Digital Pedal Makers - Why not release plugins?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jondom22, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. jondom22

    jondom22 Supporting Member

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    Aside from Eventide...Who wouldn't love to be able to use their digital effects as plugins? I'd really love to be able to use glitch stuff like the Particle V2, Mood, Drolo Stammen, Hexe Revolver in Pro Tools as plugins or audiosuite devices. Obviously there are plenty of delay, reverb, eq, comp, etc. plugins readily available, but I find myself really wanting the sounds of some of these pedals in plugin format.

    I spend 5-7 days a week most of the year in Pro Tools working as a sound editor/designer in the film/tv/commercial industry. Often, there is no time/budget to go start plugging in outboard gear and tweaking and printing. Our job requires us to first find the right sounds (or create them if you don't have the right fx), edit them, combine/blend them with others, and do a final pass pre-mix before delivering to the mix stage. If I could pull down an audiosuite plugin of my glitch stuff (or other unique pedals) that would be amazzzzzing.

    Business-wise, I figured it'd be a good investment as once the algorithms are developed for AAX, AU, VST3, etc., there would be no hardware cost, labor (beyond firmware/customer support), or stocking issues.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive Vendor

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    Most of my thoughts have been the opposite direction! Getting stuff like fabfilter or Bitwig into a pedal format.
     
  3. idma

    idma Member

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    this is a cool idea. But i wonder what the producing/plugin industry is like and the difficulties in making money off something like this. Its totally different to the Pedal industry. They either don't do it at all (each person just branches off to another company), or do it and become the de-facto guitar effects plugin company, in other worse, aim super high.

    To the popular masses, Digitech didn't REALLY start blowing people away until 2010ish. But overall, Digitech's name is tied to cheap pedals that are not that great (they ARE great, but people don't think that over all). Because of that I would think they would have to re-name themselves.
     
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  4. jondom22

    jondom22 Supporting Member

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    Sheeeeet....that would be sick! Though I suspect plugin developers don't see as much upside to developing their products for hardware, whereas developing existing pedals for plugin use seems to be more financially promising. But I don't have a computer science/coding background so I could be totally wrong as to the costs of re-formatting coding for those platforms as opposed to the proprietary languages used by the different chips in the pedals.
     
  5. jondom22

    jondom22 Supporting Member

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    I would suspect that it would be much easier to make money off of plugins vs. pedals. No hardware costs, no parts sourcing, no shipping, no assembly costs, and there is a much larger user base of professional music mixers, composers, post-production re-recording mixers and sound editors, and hobbyist consumers who use DAWS every day vs guitar players who seek out boutique effects.
     
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  6. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive Vendor

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    It depends how it's written. Sometimes it's just recompile, especially if it's written in a DSP focused language that can generate a plugin or an object for a DSP chip. There's often platform specific optimisation and sometimes that's really easy and sometimes it's very hard. Also if you're porting something like the fabfilter plugins some of the brilliance is the excellent UI design.
     
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  7. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

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    It really depends on the implementation as far as how feasible it is to go from hardware to software. Just because a pedal is digital doesn't mean the algorithm code can be bounced to a .DLL for a VST plugin. Some of the technology overlaps in some cases but not always.

    Check out the company Darkglass who makes bass focused effects. They have software versions of several pedals sold under the brand Neural DSP. Traditionally a lot of companies have been reluctant to do this kind of thing due to piracy concerns but as of now there are some very good anti-cracking protocols that have held up for a long time. To my knowledge the Neural DSP stuff has never been cracked despite a LOT of interest from folks.
     
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  8. jondom22

    jondom22 Supporting Member

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    I appreciate the context, thank you! Yes, the Fabfilter stuff is great, their EQ is a standard in the post audio world for surgical eq.

    On a side note...how about the poly-digit? Ever consider developing for AAX, AU, VST3?
     
  9. anxiousmofo

    anxiousmofo Member

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    Conversely, Soundtoys and Valhalla need to make some pedals!
     
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  10. StratmanSteve

    StratmanSteve Member

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    Like it or not, plug-ins, IRs and digital units like the HX Stomp are probably the future of guitar-based music. I'm still waiting for delivery of my 45th pedal, but I'm seriously considering selling most of my pedals, mics and amps since I don't gig anymore. Mostly, I record with a DAW so for me moving to something like HX Native might make more sense.
     
  11. axdxm

    axdxm Supporting Member

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    I'd love the Vulf Compressor as a pedal.
     
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  12. LqdSndDist

    LqdSndDist Member

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    Short of Mooer, no one is gong to steal the code from a digital pedal lol.

    With software, you have the whole piracy issue to deal with and music software is one of the worst offenders.

    I’d rather know that anyone who wants my pedal bought the hardware from me, instead of knowing someone has a cracked version of my plugin.

    For big companies it’s probably a cost of doing business. Adobe still makes billions even though photoshop is the most widely stolen software out there, but for a smaller company, it can really hurt their bottom line if even a small percentage of potential customers can get a pirated copy.
     
  13. rsmith601

    rsmith601 Vendor

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    All of our effects are hand craft machine coded in the USA! Moving these to a computer platform would be quite a bit of work and require new branding and marketing. Risky and a distraction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  14. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    guitarplayers in general are frankly very stupid. clearly those in this discussion are the exception but most of the gear marketed to us is so simple a moron can use it w no instructions. more complicated stuff is considered niche and isnt as popular as reflected by marketshare.

    look at digitech and tc electronics, they had cool lines of extremely feature rich digital pedals (hardwire and nova, respectively) then they ditched both for dumbed down faux 'boutique' pedals w less features and controls for morons and boom! way more successful. sad.
     
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  15. rsmith601

    rsmith601 Vendor

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    Wish I had read this in 2004!!!! :)
     
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  16. Trem-o-dust

    Trem-o-dust Member

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    Line 6 did release Helix Native which comes in handy! I usually record with a stock sound but also track a DI which I then "re-amp" with Helix Native when really digging into mixes.
     
  17. baseggio

    baseggio Member

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    I've often wondered about this too. I'm far from a pro, but when I record, I tend to go direct and add on effects and amps virtually, in the box. It'd be really cool to have access to some of the exact algorithms that are on my board. And while I don't own a BigSky or a Ventris I'd have to think that lots of people would snap those up for production duties. I also wonder if it could drive pedal sales - being able to test drive a pedal, with your guitar and other familiar gear would be cool AF.

    I'm pretty sure the other direction (vst host pedals) exist, but aren't really ready for prime time.
     
  18. jondom22

    jondom22 Supporting Member

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    We're a dumb bunch, but someone's gotta love us :p

    I actually wouldn't even say that plugin versions of pedals would necessarily be geared towards guitarists. I would think it would be for anyone with a DAW looking for a particular sound.

    My caveat to all of this which I didn't state as articulately in my OP, is that there are a ton of plugins of all types currently on the market. I think for most fx, it's covered pretty well (reverbs, delays, compressors, IRs, drives/dirt, eq, lots of modulation, etc). But there are definitely some very unique things like the granular synthesis and glitch stuff, and pitch/time/direction shifted delays that I don't believe have really been fully saturated in the plugin world and to me is where a lot of cool sonic exploration is going on. This is one I had seen recently (though not made by a pedal maker) - https://output.com/products/portal?...POHlsgJ5zJXT2QThBgbSMuYrAJfTBp9saAgkyEALw_wcB
     
  19. Vhailor

    Vhailor Supporting Member

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    Nothing removes the fun of making music like throwing a computer, mouse, and keyboard into the mix. Watch, as an example, That Pedal Show, and notice how, that as soon as the guys pull out a phone to show how a pedal-editing app works, the show slows down precipitously.* Just like for you and me in real life!

    I started using pedals precisely because I wanted to remove the computer from the music-creation process as much as possible. While they're still needed to record, for most other uses their use can be diminished if not outright eliminated. And by eliminating the computer, there's much more room for productive enjoyment.


    * And don't even get me started on the wastefully vain and recklessly prodigal time-sink known as "scrolling through presets".
     
  20. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    Speaking for all the morons here that manage to strap a piece of wood and tune it to the first few letters of the alphabet, this is true. Why would i opt to have the inconvenience of having to plug in to a computer?
     

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