Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Favourite 10 Vst Plugins for Mixing (with free and Paid Vst plugins)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today I would like to share with you the list of my favourite plugins for the mixing phase, those are the plugins I use most of the time on the various busses, and so far they've never let me down.
My philosophy is to give continuity to the various sounds of a record, the way the great mix engineers of the past used to do with hardware processors, therefore I like to choose as fewer sound plugins as I can (1 good compressor, 1 equalizer and so on..) and to learn how to use 'em in depth, instead of experimenting 10 different types of equalizers in the same song, for example.
Getting familiar with few processors makes you use them with more awareness (even the ones that comes bundled with the Daw are often more than enough), and using for example the same type of compressor, although tuned differently, for each track of our project will give to the song a sort of "timbric continuity" that eventually will make the record sound more professional.

I have included a list of freeware ones and paid ones, according to your needs, and if you click on the category it will bring you to a dedicated page with even more free plugins to try.

1) Compressor: Antress Seventh Sign for the free ones. T-Racks Black 76 for the paid ones. If i need more controls to make some surgical adjustment, Waves c1 is a great alternative.

2) Equalizer: Equilibre for the free ones, Fabfilter pro Q 2 for the paid: this one features also a very handy built-in frequency analizer.

3) Reverb: I often use the reverb built into the DAW, if it sounds good enough, but when I need to use a third party one, I go for Smartelectronix Ambience (which is donationware).

4) Delay: I like the way the Variety of Sound Nasty Dla colors the sound, plus it's freeware.

5) Autotune: on this ground, Antares Autotune in graphic mode just can't be beaten.

6) Harmonic Exciter: for the free ones I'd suggest Harmonic Enhancer Vst, while among the paid ones, the best is probably the one Built inside the Izotope Ozone suite.

7) Gate: in this field I've noticed that often the bundled plugins are not so good. If you need one, Fabfilter Pro-G is probably the best gate money can buy.

8) Bass preamp: virtual bass preamps are very handy nowadays, and among them I'd suggest Ignite Amps SHB-1 for the free ones, and Overloud Mark Studio for the paid ones.

9) Multiband Compressor: Gmulti, a good freeware multiband comp that I use mainly to tame the lows of electric guitar and bass. For the paid ones the preference probably goes to the Waves C6.

10) Chorus: About chorus I like to keep it very simple: if the one bundled iside the Daw doesn't satisfy me, I usually go for the classic Orange Chorus, which is free.

Let me know what do you think about this list and which are your 10 favourite mixing plugins!

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