Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack!

What’s up, guys. Welcome to a new video. It’s been awhile, but I thought I’d make a new one here after Thanksgiving to get back into the groove of things.

In this one, I’m just going to kind of go over the new Virtual Mix Rack plug-in. I’ve had a lot of requests. People want to hear what I have to say about it. I’m not really going to call this a review or anything. I think it’s cool, that’s my review. I think it’s great. I think if you’re in the market for a bunch of plug-ins and you want some plug-ins that sound like analog kind of stuff — that emulate analog stuff, this is a great bundle to grab.

I have a track here. I’ll play it for you, and then we’ll kind of get into the plug-in, and I’ll show you a bunch of different things. I’ve got a mix I’m working on. It’s not done yet, but anyways. This is what the track sounds like.

[mix]

Alright. It’s a huge Pop thing.

So the plug-in. Let me find an instance of it. The Virtual Mix Rack from Slate Digital. It’s kind of an all in one thing. It’s sort of — it’s kind of a take off the whole 500 series. The module thing, I’m assuming.

You buy it, you get five plugs with it, you get this FG-116, which is like a really aggressive FET 1176 kind of thing, you get this FG-401, which is like — here, I’ll just bring it in so you can see it. It’s a VCA compressor, so if you don’t know what that means, I think of it sort of in layman’s terms.

VCA compressors are kind of this squishy kind of rounder style of compression, and a FET compressor would be more aggressive and crunchy, if that means anything to you.

Then you get this Neve module, which I’ll drag that in, which is like a 1081 I believe, which is cool, because you get a variable high pass, which is a new thing on a Neve.

Then you get an SSL EQ, which is great. Sounds like an SSL. It’s modeled after the 4000 desk.

Then you get Revival, which is like — it’s fucking free, so you should just go download it, which is like for me is the thing I was most excited about. It’s two knobs, it’s top end and it’s bottom end. It’s Shimmer and Thickness, and it will make almost anything sound better. It will make almost anything sound like it was cut through some kind of vintage microphone.

And it’s free, man. It’s free. It’s the best kind of plug-in. It’s great, it’s free, it’s not a gimmick. I thought it was going to be kind of gimmicky, but it’s really quite practical and useful and I’ll show you a little more of what’s going on with that.

But that’s the plug-in. Then there’s obviously, I’m sure, lots of plans for future modules for this, so it’s really cheap. I think it’s like, $150 or $100 or something. It was on sale over Thanksgiving, and I don’t know if it still is or whatever, prices change.

But it’s really affordable and you get like, five useful tools. If you’re the person that’s looking to get in some new plug-ins, definitely check this out. I definitely recommend it. I have it on a bunch of different things on this mix, which brings up the point of CPU resources. It takes up, like, nothing.

Granted, I’m in Pro Tools, I’m in AAX, and so I’ve got this — I probably have twelve instances of this, maybe across this track, and it’s, you know, it’s great.

I can get to a lot of tools real quickly in one plug-in, which I’m a big fan of.

So I have this 808 track.

[808 plays]

I have this thing on.

[808 plays]

That’s how it started. Which if I bypass — let me turn off the — there’s power buttons here at the top so you can turn plug-ins on and off.

[808 plays]

Like Revival, the thickness on that is crazy, and I may be overdoing it a bit just because I think it’s cool, but…

[808 plays]

It just makes it fatter and bigger, and everything you want in the world.

Then this SSL EQ, which is just kind of pulling out a little 300ish.

[808 plays with SSL EQ]

With a narrow Q.

Just really subtle. I mean, that’s such a subby thing, it may not be doing much of anything.

Then I have the FET compressor.

[808 plays with FET compressor]

Which I have this mix knob dialed way back.

[808 plays]

Just kind of dynamically controlling things. Let’s check out what I have on this other kick track.

[kick plays]

So if I…

[kick plays]

It just adds a little top end, a little thickness…

[kick plays]

It just makes things a little thicker. It’s great.

[kick plays]

I’ve got that blended in with a sample.

[kick plays]

In and out with the 808.

I will say a couple things — a couple cons, and these are like, nitpicky things, they aren’t really cons, but it would be cool to have, like on the FET side of things, I’ll show you on this channel.

You can’t really do an all buttons in mode, which sucks, and then you can’t — like on snare drums, I’m going to have an example down here on one of these — like on this snare drum 1, I like to do the 4 and 8 to one in and run it kind of wide open.

[snare plays with FET compressor]

I don’t know, it just does something cool to a snare drum. Especially if you have any kind of reverb tail on it.

You can’t do stuff like that on it. There is no phase button on here anywhere, and there’s no — it would be cool to integrate it, and I know there’s plans for this stuff in the future. I’ve read and heard through the grapevine. There’s no phase button on it, it would be really helpful to have an output kind of gain knob so you can kind of control your output.

Typically, I run my compression last, so I can just use the output of whatever compressor I choose to use on it, and it works fine for me, or you can just stick another plug-in behind it and trim the gain back that way.

Let’s see… I’ve got a synth down here somewhere. This guy.

[synth plays]

So this is a VCA comp.

[synth with VCA compressor]

Fast release, medium-ish attack, letting a little bit of that transient through to make it a little punchy.

[synth plays]

Again, hitting it pretty hard, then I kind of trimmed the mix back.

[synth plays]

This one has a couple of different circuit designs, and then you can dump your transformer in and out.

[synth plays]

Which just makes it sound even better. I love the sound of that transformer.

[synth plays]

So that’s that. And again with Revival…

[synth plays with Revival]

Again, like really subtle things. You’re going to want to listen to this on some legit speakers. I’ll go down to vocals. Here’s a verse.

[vocals and synth, then full mix]

So yeah, I mean just like this on a vocal — I’ve got thickness cranked, and I stacked them. You can stack a bunch of these. I think this thing holds like, eight modules or something.

[vocals]

That’s great. Then down here, what else do I have…

Revival is great on effects sends. I’ve got it on an eighth note delay. It just adds that analog kind of thing to your delays. It’s also cool on reverbs, and then I’ve got some…

[background vocals]

It’s on some background vocals. It’s just a compressor.

It’s not really gain matched, but it’s got a really nice warm, kind of round quality to it.

[background vocals]

It’s definitely modeled after the darker — I think it’s the Rev D version of the 1176.

[background vocals]

It’s definitely not as harsh as the Blueface/Bluestripe kind of 1176s.

[mix]

Yeah, guys. That is the Slate Virtual Mix Rack. Check it out, I think it’s a great buy if you’re in the market for more plug-ins. I know it feels like there are new plug-ins being thrown at you every thirty days, because there have been.

But anyways, check it out. Let me know what you think. Let me know how you’re using it, what you like to do, and yeah!

See you in the next video.

Mixnotes

Mixnotes

Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.
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