Access Analog

I saw these guys at NAMM and thought it was pretty cool. I just gave it a test run, and from my test, it works exactly as described.

Basically, they have a rack full of hardware, and the plugin sends your sound to the hardware and back through the plugin. There’s obviously a bit of latency, but it lets you rent out time slots. It’s kind of a nice way to experiment with analog gear without having to actually buy it and set it up.

When you adjust the plugin, it adjusts little motors on the hardware to match what the plugin shows. I’m sort of sad I didn’t take a video of it at NAMM, because I don’t see any videos of it in action on their site.

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I saw a vid sowing the hardware in action. Forgot who made it. Sounds interesting if only to experience the difference with VST’s using real hardware. Do you still use any hardware Fx yourself Boz? Are there any situations where you feel you need hardware? I don’t know having never had the chance to use any :wink:

For me, analog gear is almost purely an ergonomics thing. I prefer the volume control on my monitors and headphones to be analog. Not because I think it sounds better, but I want to be able to adjust the volume without looking. I don’t want to go through menus or bring up windows to adjust something that I adjust all the time. For me, using analog effects is just an extension of that same idea.

If you are mixing day in and day out and you have your procedures down to where you can do it with your eyes closed, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to mix quickly.

For me personally, I know Reaper well enough and have my templates made to be able to mix with that same sort of instinct, so analog FX has no real value to me.

To me, it’s the same thing as playing notes on a piano vs drawing them in. Some people can draw them in quickly with a mouse, and can’t play, so entering by mouse is a better option. Some people can play, but are really slow at drawing on a mouse, so playing is a better option.

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I can understand that, although for me as an amateur mixing only my own music time is not a big issue. But if it’s all ergonomics: what’s the point of Access Analog? It could not imagine it makes your workflow any easier unless maybe you work in a professional studio all day and are intimately familiar with all this analog gear. Then I guess working online from your home studio might be an advantage. Otherwise it would have to be the superior sound of analog gear… I really can’t compare.

Depends on who’s using it. I use it to test stuff. I measured Bark of Dog against a Pultec (I walked away happy from that test). There are different compressors, which are more of an interesting thing in the hardware world than EQs are.

Basically, the benefit to a lot of people is that they can test this gear to see for themselves if it does what everybody claims it does. It’s hard to test analog gear in your own setup without spending lots of time and money. This takes that barrier away.

How you use it long term is up to the individual. But for me, it’s a great way to try out a bunch of stuff with pretty much no hassle, and very little money.

That is quite impressive actually, there is another similar service from emastered (I think), you can send your mixes out to be mastered in the analog domain but that is not through a plugin. You have to upload and download yada yada and its a bit of a pain to bounce tracks. This is definitely next generation.

Mixanalog is another site I tried out a while back. I think it’s a really cool idea, but the “problem” is trying to fit it into your workflow. As has been pointed out, you need to schedule time, export, upload, process, download, then re-import your processed tracks…

Here’s the thread:

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The difference here is that you use it like you use any plugins. There’s some minor latency, but the plugin is streaming the audio to the hardware and back in real time.

You still have the issue of reserving the time slot, but it’s in its early stages, so it’s mostly open most of the time. I have no idea how they’re going to scale it if people start using it more, but that’s not a terrible problem to have for them.

Doh! I totally missed the interface was through a plugin! That’s totally kewl! :sunglasses:

It looks like is working on a plugin of their own.