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PatrickJ

Favourite DAW Plugins?

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Hi Guys,

I'm a relative new to the world of DAWs and mixing but I'm working on a couple of projects with some friends and some original songs written by the guitarist.

I'm using Cubase 10.0 (thinking of upgrading to 10.5 as it's less than £20 to do) and a Focusrite Scarlet Solo.  Interesting to see what Plugs-in you guys with more experience use for your mixing (both free and paid). 

Cubase's stock Studio EQ and Compressors seem to work quite,  I also have EZ Drummer 2.0 for my rhythmic needs.  The Focusrite came with some software bundles and the Softube Saturator and Reverb which I both like as starters. 

I found a free Tech21 PSA 1 emulator which also seems to work quite well for both Bass and Guitar.

Any other recommendations?  I'd like a Multiband compressor for sure but is there anything else you guys favour in your mixing projects?

Thanks

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I'm a Nuendo (10.3) user and find the stock fx plug-ins great and I'm using them more and more, especially the mixer channel strip. The N10 fx's are pretty much the same plugs and VST instruments as Cubase 10.5 . Although, the extras in Nuendo are geared more towards game/sound design and post production. 

The last few months I've spent time learning the stock Steinberg fx and really enjoy using them now. Also, I recently put together a new DAW computer and found there was no need to re-install most of the huge amount of unused plug-ins I have collected (free & purchased). Same with my sample libraries, 

There are quite a few extras in Cubase 10.5 that are worthy of the extra £20. Pad Shop 2 being one of them. It's definitely worth the upgrade price.

10.5

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

 

The few, non-native VST's I use are:

VST fx.

EastWest Spaces 2 (convolution reverb)

PhoenixVerb

iZotope Ozone and Neutron 

 

VST Instruments.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere (synth/sound design)

Kontakt 6 (sampler/rompler for my Sound Libraries)

VSL Ensemble Pro 7 (for VST hosting outside of the DAW)

VSL Syncron Player (and libraries)

Spitfire Audio player (and Libraries) 

 

 

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Line 6 Helix Native

anything by fabfilter (Especially their EQ and Compressor)

EZ drummer & EZ keys

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RBass from Wavea is essential for me - adds ‘heft’ to a DIed bass track.

I really rate their SSL buss compressor, and use it on my master outputs pretty much all of the time just to help glue everything together.

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59 minutes ago, GisserD said:

Line 6 Helix Native

anything by fabfilter (Especially their EQ and Compressor)

EZ drummer & EZ keys

EZ Drummer is great, I keep meaning to check out EZ Keys

Line 6 Helix Native - great shout.  I qualify for the discounted rate of £76 as I have a registered HX FX - may have to go this

2 hours ago, lowdown said:

There are quite a few extras in Cubase 10.5 that are worthy of the extra £20. Pad Shop 2 being one of them. It's definitely worth the upgrade price.

10.5

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

Thanks I've gone for the upgrade :).

Thinking about this as a compressor option

https://www.mcdsp.com/plugin-index/mc2000/

 

Edited by PatrickJ
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2 hours ago, paul_5 said:

RBass from Wavea is essential for me - adds ‘heft’ to a DIed bass track.

I really rate their SSL buss compressor, and use it on my master outputs pretty much all of the time just to help glue everything together.

The bus compressor looks interesting.

Is this the one you were referring too?

https://www.waves.com/plugins/ssl-g-master-buss-compressor

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Toontrack EZ Drummer 2, EZ Keys and EZ Mix (with expansion packs)

NeuralDSP Nameless and Parallax

Line6 Helix Native

Solemn Tones Odin and Loki (for when I'm sitting in front of the box... although I find myself programming bass and guitar more and more...)

Spitfire LABS and BBC Symphony (all free!)

Beatskillz DarkKZ and RetroKZ

Enjoying all of these lately...

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For those with slightly deeper pockets, or simply wanting darned fine virtual instruments, I recommend...

Superior Drums 3 (Drums, obviously; around the £300 or so...)

Spectrasonics Trilian (Bass, both db and electric; £250 or so...)

... and Kontakt 6 (Multi-instrument sampler, £400 full version...)

Most of what I do is done with these products; I use few Fx, EQ, comps and the like, as most of the quality is already in the base product. What treatment I do use is usually done with the Cockos stuff included in Reaper. The Superior Drums, for instance, are good enough for me to play 'live', real time, straight from the laptop as a 'stand-alone'. I had (and still have...) EZ Drummer, and Superior Drums 2, but they don't get a look-in now, despite their intrinsic qualities.
Not budget stuff, I know, and there is certainly be better yet out there, but these really are darned good..! :i-m_so_happy:

Edited by Dad3353
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47 minutes ago, paul_5 said:

Yes, that’s the one

The Ssl chanel strip sounds fantastic too!

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34 minutes ago, GisserD said:

The Ssl chanel strip sounds fantastic too!

The SSL 4000 bundle looks like it could be a good deal

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24 minutes ago, PatrickJ said:

The SSL 4000 bundle looks like it could be a good deal

It is - they are my ‘go to’ plugins for eq and buss compression.

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2 hours ago, paul_5 said:

It is - they are my ‘go to’ plugins for eq and buss compression.

OK so pulled the trigger on the SSL 4000 bundle, along with the Waves C6 multiband compressor.

With the 40% it worked out good value given you also get 2x free plugins,  o I also picked up the dbx 160 for the drum tracks and the CLA-3A for the guitar bass / tracks.

Going to have fun tonight re-working the mix I did from last week to use my new analogue modelled recording studio :)

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The 160 is a great compressor, not used a software version yet though.

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If you have Cubase, it already comes with everything you need for mixing your songs. All you'll ever need is EQ, compression, saturation, reverb and delay which Cubase has very good ones. Unless you are looking for analogue emulation plugins or something special. If that's not the case then you have every plugin you need.

My advice will be to learn those first and if there's something you want to do and you can't by using the stock plugins then go buy some more.

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On 06/08/2020 at 12:05, Mcgiver69 said:

If you have Cubase, it already comes with everything you need for mixing your songs. All you'll ever need is EQ, compression, saturation, reverb and delay which Cubase has very good ones. Unless you are looking for analogue emulation plugins or something special. If that's not the case then you have every plugin you need.

My advice will be to learn those first and if there's something you want to do and you can't by using the stock plugins then go buy some more.

Thanks for the advice.

I'm using Cubase Elements so it doesn't have all of the plugins available in Artist or the full version; such as a multi band compressor or saturation.  But 10.5 now includes the full reverb plugin which is cool.

To your point, apart from the multi band compressor, the plugins I've gone for model vintage emulation. I'm loving the SSL4000 bundle!! 

I'm also tempted by the Abbey Road Plates Reverb by Waves too.

Edited by PatrickJ

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I'm a PT user, I have few plugins in my bag as Nerural DSP, Apogee, Izotope, Celemony and Slate, not many. Now I'm in a "zen mode", it means that I will not buy any other wonderful plugin that is the new "holy grail". I need to control and know all the capabilities of all the stacked plugins before spent a cent.

If my mixes are not good is not because of the plugins, it's because of me.

I have just one plugin that I consider a must have:  Wilkinson Audio DeBleeder 

 

PS: Sorry for my crappy English 

Edited by spark
mistyping

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Oddly enough, Superior Drums 3 has gone to great pains to reproduce controllable bleed between pieces of the kit..! Much music can be recorded using only three drum mics, too. I'm not saying that a de-bleeder has no uses (I've never tried one...); just that I find it strange to consider it 'essential'. No issue, we're just different, s'all..! :friends:

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my bad, I didn't explain myself properly.  I usually receive tracks with real drums recorded (here is where Debleeder is so helpful) , I should mentioned I was not talking about EZ or SD, you're right, in these cases a Debleeder is 100% useless. I use Slate Drums trigger to add some in the kick and snares, but its another story.  

For multiband compressor I'm happy with Izotope, I haven't try anything else, but, I have just listen good things about Waves C4

 

PS: Sorry for my crappy English 

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If you can't find a de-bleeder you can always use this technique and it works a wonder.

 

 

Edited by Mcgiver69
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For all channel EQ, dynamics, harmonics, reverbs, buss processing and mastering I use Slate's All Access subscription model - $14.99 a month for every plug-in that they produce.  You name it, it's in there.  Given a single EQ module can cost $100-$150 that's not a bad deal!  It also includes their guitar FX plugins and some synth modules and access to mixing/production master classes from the likes of Chris Lord-Alge and Matthew Weiss as well as in depth tutorial ons how to best use the various plug-ins.

https://slatedigital.com

Rhythm duties are taken care of with Slate Drums 5.5 which available as a free version as well as upgrading to their full kit choices.  

https://stevenslatedrums.com 

I've also used MT Powerkit with good results.

https://www.powerdrumkit.com

Guitar-wise I've been using Bias FX2 since it's release, and was using Bias FX before that.  simple, easy to use and logical layout - excellent product.

https://www.positivegrid.com/bias-fx/

I also use Garritan Personal Orchestra 5.0 for horns/strings/pianos

https://www.garritan.com/products/personal-orchestra-5/

There are a lot of channel processing and mastering freebies supplied with Reaper but for a little outlay each month you can have access to some wonderful plug-ins that are much more intuitive to use and more true-to-life in their sonic capabilities.

Edited by DaytonaRik

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