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Why does it seem like in-box DAW effects are never as good as plugin effects?

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  • Why does it seem like in-box DAW effects are never as good as plugin effects?

    It's strange, like live and logic have pretty good effects, but those ohm force effects just seem to blow them away. Am I crazy? Why don't DAW's effects match up to the third party plugins?
    WTB: Allen & Heath Xone VF-1 Filter

  • #2
    It's a matter of resource allocation. On a spec sheet, more bundled effects looks better. In reality, that usually means that each effect will be less detailed because there are only so many programmers and only so much time in which to create these effects algorithms.

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    • #3
      Sound quality wise I think Logic's effects are great for the most part. The channel EQ and Space Designer come to mind. I think generally speaking they are more simplistic than 3rd party plug-ins but sometimes that is better suited for the task at hand. They are also are usually better optimized on the host system.

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      • #4
        Sound quality wise I think Logic's effects are great for the most part. The channel EQ and Space Designer come to mind. I think generally speaking they are more simplistic than 3rd party plug-ins but sometimes that is better suited for the task at hand. They are also are usually better optimized on the host system.


        The guys from Mercenary told me to screw buying plugins (and no, I haven't bought anything from them... I'm Canadian). They just said to get used to the ones in Logic because they're as good as anything they've worked with (they have a UAD card, and plenty of high-end toys). An engineer I worked with also said the same thing... the only plugins he'll touch besides Logic's are UADs stuff.

        Those two sources are enough for me...

        Daft Punk, who are also big outboard gear users, claim to love some of Ableton's built in plugins. They say they prefer their stuff over 3rd parties...

        So I guess, to each his/her own.

        EDIT: One of Mercenary's employees said Logic's plugins are quite good... Not as good as high-end hardware level, but as good as any other plugins on the market.
        "The way in is the way out." - NP

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        • #5
          Sonar's built in effects are incredible, especially from 6.2 onward.

          Logic's are pretty dang nice as well. It's been years since I used cubase, but I seem to remember that the built in effects stank a bit, however, I suspect they have improved.
          - derek
          Gear:
          Current Main Guitars: Carvin Fatboy II, Carvin CT-4, Fender, Jackson, Peavey Bass, Pan Classical, 1969 Gretch Duo, and the wonderful Gretsch Showdown.
          Current Amps: Mesa Mark V (Head)
          Effects: YJM DOD OD pedal, Boss DS-1, TC Electronics G-Sharp
          Keys: Korg M3 88 (With EXB256), Novation SL MKII (61 key)
          Software: Logic 9, Sonar 7, P5, Battery 3, Garritan Orch, Dimension 5, Superior Drummer 2.x, EZ Drummer, Drumkit from Hell

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          • #6
            +1 for Logic's bundled effects.

            Coming from a PT background I much prefer the way Logic's FX sound and function.
            -----------------Mike PensiniPiano/Keyboard/Producer/Musical Director/Writertwitter.com/mikepensini | facebook.com/mikepensinimusic | youtube.com/groovatious

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            • #7
              Logic's Space Designer and Delay Designer are some of the best effects anywhere, at any price. Most of their other plugs are top notch as well.

              And the new amp sim with stompbox models rivals the best of the standalone sims.

              That said, I use a UAD-2 for compressors and EQs

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              • #8
                Look at it this way...

                If the factory FX processing in your DAW was just perfect, there would be no third party plugins in the first place.

                You might as well ask why does Lexicon hardware FX sound better than DigiTech hardware FX. Some people have developed better DSP algorithms, that's why.
                My VCAs go to 11

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                • #9
                  the only things use in live are the auto filter, EQs and pingpong delay. i use Korg's MDEX for everything else. they're just freebies
                  Give me my moog, but **** off you american techno rockstar! people in countries I've never been to do it better than you!

                  Computer Music Guide

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                  • #10
                    It's strange, like live and logic have pretty good effects, but those ohm force effects just seem to blow them away. Am I crazy? Why don't DAW's effects match up to the third party plugins?


                    I can't comment on Logic, but that does seem to be true for many others I've used (Ableton, FL-Studio, Reaper). But, as others have mentioned, it's a matter of resource allocation. Sometimes the built-in FX are nice enough, they usually are small and resource-friendly.

                    Still, third party effects exist for a reason. For example, I've been eyeing Aether. I don't think *any* DAW comes with a reverb as good as this one, at least for the ethereal stuff Aether seems to excel at.
                    What I make with way too many blinky light modular items, plugins, and an Alesis Andromeda.
                    Forbidden Star: home studio / melodic ambient / New Age / the deep zone
                    Boney Fiend: the band, man / punk / garage / beer

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                    • #11
                      the only things use in live are the auto filter, EQs and pingpong delay.

                      Exactly the three I used to use. I thought the pingpong delay was really great sounding, I'd use it as my reverb a lot of the time.

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                      • #12
                        Reaper's inbuilt effects are DA ****************.
                        If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                        Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                        • #13
                          Reaper's inbuilt effects are DA ****************.


                          Really? Which ones do you use a lot?

                          I haven't been thrilled with the built-in effects, but I haven't given them a serious whirl yet... I'm still learning.

                          That being said, overall Reaper kicks some serious butt .
                          What I make with way too many blinky light modular items, plugins, and an Alesis Andromeda.
                          Forbidden Star: home studio / melodic ambient / New Age / the deep zone
                          Boney Fiend: the band, man / punk / garage / beer

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                          • #14
                            In-box DAW effects are never as good as plugin effects because DAW's have to cover a lot of ground and allocate resources elsewhere while plugin effects only have to do a single thing.

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                            • #15
                              ReaComp on everything, it's great. ReaPitch is no slouch when some pitch correction is needed. ReaDelay is very configurable, can sound good. ReaEQ... I see no need for any other EQ, this one has n bands... while stuff like Waves need several versions of the same plugin but with different number of bands. In ReaFX I just click "Add Band" and that's it. "Delete Band" and it's gone, never taking up any CPU.

                              There are also many goodies in JS effects section
                              If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                              Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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