A Mild Plugin/OS Compatibility Rant.

László

Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
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Location
Michigan
It's been roughly 8-9 months since Apple introduced OS 13 Ventura.

People went nuts regarding Waves' switch to a subscription system - with good reason, and to their credit, Waves reversed course on that - but at least their plugins are Ventura compatible, and have never crashed Logic on my Mac.

I have hundreds of plugins from a wide variety of developers.

The only plugins that crash my Mac at all (I run Ventura for a variety of good reasons) are several from Plugin Alliance. Everything else works. Now, I realize that some time back, PA's main studio was flooded and ruined. So I can't get too angry with them, they've had a lot to deal with.

Still...

They're selling plugins. I own most of what they sell, and have bought a BUNCH of their recent ones. They're all up-to-date. Yet many crash Logic every time. And who wants to bother to remember which ones work, and which of theirs crash the system?

I emailed them to explain why I wasn't sticking with one of their purchase programs. I explained that if I can't run them, I can't buy them. They said they can't predict when they'll be compatible.

OK, PA, you've been through a lot, and I'm not angry, but it IS frustrating that after a long gestation period you can't get this together. 8-9 months is a fairly long time to wait! And I really like their plugins - the GUIs are understandable and easy to get around on, the sound quality is excellent, and most of the plugins are pretty effing creative!

I wish they'd hurry up and fix this situation.

End of rant. I feel much better now. :)
 
There's zero reason they would need a studio to work on the plugin bugs. Devs are perfectly comfortable working at home offices, more so, as you aren't in some noisy environment trying to focus on tricky computer BS.

There's no excuse for this other than unwillingness.
 
It's been roughly 8-9 months since Apple introduced OS 13 Ventura.

People went nuts regarding Waves' switch to a subscription system - with good reason, and to their credit, Waves reversed course on that - but at least their plugins are Ventura compatible, and have never crashed Logic on my Mac.

I have hundreds of plugins from a wide variety of developers.

The only plugins that crash my Mac at all (I run Ventura for a variety of good reasons) are several from Plugin Alliance. Everything else works. Now, I realize that some time back, PA's main studio was flooded and ruined. So I can't get too angry with them, they've had a lot to deal with.

Still...

They're selling plugins. I own most of what they sell, and have bought a BUNCH of their recent ones. They're all up-to-date. Yet many crash Logic every time. And who wants to bother to remember which ones work, and which of theirs crash the system?

I emailed them to explain why I wasn't sticking with one of their purchase programs. I explained that if I can't run them, I can't buy them. They said they can't predict when they'll be compatible.

OK, PA, you've been through a lot, and I'm not angry, but it IS frustrating that after a long gestation period you can't get this together. 8-9 months is a fairly long time to wait! And I really like their plugins - the GUIs are understandable and easy to get around on, the sound quality is excellent, and most of the plugins are pretty effing creative!

I wish they'd hurry up and fix this situation.

End of rant. I feel much better now. :)
What are some of your favs from Plugin Alliance László? Always lookin' for some new toys ;~)) As for their development limitations at the moment, I have no clue what the whole story is but if they want to stay cookin', they will have to fix crash and compatability issues at some point. As to when, like they told you, unknown! When it comes to plugins I really just have 3 collections, Kontakt Komplete Ultimate (I think) from NI, Waves bundle (the one just below Mercury) and the Fab Filter bundle. UI wise, I love the Fab Filter stuff. My recent electro stuff would never have happened were in not for Native Instruments. Anyway, good rant and hope they can get back on the track for ya'!
 
More potential Mac problems down the road. Getting notifications that UA software will be incompatible with future Mac OS versions although it didn't say which specific version. Already need to loosen the basic security settings to have it run on Apple silicon. Would really su*k if UA doesn't get on the ball and make a compatible update.
 
There's no excuse for this other than unwillingness.
I'm inclined to agree. I don't get it.

What are some of your favs from Plugin Alliance László?
Of their recent stuff, Kirchoff EQ is wonderful, has lots of creative options that go way beyond something like Waves' F6, and I find it better than anything else at sculpting EQ to exactly what I need in order to solve problematic frequencies.

The Amek EQ 250 mastering EQ adds a nice solidity and heft to whatever I use it on. It's also great on individual tracks and buses. I love their 9099 channel strip. Speaking of their channel strips, the TMT feature is no BS. Switching in on and off with multiple tracks running (can be done with one switch) proves that when the tracks are summed, the result is significantly more like a high end analog console.

The SPL Iron is one of the most transparent compressors out there, and has lots of tweaking options. The thing just works on about everything.

The Bettermaker is an EQ I use both on tracks and buses. It's easy to use, and hard to make it sound bad. BX' Pan-EQ adds a lot of life to a stereo track. Their Millenia EQ is also killer, great on lots of different instruments. Tomo Lisa is a wonderful dynamic EQ. Sandman Pro does incredibly wonderful things with delay.

For color and good compression, I like the Neold U17. Especially good on percussion and drums. I also use their Big Al dirt box for subtle-to-serious harmonic color.

Metric AB is a great way to compare your mix to any music you want to instantly go back and forth and reference.

I'm scratching the surface here; I use a ton of their other plugins for specialized things - as mentioned, I have nearly everything they offer - but I tend to get lost in whatever's the latest-greatest, so for now I'd suggest trying these.

More potential Mac problems down the road. Getting notifications that UA software will be incompatible with future Mac OS versions although it didn't say which specific version. Already need to loosen the basic security settings to have it run on Apple silicon. Would really su*k if UA doesn't get on the ball and make a compatible update.

So far UA has been very responsive at keeping their software updated.

I've used a silver panel Apollo and Satellite since about 2015, and not only has it always run, along with all the plugins, regardless of the Mac models I've used in my studio, they've even offered upgrades to the hardware connectors that take about ten seconds to plug into the back of the units. I've upgraded from Firewire to Thunderbolt 1, and will also do the TB1 to Thunderbolt 3 upgrade so I don't have to use an adapter I'm currently using - been meaning to for a year. The upgrade hardware is inexpensive.

Many of my UAD plugins have been converted to Native, and they sound the same, and have scalable interfaces, which is nice.

I trust UA to take care of business in a reasonably prompt way. My son is using one with his M1 Mac Studio, I have no beef with them.
 
I've used a silver panel Apollo and Satellite since about 2015
I started with both UA and PRS around New Years and both, needless to say, make awesome equipment. My Apollo is like yours except it already has the TB3 card which works flawlessly. I do appreciate how UA has continued to give the old Firewire units upgrades to current Mac OS versions as long as they have the TB cards and hope they'll continue to do that, unlike dropping future OS support for the Satellites.

Regardless, I can't complain much since like two of my PRSi it was such an awesome deal:
Mint silver panel Apollo + TB3 card + TB3 cable
Mint 2011 Stripped 58 (@Andrew Paul had it last year)
Mint 2105 SE245 Soapbar with sanded neck + SD Stack P90 (noiseless) / Orange Drop cap
Total: barely over a new Apollo X8 Heritage Edition. Assuming UA updates, they all definitely fit into my dad's category of "lasting value"

Now my fingers just need to hold up to let me practice enough to come close to justifying the kit that I have.
 
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Thanks László for that detailed response on your favs! I am sure that this "scratching the surface" will keep me busy exploring for some time ;~)) If any other highlights come to mind, please drop 'em here!!
If memory serves, they have a two week free trial period on every plugin. There are times I try them and decide I don't need what I'm considering, but I've never felt that the stuff wasn't high quality software.

My favorite classic gear plugins are the Universal Audio re-creations of the hardware that's in every studio. It's so freakin' easy to use these classics, and as with the hardware, it's difficult to make them sound bad.

They sound significantly more like the hardware they model than other plugin developers' stuff. A/B one of theirs with some of the other excellent brands, and you'll hear it right away if you've ever used the hardware. But they didn't develop every plugin they have, so with UA plugins I stick to what they've produced themselves.

In any case, my 'first reach' is usually a UA plugin that emulates traditional gear. If I find I need more or different features, my second choice has usually been Plugin Alliance. However, I do like a lot of Waves plugins, have most of them, and keep them up-to-date, as I do all other software I use. I'm especially fond of their Abbey Road set.
 
I forgot to mention iZotope plugins!

They're fantastic problem-solvers. very innovative. I don't make much use of their AI features, unless I'm really stuck and want to hear a different take on what to do. Sometimes I'll use that as a starting point - for example, EQ curves - with plugins that have more of an analog sound, and tweak to my liking.

The things RX10 and Ozone do can be pretty amazing, like completely removing buzz/hum from a P-90 track without audibly affecting the tone of the guitar, removing HVAC noise from a vocal track, rebalancing an issue with bass frequencies, etc., etc.
 
I forgot to mention iZotope plugins!

They're fantastic problem-solvers. very innovative. I don't make much use of their AI features, unless I'm really stuck and want to hear a different take on what to do. Sometimes I'll use that as a starting point - for example, EQ curves - with plugins that have more of an analog sound, and tweak to my liking.

The things RX10 and Ozone do can be pretty amazing, like completely removing buzz/hum from a P-90 track without audibly affecting the tone of the guitar, removing HVAC noise from a vocal track, rebalancing an issue with bass frequencies, etc., etc.
I was using some of the izotope stuff around 2014-15, but lost track of it and have had a couple of fresh installs since then (and when I do a fresh install, I only install what I need when I need it)! I really did enjoy it though, thanks for the reminder/suggestion!!
 
Hey László, have you ever played with the Soundtheory Gulfoss plugin? I am reading some good things about it and wondering if you or anyone else here might have some first hand insight on it. LMK when you have a chance (you and anyone else)!
 
Hey László, have you ever played with the Soundtheory Gulfoss plugin? I am reading some good things about it and wondering if you or anyone else here might have some first hand insight on it. LMK when you have a chance (you and anyone else)!
I tried it!

The plugin is very impressive. Whether it's needed depends on personal preference.

It's conceptually similar to Ozone, Neutron, and other intelligent plugins; they each do their own, slightly different things.

Speaking only for myself, in both Gulfoss and Ozone the automatic features are best taken as suggestions/starting points when encountering problems I'm having a tough time solving by myself.

They are not be-all, end-all formulas for how I want my work to sound. But they're nice to have around.

I went with Ozone 10 Advanced instead of Gulfoss because it does a lot more stuff. If I'm going to trust a machine to help out my creative thinking, it needs to get me to the promised land all by itself in an emergency! Granted, it's $499 instead of $199. Sure I could use them together, but why?

When I'm doing audio post work, clients are in a gigantic hurry, and I can't get them to sit still long enough to do the work properly. EQ is needed, sure, but so is compression, limiting, smoothing, track balancing, noise problem solving, etc.

So I created some Ozone presets that work in a variety of situations when there just isn't time to do things the way I'd like to. Ozone has options that go way beyond EQ.

I later upgraded to the Full Monty bundle with all of the iZotope plugins included, so everything integrates with their Relay plugin, which, by the way is brilliant if you have to use this AI stuff.

Sometimes I don't have time to dick around with ideal, I just need to finish. Hence, Ozone.

For every other music application, I get results I'm happier with using my ears, experience and 'human brain intelligence'. This is true in the case of both Gulfoss and Ozone.

Anyway, I like Gulfoss, I respect Gulfoss, but I didn't buy Gulfoss.
 
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I saw on the Plugin Alliance website that the company has been acquired by Native Instruments; so has iZotope.

Smart move by N.I. in both cases. They've bought tremendous expertise in two software areas they didn't cover.

On the other hand, it remains to be seen whether either company (iZotope in particular) will remain as innovative. NI is very slow to develop new software and mostly have upgraded existing platforms.

In any case, this probably explains why PA hasn't updated their software. It's all about the deal-making.

I'm just a little apprehensive about this.

I have all of the iZotope titles, and nearly all of the PA offerings, and both represent a very substantial investment. I'd hate to see it screwed up. In the case of PA, it's not like I need another compressor or EQ, so I'm less concerned and have good alternatives, but iZotope's tools have worked very, very well here.

I've got all of the Waves titles applicable to the work I do, and despite the issues people have with certain Waves policies, fact is they're very good about keeping up with the current Mac and Windows OS, and they've got some innovative products that sound good and do what they're supposed to do. So I'm glad I've kept that stuff up to date and maintained that investment.
 
I've been watching the integration of the NI, PA and iZotope software on the iZotope website, and it's impressive that they're making a nice effort and have some bundles that incorporate both.

Also, it seems NI has some interesting new instruments. Playbox and Duet. They're certainly thinking 'outside the box' IN the box!

So perhaps the concern I expressed above is not well founded.
 
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