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Thread: Plugins modeled after vintage gear.

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    Plugins modeled after vintage gear.

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    Everyone,,
    I just thought I would toss this out there and see what peoples opinions are on the whole craze of modeling plugins after vintage consoles and outboard gear. I have purchased more than a few mostly from Waves on sale, and I'm curious what the "real engineers" that do studio work for a living think of this craze. Anyone is welcome to chime in, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not people use them or are the standard off the shelf plugins that come with DAW's or are reasonably priced just as good. Frankly when I watch some of their tutorials when they are doing the A/B thing with their plugin sometimes I can't even hear the difference. Maybe it is just me. They are fun to have and cool to play around with but I wonder how many are really needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songsj View Post
    Everyone,,
    I just thought I would toss this out there and see what peoples opinions are on the whole craze of modeling plugins after vintage consoles and outboard gear. I have purchased more than a few mostly from Waves on sale, and I'm curious what the "real engineers" that do studio work for a living think of this craze. Anyone is welcome to chime in, I'm looking for opinions on whether or not people use them or are the standard off the shelf plugins that come with DAW's or are reasonably priced just as good. Frankly when I watch some of their tutorials when they are doing the A/B thing with their plugin sometimes I can't even hear the difference. Maybe it is just me. They are fun to have and cool to play around with but I wonder how many are really needed.
    Wow! I thought it was just me. LOL. I went through the same craze and at the end of the day, I use about 1% of the wave plugins I have purchased. I found that most of the stock plugin that come with Reaper, do just fine. The more I use them, the more I can find other ways to incorporate them for different effects. Like you, I have often hear very little changes if any, when they were a b ing their examples, even when I had headphones on.

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    I am sure that, like everyone, I have a few favorites and that is about it.
    I don't use any 'exciters' or amp modelers or anything like that.. but I certainly am a big fan of Eventide's reverbs and pitch shifting... which I think are emulations of their own hardware.

    Other than those, mostly stock Cubase stuff is all I use.

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    "Real Engineers" use whatever is necessary to get the job done.

    But to your question..... This "craze" you speak of is certainly NOT a 'craze'. It is the evolution of the recording arts gear-wise. Years ago when I first started, you could not afford to equip a small multi-track studio without some serious dough. And all "rooms" had to have some sort of sound to be viable in order to pay for the investment. The 'vintage' gear you referred to had to be maintained in order to work properly. However, most of it was designed by the finest electronics minds and thus stamped forever the sound of music as we know it.

    This is why every code writing genius out there is trying emulate the "classics" and they are trying to do so within the boundaries of the given medium ....which in this case is computer-ville. I own now and have owned at one time or another, some of the vintage analog gear that the plug-ins are trying to emulate. I still use a lot of analog at the capture and sometimes even run things back through the analog gear in order to impart that certain 'something' that the plug-ins simply can't deliver for the most part.

    Are some plugs better than others? It depends on your needs and the power you have in your system. Some plugs are cpu hogs but they may sound better than another that is the exact same attempt at reproducing a classic or vintage piece of gear. In that case you risk slowing things down sometimes to the point of a crash.

    I have ten different manufacturers versions of the LA-2A compressor in plug-ins. I also have a couple a 'real' ones. They are all different. Some are better. Some came with the bundle. Some I've opened up once. Some I use on every session. I use this example in particular because I know that every DAW has some version of it in their stock factory bundle.

    The reason is because of the sound of the original and how it makes things sound.

    I use a lot of my classic plugs and the vintage stuff simply because its where I grew up. Do they replace my set of analog classic outboard? No. Except when they do.
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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    I don't think I have any for processing ?There a ARP 2600 and a Mini Moog, etc..

    Ya, very little in my VST folder for processing - couple odd balls and some De La Mancha & Toneboosters

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    I guess I don't really understand looking at it this way. I'd rather look at it like this - it's still a compressor. Regardless of what it's modeled after, it still is what it is in its own right. Maybe it'll sound just like something physical, maybe it won't, but it's still a tool you can use, regardless of whatever name they assign it.

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    I'm not a professional but from what I've seen/heard in video and interviews, professionals have as much fun with plugins as we do. You can make fantastic music with stock plugins though, really. Go with what your ears say, if you can't tell the difference between one plug and the other then no worries, use the one you enjoy more!

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    Great responses, to expand a bit further on my original post, I still am wondering how close most of the plugins are in performance to the original hardware. I imagine there is no one answer and some are probably better than others. I'm 61 and have started what I am calling my "better late than never" project which is going to be as many recordings as I can do of songs I always wanted to record and just never got around to. I almost completely re-equipped my studio for this, new computer, new video and audio monitors all new software etc. and I have taken advantage of Waves huge sales this summer to load up my VST folder. I guess I just wanted everything a my fingertips and this is all so affordable as compared to hardware and the old analog tape days.

    My questions started to arise when I was looking at things like the Abby Road Collection. Which I have and I watched a video about how all of these great recordings were made on their consoles and with their reverb units etc. in the 50's, 60's and 70's and I thought, "Do I really want to make a recording that sounds like it was done in the 60's? I think not. Got me to wondering how much was hype and how much is really still used on today's big name recordings. Again probably not a one size fits all answer. And truth be told many of the really big name producers and engineers are probably still keeping a lot of today's trade secrets pretty close to their vest. Why wouldn't they? It is their bread and butter.

    Still I am really interested in everyone's take on plugins vs hardware. I am just a curious fellow,

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    Oh, there was emulation involved with me picking Mixbus to use. That is a generic console emulation

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    I think the code writers for the plug-ins are first, concerned that the emulations of their classic and vintage reproductions don't vary much as to the controls associated with those pieces. And then they go after the sound.

    Realize that they are probably modeling a piece of hardware that, since it is old and broken in, has a sound of it's own and that sound may or MAY NOT be anything like it sounded when it was new. But the controls functions will be very close.

    One thing the plug-ins don't have that the hardware does have is noise. Now some say that this noise is a part of the beauty of the devices and this is what makes them special. I definitely remeber having to work around this back in the day and was always thankful that the tape compression allowed me to back off of things till they got quieter. But that's just me.

    Back to my earlier example of a studio standard compressor like the LA2A. I have lot's of different emulations of it as well as a couple of hardware ones. I also have a UAD Quad card and this comp is part of the basics. THIS is the one that sounds as close to a hardware comp of all of them. And it's like that throughout all the different devices found in any set of plugs.

    As to making music that sounds like its from the 60's simply because you might use an older design device on something modern sounding....Surprise! These pieces have NOT gone out of style for a reason. Take a look at ANY Pro studio and look at their gear lists. There are three or four things common to all of them even if they are making the newest Pop music. It's the application of things to the music that makes it sound the way it sounds. I own the Abbey Road Collection and there are things in there that make a track magical in the way it sits in an arrangement regardless of genre .
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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