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binky_bass

VST Advice Please!

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Evening all,

I've recently set myself up with a little home studio, I have all the hardware I need (for now!) and am running Reaper as a DAW until my new laptop arrives, I'll then be running Cubase (although Reaper seems pretty decent!)

I'm drowning in a sea of choices when it comes to VSTs... I don't really know what's good, what VSTs are worth having, if there are decent collections of free VSTs etc etc. 

So, as much as I am doing my own research, I'd very much appreciate a little guidance/advice from 'those in the know'.

Free is better at the moment as the wallet is a bit lean after the initial hardware set up!

Thanks in advance! Russ.

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MT Power drummer is a great free drum program. You can just drag premade loops onto your DAW to create drum tracks. Even I managed to do it 😊

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

...what's good, what VSTs are worth having, if there are decent collections of free VSTs etc etc. ...

Be careful; be very careful. There are Vst's galore out there, and very soon the hard disk is full, and you can't find the one you want in Reaper (or any other DAW...), it's so choked up. How do I know..? Ha..!

Decide what genre you're after (Instruments..? Fx..? Treatment..? Drums..? The list goes on...). OK, instruments. Modern band stuff (Guitars, bass, keys, brass...)..? Orchestral (No, I can't list here; there's really too much...)..? Ethnic flutes, steel drums, didgeridoos..? No..? OK, Fx. Dirt boxes..? Delay, reverb, phase, flange, whatever... Treatment..? Compressors, mastering tools, de-noisers...

Tell us what interests you the most, in the first instance, and we can go from there. Be aware: this way, madness lies. Be careful; be very careful.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Dad3353

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22 minutes ago, Mudpup said:

MT Power drummer is a great free drum program. You can just drag premade loops onto your DAW to create drum tracks. Even I managed to do it 😊

This is the only one I've actually downloaded... not a bad little drum VST to star with! 

6 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Be careful; be very careful. There are Vst's galore out there, and very soon the hard disk is full, and you can't find the one you want in Reaper (or any other DAW...), it's so choked up. How do I know..? Ha..!

Decide what genre you're after (Instruments..? Fx..? Treatment..? Drums..? The list goes on...). OK, instruments. Modern band stuff (Guitars, bass, keys, brass...)..? Orchestral (No, I can't list here; there's really too much...)..? Ethnic flutes, steel drums, didgeridoos..? No..? OK, Fx. Dirt boxes..? Delay, reverb, phase, flange, whatever... Treatment..? Compressors, mastering tools, de-noisers...

Tell us what interests you the most, in the first instance, and we can go from there. Be aware: this way, madness lies. Be careful; be very careful.

Hope this helps.

Well, Norwegian Folk Trip Punk is what I'm aiming for... 

Realistically, I have no idea. I'll start by getting to grips with the basics of recording via traditional bass/drums/guitar etc. and I dare say most of what I'll do will be based around that. However... I'm all up for broader horizons. I'm tempted to get Reason as I remember that being fun to use back in the day! 

Let's start with free VSTs, is there anywhere to get a good bank of free VSTs to have a play with before perhaps then committing to paying for a few. 

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I've well over five thousand Vst's, and at least two thousand more waiting to be 'tested'. Don't say you weren't warned. :|

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Can I just send you a hard drive and you copy them all on to it for me! It'll save me the trouble! 😂

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20 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

... It'll save me the trouble! 😂

Here's a starter for ten, if you want to play around with stuff ...

FullPack4950.zip

It's a series of treatment modules. There's a URL in there if more info is needed.

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Many thanks good sir! That brings my VST count to just under 80... not quite your 5000+, but it's day 1 and it's a start! :) 

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A start indeed it is, young Padawan. doTEKVx.png

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+1 for this ^^.

Kontakt is my most-used Vst, and covers enormous swathes of ground. Well worth acquiring (I bought my Full license from a BC Marketplace ad...)

My thumb is up for Spitfire, too. :i-m_so_happy:

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Stop!

Before you download any free plug-ins or buy any of the commercial versions, make sure that you have explored all the ones that come bundled with your DAW.

The most important ones generally are EQ and compression, so make sure you know how to get the very best out of the ones you already have, and then you'll be able to work out if they are sufficient, or if you need something with a more user-friendly interface or more sonic capabilities.

Then move on to Reverb and delay. After that it very much depends on what you want to do and what comes bundled with your DAW.

Personally I've stopped using 3rd party plug-ins, because these is already too much choice in my DAW (Logic) and TBH if I can't get a decent sound it's far more likely to my short-comings as an engineer and not the fault of the plug-ins.

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Posted (edited)

Spoil-sport.:on_the_quiet:

And, to be fair, he was warned, you know..! -_-

Edited by Dad3353
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9 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Stop!

Before you download any free plug-ins or buy any of the commercial versions, make sure that you have explored all the ones that come bundled with your DAW.

The most important ones generally are EQ and compression, so make sure you know how to get the very best out of the ones you already have, and then you'll be able to work out if they are sufficient, or if you need something with a more user-friendly interface or more sonic capabilities.

Then move on to Reverb and delay. After that it very much depends on what you want to do and what comes bundled with your DAW.

Personally I've stopped using 3rd party plug-ins, because these is already too much choice in my DAW (Logic) and TBH if I can't get a decent sound it's far more likely to my short-comings as an engineer and not the fault of the plug-ins.

This 100%. Learn to use what you have before you look for more 'stuff'

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A good quality compresser, eq and reverb are pretty much all you need.*
 

 

 

*as well as IR cab simulators, pianos, synths, bitcrushers, drum machines and drum kit emulators, delays, samplers, multi band compressors, distressers etc....,

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Also watch out for plug-ins that hog all of your resources; I’m running Pro Tools, and every time I load up kontakt player it gooses  my system. I’ve had to remove it from my plug-ins folder, as even having it in there and unloaded slows down my machine, it works ok in Cubase though.

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It's not free, but Jam Origin midi guitar, and midi bass is a great bit of software. It basically turns your guitar or bass into a midi instrument, which is ideal if, like me, you can't play keys but can fumble a few chords on guitar. You can then change those chords to any instrument you want. You get both the standalone program and the vst version when you buy it and it's also available to download and try for free. It tracks surprisingly well and can add a whole new dimension to your recording. 

https://www.jamorigin.com/

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I've gone from using Cubase then Reaper on a PC to the simplicity of bog standard Garageband on an iPad, there's things I miss like the 'mda Detune' VST that I loved for fretless bass but I find I produce better sounding songs with less to distract me.

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17 hours ago, lowdown said:

I'm not sure what version of Cubase you have but, if it is the latest (10.5), you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of VST FX and Virtual Instruments that comes bundled with it.

 

https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/compare-editions/

 

https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/

 

 

Just realised that comes free with my Audient ID4

 

 

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I can recommend the best free vsts I found when I get on my computer (I actually use paid ones mostly now but there are good ones).

Just letting you know also that Reaper is not inferior to Cubase. It's different and each DAW has strengths and weaknesses but don't let the extremely fair price of Reaper make you think it's not as good as more expensive ones. I started on Cubase way back when VSTs were just a new thing and stayed with it for quite a while, and it is good, but I switched to Reaper about 5 years ago and I love it.

The compressor that comes with Reaper is actually very powerful, sounds good and can be controlled to do pretty much anything one can do with a compressor. You might actually find that to be a disadvantage though as there is just so much to choose from.

Whereas one of my favourite compressors - the LA2A - is pretty much the opposite, it has one knob and it basically is just "how much compression". The rest is all done automatically and it sounds amazing. It's much easier to turn one knob till it sounds good than tweak 12 different parameters till it sounds good.

There's a free compressor from Klanhelm which is of the fewer controls variety and it sounds good.

In general it's definitely good advice to just find a few effects you like and stick to those. Maybe 1 compressor, 1 or 2 EQs and so on. One can get lost trying out free VSTs. While there are a good few very good free ones, there are tons of ones I find are just clutter.

I'll post again tomorrow with a few of the top notch plugins to save you trawling through the masses.

If you're open to cheap, rather than free, I recommend Slate Drums and find it to be a lot better than any free drum VST I've tried.

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