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VST plug-ins that you love


toiletbag
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I understand a few folk on here are either recording, or interested in recording, so it'd be nice to get an exchange of ideas going. Here's a few plug-ins that I probably wouldn't be able to work without:

UAD Pultec and Pultec Pro - pretty much the best VST EQ plug-in that I've ever used. It's capable of both cutting and boosting bass without sounding totally shicht, which is a welcome surprise. I've never heard an original Pultec, but this is so damn impressive on its own that it doesn't actually matter how well it compares. There's loads of other UAD stuff that I'd like to get, but it's a serious financial investment.

UAD 1176 - sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. It's funny how accustomed you become to this; your first impression is how squashy it is, but it also seems to impart a little bit of girth in the lower mids. As a result, I sometimes run guitars through this if they need thickening up. Sounds great on clean guitars. It's also incredible for parallel compressing drum mixes.

SIR Impulse Reverb - it's FREE and, providing you can find decent impulses, can sound incredibly realistic.

Ampeg SVX - surprisingly good bass amp simulator. So good, in fact, that mic'ing a cab can sometimes seem superfluous. Basically, this can make a flat DI track sound incredible, especially if your DI is a little lifeless (like mine). I often find myself re-amping bass, but still end up using the DI track most prominently in the mix. Avoid the 'ambience' slider though, it's well cheesy.

URS 1975 Compressor - my 'go to' compressor for bass. It's incredibly fiddly, but the sweet spot is very sweet indeed.

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Ampeg SVX - surprisingly good bass amp simulator. So good, in fact, that mic'ing a cab can sometimes seem superfluous. Basically, this can make a flat DI track sound incredible, especially if your DI is a little lifeless (like mine). I often find myself re-amping bass, but still end up using the DI track most prominently in the mix. Avoid the 'ambience' slider though, it's well cheesy.

I've only ever used this and Guitar Rig 2 as VST plugins so I'm a total noob on the subject, but I totally agree. Makes the sansamp DI sound totally brill. I bet if I knew how to EQ a bass track properly it'd sound even better.

I know what you mean about the ambience but I found that without any it sounded SO DRY, so I just put the tiniest amount on to make it sound like it wasn't recorded in a vacuum chamber! I suppose if you reamped it that would solve that though.

my tuppence.

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I know what you mean about the ambience but I found that without any it sounded SO DRY, so I just put the tiniest amount on to make it sound like it wasn't recorded in a vacuum chamber! I suppose if you reamped it that would solve that though.

my tuppence.

You're absolutely correct Huw. Most of my 'live' tracks have quite a lot of room (including the guitars), so I have to add artificial ambience to get any DI tracks sitting right in terms of depth; but I'd recommend getting something like SIR to replicate a room sound rather than the ambience slider in SVX. Ambience from what exactly? The local swimming pool?

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You're absolutely correct Huw. Most of my 'live' tracks have quite a lot of room (including the guitars), so I have to add artificial ambience to get any DI tracks sitting right in terms of depth; but I'd recommend getting something like SIR to replicate a room sound rather than the ambience slider in SVX. Ambience from what exactly? The local swimming pool?

It sounds identical to the behringer digital delay. Rotten. I'll check out SIR, i8s it cheap/free?

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It sounds identical to the behringer digital delay. Rotten. I'll check out SIR, i8s it cheap/free?

There's two versions of it, one is free (which is the one I use), and the other one costs...something, I can't really remember. You need to get impulses for it, the SIR web-site links directly to places where you can get impulses; some of them are shite though.

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Ampeg SVX - surprisingly good bass amp simulator. So good, in fact, that mic'ing a cab can sometimes seem superfluous. Basically, this can make a flat DI track sound incredible, especially if your DI is a little lifeless (like mine). I often find myself re-amping bass, but still end up using the DI track most prominently in the mix. Avoid the 'ambience' slider though, it's well cheesy.

iv been looking for something like this, so based on you and huws recommendation i have got ahold of a copy and cant wait til it gets here so i can start using it.

anything else you would like to recommend?

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Audio Ease Speakerphone was awesome.

PSP Vintage Warmer was great.

IzoTope Ozone is a must for ghetto mastering.

URS EQ's and Compressors are great.

VST is great, there's so many good free VST's out there as well. You don't get nearly as many with RTAS

Sucks ass...

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iv been looking for something like this, so based on you and huws recommendation i have got ahold of a copy and cant wait til it gets here so i can start using it.

anything else you would like to recommend?

I assume you've gotten hold of this by now... what seettings are you using with this?

I always use the SVT Classic. has the best all round sound I think. Thickens up the low end nicely.

I thought the scrambler pedal might sound good... it does not!

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I thought the scrambler pedal might sound good... it does not!

That thing's hilarious!

I think it's the first piece of amp modelling software that I've used that hasn't sounded utter baws.

Pretty much always use the SVT classic as well. I often find the 'mic' choice can make a significant difference, it's pretty much always a contest between the U87 rip-off and the 'dynamic 20'.

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I assume you've gotten hold of this by now... what seettings are you using with this?

im still messing around with it and tring to find the perfect sound, but yeh on first impressions the SVT classic is the nicest but who knows what will work best when i use it in a full project behind 3 or 4 different guitar sounds

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  • 2 weeks later...

i don't play around with this shit nearly as much as I used to, but heres what I really like....

D 16 Devastator - This is one of the best plug ins ever made, its a multi-band compressor/distortion unit and the range of sounds you can create is just awesome, I love putting this on drums (particularly a room track), guitar, bass, vocals, synths, drum machines, ANYTHING! It only costs 35 fucking euros yet it will make your ITB mixes sounds like they are being cranked through quality vintage gear. There is literally too much you can do with it....they havea new one called Decimator which I haven't used so much but its a bit crusher I think, the two in combo can probably make some great noise...

Stillwell Audio Transient Monster - Amazing control of drums, you can really make snares snappy and short (the Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords drum sound) or can make them huge...

Stillwell Audio Major Tom Amazing compressor based on dbx 160, this pumps and pulls in a controlled manor (input gain dependent) so flows very musically...great on the drum bus

URS - BLT The simplest EQ plug in there is and the shine this adds this awesome, really brings out the crack in snares and brings them forward, adds nice air to vocals aswell...

OVERLOUD - BREVERB - Great reverb plugin modelled on old hardware units, great sounding plate on this (I love plate on vocals and snares, 80s sound)...you can run one of these inserted in every track and its never going to kill your CPU like altivervb...

IZOTOPE - TRASH - There are a load of great amp sims but none really get that harsh sound of a cab like Trash..I don't think much of the distortion stages on it (although you can do some crazy stuff with it) but the speaker emulations are just huge and with a bit of compression in the pre stage, will just sound like an amp being cranked out and mic'd up. I always come across recordings ive made and forgotten I got the guitar sound using a plug in because it sounds just like an amp...

GSi - GSI200 - This is a clone of the Roland RE-201 and it just sound great, the spring verb sounds amazingly on vocals, and playing with the echo is just so much fun....you can make all those crazy watery sounds on dub records...very cool

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  • 2 weeks later...
i don't play around with this shit nearly as much as I used to, but heres what I really like....

D 16 Devastator - This is one of the best plug ins ever made, its a multi-band compressor/distortion unit and the range of sounds you can create is just awesome, I love putting this on drums (particularly a room track), guitar, bass, vocals, synths, drum machines, ANYTHING! It only costs 35 fucking euros yet it will make your ITB mixes sounds like they are being cranked through quality vintage gear. There is literally too much you can do with it....they havea new one called Decimator which I haven't used so much but its a bit crusher I think, the two in combo can probably make some great noise...

Stillwell Audio Transient Monster - Amazing control of drums, you can really make snares snappy and short (the Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords drum sound) or can make them huge...

Stillwell Audio Major Tom Amazing compressor based on dbx 160, this pumps and pulls in a controlled manor (input gain dependent) so flows very musically...great on the drum bus

URS - BLT The simplest EQ plug in there is and the shine this adds this awesome, really brings out the crack in snares and brings them forward, adds nice air to vocals aswell...

OVERLOUD - BREVERB - Great reverb plugin modelled on old hardware units, great sounding plate on this (I love plate on vocals and snares, 80s sound)...you can run one of these inserted in every track and its never going to kill your CPU like altivervb...

IZOTOPE - TRASH - There are a load of great amp sims but none really get that harsh sound of a cab like Trash..I don't think much of the distortion stages on it (although you can do some crazy stuff with it) but the speaker emulations are just huge and with a bit of compression in the pre stage, will just sound like an amp being cranked out and mic'd up. I always come across recordings ive made and forgotten I got the guitar sound using a plug in because it sounds just like an amp...

GSi - GSI200 - This is a clone of the Roland RE-201 and it just sound great, the spring verb sounds amazingly on vocals, and playing with the echo is just so much fun....you can make all those crazy watery sounds on dub records...very cool

I checked out some of your recommendations. I'm enjoying the Stillwell stuff - the Transient Monster is proving to be very useful, great for tightening up a drum buss. Not too fond of BREVERB, it sounds a bit too artificial at times I think, and I like plate reverbs for certain applications. I guess it depends what you're using it on.

My next planned purchase is the UAD Plate 140. I had a shot of the demo and it blew me away, it's just a pity that I couldn't commit it to a mix without printing the track.

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