31 October 2012

Home Studio: Testing Wizoo Wizooverb W2 and Massey Plugins


This entry was already posted during August 2009, in my old Spanish version of this blog. I am just revisiting the entry here.

Wizoo Wizooverb W2

One of the weaker points in my mixes has been ever the reverberation effect. After watching those DVDs named "Internal Mixing" by Tischmeyer, this plugin called my attention so, I wanted to test it in my mixes.
Unfortunately there is no demo version (or I wasn't able to find one) and, this product seems to be out-of-catalog.
Finally, I've found this product in an Spanish online store and, it was a sale, since it was out-of-catalog so, I bought it and, today I was able to check it.
Easy to install, already authorized and tested in very few minutes.
I've substituted three reverberation effects in my mix with three different reverberation models of W2.
I am sending each track to one or more auxiliary channels and, each one has one W2 reverberation model.
First one corresponds to a short reverberation, usually to be used with the kick box and bass and, any other thing that needs just a bit of a very controlled reverb.
Second one corresponds to a medium reverberation, of type Room, a bit more opened and with more ambience sound.
Last one is a big reverberation, of type Hall.

I had to retouch the sending levels for each track, to get the wanted results for each reverberation channel but, after doing it, the music sounded wider and way clearer than with those plugins that come with Pro Tools.
W2 is easy to use. I didn't put my attention on preset names but, I was just trying one by one for each channel until I got what I was looking for, mainly searching reverberations by reverberation time. By example, about 0.5 s for the short one, 1.5s for the medium one and 1.8 for the long one. In each case, I've just choosed the one that better sounded in the mix between that range of times.
W2 can work both, with High Definition Impulses (HDIR) or with digital models (AIR). I've set up its parameters to the highest resolution, with maximum CPU consumption, to check high definition results and efficiency of algorithms. Surprisingly, with two of the three reverberations working in HDIR, everything worked flawless. I hadn't any dropout or any evident delay.
Very happy to have this tool.
I was previously checking other free reverberations, as Modern plugins, Khaerjus, 112dB Redline Reverb, etc, and some demos, as SIR, IRL, IR1, Perfect Space...
None of those satisfied me. Perfect Space, that comes included in Sonar, is the best of those mentioned above but, with W2 I am quite sure I will restore the mix ambience in a better way.
I think, this reverberation plugin, together with the Sonnox' one can be enough for my own projects.
I am very conscious that nothing can be better than the TC Electronics Reverb for their System 6000 (according to all expert people) but, a System 6000 is absolutely out of my budget.

Massey Plugins

Massey L2007 master limiter

I've inserted this plugin at the end of the Master Bus, and bounced the audio file to disk. Then, I've converted the audio format to MP3 and, analyzed it with the help of TT DR Offline Meter, searching for overs. I saw that the mix was producing some overs in a channel, even with the ceil of the limiter set to -0.3dB.
Further investigations clarified this. The bouncing is preserving the limit below -0.3dB but, the tool I am currently using to convert the WAV file into MP3 is generating the overs. Therefore, the Limiter is working properly and, I have to change the MP3 conversion tool.

Massey Tape Head

I had to buy this one!. This plugin has some special magic that I cannot describe.
After reading how a real drummer was preparing his mixes, I wanted to check this plugin.
The Drummer was routing their mics across a tape recorder, with different levels of input (depending on the drum), only just to get more or less tape saturation that, at the end, made the drums to sound warmer.
So, I've decided to emulate such a way with the help of the Tape Head plugin.
It's really easy to use. You set up the button Trim to zero and, you increases the button Drive until you make the drum to sound to your taste. Then, you move the button Trim to balance the input and output levels (you can compare levels switching on/off the plugin).
I had tested it with the hi-hat and plates, warming the sound and removing some digital taste to it (I am using it with midi loops built with EZDrummer).
I've substituted the chain LA-2A / 1176 with this plugin and, removed the Pulteq EQP-1A from the drums bus. The work that the Tape Head makes is good enough.
I've only had to add the Massey L2007 limiter to the snare, in clean mode (without gain makeup), just to control the excessive peaks (I still have not some kind of Transient Designer for this, until I don't get the Sonnox bundle).

I've tested it also with the guitar panoramized to the right hand and, obtained some interesting results. I bet that it will also work with vocals and other cases.
But, anyway, I prefer the "1dB Magic" setting of the Fairchild 670 in the guitar bus (left hand) to have a different taste.

Massey CT4

Not satisfied with he work of the tandem 1176 / LA-2A on the bass track, I wanted to check this other plugin there. I liked how it worked and, to my ears, it preserved better the "air", without darkening the bass sound.
As the rest of Massey's plugins, easy to use and very effective.
Vocals were sounding very dark also, due to the results of the IK Multimedia Optocompressor. I've swapped this late with the CT4 and voilĂ !, vocals started to sound more defined.

I think it can be used in more tracks but, since I've already achieved the sound I was looking for with other plugins in the reminder ones, I haven't checked it, by now.

I bought this plugin because I think it will be of help for some particular things and, Massey's prices are reasonably cheap (compared to other makers!).

Massey De:Esser

Another great plugin, very easy to use and highly efficient. I will not purchase this plugin since, I've already bought a preamp that includes a good de-esser so, I am not planning to use Massey's one, once the voices are being recorded thru the pre-amp.

You can choose to hear what is happening inside the side-chain so, you can always know what is being "removed" by the plugin.

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