Slate Digital Virtual console - any good?

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Been trying this on my tracks which are very broadly in an alt-folk genre and I'm still not really sure either way? It uses a lot of processing power having it on every track and the difference seems to be quite subtle, but perhaps it adds just enough to justify it? Or am trying to convince myself that I'm hearing a difference because the interface is pretty :). Also would you use it on a softer style of music rather than tracks of a rockier/heavier genre? 
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7128
    Honestly, my opinion is that it is decent but it’s subtle and depending on what you already own there are probably other things you could spend your money on that would make a more significant difference.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    Do you think its genre dependent? Would you use it on all genre's - for example classical or folk?
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3558
    domforr said:
    Do you think its genre dependent? Would you use it on all genre's - for example classical or folk?
    If you think about it, it's emulating a console. And consoles sit in recording studios and get used to recording *everything* that comes through the front door - from singer songwriters to full bands to orchestras, metal to folk music. If their quality was really genre dependent, they'd be badly designed!

    The idea is just that consoles add something - call it glue, unity, crosstalk, harmonic distortion or sonic character - that makes mixing a bit easier. And you lose that in the digital world where everything is coldly presented exactly as it was recorded.

    So if you use an emulation across all your channels and mixbuss and it sounds a bit better and makes it a bit easier to get on with the mix, it's doing its job. Depending on your own taste, personal biases and working methods, you might find that a "Neve" or "SSL" or "Trident" or whatever works best for you.

    Personally, I've tried the Waves NLS system, Sonimus' SSL, and Airwindows console series. I don't know what I'll feel about it all in a year, but where I am at the moment is that Airwindows' system is best, because it does the least. I still use NLS on individual tracks or busses when I want character and to dirty something up, but Airwindows Console 5 does the job for me in giving the mix a bit more width and depth and cohesion. It is, however, particular about how it's set up so it's not for everyone.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    Thanks - that' sensible advise all round I think. The main reason I was checking is that my Reaper projects crash about 5 times everytime I try and open them and I suspect it's down to having so many instances of the Slate console in each session. So I was kind of wondering if it's worth the hassle and if there's really any benefit. Still not really sure either way to be honest. 

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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7128
    It's your money at the end of the day but reading what you've written in this thread about how you think it's subtle, can't tell if it's worth it, and that it causes you crashing... my first reaction is there's probably a better way to spend £100+ right now instead of buying this plugin.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    I think you may be right. Grief vs benefit ratio seems a bit onesided at the moment and I think there's maybe a fair bit of hype about the pros of the virtual consoles. A similar sound could possibly be achieved using a virtual tape vst perhaps?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18875
    domforr said:
    I think you may be right. Grief vs benefit ratio seems a bit onesided at the moment and I think there's maybe a fair bit of hype about the pros of the virtual consoles. A similar sound could possibly be achieved using a virtual tape vst perhaps?
    The main advantage to a large format console is workflow.

    Sound is a component but it isn't the most important thing and certainly there are certain tools available that can give you a certain tone- the main thing though was the ability to group and manage tracks in sensible ways.
    That stopped being so important once we had the ability to save session s and have endless numbers of busses and routing combinations with DAW's.

    I have all of the Slate plugins, including VCC- I don't use VCC and haven't for quite a while.
    A couple of decent bus comps are more useful IMHO.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    Excellent advice all round. Thanks all!
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  • Honestly, my opinion is that it is decent but it’s subtle and depending on what you already own there are probably other things you could spend your money on that would make a more significant difference.
    Sorry for bringing up an old thread and stepping in on this, but am intrigued to hear your thoughts on what would be money well spent in regards to plugins, @guitarfishbay?
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  • Well depends on what you need and what you want to do.  Also how much you want to spend!  Lots of companies have versions of the same stuff at different price points.

    If you're fairly new to stuff I'd stick with things that improve functionality or give you something you can't already get.  Fabfilter is a good place to start for functional, and Slate or Plugin Alliance for character compressor/channel strip type stuff.

    The good thing is most companies do demos these days, so you can usually try something out to figure if it works for you.
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  • Well depends on what you need and what you want to do.  Also how much you want to spend!  Lots of companies have versions of the same stuff at different price points.

    If you're fairly new to stuff I'd stick with things that improve functionality or give you something you can't already get.  Fabfilter is a good place to start for functional, and Slate or Plugin Alliance for character compressor/channel strip type stuff.

    The good thing is most companies do demos these days, so you can usually try something out to figure if it works for you.
    Great stuff, thank you, mate.
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