Trebor, I really appreciate your time and effort to post the VST plugin A/B sample effects. It gives me a better idea and insight on how they affect the character of sound and the amount and level of precision the control knobs provide. I won’t be using a Dynamic Compressor. A Limiter so far is the magic bullet for making it loud while retaining clarity.
I gather from that and the “Modern Spacer” YouTube video these plugins appear to be more designed for subtle enhancements for music that is generally already clean and dynamic compared to what I’ve accomplished experimenting in Audacity with the MF “Awright, Awright” example which I’ld describe as more “restorative” in nature with not so subtle but very pronounced changes.
[ The technical quality of the sound on YouTube can be very poor , it’s not a reliable reference source ].
The YouTube “Awright, Awright” version used in your edit sample is pretty close to the original aiff I copied from my CD. My copy is just a bit more crispy and shrill with the pyramiding trumpets sounding like an amplified high pitched kazoo with a torn reed. YouTube is a bit softer but still with very little bass, openness and clarity as is the aiff. Your demo’s told me enough to where I got the gist of what they do to the sound.
What I’ve found to be the biggest problem in particular with this piece and others with similar dynamics is the difficulty surgically EQ’ing to bring out the punchy portion of the kick drum without making the bass guitar too boomy which reverb type effects squelch into a oddly loud, bass-less, flair like fog in the lower midrange. I can hear it in your posted samples as well as in my Audacity edits. Making it loud is not a problem, but retaining clarity across its entire audio spectrum is.
I realize I can’t expect perfection working on an aiff copy of music mixed/mastered decades ago, but I’m so thrilled by what I’m able to accomplish in Audacity, I tend to expect too much and think if I can take it this far in Audacity what do more robust, automated preset alternatives provide that others on YouTube and in this forum may be using. Wanted to get ideas from what others are using according to their results, the main reason I posted this topic.
BTW, Trebor, can those VST plugins you linked to edit the waveform or are they only designed to be used in host apps that allow real time play through sound shaping?
Thank you, Trebor, for providing helpful information.