VST32 - review - main intro
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[dancetech database recompiled in 1999 - some articles listed April '99 are older]
VST V.5 - new features
Here comes VST32 or VST Version_5 - you know what?.. i really like it !! - VST with the right hardware is more solid & stable now than it's ever been, both in operation on the PC & in it's interface graphic (fx excepted, they are still 'fuzzy' graphic's-wise) - As you will see, the redesign seems to have used lots of little subtle layout idea bits from other popular s/w's like Logic & even Fruity-Loops !!.. yup...
If you want more VST stuff for some tricks and methods, check out the rest of the Dancetech Articles Section for VST Articles....
here's the main screen for V5 VST, as you can see the whole programme arrange area & track-headers have taken on a 'Logic-like' steely blue-grey quality. Tracks depress when selected, and generally all VST's 'bits' in the outer shell seem clean & crisper like the new Logic 4.5... I have devided this Version_5 VST review into different sections, this page is the intro, where i'm chatting general upgrades and stuff, but there is a page dedicated to sections with the most visual & functional changes
I can't go into massive detail cos there is so much, a revision of this depth needs time to assimilate, but I've spent 4 or 5 days checking out the sections and creating images for all the good new stuff & full explanations in easy-speak to go with!... It is the stuff you want to know basically, with the frills cut out... So check this page for the general overview, then check out the individual section pages for more in depth analysys with custom images etc and full explanations.
There are 5 other Section-Dedicated pages to this VST_32 review... they are:
The other reason to split it up like this is nope NOT to get you to load more banner-ad's like 'some' sites we could mention... but cos there is so much to see that is new if i added it all to one page you'd have to order out for pizza while you loaded it !!
Ok.. VST_32 VERSION 5 - what have we got.... well general stuff not worthy of a section is the menu's... sure there are changes, but you can check that out yourself cos essentially there is some renaming and re-shuffling... all in all tho if you are a previous VST user you won't have problems finding stuff. All the VST mixers, racks etc.. the 'VST', virtual studio bits are now all in a new menu called PANELS
There are now 2 default Main VST mixers so you can setup two with whatever combi's of channels you like, as well as the usual Masters, FX-Rack's, VST Instruments and the other settings that used to be in the old AUDIO menu...
VST V.5 - FX - Master Dynamic's
We got a new Dynamic's section for the master OUT section.... Pretty much the same, but unless I'm mistaken it is different in a few ways (unless I never really noticed the old version!) - The compressor now has PEAK & RMS settings... and you try it.. you can hear each type of compression at work when you set it deliberately to emphasise the compression effect...
The RMS does what it should, taking a mean average of the input level and applying compression when anything 'continuously' loud appears at it's input, but missing out small momentary transient peaks like cracking drums etc, it won't crush your drum mix down to all the same dynamic maximum level the drums can breath and have some individuality... it's a good general setting compressor....
The PEAK setting just does a peak 'smash-down'.. it just listens and if something hit's the threshold PEAK it get's closed down... Applying PEAK compression flattens the mix evenly if used sparingly or makes it loud and without any real dynamic's if you set it harsh... (both cases with a short attack) -
Anyways, this section works ! and the new CLEAN COMPRESSOR is also VERY good as an insert channel plugin, it's a real good comp !.. i mean i don't have like esoteric compressors here in my studio, but it measures up to my Drawmers & Symetrix & Korg very well ... so you now have a nice easy, lite-on-resources compressor to use on channels. (besides the channel 'Dynamic's section') - I bet that Clean-Compressor will be real good on Rebirth Mod's but i aint had a chance to try it on that yet. I did all these tests on a Garage drum & bass audio loop... (for more on compression see the RACK-FX section of Dancetech and checkout the Compressor page).
VST V.5 - FX - Window Sets
Yup VST's finally caught up with Emagic and VST has their own equivilent to Logic's 'Screensets' called 'WINDOW SETS' ..... However i think Steinberg can improve on this cos it is way more tedious to setup keys to activate the created screensets etc as they don't have any default keys on the PC keyboard like Logic's do... I do concede that once a 'Keyset' is created with allocated key's to activate desired 'Window-Sets' then it is done and saved & can be loaded with your default Song file... fair enuff... anyways.. VST's version also Like Logic has a 'LEARN' key.. just select a function, hit LEARN, and make a keystroke or combination of keystrokes on your PC keyboard and it registers which key's have been pressed & allocated to that task/command.
Window-Sets are easy to setup... just go to the menu: Windows/Window Sets/New Window Set, and create one, name it, the arrange whatever VST windows you want on the screen.. that will be the settings for that Window set, so you can make a screen with say 50% arrange page and 50% drum edit sharing the screen devided horizontaly across the middle, etc etc...you get the idea.
VST V.5 - FX - Key Commands
Go to: Edit/Preferences/Key Command/Preferences - there is now a Logic-Like panel to set PC-Keyboard keystrokes to functions, including allocating key's for any created VST 'Window-Sets' - It's easy to setup keystrokes for commands making VST easier to work with.
VST V.5 - new features - Transport
In keeping with the rest of the crisper re-design the new transport bar sports a flatter design.
Well...VST32... there has been some controversy about current VST users having to pay to upgrade to this version of VST32, but I have to say, this is so different it might as well be a different programme. It REALLY has had a hell of a lot of work done on it and i think they are fully justified in charging - VST32 is a MASSIVE improvement despite some repoted bugs... it is rock solid too, and to me the clock seems better again than previous versions. Once you get the asio drivers setup and the preroll set it run's a treayt and rewire works superbly..
The most surprising thing is the lack of stress this new VST puts on the PC resources... I'm writing this and testing out the dynamic's, plugs, FX etc on a small midi & one loop audio track song, and at the same time i've got IE, Cold-Fusion Studio & photoshop all open and importing screen grabs to & from the windows & photoshop cache buffers for the images, and VST is running ok on a 200MMX with 64 meg !??!.... Ok, I DO have VERY efficient hardware (Hoontech, it seems bulletproof), but still.. that's a good old sweat for a 200mmx... So VST32 is lighter in resources than Logic 4.6 that is for sure by about 30% i'd say at least... very impressed I am, the revised coding team i've heard rumour of have really done a great job !
Well, check out the individual section reviews, they tell you also HOW to use bits of the new VST if you are a total newbie... I spent quite a bit more time than usual on this review set of pages cos there is like I said alot and it just kep mounting up... In the end my editor was stressing out running such a long page so I split it into sections.
Lastly I'll say, anyone who's been around dancetech for the last 5 years will tell you how badly I've slated VST thru it's god-aweful drunken stumble to reach stability... but at last it really has emerged kicking and screaming into the world on the PC as far as I'm concerned... Sure, we know the much-maligned, dreaded & virtually mythological state of Steinberg's support... but really, they have got there now i think.. It all started to come together around V3.7... this is the next step... So as you know I have absolutely NO mercy when it comes to finding fault with VST then trust me this programme has come of age - It really IS a Virtual Studio now ... and with the right low-latency hardware you can like me, sit at your pc with your mic singing into your rack or PCI card and laying down 5 layer harmonies thru a compressor with good quality monitoring FX which Steinberg have just given you MORE of, and better quality.... So all in all, i aint used cubase for a LONG time now pretty much since the atari... but I seriously might go back to it now, and that is saying something.. I'll come back and add more stuff to this page as i discover it.
So good work Steinberg... this product really shines.. and i dont mind saying so. respect.
VST32 V5 - NEW FEATURES/OVERVIEW - page list
Is VST still pants to you ??.. or the best thing since sliced bread ?... I'm impressed !! - leave your user comments please do....
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