P.A.S. (plug-in acqusition syndrome)

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by audiokid, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Since I'm having some GAS, I figure we might as well give an honorable mention the P.A.S. (plug-in acquisition syndrome) .

    GAS in the digital domain = P.A.S. You heard it here first! :tongue:

    When DAW's first came out I thought and couldn't care less if it put analog out of business. Man was I off in my thinking but not far off in reality. I thought plug-ins were the best thing going and I couldn't get enough of them into my system. I was so convinced and so impressed with how plug-ins eliminated all the wire. I was convinced they had to sound better because the recording process is so clean sounding, individually. VSTi, oh ya... more more more.

    I lost my ability to think OTB. Whenever I read topics about hardware, especially by others who "didn't have Pro Tools" I though, hmmm my Pro Tools rig was way better, it was the industry standard. Because I had invested 25 grand into it and didn't really have any high end experience ... I mean, the same track count and effects for this in the analog domain would cost 100 grand and take up a bunch of real estate. The simplicity was more reason I bought into it. I pushed it like everyone else while sound quality I never knew I missed took a back seat. It was all fun until the 2-bus started getting ugly.

    Anyway, I had about $10,000 on top of the 25 grand invested in plug-ins. I kept looking for the best plug-ins to get me there. Over and over I continue to try and create space in my sound but it is always cluttered to my liking.
    It wasn't until I reverted back to some old recording years later did I recognize something that I'm finding has become a pandemic and IMO, altered the way music sounds. I think we are becoming brain washed or conditioned. Are we forcing out affordable high end analog even further because it will soon be of no interest to the norm? Maybe... and that might not be a bad thing for me.

    10 years later, I won't load that crap into my system for fear I will start using it again lol. Its like a cancer. It has got to be pretty exceptional for me to even consider most plug-in these days. Music is so effected by plug-ins and its only getting worse. When I used Pro Tools I had 60 plug-ins in my system and I wanted more and more. I was crazy over it all.

    Today, I have very little going on ITB. I'm more focused a few different high end pre-amps, variety of very good mics, quality converters, fine cable, a few high end hardware pieces and very limited plug-ins.

    I'd be curious to hear how many plug-ins you use or have loaded into your DAW? Do you have P.A.S. ?
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Damn! You would post this an hour after I installed my new UAD-2 Quad card.

    Update: Here are the plugins that I have:

    Basic Digi PT9 package: (Can't find a listing that I can cut and paste)

    Sonnox Reverb

    Waves Silver Bundle:

    L1 Ultramaximizer
    Q10 paragraphic Equalizer
    C1 Parametric Compander
    IR-L Convolution Reverb
    S1 Stereo Imager
    Renaissance Axx
    Renaissance Compressor
    Renaissance Equalizer
    Paz Psychoacoustic Analyzer

    UAD Plugins (so far)

    * 1176LN Plug-In
    * 1176SE Plug-In
    * CS-1 Plug-In
    * EMT 140 Plug-In
    * Fairchild Plug-In
    * LA-3A Audio Leveler Plug-In
    * LA2A Plug-In
    * Manley Massive Passive Plug-In
    * Neve 1073 EQ & 1073SE EQ Plug-In
    * Pultec EQP-1A Plug-In
    * Pultec-Pro Plug-In
    * RealVerb-Pro Plug-In

    So, yes, that's been a nice little chunk of change for an investment. But I don't think I as consumed as some of these guys on the UAD board. I don't have a problem. I can stop any time I want.

    Ooops.....Melodyne.....dirty little secret.
  3. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    I use very few plugins. I specialize in acoustic music that is mostly Folk, Irish/Celtic and Singer Songwriter. Usually, this only requires a bit of reverb to ad back some room ambience into the music. Very little is needed, and I have just a handful of reverb plugs that I use on 95% of the material. Almost no "special" effects are ever called for. I also use compression plugins and Cubase's built-in EQ.
    My mixes are not often too dense, mixing is pretty straight forward.
    Most of my investment is going into the front end... mics and preamps. Oh, and a great sounding live room and a couple of iso booths.

  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    And, let's not forget those that have both:
    It's gonna be the death of us all!!!!!
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Well again, great thread. As much as I appreciate that I can run a plugin that is a good representation of a compressor that I probably could never afford. I have yet to find a plugin reverb that comes close to the depth of a good hardware reverb unit. I've been looking for a digital equivalent to a 480L. I haven't found one. If it's out there please let me know.

    I think it's time to start working within limitations again. It makes you work harder to get the sound right. There's less margin for error. Make it sound good and forget the effects. If it doesn't sound good from the start, it's not going to get better with effects. Maybe I'm just thinking out loud here.
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    There are rumors on the UAD board that UA is working on some sort of Lexicon plugin, but it may be nothing more than wishful thinking. Of course, the UAD is a hardware reverb (comp, eq, etc.) in some sense - just not in a separate box. I've been using the EMT Plate plugin all the time since I bought it. Really good plate sound for a plugin.

    While I've bought a bunch of plugs recently, I'm not using that many per track. Basically every track gets some sort of compressor and eq. Sometimes an expander/gate on the kick and snare. Reverb bus. Manley Massive on the main bus, limiter if I'm not sending a track to be mastered. But it's nice to have a pallet of choices for the compressors and limiters and the reverb.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Oh I like this thread too!

    I think this is the most solid advise we can give everyone who passes by our community. I strongly feel the majority do not have their room and monitor system in order to a level that teaches you the truth. Its so easy to be half ass with acoustic understanding and just get to recording. We tend to buy more "gear" or "plug-ins" to correct sound when a huge percentage could and most likely is the lack of really hearing what's going on in the mix. If you can't hear it, you are SOL and spinning your wheels forever. You are guessing and never certain.

    You know how beautiful music sounds when its all in tune? You know how terrible it all is when it isn't? Mixing is the same thing. If you get it right, get your room in tune so you can hear how it all blends and flows together, things becomes wider and harmonic beauty opens up. Its a no brainer. Good gear and less crap needs less correction.

    Get your room in order and it all starts making more sense. It becomes easier to understand things yourself instead of relying on others who you think have the answers for you. Like the gear pimps solely interested in juicing us up, causing all the BS GAS and PAS. I saw this all unfolding 10 years ago and now look at us. We're thinking we need ten different preamps, 60 plug-ins and $10,000 cables FFS.

    But it sure is fun...
  8. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    +1 for the room acoustic! The beauty of it: when the treatment is done correctly, you are finished with it. The room is usable for ever, some refurbishing of cloths and paint excluded.
    If you planed your studio wisely you have even thought of future contingencies like adding 5.1 speaker systems or expanding outboard.
    +1 Monitors...no need to tell more then already said.
    Have I got GAS?... No, but I might have when I were still analog, even for sure...

    Have I got PAS? Could be, but lower then ever ... I probably forget a few, but I guess there are about 250 Plugs like
    90+ Waves Mercury...which I never use...not even installed
    42 UAD plugs often used
    Melodyne the little helper or even day safer
    50+ of the very usable Nuendo (+ VST3) plugin collection of my DAW
    Wizoo W5 still one of the best surround Verbs (Wizzo bought by M-Audio, M-Audio by DigiDesign..forthwith all support stopped)
    Wizoo W2
    Fdelay + Reflect from VirSyn
    4 plugs of Brainworx
    Some FX racks plugs from VSTi softwares like B4 organ
    30 Plugs from the TC PowerCore
    6 of a restauration suite
    Some plugs of WaveLab 7
    and about 6 Euro-grand of VSTi

    With all that neatly installed, I am no fan of filling up the insert slots of all channels, at all. As many , I try to capture the sound as good and close to what I need as possible. So, some recordings sound not good by themselves , but blend nicely with much less FX and EQing into the mix. I guess, when you started with a total of 6 Aux sends and 1 insert per track channel, you are closer to nature, anyhow. ;-)
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I love UAD!
    UAD2 quad oh man I wish I had that....
    I have the UAD 1 card

    it made in the box mixing doable for me

    They now have a Studer plug too... super cool!
  10. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    May 3, 2010
    Yeah, I'd say I have P.A.S. I can't help getting more and more. Even the free ones, I just wanna try them out and see if they do good to the mix, I really can't make a track without them... :(
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Share This Page