Show 175 – Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection Review and more

This week we review and discuss the Virtual Console Collection software from Slate Digital. We invited Eric Beam on the show again because he’s done the hard work of testing and analyzing VCC (see link below for results).

Slate Digital VCC

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Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection
VCC Analyzed

22 thoughts on “Show 175 – Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection Review and more

  1. GSAA,

    Very Cool, and i only had to rewind 10 times before i really was able to make out any differences between the VCC’s. Lets hear it for the remedial home recordists! From the start i could hear the difference between the ‘dry’ track and the the ones with the VCCs applied, but i still wouldn’t be able to pull the VCC’s out of a lineup. Each one seemed to give it a kind of luster but in different ranges. Do the VCC’s make any adjustments to the spacial elements of the mix or is it just coloration? It almost seemed like the were some slight changes in the sound field, but it was probably just due to the apparent loudness of what ever frequency that gets accentuated by the individual console emulation. penis.

    P.S. was digging the demo riff used in the examples

    RTC

  2. The algorithms that include crosstalk would influence the imaging. A slight shift in your listening position would have a greater influence then any of these crosstalk models. That said if one model has more high frequency crosstalk then another; it would narrow the stereo image.

  3. A quick note on subs and calibration, I am pretty confident in saying that calibrating for music is different from calibrating for 5.1 for picture. In picture, the sub is it’s own discrete channel for Low Frequency Effects (LFE). The sub in studio mixing will be to extend the bass end of the nearfield speakers. This is why when calibrating, if it is instructions for calibrating for picture, then the sub will be a lot louder than necessary for mixing….

    …mmmkaaay.

  4. @Luke
    It’s not a Music or Film discrepancy, it’s the difference between discrete sub channel, or a bass management setup.

    Discrete surround rooms for Music & Home theater are calibrated to be 85 all around with 80-120hz filtered LFE at 91. You set the LFE to personal preference depending on the room. Small untreated rooms will have a very uncontrolled bass response.

    In a bass management setup the sub in an extension of the main monitors. Both setups should be calibrated with pink/sweep for flat response across the listening spectrum.

  5. I’d love a demo segment of the MXR M80+ bass DI box Jon used last week. A quick easy way of getting good bass tones would be very handy! I DI my Orange Crush bass combo and it’s OK, but I wonder if the M80 might be better?

  6. Hi Guys,
    GSAA,
    Thanks for your advice last week in regards to possible formal audio training. After I posted my comments, I heard a great story on another podcast from Leo Laporte in regards to my exact dilemma. Thomas Edison was once asked why he involved himself in inventing things when he had no formal training in any of the areas he was working in. Edison said, “Yes that is true, but I have this button”, pointing to a button on his desk. “Whenever I don’t have an answer for something, I just push that button and someone comes in who does know the answer”.

    Leo pointed out that due to the internet, we all have that button now. And that reiterates your advice. there is so much information out there for free. If you know how to find it you can learn almost anything. It’s an awesome time we live in. I also listen to podcasts from Joe Gilder and find him to be as invaluable as you guys. I learn something every week and I thank you all for that. I will certainly be spending some dedicated time in learning more about my DAW on a daily basis.

    I have recently changed from Sonar to Studio One and have been very impressed so far and love the fact that it is no so intense on resources. The change in DAW’s was brought about by a purchase of the Presonus 1602 digital mixer. I have always been a Presonus fan having used two FP10’s until the upgrade of the mixer. Studio One came bundled and I was hesitant at first since I had been using Sonar for several years. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that Studio One was going to be a better choice moving forward.

    And speaking of Presonus, that brings me to my other comment last week about the Behringer X32 digital mixer. There are many features of this mixer that are no doubt dazzling and on most peoples want list. However, one feature I found great was the stage box that uses a Cat5 cable to connect instead of the usual multicore. Well my desire for such a product was quashed at my gigs on the weekend when I realized that I had something already better than this in my Presonus desk. I had the ability to set up everything on stage including the mixer, and then walk out front and do the mix from my iPad. No stage box or multicore needed. No fear of the local punters spilling beer over my equipment. Its win win for all concerned. I think I’ll be sticking with Presonus.

    Thanks for the VCC review. I too found it hard too hear the differences until the very last sample which I think was the RCA. The track being used was rockin though. Good job.

    I think you should schedule a Studio One review after you have done Rewire. I see a great future for this DAW and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks again for the show. I think I’ve taken enough time so I’ll get back on my Kangaroo and hop over to the next podcast 🙂

    Regards from down under……GT…

  7. GSAA

    Hey guys, I just had a crazy idea and I’m wondering what your opinion is.

    I’ve got some space in my backyard and I’m thinking of building an isolation chamber for speaker cabinets. I’d run the appropriate cables out through the window. The size could be as small as a doghouse or as big as a shed. The purpose would be to get the speaker far enough away from me that I only hear in my monitors what the microphone hears in the chamber. I’d obviously have to use soundproofing and asymmetrical walls. I’d also have to consider weatherproofing the outside.

    Good or bad idea? Thoughts?

    Ride the chicken,
    -Kris

  8. Hey guys,

    GSAA.

    I have yet to listen to the VCC examples on my monitors – on my earbuds I couldn’t hear any difference 🙂 One question though: to the n00b that I am, it all seemed like a dark art: add a console here, add a console there… For you guys who understand what those consoles do, it’s all good, but wouldn’t this be the worst poison pill to give a noob? Slap this console on your master bus and your mixes will sound great! This almost sounds like the Slate fake mixing plugin commercial from a few weeks ago 🙂

    So in short: should we n00bs avoid this type of plugins like the bubonic plague until we know what the hell we’re doing?

    RTC.

  9. @Vincent

    I totally agree with what you are saying in regards to these plugins. In fact, I went through a period of adding tape saturation plugins to everything just because someone said it made things sound better.

    I had a very hard time picking the difference myself and in all likelihood, did not use the plugins as intended. I love listening to the reviews of different plugins and will always be on the look out for more tools for my arsenal, but I have become a lot more objective lately and have stopped using things just because someone said it sounds great.

    My new theory is simple. Does it sound good to me? This new approach actually see’s me using less plugins and actually paying attention to the finished product. Over time you will learn to hear the subtle differences some of these plugins make and you can decide for yourself if your music really needs it.

    Keep it real.
    GT…

  10. Hey friends! I say friends because I’ve listened to over 100 shows in the last 3 weeks while working. I’ve heard your voices more than my own wife. I had an idea for a segment I would love to hear you guys discuss. I’m a novice in this field, but motivated. I’m excited about experimenting in the studio, but since I’m not being trained hands on by a pro, I get scared that I might blow things up on accident. Could you do a segment on the ways that a person could wreck their equipment by plugging in the wrong thing to the wrong place, etc.? I REALLY appreciate the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained from you guys!

  11. @ Kris Hanson

    I’ve been thinking about building a DIY ISO cab/chamber for guitar myself. I don’t know much about the stuff, the pitfalls and so on, but here are some random thought for you to consider:

    Cable lengths should be kept relatively short – I don’t know what a proper length is, but probably not infinitely long :-).
    Asymmetrical walls and soundproofing – yes, also what I have had in mind. Keep in mind that soundproofing isn’t done exclusively by slapping rockwool on the inside!!
    Use rockwoll as sound treatment – not as the main source of sound proofing.
    Build it double-walled if you want to soundproof, like a box within a box. The two boxes should probably not touch each other directly, but be seperated by e.g. thick rubber or something. And make it HEAVY.

    It may be a good idea to make a “vented” design (like a long, winding vent to the outside, stuffed with rockwoll) so air can move in and out (pressure buildup is probably mostly a problem for a small iso chamber, though).

    You may isolate the sound coming out of the cab a lot, but there is still the sound coming off of the strings while you’re playing, which can disturb the “sound image” while playing live. Unless you’re reamping (which is what I plan myself).

    You have the option of, as you say, building it large as a shed. That’s a good idea with regard to avoiding a “boxy” sound (though not necessarily god for your private economy). Maybe consider making it large enough to use as a vocal booth if you’re going to be making it large anyway?

    These above points are definitely not well-backed by experience or a lot of knowledge. They are meant as “inspiration” for your own further research. Some of it may be overkill, some of it underkill, and some just plain silly. YMMV, for you acronym-lovers out there.

    Michael

  12. Hey guys:

    I wanted to point your readers to some other great console emulations from “indie developers” that offer some pretty unique things that the big boys don’t. And they cost a fraction of the price:

    – SKNote Stripbus is the *only* console emulation that actually connects all of the channels together in a way that impacts audio. Others may send settings around and allow you to do things like global bypass and grouping, but only in Stripbus is the audio of one channel affected by another. For example, Stripbus models the console power supply (you control the overall power headroom) and the more power channels use the more nonlinear effects they all have. It also has inter-channel crosstalk, which nobody else has yet, and a cool ducking feature that allows you to duck any channel based on another (no sidechaining!!). The bus plugin also includes various modes of bus compression (including mid-side). Stripbus has 4 different channel and 2 bus modes (solid state and tube emulations). This plugin can add a lot of color, so I often create one virtual console for the drum and bass tracks and duck a few things based on the kick and it glues things together nicely. You can also add tasty distortion if you want to get gritty down there 😉 This plugin is only $30 and you get lifetime upgrades for free. It’s in all formats and 32/64bit.

    SKNote also makes inexpensive tube and tape emulations with unique features (Grasso, the tube emulator has transient-shaping features, and Roundtone, the tape emulation, includes tape delay features)

    http://www.sknote.it

    – Sonimus Satson is a very efficient, super simple channel/strip combo like Stripbus, VCC, and NLS. It only models one console, but it has a FAT/LOUD setting, amazing sounding low/highpass EQs, and sounds really nice when driven.

    http://dsp.sonimus.com/products/

  13. i couldn’t get this show through itunes. it has the exclamation point error saying there’s a problem with the url. unsubscribing then subscribing didn’t help

  14. Kris,

    The cabinet shed is a cool idea. I would have to think that you would need to be very careful about the temperature and humidity in the shed though. It can get pretty hot (as Im sure you know)in enclosures like that. I dont know if that would effect tone or anything like that, but Im sure it could hurt your gear.

    TFTGSAA,
    dan

  15. Hey guys,
    I’m a few shows behind but getting there. Just wanted to say that this episode cost me money! I’d been on the fence with VCC for a bit but took the plunge today. I’ll offer my thoughts when I’ve had a chance to get to know her a bit. Thanks for the help!

  16. Hey guys,

    In my car typing at red-lights so apologies in advance if this has already been said:

    That said: re time code

    Hearing about you not having time code on your Tascam reminded me of a project I did in 2010. I was hired to record and mix the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo by the live sound guy, who has been a valued mentor and friend. It was 22 tracks of audio at 48khz.. I had to sync to time code as, while I was mixing the cd, a Film Crewe was going to user raw files for their own mix for the DVD

    My set up was:
    2008 MacBookPro 17
    M-Audio 2626
    2 Presonus Diigimax FS
    And an MTP AV from motu

    While I was able to lock into the time code provided by the film crew but being my 1st project requiring timecode, i was not entirely confident that I was capturing it correctly.

    However, The live sound guy told me a trick to use as a safety: Split the timecode source and record it as an Audio Track (muted) along with the other tracks… The rationale being, if my MidiTimePiece shit-the-bed, they could use the recorded timecode track to sync it up after…

    I don’t know yet if that trick worked or not, but if it does, then I thought I’d mention it as an idea for folks recording audio for film on gear without timecode input….

    Thoughts?

    Also, sorry if this has any typos or broken grammar… Starting and stoping my typing from light to light makes it hard to stay on point….

    Cheers…

  17. the most important thing you should know is that the vcc ruin the depth of sound unlike the real deal.. they just focus on the tonality how close to real vintage..yes i agree slate digitals have nice vintage textures almost close to real ones..so what? actually all the slate digital’s plug-ins dont have the sitting but some floatings for stable mixing sound..i could suppose the reason but..anyway it is bad for professional compressing job and especially it would become worse after mastering job..finally it will ruin the vivid of your music~if you have nice compression skill,no vcc is much better sound

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