RND Portico plugins...

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More Cowbell
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RND Portico plugins...

Post by More Cowbell » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:42 pm

I know I know. Not the right category. But no one seems to have a opinion about the EQ and compressor-. I have downloaded the 30 day trial and tried it. It feel transparecy and analog. Perfect togheter with Liquid mix. But I dont know if i want to pay 799 euro for it. What is your opinion?

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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by mroekalea » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:54 pm

Hell no, it's to expensive for amateurs, maybee the guys adn dolls who make a nice living with productions, but for me, no way. I'd apreccitae a ligfhtweight (LE) version for cubase owners!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by Maegin » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:58 pm

Should be included in C6 as standard 8-)

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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by neilwilkes » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:17 am

Maegin wrote:Should be included in C6 as standard 8-)
Yeah, like that is going to happen!

IMHO they are not overly expensive at all - go look at the hardware prices for just a single unit.
Then there is all the development costs, modelling etc.
Price point is about the same as UAD.....

Sure they are not for hobbyists, but then again boy racers do not drive ferraris either.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by mroekalea » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:22 am

I know this pricing is a little high but probably worth it. My point is that cubase is lacking good colouring plugs ever since it came out. The biggest selling point for Logic was that it came with very good stock plugs and a reasonable usable sampler, I wished that steinberg did something in this area for the Cubase owners, that said it would not surprise me that they would but then for Nuendo :( , It isn't too much asked that C6 owners also lift on by the comb YAMAHA/STEINBERG! :?

Ooh and I'm still waiting for VG2 replacement/upgrade possibilities!
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by neilwilkes » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:42 pm

ilovenuendo wrote:Hi! Please, think about the process of making audio plugins. What's kind of audio interface or sound card used? Monitors? Ears? The music is not math! It's impossible to specify soft plugin audio parameters! It doesn't sound itself. I'm not against software development. A short test clearly shows that included NUENDO plugins can perfectly match all of your audio needs.
Think about the size of downloaded file ( trial ) - 322MB. OK. VST and AU format, compressor and eq, mono and stereo. Looks like 50MB per plugin! Oh, new technology! Take a look - about 12MB each! multiply by 6, equal 72MB. Where is another 250MB?
I had a short conversation with mr. Rupert Neve on AES convention in New York two years ago. Extraordinary person, big respect! But it's absolutely impossible to properly emulate audio hardware. Also, refer to SoundOnSound magazine. I don't remember exactly issue, but it was last year. Serious article about plugins - George Massenburg and Waves's boss discussed about a new approach in audio plugins making. So, humans have to invent something absolutely new! Today's gadgets market addressed to amateurs.
Conclusion. Don't spend money for buying audio plugins, unless you're sure that you extremely need it. They have almost the same basis of a programming code. They all sound approximately the same. Switch your attention to more important things in your life. $799 for two plugins it's insanity. Really for the pictures, that you have jet in your Cubase, especially in NUENDO!
Does somebody agree with my position?

P.S. This article was removed today morning. Nobody wants negatives. Close forum?! Mr. Timo please, answer.

Er, no - I think you are so wrong it's almost funny.
Also, I think you should stop spamming every thread on these with this same inane comment!
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by WillB » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:29 pm

Amen. Stop the clutter please.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by Revelaion » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:31 pm

I had a chance to try out these Portico plug ins and I put them up against my Portico EQ and compressor. I must say that Yamaha did a good job in getting the sound of the EQ and compressor of the Portico hardware. However I found they are a little cleaner sounding that the hardware. Don't get me wrong, these plug ins are good, they get in the right ball park, but it's missing that 10% "character" that the hardware gives you. Granted I am running my hardware through a Apogee Rosetta, but even with that, there is a little cleaner sounding Portico sound with the plug ins. They did a little betterjob on the EQ compared to the compressor. The compressor lacks a little bit of umph that I get with the Portico comp. It's a cleaner sounding comp. It's still good, but I will take the hardware version every time. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.


My test including using both on vocals and on a 2 bus. I used the comp with feedback and feedforward mode.

In Summary:

Portico Compressor Plug in: I would say the Steinberg Portico compressor is about 85- 88% there. Not bad, but what makes the Portico compressor special with the 2 transformers and the extra umph is not there. It's a cleaner Portico. It sounds like another good clean plug in compressor. It does though sound like the hardware to a certain extent. The comp reacted a little different with the 2 bus on the snare drum. I heard the hardware working a little more than the plug in. Remember when comparing comps, you have to listen less to the sound and more to the dynamics. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.

Rating 8.0

Portico EQ Plug in: This gets closer to the hardware version. George Massenburg always said comp's were harder to get right than EQ's and I agree. It really has the same overall sound as the hardware version. The only real difference is the plug in is a little cleaner sounding which makes it more like "a plug in". It lacks a little of the character of the hardware has. It's not a big difference but with my Focal Twins doing a A/B I hear the slight difference. I would say the EQ sounds about 90% of the hardware.

Rating 8.8

The markings seem not to be matched up with the hardware. When I went to boost 175 Hz and went to the 2nd mark on the hardware, the software version which was boosting at 4db was a little stronger than the hardware version. I added a little more to the hardware to match it up. I noticed that the hardware EQ was a little bit more musical sounding when I did the stronger boosting. I have to admit though I normally do not boost the EQ so strongly. Generally 1 to 2 db does the trick, with only once in a while bossting up to 4db.

I am a huge Portico fan and I use the Portico pre's, EQ and comp's on a regular basis in my studio. If you can't afford the hardware, I would recommend the EQ without hestitation. The compressor I will recommend with some hestitation. It is still a good sounding compressor and when I compared it on a 2 bus to a UAD 1176, and Wave Ren comp, I liked the Portico plug in comp better. Waves SSL comp was snappier.

I had some old recordings on cassette that I put into Cubase. To help make the mixes sound a little better, I used the Portico plug ins, and I must say that both the EQ and compressor did a great job in helping some old recordings sound fresher and punchier. I tried some other UAD and Wave plug ins and A/B them against the Portico plug ins. The end result was the Portico plug ins sounded the best to my ears. Hmm, I know I have the hardware, but sometimes it's nice to just grab the plug ins. Maybe I will buy the plug ins even though I have the hardware? I think I would use the hardware most of the time, but for quick fixes and touch up's the Portico plug ins may be a great option.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by More Cowbell » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:09 am

excellent review!!!

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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by TimoWildenhain » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:36 pm

Revelaion wrote:I had a chance to try out these Portico plug ins and I put them up against my Portico EQ and compressor. I must say that Yamaha did a good job in getting the sound of the EQ and compressor of the Portico hardware. However I found they are a little cleaner sounding that the hardware. Don't get me wrong, these plug ins are good, they get in the right ball park, but it's missing that 10% "character" that the hardware gives you. Granted I am running my hardware through a Apogee Rosetta, but even with that, there is a little cleaner sounding Portico sound with the plug ins. They did a little betterjob on the EQ compared to the compressor. The compressor lacks a little bit of umph that I get with the Portico comp. It's a cleaner sounding comp. It's still good, but I will take the hardware version every time. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.


My test including using both on vocals and on a 2 bus. I used the comp with feedback and feedforward mode.

In Summary:

Portico Compressor Plug in: I would say the Steinberg Portico compressor is about 85- 88% there. Not bad, but what makes the Portico compressor special with the 2 transformers and the extra umph is not there. It's a cleaner Portico. It sounds like another good clean plug in compressor. It does though sound like the hardware to a certain extent. The comp reacted a little different with the 2 bus on the snare drum. I heard the hardware working a little more than the plug in. Remember when comparing comps, you have to listen less to the sound and more to the dynamics. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.

Rating 8.0

Portico EQ Plug in: This gets closer to the hardware version. George Massenburg always said comp's were harder to get right than EQ's and I agree. It really has the same overall sound as the hardware version. The only real difference is the plug in is a little cleaner sounding which makes it more like "a plug in". It lacks a little of the character of the hardware has. It's not a big difference but with my Focal Twins doing a A/B I hear the slight difference. I would say the EQ sounds about 90% of the hardware.

Rating 8.8

The markings seem not to be matched up with the hardware. When I went to boost 175 Hz and went to the 2nd mark on the hardware, the software version which was boosting at 4db was a little stronger than the hardware version. I added a little more to the hardware to match it up. I noticed that the hardware EQ was a little bit more musical sounding when I did the stronger boosting. I have to admit though I normally do not boost the EQ so strongly. Generally 1 to 2 db does the trick, with only once in a while bossting up to 4db.

I am a huge Portico fan and I use the Portico pre's, EQ and comp's on a regular basis in my studio. If you can't afford the hardware, I would recommend the EQ without hestitation. The compressor I will recommend with some hestitation. It is still a good sounding compressor and when I compared it on a 2 bus to a UAD 1176, and Wave Ren comp, I liked the Portico plug in comp better. Waves SSL comp was snappier.

I had some old recordings on cassette that I put into Cubase. To help make the mixes sound a little better, I used the Portico plug ins, and I must say that both the EQ and compressor did a great job in helping some old recordings sound fresher and punchier. I tried some other UAD and Wave plug ins and A/B them against the Portico plug ins. The end result was the Portico plug ins sounded the best to my ears. Hmm, I know I have the hardware, but sometimes it's nice to just grab the plug ins. Maybe I will buy the plug ins even though I have the hardware? I think I would use the hardware most of the time, but for quick fixes and touch up's the Portico plug ins may be a great option.
Thanks very much for your testing efforts and for reviewing the plug-ins. Much appreciated.
Especially as you have the chance to compare them with the hardware original.

Thanks,
Timo
Timo Wildenhain - Head of Business Unit
Professional Audio Unit
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
Hamburg, Germany
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by MMoorman » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:42 am

but how can two plugins be more expensive than cubase? seems so ridiculous to me
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by GIRO » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:45 pm

MMoorman wrote:but how can two plugins be more expensive than cubase? seems so ridiculous to me
This is hilarious..! Hey budy why don't you buy the hardware then..? $3,591.00 both (5033 and 5043)
You know, some people find Cubase to be expensive LOL

Those plug-ins are not for you obviously..
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by GIRO » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Revelaion wrote:I had a chance to try out these Portico plug ins and I put them up against my Portico EQ and compressor. I must say that Yamaha did a good job in getting the sound of the EQ and compressor of the Portico hardware. However I found they are a little cleaner sounding that the hardware. Don't get me wrong, these plug ins are good, they get in the right ball park, but it's missing that 10% "character" that the hardware gives you. Granted I am running my hardware through a Apogee Rosetta, but even with that, there is a little cleaner sounding Portico sound with the plug ins. They did a little betterjob on the EQ compared to the compressor. The compressor lacks a little bit of umph that I get with the Portico comp. It's a cleaner sounding comp. It's still good, but I will take the hardware version every time. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.


My test including using both on vocals and on a 2 bus. I used the comp with feedback and feedforward mode.

In Summary:

Portico Compressor Plug in: I would say the Steinberg Portico compressor is about 85- 88% there. Not bad, but what makes the Portico compressor special with the 2 transformers and the extra umph is not there. It's a cleaner Portico. It sounds like another good clean plug in compressor. It does though sound like the hardware to a certain extent. The comp reacted a little different with the 2 bus on the snare drum. I heard the hardware working a little more than the plug in. Remember when comparing comps, you have to listen less to the sound and more to the dynamics. On feedforward mode, the plug in sounds about 94% the same by the way with a ratio of 5.5 on a 2 bus. On Feedback mode, the plug in is cleaner than the hardware and I notice more of a difference in this mode.

Rating 8.0

Portico EQ Plug in: This gets closer to the hardware version. George Massenburg always said comp's were harder to get right than EQ's and I agree. It really has the same overall sound as the hardware version. The only real difference is the plug in is a little cleaner sounding which makes it more like "a plug in". It lacks a little of the character of the hardware has. It's not a big difference but with my Focal Twins doing a A/B I hear the slight difference. I would say the EQ sounds about 90% of the hardware.

Rating 8.8

The markings seem not to be matched up with the hardware. When I went to boost 175 Hz and went to the 2nd mark on the hardware, the software version which was boosting at 4db was a little stronger than the hardware version. I added a little more to the hardware to match it up. I noticed that the hardware EQ was a little bit more musical sounding when I did the stronger boosting. I have to admit though I normally do not boost the EQ so strongly. Generally 1 to 2 db does the trick, with only once in a while bossting up to 4db.

I am a huge Portico fan and I use the Portico pre's, EQ and comp's on a regular basis in my studio. If you can't afford the hardware, I would recommend the EQ without hestitation. The compressor I will recommend with some hestitation. It is still a good sounding compressor and when I compared it on a 2 bus to a UAD 1176, and Wave Ren comp, I liked the Portico plug in comp better. Waves SSL comp was snappier.

I had some old recordings on cassette that I put into Cubase. To help make the mixes sound a little better, I used the Portico plug ins, and I must say that both the EQ and compressor did a great job in helping some old recordings sound fresher and punchier. I tried some other UAD and Wave plug ins and A/B them against the Portico plug ins. The end result was the Portico plug ins sounded the best to my ears. Hmm, I know I have the hardware, but sometimes it's nice to just grab the plug ins. Maybe I will buy the plug ins even though I have the hardware? I think I would use the hardware most of the time, but for quick fixes and touch up's the Portico plug ins may be a great option.
So in other words you should replace the developers and Mr Neve.
That 10% of yours is your electrical floor noise and other artifacts that we don't want :) Maybe a 10% on/off GUI knob is on the way... We will call it "The KPD knob" along with a "LRF" switch.
94% ? Are you using proper equipment to come up with these percentages %?
Last edited by GIRO on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by GIRO » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:22 pm

mroekalea wrote:I know this pricing is a little high but probably worth it. My point is that cubase is lacking good colouring plugs ever since it came out. The biggest selling point for Logic was that it came with very good stock plugs and a reasonable usable sampler, I wished that steinberg did something in this area for the Cubase owners, that said it would not surprise me that they would but then for Nuendo :( , It isn't too much asked that C6 owners also lift on by the comb YAMAHA/STEINBERG! :?

Ooh and I'm still waiting for VG2 replacement/upgrade possibilities!
1-Buy the hardware $3,591 - both units
2-Steinberg doen't have a resonable usable sampler; they have a KICK ASS dedicated VST HALion Sampler since 2003 and hey!, it can be use with 3rd parties.. Cubase is loaded with Plugs ever since it came out.
3-if you have a problem with $$ I think mentioning Nuendo should not even be topic of your nonsense corroboration..
4-VG2 was WIZOO (The company no longer lives) Blame digidesign but hey, it also no longer lives. So move on.

For now, enjoy your Cubase 6.5 and let Logic Dream on to catch up with it.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by GIRO » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:25 pm

More Cowbell wrote:I know I know. Not the right category. But no one seems to have a opinion about the EQ and compressor-. I have downloaded the 30 day trial and tried it. It feel transparecy and analog. Perfect togheter with Liquid mix. But I dont know if i want to pay 799 euro for it. What is your opinion?
mmmh buy the hardware ....$3,591 for both... your call..
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by MMoorman » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:33 pm

I recently finished with the demo. They are top notch, no doubt. What I noticed, overall, is that you're more likely to do good than harm with them. And for an beginner/intermediate engineer, that is pretty huge. But because of the price, and general level of interest, I will continue to demo others and see if I can get comparable results elsewhere. I could imagine buying the eq if it nags me enough to do so after it's gone. It's definitely the first software eq that i've used that boosts frequencies without any side effects (moreso in the high-mid and high range). Who cares that it's emulating hardware. Does that really have to limit them from applying some additional functions like hi and low pass filters, or the option to make the hi and low bands parametric? Not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning.

The compressor is definitely one of the best I've used, also nearly gave me a "must have this" feeling. It does light and heavy equally well, and just performs with a great deal of intelligence. Sometimes you talk to a processor like, "No, not like that. You idiot." But this just doesn't seem to struggle or get confused with any signal. I don't like the controls and am surprised that I haven't read mention of that. They are very slow to move/sweep through each knob's range. And I really don't like that it activates/opens with a 4db boost. But, yeah, it's really good.

If they were $400 for the pair I would've bought them after first hour of use. But I'm simply not going to drop that amount. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one. And luckily, I have realized that I have bigger fish to fry in the pursuit of learning this craft. No need to wax a car that won't start.

All that being said, I'm glad that demoed them, though. I'm sure that it enlighten me on the limitations of others. Or, help me to realize what I need, and what I don't need.

P.s.
I'm not interested in the hardware vs. software debate. Sonics are not the primary issue of that debate. A lot of it is childish. I would love to have more hardware and an awesome board primarily for the process, sound second. Well, maybe they'd be tied.

Anecdote: I was recently in a nice studio and we were bussing groups/stems out of my computer and through a Sphere Eclipse B console. The drum buss had some squash and dirt from the Soundtoys Devil-Loc being used about as lightly as it can be. The engineer listened and was like, "Alright, I get what you're going for." Then in more or less words he said, "check this out." We ended up trying out almost all of their comps and limiters (1176, Retro, Summit, la2a, La3a, etc.). They're were some great results. None were better. All were different. For that song, it didn't need an alternative. The plugin was not out performed.
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Re: RND Portico plugins...

Post by neilwilkes » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:40 pm

I've bought both of these as they were simply too nice to not buy.
However, I do agree that they do not sound the same as the modelled hardware.
Does this matter - well, to me yes it does and here's my reasons why.

1 - One of the reasons we do not have surround capable versions is apparently because they are models of the hardware, and the whole point was to be (and I quote) - "faithful to the hardware". Given there is stereo compatibility this is clearly nonsense, and even more so when the hardware allows you to link multiple units (which we cannot do).
2 - If the aim is to be faithful to the hardware, then the transformer stages must be included as these add the non linearities that give the analogue hardware it's signature sound. If this - to me vital component - is not modelled as well then we have again moved away from the hardware. I think Revelations point about this is very well made, and for GIRO to write off the 10% variation as "electrical noise floor" is truly laughable.

Those comments above aside, and notwithstanding that these do *not* sound the same as the hardware units, they are still outstanding quality plugs and I use them regularly as it is almost impossible to make the EQ sound bad, and the compressor reminds me much more of a Crane Song unit than the Portico it is so clean (the hardware portico is definitely not as clean as the plugin) and it is also impossible to make it pump, no matter how hard I hit it (this is a good thing. If I want a comp to pump, I will reach for an 1176). Again, I think revelation is almost bang on when he says the feedback mode is closer than feed forward mode.

In summary, these are great tools and deserve a serious auditioning - they are not expensive either. Trying to compare plugin prces to DAW costs is an excercise in absurdity, as I can think of more than these plugs that cost more than Cubase does (Altiverb XL, Lexicon Native Reverbs etc) - remember cubase is basically the framework, and the plugins are addons that nobody is forcing anyone to buy.
My biggest gripe is the lack of surround support, and the pathetic excuses given for this. Hell, if everyone stayed "faithful to the hardware" most plugins would only exist in mono, yet we see almost none that do. So if additional channels can be added for stereo use, why not for surround?
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