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Free LMC-1 plug-in from Solid State Logic - do you really want the Phil Collins sound?

Great news for all those wishing to emulate the Phil Collins sound of the 1980's. Those who wish to emulate the cutting-edge sounds of the future may be disappointed.

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If something is free, it doesn't necessarily mean it is good value. It may take up your time, but give you nothing of worth in return. Therefore it has cost you, not money, but something equally important.

To get an SSL for free through, now that has to be good value, even if it's not the whole console. And it is good value - a simple plug-in that installs in a moment and has only three controls to learn - you can't possibly lose on that one.

I do find it odd however that we are still so hell-bent on emulating the sounds of the past. Let's put this plug-in into context...

Imagine the year is 1980 and you're in a wonderfully equipped studio, but you can't find the right drum sound. But suddenly you notice that when you press the button to hear talkback from the studio floor, the drums - while you wait for the drummer to realize he should stop playing - sound extraordinary. Not a conventional sound by any means, but the a sound you have never heard before.

This is because the 'listen mic' in the studio is connected to a very harsh compressor, so that whoever speaks will be clearly audible, and the mic itself is picking up an enormous amount of room ambience, which is therefore fiercely squashed.

It's a 'wow' moment - you have discovered a sound that no-one has heard before. So you use it. By the way, the drummer is Phil Collins, who in fact is a great drummer. Pity about the rest of his career.

So you have the maintenance engineer wire a connection from the listen mic that you can record from. The rest is history.

As we can see though, the compressor itself is only part of the story. The rest is Phil Collins - a great drummer as I said, probably working with an excellent set of drums - and the ambience of the room, which is probably a rather larger room than you record in.

So to be honest, this plug-in will not give you the sound that was so exciting in 1980. But do you really want it anyway? The world needs new sounds that are exciting now.

But seeing as the LMC-1 is so easy to download and install, and it is free, then there is no loss in trying it out. But when you do, be sure to use it in a way that is different, a way that probably no-one else has thought of before. In a world of 'me-too' sounds, the listening public is waiting for you to excite them in a way they have never been excited before.

www.solid-state-logic-com

By David Mellor Wednesday December 7, 2005
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