Air windows console 7

Console7

TL;DW: Console7 is the best Console yet, with anti-alias filtering and special saturation curves!

I don’t think I’ve ever made as big of a quality jump as I have with this Console. I’m seriously thinking about replacing my analog mixing board with this: that’s how nicely it sits and works and sounds. It’s all thanks to recent work with ultrasonic filtering, and a bunch of other stuff besides. If you don’t already know what Console is: it’s the Airwindows digital mix buss. You put the channel plugin on every channel, feeding directly (at unity gain) into the 2-buss where the buss plugin lives. It applies saturation and anti-saturation functions so that, for individual sounds, there is no change, but when there’s two signals interfering with each other, it makes the channels saturate easier if the buss’s ‘input impedance’ is fluctuating based on other signals coming in. You set it up, and then mix with gain trim controls or the controls on the plugins because to change the faders would violate the need for unity gain between the plugins.

That’s been the case for six previous versions of Console, and now it’s Console7. Here’s what’s new, that I didn’t have before.

Every stage of the Console system now runs ultrasonic filtering. Not ‘the Ultrasonic filter’, which is heavier in CPU and steeper: it’s a system designed and built for Console, optimised for use with Console. It’s a gentler, less phase-smeary version equivalent to the Isolator filter across the entire Console system, but set up backwards: the Channel plugins lead off with the steepest stage of filtering, causing highs to hit the saturation in a particular way. Then, on the Buss plugins, the remaining two stages use decreasing resonances, so the end result is as flat as Isolator’s fifth-order Butterworth filtering: but one stage runs before the processing, and one after. Doing this causes aliasing to be repeatedly removed at every step it might occur, rather than trying to whack it completely on input and then expecting the whole chain to be clean. You can still drop Ultrasonic in there, anyplace that you think needs extra attention… but this is actually better. Especially if you’re working at 192k (but it’s designed to be fantastic at 96k).

Every channel and the buss now gets a dedicated seed value for the dithering to the floating point buss. This might seem (and in fact is) a mighty subtle point, but it turned out to be fine to do at no cost to the CPU of the actual mix (it’s just a little extra getting done as each plugin loads). In a (real, though kind of theoretical) sense, that means every single channel produces its own dedicated noise for dithering, even though it’s just to the floating point buss. No previous Airwindows plugin has done this, but it worked so well that it’s now the new standard for how they’re built.

Every channel and the buss now has a dedicated saturation/anti-saturation algorithm that ONLY exists in Console7. It’s based off of a blend of Spiral, and Density, with the first instance of Spiral run as a ConsoleBuss algorithm, ever. They go to the trouble of blending between this new Spiral/antiSpiral sort of Console, and the Density-based one as seen in Console5 and PurestConsole, because doing this allowed a tweak in the way channels hit saturation, where the harmonics are generated in a balanced way, a smoother onset of saturation than I’ve ever had before in a plugin. Console7 channels saturate in an incredibly sweet, non-edgy way, and that’s before the ultrasonic filtering.

All the channel plugins now default to 0.772 on the gain control. That, not 1.0, is ‘unity gain’. Why? Because you can now push Console channels into the red in a special way. For the first time, the gain staging is flexible and tied to the Fader controls on the plugins (the Master control on the buss also does this in its own way, but that’s normally kept at 1.0). Unlike any previous Console, and opposite to what you get if you use the DAW faders, these channels saturate MORE as you push them, and saturate LESS if you pull them back. By the way the Density algorithm works, that means stuff tends to come forward as you nudge the gain up, and drop back into the soundstage if you pull the gain back. It opens up in a very literal way when you pull channels back, like some idealized analog console. What that means is, if you use these controls (they are smoothed for zero zipper noise) stuff will practically mix itself: the mix ought to fall into place more easily and quickly, plus if you’re whacking around the controls in some mad dubby way it ought to romp with you quite delightfully! They are simple 0-1 controls specifically to get you to set them by ear: there is no such thing as ‘dB’ with these, and even if there was, you’re adjusting the saturation curves so it’s completely down to what sounds right. I recommend using control surfaces to ride these Fader controls in the plugins: this is another way to get back to (automatable) analog console days.

Источник

Airwindows CONSOLE SEVEN: Mac/Windows/Linux AU/VST
by chrisj 7th December 2020

TL;DW: Console7 is the best Console yet, with anti-alias filtering and special saturation curves!

I don’t think I’ve ever made as big of a quality jump as I have with this Console. I’m seriously thinking about replacing my analog mixing board with this: that’s how nicely it sits and works and sounds. It’s all thanks to recent work with ultrasonic filtering, and a bunch of other stuff besides. If you don’t already know what Console is: it’s the Airwindows digital mix buss. You put the channel plugin on every channel, feeding directly (at unity gain) into the 2-buss where the buss plugin lives. It applies saturation and anti-saturation functions so that, for individual sounds, there is no change, but when there’s two signals interfering with each other, it makes the channels saturate easier if the buss’s ‘input impedance’ is fluctuating based on other signals coming in. You set it up, and then mix with gain trim controls or the controls on the plugins because to change the faders would violate the need for unity gain between the plugins.

That’s been the case for six previous versions of Console, and now it’s Console7. Here’s what’s new, that I didn’t have before.

Every stage of the Console system now runs ultrasonic filtering. Not ‘the Ultrasonic filter’, which is heavier in CPU and steeper: it’s a system designed and built for Console, optimised for use with Console. It’s a gentler, less phase-smeary version equivalent to the Isolator filter across the entire Console system, but set up backwards: the Channel plugins lead off with the steepest stage of filtering, causing highs to hit the saturation in a particular way. Then, on the Buss plugins, the remaining two stages use decreasing resonances, so the end result is as flat as Isolator’s fifth-order Butterworth filtering: but one stage runs before the processing, and one after. Doing this causes aliasing to be repeatedly removed at every step it might occur, rather than trying to whack it completely on input and then expecting the whole chain to be clean. You can still drop Ultrasonic in there, anyplace that you think needs extra attention… but this is actually better. Especially if you’re working at 192k (but it’s designed to be fantastic at 96k).

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Every channel and the buss now gets a dedicated seed value for the dithering to the floating point buss. This might seem (and in fact is) a mighty subtle point, but it turned out to be fine to do at no cost to the CPU of the actual mix (it’s just a little extra getting done as each plugin loads). In a (real, though kind of theoretical) sense, that means every single channel produces its own dedicated noise for dithering, even though it’s just to the floating point buss. No previous Airwindows plugin has done this, but it worked so well that it’s now the new standard for how they’re built.

Every channel and the buss now has a dedicated saturation/anti-saturation algorithm that ONLY exists in Console7. It’s based off of a blend of Spiral, and Density, with the first instance of Spiral run as a ConsoleBuss algorithm, ever. They go to the trouble of blending between this new Spiral/antiSpiral sort of Console, and the Density-based one as seen in Console5 and PurestConsole, because doing this allowed a tweak in the way channels hit saturation, where the harmonics are generated in a balanced way, a smoother onset of saturation than I’ve ever had before in a plugin. Console7 channels saturate in an incredibly sweet, non-edgy way, and that’s before the ultrasonic filtering.

All the channel plugins now default to 0.772 on the gain control. That, not 1.0, is ‘unity gain’. Why? Because you can now push Console channels into the red in a special way. For the first time, the gain staging is flexible and tied to the Fader controls on the plugins (the Master control on the buss also does this in its own way, but that’s normally kept at 1.0). Unlike any previous Console, and opposite to what you get if you use the DAW faders, these channels saturate MORE as you push them, and saturate LESS if you pull them back. By the way the Density algorithm works, that means stuff tends to come forward as you nudge the gain up, and drop back into the soundstage if you pull the gain back. It opens up in a very literal way when you pull channels back, like some idealized analog console. What that means is, if you use these controls (they are smoothed for zero zipper noise) stuff will practically mix itself: the mix ought to fall into place more easily and quickly, plus if you’re whacking around the controls in some mad dubby way it ought to romp with you quite delightfully! They are simple 0-1 controls specifically to get you to set them by ear: there is no such thing as ‘dB’ with these, and even if there was, you’re adjusting the saturation curves so it’s completely down to what sounds right. I recommend using control surfaces to ride these Fader controls in the plugins: this is another way to get back to (automatable) analog console days.

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Air windows console 7

It absolutely depends on the genre.

Again, some genres simply CANNOT exist in their «polite» form. they sound ridiculous (and mind you, my reference «holy grail» are things like Supertramp’s «Breakfast in America» and David Gilmour’s «On An Island»).

That’s why the so called «loudness war» was DOA. music is a PHYSICAL experience. some genres REQUIRE the producer to engage in «distorting the living c*&p out of it» (the amount of the distortion is what separates «the men from the boys»).

«mix it like a record» is just a phrase. most young producers don’t even know what a record is. (with regards to approaching techniques that were a MUST in order for your audio to playable AT ALL).
«brauerize» is just a technique for making things «up front» without scarifying dynamic range (or scarifying as little as possible). it can be done nowadays in so many ways. which, again, must relate to the genre in which you act upon.

My only wish for ALL the «clippers» that you developed, that they have a output-compensated drive slider (input gain=negative output gain).

One can tailor C7C to his precise needs with mechanism such as in Blue cat gain suite. that’s exactly how I drive C7Cas (with or without C7Buss).

Again, some genres simply CANNOT exist in their «polite» form. they sound ridiculous (and mind you, my reference «holy grail» are things like Supertramp’s «Breakfast in America» and David Gilmour’s «On An Island»).

That’s why the so called «loudness war» was DOA. music is a PHYSICAL experience. some genres REQUIRE the producer to engage in «distorting the living c*&p out of it» (the amount of the distortion is what separates «the men from the boys»).

It’s far from just genres. Good luck turning an impulse into a thunder roll in the box without distortion and nonlinearity! We’re talking about differences between digital mixing and simple REALITY here.

It’s worth mentioning that ‘loudness war’ typically refers to going WAY beyond what’s needed to the point of total dynamic inversion. Hyper-limiting is NOT what we’re talking about here. I’ve spent years working out what optimum levels and loudnesses are, and made some progress: when we say ‘loudness war’ we mean ‘everything squished until it’s flat’, when you say ‘polite’ I think you mean ‘digitally clean and undistorted across the entire chain’ and that is STARK, man. The amount of peak energy you can capture and transmit losslessly in a digital chain is ridiculous: even if you’ve got just SM57s the attack spike on something like a snare is still outlandishly loud, and our ears don’t hear it like that at those levels.

«Breakfast In America» has ‘Goodbye Stranger’ on it, which I’ve heard on the Andy and Alex react podcast. Yeah, that is hilariously good. Might be worth me doing ‘evergreens’ videos in 2021, though: for stuff that is provably okay to have on YouTube because react channels are able to do it as a full playthrough. You need to hear that stuff off vinyl, undistorted, to understand what it really is: the peak/RMS balance is very different from what you might think it is. I can do that for songs that the copyright holders are permitting for reacts, and supply analysis of how it’s done. What I need is examples of youtubers (for instance, Andy and Alex, or JustJP) who are doing reacts to the kind of thing I do on Evergreens. You can see from them whether it’ll be allowed to hear the song all the way through as part of the video. Those are the ones I want. Show me, and if I have the vinyl record I’ll do my analysis of the song in question. I’d enjoy that, knowing it’ll be able to stay on the channel

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Well, I came to understand that just as dB is a RELATIVE scale, so is our perception with regards to what’s WAY «beyond what’s needed to the point of total dynamic inversion».

I think I posted years ago a small clip processed with some (distortion) tool of yours, which overwhelmed you and dissed it as outrageously distorted. yes, it was distorted (I deliberately pushed it) but it did not deviate from what you hear on your techno/hard hitting dancefloor tracks nowadays.

I tried countless times matching the loudness of two pieces of (electronic music) audio : one «distorted» and limited (I don’t EVER «hard-limit». nothing good comes out of it. but yes, I distort. gradually. where each processor distort very little) and one volume compensated (ie. the final result matched in average volume) to achieve the same AVARAGE loudness.
I then A/B’d.
The difference was STARK, man. so, in theory a dj/listener can crank the volume and achieve the same perceived loudness (allegedly). in reality. it’s a different perceived BODILY experience.

BTW, most (if not all) prominent technicians DISTORT their audio anyways, VIA «Analog Clipping». I think it would fair to say that most contemporary music nowadays is distorted, to some extent (some even overdrive. and one can actually «hear» the waveform being deformed in an ugly and unpleasant way).

Dear Sir. that IS my early listening experience, some 40 odd years ago, when the turntables in my parents house were playing nonstop, each Saturday.
My early «dance floor» listening experience (late 90’s early 2000’s) was also (exclusively) with Vinyl.

Look, I’m not saying you’re wrong. but I guess Einstein’s «General Relativity» applies here, too (in the sense of «everything is relative»). I vaguely remember reading about (dj) Claude VonStroke’s tracks and they (or at least some of them, at the time) were said to be roaming around -6dB EBU Loudness Integrated. that is OUTRAGOUSLY loud.
but Lo’ and Behol’. people were STILL dancing to (and buying) his stuff. so, as I’ve said, everything is relative, within the context of the genre you produce in.

I would ask, if you run BiquadTriple, does the same thing happen? Alternately, Ultrasonic? I’m seriously at a loss outside of suggesting that your machine can’t run three biquad filters made out of long double values, per channel. That or the increased use of sin() functions in Console7 compared to previous versions.

If you did twice the ConsoleChannels in a previous version, and twice the ConsoleBusses, and Ultrasonic on each track, does that work? I develop on an older MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard, but I admit I’m not running full mixes on that, I’m using a newer machine for the multitrack projects. I’m not sure the dev laptop WOULD run full mixes in that way.

Yes

(it works as a replacement for the channel plugin, but you can use it at the end of a submix where you’d put another channel plugin, and that’s a ‘bus’)

I honestly don’t know. The thing is, for something like Console7, I could put all the code for it in a post. The original Console could fit in two lines of code. I’m using Apple template code from Snow Leopard days for compatibility, and specifically Console plugins are so fundamentally simple that it’s hard to see how I could do anything different. There’s nothing in there TO fix. It would be like having a gain plugin, that breaks in Catalina, and going ‘fix the plugin so it works in Catalina!’ when the plugin is

inputSample = inputSample * gain;

Console is a little bit like that. The sliding saturation thing doesn’t relate to audio code so much: the distortion algorithm is more complicated but that’s really not saying much. That’s why I was asking about the biquad filters: that would be another angle of attack. It’s still… the thing is, if my Snow Leopard machine never has an issue, and making videos on Mojave never shows a problem, and then everybody on Catalina has total crashing (which I don’t think is the case), what can I do? It’s either Apple bugs that are taking something that works and breaking it (which justifies me supporting earlier Macs and Windows and Linux etc.) or it’s Apple exposing problems masked by earlier OSes… but the thing is, I can’t find them. And it’s open source, so anybody (or anybody at Apple) could look over what I’m doing, literally read the source code, and nobody has gone ‘hey, dummy, you’re using an element past the end of the array and you can’t do that’. But I’ve checked and I don’t think I’m doing that. (If someone did go ‘hey dummy’ I’d scamper about fixing everything! Because they would have given me the answer I can’t find! )

Ultrasonic uses the same biquad filters, the same filter settings, and has more of ’em. So putting equal numbers of Ultrasonic as you’d have Console plugins, should cause things to break MORE because there’s more biquad filters in there if it’s Ultrasonic. I guess you could test whether it’s multiple sin() calculations, by setting up an earlier Console5 (not 6) and doubling the number of plugins (double Console5Channel, double Console6Buss everywhere they appear) because that would call the sin() function as often as Console7 does…

Sometimes I can’t work around OS or DAW issues. There’s a Reaper bug that’s been around for a while where they don’t use the same numbering for indexed popup menus in AUs that Apple does, and I can’t switch the numbers without breaking it for the Apple DAWs and every other program. Though I can tend to avoid using popups in AUs at all… which I’ve done for a while. If I can track down what’s going on here, I might be able to work around Apple bugs. But right now I can’t figure out what’s happening. If it was always on plugin instantiation it might be a thing in Reset(), but I’m given to understand it’s just at random times? If it was at times where the plugin’s getting fed a lot of digital black it might imply Catalina dives into denormalized numbers in a way that other versions don’t… but the stuff there is already long double resolution and I’d have thought everything would be the same degree of slow.

I guess as more reports come in we will gradually learn more. Unless it’s an outright Logic bug as hosted in Catalina where nothing I do will change it… and that lands it in Apple’s camp. It’s them or me

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Console4

Console 4 is the most recent version of basically my flagship Airwindows plugin. It works through a channel plugin on every sound source, feeding at unity gain into the buss plugin which overrides the digital summing with Airwindows summing (more internal space, more depth, and with Console 4 it now has glue making the top-end more listenable).

You can also watch the half-hour long introduction video that goes into a lot more detail about how it’s used, how it works, how you make ‘big kicks and snares’—Console doesn’t let you crank any given channel up to full volume, but it’s designed to layer stuff so if you need giant sounds the best way is to make them composite sounds, everything layered from separate channels in the mix. Rather than layer samples and put them on a single loud track, keep the layers accessible in mix. That does mean if you wanted things like sines to be superloud you’d have to get creative, but the principle’s clear.

Speaking of principles…

You may notice no demo link, and also there’s no Kagi shopping cart link. There’s a reason for that. Kagi went bust Sunday. I may still get my last two months of sales out of whoever’s divvying up the assets, but as of this Monday you cannot pay me for my work through Kagi, because there is no Kagi. They served me for close to ten years, always with perfect efficiency and scrupulous honesty, but the commission off my work wasn’t enough to keep ’em going.

I could go find the newest-trendiest shopping cart e-commerce people, but when I started shopping-cart shopping I found them all horrible, tacky hypemongers offering to do things like find people who’d left a cart un-checked-out, and spamming them with reminder emails like ‘Hi, I’m your shopping cart and I’m looonely! Do you miss me? I miss you! Surely you just forgot me?”

I ran away before I threw up all over their e-commerce portals. After all, I have never spammed or bugged people, never advertised, and what’s more I give people free updates for as long as I live, none of which ‘makes sense’ in this happy future of badgering people for every cent, preferably by hyping them into a rental arrangement and DRMing the stuff until it’s nearly ready to explode all by itself, never mind when the rent is due or the authorization servers are having a bad day. (but I digress)

There’s something completely different I can do—something I would never have done, except Kagi went out of business and I have no reason not to be completely rebellious and flip the marketplace table.

Ever heard of a thing called Patreon? It’s not for discovering new artists. Really, it’s more of a… payment processor. For people who are already well established, who are appreciated for what they do, and who are busy devoting their lives to giving the world something for ‘free’ (like comics, or perhaps music, or art). Much like I already do for existing customers: I’ve promised all Console owners that they will have all Console updates for free.

There you have it. I am going all in on Patreon, and that is the full release version of Console 4, with the new Mac and PC VST builds, for free. Please remember this when I have figured out the details and started my Patreon. From now on, I will be relying completely on that to survive. I’ve seen more than one person (for instance, Vechs, or Jim Sterling) who are doing great with Patreon, usually because they too are rebelling against some commercial thing and making a bid for total freedom from obligation.

From now on all Airwindows plugins will be ported to Windows and Mac VST as well as being Audio Unit, and they will all be free from now on, and if I get enough Patreon support I will release all source code under the MIT license and document it as I go so that everybody can use the tools and concepts I’ve built to create their own software. That will be my legacy, and if that ain’t a worthy Patreon goal I don’t know what is.

This includes old versions of plugins for when people preferred a certain version, so the total number of plugins to cover is over 250. That means if I do one a month it will take me more than 20 years. If I work like a maniac (well, more like a maniac) and put out one a week, that’s still around five years just to turn Airwindows into a sort of audio plugin library and DSP school. And it will all be AU/VST with VST covering Mac VST2 and Win VST2 (built on older OS versions so the plugins work on the very widest range of hosts). I feel this isn’t a bad strategy because if I set up the Patreon so I can actually survive on it, I can make the rate of these ports (and free releases of the existing AUs) conditional on whether I was able to eat that month, which seems fair. 🙂

That’s not counting new research and new plugins… but I have a lot of VST plugins to do, to catch up. Over 250 of them. I’d also ask pirates and haxxors (who don’t have any VST airwindows but what I make, and don’t have most of the AUs) to please leave this ‘making them all free’ process to me through Patreon and my own website. If all goes well, all the plugins will be free in the end (even with source code!) so if you could not mess this up I’d be grateful. 😉 leave it to me, please.

Oh, and the VST versions do ‘double replacing’, which means they noise shape to the 64 bit floating point buss. Technically that makes them higher sound quality than Apple’s CoreAudio can offer, though I promise you really won’t notice (and the VST versions also do 32 bit ‘replacing’ so they’ll work on all hosts)

Consider Console 4 an advance on this new concept. If it works, and if I can live for five or twenty years doing it, every possible Airwindows plugin will be part of everyone’s toolbox and the code will be out there making people’s products better.

Private to Native Instruments: hey, maybe you guys might want to chip in just to meet whatever the threshold is for ‘release free ADClip with source code under MIT license’! I will be letting people pay to mess with the release schedule directly, so past a certain threshold people will be able to single out specific plugins and fast-track them and get the source opened. We didn’t come to an agreement for a one-time no-royalty payment, but now might be your chance! 😉

Oh, also: Patreon 😀 (I updated the link once the site was ready, and then I started making all the words links, and it got funnier and funnier. patreon patreon patreon! OK, I’m done 😉

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