what I want.

    I do appreciate the artistic approach to say, something like a solo being different. But when it comes to gear choices, positioning a mic on my guitar, using a plug-in or piece of hardware... I know when its right or not.

    I will live with whatever I am forced to settle with, I don't have a problem with that. But I still know when something isn't really what I want.

    Saying something is different, is usually another way of saying I don't really care for it, and would rather not want to offend someone standing there with a big smile on their face. Its different but the real truth is, it isn't what I like or need.
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    I was speaking of subjective sonic color/character, not the obvious mistakes made by so many in terms of over-limiting, or bad phasing, or poor microphone choices, etc. ;)

    I'm surprised you didn't see it coming in 1983, when Fostex was releasing it's B16, or Tascam was releasing it's MSR16, or their 30 or 40 series reel to reels... these were decks that were affordable to people who wanted to record themselves... and with them came cheaper consoles like TAC's, and Tascam's, and signal processing like the Yamaha SPX90... not really all that expensive in the grand scheme of audio gear... I know, I spent all of '84-86 selling those pieces.
    Home studios began to pop up everywhere. In fact, I was one of those people with a home studio...( yet it took me another five years, after private study and lots of experience, before I was comfortable calling myself an "enguneer". ) ;)

    Then came the digital decks, the Adat's and the Tascam DA's, and digital consoles with full automation for under $5000, ( some even for under $2000) and the move towards home recording became even more popular.

    Pro studios that are crashing want to place the blame on the home recording industry, and on the surface, that would be a big cause, ( although not the entire cause, as declining recording budgets from the labels have something to do with it as well) yet they don't realize that this is a symptom of a disease that they created; they don't want to admit that they are one of the reasons why people decided to start buying gear and record themselves at home... in 1979, if you wanted to go to a pro studio, you were looking at $200-$400 per hour.... easy. That's what the market could bear, so that's what studios were charging. Enter someone like Donny Thompson, who does a few dates as a session musician, and to record a few of his own pieces, and who starts to do the math, and realizes that, for the cost of around 15 hours in a pro room, he can buy an assload of gear for himself, learn the craft, and record his own material - without having to watch the clock.
    Then, a year or so after he purchases the necessary gear, a fellow musician approaches him one day and says, "Hey, how much would you charge to record my band's demo?", and he realizes that he can defray some of the cost of that gear by opening up his small studio to others...
    I was one of those "idiots" you were talking about, Kurt. I didn't know all that much, until I was fortunate enough to meet a very talented engineer who became my mentor, and I paid for private study with him. I started out as a beginner, like all of us did. ;)
     
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  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    ;););)
    Me too
    :love:
    It's never just different to me. It's either right or wrong, good better best or down right crap and/or a complete waste of money or time.
    Never just different.
    This is why I don't waste money on the amount of "just different" software or hardware others seem to get all caught up on, see value in keeping on hand for what I would call a one trick pony.
    That's what processors are for. ;)

    subtitles of "just different", aren't worth the bloat.
     
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    it's not a fair comparison Donny. for those of us who actually lived with big consoles and tape for years the differences are easily discernible. for those with less exposure computers sound fine. for me i think computer audio (i have decided to stop blaming digital as the main culprit) sounds pretty bad, especially if you try to mix on it. i still believe that a big console can't be replaced with mixing itb and i don't give a flying hoot what Andrew Sheps is doing even though i think he's very talented. i would bet any work that guy does would sound great. i would bet it would be even better on a console but we don't have a comparison do we?

    the thing about how things were then is there was a perceptible difference even a gherm (google it :D) could hear the in quality between narrow gauge formats and 2", although there are many examples of great work being done on semi-pro gear. semi-pro mixers just didn't have the mojo high volt rail consoles, (even an AMEK TAC or an MCI, on the cheap side) could provide.

    there's a real difference in quality (freq response / signal to noise ratios) between semi pro tape running low level / high impedance (@-10) and high level / low impedance (@+4). narrow gauge formats have a more ragged freq response (+/- 3 dB) and require N/R for a decent signal to noise figures which drove the dbx N/R nuts! i always preferred the Fostex machines because they had Dolby N/R instead of dbx. one semi pro room i built we ordered a Fostex G16 running @ 30 ips with Dolby S and i will say that was an impressive sounding machine. also there is a huge difference in the type of outboard gear these studios could offer, again often due to interfacing and level issues (difficult in using +4 outboard with a -10 mixer). as to costs, i knew of many +4 pro level rooms in the Bay Area that booked for well under $50 an hour.

    i directly correlate the arrival of DAW tech and the demise of the mid level pro room. now everyone is on the same playing field where everything sounds sorta like crap for the most part. unless you go for the hype about hi end conversion, (i have my doubts, i think a lot of it may be snake oil salesmanship) newbies have access the same tools (programs and plugs) for the most part as the pros do and everyone is churning out sub standard audio (imo). It's like everyone is now getting their food from SYSCO. uch!

    i keep waiting for an inexpensive real console or affordable (sorry, i'm not spending $2K + on nothing burger software every year) DAW program that handles mixing capably but i have yet to be impressed in the least.
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Quote-A-Rama again. Interesting how this thread is evolving. I enjoy the perspectives.

    The studio I built had a Urie 1176, tla-100, drawmer 1976, and some others. They each had their own sound, and preferred sources. I only tracked w them. Then tla100 and 1176 are completely different animals and each had their own character. My favorite bass compressor of them all ? The Dbx $100 half rack w one slider.

    When you look at sound from a broad perspective there's good pretty and good ugly. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen well established engineers make is trying to make punk sound pretty. Theories bad bad, and there's good bad. There's an art to lo fi, and an art to hi fi. I wouldn't try and make. Pristine price of gear sound ugly, nor make an ugly price of gear sound pristine.

    Josh Holme has a plenty of success w queens of the Stone Age and then crooked vultures. Loves using gorilla amps, and crappy stomp boxes. Tracked thru a killer console to tape often.

    Van Halen's original guitar was some POS he modified himself. Not the $2k 'signature' model.

    the point is there's right for the application prices of gear. In that sense price doesn't matter. Whether it's the 3k handmade tube mic that's perfect for one, or the $50 57 for the next. It's about being knowledgeable and creative enough to know when to use what.

    The reason, is it's easier. It's the fastest means to and end. It's a waste of time to try and make cheap sound expensive or expensive sound cheap. The worst you can do is be mediocre. Mediocre is the worst.

    A free grotesque pluggin has a role just the same as a pristine fabfilter does.

    It's the lack of experience that prevails mostly, with enguneers (lol) not knowing how and when to use what's available.

    It may just be more ugly, or it may be more pristine.

    It's about efficiency. If an ssl channel strip has the hpf knob why not use it? It's the fastest means to an end.

    If you need a single band boost, why engage a high power (CPU usage) fancy pluggin?

    It's an insult to the pultec name to put it on a pluggin. Lol

    That said, in the heat of the moment if you know that pluggin is just a wise bell curve, that could be the fastest least tweaky way to get it. Less fiddling.


    I agree. There are a handful that still have a certain characteristic and relevancy. Most of which are 10+ years old.

    Sometimes for me something as simple as a mix knob on the H comp is enough to be worth $50. All other things being equal that's fair to me. No need for upgrades or service plans. The same code, form and function, isn't gonna burn out like a capacitor or an ic chip. Until there's a format change or incompatibility, there's no reason to stay 'current'. That pluggin and its mix job will do the job for many many years.

    Again a matter of convenience assuming all other things being equal. Turn the knob, or get into parallel busses and that potential phase nightmare. Same effect, simpler approach.

    Also the REQ uses bandexall (butchered spelling i think) which not all plugin eqs do. So if your experienced mind, or creative impulse calls for that type, it's faster that fiddling with more settings. $30, easy on the cpu, no/little artifacts, money well spent. Again why bother w thenupgade plan on a 12 year old tried and true plug? That's where the financial inefficient is. The buy in is cheap, the maintenece is the cash cow.

    There's a gross lack of fundemtals in the new era recording industry. And there's a gross lack of evolution from the golden era engineers.

    Learn to use what you have, then get what you need to fill the blanks.

    I was recording for ten years before I ever used an aftermarket pluggin. Hell i didn't even know they existed for the for 6 or more years.

    Move the damn mic, forget about condensers, and get a blanket.

    Give me two Mics and I'll get you a good drum sound. Why? Basic drum tuning. Mic placement, quilts on mic stands.

    Really why? Because I can tell when something's not right. I can tell when something's not as good as it could be.

    I came from the last of the old era. I'm a hybrid lol. 4 tracks was standard for the whole recording.

    With all the capabilities of the studio, the best drum sound i got was 5 Mics on the kit. 14 was the 'standard setup'

    Awesome about luinix!!!! I can't wait till more daws catch on. Windows in macOS offer so much stuff the audio user doesn't need.

    I don't see why digital has to expire? What makes your computer from 2004 sound worse than yours from today on a 16ch recording?

    It's people's obsession w the market hype and spec numbers that makes things expire. Digital always does what it can do from they day you get it. If you don't ask it to do more, it won't expire for a long time.

    The early 2000's was a fast moving era of computing where processor speeds were following moores law. That has platued now. Now it's sotrage that's the rage/race.

    A simple dual core processor i.e. Ten year old or 300$ current computer would easily handle 16-24 tracks. They did then, they do now. Assuming it can run the OS 32/64 bit or whatever there's no reason a ten year old computer can't run a basic session.

    There is undoubtedly a difference between high end conversion and clocking i.e. Interfacing, than the cheap.

    My philosophy is go real cheap, or real high end. It's the mediocrity that's both over priced and underperforming.

    You plug a neve into a $500/1k per channel adda and plug it into a $100 multi channel, dsp having, midi capable, interface with built in pres, (lol) and i gaurentee you'll hear a difference. Assuming good monitoring/acoustics allow you.

    Whether the 'diminishing' returns are worth it is dependent on a lot of things. But the difference is there.

    I would wager a ten year old apogee Rosetta out performs any adda at its current price point. Both will be good. One will sound 'like a record'

    Quality vs quantity has never changed its principles. Neither has diminishing returns. $300k for an ssl console is no bargain in 1988. Was that console sonically 8x better than a 25k amek or whatever at that time?? No. but the law of diminishing returns says things get exponentially more expensive the higher up you go in class.

    If those pieces of gear were so good, and so irreplaceable how come so few original owners still use them?

    Fact is studios and mucisians or sonics weren't the reason they existed or had a commonplace, it was a bloated advantageous record industry.

    Musicians are still broke as ever, success is still as few and far between, and engineers can still make an average living wage.

    Yes sir. I dropped out senior year of college due to lack of heart, but I hung around as a finance major to learn about diminishing returns.

    I wish more mucisians took some basic business classes. It's a business. Your self employed. How these people survive without fundamental knowledge of marketing, and Most important, accounting, is exactly what killed the mid level studio. Poor business skills. No investor told any engineer to buy 500k worth of machines. The investors were too busy ripping off the artists, and running the record companies.

    Engineers did a ton of work for no royalties. They leased properties instead of using proper real estate investment practice.

    Now I'm may be a bit out of line or bias (? Lol) but in general that's what I've experienced with talking to golden era engineers. Poor business skills. Because at the heart it's the pursuit of art.

    A good accountant and lawyer is an artists best friend assuming they're on the same team.

    All in all the differences are subtle. IMHO it's a matter find finding things that don't degrade the audio in a way you don't want.

    Beyond that. It's convenience. For instance a compressor w two knobs might get you there quicker than a full fledged option rich compressor.

    Lol digital sounding analog. A paradox.


    Buy the cheapest or the best. It's the only way to justify the cost. Over a 15 year life span you can spend about as much on cheap gear replacing it every couple years, as one longer term high cost investment.

    It's buying mid range gear, or buying expensive digital gear at the end of its tenure full price, that's the most financially inefficient.



    Whatever you call it, to me it's about the fastest way to get from idea to fruition.

    Ripped off sometimes, bombarded with vultures all the time!

    "All the rest is a calculator" I like that!!


    Plugs are the last place to look for 'color' the way we think of color in an analog sense.

    In digital eq it's more smooth or jagged vs color IMHO. Mud or punch in the Lf. And transparent ie less artifacty, does surgical stuff better.

    With compression plugs it's about distortions or lack of, and preservation or not of imaging and size.

    lol I'm seriously waiting for some company to produce a smooth dark sounding pluggin. Things only get brighter or stay the same in current digital.

    I love using a dark compressor w a bright mic in analog, or a bright guitar w a dark mic.

    Lol like I said an insult to the name. Fooltech is more like it.

    I know this because if the real thing did what these plugs do the real thing wouldn't have ever been reguarded as anything remotely special. My lack of experience with them forces me to use deductive reasoning on this topic.

    Bro, lol, i started in '98, where the heck was I gonna find a 'real studio' to work at.

    I armed myself w the pottystudio and the included sm48 (lol yes 48) and recorded every band and practice, wherever they were. I could along w my own drums and guitars in my parents basement. They were kind enough to let me have two rooms for a live / control room setup. I use the terms loosely.

    I read books and fledging sites or that era like homerecording.com. I asked any engineer I paid to record me as many questions as possible. I got the bug quick.

    You know how cool it was the couple times i requested $30 and got it!? Like whoa?! I can get paid?

    Truth is having that lame cheap sounding recorder and mixer, and having those drums laying around, taught me all about mic position and getting it good to tape. About performance of a full take. Live recording. The sound of so many different rooms. Why one large room w a band sounds better almost always than a tiny room with isolation or tons of overdubs. Why huge band practices spaces w carpet sound better than basements w hard walls.

    That's experience. That's how I got it. My mixes using my dad's old 70's Hifi speakers translated better than my 'studio' speakers for a while. Maybe not as detailed, but broadly more consistent.

    There's a lot of reasons why those things are true most of which come to learn over the years.

    By the time I was working with true commercially successful guys my skill set was being refined, not developed. I went from decent amateur to decent pro in about 4-5 years. Now I'm confident I can hang w any engineer, doing and talking shop.

    The biggest compliment I can get is when an artist says 'yeah dude, that's exactly how I'm hearing it my head'. I love when that happens. That's the magic. Turning idea into 'reality'.

    I'm not saying I'm amazing. I'm saying not everyone who buys a shitty rig and plays around endlessly in their patents basement is a sap. I learned the long hard way of trial and error and boundless determination. I'm still not satisfied.


    Dude me too! I was just thinking that the other day.

    Truth is computers are just too broadly designed to be really really good at audio. The more I'm doing designing my new rig the more I'm seeing how much unessasry crap is included in a computer. From wasted busses and data paths, to video centric stuff, to onboard Audio, to network stuff.

    There's no wonder why computer audio lacks the solidity of the standalone recorder. There's just simply way too much extra fat on a PC or Mac right now.

    It's funny I was thinking how the mackie hdr recorder and d8b system sounded better than the Mac Pro and DP7 system in the same room.

    There's a certain solidity 'filled between the lines' characteristic to the sound.

    I wish someone would develop a standalone recorder pricedore attainablly than radar, or a motherboard manufacturer would built a ground up audio or audio video focused computer.

    lol seriously, we end up disabling 3/4 of the stuff we pay for in an audio PC. Which means all that money should be going to higher quality components we do use.

    The mackie d8b hdr was running on something like a 300mhz, yes MHz, processor and like a gig of ram tops. It reliably handled 24 tracks at either 16 or 24 but and 96k sample rate. It recorded and edited. The digital mixer had transparent eq and compression, built in.


    The problem is everyone's playing field is undersized for adequate bass response and the gear has no soul.

    Lmao about Sysco. Well said.
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    well first off, bit and sample rates. Better DAW programs. those computers and DAWs from 2006 were pretty bad in the first place. it just took us all a few years to realize it. but there's more reasons than that.

    there's no support for the os. with out that you cannot grow. no one remains static. but before computers we weren't required to bin our older gear as we advanced. we just added to it. now they are in the business of making potential door stops. in no support for the older plugs. newer computer have about 10 times the power as older ones do. to remain competitive, you have to keep current. if you let a system get too old, you're screwed as far as any updates or support. sample rates are increasing and you need increased memory and speed to run at higher rates.

    the computer manufactures, software designers and hardware manufactures have set up a system that's great for them but sucks for some poor slob like me who can't afford to dump $10 k a year to keep running in a business that doesn't pay anymore. it's become an expensive hobby for most of us and personally, being retired, i just don't have the wherewithal to keep up. i mean, no one is sending me free hardware and software all the time. if they were i would probably be more enthusiastic about itb mixing too.
     
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I just still don't know why you need to keep up? If you were running Windows 7 64bit today on a dual core for 8 years ago you can still record the same amount now as you could then.

    The daws besides protools haven't improved in code much since then. And many still support windows 7.

    Pluggins have gotten more intensive, but again if your doing your job in the way in it doesn't matter.

    For the average hobbyist or retired person there's no reason to need a machine that runs more than a dozen pluggins and 48 tracks. Which a decent $300 or 8 year old computer can do. Easily.

    Just because new stuff comes out, doesn't mean the old stuff stops doing what it always did.

    It's only the big jumps like from 32 to 64 bit that things become 'obselete' or truly demand upgrade. But those only happen every ten-15 years.

    In other words your computer doesn't progressively perform worse just because new stuff performs better.

    Particularly for someone like you or Chris who isn't into tons of extra premium plugs or the masters update, you should easily be getting 5-8 years out of a $500 level computer.
     
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i had Windoze XP Pro and dual 1800 anthalon on a ASUS motherboard maxed out at 4 gigs of ram. a $2000 doorstop
     

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