February 8, 2007

Some interesting free plugs...

by Chris Randall
 



A whole mess of free Windows VST plugs from a new kid on the block called Antress. The GUIs of the "Vintage Edition" are quite slick; note that the guy that made these almost certainly made the plugs without the real units there, but rather programmed them based upon reading about them. These sound absolutely nothing like their real counterparts, so don't think you're getting a free LA2A plug that actually emulates an LA2A or anything. You're getting a plug that looks like an LA2A, but is basically a distortion unit that sort of compresses.


I get the impression they're coded in something other than C++, or something other than VSTGUI, or both, as there is a long pause before they're instanced, like the plug is loading a library of some sort. I didn't feel like checking dependencies, so that's just my gut instinct.


Anyways, all that said, they're certainly okay for freebies, and do have some interesting potential for experimentation, I suppose. The only real keeper of the bunch is the "Modern Analoger" plug, which is some sort of tube/tape/phat simulator. It does a nice number on a drum buss, and if you're feeling adventurous, you could maybe lay it across a 2-buss if you were gentle with it. They're all free, but this one is maybe a bit free-er than the rest.


EDIT: Never mind. These are done in Synthmaker, and he stole the UIs from UA. So don't bother.

 
 
 

16 comments:

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Feb.08.2007 @ 6:00 PM
unempty
I didin't know about that patent thing. That just plain sucks. Software algorithm patents are evil, man. How the hell is that supposed to benefit society as a whole exactly. It ends up being a most-money-wins-all market, which is just wrong.

As for the nebula gui, hell yes, it's probably the worst UI I've seen since... uhm... some automation stuff the early 80s maybe. Maybe.

I'll admit I've only played with it a little bit, but the distortion/saturation by the "analog channel" preset sounds good on stuff. *shrug*

 
 

 
Feb.08.2007 @ 7:06 PM
Chris Randall
Did you read the caveat at the bottom of my post, freshcup?
Did you read the post at all? You might need to think about laying off the caffeine.
-CR
 
 

 
Feb.10.2007 @ 6:38 AM
Tomer
Btw Chris i was reffering to nabula on my previews post not the looks like the UA plugins ripoffs.
 
 

 
Feb.12.2007 @ 4:12 AM
Stratman
I too find it quite strange that Nebula is being mentioned in the same posting as someone who has used other people's work for his UI's.

I'm one of the beta testers over at Acusticaudio and I think you have been rather harsh Chris. The plugin does A LOT of things, more than any other I have ever tried - on the inside it's a rather unconventional beast as well. I mentioned to Giancarlo that the thing is a bit like a scientific instrument, and it is in a way - and this is probably where some people are coming unstuck. If you'd gone from a horse and cart to driving a modern bus for example, would you expect to find all the same controls you were used to? I think not! You'd probably want to read the manual a bit and practice a bit before going out on the freeway. Some of the guys I know compare it with a Kurzweil - those things have a lot of depth, and I wouldn't expect to be able to use all of VAST within a few minutes myself. I have however suggested that some of the controls could well be hidden away.

The language barrier is sometimes an issue for the guys too - I try to help them out where I can. And I have criticised various aspects of the GUI myself. I wouldn't get away with that UI at work. The UI in Nebula3 however is improved, at least in some ways and skinning will be an option as well. It's likely in the future that more lessons will be learned and things further improved. If not I will be banging away at the guys about it till some of my ideas concerning UI issues and usability get implemented PROPERLY.

But really, it is not the most difficult UI to use. You only really need to be able to load the presets and move a few sliders around. Piece of cake.

Nebula2 Free was intended as a testing ground - lots of lessons have been learnt and things are being improved as we speak. Issues with multiprocessor support etc have been worked on and fixed(to the best of my knowledge). The Free release adds up to further testing of a product that has been very stable under many hosts for nearly a year.

Acusticaudio is a young company - and webhosting still needs to be sorted out. Hence the small file bundles, a result of a contract with a webhost that wasn't so flexible.

Sampling gear represents a unique path forward for the future - but there's more to it than that.

And to the other poster, yes, the Vectorial Volterra Kernel process is a different approach to Sintefx etc.

It's the sound that counts in the end though really. Very few plugins have impressed me over the last year - but this one brings a lot to the table. It costs CPU yes - but that's the thing. Quality sound processing tends comes with a resource cost when the complexity of processing is high.

Oh and before I go. I have been reading your blog for quite a long time Chris and am a proud Discord owner (it's one of my favourite toys) - keep the pictures and useful bits and pieces coming.

Stratman ;)

 
 

 
Feb.13.2007 @ 6:03 AM
giancarlo
Hi Cris, about Nebula2:
The GUI is terrible because it was developed quickly, and since the plug is doing a whole hell of things the kurzweil-menu scheme was really fast to implement and easy to configure/customize for every function. I think reaktor is an hell too, compared with FM7. But there would be no FM7 if Reaktor wasn't developed before. Other thing, we'll make a customized gui for each preset, nd users will be happy to implement better guis by themselves for their beloved instrument.

You don't understand what sliders are doing, because this is Nebula2. Nebula3 is skinnable and there is a lcd on the top of each slider. But it will cost more. After all, I'm giving for free expensive emulations, users could automatize sliders on their preferred touch-fader mixer, this is enought for me. I would be happy if a developer had developed a similar product for me, when I was looking for a free high-end equaliser or a class A Compressor. People are spending a lot for hardware emulators, we are giving for free and in software, imho it's a good price for that.
Emulations are cpu-heavy because they are good emulations. You could compare them by yourself. On a P duo the ssl program is around 10%. For that quality imho it is a light load. Probably even the original doesn't sound so clean and detailed on transients (we disabled the distortion kernels there, so it could be better than the original).
Nebula is not a track processor. When you need "that" emulation, and you need a "good" one you get it. It's a miracle it works in real-time, and here in my duo I open 10 instances or more.

Ok Chris, I'll admit, I'm surprised a developer doesn't understand the power of the plug, but I respect your opinion. And believe me, for me your plugs are great. But I'm surprised, it's like someone,especially an expert, that doesn't understand the power of myspace or youtube. The power of the plug is that everything could be sampled by users. The only technology for doing that is (now) convolution (20 yers later) and dynamic convolution (8-9 years later), here you can't have time-variants or reverbs and don't need an hardware module. Things could be improved as well. But it's rather a good start imho

 
 

 
Feb.13.2007 @ 6:03 AM
giancarlo
Hi Cris, about Nebula2:
The GUI is terrible because it was developed quickly, and since the plug is doing a whole hell of things the kurzweil-menu scheme was really fast to implement and easy to configure/customize for every function. I think reaktor is an hell too, compared with FM7. But there would be no FM7 if Reaktor wasn't developed before. Other thing, we'll make a customized gui for each preset, nd users will be happy to implement better guis by themselves for their beloved instrument.

You don't understand what sliders are doing, because this is Nebula2. Nebula3 is skinnable and there is a lcd on the top of each slider. But it will cost more. After all, I'm giving for free expensive emulations, users could automatize sliders on their preferred touch-fader mixer, this is enought for me. I would be happy if a developer had developed a similar product for me, when I was looking for a free high-end equaliser or a class A Compressor. People are spending a lot for hardware emulators, we are giving for free and in software, imho it's a good price for that.
Emulations are cpu-heavy because they are good emulations. You could compare them by yourself. On a P duo the ssl program is around 10%. For that quality imho it is a light load. Probably even the original doesn't sound so clean and detailed on transients (we disabled the distortion kernels there, so it could be better than the original).
Nebula is not a track processor. When you need "that" emulation, and you need a "good" one you get it. It's a miracle it works in real-time, and here in my duo I open 10 instances or more.

Ok Chris, I'll admit, I'm surprised a developer doesn't understand the power of the plug, but I respect your opinion. And believe me, for me your plugs are great. But I'm surprised, it's like someone,especially an expert, that doesn't understand the power of myspace or youtube. The power of the plug is that everything could be sampled by users. The only technology for doing that is (now) convolution (20 yers later) and dynamic convolution (8-9 years later), here you can't have time-variants or reverbs and don't need an hardware module. Things could be improved as well. But it's rather a good start imho

 
 

 
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