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Asking for input on a VST Harmonic Distortion plugin

Would you like a VST plugin to tune in an arbitrary amount of harmonic distortion?

  • Yes, I'd love such a plugin and I'm willing to pay for it

    Votes: 10 45.5%
  • Yes, I'd like to play with it but only if it's free

    Votes: 8 36.4%
  • Yes, but I don't use Windows

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • No, I couldn't care less about adding any amount of distortion to my system

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22

pkane

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Hey folks, asking for your feedback in an informal poll.

If you know about my DISTORT software (https://distortaudio.org) you know that it allows an arbitrary harmonic distortion to be constructed and applied to any test signal or a music track of your choice.

Some have used this capability and liked the sound of certain distortions. It's been suggested that this functionality of applying configurable harmonic distortion to real-time playback using a VST plugin might be useful. Some are even willing to pay to get the ability to configure an arbitrary amount of second and/or third harmonic to their music. And all that without having to pay for a tube preamp, which could run into many thousands of dollars :)

Question I'd like to pose here (vote in the poll or answer in a post, or both) would you be interested in such a plugin, if yes, is this something you'd be willing to pay for, and if interested, what VST host/app would you use it with, and what version of Windows?

If you have an interest in such a plugin, what other functionality would you like to see in it, other than tuning-in the desired level of second/third/fourth/... harmonic?
 

maty

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Probably because their audio equipment, many of them very expensive, prevents them from appreciating differences in sound and even getting excited (beyond the increase in volume). For certain types of music adding a little H2 makes the sound more believable. No additional noise or distortion.

It is better/cheaper to have a system without harmonics and then add them via very good software when we are interested instead of spending the money on more hardware.
 

maty

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I am willing to reach a direct agreement with you to develop it just for me, with my eyes closed after the tests I did with DISTORT.

Since then my second system still sounds better, so now the difference would be much more noticeable and euphoric with the type of recordings I usually listen to, coming from analog masters.
 

M00ndancer

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Thanks, @maty, but there doesn't seem to be much interest in such a plugin. Probably not surprising that adding distortion is not a priority for those reading ASR :)
The reason imo is that there are at least one million free and good VSTs that can distort sound. Speaker amp simulators for example.
How ever, many of them are complicated to use. A stable ASR centric, easy to use VST might be a good thing, But price would very low or donation ware. (Or only $4362 on sale for the "real" connoisseur in audio, with (insert Audiofoolery language here) sound. :)
 
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pkane

pkane

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The reason imo is that there are at least one million free and good VSTs that can distort sound. Speaker amp simulators for example.
How ever, many of them are complicated to use. A stable ASR centric, easy to use VST might be a good thing, But price would very low or donation ware. (Or only $4362 on sale for the "real" connoisseur in audio, with (insert Audiofoolery language here) sound. :)

Just what I was thinking :D
 

M00ndancer

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(Or only $4362 on sale for the "real" connoisseur in audio, with (insert Audiofoolery language here) sound.
But you wouldn't sell that. You would sell a rasberry pie with a VST wrapper in fancy 3d printed custom case (using 3D printer corbon fibre like filament. ) "Hand made perfection" "Now you have totally control of your audio, upgrading you music system to true pro grade, even better than the top of the line equipment in Pro Audio"

Couldn't help it.... :)

But seriously, I would love to try it to see if I like distortion like this and not from my Yamaha MODX6 Synth (linuxbased OS btw)
 

pozz

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I'd be interested if a user could dial in arbitrary distortion profiles by clicking and dragging the slope of the transfer function graph. Or perhaps click-to-add distortion spurs to the FFT graph.

The more flexibility in determining the distortion profile, the more I could see this used in production. I'd pay for it as well.
 

andreasmaaan

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@pkane thanks for this. I voted yes and that I’d pay because the truth is that I have paid for such plugins in the past. Having said that, I’m quite happy with what I’m using atm (for music production and mastering, although theoretically also playback though I haven’t done so thus far), so it’s not very likely I’d buy another at this point. Would definitely check it out and consider purchasing if you released it, though :)
 

lashto

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Big +1 @pkane !
Not sure if 32/64bit matters but you can easily compile two versions. And many people will "truly" hear a difference even if you use the exact same code/algorithms :)

VST plugins also work with Linux and Mac
http://linux-sound.org/linux-vst-plugins.html
https://github.com/osxmidi/LinVst-X
https://www.audiopluginsforfree.com/mac/vst-mac/

I would recommend EqualizerApo for testing. The code is available, you can debug the whole chain if needed. Foobar support is indeed 'dingy' but good enough for testing. Jriver should be better and you can probably get a free/dev license if you ask nicely on their forum. They might even be interested in some sort of collab.

I wouldn't read so much into the no of votes here, it's pretty quiet lately and many people dont seem to know what distortion is or how it sounds (other than 'it's baaaaad'). Better ask for interest on gearslutz or other pro communities, those guys should have much better knowledge and interest.

Good luck!
 
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maty

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Just commenting that the difference between the sound that I get from foobar2000, configured as best I know, and that coming from JRiver MC in my audio system when it is super-optimized for multimedia has increased.

As I know that it is difficult to demonstrate it without listening to it physically I do not insist on it, it is a waste of time to argue about it. There each one.

I know "something" about audio, two subjects I took. One of them for which he was the head of the sound of the 1992 Barcelona Olympiad. And another for one of the pioneers of TV in Spain and Europe.
 

maty

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Off topic

Two days ago I commented on my twitter account, where I have been writing for months that I was thinking of leaving anonymity, giving my name and my complete professional career. The anonymity was causing me credibility issues with some. In the end I did without. The above is just a note.

My signal processing teacher was the best in Spain, by example.
 

maty

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You are right.

Better it will be I do what I do best: eat cookies :p
 
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pkane

pkane

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Just as an update, I've started work on a VST plugin. I have plans for a few other plugins that I'd like to build for myself, so this will be the first in a series.

This is designed for Windows, so I'm not sure how or if it'll run on any other platform. Still a lot of work remaining, and a lot of testing, but the basic plugin appears to be functional. I'm tentatively calling it PKHarmonic, and have not decided on any commercial considerations (price, if any, distribution, etc.) Here's a screen shot of it working inside JRiver:

1607523425251.png


And here's JRiver output playing 1kHz sine wave file using PKHarmonic plugin, captured by REW:
1607523802622.png
 

andreasmaaan

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I'd be interested if a user could dial in arbitrary distortion profiles by clicking and dragging the slope of the transfer function graph. Or perhaps click-to-add distortion spurs to the FFT graph.

The more flexibility in determining the distortion profile, the more I could see this used in production. I'd pay for it as well.

Yeh, I’d like to second this. The current plugins I’m using are mostly black boxes in terms of what they’re actually doing, so the only way to determine their function is by running test signals through them.

The other thing I was going to mention was to perhaps focus on envelope as much as harmonic spectrum. My interpretation is that the former is actually more important perceptually.
 

maty

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That is what I am looking for, add or SUBTRACT harmonics (H3 dominant amp). Nothing else that modifies the sound, nothing.
 
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pkane

pkane

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