[LAD] General question: Components of Music Software

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Mon Apr 26 16:44:53 UTC 2010

On 04/26/2010 08:47 AM, Louigi Verona wrote:
> Hey guys!
> I was wondering about the following.
> On Windows we have lots and lots of plugins and synthesizers and effect
> racks. On Linux the selection is much less variable.
> However, am I correct in understanding that the variety of the Windows
> synths and plugins merely means that people take several core modules and
> just rearrange them into different GUIs?
> Am I correct in understanding that there are only several major algorithms
> for things like filters, delays, reverbs and choruses?

in my view, the situation is mixed. there is a lot of utter bullshit
going on, eqs and "mastering" compressors seem to have the greatest
voodoo factor. then some people sell you simple convolvers as
oh-so-great emulators of vintage stuff... i think it's justified to say
that these basic building blocks are widely understood, with little room
for ground-breaking improvements.

it's either in great user interfaces or cutting-edge (and patented)
technology that proprietary stuff kicks our collective asses (which is
fine in my book).

there are many truly revolutionary algorithms and interface designs that
have no free software equivalent, nor will they for the forseeable
future. stuff like ableton live or the waves reverbs come to mind, or
(gasp!) melodyne. or advanced restauration tools like really good
denoises and declickers. then there's adaptive convolvers that can
tackle non-linear stuff (like the "liquid" gear marketed by focusrite) -
no ready-to-use free equivalents exist for this. whether you need it or
not is another question. as it stands now, we can't emulate an UREI, the
closed source folks can. but sampo s. is hot on their tracks :)

the audio fundamentals (controlling spectrum, delay, frequency response,
and space), i.e. the basic things you mentioned that you need to get a
mix done, is all there, in varying degrees of usability and slickness,
and i have never looked back.

then again, i'm not tied into a workflow that needs maximum efficiency.
stuff like protools does have its uses - it's hard to envision an
environment where a seasoned engineer could be faster and more
productive. but often, all that you get for your money is a fake brushed
aluminum widget with huge, wasteful and incorrectly modelled VU meters
and fake rack ears... caveat emptor.

but in all fairness, open source is covering ground in this area, too. :-D



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