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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassheart365, Oct 28, 2018.
Oxymoron? Legitimate? Discuss....
They are digital plug ins designed to sound like analog equipment. Not sure what there is to discuss really?
In other words, do the digital simulations or models ("plugins") deserve to be called "analog" even though they aren't?
Well marketing is marketing but realistically a good analog plug in sounds very very convincing. I’d be willing to bet most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a good 1176 plug in and the real thing in a double blind. I don’t think manufacturers are trying to fool people.
So this is a very timely thread that you started. This morning I got the chance to sit in at Sweetwater Studio's and hear a really great A/B between the Manley Massive Passive and Nu-Mu and the UA plug in versions of those two. These were side by side on the same track of audio heard through a pair of ATC reference monitors in an acoustically treated control room.
I sat in with about a dozen people and the room was split as to which sounded better (analog vs. digital). I personally felt the Analog Manley's provided more harmonic distortion (warmth) and heft in the low end. The plug-ins had more articulate highs and it really brought a lot of great characteristics to the vocals in particular.
I will say though that the differences were so minor that I couldn't hear when the switch happened with my eyes closed. When I used my eyes and saw him switch the tracks I could only then discern the differences. This is purely anecdotal, but I was very impressed with the plug-ins and I will double down on my previous statement at this point.
The other thing that people brought up is that the person working the gear is as important as the gear itself. Hope this helps.
I am not aware of any company ever claiming to have an analog piece of software, as that would be needed an oxymoron.
"Virtual analog" however is a term used mainly by DSP developers who model analog synthesizer circuits, which might cause some confusion.
@willsellout I agree. I prefer my bass preamp overdrive to be analog, and I prefer to mic my amp, but when it comes to synths I'm perfectly happy using analog flavored programs(such as Arturia's CS80V, wihch I love). Another reason is I would never be able to afford or justify buying myself a $25,000 synth(price of the Yamaha the Arturia is copying). But I would love to have a cheaper analog one later on.
Also, the rare times I used a guitar? Guitar Rig4 is good enough for me! But I'm showing favoritism towards bass here for sure
"installation instructions: open PC - plug transistor pack into motherboard. For Tube/SS analog program, plug your EL34 tubes in next to transistor pack. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, as this may cause your PC to burst into flames. Installation complete!"
I was stymied recently by references to “analog bit crushers”. I must be too old for these new-fangled ideas.
Yes, timely indeed. Thanks for your valued feedback. I have not had a chance to do such a comparison. My only frame of reference is comparing digital effect pedals vs. analog pedals. I find that the digital effect pedals are as good or better than analog when it comes to time-based effects like delays and modulation effects. Not as good for things like envelope filters, phase shifters, or octavers. The digital versions don't track as well, do not respond to dynamic playing as well, and are generally more hard-edged and not as warm as the analog versions.
Yes, there are semantic irregularities. Such as the one I mentioned, which I seen all the time: "analog plugin." A more appropriate term would be "analog MODELED plugin" - yes?
"Analog" plugins are usually emulations of analog effects, to varying degrees of accuracy. They also simulate analog effects in different ways, some take a physical approach and actually emulate hardware down to the components. While others just try and aim for the same sounds using digital means. Both can end up sound really good or bad depending on many factors.
I think modeled is basically implied by calling it a Plugin. Saying it's an "analog effect" would be weird but "analog plugin" sounds fine IMO. Any plugin is by nature digital so the analog in the title just shows it's an emulation.
For example "analog delay plugin" would clearly be an emulation of some older analog delays. Calling it an "analog modeled delay plugin" sounds off and would get cumbersome quickly.
When digital effect pedals have analog modes they aren't labeled "analog emulation" either generally.