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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:00 am
Posts: 4
I don't do any streaming or FM broadcasting. I generally just make mixes for hobby use, mainly using Winamp and Sound Solution was my audio processor plugin. But I am weary of it's limitations, for one thing, if I try to create a denser sound, the distortion is terrible. I generally play oldies, 60s through 80s. So I figured I'd download Stereo Tool and give it a try. The presets it came with sound good for soft music, but I couldn't find anything that was more aggressive, that sort of sounded like an Optimod. Thinking of the kind of sound that you would have had on WCBS-FM back in the day.
I wonder where I can find presets. Also I know there are limitations with the download free version so I'd need to know what license to purchase to get the sound I want.
Obviously an Optimod processor is way out of budget, unless I got one of their PCI card ones, but I'd rather use software than hardware since it's a more flexible and cheaper option.
Sorry for these beginner questions. I'm not an expert when it comes to audio processing and the sound I was using for Sound Solution 1.31 was just trial and error. But the distortion it creates it just too unpleasant to deal with and I want to see if I can get a better experience with Stereo Tool. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2024 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:44 pm
Posts: 867
Location: Texas, USA
Hi! So, I'm also not much of a preset designer, but I love the heck out of Stereo Tool. As far as finding presets, there's a subforum full of community presets (viewforum.php?f=10). I bet you'll find one with the sound you need if you spend enough time trying some out.

As far as the license, everything is configurable in trial mode. So once you find a suitable preset, you'll be able to determine which license addons you need. I can't recommend the Declipper and Advanced Dynamics packages enough, though. The declipper is fundamental to keeping the input clean for the era of music I listen to (loudness wars affected music and music that is still being produced with this kind of drive). The Advanced Dynamics license contains access to the new Adaptive compressor architecture, which eliminates the need for an AGC while allowing a rather extreme range of loudness on the input.

The preset I use for media is a modified version of Adaptive Bass Monster (open) with lots of gain on the compressor. Again, I'm not good at designing presets, but I think I've learned enough through trial and error to make a few of them work for my uses.

Let us know once you find a preset that fits your purposes, as I'm confident you will.

This is the first I've learned of Sound Solution and the fact that hardware processors can come in PCI card format. I'm just a broke guy with sensitivity to random loudness, and Stereo Tool is my sanity keeper.

edit: It's safe to go ahead and get a Basic license (at least for removing the nag in the plugins and Advanced Clipper) since it can be upgraded at any point. The Advanced clipper/limiter will help keep distortion from entering the picture at the end of the chain.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 6:37 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:00 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately ST is using too many resources on my computer causing Winamp to crash which happened when I was trying a bunch of different presets.
Right now I'll just stick with what I'm using, I don't want to mess up my computer.
I did set the usage to low it still crashes.
I could try better playout software like RadioDJ, but that requires a database, probably using more computer resources.
I have an old computer, not even eligible for Win 11.
Maybe I'll try in the future when I get a new machine. Thanks for all the tips I know where to look for the presets.
Really would like to learn more about radio processing itself, but there doesn't seem to be any tutorials online about getting the right sound.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:44 pm
Posts: 867
Location: Texas, USA
Quote:
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately ST is using too many resources on my computer causing Winamp to crash which happened when I was trying a bunch of different presets.
Right now I'll just stick with what I'm using, I don't want to mess up my computer.
I did set the usage to low it still crashes.
This shouldn't be a factor if you can run Win 10. This software works on computers specced as low as Raspberry Pi's, and I recall people running older versions on WinXP. Something else must be going on.
So it's being used as a DSP plugin in Winamp? Version 10.30? That's the primary test platform, so if you happened to find a bug, it needs to be investigated.

There are various versions of the software, such as the Stand-alone app (which requires a little more configuration than the DSP plugin and a virtual device driver to push it through), and there are VST plugins. The plugin versions require a basic license to work without a license nag, but the standalone doesn't, and VBcable is also free.

Still, I wonder if there's something wrong or incorrectly set with the CPU settings in the DSP plugin. When you said you set the usage to low, what exactly did you do?
Try navigating to Application Settings, Resource Usage, Resource Allocation cell, then adjust the processing thread distribution setting to see if it changes. One can distribute the CPU cores individually here as well. There's also the Audio Quality slider as well as the Limit CPU selector. Try dropping one of those to trade some quality for freeing up resources.

Again, this shouldn't be very necessary. My PC is from 2016 and it runs at a mere 7% CPU usage with lots of bells and whistles (though not all). Something else must be happening causing the crashes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 11:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:00 am
Posts: 4
Maybe it's just that I'm using Winamp. But I do get a resource warning every time I use Stereo Tool. Happens when I tried the standard alone version as well. I did manage to set up Radio DJ since Winamp is really not great playout software to begin with. Perhaps that will be more stable and I'll try Stereo Tool again. Still would like a tutorial or guide on to how the different processing parameters work, there's so many different features Stereo Tool has compared to Sound Solution so it's overwhelming. Radio DJ has its own processing but it's limited to wideband only but it's not bad I could also get a used Optimod 1100PC to put in my computer but that may have even more bugs. So far the presets that I did try for ST sounded too compressed and lacked the warmth of the Optimod type of sound I'm looking for. But I'll keep trying. I would just like to learn more about audio processing as it is I'm just familiar with threshold, attack, release, and ratios.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:44 pm
Posts: 867
Location: Texas, USA
Quote:
Still would like a tutorial or guide on to how the different processing parameters work, there's so many different features Stereo Tool has compared to Sound Solution so it's overwhelming.

So far the presets that I did try for ST sounded too compressed and lacked the warmth of the Optimod type of sound I'm looking for. But I'll keep trying. I would just like to learn more about audio processing as it is I'm just familiar with threshold, attack, release, and ratios.
I feel your pain. Documentation has been largely ignored since they migrated websites, and many of the best-sounding features are too new to have any documentation (such as the Adaptive compressor mode). Some things can be right-clicked in the app and there's an entry for "What's this?" which has some text that may be helpful.

My current favorite preset for music is Adaptive Bass Monster (open), and I crank down the bejeezus out of the density and raise the heck out of the drive for the Multiband. Make sure to enable the declipper to re-add a little bit of dynamics that could have been clipped or limited out of the track as well. Sorry, I don't have any experience with an Optimod, so I can't recommend any specific presets that sound like one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2024 8:38 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:00 am
Posts: 4
Quote:
Quote:
Still would like a tutorial or guide on to how the different processing parameters work, there's so many different features Stereo Tool has compared to Sound Solution so it's overwhelming.

So far the presets that I did try for ST sounded too compressed and lacked the warmth of the Optimod type of sound I'm looking for. But I'll keep trying. I would just like to learn more about audio processing as it is I'm just familiar with threshold, attack, release, and ratios.
I feel your pain. Documentation has been largely ignored since they migrated websites, and many of the best-sounding features are too new to have any documentation (such as the Adaptive compressor mode). Some things can be right-clicked in the app and there's an entry for "What's this?" which has some text that may be helpful.

My current favorite preset for music is Adaptive Bass Monster (open), and I crank down the bejeezus out of the density and raise the heck out of the drive for the Multiband. Make sure to enable the declipper to re-add a little bit of dynamics that could have been clipped or limited out of the track as well. Sorry, I don't have any experience with an Optimod, so I can't recommend any specific presets that sound like one.
Now running the standalone version, no computer issues now. Seems to sound better too. Found a few presets I like.


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