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Should I buy HW's version plugins that I use?
Old 6th March 2014
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Should I buy HW's version plugins that I use?

Hey Slutz,

I'm a house music producer. Don't record instruments or vocals etc...

I have good converters (lynx aurora), great monitors (S3X-V), I use a couple of sampler, hw synth, but I am fully ITB when I mix.

The plugins I use the most are API 550, waves SSL Channel, waves SSL Compressor.


I have some money, maybe it's time to buy some api 500 series, what do you think?
They are classics, I bet I can't go wrong but I ask you...rather than buying some unknown hw eq/comp I thought buying the hw version of the plugins I use is a good idea....?

Cheers,

J.
Old 6th March 2014
  #2
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I`ve done some shootouts between my LA-3A vs Waves CLA-3A and to be honest you`ll have to be a believer to justify
the usage of the HW unit while mixing . Love the HW unint for taming vocals and bass while recording tho.
Don`t do it , plugins are great nowadays
Old 7th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
MusicJesus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Keep it 'in the box'.
After all, you don't record instruments or vocals.
Old 7th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ok!
I don't compress that much, I prefer working on ADSR, straight to the source of the sound, and when I compress, I don't do a lot, so, VBC does tje job very well.
Regarding EQ, I don't know, I d be surprise not to hear a diff between a plugin and a massive passive.

The only thing I will buy is maybe a good preamp like CAPI VP28 for my synths and mpc 60...need more levels sometimes.

Thanks guys, any suggestions?

J.
Old 7th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'd suggest to test them out and see what they do for YOU ..
While the plugins might be close enough to the real thing, the analog versions offer something different.. (usually better)..
if this is worth or not (from a workflow, sound and an economic point of view) it's up to you..

I'd like to play devil's advocate a bit..

I can tell you for sure that there's no plugin that does what a real tape machine does (I own a studer C37 in perfect conditions and that's why I'm telling you this exemple). Yes it's expensive, also buying tape, but I can assure you that what it does is something that no plugins could emulate.. is all this worthed? Depends.. for ME yes..

Wheter this is worth or not for YOUR music/commitment/taste/money it's a personal choice..

So I do respect who likes the plugins and don't care about hw versions.. for both workflow/money reasons..

I do like api pres with synths.. I'd also check out an Avedis MA5 with a DI in front of it, even if this might be more expensive.. Eventually an APA Juggernaut might do the trick too.. (quite a bit of choices on the jug).

A cool DI for thickening keys/synths that I like and it's not really expensive is the Sansamp Para Driver DI.. pretty cool box.. (different from a xformer based preamp, but quite versatile and sounds pretty good).

Depends what you're after from a compression point of view.. SSL-ish like I'd try to test a Dramastic Obsidian.. Also Elysia has some great comps.. need a coloured piece? Give the BAE 10DC a shot..

Try to test with your ears and decide..

I hope this helps..


Cheu
Old 7th March 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Since you talk about tape, I really like Satin. Have you tried Anamod ATS 1?


Yeah, I have to test it, but that's not that easy. Maybe I shoul buy everything, and return what I don't like, I have something liek 30 days to test...why not.
Old 10th March 2014
  #7
Deleted 1846071
Guest
There is a shootout between Waves and HW API 550 EQ on YouTube and to my ears the difference is dramatic.
Old 10th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I own most of API hardware. Have demoed the software versions but it never seems to sound as good.
Old 12th March 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Oh boy I just heard the clips on youtube (you can dl them in .wav).....waves plugs in sound like sh***t compared to the hw version.

[/thread]
Old 12th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
ps : I have lynx aurora and Adam S3X-V.
Old 14th June 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Up!

still haven't decided what yo buy
Old 14th June 2014 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee ➑️
Since you talk about tape, I really like Satin. Have you tried Anamod ATS 1?


Yeah, I have to test it, but that's not that easy. Maybe I shoul buy everything, and return what I don't like, I have something liek 30 days to test...why not.
Never tested out a/b the anamod... which is an analog hw piece.. So I'm not sure if it's up to a C37... but I can swear there no plugin that could do what my c37 does.. I don't really know how to explain it.. wider, deeper,surprisingly hifi in15ips for a 53 years old machine, very organic, natural.. pure magic.. and this was a stupid test recording a cd on tape and comparing the two.. the tape recorded cd was better than the original..

Plugin are better nowadays, but still not the same thing as quality hw stuff they try to emulate (at least in most cases).. mind you I also like to mix my productions with an analog desk (SSL,API,Neve,MCI,Studer).. sounds better to me.. yes, the process it's more expensive, but it's worthed imo..

Other people might disagree or have a different opinion or experience..this is simply mine..

Try to test out things in your place and return them if you don't like them.. I believe it's the only way..

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 14th June 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
yeah I'm def' convinced hw is the way to go, don't know what to buy first

maybe a good eq, 500 series, api 550b, kush electra...

thanks for your message cheu78
Old 14th June 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Since you're at it test an Avedis E27 (and thank me later heh ) they should ship at the end of this month.. if I'm not mistaken..

While the 550b is a 4 band eq, you might want to test the 550a as well, often preferred..for some reasons..

Try to find a dealer that let you return the items.. it's the best way to do it..



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 14th June 2014 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 14th June 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Helge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
just a thought - since frontend isnΒ΄t the main purpose, but sweetening/beefing up tracks while mixing, I would look for hw that you can also put on the mixbus to get the most out of it. Api 5500 and SSL type comp sounds like a good idea. Elysia xpressor is great for getting wild/creative on single tracks as well as delivering the clean-tight-transparent thing for mixbus.
cheers
Old 14th June 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
 
AudioGaff's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes, many plugs are now as good or about as good as the hardware. But hardware is still better but may not be better for you. The Gearslut in me says buy the hardware and use it as well as support the continuance of high end audio hardware makers.

When you find that you don't use it, like it, need it, or finally regret buying it, then sell it to those of us that do use and desire hardware and are always looking for a good deal on mint condition high end audio hardware.
Old 15th June 2014 | Show parent
  #17
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➑️
I'd suggest to test them out and see what they do for YOU ..
While the plugins might be close enough to the real thing, the analog versions offer something different.. (usually better)..
if this is worth or not (from a workflow, sound and an economic point of view) it's up to you..

I'd like to play devil's advocate a bit..

I can tell you for sure that there's no plugin that does what a real tape machine does (I own a studer C37 in perfect conditions and that's why I'm telling you this exemple). Yes it's expensive, also buying tape, but I can assure you that what it does is something that no plugins could emulate.. is all this worthed? Depends.. for ME yes..

Mh some of them are pretty close may not to your Studer but to the modeled ones....

You have different machines and any tape formulation you can think of at hand with this one.
For 27 bucks its a NO BRAINER.....

This is the first tape Sim I like.....

Old 16th June 2014 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helge ➑️
I would look for hw that you can also put on the mixbus to get the most out of it

yes! you're right! very good advice!
Old 16th June 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Use what you have. Buy what you can afford. Twist knobs enough and use your ears, whether it's hardware or software, and you can make good music. Nobody outside of us audio nerds will ever sit around A/B'ing the difference between the two.

With that said..I love hardware. It's fun, sounds great, and looks cool in my studio. But, software is really great...sounds good...and is SOOO easy to slap on a track and go. I like to sum in the analog domain...and use a healthy combo on hardware and software. However...if I had to mix a record using all plugins...I'd do it and have tons of fun. Just make it sound good...and that's all you need to worry about.
Old 16th June 2014
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Whenever I've done a shootout between hardware and a plugin designed to sound like the hardware, the plugin sounded like a cheap plastic imitation in comparison. For example I once did a shootout between the UAD LA2A plugin and a real LA2A and they sounded absolutely nothing alike. I don't know how else to describe it. The hardware can just be more 3D and alive. But we're talking a grand or more per unit for the hardware to be that good. A DBX 160x may be an exception, they can sound really good depending on what you want. There are probably other exceptions that people will mention. What's cool though is you can bounce multiple tracks through the same hardware unit. Or just use hardware on the most critical tracks.

Maybe try Nebula3 for your EQ's and maybe some 160X's, or a Distressor?
Old 5th August 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I finally boight vp28, kush electra...couldn t be better!!!!
Old 5th August 2014
  #22
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee ➑️
Hey Slutz,

I'm a house music producer. Don't record instruments or vocals etc...

I have good converters (lynx aurora), great monitors (S3X-V), I use a couple of sampler, hw synth, but I am fully ITB when I mix.

The plugins I use the most are API 550, waves SSL Channel, waves SSL Compressor.


I have some money, maybe it's time to buy some api 500 series, what do you think?
They are classics, I bet I can't go wrong but I ask you...rather than buying some unknown hw eq/comp I thought buying the hw version of the plugins I use is a good idea....?

Cheers,

J.
This is just my opinion.
It all started with my first HW piece 5 years ago.
With the time I found out there is nice gear in both domains.

As someone said there are some great plug ins and it gets hard to tell them apart form the HW.

I would go the hybrid route if I where you.
That includes buying a console.
With it you can implement your Outboard with ease.

I suggest to go the low end theory route.
I use for example the A+H ZED 14 board which opens up a mix in a unique and pleasant way. Every time I come back from mixing ITB its like WOW- there is a sound when you just switch on the drums. ITB its much harder to get it. The board itself is a steal for 400$ because its sound is like 40 K in dollars.

My ears and my measurements state that its not far away from High-End 80s consoles. I really do not know why people always Talk about Neve and SSL... A+H is building some nice great sounding boards. You just have to use them.

Lucky times.... next step is to me the AH ZED 428.... nice board.
Old 5th August 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Strut78's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
If you buy wisely second hand, you should be able to buy the gear you want to try and if it doesn't work for you, the re-sale value shouldn't be much different to what you paid, this applies more so to 500 series modules in my experience.

So as long as you aren't buying new, I would suggest trying out the hardware if you're curious. Not only is there often an audible difference, I find the user interface and the way you use hardware quite different to the plug in versions. So even if you don't find a sonic benefit, you may learn something new about the use of the plugin/hardware.
Old 6th August 2014 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
iangomes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WasserSpitzer ➑️
I`ve done some shootouts between my LA-3A vs Waves CLA-3A and to be honest you`ll have to be a believer to justify
the usage of the HW unit while mixing . Love the HW unint for taming vocals and bass while recording tho.
Don`t do it , plugins are great nowadays
I really love my vintage la-3a's. I definitely find them better than the plugin, but maybe it's my imagination!
Old 6th August 2014
  #25
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I am excited about this topic. A few months ago, I completed a next-level production using only plugins. But now I've got even better plugins, just bought some UAD, and I've got a mixer on the way, it will be here by Saturday. And in the next month or two I hope to build a Hairball Rev. G or two, which I plan to do an exact A/B shootout vs my UAD 1176 plugins.

Software is amazing, but, I really do love hardware. I've already proved this to myself with cheap hardware compressors, and an analog summing mixer, along with my synthesizers and instruments.
Old 6th August 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
nyandres's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
If its just for mixing id say no. For tracking however, compressors help massively. They make your tracking sound a lot more HD. In other words you'll be able to record louder (which translates into higher resolution and lower noise floor). This is especially great if you have no noise in the recording room.
Old 6th August 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Years ago I had an Otari MX70 (1" 16 channels), paired with a Tascam M320. Not necessarily the greatest analogue setup, but i will say I have yet to hear digital hit that level of analogue vibe. So tape and mixers do make a difference. I am suspect whenever I hear someone say that they can't hear the difference. You really had to have used 1" - 2" tape to appreciate the difference.

So fast forward to today. For the sake of convenience and lower maintenance, I made the switch to ITB. I get a lot of really nice recordings, but they are certainly different than my old setup.

I use plugins that have replaced hardware. My Lexicon Native reverb replaced a PCM 70 & 80. I recently purchased the LX480 which I like even better. Soundtoys and H-Delay have replaced my delays. I still prefer hardware compression and EQ. They add a depth and dimension that I can't seem to squeeze out of plugins.

All that being said, I subscribe to a hybrid system as the way to go these days. I would like to eventually get a mixer again. I am convinced that they are a large part of going from 2D to 3D. The problem is, I don't know which to get. I want something reliable and so I am leery of getting a vintage piece. Then again, I don't want a mackie/A&H class of gear either. Any suggestion for a low channel count Neve/API class mixer? I rarely record more than two channels at a time.
Old 6th August 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What about this?
8CM

Of course doesn't have all the routing that a real mixer has..but it's pretty cool..
Or eventually the Aurora Audio Sidecar..

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 6th August 2014 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod ➑️
Years ago I had an Otari MX70 (1" 16 channels), paired with a Tascam M320. Not necessarily the greatest analogue setup, but i will say I have yet to hear digital hit that level of analogue vibe. So tape and mixers do make a difference. I am suspect whenever I hear someone say that they can't hear the difference. You really had to have used 1" - 2" tape to appreciate the difference.

So fast forward to today. For the sake of convenience and lower maintenance, I made the switch to ITB. I get a lot of really nice recordings, but they are certainly different than my old setup.

I use plugins that have replaced hardware. My Lexicon Native reverb replaced a PCM 70 & 80. I recently purchased the LX480 which I like even better. Soundtoys and H-Delay have replaced my delays. I still prefer hardware compression and EQ. They add a depth and dimension that I can't seem to squeeze out of plugins.

All that being said, I subscribe to a hybrid system as the way to go these days. I would like to eventually get a mixer again. I am convinced that they are a large part of going from 2D to 3D. The problem is, I don't know which to get. I want something reliable and so I am leery of getting a vintage piece. Then again, I don't want a mackie/A&H class of gear either. Any suggestion for a low channel count Neve/API class mixer? I rarely record more than two channels at a time.
I think a nice summing mixer is the only real option to get that level of sound on a small budget. You'll still have to do your EQ elsewhere, obviously. The Folcrom is only $700 I think, paired with some nice mic preamps, will sound really good. The Dangerous and Tonelux boxes aren't too spendy either. Of course there are some really expensive options, too.
Old 6th August 2014 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➑️
I think a nice summing mixer is the only real option to get that level of sound on a small budget. You'll still have to do your EQ elsewhere, obviously. The Folcrom is only $700 I think, paired with some nice mic preamps, will sound really good. The Dangerous and Tonelux boxes aren't too spendy either. Of course there are some really expensive options, too.
Hey monkeyxx, I just realized you live in Warren Haynes country. I live in Holly Springs which is right outside of Raleigh. I was treated to another awesome band from your area 'Underhill Rose'. They were playing outside of a small beer shack. No mic's, no P.A. I was floored.

Anyway, back on topic, I am not overly concerned with price. Out side of summing devices, are there any mini Neve/API, etc. Type mixers you can recommend?
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