Analog Obsession plugins: saturation levels

Discussion in 'Software' started by Shiori Oishi, Nov 15, 2023.

  1. Shiori Oishi

    Shiori Oishi Kapellmeister

    Oct 21, 2023
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    Hi everyone! About Analog Obsession plugins: do I need to use them with a heavy hand in order to get that "analog vibe"?

    What I'm aiming at is the West Coast hi-fi sound of the late 70s to early 80s. That sound isn't "crystal-clear digital", but I wouldn't consider it saturated either.

    My question really is: when using AO VSTs (for instance, creating the same channel strip for every track), without pushing saturation until it's audible, is it just "snake oil", or do they really bring a subtle, incremental difference just by being pluged in?

    I suppose the question applies to other emulators of analog gear as well.
  3. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

    Dec 29, 2020
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    Near Nyquist
    Imma suggest simple solution for that. If you have favourite saturation plugin, or EQ, that you really like the "analog vibe" or saturation of it, test them on Plugin Doctor (if you have it, or know where to get it) on your go-to settings, see the harmonic pattern and each generated harmonic loudness. Then load the AO plugin and dial it up to the equivalent level and remember the settings. It should get you at the ball park for the style of saturation sound you like, or at least a decent starting point. Also check the breaking point, when everything starting to foldover and become too funky, remember the settings too, so you wont push the plugin until it breaks on your daily use.

    All of the above isn't necessarily being done where one suppose to learn by ear of every single changes in sound and judge them that way only but visual aid sometimes can be a guide, so you could understand stuff better and most importantly learn the pattern, the behavior of them. AO plugins though, the saturation isn't subtle at all, it's quite obvious compared to other plugin, but there's a sweet spot for it, if pushed too much, in context of a full mix will make the mix sounds too crisp, or fried high-end sound, if that makes any sense.
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