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New Slate Compressors

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New Slate Compressors

Postby ngarjuna » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:19 pm

For the most part I'm still not all that excited by the new Slate compressors (I've not tried them at all, that's purely a measure of anticipation); another S*L is probably the last thing on my 'must-purchase' list (between Alex's 4K, Tim's 9K and The Glue for non-Nebula occasions I never even got around to playing with IK's) and between Henry's Mojo presets and the IK Fairchild I have little interest in yet another 670. But the Red compels me a little, it seems to be a flavor that isn't available in 100,000 other plugins/bundles.

So: how good is it really? Normally all the great reviews I've read would be enough but this is a Slate product and the hype often overshadows reality with Steven's plugs (nothing against the guy for that, he's quite good at getting people hyped up about upcoming releases). Plus comparisons with Nebula compression lead to detailed questions like "Which Nebula compressor?" etc. Cup's 33609 has been a mainstay on my 2-buss since he released it. Is the Red going to represent another, different flavor of compression that I'll love alternating between in my toolkit? Or is this just another algo plugin that, when the hype has worn off in a month or two, will collect dust with the 100s of others sitting in my VST folder? $200 isn't outrageous for a single compressor but when you consider the sheer number of Nebula comps one can buy at that price... It looked like Mercado and Transcending Music have tried it (they both posted info in the GS thread), could you guys or anyone else who can make a good comparison comment on the newest Nebula compressors (like the 9K or the 609) and how this plugin fits in with those?
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby SWAN » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:51 pm

hi dude

I have been testing it. I liked the transparent compressor in FG-X and was keen to see what Fabrice could do with more characterful compressors.

They are good-for algo plugins. I would say they are up there with the best. Are the significantly better? Im not sure - but it is a good collection with good features - well thought out.

FG-Grey. A good S*L style emulation that has more colour and girth than The Glue or the average S*L. It bounces well. Im not usually an S*L bus comp fan but this one is better than most.
FG-Red. This one is joint favorite. Punchy and aggressive-retains the transients well and maintains low end punch. Decent colour emulation in the make up gain.
FG Mu. Joint favorite. Pretty punchy and aggressive for a Vari Mu. Nice tube style sound. However a mid range tonal colour to it that is hard to escape from which slightly mars the experience for me.

The Rack-I generally load the rack and trial the 3 to see what works best. I actually like this way of working - and the benefit is you can use the mix knob to dial in small amounts of different unit. This is one of the biggest benefits to the collection IMO.

They have done a good job no doubt. I was quite impressed initially. However on further use I have started to wonder if it really offers more than what I have, or what I want. I cant get away from the fact that the way they handle transients can be a bit hard and plastic especially when you push them. Slate is claiming some pros are selling their hardware but they must have cloth ears or be broke - because although the plugin has a better feel than most - it doesnt have the musicality I hear in an analogue model-particularly in the attack. Sure I bet a few people will be fooled in blind tests.

I actually tested the Overtone dsp Fairchild and was really impressed. Its £25 and I think I might get that - it doesnt have the tonal irritation of the FG Mu. I also was able to get the DC8C to sound very similar to FG Red.

I have to be honest and say I prefer hardware compression - so I would do as much as possible with hardware then just a touch with plugins...

I like Cupwise compressors but only on single channels which dont have much bass. To my ears they tend to clamp nicely but on bass freq in an uncompromising way (hard attacks)...admittedly I have not tested 609 extensively on the master but slick 9k soft knee seemed promising...

On whether I will buy VBC - Im not sure. It is a nice set of tools to work with - and you can quickly get a result. If you keep processing low then you dont get too much plastic plugin sound and you get punchy transients-but you dont get much real sounding hardware warmth. I would probably end up using a touch of FG Red for punch - then into a 50% mix of FG Mu for a bit more volume...but when I compare to DC8C its a close run thing...so for now I will probably not buy...
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby ngarjuna » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:02 am

Interesting and detailed response, thanks SWAN. It has been ages since I had a hardware Red in front of me, since college, I don't really remember what it sounds like honestly; but I have and love the DC8C it's a great processor. Never tried the Overtone, though, I'll have to give it a whirl.
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby jkervin » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:45 am

Hey Swan I was looking forward to hearing from you on this forum about VBC. You actually helped me pick out my 2Buss hardware comp :) I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy VBC. I really like the Slate stuff. I just wasn't sure if I was going to do it now, or wait a while. Also not sure about keeping the SB4001 I got a few months back. I really do like it, but if I can get similar results fromVBC then I may not keep it. I have the Cupwise comps and they are amazing for sure, but I do still struggle with CPU issues and workflow using Nebula so VBC seems like a good option. I picked up The Glue a while backand Iit is great too. Just getting wrapped up in the hype over VBC makes it tough to not pick up while it's at an intro price.

On another note I have noticed that Nebula is really getting a lot more positive attention on GS lately, which is well deserved.
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby SWAN » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:41 am

jkervin wrote:Hey Swan I was looking forward to hearing from you on this forum about VBC. You actually helped me pick out my 2Buss hardware comp :) I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy VBC. I really like the Slate stuff. I just wasn't sure if I was going to do it now, or wait a while. Also not sure about keeping the SB4001 I got a few months back. I really do like it, but if I can get similar results fromVBC then I may not keep it. I have the Cupwise comps and they are amazing for sure, but I do still struggle with CPU issues and workflow using Nebula so VBC seems like a good option. I picked up The Glue a while backand Iit is great too. Just getting wrapped up in the hype over VBC makes it tough to not pick up while it's at an intro price.

On another note I have noticed that Nebula is really getting a lot more positive attention on GS lately, which is well deserved.


Hey man - glad I helped you out! What did I suggest? lol...

But actually demo the VBC but dont get caught up on the hype and think carefully before selling the Serpent...many people rate that unit...VBC is good - but the FG Grey has quite abit of saturation on it and might sound a bit plastic compared to the Serpent....

Maybe A/B them and update us!

Someone really needs to do something about this spam...
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby jkervin » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:57 am

Hey man - glad I helped you out! What did I suggest? lol...

But actually demo the VBC but dont get caught up on the hype and think carefully before selling the Serpent...many people rate that unit...VBC is good - but the FG Grey has quite abit of saturation on it and might sound a bit plastic compared to the Serpent....

Maybe A/B them and update us!

Someone really needs to do something about this spam...[/quote]

Haha you gave me input into a few and helped me narrow my list down - very much appreciated! Thanks again!

Hype? What hype? Haha I actually bought VBC today. I'll be trying it out over the weekend. I'll likely keep the Serpent for a while. I really do like it a lot. The only thing I may do one day is buy an Obsidian or maybe an FCS P4DMS (if I can scrape up some change).

I'll do an A/B eventually for sure!

Haha seriously it's nuts!
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby SWAN » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:12 am

jkervin wrote:Hey man - glad I helped you out! What did I suggest? lol...

But actually demo the VBC but dont get caught up on the hype and think carefully before selling the Serpent...many people rate that unit...VBC is good - but the FG Grey has quite abit of saturation on it and might sound a bit plastic compared to the Serpent....

Maybe A/B them and update us!

Someone really needs to do something about this spam...


Haha you gave me input into a few and helped me narrow my list down - very much appreciated! Thanks again!

Hype? What hype? Haha I actually bought VBC today. I'll be trying it out over the weekend. I'll likely keep the Serpent for a while. I really do like it a lot. The only thing I may do one day is buy an Obsidian or maybe an FCS P4DMS (if I can scrape up some change).

I'll do an A/B eventually for sure!

Haha seriously it's nuts![/quote]

I think I remember discussing the Overstayer with you actually...

Well - go for it with VBC. Its definitely a good plugin. I have to admit tho I was listening to an example of a £100 drawmer compressor over a drum bus and when I matched the VBC compressors with it - I still prefer the Drawmer...ultimately I think I just prefer the way analogue stuff sounds...but under lower levels of compression - I should think VBC is fine for the mix bus and difficult to distinguish from a hardware unit...
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby jkervin » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:05 am

That was also at the top of the list.

Yeah I'm sure it will be a good tool. I do love hardware too. In fact about a year ago I bought a Phoenix DRS-Q4 and it really changed my world in the studio. I recently bought a pair of Tonelux TX5C's and love them. I'm sure they'll be using those on every mix.

Doing this at home, for no (or negative!) money definitely makes plugins very attractive, of course. If somebody told me I had to choose between hardware and software though, I think the Big Freeze would happen before I could make up my mind. I enjoy the debates on this for the information as much as the entertainment value.

I really do want the FCS P4DMS. Someday, someday.

Maybe Tim (Cupwise) could sample that one. Ooooohhhhh.
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby SWAN » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:52 am

jkervin wrote:That was also at the top of the list.

Yeah I'm sure it will be a good tool. I do love hardware too. In fact about a year ago I bought a Phoenix DRS-Q4 and it really changed my world in the studio. I recently bought a pair of Tonelux TX5C's and love them. I'm sure they'll be using those on every mix.

Doing this at home, for no (or negative!) money definitely makes plugins very attractive, of course. If somebody told me I had to choose between hardware and software though, I think the Big Freeze would happen before I could make up my mind. I enjoy the debates on this for the information as much as the entertainment value.

I really do want the FCS P4DMS. Someday, someday.

Maybe Tim (Cupwise) could sample that one. Ooooohhhhh.


not sure the quote thing is working but anyways...

Yeah man Im the same as you Im doing it for the love...but I still take sound seriously...

Software is attractive for the money but actually you can get some good hardware for the money also...I was listening to Drawmer 221 and LX20 today and they are pretty cool compressors...I was testing them against VBC and most of the time I preferred the £100 Drawmers...

I have a Phoenix NiceDI and like the look of those DRS-Q4...do you use them during mixing as well as tracking?

Yeah the FCS looks nice. To be honest its endless - but I think for a hobbyist / songwriter you can get great results with lower end stuff like D*x, Drawmer, FMR along side a few of the best plugs...and Nebula of course!
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Re: New Slate Compressors

Postby jkervin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:42 am

So far I have only used the Phoenix for tracking. Bass and guitars sound great to me direct. I've recirded vocals through it as well as acoustic guitars. Everything sounds good. I'll definitely be using it to mix. I'm still trying to figure out the most efficient way to insert my hardware.

Definitely hear a lot of great things about FMR and Drawmet. Will check them out. I really do love Nebula. The more proficient I get at using it, the less most other stuff will get used...
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