Sonalksis Free-G plug-in

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Rodgre
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Sonalksis Free-G plug-in

Post by Rodgre » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:20 am

Sonalksis has some great plug-ins that I've been really digging lately, but my favorite is FreeG, which is free (duh).

Image

On the surface it seems like nothing special. A channel fader and a meter. Don't you already have that on your DAW's mixer?
I've never had any luck finding a simple plug-in that allowed me to take a stereo track and pan it. Example: last week I had a mix for a tune that culminated in a psychedelic freak out with lots of tape phasing and dub echo stuff going on. There was lots of stereo imaging and a pretty dense mix. Then I wanted to take that whole mix and automate panning the balance from side to side to add to the chaos. FreeG to the rescue. Insert it on a stereo mix bus and engage the automation for the pan knob, and pan away, but instead of taking a mono source and panning it around, I'm taking a stereo source and essentially adjusting the balance from side to side.

Sounds boring, I know. I'm just wondering why I never found a plug-in that would do such a thing so easily. (there are other plugs that can accomplish this task, but not in such a simple, no frills way. I've used Waves Imager by turning the rotation control, but Waves isn't free, and it seems like overkill to use a plug-in like that to do something so simple)

I also like it because I can do alternate volume automation info on a track in Protools. Say different playlists of a track require different volume rides... I used to use Trim in PT to do this, as well as phase inverting, but I dunno.... FreeG is nicer to look at I guess.

Anyway, Good+Simple+Free=no-brainer. Check it out if you're unfamiliar with their stuff. The other plugs are great sounding too, if not a little un-intuitive at first.

Roger

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Post by mjau » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:26 am

I like it, too - nice big meter.

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Post by pandatone » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:35 am

does your daw.. not have a pan pot?
thats weird to me. i pan stereo stuff all the time in DP. i can't NOT have a pan pot on a channel.

panda

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Post by lysander » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:22 pm

Having a simple phase flip seems nice too. I work in Logic Express, where there is none on the channel strip.

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Post by effector » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:30 pm

for some reason, the panning sounds <i>better</i> to me in free-g than using the regular logic express panpot. is there any quantifiable reason that might be true?

by better, i guess i just mean....more natural or something? my virgin ears can't tell!

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Post by Rodgre » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:48 pm

pandatone wrote:does your daw.. not have a pan pot?
thats weird to me. i pan stereo stuff all the time in DP. i can't NOT have a pan pot on a channel.

panda
Protools gives you two-way panning on stereo channels, which allows you to do cool things like cross the right side over to the left, and left over to right, and lots of cool things. Still, that requires automating TWO pan faders, not one single pan "pot."

Think of it as a "balance" control on a single stereo channel. I'm only familiar with Pro Tools, so maybe other DAWs have been doing it that way for years and years.

Roger

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Post by b3groover » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:32 pm

effector wrote:for some reason, the panning sounds <i>better</i> to me in free-g than using the regular logic express panpot. is there any quantifiable reason that might be true?

by better, i guess i just mean....more natural or something? my virgin ears can't tell!
Because your eyes are getting in the way of your ears?

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Post by effector » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:53 pm

i wouldn't rule it out! i seem to remember reading something on apple's logic forum, though, about how the math is different in free-g than in logic express for panning......like, the way it reacts in the last 20% or so of the fader is different. and that logic pro reacts the same way. i guess it would be easy enough to dig that post up again, if i wasn't so damned lazy!

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Post by thesimulacre » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:20 am

Waves Imager, BTW, does more than just pan from side to side, as you can see (and somewhat hear depending on the souce) from the graph on it's GUI. The concept is cool, but I have rarely used it because it seems to cut out certain things in order to accomplish it's goal.

As far as the FreeG, I downloaded it the other day and then thought to myself, "why?" The only use in Cubase 3 (which finally has phase flip on every channel) I could think of would be to over-drive the input of another plugin, but that usually sound like sh-- or crashes said plugin. You guys ever done that? Compressors are the most susceptible, and you know you have really done it when your master meter locks out at a full clip until you find the offending plug. "And that is why we invented the emergency-mute-everything button," said the tourguide as we continued along our way.

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Post by Rodgre » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:44 am

thesimulacre wrote:Waves Imager, BTW, does more than just pan from side to side, as you can see (and somewhat hear depending on the source) from the graph on it's GUI. The concept is cool, but I have rarely used it because it seems to cut out certain things in order to accomplish it's goal.
What I meant in comparison to the Waves S1 Imager is that it is really meant to do other stereo manipulation, including steering the image right or left, but to me it seems that it's like using a laser to carve a turkey. When all I want to do it "grab" a pot an pan something/adjust the balance, I found nothing like the FreeG. (Adjusting uneven levels in stereo tracks? I would either have to split stereo tracks to panned mono and adjust levels, but now I can't use a single EQ across the both channels without making a new stereo bus.... or I can insert Compressorbank, or a stereo delay plug-in on the channel JUST so I can balance the right and left levels? Come on....)

I know it seems like a redundant thing, and it seems so simple that you're wondering if this is my first day of recording school, but my reason for mentioning FreeG is that despite it's initial appearance of uselessness, I found ways that it's changed the way I work for the better! And no, it's not just because it looks cool or that I think it makes my tone sound better. Then again, a screwdriver is a great tool when you're trying to screw a screw, but totally useless when what you need is a wrench, so YMMV.

I also use the Waves S1 constantly, though. It's one of my favorites (and I've learned some neat tricks by putting two of them in series {or the MS Matrix and an Imager}. Check out the possibilities!)
thesimulacre wrote:As far as the FreeG, I downloaded it the other day and then thought to myself, "why?" .
My whole reason to post about it was that I also thought "Why?" when I first installed it, and then I had a few "duh!" moments when I found that it was indispensable.... you know, like the time I found the "Trim" plug-in when I first started using ProTools on an AMIII card when I COULDN'T find a phase invert button on the ProTools mixer.

By the way, Digidesign, it sure is neat to be able to color-code my tracks, but come on! Why no phase invert on the mixer channels?

Roger

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Post by rydberg » Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:12 pm

Rodgre wrote: By the way, Digidesign, it sure is neat to be able to color-code my tracks, but come on! Why no phase invert on the mixer channels?
+1


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Post by JamesHE » Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:18 pm

Rodgre wrote: to me it seems that it's like using a laser to carve a turkey.

Roger
I usually use a light saber.

I think that the metering goes above 0 is significant. or is it? Anyway I've had this installed for a while but hadn't actually tried it out.
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Post by thesimulacre » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:36 pm

Rodgre wrote:I know it seems like a redundant thing, and it seems so simple that you're wondering if this is my first day of recording school, but my reason for mentioning FreeG is that despite it's initial appearance of uselessness, I found ways that it's changed the way I work for the better!
So you are saying that PT doesn't give you pan pots for stereo tracks? Forgive me, but as far as PT goes, it IS my first day of recording school... But at least with FreeG I will read a little bit before judging the pretty cover.

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Post by Brian Brock » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:28 am

Used this last night to test various pan laws and other level matters. Very useful. It's a defined thing that will behave the same way across different daws.

Be sure to take a look at the "back" of it by clicking on the logo. Lots of extra fiddly bits.

b

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Post by Rodgre » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:59 am

thesimulacre wrote:
Rodgre wrote:I know it seems like a redundant thing, and it seems so simple that you're wondering if this is my first day of recording school, but my reason for mentioning FreeG is that despite it's initial appearance of uselessness, I found ways that it's changed the way I work for the better!
So you are saying that PT doesn't give you pan pots for stereo tracks? Forgive me, but as far as PT goes, it IS my first day of recording school... But at least with FreeG I will read a little bit before judging the pretty cover.
Yeah, a stereo track in PT gives you TWO pan faders. Seems cool when you want to pan your right side around, but want to make the left stay put, but to just balance between the right and left, if they're out of whack, or if you want to make a stereo track pan around for that super-psychedelic freak-out, it's a pain. It's so easy to demonstrate, but it's just not coming across in my posts, eh?

Check out the stereo track on the right side. That's what PT gives you.

Image


Roger
Last edited by Rodgre on Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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