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Plugin Practise

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cowparsleyman

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« on: January 16, 2019, 08:23:17 AM »
I don't know if anyone else does this, but when I buy a plugin, or a VST I make sure I teach myself what it does, and how I can use it.

I don't always NEED the plugin, but occasionally I take a punt, which nearly always works out well,

Trust your ears (for me the sound of Izotope stuff just doesn't do it for me, except the free imager) not your eyes, there are a lot of wonderful looking plugins out there, but your listener won't see those wonderful recreations of old analogue gear.

1. Try them first, most can be trialled for a couple of weeks for free.
2. Read the manual, understand what it says, there have been some where frankly I have no idea what they are saying (Kirnu Cream)
3. Create a test environment, usually separate Lead Vocal, drums, guitar and keys, then apply it to that and see how I can use it. Pick instruments that you are very familiar with their sound, your old acoustic guitar for example, so you know what the plugin is doing to it.
4. Watch some product videos, usually from the manufacturer, and well regarded reviews.
5. Try out the factory presets
6. Try extreme values.
7. Try it on an old song
8. If you find a particular bunch of settings you like, save it as a preset, in an orderly way, use a naming convention always helps.

Some of these things are very complex and have a lot of subtle differences between settings, take the Abbey Road Plates... I saw @pompeyjazz use this, and so I checked it out, and by golly it's brilliant, but there are so many permutations...so I saved a few of my favourite settings as presets and I tend to use them over the presets.

If theY are really good then I'll build them into my DAW templates.

Like playing an instrument, plugins do need practise, they can leave one's tidy creation in tatters if they are misused.

...finally, just because you've bought it, and it's new, if your track sounds great, then don't use it.

as always, hope this helps

Rich


« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 12:31:14 PM by cowparsleyman »

lliam

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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 05:42:02 PM »
These are some great tips @cowparsleyman, thanks for sharing! New plugins are definitely a great way to keep the creative juices flowing. Using the same things for every track I mix, for months end just makes things boring. That said, I constantly have to remind myself not to get too excited and overuse a new plugin when I get it  ::)
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cowparsleyman

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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 05:46:52 PM »
You’re very welcome....if you have any questions feel free to ask me...

Rich

Bill Saunders

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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 07:54:26 PM »
Good stuff @cowparsleyman . I bought a lot of plugins three or four years ago, and I use many of them often...and some almost never. I really think I’m over buying them now though, I’ve everything I’ll ever need.

I’m a big fan of Waves as I find them pretty user friendly, and I agree with taking the time to learn them. I use a subscription to Groove 3 for this, as I find videos an easier way to learn that reading a manual. I tend to take create a word doc highlighting the most pertinent points from the video, and include screen shots. Helps me remember stuff, especially when I’ve not used a plug-in for a while.

I love IZotope Ozone btw, but there are plenty of alternatives of course!

cowparsleyman

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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 09:01:56 PM »
Hi @Bill Saunders - I've not really bought a complete dog, but close, I bought bx_rooMS verb just yesterday and it's not in the same league as Lexicon Native verb, just so, so classy for acoustic Gtr, Vocals and Drums

Other than that there are a few I don't use much, but am sure glad when I need them. Others I have found better versions of, for example I used to use Abbey Road Plates (still a brilliant plugin) as a drum room, but Lexicon MPX native, suits me better. I seem to get the sound I'm after easier with it. As Amplirude replaced my Waves GTR3.


I'm finding bx_stereomaker and Soundtoys microshift just superb, and Amplitude 4 just brilliant for Bass and Gtrs.

It's just nice to have a wide pallette of tools.

Rich