Most overrated and underrated VST developers (can list specific VSTs too)

Discuss VST stuff here!
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dvdrtldg
Posts: 1636
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 22 Jul 2021

guitfnky wrote:
22 Jul 2021
plaamook wrote:
22 Jul 2021
Soothe isn't really what I think of as a sibilance tool. I guess it'll de-ess, but I never need it like that.
It's real trick is dynamic resonance taming. For me that mean's reverbed drone-scapes and hard filtering. The kind of stuff you'd be going mad chasing and automating with a standard EQ. It excels at that like nothing i've seen. And it's as transparent as you want it to be really. Soothe2 even more so.
It's possible you don't need it for what you're working with but it does it's job very well in other areas.
you’re totally right that it’s not really necessary for what I’m working on. I don’t doubt that it’s a good plugin—I just trialed it because I kept seeing people gushing over how well it de-esses, and I wanted to love it for that reason. it did a good job of taking some harshness away from some stuff, but not really anything I couldn’t get done with a standard EQ in that arena either.
Yeah de-essing is one thing that I haven't found to be very successful with Soothe - which is weird, because it's specifically marketed as a de-esser among other things. But I get much better sibilance taming results from other plugins (e.g. Waves Sibilance, and their DPR 402 compressor goes great too). And if Selig ever releases a VST version of his de-esser I will buy three of them coz it's the best

But for lower frequency issues, Soothe is in a class of its own (by which I mean Soothe2, which covers the full freq range)

chaosroyale
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Post 23 Jul 2021

Most over-rated:

Trash2 and Fabfilter Saturn (yes, fight me) ...why? - They sound absolutely fine but the saturation market is (pun intended) so there are much cheaper options available. Also their interfaces don't live up to the more recent interfaces from the same companies. Izotope and Fabfilter plugins generally though are excellent and deserve all the praise they get.

Waves Maxxbass - the ultimate "make it sound like shit" snake oil plugin.

Omnisphere - The ultimate normie casual VST. It can do a lot, but everyone who has it just uses presets and sounds like everyone else. Also ugly a.f.

Any "pultec" style retro plugin that costs more than 25 bucks.

Most under-rated: this is harder because it's very subjective...and most really good VSTs end up attracting a high reputation. By now, I think everyone rates stuff like Youlean Loudness Meter. Fabfilter Pro-Q3, Synapse The Legend, etc etc highly, as they should.

So....

Valhalla Delay ...But it's extremely highly rated? Yes, and still not highly enough. 50 bucks!!! Insanity. The first and only delay I reach for now. Did I mention it can also do shimmerverbs!?

And how about -

Blamsoft VK-1 Viking - a niche case; yeah it's just a rather limited monosynth, but its free (as in lunch) and WOAH that sound has so much character! Stack 2 in a combinator, add a Valhalla Delay, and you have huge sound for a tiny budget.

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fieldframe
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Post 23 Jul 2021

Overrated: This is going to be controversial, but I don't get the fascination with Diva. Maybe I just don't have trained enough ears, but I've never been convinced of the benefit over other VA synths.

Underrated: FXpansion Strobe2. I guess you could say this is the Diva for me. Great analog character combined with a well thought-out interface that makes modulation clear.
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SebAudio
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Post 23 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
23 Jul 2021
Blamsoft VK-1 Viking - a niche case; yeah it's just a rather limited monosynth, but its free (as in lunch) and WOAH that sound has so much character! Stack 2 in a combinator, add a Valhalla Delay, and you have huge sound for a tiny budget.
Not a VST but Vk-2 is great too !
Seb Audio ( :reason: 11 waiting for HD v12 / Ableton Live 10 + RRP 11-PX7)
https://maretranquillitatis.bandcamp.com/
https://ljseb.bandcamp.com/

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dvdrtldg
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Post 24 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
23 Jul 2021
Omnisphere - The ultimate normie casual VST. It can do a lot, but everyone who has it just uses presets and sounds like everyone else. Also ugly a.f.
Hard agree. I have a particular loathing for Omnisphere

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plaamook
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Post 26 Jul 2021

I’m gonna chime in on Trash 2 as overrated.
It’s a tough one. Trash is cheap and powerful and you can get pretty deep into mangling you noise with it. I love it in many ways and I dont think it’s over rated as such but it prob has the worst interface to shit under the hood ratio I’ve ever seen in a vst.
I’d use it way way more if the interface was even partially sorted out.

I emailed em and they kindly replied that it was very unlikely trash would get any kind of attention. Ever.
Too bad really.
You can check out my music here.
https://m.soundcloud.com/ericholmofficial

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plaamook
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Post 26 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
23 Jul 2021
Most over-rated:

Trash2 and Fabfilter Saturn (yes, fight me) ...why? - They sound absolutely fine but the saturation market is (pun intended) so there are much cheaper options available. Also their interfaces don't live up to the more recent interfaces from the same companies. Izotope and Fabfilter plugins generally though are excellent and deserve all the praise they get.

Waves Maxxbass - the ultimate "make it sound like shit" snake oil plugin.

Omnisphere - The ultimate normie casual VST. It can do a lot, but everyone who has it just uses presets and sounds like everyone else. Also ugly a.f.

Any "pultec" style retro plugin that costs more than 25 bucks.

Most under-rated: this is harder because it's very subjective...and most really good VSTs end up attracting a high reputation. By now, I think everyone rates stuff like Youlean Loudness Meter. Fabfilter Pro-Q3, Synapse The Legend, etc etc highly, as they should.

So....

Valhalla Delay ...But it's extremely highly rated? Yes, and still not highly enough. 50 bucks!!! Insanity. The first and only delay I reach for now. Did I mention it can also do shimmerverbs!?

And how about -

Blamsoft VK-1 Viking - a niche case; yeah it's just a rather limited monosynth, but its free (as in lunch) and WOAH that sound has so much character! Stack 2 in a combinator, add a Valhalla Delay, and you have huge sound for a tiny budget.
I’m gonna argue the case w Saturn purely because of its dynamics. You can use it as a kind of expander/saturator/exciter and I’m not aware of alternatives in this area.
Though I’m sure there must be.

Prob w talking about how cheap anything from Fab is is that their flexible pricing structure gradient is a slippery slope. After you bought a few they all start to seem worth it.
I got ProG the other day. Just...because...

As for the interface...I think the recent Timeless3 release kinda makes everything else look dated. It’s such a slic interface it’s insane. You’d be forgiven for imagining what the world would be like if all interfaces were so well designed.
You can check out my music here.
https://m.soundcloud.com/ericholmofficial

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adfielding
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Post 27 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
23 Jul 2021
Blamsoft VK-1 Viking - a niche case; yeah it's just a rather limited monosynth, but its free (as in lunch) and WOAH that sound has so much character! Stack 2 in a combinator, add a Valhalla Delay, and you have huge sound for a tiny budget.
I totally forgot VK-1 was a VST now! Blamsoft are definitely underrated - VK-2 is marvellous and, although I tend to use Europa in its place nowadays, I still think Expanse is damn good. Their effects are great as well.

edit: I totally agree with you on Valhalla Delay as well.

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hurricane
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Post 27 Jul 2021

Most overrated is Europa. I remember when it was first being teased how Mattias and Co. hinted it would be right up there with Serum. Yeah.....NOT. It was also made available as a VST and it barely made a noise across the musicverse.

Most underrated: Skrock Pulse. It has a richness and thickness that Europa lacks. Best RE for synthwave, in my opinion.
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ArcoZ
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Post 29 Jul 2021

Overrated:
Fabfilter - funky GUI, nothing under the hood
Ozone - only one tool is worth considering - master rebalance
Soothe - OK but nothing special
DSEQ - Soothe alternative but after 3 months playing with it I've just given it up
Melda - hugely overpriced because of technical complexity but poor musical quality (free bundle is OK)
UVI - big price, small result

Fairly rated:
Waves - because of their latest price policy
TAL - you got what you pay for

Underrated
Arturia - because of their recent emulation progress
Lexicon - ultimate reverbs of the past
Gullfoss - because people don't know how to use it
Smooth Operator - ultimate deesser
DSM V3 - ultimate mastering tool

All opinions massively subjective. Yours can be different. But I produce music since 1994 ... and you?

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plaamook
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Post 30 Jul 2021

ArcoZ wrote:
29 Jul 2021
Overrated:
All opinions massively subjective. Yours can be different. But I produce music since 1994 ... and you?
Only since 2007.
Is my subjective opinion still valid?
You can check out my music here.
https://m.soundcloud.com/ericholmofficial

Mataya
Posts: 238
Joined: 03 May 2019

Post 30 Jul 2021

ArcoZ wrote:
29 Jul 2021
Overrated:
Fabfilter - funky GUI, nothing under the hood
Ozone - only one tool is worth considering - master rebalance
Soothe - OK but nothing special
DSEQ - Soothe alternative but after 3 months playing with it I've just given it up
Melda - hugely overpriced because of technical complexity but poor musical quality (free bundle is OK)
UVI - big price, small result

Fairly rated:
Waves - because of their latest price policy
TAL - you got what you pay for

Underrated
Arturia - because of their recent emulation progress
Lexicon - ultimate reverbs of the past
Gullfoss - because people don't know how to use it
Smooth Operator - ultimate deesser
DSM V3 - ultimate mastering tool

All opinions massively subjective. Yours can be different. But I produce music since 1994 ... and you?
You'r list is kind of weird.
I don't use Fabfilter but tried them on a couple occasions. And I don't think there's nothing under the hood. Just watch some Dan Worall videos. I think he proves it every time he uses those plugins and comparing them with other vst's. That guy will change your mind.

Ozone with only one tool to consider? Why?

Arturia is definitely not underrated.
How can Lexicon be underrated? K'mon man...
Smooth operator? That thing just came into existence recently. Is it not? I don't believe you used it as much to say it's an ultimate deesser.

Just thught I ask and comment a bit.
Don't get crazy.

tx
M
Last edited by Mataya on 30 Jul 2021, edited 1 time in total.

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 2422
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Location: Norway

Post 30 Jul 2021

ArcoZ wrote:
29 Jul 2021
Overrated:
Fabfilter - funky GUI, nothing under the hood
Ozone - only one tool is worth considering - master rebalance
Soothe - OK but nothing special
DSEQ - Soothe alternative but after 3 months playing with it I've just given it up
Melda - hugely overpriced because of technical complexity but poor musical quality (free bundle is OK)
UVI - big price, small result

Fairly rated:
Waves - because of their latest price policy
TAL - you got what you pay for

Underrated
Arturia - because of their recent emulation progress
Lexicon - ultimate reverbs of the past
Gullfoss - because people don't know how to use it
Smooth Operator - ultimate deesser
DSM V3 - ultimate mastering tool

All opinions massively subjective. Yours can be different. But I produce music since 1994 ... and you?
Gullfoss, isn't it super hyped? I think it is fantastic, and wouldn't call it underrated 😂

Izotope has a myriad of very good tools, Rx, ozone and neutron are brilliant for post, mastering and mixing respectively. There are tools that get used more than others depending on your use case, for example I almost never use music rebalance because Yeah it is great but I don't need it often.

chaosroyale
Posts: 717
Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 31 Jul 2021

Some crazy talk going on here!
of course subjectivity is important, but let's keep it on planet Earth.

Fabfilter & Izotope are both top-tier, they make tools for professionals. They have clear, workflow-based UIs which are not "eye candy", they are designed to save you time which is really important in a work context. They also have absolutely excellent functionality, quite the opposite of "nothing under the hood". They can however be expensive, so look out for sales/deals (Izotope) or Fabfilter's loyalty discounts.

As for Gullfloss being "under-rated" !? ..well-reviewed, maybe even over-hyped Gullfloss? that Gullfloss? I think Gullfloss is a good tool, don't get me wrong, but considering the hype and reputation, surely not "over rated".

Lexicon
>"under-rated"
mfw

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guitfnky
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Post 31 Jul 2021

I'm 100% certain Fabfilter plugins are excellent. I'm also 100% certain there are similarly excellent plugins (in sound quality, features, and functionality) easily found that sell for a fraction of the cost. so yes, overrated. paying a premium for the pride (I guess?) of getting a brand name is something I'll never understand.
I write bad music for good people

latest release—The Lake Door:
bit.ly/TheLakeDoor-Soundcloud
https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/track/the-lake-door

chaosroyale
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Post 31 Jul 2021

Workflow, workflow, workflow.

It's nothing to do with having a "premium" brand name, it's the simple fact that Fabfilter's fast hands-on UI, accurate and easy-to-read visualizations, customizability, and overall workflow, can save you a couple of seconds/minutes here and there, every time you use it. On a big project, that can add up to hours of studio time/personnel time, which means money.

For a hobby, that might not be an issue. And I agree that there are other plugins of excellent, even equal, quality (see my criticism of Saturn above) but in cases where time is money, it's all about workflow.
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
I'm 100% certain Fabfilter plugins are excellent. I'm also 100% certain there are similarly excellent plugins (in sound quality, features, and functionality) easily found that sell for a fraction of the cost. so yes, overrated. paying a premium for the pride (I guess?) of getting a brand name is something I'll never understand.

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guitfnky
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Post 31 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Workflow, workflow, workflow.

It's nothing to do with having a "premium" brand name, it's the simple fact that Fabfilter's fast hands-on UI, accurate and easy-to-read visualizations, customizability, and overall workflow, can save you a couple of seconds/minutes here and there, every time you use it. On a big project, that can add up to hours of studio time/personnel time, which means money.

For a hobby, that might not be an issue. And I agree that there are other plugins of excellent, even equal, quality (see my criticism of Saturn above) but in cases where time is money, it's all about workflow.
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
I'm 100% certain Fabfilter plugins are excellent. I'm also 100% certain there are similarly excellent plugins (in sound quality, features, and functionality) easily found that sell for a fraction of the cost. so yes, overrated. paying a premium for the pride (I guess?) of getting a brand name is something I'll never understand.
there’s a reason I included the word functionality. that means similar workflow and usability.
I write bad music for good people

latest release—The Lake Door:
bit.ly/TheLakeDoor-Soundcloud
https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/track/the-lake-door

chaosroyale
Posts: 717
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Post 31 Jul 2021

Honest question: what EQ do you think is equal in quality, features and workflow to Pro-Q3? I will check it out.
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
there’s a reason I included the word functionality. that means similar workflow and usability.

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guitfnky
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Post 31 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Honest question: what EQ do you think is equal in quality, features and workflow to Pro-Q3? I will check it out.
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
there’s a reason I included the word functionality. that means similar workflow and usability.
Toneboosters EQ4—it doesn’t have all the same features, naturally, but it has a lot of similar ones (the most common/important, IMO).
I write bad music for good people

latest release—The Lake Door:
bit.ly/TheLakeDoor-Soundcloud
https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/track/the-lake-door

WarStar
Posts: 202
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Post 31 Jul 2021

guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Honest question: what EQ do you think is equal in quality, features and workflow to Pro-Q3? I will check it out.

Toneboosters EQ4—it doesn’t have all the same features, naturally, but it has a lot of similar ones (the most common/important, IMO).
That EQ4 looks nice... And great price.. I've been wanting the FabFilter but damn that's some ducket$ lol

Thanks for the suggestion!!

chaosroyale
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Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 31 Jul 2021

TB Equalizer 4: I just demo'd it, and you know what, it's great. For the price, it is a steal. Thanks for the recommendation!

However, it only has full dynamic functionality in VST3, so if you need a dynamic EQ, sadly you can't use this one in Reason.

I think Pro-Q still has the edge with its more adjustable visualizer and extra options, and the Toneboosters default UI setup gives you a very heavy-handed EQ without a detailed visualizer, so you have to spend time setting it all up. It looks like you can save a new default setting. The demo won't save, so I could not test it.

I stand by my description of Fabfilter as worth the price when you really don't want to compromise. However, I would say that the Toneboosters EQ-4 is a great alternative if you are on a budget. Also....I have to say it, but if this is the quality of a "budget" EQ in 2021, why are the Reason EQ and visualizers still so bad?
WarStar wrote:
31 Jul 2021
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021


Toneboosters EQ4—it doesn’t have all the same features, naturally, but it has a lot of similar ones (the most common/important, IMO).
That EQ4 looks nice... And great price.. I've been wanting the FabFilter but damn that's some ducket$ lol

Thanks for the suggestion!!

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ArcoZ
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Post 31 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Honest question: what EQ do you think is equal in quality, features and workflow to Pro-Q3? I will check it out.
guitfnky wrote:
31 Jul 2021
there’s a reason I included the word functionality. that means similar workflow and usability.
Pro-Q3 is a very pricey piece of software and in fact has a speedy workflow. No doubt about it. But when it comes to sound, check old H-Eq from Waves. It can beat FabF hands down in term of sound, especially in mastering or group use. It has a slow workflow and it's clumsy plugin but the sound .....delicious. Best EQ in the world. I have made one week testing with blind trials. I know what I'm talking about.

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ArcoZ
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Post 31 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Some crazy talk going on here!
of course subjectivity is important, but let's keep it on planet Earth.

Fabfilter & Izotope are both top-tier, they make tools for professionals. They have clear, workflow-based UIs which are not "eye candy", they are designed to save you time which is really important in a work context. They also have absolutely excellent functionality, quite the opposite of "nothing under the hood". They can however be expensive, so look out for sales/deals (Izotope) or Fabfilter's loyalty discounts.

As for Gullfloss being "under-rated" !? ..well-reviewed, maybe even over-hyped Gullfloss? that Gullfloss? I think Gullfloss is a good tool, don't get me wrong, but considering the hype and reputation, surely not "over rated".

Lexicon
>"under-rated"
mfw
And let's really get down to the Earth.
Fab filter not eye-candy? - Are you kidding me?
Fab filter design to save your time - Have you seen person using their delay for the first time? No success - overcomplicated etc.
Fab filter dry-wet level concept - the most stupid and weirdest on the planet

I know I said "nothing under the hood". You know I really didn't mean that literally. I just wanted to point it is not that good as it seems.
9 years ago I produced one album using FabF (1st release) extensively. Then I discovered there were many other tools that suited my needs much better. My first disappointment was the limiter. I relieved having changed that to Waves. Then I realized the compressor had no character. Then Saturn went to the trash, many options same sound. etc
Of course it is very subjective. But I am sharing my own experience. No more than that.

chaosroyale
Posts: 717
Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 31 Jul 2021

I consider Waves Malware, ever since my laptop was bundled with a shitty Waves "enhancer" (with maxxbass, of course) as the default multimedia sound wrapper in a way that could not be easily removed. At least I could turn it off, but it's always sitting there in my system tray, like a goblin. :P

But even if I didn't, you cannot compare a "character" EQ that has a particular "sound" (meaning - introduces nonlinearities) with a transparent EQ. A completely transparent, "perfect" EQ (like Pro-Q, and most major EQ plugins) doesn't add any kind of saturation, noise, or compression. It doesn't have a "sound". <<<EDIT; This is a simplification, see later in the thread if you really care about the details.
ArcoZ wrote:
31 Jul 2021
chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
Honest question: what EQ do you think is equal in quality, features and workflow to Pro-Q3? I will check it out.

Pro-Q3 is a very pricey piece of software and in fact has a speedy workflow. No doubt about it. But when it comes to sound, check old H-Eq from Waves. It can beat FabF hands down in term of sound, especially in mastering or group use. It has a slow workflow and it's clumsy plugin but the sound .....delicious. Best EQ in the world. I have made one week testing with blind trials. I know what I'm talking about.
Last edited by chaosroyale on 31 Jul 2021, edited 1 time in total.

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ArcoZ
Posts: 58
Joined: 17 Mar 2015

Post 31 Jul 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
31 Jul 2021
I consider Waves Malware, ever since my laptop was bundled with a shitty Waves "enhancer" (with maxxbass, of course) as the default multimedia sound wrapper in a way that could not be easily removed. At least I could turn it off, but it's always sitting there in my system tray, like a goblin. :P

But even if I didn't, you cannot compare a "character" EQ that has a particular "sound" (meaning - introduces nonlinearities) with a transparent EQ. A completely transparent, "perfect" EQ (like Pro-Q, and most major EQ plugins) doesn't add any kind of saturation, noise, or compression. It doesn't have a "sound".
ArcoZ wrote:
31 Jul 2021


Pro-Q3 is a very pricey piece of software and in fact has a speedy workflow. No doubt about it. But when it comes to sound, check old H-Eq from Waves. It can beat FabF hands down in term of sound, especially in mastering or group use. It has a slow workflow and it's clumsy plugin but the sound .....delicious. Best EQ in the world. I have made one week testing with blind trials. I know what I'm talking about.
I bet you never made massive private comparisons of software plugins. Your opinios are based on stereotypes. The cleanest and transparent eq is reaper eq constructed on pure simple mathematical scheme. And it's free. Try to compare those plugins and you will be stunned. BTW I hate ReaperEQ.
There is no perfect eq. There is no rule using eq.
You show emotional statements like "waves malware". Ridiculous! Tell it to Mr Scheps. Tell it to Mr. Maserati etc. They use Waves Malware everyday and they are best guys in the business on the planet. No Comments. Over.

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