Are plug-in manufacturers running out of ideas? ·
Source: Unsplash / Amin Asbaghipour
Any DAW user has pondered the question at some point: How much room is there for innovation? The world of effects plug-ins and virtual instruments has been overloaded with choices. So many are classic hardware emulations, and very few provide features that aren’t covered by your DAW’s native plug-in suite. Are plug-in manufacturers running out of ideas?
At the beginning…
A new broom sweeps away, as they say. Undoubtedly, this is true in the case of software plug-in. As soon as they became a viable solution for signal processing and sound generation, there wasn’t a studio that didn’t jump to the idea.
During 90’s, we have seen the development of personal computers at a rapid pace. From clumsy auxiliary tools, became the center of the modern study. Multimedia workstations with graphics And audio capability has become more accessible And cheap that never.
Meanwhile, along with the IT boom, audio has established itself producers as Steinberg and Emagic expanded sequencer software in DAW systems capable of processing both MIDI And Audio. Plug-in interface standard such as VST paved the way for many virtual instruments And effects across the various platforms.
Plug-in in modern music production
If we look at how music is produced today, there is no studio that doesn’t work DAW software in one form or another. Working outside of a DAW has become something retro Announcements.
Although the surrounding conversations sound quality when working in the box initially they were common, things have moved on. It is no longer surprising to come across fully realized productions Softwareboth in study oa home.
Like music Software evolved, so it did emulation functionality along with the hard drive registration. The plug-ins had new purposes, but also a new market. The technician innovation behind democratized software music production tools forever.
Not just plug-ins cheaperbut they are more accessible for starters that means much wider global user base.
Are plug-in manufacturers running out of ideas?
The plug-in market certainly never stagnates. Manufacturers constantly release new plug-ins And update older ones, so it definitely keeps us busy. Other than that, there are new producers go out all the time with your own interpretations design. Trends appear repeat themselves in an infinity cycleand the market becomes more and more saturated Consequently.
New and revolutionary ideas they are not easy to find. EQ plug-ins, for example, seem to get smoother by the minute. The interfaces show a true balance of function And usabilitywhich is difficult Optimize up. Plus, effects and synths struggle to show much in the way of innovation because most of the concepts are now sold out.
However, there is still room for growth and new ideas, for a few reasons. As technology advances, the computing power available becomes even greater. Have new CPU on the market means that plug-ins have expanded capacity. The result is more complex software algorithmswhich, for example, can produce more detailed analog emulation.
At present, the incorporation of TO THE And automatic learning the functionality is becoming more and more popular within the software interface design. This allows under processing functionality, especially in the backend, that couldn’t be explored just a few years ago.
Technical advances require updates
One thing that may work against plug-in developers is the relentless speed at which new ones processors And operating systems are placed on the market. So many formats have become obsolete accordingly, and this is likely to continue.
At the moment, we are experiencing the migration from Intel to Apple silicon processors that require Compatibility. This results in plug-in redundancy legacy software without support in most cases. To add to this drawback, they often require new versions of the plug-ins new licenses which is added to the whole upgrade cost your system
The only plus is some producers like Audio Damage they did their whole heredity plug-in catalog available for free. This is definitely a bonus for users of legacy operating systems.
Progress is not only evident in processorsbut also in other sectors. Multichannel And immersive audio formats are a good example of this. Acoustic calibration tools for speakers and headphones as well room emulation plug-ins, are constantly being released. Recently, this has resulted multi-channel support to the already saturated effects plug-in market.
Waves Nx Germano Studios in New York
Evolution instead of innovation?
Rather than becoming more versatilewe are seeing an increase in plug-ins specialized. Plug-ins that run a specific technical function such as noise reduction improved drastically. Here, trends within popular music they influence developments. The desire to get “that sound” becomes the driving force behind it Tools for sidechaining or vocal pitching.
Sometimes innovation comes in the form of a merger of older concepts. This often results in a “a knob”Interface design. Here you can check a series of processes at various levels, with a single knob.
We can also see more expansion detailed interfacesas within a multi-band distortion plug-in in which each individual the parameter can be precisely checked. In the future, there is great potential for hybrid plug-in designs.
Repetition is a recurring theme
Never forget it User interface design and the programming is very varied art form. There is no right or wrong way to produce the results you need in your music, just this way works for you.
Some software is more focused on the sound potential, while other developers put the visual interface first. Most often it is the unique approach user that brings remarkable results. There is no guarantee that a new plug-in will sound better, so make sure try before you buy.
We can often put technological developments under the microscope, ignoring the bigger picture. Almost every part of modern art and consumer culture is made up of ideas regurgitated, and everyone still flocks to the next Batman movie. With the lens of subjectivityyou can find what works for yours ideal process.
So what are they your thoughts about? It is there stagnation in plugin development or do you think there are a lot of new things happening right now? What plugins do they have surprised you lately?
Poll: Which plug-ins have we seen enough of?
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Originally posted on Gearnews.de by Dirk.