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Topic: Plugin advice

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  1. #1

    Plugin advice

    Hi, new here. I'm thinking of upgrading my plugins and was going to go with Waves because it seems like that's what most people use but I wanted to see if there are any other good packages out there I should check out. I do mostly pop arrangements and am looking to spend no more than $500. Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. #2
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Plugin advice

    Hm-m- well "plug-ins" is a very big topic and covers everything from VSTi(s) to mixing, mastering or reverberation software. What type of plug-ins are you looking for and what do you hope to do with them? The answers to those questions will help narrow things down and perhaps generate better answers in return.
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  3. #3

    Re: Plugin advice

    I doubt very much that there is any single package that most people use these days, there are just so many options!

    Waves has developed some really great sounding plugins. I have their Gold bundle, and have been using their software since 2000, when it was called Native Power Pack. I've have some differences of opinion with them about some of their business practices (locking users out who choose not to upgrade strikes me as tacky<G>!), but you can't fault the quality of the software. Be aware that they use the iLok dongle for copy protection - I've had no issues with in for several years, but once upon a time that alone was reason enough to avoid them!

    There is another suite that I think is every bit as good, and popular, as Waves - Universal Audio's UAD. This requires a hardware accelerator, which is where their code runs, and that provides pretty good copy protection as well! Their emulations are, I believe, as good as it gets. I grew up using the 1176 and LA-4 compressors, and the software counterparts sound better than the hardware I used to use, and no maintenance is required!

    There are also dozens of really good small shops as well. While UAD ius my go-to library, and Waves is also high on my list, you'd be cheating yourself if you did not check out:
    PSP Audioware - their effects are awesome, I especially like their Lexicon 42 and it's big brother, the 84
    Voxengo - Their Crunchessor is my favorite software compressor, when I'm not looking for an emulation. They also have a great convolution Reverb, Pristine Space
    Kjaerhus - not sure what the deal is with them, they've gone dark, but keep watching, they may surface again, and their gold series plugins still get a lot of use in my DAW.
    db Audioware - not sure why they don't get more press, their plugins sound great, and are very efficient. They also have a DSP workbench, which I keep meaning to get, but there is so little time in a day!
    Izotope - their mastering packing is, I think, poorly named, but the plugins are the most musically useful plugins I've ever used. They are not emulations, and I think there are others that are a bit more flexible, but nothing is as easy to use and get good results.

    That's pretty much my primary toolset, I also have a suite from the now defunct Sonitus that I like a lot, but I'm trying to stay away from using stuff that stands no chance of ever being ported to the 64 bit architectures.

    If I were starting today, and knew what I know, I'd absolutely start with the UAD-2 card and most of their plug-ins. If you can't get the job done with those, well, you aren't really trying<G>! After that it would be a toss-up between Waves and Izotope, too close to call. And then I'd fill in with specialty stuff from Voxengo and PSP.

    Yeah, that would be my plan.
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  4. #4

    Re: Plugin advice

    Well I currently use the plugins in Cubase and want better versions of the most basic plugins - eq, compressor, delay, reverb, etc. As I've gotten better at recording I feel that an upgrade in my effects will help the overall sound of my mixes.

    wst3ae - Native Power Pack is actually what I was looking at on the Waves website. I saw this special they have with GTR which I would also like to have on hand http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=9064.

    I looked at UAD but am not sure I want to deal with the extra hardware. I will check out some of the others mentioned though. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Plugin advice

    Another line to consider then is the T-Racks series from IK Multimedia, which are currently on sale this week for 50% off ($49 each). Very good products at a reasonable price.

    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingles/features/
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  6. #6

    Re: Plugin advice

    I can recommend several ranges of plugins that I own and have used extensively on many styles of music including pop.

    Waves have some excellent plugins that are used by a lot of top industry pros. I love their Renaissance range, especially the compressor, their linear phase EQ is also excellent for transparent EQing. For pop the Waves Maserati plugins are fantastic and represent a new trend in exact captures of whole chains real life gear.

    Izotope's Ozone 4 plugin is a jack of all trades, but none the less it offers some very powerful as well as subtle effects control both on single instruments and whole mixes. It actually sounds really great even though its sort of five plugins in one. You do have to be carful not to over do it when you have so much sound control power in one interface, but it is easy to add some nice gloss, punch or both to a mix with this.

    For real defined sophistication the PSP Neon EQ is fantastic, its very smooth and precise sounding and has been hailed by some well known mastering engineers. The PSP Xenon, for me is the best and most transparent software mastering limiter I've ever used, it just makes everything sound good and doesn't suffer from the harshness of most software limiters (also hailed by some well known mastering engineers).

    Sonalksis are are also very good and worth a look. I don't own these but I've used them and was impressed by their sound and versatility.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7

    Re: Plugin advice

    Just wanted to say thanks again for the advice, all helpful. I'm going to go with Waves in the end. It seems like a good bang for the buck and I've used them a couple times before so am familiar with them but appreciate all the other suggestions.

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