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Plug-ins Vs. the real thing

Discussion in 'Recording' started by OJG, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. OJG

    OJG Guest

    Hi all,

    my computer is an iMac G4, 800 MHz CPU, 256 MB RAM.
    All this time I was thinking - getting DP would give me reverbs, EQ's and compressors as plug-ins -- I'm covered.

    I never worked with plug-ins.
    Are those as trustworthy as their hardware counterparts ? After all, hardware DSP/EQ's have a dedicated CPU just for their own work. A plug-in would have to share the iMac's CPU with other applications.

    So how much can I trust these plug-ins, particularly with the specs of my computer ?

  2. Digger

    Digger Guest

    You really have to search for the right plugs and most important learn how to use them - BUT - they are certainly useful and carry some significant advantages over hardware. As far as stability I have never encountered any problems. Each computer is different and you will eventually get a feel for what your computer can handle b4 a crash. Most of my crashes never resulted in anything dramatic other than a simple reboot.

    The biggest advantage for software is the programability/automation of the plugs. As far as sound goes - I find that sonically speaking most well known compressor standards have an edge over software but as metioned there are some programming advantages with software.

    The convolution reverb plug ins that I have tried/heard or own are incredible. I also love the reverbs on the UAD cards. Once you have found the right reverb plugs for you I don't think you will ever need to go back to hardware. The only downside is that really good verbs, especially convolution based verbs, are absolute CPU pigs. I use DSP cards (like the UAD's) and recently purchased a Waves APA44 for my Convolution reverb.

    There are some people who swear by hardware based EQ's and I am not one of them. There are some outstanding EQ option plugs that will suit almost any need imaginable.

    I have never used DP so I can't comment on their plugs, you will be challenged with your MAC if you use too many plugs but no matter how powerful your computer you will eventually run out of juice. I would start with a UAD card if you are going to try using plugs. This will give you a lot more flexibility as you move forward.

    Hope that helps, good luck!
  3. axel

    axel Guest

    there are some really great plugs around, very usefull and very good sounding, i like both worlds, there are some plugs a faver over hardware and vice versa...

    however, i believe that you will be fine with your comp, running DP and some good plugs, i am a logic head myself (so i can't recall the quality of DP plugs, only used it a few times with 3rd party plugs, but like the prog after logic best) and i have spend a lot!!! of time trying plugs out and setteling with the ones i like...

    but you definetely need to upgrade your memory, 1gb would do good and will enhance the performance of your system... specially if you want to run lots of plugs, instruments and maybee even rewire...

    there are some really nice free plugs around and any other manufacturer has trial versions , so you can check 'em out before you buy... but here on RO is a list of free plugs, very usefull!! sorry can't remember the location, but search a bit around and you will find it...
  4. axel

    axel Guest

    ahh... here it is, follow this one... (Dead Link Removed)
  5. OJG

    OJG Guest

    Do hardware DSP's introduce noise that plug-ins do not, since with plug-ins data remains in the digital domain ?
  6. Digger

    Digger Guest

    DSP Cards , as far as I know, will not add any noise. DSP's are just a means of using something other than your CPU to power your plugs. Essentially, DSP's and Plug's are inextricably intertwined, one would not be worth much without the other.
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    the plugs in DP are very useful- use them myself all the time... I agree that you need more ram. As much as you can put in that puppy! 2 Gb would be nice, minimum 1GB
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    dsp cards for plugs are good and noise free, especially the UAD stuff, but you want be able to run it on an emac as there is no firewire version (yet!?) the TC powercore is pretty fine, too and will ease up your CPU...
  9. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    DP's plugs are good quality, but I came from Cubase land where the included plugs were barely usable.

    You will also have access to Apple's AU plugs, that come installed with the OS. I especially like the Apple Matrix reverb.

    For a listing of available plugs check out http:// and link removed

  10. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    yes, the apple reverb is very useable and also free with your mac!- the digital fish plugs are other free ones that are great- check David's free plug sticky for more:

    (Dead Link Removed)
  11. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    Delay-Lama is the greatest plug-in ever made IMHO.
  12. OJG

    OJG Guest

    Thanks folks for all your replies.
    I just finished a quick investigation on expanding the RAM on my machine.
    It has to be done by an authorized Mac dealer (as they need to take the entire machine apart) and they are asking for $350 plus tax to install two cards of 512mb RAM.
    God Almighty -- what a rip-off.

    So now I am thinking (since my machine is already 3 yo) perhaps I ought to put my money into a custom built PC, where there is no one company (such as Apple) with monopoly on everything. But I don't think DP runs on PC . . .

    I am also tempted to try and use Linux but it seems to me to be a more esoteric solution.


    Thanks again.

  13. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    what machine do you have??

    the net has takeapart instructions on all macs.... you should be able to do it yourself....

    but please don't punish yourself because you have a little trouble with your machine....
  14. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member


    here is a link from Apple's site on adding RAM to an iMac G5,
    all you need is a #2 phillips screwdriver and about ten minutes of your time.


  15. OJG

    OJG Guest

    I have the iMac 17" flatscreen -- the one the looks like a desk lamp.
    There are two slots for memory cards:
    The one is at the base of the machine -- is referred to as "user accessible". I can use a screwdriver to open this one.
    The other one is "service accessible" -- only Apple dealers have tools to access that slot and I am told it involves taking apart half the machine (which looks like a dome shape, not the regular box shape).

    The user accessible memory slot is currently empty -- I can buy 512mb of RAM (from macsolutions.com) for about $108 and install it myself. So I will have 768mb of RAM.
    The memory card that goes in the service accessibly slot is not for sale through Apple to individuals. I have to go and pay $150 per 512mb memory card plus $50 for the installation.
    So I save $50.

    I was stupid ti let the guy at Sweetwater talk me into buying the machine. The awkward shape did not arise much confidence in me. I should have listened to my guts -- more often than not they are correct.

    Thank you for your support.


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