End of the Year Numbers Advice
So here’s a quick one to think about next time you find yourself hung up on numbers while mixing. I’ve recently been demoing some new plugin emulations from Waves of some classic studio compressors. The cool thing about the Waves emulations are there are pre-existing emulations from Bombfactory of the same classic compressors that have been on the market for almost ten years now. So we’ve got the same hardware inspiration recreated by two different digital manufacturers over the course of maybe ten years.
What’s interesting to me is how different the emulations are. You can set the virtual knobs on either plugin to the same settings, but the attack and release times are clearly different. Even the Input and Output settings are different. It’s visible right on the meters, but more importantly it’s audible. These differences could be for any number of reasons. The plugin manufacturers were probably using different hardware boxes to do the modeling, and when it comes to analog gear two different boxes–even of the same type–may sound and behave differently.
Now I’m not saying that one of these emulations is better than the other; you can go download demos and decide for yourself. But, I would like to point out that the numbers are the same, yet, the numbers are different. So next time you’re reading about how so and so likes to set his attack at 6ms and his release at 75ms or set the knobs a certain way, you might think about whether you have the exact same piece of gear so and so is talking about. And if you don’t have it, remember that you can always fall back on your ears.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!