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The Vintage Madness
by, 05-03-2010 at 07:07 AM (951 Views)
Vintage is now everywhere in the audio marketing. The first domain which has been affected by this madness, was the guitar business. Manufacturers have reissued their legendary models. The associated amplifiers have also followed this trend. Then the whole audio business has discovered that (most) tube powered equipments have a great sound. This movement has now reached the software companies who claim their last plug-in emulates famous rare equipments used to produce worldwide hits. Digital processors mimic the vintage tube gears but also solid state silicon and germanium. Vintage is the magic word for the marketing guys of the audio industry to sell almost everything from hardware to software. The Golden Age legend is still running in the Digital Age.
The marketing recipe is quite simple:
1.Choose a historical/legendary/reference/renowned hardware.
2.Hire software engineers to model and to implement this processing under an old analog fashion user interface.
3.Promote the product using a renowned sound engineer stating there is no difference between the original equipment costing thousands dollars he owns, and this new software version.
No research effort is needed. No new idea nor new concept emerge. The audio industry is still recycling the same old solutions. It diddles the consumers by pretending that a modeling is the exact counterpart of the original.
Fortunately some companies develop new ideas in the digital domain which aren't available in the analog world. De-compressor and de-expander are my two favorite secret weapons which are only available as software plug-ins.
The De-Compressor increases the gain above the threshold. It can restore lost transients on over-compressed audio. The De-Expander increases the gain below the threshold. It lowers the dynamic range in a different manner than a compressor. Because those two processors are able to provide a huge amount of gain, the range parameter must be used to keep things under control.