McDSP’s v5 release brings many new plug-ins and features to the McDSP product line including Audio Unit (AU) support, the new 6030 Ultimate Compressor, and eleven (11) new, or Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins.
The Classic Pack plug-in lineup – Analog Channel, CompressorBank, FilterBank, and the MC2000 – are now available in two sets of plug-ins – Next Gen and Legacy. The Next Gen plug-ins (AC101, AC202, CB101, CB202, CB303, F202, P606, E606, MC202, MC303, and MC404) have new streamlined user interfaces, the same (or updated) algorithms, plus a few other improvements. The Legacy versions are exactly like the original (pre v5 release) versions, and are backwards compatible with existing sessions. While the Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins include fixes from the v5 release, they are not available in the Audio Unit (AU) format.
This issue of Colin’s Corner digs into the details of the Next Gen and Legacy versions of the Classic Pack plug-ins.
Next Gen Features
The biggest feature in the Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins is the support of the Audio Unit (AU) plug-in format. This allows McDSP plug-ins to be used in DAWs like Logic, Digital Performer, and Ableton Live.
Additional features include new streamlined interfaces, control range improvements and even a few algorithm tweaks. Specifics about each Next Gen Classic Pack plug-in are detailed below:
Analog Channel – AC101 and AC202 use the same control set as the originals, however the attack and release time ranges are modified to prevent excessive distortion. Furthermore, the AC202 algorithm is updated for an improved response with highly transient and harmonic input signals.
CompressorBank – CB101, CB202, and CB303 are all updates of the originals, but the makeup gain range is 0 to +48 dB (instead of –24 dB to + 24dB). The secondary release (Release2) control is removed, but the Type 1, Type 2, and Auto time constant circuit modes are the same.
FilterBank – E606, F202, and P606 have completely new user interfaces, but use the same award winning algorithms as the originals, and continue to have unique features like Peak-Slope-Dip shelving EQ parameters. The Next Gen versions also include new adjustments allow for greater EQ gain range (+/- 15 dB instead of +/- 12 dB), more accurate Peak-Slope-Dip response at higher sample rates (88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, and higher), and in some cases, a wider frequency control range (like in the high shelf EQ). Simultaneous metering of input and output levels is now available in all Next Gen FilterBank plug-ins, and the F202 filter configuration has an output gain control in addition to the previously available input gain control.
MC2000 – MC202, MC303, MC404 are all updates of the originals (like CompressorBank), but the makeup gain range is 0 to +48 dB (instead of –24 dB to + 24dB). The secondary release (Release2) control is removed, but the Type 1, Type 2, and Auto time constant circuit modes are the same. The user interface is now knob based to accommodate larger meters in each band. Finally, the input gain control range is increased to +/- 24 dB (from +/- 12 dB).
The Legacy versions of Classic Pack plug-ins are the original Classic Pack plug-ins, with some of the fixes of the v5 release, namely faster TDM plug-in loading, and a correction of the audio channel-swapping problem observed in some Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 9 sessions. Control ranges, preset compatibility, and user interfaces (including slider and knob options) remain unchanged in Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins.
Next Gen and Legacy Use
Both the Next Gen and Legacy versions of Classic Pack plug-ins are automatically installed on the same Pro Tools system at once. This allows the user to recall existing sessions using the Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins, while also being able to use the Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins for new work, or to update existing sessions!
Both the Next Gen and Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins are authorized with the new v5 authorizations for these plug-ins. Earlier versions of Classic Pack plug-ins are not authorized with the v5 authorizations.
Time to Upgrade?
Users wanting to get the new Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins and maintain old session compatibility with the Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins should definitely upgrade, in my completely biased opinion.
Going forward McDSP will be providing support for both Legacy and Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins, however our long-term plan is to phase out the Legacy Classic Pack plug-ins. As McDSP continues to support new platforms only the Next Gen Classic Pack plug-ins will be ported.