Old 10-29-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
moribund
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Default upsampling plugins

Hey all;

I've been reading a few threads were people have experienced way improved sound by upsampling their plugins. How do you upsample plugins?

Thanks
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:34 PM   #2
Geoff Waddington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moribund
I've been reading a few threads were people have experienced way improved sound by upsampling their plugins. How do you upsample plugins?
You don't really...

Some plugins (EQ's, Compressors) offer the option of an "upsampled" mode to reduce artifacts at the expense of using more CPU.

They use a higher sample rate internally to improve the sonics.

The "Decadence" switch on Stillwell's The Rocket and the "Oversample" switch on his Bombardier are good examples, I ALWAYS have them engaged.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #3
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I don't know how common it is but some plugins are coded to run at (for example) 96 kHz if your sound card's sample rate is set to 96 kHz, so that's another way to upsample plugins. You could do some research or ask the developers directly to find out whether a particular plugin works that way.
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:42 AM   #4
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Most plugins - if coded correctly - work at any sample rate.

Example:

Take a delay. If you want a one-second delay, you just have to read out the current sample rate (any VST plugin can do this) and delay the signal by this value.
So if you're at 44.1 KhZ, delay 44100 samples, at 96 KhZ delay 96000 samples. That's easy because the result is always a delay of one second. A half second is just half of the value and so on. It works perfectly at any sample rate.

So when a developer says that his plugins work only at a certain sample rate, he is often just too lazy to read it out from the host and use it as a variable

Oversampling plugins do as follows:
At first the signal is upsampled (x2 oder x4 from the current sample rate).
Then it is processed (Reverb, comp, or any DSP).
At the end the sample rate is brought down to the original rate.

That means that this one plugin works as if you would set your whole project to a higher sample rate. These plugins often sound better (less aliaising) but use more CPU power.

I like plugins where you can switch oversampling on or off. Then you can listen for differences and decide if you need it or not.

Some plugins aslo have an automatic feature for this. They keep the sample rate while you are mixing, but process an oversampled signal when you are (offline) rendering.


I don't know if up/downsampling would work in a chain, like

1. upsample
2. any VST plugin
3. downsample

because I don't know how Reaper handles signals between plugins.

Maybe someone knows this.


XoechZ
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
moribund
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So does this mean you can change the sample rate after you've already recorded the tracks (like in the Preferences menus) and it will upsample all your plugins?

I've read comments like this from other threads:

"And remember they all sound better at 96k"

"which echoes my point about them all sounding better at higher sample rates"

"Doubling my sample rate seems to make even my cheap plug-ins sound great.

I am at 88.2khz btw"

These are all from the ITB compressors thread located here:

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=61534&page=2

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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There are tools that allow you to oversample any VST plug-in but it's been a few years since I've had them in my plug-ins folder so I'm searching a bit right now.

Found one by Christian Budde -
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=228881

Another by Chris Walton -
http://sites.google.com/site/chrisrwalton/oversampler

I think the previous one was released under the brand name "ArkeCode" - that was the one I used to use.

Good luck messing around! I would try this on every single synth you own to see what happens.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Thanks man - I'm gonna give those a listen and see what all the hoopla's about.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:35 PM   #8
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Please be sure to let us know what your findings are! I've heard it makes a big difference with many soft synths but I forgot about all of this until I saw your post. I'll try to report back if I find anything worth knowing too.

So many people complain that soft synths don't have that analog sound but I hear a lot that upsampling them then using an analog-style plug-in, like Ferric by Variety of Sound, for example, narrows that gap significantly. It's nice that you can so easily save FX chains in Reaper so you can load a synth, upsample plug, and Ferric in a chain as easy as just loading the synth.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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I tried the upsampling plug on one of my mixes, but only on the comp/EQ's I was using. The results certainly weren't dramatic, but they were noticeable. The high end was more smooth and open sounding (?). Sorry if that's an inadequate description but that's about the best way I can describe it. It also seemed to add up more in the overall mix as I switched to upsampling on more and more tracks.

As I said, the results were far from jaw dropping, but for the small extra effort it's certainly worth doing. I've long ago hit the diminishing returns stage on my mixes (in terms of getting them to sound professionally done) so every little bit helps. I haven't tried it on any softsynths yet. Does anyone know if it'll work with VSTi's or SFz?
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:13 AM   #10
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Yes, it will work with instruments as well as FX.

It's interesting how you describe the gains as diminishing returns. I think that's the era we are in as a whole. Cheap mics, preamps, converters, monitors, processors, instruments, digital recording; they all have finally passed that level of sounding bad. Now that there's not as much difference between inexpensive gear and high-end gear, it's all these small improvements added up that make the difference between the two.

On one hand it is really great that we can get that close with so little investment. But on the other, it can be baffling trying to find what those little things are that add up to transform a recording from good to great. One person can work on a mix for hours and get good results, then another spends one hour using the same tools and gets an outstanding mix. On the surface it seems like they didn't do anything different. But the little things added up to make a noticeable improvement.

If upsampling creates a noticeable improvement and requires no extra effort then why not do it to all your plugs?
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:35 PM   #11
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I have recently started converting audio files of projects I receive which have been recorded at 44.1k to 88.2k or 48k to 96k for mixing in the box. I have noticed quite a noticeable improvement in quality when it comes to plugin processing. Espacially for compressors and reverbs. More depth, punchier transients and smoother highs.

Even if your plugs don't offer an oversampling option, you will allways benefit from mixing at higher sampling rates in the box. Technically it is due to less aliasing and faster slew rates.

Reaper's fast rendering has given me the power to work at high sampling rates and I can confirm it makes a difference at plugin processing level.

Try it and you will see!
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
moribund
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Quote:
If upsampling creates a noticeable improvement and requires no extra effort then why not do it to all your plugs?
I plan to. I just wanted to try it on a basic level to see if there was a difference 1st.

Quote:
I have recently started converting audio files of projects I receive which have been recorded at 44.1k to 88.2k or 48k to 96k for mixing in the box. I have noticed quite a noticeable improvement in quality when it comes to plugin processing. Espacially for compressors and reverbs. More depth, punchier transients and smoother highs.

Even if your plugs don't offer an oversampling option, you will allways benefit from mixing at higher sampling rates in the box. Technically it is due to less aliasing and faster slew rates.
How are you converting the files? Do you mean you take a 44k file, render it at 96k and use it in yor mix?

Also, when you say "mixing at higher sampling rates in the box" do you mean just changing the sampling rate in your soundcard app during mixing even though the files may have been recorded at 44K?

Thanks
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:18 AM   #13
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I convert the files before hand with reaper's batch converter on the extreme setting.

Then in the project settings be sure to set the project sample rate to 88.2K or 96K.

This way your whole project and plugins will be running at double sample rate.

And by the way, doubling the sample rate also halves the soundcard latency
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:24 AM   #14
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If you quickly want to check the difference, you can also just change the project sample rate without converting the files manualy. Reaper is able to convert them in realtime. The realtime conversion algorithm is not as good quality though and, it beeing realtime, it will use some extra CPU cycles. But if your computer can handle it, it can be good to have a quick check and see if you can hear a difference.

It all depends on how good your listening setup, acoustics and ears are of course.

You probably won't hear any difference on an entry sound card and speakers in an untreated room...
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:58 AM   #15
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So you mean go Preferernces=>Audio=>Device=> and next to the line that says 'request sample rate' change that to 92000?

I ask because I don't have that box checked and I can set it from my soundcard's app. Just want to make sure I set it at the right spot (if it makes a difference).

Thanks
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:53 AM   #16
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Necro thread bump for some questions.

About js compressors like 1176, Major Tom and Childish. I tried at 96000 to compress a kick with Major Tom but I could make it null with a file done at 44,1.
Maybe I have done it wrong or it does'nt work with that plugin ?

What would be the difference between using Stillwell's official Major Tom with upsampling engaged at 44,1 vs Reaper's js version at 88,2?

I have read that Stillwell made some additions to their versions besides the upsampling and I think it should be treated as a slightly different comp but my question is about upsampling is it supposed to have the same results ?
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