Why VST??

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falkTX
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Re: Why VST??

Postby falkTX » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:33 pm

I use *Linux* VSTs pretty much every week.
Carla itself is a VST plugin too. :lol:

@beck you just need to understand there's a difference between *Windows VSTs* and *Linux VSTs*.

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sadko4u
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Re: Why VST??

Postby sadko4u » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:29 pm

beck wrote:... why should i if there are lots of perfect LV2's and LADSPA's available and it doesn't make a difference in quality?

You've missed a verb, the question is not completely understandable. Probably you wanted to write 'why should I use VST...'. The answer is simple: you shouldn't if you work with the host that supports LADSPA/LV2.

beck wrote:Then what's the reason that others want it? Only the popularity of them?

Want VST? Again, not all are using Ardour/QTractor. Somebody likes Tracktion or Renoise. These both don't provide LV2 support under Linux.

beck wrote:Something i don't understand while we ignore popularity of other big proggies too because we have very good alternatives.

Not all ignore 'other big proggies'. As already mentioned, people do use Tracktion, Renoise and even Reaper (under Wine). No one of these hosts does support LV2. And there is no information about do these hosts plan to support LV2 in the future or not.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby ssj71 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:37 pm

If a plugin is available as native linux vst AND native linux LV2, then there is no difference to the end user. Just different formats. If only one is available, you use what's available, it doesn't make any difference if your DAW supports it.

If a plugin is ONLY available as a windows VST and you feel you MUST HAVE IT then that's where wine comes in. Some windows plugins work some don't. I personally don't subject myself to that and feel there's really no need to. It's certainly not for me. But a lot of people really want plugin X or Y and it's not available for linux. And to be fair, many of the linux alternatives are lacking polish or features compared to windows VSTs. You CAN work around it, but some don't want to. Also as mentioned, there are people using DAWs that don't support LV2. Those linux users are very limited in their selection of native linux VSTs. That's why there's so much talk about VST wine solutions. They usually just say VST when they mean windows VST. So you have to know the context to know if they're talking about windows VSTs or native linux VSTs.

By sheer numbers (there are thousands of windows VSTs with no linux version) they're likely talking non-native, but VST doesn't always mean windows plugins so you can't just assume it. Its also entirely possible to have non-native LV2 plugins too, just none have been created yet that didn't start as native linux plugins.
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Re: Why VST??

Postby 42low » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:56 pm

Ok, all you're answers cleared a lot to me.
I really didn't understand it.
@sadko4u. That was not my question. My question was to understand it. And of course in the end i get conclusions out of it for myself. But my problem was that i really didn't understand it, why some choose for one or another, why the difference was there.

Now i understand. That it is mostly just a personal preference, sometimes driven by choices which force to certain preferences.
And i understand now that i don't do myself short by only using 'linux only' and the thereby plugin's i'm forced to. I ain't missing the train. :mrgreen:

Thanks. It was learning-full to me.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby Luc » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:42 pm

beck wrote:
falkTX wrote:All those plugins that have issues running on Linux are the same - they were not made for Linux.

There the conflict for me starts to exist.
I'm glad that i now have a OS that's higly stable. I not gonna fool around asking for issue's with it by letting in unstable software myself.

I have tested around 2,000 Windows VST plugins, and there are some that I use frequently. In my experience, there are plugins that won't run at all or run with some problem, but those are very few. At least 90% of them run without any problem whatsoever. Well, almost no problem. I use Tracktion, which is extremely prone to crashing, always when adding or removing a plugin. But then I test many of them on Bitwig (limited demo) and they run absolutely hunky-dory. I think 90% is a fantastic score considering the circumstances ("a miracle," as described by falkTX).

beck wrote:... why should i if there are lots of perfect LV2's and LADSPA's available and it doesn't make a difference in quality?
Then what's the reason that others want it? Only the popularity of them?
Something i don't understand while we ignore popularity of other big proggies too because we have very good alternatives.

Sorry, no. We can't have "very good alternatives" to the vast catalogue of Windows VST plugins. They are far too many and some of them can be quite valuable. When I first got involved in this whole music on Linux thing, I was quite impressed at how much was available. I could definitely make music on Linux! :D But then, some time later, I was amazed to learn that we could run Windows plugins, and began to try a few, and ran into some really nice plugins, got carried away, and there you go, I ended up trying many hundreds of them. Some of them are crappy, of course, but most are at least good, and I've run into a few gems. Now, why not use them? Why do we have the tools to run them anyway? It's the music that matters. It's what it sounds like that matters.

beck wrote:And i understand now that i don't do myself short by only using 'linux only' and the thereby plugin's i'm forced to. I ain't missing the train. :mrgreen:

As stated above, I believe you actually might be missing a rather interesting train.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby CrocoDuck » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:37 am

Luc wrote:Sorry, no. We can't have "very good alternatives" to the vast catalogue of Windows VST plugins. They are far too many and some of them can be quite valuable.


Well, I did not try all the Windows (or Mac) plugins out of there. I did not try all the Linux ones as well for the matter. Try them would also give very little quantitative information of how good a piece of software is, we would need benchmarks for that. Also, we would need to define "good", which can be done in multiple ways. Anyway, I don't fully agree with that and I would like to expand.

Consider you have two headphones. Now, you want to measure which one has the highest audio quality. You get a pool of 100 very well trained critical listeners. Now you need to set a double blind test with tons of different pieces of music (different genres) and a well designed questionnaire for the listeners. And, interestingly, you will not use any of the headphones you need to test. You will pick a reference headphone whose frequency response is as flat and un-coloring as possible and filter the music (programme material) to emulate this or that headphone under test (with also reference headphone response removal). This way, the headphone themselves are randomly distributed in the test and you will assess what the significance of the quality judgments from the listeners is.

An important thing: using the headphones themselves would expose the listening panel to unwanted unconscious bias. A headphone whose materials and design looks cheaper and fragile can get listening test results significantly worse even if its sound reproduction capabilities are vastly superior. This is another very good reason to prefer the reference headphone method.

This to say that when it comes to audio we deal with something very hard to measure and I am afraid that the vast majority of Windows VST that many think they need might end up just having a better looking interface.

Now, don't get me wrong, that can be very important. Look at this, for example. Most of the analyzers for Linux report much more accurate info with respect that plugin (I would never use that, for example). But the discussion that follows makes possible to appreciate that in many cases something that behaves and looks like that can be valuable and useful, even if it is not accurate.

So, bottom line, I think that the Linux ecosystem is populated with great software that doesn't even try to be an alternative. It is its own thing and it is damn good at it. I also think that, speaking about the underlying maths and algorithms, the Linux plugins are second to none. I think that people that want VSTs from other platform does it more because they accustomed to them (which is a good reason, why to change a workflow that works?), they find the interface better (which can give objective advantages, not only eye-candy) or they have some psychological bias. But I wouldn't bet the Linux plugins to be any worse in terms of implementation and functionality. I mean, of the underlying engine (GUI and controls is another implementation thing and that could be lacking in some cases).
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
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Re: Why VST??

Postby glowrak guy » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:12 pm

beck wrote:So, please tell me ... why are VST plugins so badly wanted?
No criticism. Just a curious question.

They would be 'badly wanted", even if linux did not exisit.
Among win/mac musicians, more are always 'badly wanted',
(and new ones eagerly awaited), some for the vast variety of sounds
they provide, some for the potential of creating/discovering
new sounds, some for both.

The same holds true even for a linux purist, using only native linux VSTs
Just the sheer volume of choice is more limited, but lately,
like eating at a feast, there is plenty available with which to stuff ones self.

A single preset sound can justify a healthy purchase price.
Such is the passion of creative composition. What two musicians
share the same diligence, capabilities, workflow, and resources?

It is easy to be diverted away from creativity by endless
'us Vs them' scenarios, stealing precious hours, at the cost
of ones personal art porfolio being divided and conquered
by groups, subgroups, tribes and clans more intent on
making their point, than promoting the general artistic endeavor.

Use the tools you like and need, and peel the labels off
before breakfast!

(another realm of distinction lies in ones musical endeavors.
Home producer? Commercial composer? Singer/songwriter? Cover Band?
Touring band? Recording studio owner? Mad/happy scientist?
Many different needs among these diverse titles.)

(And then there are locales locked in poverty. Great potential exists,
and not just where there are paved streets, running water,
toilets and sewers. Free software, on recycled computers, running
a well crafted linux, poses few limits, when in the right hands! )
Cheers

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Re: Why VST??

Postby 42low » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:32 pm

VERY INTERESTING SUBJECT. I get much out of it. I hope some of you too. Nice respected reactions of you all!
My questions are no critics or whatever while IMO everybody should do what he likes best (without harming anyone). Just asking all out of curiosity about how you think about some things to learn of it.

That's a bit my point of view i thing Luc and CrocoDuck.
There are that many plugins (for me within linux now) that most i don't even use, while i use some favorites who do the job like i want. I already have to much options. Do i need even more?
Could be that there is one plugin which does what i do with say four or so to get a nice sound. But both reach the end result.
Can we also start a discussion if four plugins give more options than one automated plugin. Is the last one not more limited than four with thereby expanded capabilities?

Also nice reaction glowrak guy.
I think that i am a linux purist where it is the OS. I'm so glad to not be depending of that other os that i'm a bit restrained on going back using some of it, not even by a trick. Wine is for drinking! :wink: I'm not against VST or whatever, if they were available for pure linux.
And like i said to Luc and CrocoDuck too, there are plenty available for me yet. Perhaps the future will bring some change. We'll see.

Gonna stretch the subject a bit. Want to add another point of view as i have it a bit. A point in which plugin's play a role too.
Off course a song/sound has to be good. You don't make some worse.
But does the sound alway's have to be perfect? (where perhaps comes out the hunt for the perfect plugin's)

Have you ever listened to lots of hitsongs? How 'bad' the sound is? How bad some play or vocal is? Hitsongs for instance many times are NOT of the highest quality. Many famous bands or singers grab there audience NOT with there high quality of playing or singing. It's more than that.
Many great songs are well known to be bad mastered. But yet they are respected hitsongs.

Sometimes topics come by about a 'tick' in the lowest or highest frequencies, which even a dog can't hear. If not to be heard, is that 'tick' a problem then?

I myself record over an anolog mixer. "Watch the noise!" everybody warns me immediately. But while playing that minimal fractional noise is 'gone', not to be heard anymore. In silence parts some noise can be cut away.
If one of you would analise it you will probably find it, but it ain't hearable.
Back to the hitsongs. Ever heard the really huge noise some have? But they still are great songs everybody listens too with pleasure.

So, does music need to be 'perfect'? Do we have to go on an endless quest for the perfect (group off) plugins? Does that exist?
Is a song good when well enough to listen to? Or does an analytic curve has to be perfect?
(Yeah off course. There's a difference between styles of music. I know. But overall...)
Last edited by 42low on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby davephillips » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:55 pm

Greetings,

An anecdote:

Last year I posted a piece on KVR that got some nice feedback from some serious KVRians I respect. The comments praised the music but noted a certain problem in the mix. Due to the nature of the original recordings the bass parts drifted across the stereo panorama. I had to agree with the comments that it was a disturbing phenomenon, so I asked if there was any way to correct the sound. I was directed to the Sanford Bass Tightener, downloaded it, Airwave'd it, and applied it in Ardour with no problems, using settings suggested on KVR.

My piece was accepted for the initial concert for the Csound 30th anniversary held at Maynooth Ireland. I feel strongly that it probably would have been rejected without the bass fix.

The point ? As far as I can tell, the Linux plugin armory includes no such creature as the Sanford plugin. If it does, and if it works as well as the Windows VST plugin, please point me to it.

I use the right tools to get the job done right. No, it doesn't have to be "perfect". "Better" will suffice. In this instance an Airwave'd Windows VST processor was the only solution I could find, i.e. it was the right tool.

Best,

dp

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Re: Why VST??

Postby 42low » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:04 pm

Great anecdote Dave. :mrgreen:
Love these kind of practical examples.

davephillips wrote:I use the right tools to get the job done right. No, it doesn't have to be "perfect". "Better" will suffice.

That's in line of what i think. It has to sound good at the end. No matter how.
Realising that there mostly are many way's leading to Rome

Can't visualise the problem totaly, but i think that a floating sound can also be tamed in other way's. But i don't have the exact answer available, i have to admit.
And you as a professional expert i believe at once! 8)

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Re: Why VST??

Postby sysrqer » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:04 pm

beck wrote:There are that many plugins (for me within linux now) that most i don't even use, while i use some favorites who do the job like i want. I already have to much options. Do i need even more?

Probably not but some people do very different things than you do and need a very different array of tools to achieve that.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby Luc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:07 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:
Luc wrote:Sorry, no. We can't have "very good alternatives" to the vast catalogue of Windows VST plugins. They are far too many and some of them can be quite valuable.

Consider you have two headphones. Now, you want to measure which one has the highest audio quality. [snip]

I can't disagree with any of what you said. I just should perhaps clarify something about myself, which impacts my decisions:

Your post is completely focused on high fidelity and otherwise technical aspects of plugins. I don't care that much about such aspects. I spend a lot of time just auditioning plugins and taking notes on the ones I like the most, and I build a mental catalogue of sounds, effects and possibilities. When auditioning, I only care about the first, immediate impression a plugin causes on me. I listen to it and I immediately envision a song, an intro, outro, bridge or something. It's all about the impression it causes on me and what kind of ideas or feelings it invokes. It might be dirty, distorted, inaccurate, etc. and I don't care much. I just care about the inspiration it brings.

I can and I have done that with Linux plugins, but I can obviously go a lot farther with that kind of exercise by auditioning a much larger and more diverse collection, and Windows plugins are many many many. Like stars. It's a hell of a lot of inspiration!

A purist is likely to spot flaws in some of the plugins I like, but I have this sort of sentimental disposition that makes me think that sometimes an error, distortion or "flaw" actually adds some kind of spice and magic to a track. I tend to think that a sound has to be very wrong to be deemed wrong. Very often, it's not wrong. It's just its character!

In that same vein, I find it annoying when someone says that a certain plugin is "not good because it doesn't really sound like the actual instrument." Excuse me? It is an actual instrument! It just doesn't sound like that other, and I think it doesn't have to. It's a new sound. I'll bet Mozart never used it only because it didn't exist then. I seriously picture Mozart going nuts and locking himself in his bedroom for months with all the parafernalia we have today, ordering pizzas and soda to keep himself alive. :D

Moreover, there is this very important aspect:

glowrak guy wrote:(another realm of distinction lies in ones musical endeavors. Home producer? Commercial composer? Singer/songwriter? Cover Band? Touring band? Recording studio owner? Mad/happy scientist? Many different needs among these diverse titles.)


Yes, a considerable portion of my very eclectic taste includes shoegaze, so I like thick textures, nature-altering effects, and instruments that nobody can name. That can hide a lot of rough stuff. You can't get away with it if you make folk music, extreme electronica (like Kraftwerk), or classical music. Classical music buffs are particularly fussy and will think you're a barbarian if your sound is anything less than pristine. The original poster himself has come to my rescue at that:

beck wrote:Have you ever listened to lots of hitsongs? How 'bad' the sound is? How bad some play or vocal is? Hitsongs for instance many times are NOT of the highest quality. Many famous bands or singers grab there audience NOT with there high quality of playing or singing. It's more than that.
Many great songs are well known to be bad mastered. But yet they are respected hitsongs.


However, he kind of contradicts himself with this:

beck wrote:I think that i am a linux purist where it is the OS. I'm so glad to not be depending of that other os that i'm a bit restrained on going back using some of it, not even by a trick.


Don't let imaginary obstacles get in the way of your creativity. The tools are there, they are readily available, someone has put love and effort into them, often without any kind of retribution. The very least we can do for those developers and for Mother Music is to use those tools and make the world an even noisier place. :wink:

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Re: Why VST??

Postby CrocoDuck » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:47 pm

Luc wrote:Your post is completely focused on high fidelity and otherwise technical aspects of plugins. I don't care that much about such aspects.


I will clarify something too. I am indeed focused on that 'cause I am an audio nerd :D . However, I don't think that psychological or otherwise less objective things are necessarily less important. As an example, a company next door to mine works on the noise of closing cars doors. That very specific thing. The reason is that, even if car A might be better in every possible regard with respect car B, the client at the concessionaire will often try (even without realizing it) to open and shut the door. If the sound doesn't communicate, somehow, an idea of robustness and high quality the chances of the client buying that car get smaller and smaller. And this is mostly unconscious. For these (and actually other) reasons, there is a conspicuous branch of research in acoustics into the noise of shutting doors...

What you say makes sense to me. A plugin is like a brush for musicians... or something like that. So I totally get it can open up new doors in your mind even just depending on how it feels. Instead, I tend to judge things the most objective way possible. Which at the end is not so much more objective really... But for example at the beginning I was using Guitar Rig under Linux and big part of the reason was the cool interface. Then I decided to listen to things with critical ear... and I found I actually prefer Guitarix much more. Same thing happened with Calf (the old one with the ugly interface) VS Waves Diamond. If you want, trying to put the psychological stuff in second order can open new doors too!

Oh by the way, I am not claiming that all the people that use Win plugins on Linux does it because the above. There were examples of plugins not existing in the Linux world. I just wanted to put this often discarded (and actually very important) fact on the table.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
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Re: Why VST??

Postby 42low » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:44 pm

Luc wrote:
beck wrote:Have you ever listened to lots of hitsongs? How 'bad' the sound is? How bad some play or vocal is? Hitsongs for instance many times are NOT of the highest quality. Many famous bands or singers grab there audience NOT with there high quality of playing or singing. It's more than that.
Many great songs are well known to be bad mastered. But yet they are respected hitsongs.


However, he kind of contradicts himself with this:

beck wrote:I think that i am a linux purist where it is the OS. I'm so glad to not be depending of that other os that i'm a bit restrained on going back using some of it, not even by a trick.


Can you please explain the contradictie while i don't see it.
In my oppinion the quotes are about two different subject so can't contradict.

It could be wrong but,
i think you mean that in quote one i accept less perfect, were in quote two i go for 'the best'?
If you meant this then it ain't correct. In both cases i choose for good and stable working. Discussion about what is good or stable can go on for a very long time while that's personal, so better we don't start that.

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Re: Why VST??

Postby rghvdberg » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:10 pm

davephillips wrote:Greetings,

An anecdote:

Last year I posted a piece on KVR that got some nice feedback from some serious KVRians I respect. The comments praised the music but noted a certain problem in the mix. Due to the nature of the original recordings the bass parts drifted across the stereo panorama. I had to agree with the comments that it was a disturbing phenomenon, so I asked if there was any way to correct the sound. I was directed to the Sanford Bass Tightener, downloaded it, Airwave'd it, and applied it in Ardour with no problems, using settings suggested on KVR.

My piece was accepted for the initial concert for the Csound 30th anniversary held at Maynooth Ireland. I feel strongly that it probably would have been rejected without the bass fix.

The point ? As far as I can tell, the Linux plugin armory includes no such creature as the Sanford plugin. If it does, and if it works as well as the Windows VST plugin, please point me to it.

I use the right tools to get the job done right. No, it doesn't have to be "perfect". "Better" will suffice. In this instance an Airwave'd Windows VST processor was the only solution I could find, i.e. it was the right tool.

Best,

dp


This one is a good one for the "What do we have? What do we need?" thread!
Good one.


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