Real vs Plug - amusing video

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dante
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Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

Found this to be entertaining :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqGkwq3Jf1k

The best thing about plugs is they enable / inspire one to learn about the real stuff - ancient mixing gear of last century.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by garyb »

yeah, there is a big difference between plugins and real hardware, but plugins are more than good enough. GENERALLY, hardware sounds better, but plugins are cheaper and offer a convenient workflow while still sounding good. a great engineer gets great results in any case. sorry, the simulation is inferior to the real thing.

licensing means that a company is paid to allows the use of a name and image. endorsing means that one approves of something, whether or not that approval involves a payment. whether or not a plugin is a good product, or even a great product, has nothing to do with being the exact same thing as the original hardware. it is never the exact same thing. that is not really so important. use what you like.

50 years is far short of ancient, but i agree that it's a non-issue. there are no brownie points for being modern or new or vintage, regardless of the noise reverberating in a person's head.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

What impresses me is that there’s some gear that dates back more than half a century that is still being modeled or sold as original for high price. E.g. Those Pulse Technologies (Pultec) original PEQ’s were the ones that founded the company and being released / modeled for decades after. I like that the knobs are stepped to fixed values - it’s like someone has done the work to find and present the most usefull/sweet spot values.

I remember DAS Legend had a missing frequency range in the mids - but that was part of what defined the usefulness of that EQ - I don’t know why but maybe it was the designer saying ‘don’t touch those mids because they are already as musical as you can get them - for the certain applications this eq was designed for’.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by valis »

The same cultural phenomena happens in the (digital) visual arts of course. In similar fashion to the 90's trope with adding unnecessary lens flares to every design, we've had a period now where Visual treatment plugins ("magic looks") are over-used and abused, to emulate color processes that were the result of film stock + film transfer (exposed paper or final non-negative film stock) processes that used to impart a 'look' into film. For a 15 second commercial where you're imparting an aesthetic that fits the short piece, ok I suppose. But it's impossible to watch content online without seeing it now, and I rarely see people blend it with the source (it's always at 100%).

The most glaringly obvious example of this abuse of visual aesthetic (imho) is when it gets applied to video games that are fps 3d, as those should be imho emulating 'what the eye sees' not chromatic aberration and the soft-knee & blue-shift in the shadows of the 80's film stock of choice + anamorphic lense effect. Outside of cut-scenes and cutaways or etc of course.

Anyway the parallel being illustrated here is that something that is an artifact of a process used at some point becomes the 'stamp of authenticity' in the minds of the users of these plugins, hoping to impart a similar stamp of authenticity on their own work as a result. I'm fairly sure that when we only had low end mackie & soundtracs etc available in the early/mid 90's, the resulting crunchy mix wasn't something that we was sought after as much as it was simply the best that could be done with meager tools at the time. And now you'll find a small mixer like the BOSS BX series actually sought after to replicate a particular techno vibe, just check reverb.com for the prices they're still going for.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

Yes the Boss BX 6 channel 2nd hand about the same price as a brand new Behringer USB mixer. Instinctively I would have looked for the Behringer and not even considered one of the Boss ones from 80’s !!

For me the point about emulated plug vs the real thing is not whether the plug sounds as good as the real thing coz I’ll never get the chance to compare to the real thing. To me the point is whether a plug that is circuit modeled on an analog eq sounds better than a VST eq that isn’t circuit modeled. In general I prefer the sound of analog day records so use whatever gets me closer at each stage. Part of the Neve sound was how he designed his analog circuits - eg use of transformers - and how those designs evolved over the years . Modelled emulation is a way of preserving that evolution.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by garyb »

modeled, or just tweaked to sound similar?

i doubt most modeled circuits really are. too many hours in a lab, that shit's expensive when you're selling a $50-200 plug.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

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If you like transformer sound, you'd like the BX-8. Fwiw I have one, and it's just a way to get a certain techno crunch on hats & snares (which you then layer in to other snares) or get a flattened sound to tom/snare/hat drum bus layered on a 909 kick (which again is probably best used in parallel for modern mixing). Instant chicago/detroit fun for those who recognize the sound.

The question still begs, does the audience know any different or is this purely self-referential marketing feedback loops to a crowd seeking the same sort of result as the historical figures that used the gear before the modern emulation. And on that note, I fully agree with gary's oft repeated sentiments about what we actually need to get our work done... yet I also own every summing emulation and so many other plugins I don't need so clearly resemble my own remarks.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by garyb »

does the audience know? does the "engineer"/"producer" know?

for the most part, no. they don't know.

it's pretty clear that "something" is lacking with modern tools, in spite of modern tools being really good, better on average compared to old stuff. listening to "old" music suggests that, anyway...there's a reason that the makers of the tools keep trying to convince us that they've finally got stuff modeled 1:1. there is a standard, and for the most part, it is vintage.

Bob Moog was never able to recreate the richness of Theremin's synth, and Bob Moog needed more components to approach the sound that Theremin got out of an all too simple design. Mr. Moog lamented that to his dying days. special things made by people that did it in a special way, just can't be repeated.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by valis »

garyb wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:56 pm modeled, or just tweaked to sound similar?

i doubt most modeled circuits really are. too many hours in a lab, that shit's expensive when you're selling a $50-200 plug.
Well, calling something a 'model' says nothing about the fidelity of said model:
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5650773fb6761feaae639b850310de6c.jpg
5650773fb6761feaae639b850310de6c.jpg (48.67 KiB) Viewed 624 times
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by garyb »

:lol: :lol: :lol:

thanks. that's what i might have meant...
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

To my ears, since I've been using more and more 'analog modelled' stuff over the last couple of years (mixer and plugs), it sounds way better and closer to analog records than straight digital plugs. If that's an illusion, its one I'm happy to pay for.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by valis »

Since I went through a time period where I was comparing the various AirWindows modules, Waves NLS, Steve's VCC, Satson/Britson and so on... I can understand. The Airwindows stuff is particularly instructive, as you can choose model by model to add small elements of what a console or channel strip was doing, from crosstalk to IMD in addition to saturation and a transfer curve that both slew limits & smears transients. If memory serves, NLS will do almost everything but the crosstalk/IMD that results from channels interacting. Most others add simulated crosstalk/IMD but it's not truly modelling that without somehow summing those channels in the background, which a few others do attempt to simulate by letting you run 'bus' and 'channel' models (VCC has virtual bussing on a set of switches or toggles, satson/britson give you a 'bus' and 'channel' model for each which does less complex modelling but still replicates this to some degree on the bus version of the plugin).

To my ears, I found this most useful to do the equivalent of bussing in the analog realm. Treating some channels and busses as one analog flavor, and others via another, I found for the most part that running 1 summing model for digital parts that I didn't want to be as clean/distinct was adantageous. Running multiple ones concurrently wasn't worth the cpu use, but since I'm a decade before the M1 macs that might change with more horsepower. For the most part I found using the modelling judiciously was best as this was used alongside already treated sample material, my own outboard (which hits my board and then either passes through Scope or can route directly to a recording bus in Logic), Scope and so on...and keeping a few things stark in the mix (like Serum or Massive X etc) can also provide nice contrast for certain modern sounds.

On that note there's a whole realm of 'drippy' music which is defined largely by Ableton's autofilter and it's sound when modulated quickly with the LFO. I find the graininess very bothersome and would be tempted to somehow treat this, but the people I know who like to firedance and do poi around the burning plains end up missing the 'tickle in the ears' feeling that they get from that grainy (slow control rate) lfo when you try to do that. Again another point for cultural references becoming embedded in the ears of those who are the closest to the 'scene'...

Anyway a bit off the point, so I'll let you folks drag this back on topic.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by garyb »

dante wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:34 am To my ears, since I've been using more and more 'analog modelled' stuff over the last couple of years (mixer and plugs), it sounds way better and closer to analog records than straight digital plugs. If that's an illusion, its one I'm happy to pay for.


who said it's an illusion?
what is funny is that the OLD stuff still sounds better, and the designers of new stuff still are trying to copy the old stuff. new stuff sounds more than great enough, in the hands of a good engineer, just like the old stuff sounds crappy in the hands of a bad engineer(which was one of the video's points).
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

valis wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:52 amTo my ears, I found this most useful to do the equivalent of bussing in the analog realm. Treating some channels and busses as one analog flavor, and others via another, I found for the most part that running 1 summing model for digital parts that I didn't want to be as clean/distinct was adantageous.
Bussing helps get closer to analog realm, or the way I remember it. Before Mixbux 6 I used some of the busses as effect returns for the others, but they introduced bus effect send/return in v6 and that fixed the problem.
garyb wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:40 am what is funny is that the OLD stuff still sounds better, and the designers of new stuff still are trying to copy the old stuff.
A good thing when the new stuff retains the evolution that the old stuff reached. And even with the old stuff, there was gear that was as good as it ever got from the get go. I should have got into the DAS Pultec when I was mixing on Scope.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dawman »

All of this to have the music played over an iPhone.

Awesomeness.
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by valis »

All of this to sell plugins for music to be made on an iphone :)
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

Check this out - It took Steve Jackson (Ph.D. Electrical Engineer and Materials Scientist) 10 years to recreate Pultec EQP-1A3

https://www.pulsetechniques.com/legacy/

So -question - if they had iPhones (as a time machine type black box closed tech) instead of Gramaphones back in 1951, would Ollie and Gene still have invented the EQP-1 ? I'm thinking ... why not ?
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by dante »

All of this just to make music listened to on an iPhone :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP3rtXC3x58
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by astroman »

The iPhone has a quite solid playback engine, even my 3GS approaching it‘s 12th birthday.
Definitely not high end but covers all I need to mute the noise in public transportation. :D
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Re: Real vs Plug - amusing video

Post by valis »

I've been enjoying my lumi bluetooth keyboard with their silly practice software, it's somehow more inspiring than sitting at the same keyboards i've had for 10-20 years. All thanks to that silly iPad.
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