In this blog series I will try to answer the most commonly asked question to me, which Plugins should I buy first if I wanna start mixing or before joining any music production course. Let me clarify you don’t “NEED” them, one can very easily build a good mix with just the stock plugins that are at your disposal in most DAWS, but in this list, I will give you some of the plugins that I can’t mix without. These are plugins that will make your workflow smoother.
Fabfilter Pro Q3
I mean, I know everyone would have seen this coming from a mile away. This plugin is a must-have for any quick eqing needs. I love this EQ for a bunch of its features, lets you MID SIDE, check the FR of other tracks that it’s on, EQ match, and so on. There’s just so much you can do with the Pro Q3
Slate Digital Lustrous Plate:
You don’t know what you’re missing till you hear this reverb in action. I find it very hard to dial in a good reverb sound for a song and it’s something that takes me quite some time to do, but it’s a breeze with the Lustrous plate plugin.
I may not use it in all situations but wherever it works, it just sounds great.
Lustrous Plates recreates the beautiful tone of seven classic plate reverbs using LiquidSonics’ new Temporal Acoustic Spectral Mapping (TASM) technology.
Powered by Fusion-IR | Synthesis, Lustrous Plates is a rich and luxurious contemporary plate design with seven distinctive models. TASM uses a proprietary multi-band dynamic capture and analysis method which allows unprecedented frequency-specific profiling of the plate’s natural decay, which is then mapped into an advanced reverb synthesis algorithm so that it not only achieves the beautiful decay of real acoustic plates but also gains the benefit of having classic algorithmic reverb parameters which allow fine-tuning in ways that you’ve never been able to do with any other plate emulation.
Lustrous Plates comes with a selection of professionally-designed presets for a wide range of sources including drums, guitars, vocals, and strings so you can quickly find the ideal plate for your track as taught in various audio engineering courses.
Manley Massive Passive
Since I work primarily as a mastering engineer, this is one of my go-to plugins for OTT tone shaping on my mixes. I use this as a part of the UAD bundle and have been on almost all of my masters.
This is a very specific style of EQ that is subtle and can help you drive some loudness into your mixes.
The two-channel, four-band Manley Massive Passive tube EQ utilizes design strengths from the choice console, parametric, graphic, and Pultec EQs — delivering sweet, musical curves with unparalleled clarity and headroom. The “Passive” in the Manley Massive Passive refers specifically to the tone shaping elements of the equalizer, which use only resistors, inductors, and capacitors to create all frequency changes. Its Frequency controls intentionally interact with one another, as do the Gain and Bandwidth controls, allowing for the Massive Passive’s natural and organic sound.
Fabfilter Pro L2
This is hands down one of the best limiters on the market right now. It’s extremely simple to use, and the multiple modes that it comes with really let you drive in the right sound that you need for your masters. The Pro L2 has a lot of cool features like a LUFS meter built right into the limiter, 1:1 limiting, and listening for the compression.
Sound Toys Echoboy
One of the best Delay and Effects plugins out there hands down, it has a cool set of features like:
Choose from 30 different echo styles: Echoplex, Space Echo, Memory Man, DM-2, and many more
Warm-up vocals with high-end tape sound modeled on the Ampex ATR-102
Control saturation, tape flutter, and diffusion for strikingly analog-sounding effects
Create rich stereo delays with Dual and Ping-Pong modes
Adjust shuffle, swing, and accent. The only echo with true “groove”
Design one-of-a-kind rhythmic delay effects using Rhythm Echo mode
This is one of my favorites go-to sound design plugins and I can’t mix without this.
This is my list of 5 Best Plugins You must Buy if you are starting your career in the Audio Mixing Industry. So, go ahead experiment with these before joining any Audio Engineering course.