Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

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Jordan15
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Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by Jordan15 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:08 am

Hey guys,

I'm trying to make 80's sounding electro house type stuff and am sick of using mostly ableton stuff. It passes by, but I'm always looking to upgrade even in small ways.
I need suggestions for the following: (hopefully either VST, or something easily attainable and not a small fortune, as I'm building my synth collection, a synth > an effect)

-Phaser, currently using a maestro vst, but it doesn't seem to have as much depth as I want before sounding too wonky, it's almost what I want, but not quite. Ableton's sounds really weak and thin to me
-Delay, been using ableton's, just wondering if there's anything better out of curiosity
-reverb, ableton's seems pretty good, not sure if there's much diff between them
-distortion, using ableton's stuff again

That's all I really use besides chorus

Thanks guys

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by tekkentool » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:55 pm

Jordan15 wrote:Hey guys,

I'm trying to make 80's sounding electro house type stuff and am sick of using mostly ableton stuff. It passes by, but I'm always looking to upgrade even in small ways.
I need suggestions for the following: (hopefully either VST, or something easily attainable and not a small fortune, as I'm building my synth collection, a synth > an effect)

-Phaser, currently using a maestro vst, but it doesn't seem to have as much depth as I want before sounding too wonky, it's almost what I want, but not quite. Ableton's sounds really weak and thin to me
-Delay, been using ableton's, just wondering if there's anything better out of curiosity
-reverb, ableton's seems pretty good, not sure if there's much diff between them
-distortion, using ableton's stuff again

That's all I really use besides chorus

Thanks guys
this should be in sound production i believe.

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Jordan15 wrote:a synth > an effect
Your priorities are the wrong way around, son!

You may want to try these free ones as far as plug-ins go:
http://www.e-phonic.com/plugins/
http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/classic-series.php

Although I don't think there exists a distortion plug-in that would sound terribly good. You will usually get better distortion even by overdriving your mixer's preamps. Of course, I don't quite know what the "80s electro house" standard for the effects were, exactly. I assume some artists must have been using the early multi-fx units, but many in other electronic genres still were using guitar pedals as well. For the cheaper end of 80s vintage in that field look into Ibanez and maybe Boss - it's mostly up to your luck though what you will find. If you want the sound of some past decade, the easiest way to get that sound is to use the equipment of that decade, for quite often people end up drifitng from one modern emulator unit to another, until they discover they could have avoided the hassle by just getting the original stuff.

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by Solderman » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:09 pm

If you want nice outboard analog(read:vintage-sounding) effects, you'll usually have to pay through the nose.
Phaser - I'm using a Boss PH-2 with some good results. The Moogerfooger phaser is pretty nice too. Alot of folks like the EHx Small Stone, but I didn't care for it.
Delay - EHx Deluxe Memory Man for me, because it makes other stuff sound old, but older than 80's electro for sure. There are lots of BBD delay pedals, and several legendary tape delay machines, many of which sound vintage, and nearly all of which cost too much
Reverb - 'fraid I'm not much help for old spring reverbs
Distortion - there are about a bajillion transistor based distortion pedals, but I would recommend checking out the EHx Big Muff Pi, Spencer Amps Sub-Zombie, and Proco Turbo Rat.
You said you had settled on a chorus, but I always mention that I use a Boss CE-300 rack chorus. It does a nice job of not only thickening up things, but warming them up too. It's very similar in character to the JX/Alpha Juno chorus, except you get a bit more control.
Last edited by Solderman on Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by sensorium » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:14 pm

If you want, "vintage sounding" effects. Whay not get some vintage effects? VST's don;t cut it. You'll leard that in time.


Phaser - EHX Small Stone
Delay - +1 EHX Deluxe Memory Man, or a Roland RE-201 Space echo. I have both. Space echo is the s**t.
Reverb - RE-201 Space echo has a built in spring referb, so that kills 2 birds with one stone.
Distortion - Proco-Ratt

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:04 pm

sensorium wrote:If you want, "vintage sounding" effects. Whay not get some vintage effects? VST's don;t cut it. You'll leard that in time.


Phaser - EHX Small Stone
Delay - +1 EHX Deluxe Memory Man, or a Roland RE-201 Space echo. I have both. Space echo is the s**t.
Reverb - RE-201 Space echo has a built in spring referb, so that kills 2 birds with one stone.
Distortion - Proco-Ratt
Yeah, cause tanky a*s spring reverb covers the full end of reverb algos that existed in the 80s.

Something in the Lexicon LXP series has a nice early digital grunge that would cover a lot of ground. Distortion is more of a particular taste, but free VST wise, maybe CamelCrusher, though there are millions upon millions of others.
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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:49 pm

What's with the ProCo RAT recommendations that I see so often on this board? Of course it all comes down to subjective taste, but from the rather wide variety of distortion units that I've owned, it must be one of the worst to be used together with synths and drums. It works with the right guitar and the right amp, but it takes away such a great amount of frequencies when used with synths that it makes them sound like audio greeting cards. Besides there's a big gain drop as well when you attempt to drive it with the typical signals from keyboards.

I'd definitely recommend preamp distortion over most distortion pedals, in any case.Or a fuzz with a blend function.

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by aeon » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:28 am

nvbrkr wrote:What's with the ProCo RAT recommendations that I see so often on this board? Of course it all comes down to subjective taste, but from the rather wide variety of distortion units that I've owned, it must be one of the worst to be used together with synths and drums. It works with the right guitar and the right amp, but it takes away such a great amount of frequencies when used with synths that it makes them sound like audio greeting cards. Besides there's a big gain drop as well when you attempt to drive it with the typical signals from keyboards.
That's why you run overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals in parallel with the synth. Sorted.


cheers,
Ian

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by Hybrid88 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:59 am

http://www.d16.pl/

These guys have a ton of pretty good distortion plugs, amongst others.

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by Solderman » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:09 am

nvbrkr wrote:What's with the ProCo RAT recommendations that I see so often on this board?
...it must be one of the worst to be used together with synths and drums
...it makes them sound like audio greeting cards.
Notice I said Turbo Rat. (My edit was about the EHx delay) And maybe I should clarify that when using guitar pedals, a passive DI between the synth and pedal might be a necessity. Also, with any decent mixer, it's a good idea for fuller sounding distortion to run the dry signal in parallel with the distorted one.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by clusterchord » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:41 am

EHX small stone, boss ce-2 chorus, ce-300, MXR late 70s/early80s 117 flanger

EHX memoryman deluxe (old one with MN3005), Boss DM300, Yamaha 1010

Roland RE-201 & RE-501

Lexicon 200, PCM-70

Roland SRV-2000

Dynacord DRP-20, DRP-16

except for PCM70 and Lex 200, this are all relatively cheap units, but have sound/character/mojo in spades. more than anything else, i think a warm, organic BBD (analog) delay is crucial for synth sounds to come alive. not possible with a VST emulation. so i'd start with one bbd and a small stone, and take it from there..


additionally, there are also 90s units that work great with synths: like Ensoniq DP4, Lex MPX-1, or if you ever run into a budget arround a grand, plus/minus, you can look into H3000S or H3000DSE, PCM-81/91... just phenomenal classic units.
Last edited by clusterchord on Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by _seph » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:46 am

in keeping with the suggestions but returning to the VST world like the OP asked... you could try NI's Guitar Rig ... i've messed around with it quite a bit and the modelling on it is really good and this is coming from a recovering pedal feind that mostly played through a vintage Fender Twin Reverb. if you're familiar with the gear they've modelled everything sounds as you'd expect it to. i've spent hours noodling around with it and look forward to having my own copy once i get the money together to buy Komplete. for me though, i'm also a guitarist so there is that added value, but, i'm mostly looking forward to using it as an effects plugin. also worth checking out is Izotope ... i really like their programs and use Ozone, Trash (good distortion), Spectron and Vinyl (free) ... otherwise the plugins that Ableton includes with Live are actually pretty good. the only thing i'd personally like to add is Audioease's Speakerphone, but, i'm not sure that would be very good for 80's electro-house

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by clusterchord » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:53 am

yeah Amplitube 2 with expansion packs like fender was a revelation for me,,, key is in making a copy of the (for example) beat box track, run it thru a sml fender amp/speaker, and mix it in with the unprocessed signal to taste.. in other words, do parallel processing.

it really makes beats, drums, loops, and some synths alive - sometimes u mix in a lot of amp-ed signal, sometimes just a touch to make it stand in the mix but still retain original bandwith.

i also love adding a mono reverb on the insert, just a touch of room either from alitverb, or tc4k, all pre compression.. to simulate the room the amp was in. makes my mix so much easier later... things start building up to a 3D "sound stage".. not so dry and inyourface anymore like synths tend to be without any processing.

if i have more time i do reamping as well. when you're using analog effects, this can be that "xtra mile" to really get your sound into another dimension. regardless if its origin was digital or analog hardware, or VSTi.
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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by Jordan15 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:51 am

Thanks for all the replies guys,
after doing a bit of thinking, I guess I'll be starting off with a delay as it's a pretty staple effect which I'd like to improve first.

@clusterchord, what does BBD mean for an analog delay? From the suggestions here, I have 3 probable choices, an EHX memoryman, a moog delay, or a space echo (which I'm not prepared to spend on anytime soon as they go for 700+ from what I've seen). Is a BBD the memoryman or is it something else?

the rest of the effects I'll have to put some more thought into, I'd probably be best testing a moog phaser and a small stone or something like that and seeing what appeals to me most


Thanks again guys

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Re: Vintage-sounding effect suggestions please!

Post by nvbrkr » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:38 am

Well, if the intention was to keep the budget in certain limits then the Moog gear really isn't the best choice. They're about three times more expensive than most of the other units of the same type. But yes, starting with delay is a good idea. Many people who favour analog for most anything else, still use reverb plug-ins.

I'm not clusterchord myself, but EHX Memory Man has BBD(s?). It's old analog technology for creating delay lines (can also be used for chorus). Although I don't think people were necessarily using BBD stuff during the latter half of the 80s, digital delay replaced those quite quickly. I don't think you will regret getting an analog delay, though.

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