Plug-ins: Best Paid and FREE

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Every time I interview someone for the podcast or just chat about audio production on the street (read: facebook, twitter etc) one thing that always comes up is Favorite Plug-ins.  Whether we’re talking music creation, editing audio, or just trying some crazy effect that not many have heard, we all love new tricks.  So while I have this type of info spread thoughout the site I thought “Hey, I work in the same building with a number of different types of GREAT producers and composers and enginers.”  Some of these guys are more focused on creating electronic music.  Some are studio engineers tracking, mixing and/or mastering tracks with “real” instruments.  Below you will see the plug-ins of choice and surprisingly to me there was almost ZERO overlap. I also make note of favorite FREE plugs when appropriate.

*Note: There are a variety of OS’s, formats like RTAS, VST and AU plus some that require different engines and workstations.

Dave Gianjulio: Chief Engineer
EQ: VEQ4, SSL Channel
COMP: R-Vox, MV-2
VERB: Oxford Reverb
DELAY: Echo Farm
*EQ: EQ3-7Band
*COMP: Bomb Factory BF76
*VERB: TrueVerb
*DELAY: Long Delay II
*FREE (With Pro Tools ONLY)

Lou Medina: Creative Engineer
TAL Plugs (FREE)
Camel Audio
Ohm Force (frohmage is FREE)
DC1a (FREE)
Nebula (FREE)
Soundhack plugs (FREE)
Digital Fish Phones –  Block Fish (FREE)

Barry Young: Producer/Composer/Engineer
Airwindows Iron Oxide 2 (FREE) – a very cool tape simulation
Kickmaker by Teragon Audio (FREE) –  The  name says it all
*I don’t have a favorite paid plug but if you go by what I use most it’s gotta be Native Instruments Kontakt. It’s just so darn useful.

Collin Gouldin: Audio Engineer
Paid:  L316 (waves). It’s a really powerful limiter that is cleaner than anything waves has made before.

The only free ones I have are built into protools. If that counts, then I love:
H-delay – a really straight forward way to get some cool ping pong delays

Chris Salmeron: Mastering/Post Production Engineer
VST Yamaha DX7 (FREE) – One of my favorite free plug ins when I’m wanting an 80’s Rhodes/Keys feel and I don’t own the actual keybard
Waves SSL G-Channel – great for all around anything from crisping up and warming up a nice vocal to getting the punch and high click out on a kick or overall drum kit

Ryan Drean: Creative Director

FREE
Brainwaorx BX Solo – Cool, easy stereo spread fx
Flux: Bittersweet – Transient boost or decrease – subtle and simple
Flux: Stereo Tool – input gain control L and R and Global Stereo Control
Valhalla Echo – Pretty darn simple echo
LinPlug Alpha – Easy to use Synth with some really cool sounds

PAID
ReFx Nexus 2 – LOVE this synth and beat instrument plug
Spectrasonics Stylus RMX – When I started making Beats this was REALLY easy to get going.  Intuitive is a good word ;

KVR AUDIO:  I will post a link or two on this site, I ain’t scared.  BUT for this page I will post one more site to make sure you know about.   Here’s a KVR Thread I saw which you can spend some time with, search their reco’s and download what you want.  BUT in General I like KVR Audio’s site.  Huge user-base and plenty of good content.

3 thoughts on “Plug-ins: Best Paid and FREE

  1. Massey L2007 Mastering Limiter — When you want clean, this is the answer.
    Waves C1 — Clean, simple. It is a compressor, gate, expander, it is the Swiss Army Knife of plugins.
    iZotope Ozone 5 — There is no easier way to bring it all together. The loudness metering is awesome.

    All paid.

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