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Old 03-15-2018, 02:05 PM   #9
JamesPeters
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Near a big lake
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I feel some Airwindows plugins are "the emperor's new clothes". I don't hear anything when using them. Not that they don't do anything, but maybe for how I mix (and my source material, number of tracks, how I highpass/lowpass the tracks) I'm just not getting any benefit from them. Console is one of these. Granted he's made different versions since then with other things rolled into it, but I'd rather just use those things separately without Console.

His comparisons in the Youtube videos A/Bing with/without an effect can be poor since he doesn't set up a loop in advance (it seems he's only figured this out recently lol), he takes too long to switch back and forth for A/B, he sometimes talks over it, and sometimes (like with that "aaaaaaaaa!!!!" singing multitrack) the sound changes too much from the start of the file to the end so switching a plugin on/off in the middle doesn't really help hear what the plugin is doing. I recommend you try the plugins for yourself. Some, you probably won't find a use for, some you'll find are just a bit too wacky, and some you'll probably really like.

Also: some of the plugins generate significant signal around 10Hz. With a sine wave before it and a frequency spectrum analyzer afterward, you can see this (and it's not too far below the test signal level). So beware. Test the plugins to see if they do this, and be prepared to use a "DC remover" plugin (there's one included in Reaper as a JS plugin). Or deal with the fact the extra inaudible information in that frequency region might mess up your headroom, trigger compressors when you don't want, etc. I posted about this on one of his videos and in the comments for his latest plugin but he hasn't responded. Here are the plugins that I noticed have this behavior:

Hard Vacuum
FathomFive
PurestWarm
Density
NC-17 (but a lot lower in level)
ToTape5 (when the sine sweep hits around 3KHz)

I don't have all his plugins installed so I didn't test all of them. Also some of them like Point (and some of the noise-thingies), I just uninstalled immediately because they're too nuts for me.

That being said, here are some Airwindows plugins I think are very useful:

Highpass (basically a dynamic highpass that's really unobtrusive, very useful)
Lowpass (a kind of lowpass filter which helps keep high-end detail)
MidSide/EdIsDim (very low-cpu plugins for mid-side encoding/decoding)
Acceleration (dynamic high-end "warmer" similar to how vinyl's high end sounds)
Slew2 (smearing of high frequencies)
EveryTrim (trim for L, R, Mid, Side, Master)

Pressure4
Pyewacket (this and the above are interestingly different compressors and/or transient shapers)

FromTape
IronOxide5
BussColors4
Channel4 (These 4 are to emulate characteristics of some hardware in a pure/general sense)

What I like about a lot of these is that they're so simple as to be considered "modular" in a track chain. Once you've used Lowpass for instance you'll realize its value in being "its own thing", and you'll reach for it for specific things. Likewise I appreciate Acceleration to emulate the high-end treatment "of vinyl" but without the other limitations of a "vinyl emulator".

Then consider how you can use "clean compressor" (maybe with frequency range splitters/joiners) combined with some of these "character plugins" to emulate the aspects of a hardware "character compressor" you want, but without any characteristics you might not want...at a much lower CPU cost than some compressor plugins that emulate hardware.

Yeah I should mention: most of his plugins are very low in CPU usage and introduce no latency, with a few exceptions.
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