Free vs commercial VSTs?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Borkyy, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Hi everybody and excuse my english in advance...

    Yesterday in friends studio i tried Waves C-1 compressor. I know thers better vst's but that is commercial vst and i compared it to some freeones.

    I compress kick and snare with it and than used same settings with free Kjaerhus classic compressor and Endorphin.

    Classic compressor did sound lil "softer" but i (as a newb) didn't (and still don't) know is that good or bad thing.
    Endorphin on the other hand sounded exactly like C1 maybe even better.

    Than i tried eq
    Waves Q10 vs free Electri-Q
    To my suprise there is apsolutly no difference between them sept Electri-Q has more options


    Waves TrueVerb and RVerb vs GlaceVerb.
    They do sound different but again i can't say is that good or bad.

    I didn't try any convolution reverb's but i heard SIR reverb should't be bad at all...

    Also brickwall limiter Waves L2
    I didn't try this Aradaz Limiter but here is article and audio examples of both

    Can u hear any major differences?
    Only major difference for me is L2 is $260 and Aradaz is free...

    I don't wanna hear same old "its not what equipment is used its about man who use it" story i just wanna know m i total newb who dosn't hear what u can hear or u can do great commercial mixes with free vst-s?

    If u can why do u spent thousands of dollar for commercial ones?

    My second question

    I was interested to buy Lexicon MX300 reverb and i readed somewhere even cheapest hardware reverb is better than any vst. Is that true?

    If it is does this applays for Compressor also?
    I mean is for exmp Behringer TUBE COMPOSER T1952 better than C1 or Rcomp?

    Thank u
  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Support is the big issue, I suggest you investigate room treatment.
    A free plug can come and go, may or may not be improved.

    Also if you just use presets, your missing the boat.

  3. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Room treatment is not what im interest here... And i don't use presets, didn't i say i used same settings on every effect? They do not have same presets...

    Cmon it can't be only support... Paying big money only for support is foolish... And yeah if free plug in go, ill just find new one...

    I would understand if commercial plug ins cost 100-200$ per bundle but its $3000-$5000!

    To make it clear im not bashing commercial vsts im just curious
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    It's difficult to say from individual tracks what makes a $3000 plugin pack worth the money. Sometimes what doesn't seem obvious comes out over the course of a mix. Often what makes the difference is the interaction or the resulting sound from compounded tracks over a mix that makes the difference. A poorly coded plugin may develop artifacts when used in multiple instances over a larger mix.

    That all being said, I don't own any Waves plugins. I'm a fan of Endorphin and Big Tick Audio's Fish Fillets plugins. Endorphin is one of my favorites. You have to keep in mind though that these were written by one of the developers for Magix ( Samplitude, Sequoia). It's free but the man knows his business.

    I do own some paid for plugins that I prefer over any free ones. These are UAD powered plugs though.

    I have heard the Waves SSL, and Classic series plugins and they do sound fantastic but these are modeled plugins as well. Are they worth the money? I don't know. I'd be more willing to buy the IKmultimedia or UA equivalent for a fraction of the cost.
  5. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Thank u for ur reply.
    Yeah im not talking bout UAD ill buy it soon...

    And yeah i agree poorly coded plug in may cause troubles but im talking bout great ones like Endorphin and fish fillets plug ins. I tryd them and i think they are great, i google it and saw other people like them also but even then they are spending money on commercial vsts.
    I don't know bout waves SSL but if they are sounding just 10% of real SSL i can understaind why would people buy it but i don't know why would anyone wanna buy C-1 or whole diamond bundle (sept if they wanna have effects and stuff)...

    Also can someone answear my second question?
    Im trying to get by cheap so untill i get UAD is behringer compressor (or any othe cheap compressor) better than vst's?
    (i have digi003 rack if that is important)
  6. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    now its sounding like im baschin I took tham just for exmpl
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I use a lot of the same plugs you and hueseph mention.
    I am a fan of the Kjaerhus plugs as a free one, myself.
    It's a matter of getting results, really. What works, works.

    Like hueseph said, the cheaper ones can create artifacts when used multiple times in a mix. The expensive ones don't. Plus, the expensive ones have some nice emulations of classic outboard gear. The same? No. But I like the way it works.

    I'd avoid Be*ringer stuff... I have a 3 of their products. One is a headphone amp that gets regular use, the other two (preamp and EQ) sit on the floor. There's a reason for that.
  8. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Yes i know bout behringer... Altho, headphone amp is useful and patchbay (for the first hand).
    Let me change my question...
    Is there any cheap compressor that is better than any plug in? (especially for drums)

    Try it out in stores is not an option for me
  9. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I can recommend the dbx 166 line.
    Others might also go for other dbx products.
    I also own an RNC, but I think there are issues w/ it (used).

    Either way, they're gonna be around $200 each and may not be any better than your software comps.
  10. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Oh yeah i might go with dbx...
    What is the difference between 166 and 266?
  11. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Free VS commerial can only be valued by the user. There is some free stuff that is quite good and there is commercial stuff that is not good or even bad.

    If you don't need commericial, then save your money. It also very much depends on the source in how it works with commericial or free.
  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Diff betweewn dbx 166 vs 266?

    What is the difference between two piles of crap?
  13. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    Why don't you tell us what you really think? There is no need for sugar coating!
  14. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Really? I heard alot of good things bout it... Than again i heard alot of good things bout ART...

    What would u recommend then?
  15. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Ok i tryed dbx 266- its a same compressor just without limiter and it sounds great! I don't know why u called it crap cos it sounds better than any vst

    Its prob not perfect but for that money and that sound i would go with it every day
  16. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    Ok i stop reaserching and buyed 166...
    266 is great and i thought 166 would be the same but no it sounds amazing! Can't believe it for that price! It works best on kisc and snare and that was exactly what i was looking for! Thank u for ur recommendation (soapfloats)

    Anyway AudioGaff u are mod here and i respect that but u don't know what ur talking about...
  17. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I call it crap because I have the skills, education and experience to know what is crap and what is not. You may like it. Lot's of people like or have liked it. That doesn't mean it is, or sounds good. Lot's of people have no clue what is good and what is not or what they are missing so they just go with cheap crap.

    I have likey spent more money on just one of many hardware compressors than you have in all the audio/music software and audio gear that you have ever owned or used. That helps make me qualifed to know what is crap and what is not.

    I'd suggest you search the archives here and other places to discover what a good, or even decent compressor is, and then rent one so you can come to your own conclusions.

    There are plenty of plugs that sound 100X better than a 166 or 266. Of course you have to have the skills to know how to use a compressor. Using a compressor and the art of compression/limiting is the most misunderstood, overused and abused audio tool known to man.

    You may have very unrealistic expectations of what a compressor is or does just like most people making music today. While it can often do magical things, it is not the magic pill most people think it is or people try to make it to be. A poor or crappy sounding source is still a poor or crappy sounding source even after you apply compression. Many times compression makes a crap sound, sound even worse than the original crap that you started with.

    Avoid the crap...
  18. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    My lack of english and my newb questions that are newb on purpose cos i wanted to get more understandable answers may look i don't know much. But...

    Im a successful musician. Not big but i live of my music and that is successful in my book.
    I also have diploma and masters degree from S.A.E. audio engineering. I worked with neve channel strips, ssl boards, and almoast everything from digidesign. (i didn't think this is relevant but with this i "spent more money" story of urs i guess it is)

    I asked for a compressor that will get a job done and i got answer. Not just that i trayd it out and it sounds good. Also what u think i didn't search the archives?

    here moonbaby said he has one
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Remy suggested one here

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Davedog and Remy (who i can see are most most knowledgeable people here) said they like them...

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Thers atleast 20 threads and everyone in every thread (sept u in one) said those are great so instead suggesting me to search the archives maybe u should do that urself...

    Also ur saying u know plugs that are 100x better but u didn't even ba able to prove expensive plugs are better than free ones so, man... ur full of sh...
  19. Borkyy

    Borkyy Guest

    I take last part back. I don't wanna be disrespectful to anyone here. Thats not why im here. And i don't wanna argue here cos this thread is not bout that
  20. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I didn't read the threads you refer to, but I am willing to bet that you likely have taken what Remy, Davedog and Moonbaby said out of context. I think they would admit to you that the 166 is not a great compressor as much as it is a useable, easy to use compressor that is as good as anything else for the money. It is a good compressor for wankers that don't know any better. Of all the compresors that are being used to make professional music today, the dbx 166 is very low rated.

    I have used them and am still forced to use them for live gigs from time to time. I cringe everytine I see one in a rack.

    I search the archives myself all the time. But I don't really need to search the archives as being one of the longest members of these forums, I have been active in helping to create all those archives.

    Oh I see. Another SAE graduate with no clue. Ok, that explains a lot of things.

    Just because you have a fancy gold foiled paper to hang on the wall, that doesn't mean you know or are qualifed to do anything other than to show everybody that you had a lot of money and time to waste. You probably would have been much better off buying a decent compressor and learning from these forums for free.

    Playing with fader atomation on a big SSL, turning knobs on a Neve strip and playing with a mouse connected to a Protools system is thousands of miles away from really learning the art of recording or having any real skills.

    What has the fancy SAE paper gotten you? Are you working in a commerical studio with an SSL or Neve console? No.

    Did they bother to teach you how to tell when two signals are out of phase? Or how to use microphone patterns of two or more mics on the same source? Did they bother to even discuss the 3 to 1 rule? Or even how a mic works?

    No, I didn't think so. I can see that your money was well spent.

    Didn't they even bother to teach you what makes a good compresor and what doesn't? How many dbx 166 or 266 units did they have in the SAE place. Not even one did they?

    You like many others got ripped off. Try taking that worthless SAE paper to a real pro commercial studio to get a job and see how hard their belly's jiggle as they laugh you out the door.

    Look, you bought your dbx 166. You seem to happy with it. That is all that really matters. I hope you enjoy it for years to come.

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