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Topic: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

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  1. #1

    What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    [update]

    Since several folks have mentioned it, I should mention that I didn't go 64 bit with the Windows 7 box, it's 32 bit. Just in case that makes a difference on recommendations.

    [/update]

    Per my previous post, I just lost my Waves Gold 5 bundle due to moving to Windows 7, and won't be doing any more business with them due to past experiences. So, I'm now without pro quality plugins that were covered in this bundle and thought you folks might share the stuff that you use and like.

    I might add that while I'm not opposed to paying for good stuff, this little budget adventure was unscheduled and thus I'm going to be looking in the "best bang for the buck" class rather than "most expensive / highest quality" variety.

    Here are the basics that I frequently use and need to replace soon:

    • Compressor / limiter (was using C1 / C4 and Ultramaximizer a lot)
    • Parametric EQ
    • Reverb
    Other special effects such as flanging / chorus / etc. are nice to haves, but not critical to production.

    So, what's cool, not massively expensive, and from a company other than Waves?
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  2. #2

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Reapers comes with a lot of the stuff you mention included. And it's certainly not massively expensive.
    Han Suelmann,
    Vista32, GPO4, COMB2, Finale 2009, Reaper, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB, 2.67 GHz.

  3. #3

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    the reaper plugs are pretty good. for eq, i'm very fond of DMG's EQuality. VERY flexible eq, that one. it supports x64, etc. it uses a registry entry for copy protection. very simple.
    for compression, i've really been into the artsacoustic CL series (which JUST got their x64 update). cytomic's "the glue" seems well respected, and is pretty inexpensive, too. both are serial # protected, afaik.
    for reverb, i have aether, altiverb, artsacoustic and sonnox. i tend to use aether the most.
    aether and artsacoustic use serial number protection, where altiverb and sonnox use ilok.

    sorry to hear about your old machine...best of luck!

    kell
    "...you get to drink from...THE FIREHOSE!!!"

  4. #4

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Hi Christopher,

    Before I answer your specific question with specific answers, all is not lost with respect to Waves Gold V5. You can use them under Win7 x64 by wrapping them to make them look like VSTs (for those who dealt with Cakewalks DX/VST debacle years ago this must sound funny!) I know of three:
    www.acondigital.com and http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr...ack/dxrack.htm are both self-contained racks, and that wasn't what I was looking for, so I ended up using DXShell (http://xlutop.com/buzz/zip/dxshell_v1.01b.zip)
    It works!

    And for the record, I agree completely with your opinion - I went through similar grief when they moved from C/R (V4) to iLok (V5) - they would no longer provide responses. I complained, and eventually (a couple years!) they made good, providing me with a no-cost upgrade to V5 (of course by then V5 was current<G>). But yeah, giving them money is annoying. I'd still try complaining to see what happens - they are really good plug-ins!

    And back to the original question...

    I do use Waves plug-ins, but they are not my first choice anymore.

    For compressors and equalizers, and even for effects, if you are looking for emulations I think UAD is the company to beat. They are not cheap, but they are really really good.

    For free effects you can't beat the Kjaerhus Classic Collection (you will have to hunt a bit, and just now I could not find the site, but someone has permission to distribute the last version before they folded.) Bluecat is another company that has some really good free effects.

    For not too expensive effects I love PSP Audioware. I use their effects a LOT.

    Back in the expensive category, I'm also a big fan of SoundToys.

    Voxengo has some GREAT sounding compressors and equalizers, ranging from free to not horribly expensive. They also have some great effects.

    I used to scrounge around for free plug-ins, but over time I've pretty much settled on the companies above. It is not that the free plug-ins are bad, some are really quite good, but it was a pain to keep them up to date, and sometimes the vendor just disappeared. Of course that happens with commercial offerings too...

    That's my go-to list, at least for now<G>...
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  5. #5

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    I run SONAR 8.5 on Windows 7 Pro on a 64bit machine. SONAR comes with quite a few of these. I like the Lexicon reverb but actually end up using Garritan Ambience more consistently.

    I use SoundForge for mastering and it came bundled with iZotope's Ozone Mastering suite which is my go-to for mastering. Here's a link:

    http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/

    As far as Convolution Reverb I like Perfect Space (mainly because it came with SONAR and was essentially "free"). However if you have the bucks Altiverb is the king of Convolution Reverb as far as I am concerned. I cannot afford it but it is a killer.

    I tend not to use many effects in my stuff. As I think of things I'll post 'em. In general I'm glad I switched to Windows 7 64bit, I hope you will be too.

    Best of luck.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Han,

    I Googled Reaper and it seems to be a DAW. Am I missing something, do they also have a line of standard VST plugins somewhere?
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  7. #7

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae View Post
    Hi Christopher,

    Before I answer your specific question with specific answers, all is not lost with respect to Waves Gold V5. You can use them under Win7 x64 by wrapping them to make them look like VSTs (for those who dealt with Cakewalks DX/VST debacle years ago this must sound funny!) I know of three:
    www.acondigital.com and http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr...ack/dxrack.htm are both self-contained racks, and that wasn't what I was looking for, so I ended up using DXShell (http://xlutop.com/buzz/zip/dxshell_v1.01b.zip)
    It works!

    And for the record, I agree completely with your opinion - I went through similar grief when they moved from C/R (V4) to iLok (V5) - they would no longer provide responses. I complained, and eventually (a couple years!) they made good, providing me with a no-cost upgrade to V5 (of course by then V5 was current<G>). But yeah, giving them money is annoying. I'd still try complaining to see what happens - they are really good plug-ins!

    And back to the original question...

    I do use Waves plug-ins, but they are not my first choice anymore.

    For compressors and equalizers, and even for effects, if you are looking for emulations I think UAD is the company to beat. They are not cheap, but they are really really good.

    For free effects you can't beat the Kjaerhus Classic Collection (you will have to hunt a bit, and just now I could not find the site, but someone has permission to distribute the last version before they folded.) Bluecat is another company that has some really good free effects.

    For not too expensive effects I love PSP Audioware. I use their effects a LOT.

    Back in the expensive category, I'm also a big fan of SoundToys.

    Voxengo has some GREAT sounding compressors and equalizers, ranging from free to not horribly expensive. They also have some great effects.

    I used to scrounge around for free plug-ins, but over time I've pretty much settled on the companies above. It is not that the free plug-ins are bad, some are really quite good, but it was a pain to keep them up to date, and sometimes the vendor just disappeared. Of course that happens with commercial offerings too...

    That's my go-to list, at least for now<G>...

    Bill,

    Thanks for going into so much detail. I'll certainly research all the companies you mentioned.

    Regarding the wrapper for Waves, you mention 64 bit. I'm actually running 32 bit Windows 7. Would a wrapper still help?

    For the record, what happened was I installed Waves, got to a reboot point part of the way through, and encountered a BSOD. Rebooted, got back into Windows, threw the installation disk across the room.

    Don't like these guys at all, but the plugins are good. However, not worth the reisk of trashing my entire box over.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  8. #8

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kelldammit View Post
    the reaper plugs are pretty good. for eq, i'm very fond of DMG's EQuality. VERY flexible eq, that one. it supports x64, etc. it uses a registry entry for copy protection. very simple.
    for compression, i've really been into the artsacoustic CL series (which JUST got their x64 update). cytomic's "the glue" seems well respected, and is pretty inexpensive, too. both are serial # protected, afaik.
    for reverb, i have aether, altiverb, artsacoustic and sonnox. i tend to use aether the most.
    aether and artsacoustic use serial number protection, where altiverb and sonnox use ilok.

    sorry to hear about your old machine...best of luck!

    kell
    Kell,

    Thanks for all the recommendations - I'll definitely be checking them out. I'm sure most of them have 32 bit versions, which is what I'm running.

    As for the machine, hard to complain. It served honorably. 2003 to 2010 is like forever in computer years.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  9. #9

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark View Post
    I run SONAR 8.5 on Windows 7 Pro on a 64bit machine. SONAR comes with quite a few of these. I like the Lexicon reverb but actually end up using Garritan Ambience more consistently.

    I use SoundForge for mastering and it came bundled with iZotope's Ozone Mastering suite which is my go-to for mastering. Here's a link:

    http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/

    As far as Convolution Reverb I like Perfect Space (mainly because it came with SONAR and was essentially "free"). However if you have the bucks Altiverb is the king of Convolution Reverb as far as I am concerned. I cannot afford it but it is a killer.

    I tend not to use many effects in my stuff. As I think of things I'll post 'em. In general I'm glad I switched to Windows 7 64bit, I hope you will be too.

    Best of luck.
    I had forgotten about Garritan Ambience, I'll be checking that out. I'm running Sonar as well, but it serves as my MIDI workhorse. Never been impressed with their native audio implementations. Maybe it's time to give their stuff another look. Ozone also looks interesting.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  10. #10

    Re: What are your favorite DAW plugins (compression, EQ, etc.)?

    Ahh, didn't catch the 64 bit part. Actually, yes, all DO have 32bit versions, which work great (i'm on 32bit as well).

    the reaper plugs are available as vst's separately from the daw software.
    you can find 'em here:
    http://reaper.fm/reaplugs/index.php

    kell
    "...you get to drink from...THE FIREHOSE!!!"

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