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Tag: native

Need just a bit more DSP plugins

I confess I became a fan of DSP plugins, obviously in my case it means AAX DSP. Anyone who try to prove that there’s not enough of them is surely not surfing on the web, or try to deliberately avoid these plugins. Maybe it was a hard start, but now we have plenty of AAX DSP plugins, for many tasks we can even choose from different types and/or manufacturers.

And still, here and now I would like to ask more companies to consider coding their plugins to AAX DSP. I know there’s a plethora of different platforms to code to, but as even smaller companies started to do it, I see no reason why bigger or more popular ones don’t provide us users DSP versions of their plugins.

Maybe it’s not true, but in my opinion, the guys who’s invested into huge rigs are more willing to pay for the plugins than one man shops. As I see and experience it, one man shops only buy very few plugins, while bigger post houses, music studios buy more bundles with multiple licenses. Of course this is broad generalisation, but at least at this part of the industry, it’s true. So I think we might deserve a bit more attention.

And before you ask why I would like to have more DSP based plugins, well, this is why: my last mix almost ate a complete HDX2 hardware. I know native is powerful, but believe me, I tried, this mix would choke a pretty powerful computer, while it was going smooth with the DSP behind it.

hdx2

Plugin Alliance is good example. They have amazing plugins, some ported to DSP, some still only available in Native formats. As far as I know they’re planning to port all of their plugins for all platforms, but it takes time. Still would like to have some of their stuff in DSP format badly…

The other example, which is not so great in this regard is Fabfilter. I love their plugins, my favourite eq is their ProQ2, but I also in love with their Deesser. They make not only fabulous sounding tools, but their codes must be fine, because I hardly get any errors while I heavily use their tools during big mixing projects. In my opinion, they should definitely code their plugins to AAX DSP as soon as possible. They are very, I mean very popular not only in the music side of the industry, but also in the post side. I think they’d have an even bigger success if they would port their plugins to the format what holds the biggest share in this industry.

I know my opinion won’t change their minds, but I hope that somehow our prayer reach them and they consider a more active DSP porting process, or in other cases, they consider starting to code for AAX DSP.

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The decision

After the last post I made some more tests and researched my options even more. The emails and the comments helped me to decide which way to choose, the Native or the DSP. I really appreciate both comments and the 28 emails I’ve received recommending me different options, alternative plugins and very useful advises.

If I want to look at numbers 99% of the voters chose the Native path and only 1% recommended the UAD route. Everybody clearly expressed the pros and cons of both routes and now I really know my options very well. I know it looks too slow to make this decision, but this is very important for me and it is not a simple thing as this investment is made for many years not for a few days.

Native all the way

So, as you might guessed, the Native route won hands down. I leaned toward that path as it seemed more versatile and future proof, but your suggestions confirmed my findings. This is clearly the best route to go in my opinion too.

In the first run here’s what I already got:

  • Avid Pro Tools 11HD (upgrade from PT10HD) – not a plugin, but I love it
  • Avid ProLimiter
  • Audioease Speakerphone
  • Exponential Audio R2

A few others will come, but right now I’m very happy with this decision and want to thank you all who sent me an email or left a comment here on the blog.

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Upgrade paths to consider

Right now I’m planning some plugin purchase and as soon as I started to research the different options I realised that this will be harder to decide than I imagined before.

Basically there are two paths here: DSP or Native. Within these I seriously consider the possibility to buy into a UAD card, but haven’t decided yet.

The hard part is that it seems like going with native I have more options with cheaper price and I’m able to select the best developers. With UAD, I have less choice, but certainly very high quality and the benefit of DSP processing.

DSP route

Right now if I would buy a UAD satellite quad, I would get 3 plugins as gift: Neve channel strip, EMT 140 and Ep34 tape echo. But for post work I would still need to buy a few more plugins. As I researched it, that would mean at least another 500$ or more.

The good thing is that with this route I could make bigger mixes even on a laptop. And as the satellite is mobile I can “carry” my plugins with me. UAD history suggest that they will continue to develop great plugins and will support their products for many years.

On the other hand I need to buy into a closed DSP product which is somewhat more music oriented and certainly not cheap. Not to mention the fact that many other fellows and facilities don’t have UAD, so in this case I’d need to print many things during the collaboration.

Native route

With this choice I’ll have more freedom as I can choose from a plethora of developers, and hand-pick the necessary plugins. To be honest, even a laptop can run many instances of different plugins, and bigger machines don’t have a problem even with hundreds of instances. The other big concern is, of course, the price difference and the lack of choice available with the UAD.

For less money than the UAD package, I can get the following:

  • Avid ProLimiter
  • McDSP ML4000
  • Exponential Audio R2
  • Audioease Speakerphone
  • Izotope RX

With these plugins, I’ll have almost everything I need right now. I know that UAD has many exceptionally fine plugins, but I’m still not convinced about that they can cover my needs as much as some well chosen native plugs can.

Hard choice

My main point is that I can see the benefits and drawbacks of both solutions, but haven’t, or rather couldn’t decided yet which would serve me better in the long run. I still have a little more time to decide, but if you have any experience or suggestion, please share it with me in email or in the comments. Thank you.

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