Old 03-11-2018, 04:33 AM   #1
G-Sun
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Default Your favorite Airwindows fx

What's your favorite Airwindows plugins?
And how do you use them?
How do you find them compared to other vendors?

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:35 AM   #2
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IronOxide and buss/console
caught my attention.
But, workflow seems a little hard for adjusting many instances,
and the bus/console felt rather subtle.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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Fathom Five is great for thin or too-digital material.
The console plugs are all nice (haven't tried 5 yet).
I like Hombre and Guitar Conditioner for tone.
And he's got several nice Dither plugins to choose from.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:26 PM   #4
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Airwindows has got some of the best algorithms out there.

My main concern as an Airwindows user is dodge the craziness in their concepts and design and figure out which plug-ins I'm really going to use and which ones are just insanity made code. When you look at Airwindows sound and developing politics (no GUI, no latency, no CPU, no copy proyection, no costs - supported only by Patreon) (open code for everything, native Linux builds, no manuals, just a crazy video, no marketing) there's no doubt Airwindows is the work of a GENIUS.

Back to the subject, these are the ones I use everyday:
Channel4
Density
ClipOnly
Lowpass/Highpass (the best-sounding LPF/HPF out of every EQ I've tried in my life)
NotJustAnotherCD/Dither

To name a few...
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp Ape View Post
Fathom Five is great for thin or too-digital material.
Strange plugin. Some sub-enhancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp Ape View Post
Guitar Conditioner for tone.
Nice. I guess it's more than a eq.
Ok, a tubescreamer says the maker

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Originally Posted by Swamp Ape View Post
Hombre
Strange one. Tried modulating the voicing
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by morfi View Post
My main concern as an Airwindows user is dodge the craziness in their concepts and design and figure out which plug-ins I'm really going to use and which ones are just insanity made code.
Yes, that's why I asked you here

Quote:
When you look at Airwindows sound and developing politics (no GUI, no latency, no CPU, no copy proyection, no costs - supported only by Patreon) (open code for everything, native Linux builds, no manuals, just a crazy video, no marketing) there's no doubt Airwindows is the work of a GENIUS.

Back to the subject, these are the ones I use everyday:
Channel4
Density
ClipOnly
Lowpass/Highpass (the best-sounding LPF/HPF out of every EQ I've tried in my life)
NotJustAnotherCD/Dither

To name a few...
The Channel plugins are all subtle and hard to use compared with eg. slate or other console-makers.

Quote:
Lowpass/Highpass (the best-sounding LPF/HPF out of every EQ I've tried in my life)
Yes, this got my attention

Thanks!

Hard to grasp many of the plugins, and lack of sensibel GUI doesn't help.
But, I see myself using more of these in the comings.
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #7
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I personally love IronOxide, ToTape, and HardVacuum (think of it as "ToTube"). These handle 95% of my saturation needs nowadays. I've gotten some delightfully dirty drums, smashing the snare with IronOxide and putting some ToTape on the overheads. HermePass is a great little highpass filter too, elegant in its simplicity.

I haven't messed with the snake oil stuff like the various consoles or dithers, but i'm certainly much more of a musician and not so much an audio engineer. Regarding the consoles, I can't hear even the slightest difference in the demo videos or in my own brief experimentation. I'm probably not the intended audience for those.
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
IronOxide and buss/console
caught my attention.
But, workflow seems a little hard for adjusting many instances,
and the bus/console felt rather subtle.
Without post-fader inserts, console is a bit of a nightmare.

I haven't used the latest version, but a few years ago when I experimented with it I was surprised how much came through a null test. Remember that the more tracks you have, and the more you pan them, the more noticeable the effect.
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:05 PM   #9
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I feel some Airwindows plugins are "the emperor's new clothes". I don't hear anything when using them. Not that they don't do anything, but maybe for how I mix (and my source material, number of tracks, how I highpass/lowpass the tracks) I'm just not getting any benefit from them. Console is one of these. Granted he's made different versions since then with other things rolled into it, but I'd rather just use those things separately without Console.

His comparisons in the Youtube videos A/Bing with/without an effect can be poor since he doesn't set up a loop in advance (it seems he's only figured this out recently lol), he takes too long to switch back and forth for A/B, he sometimes talks over it, and sometimes (like with that "aaaaaaaaa!!!!" singing multitrack) the sound changes too much from the start of the file to the end so switching a plugin on/off in the middle doesn't really help hear what the plugin is doing. I recommend you try the plugins for yourself. Some, you probably won't find a use for, some you'll find are just a bit too wacky, and some you'll probably really like.

Also: some of the plugins generate significant signal around 10Hz. With a sine wave before it and a frequency spectrum analyzer afterward, you can see this (and it's not too far below the test signal level). So beware. Test the plugins to see if they do this, and be prepared to use a "DC remover" plugin (there's one included in Reaper as a JS plugin). Or deal with the fact the extra inaudible information in that frequency region might mess up your headroom, trigger compressors when you don't want, etc. I posted about this on one of his videos and in the comments for his latest plugin but he hasn't responded. Here are the plugins that I noticed have this behavior:

Hard Vacuum
FathomFive
PurestWarm
Density
NC-17 (but a lot lower in level)
ToTape5 (when the sine sweep hits around 3KHz)

I don't have all his plugins installed so I didn't test all of them. Also some of them like Point (and some of the noise-thingies), I just uninstalled immediately because they're too nuts for me.

That being said, here are some Airwindows plugins I think are very useful:

Highpass (basically a dynamic highpass that's really unobtrusive, very useful)
Lowpass (a kind of lowpass filter which helps keep high-end detail)
MidSide/EdIsDim (very low-cpu plugins for mid-side encoding/decoding)
Acceleration (dynamic high-end "warmer" similar to how vinyl's high end sounds)
Slew2 (smearing of high frequencies)
EveryTrim (trim for L, R, Mid, Side, Master)

Pressure4
Pyewacket (this and the above are interestingly different compressors and/or transient shapers)

FromTape
IronOxide5
BussColors4
Channel4 (These 4 are to emulate characteristics of some hardware in a pure/general sense)

What I like about a lot of these is that they're so simple as to be considered "modular" in a track chain. Once you've used Lowpass for instance you'll realize its value in being "its own thing", and you'll reach for it for specific things. Likewise I appreciate Acceleration to emulate the high-end treatment "of vinyl" but without the other limitations of a "vinyl emulator".

Then consider how you can use "clean compressor" (maybe with frequency range splitters/joiners) combined with some of these "character plugins" to emulate the aspects of a hardware "character compressor" you want, but without any characteristics you might not want...at a much lower CPU cost than some compressor plugins that emulate hardware.

Yeah I should mention: most of his plugins are very low in CPU usage and introduce no latency, with a few exceptions.
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:42 PM   #10
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Also: some of the plugins generate significant signal around 10Hz. With a sine wave before it and a frequency spectrum analyzer afterward, you can see this (and it's not too far below the test signal level). So beware. Test the plugins to see if they do this, and be prepared to use a "DC remover" plugin (there's one included in Reaper as a JS plugin). Or deal with the fact the extra inaudible information in that frequency region might mess up your headroom, trigger compressors when you don't want, etc. I posted about this on one of his videos and in the comments for his latest plugin but he hasn't responded. Here are the plugins that I noticed have this behavior:
I'd be interested to know if this happens when using actual real-world signals, and not just when testing with pure sine waves. I think a lot of the responses of his plugins are quite program-dependent, and your analysis might be skewed because of the nature of the method used.
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Old 03-15-2018, 03:59 PM   #11
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I'd be interested to know if this happens when using actual real-world signals, and not just when testing with pure sine waves. I think a lot of the responses of his plugins are quite program-dependent, and your analysis might be skewed because of the nature of the method used.
My method is common for testing this sort of thing. A sine sweep with normal settings of the plugin is a reasonable way to know if this can affect the audio you pass through it, at least in some ways. Keep in mind this is a sine sweep, going across the frequency range. I'm not slamming it with a square wave at 30Hz for instance. If you still see that information in the 10Hz range when the sweep has passed 300Hz (for instance), you might want to take notice.

It doesn't mean you will have a problem with these plugins. It means you may have a problem with these plugins depending on how you use them. I avoid plugins that do this because I've had problems in the past due to this sort of thing. Instead of trying to remember "do I need to use a DC filter" I'd rather just not have the plugin in my list. There's always another plugin which can do a similar job if not identical. That's how I roll. I'm not recommending you do the same thing, but just a bit of a warning.

PS. I just tested Hard Vacuum with a full mix. With Drive, Warmth and Aura controls all centered, the 10Hz information appeared and it was about -20dB below the largest peak. This happens with "normal audio" as suspected.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:11 PM   #12
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His comparisons in the Youtube videos A/Bing with/without an effect can be poor since he doesn't set up a loop in advance (it seems he's only figured this out recently lol), he takes too long to switch back and forth for A/B, he sometimes talks over it, and sometimes (like with that "aaaaaaaaa!!!!" singing multitrack) the sound changes too much from the start of the file to the end so switching a plugin on/off in the middle doesn't really help hear what the plugin is doing.
I agree with all of this - he is his own worst salesman. Unhelpful examples, rambling 20 min. videos, inscrutable jargon, bizarre musical choices...I think if he took more time planning instead of just winging it with the same two or three songs over and over, he could attract a lot more users.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:08 AM   #13
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I agree with all of this - he is his own worst salesman. Unhelpful examples, rambling 20 min. videos, inscrutable jargon, bizarre musical choices...I think if he took more time planning instead of just winging it with the same two or three songs over and over, he could attract a lot more users.
Chris says he has autism, and his plugins, user-interfaces, videos, support etc. may be better understood in this context.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:10 AM   #14
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PS. I just tested Hard Vacuum with a full mix. With Drive, Warmth and Aura controls all centered, the 10Hz information appeared and it was about -20dB below the largest peak. This happens with "normal audio" as suspected.
Hard Vacuum generates DC when "warmth" parameter is > 0.
(if you use a high resolution analyzer you can see this better)
the "warmth" parameter generates even order harmonics, which is most always accompanied by DC.
All plug ins that generate even harmonics will also generate DC.
Usually the developer will add a HPF to the output ("behind the scenes") to remove it.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:49 AM   #15
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I've tried a lot of them... weird ones for sure and sometimes that's useful for sound design (ElectroHat is a fun one with right source feeding it and some post processing). In many cases though, there's DC and aliasing present unfortunately, so I don't really use them for "serious" processing. But hey, they're free and sometimes they can surprise positively
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:33 AM   #16
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Stupid question....what is DC?
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:53 AM   #17
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Stupid question....what is DC?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_current
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_bias

Airwindows Hard Vacuum DC example pic > https://i.imgur.com/5JqkJHj.png
(comparing with "warmth" (green) and without (red). "drive" set so both instances output the same level odd harmonics and the output is normalized to 0 dBFS)
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:35 AM   #18
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This is DC



Marvelous eh? :P

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Old 03-16-2018, 08:59 AM   #19
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@bezusheist Thanks. I knew DC meant Direct Current, I thought this was something else. So it's added noise where there shouldn't be any?
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:12 AM   #20
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the DC component in the spectrum plot is the big green "spike" at 1 Hz on Span (usually @ 0 Hz on an analyzer with enough resolution).
everything else is harmonics/aliasing.

basically, by processing a waveform asymmetrically via saturation/compression (non linear efx), you create a DC offset.
that is what the spectrum plot shows...adding the "warmth" (ie...even harmonics) also adds a DC offset the output.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:14 AM   #21
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@bezusheistI thought this was something else. So it's added noise where there shouldn't be any?
See DC bias. if non 0 the waveform does not center around 0.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:21 AM   #22
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Chris says he has autism, and his plugins, user-interfaces, videos, support etc. may be better understood in this context.
Ah, this actually makes a lot of sense.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:22 AM   #23
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This is DC

Marvelous eh? :P
Please take down this obnoxious giant picture. It makes this thread very difficult to read.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Please take down this obnoxious giant picture. It makes this thread very difficult to read.
Lol? why don't you go telling that to all the other posters that do the same elsewhere?..come to have a poke bloke? wot a joke bloke.
Topic is.....your favo(u)rite airwindows fx-- i try not to favourite anything,just use what comes n goes..because,things comes n goes you knows..
Autism? chris knows exactely what he is doing lol-- he is going with the flow u know,like any good 'ol joe. =)
Guy is able to share-so he shares--it's quite simplez.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by bezusheist View Post
Hard Vacuum generates DC when "warmth" parameter is > 0.
(if you use a high resolution analyzer you can see this better)
the "warmth" parameter generates even order harmonics, which is most always accompanied by DC.
All plug ins that generate even harmonics will also generate DC.
Usually the developer will add a HPF to the output ("behind the scenes") to remove it.
This is why I mentioned it to Chris on his Youtube video for Hard Vacuum and on his blog thread comments. I figured he could recognize this and update the plugins.

In the meantime however, I wanted to make people aware of this in case it caused them any problems.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:24 PM   #26
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Lol? why
Because it's so wide that I have to scroll from side to side to read an entire post. You're welcome to your bad joke, but the huge image makes all the other posts cut off part way. It's simple courtesy.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:07 AM   #27
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Because it's so wide that I have to scroll from side to side to read an entire post. You're welcome to your bad joke, but the huge image makes all the other posts cut off part way. It's simple courtesy.
try switching to "Reaper 5" in the "quick style chooser" at the bottom of the page, that should fix things...

(The web site design is what lacks courtesy....)
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:20 AM   #28
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Lol? why don't you go telling that to all the other posters that do the same elsewhere?..come to have a poke bloke? wot a joke bloke.
It's encouraged not to use so big pictures here for the reasons mentioned.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:22 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by bezusheist View Post
try switching to "Reaper 5" in the "quick style chooser" at the bottom of the page, that should fix things...
That helps indeed. Not my pref. style, but better in this regard.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:36 AM   #30
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That helps indeed. Not my pref. style,
Heh- once u know,u know-aint such a big blow---lolz.
I find some people to be incredibly petty + analized about small trivial matters
Apologies for being a bit of a blunt ****ryman--oops,dropped the 'o' for some extra dears..
If 1 uses big words-people get lost quicker-so big pictures-with 1 of the biggest characters--seems to fit nicely here> right? =) apparently not..anyways--thread title was not about this.^ figures.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:04 PM   #31
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I agree with all of this - he is his own worst salesman. Unhelpful examples, rambling 20 min. videos, inscrutable jargon, bizarre musical choices...I think if he took more time planning instead of just winging it with the same two or three songs over and over, he could attract a lot more users.
I'm a Patreon contributor and I'm thrilled to have discovered Chris and airwindows last year. But I do find I'm less likely to have the patience to audition his new plugins or any I've not spent time with. There is a actual problem when a modulation effect has only two parameters and I can only find out what they're set at by watching the video, and in the video, rather than putting audio through it that resembles anything I'd use it for he run a whole EDM mix through it while toggling it on and off (or whatever it was, that was from memory : ) ) Sometimes I go to the video to find out how to best use one that seems to have good potential but afterwards decide not to bother with it : )


Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Chris says he has autism, and his plugins, user-interfaces, videos, support etc. may be better understood in this context.
That's very interesting and explains a lot. Fascinating, actually.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:25 PM   #32
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Thunder's the only one I use. It's good for adding some pleasant rumble to sounds that need it. The rest I've tried are either too subtle, confusing or presenting unexpected problems I'd only know how to deal with if I'd sat through the *ahem* lengthy intro vid.
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Swamp Ape View Post
I agree with all of this - he is his own worst salesman. Unhelpful examples, rambling 20 min. videos, inscrutable jargon, bizarre musical choices...I think if he took more time planning instead of just winging it with the same two or three songs over and over, he could attract a lot more users.
While I agree with the above, and haven't bothered with his console plugins and all, his tremolo is at the top of my list when it comes to software tremolos. I just love it. Haven't used anything else. It's just awesome.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:47 PM   #34
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Chris says he has autism, and his plugins, user-interfaces, videos, support etc. may be better understood in this context.
Well, that explains a lot of things.

To be honest, I don't like his plugins, his music, his videos.

I've tried some plugins. some make a very subtle improvement, but nothing to go crazy about. Most of the time they do nothing.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:32 AM   #35
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For me, it's a bit of a dealkiller when something like a high or low pass filter uses a slider going from 0 to 1 instead of frequencies. Even if there's an explanation buried somewhere in the videos, my tendency is to play with something for a minute and immediately either love, leave for future investigation or discard, and I end up discarding most of these for reasons like this.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:38 AM   #36
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Quote:
To be honest, I don't like his plugins, his music, his videos.


Most of the time they do nothing.
Oh-- care to mention which plugs do nothing for you?

**Have edited previous post as moderators done some of their own editing here already.. 2taboo4u?
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:02 PM   #37
morfi
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I agree that his plug-ins and his posts and videos are hard to incorporate since they don't follow the regular marketing laws or presentation for a product AT ALL.

Once you accept this as just they way it is, you're left with one of the geniuses of DSP for audio nowadays. His code is second to none; absolutely on par with the very best out there and above the regular average plug-ins.

His designs and UX are indeed tough to work with at first, but you get used to it and love it for the delivery they accomplish.

I think AirWindows is as marvellous and miraculous a plug-in developer as REAPER is for DAWs - simply out of this world.

I've already listed my favorites here so no need to write down that again. I do have a whole bunch that I would NOT use, but then again that's pretty subjective, and yes I also have a whole bunch of "crazy-ones" or "too-subtle" ones that I don't use either - if it helps the OP that would be "guitar conditioner", "desk", "powersag", "point".
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:22 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
For me, it's a bit of a dealkiller when something like a high or low pass filter uses a slider going from 0 to 1 instead of frequencies. Even if there's an explanation buried somewhere in the videos, my tendency is to play with something for a minute and immediately either love, leave for future investigation or discard, and I end up discarding most of these for reasons like this.
The reasoning is that you are supposed to use your ears. Too often we get caught up in autopilot, thinking "always hipass at 50hz " or whatever, so we just find 50hz on the readout and cut there. But sometimes those rules have exceptions that we may tend to overlook because we are so used to doing things the way they are "supposed to be" done.

The lack of a detailed readout is supposed to inspire more organic results. Tweak it til it sounds good. Mix with your ears, not your eyes and some chart of numbers. At least that's the impression I get from this design choice.

Also, Chris is a guitarist, and a lot of guitar pedals and amps are designed this way, so maybe that has something to do with the underlying philosophy of the UX. Rather than presets or values, it's like "turn this knob to 12 o'clock and that knob to 4 o'clock"
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:57 AM   #39
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I won't defend Chris' reluctance to add UI elements or even frequency readouts since I don't necessarily believe what he says is his reasoning. It's a convenient excuse though, one with which I generally agree. So I can overlook that.

vdubreeze: I urge you to try his Highpass plugin and compare it to any highpass filter. You'll soon know why I don't care if it has any numbers on it at all. It's a transparent highpass with a very sensible dynamic response to it.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:21 PM   #40
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I haven't used any of Chris' plugins for years, but I'm still glad that there is a small niche in the market for developers like him
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