i have 704 plugins

cjcayea

cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce
Messages
4,041
thats right, you heard me: i have over 700 plugins. i noticed this morning while installing ableton live 11. i’m sure there are a lot of duplicates, AU and VST of the same thing. but if there are even half that many unique plugs, that’s still 350. that seems like way too many especially since around 75-85% of the plugins i use are native to Live. a handful of synths, and a small smattering of specialty effects, thats all i use. maybe 20 in total. wasteful. at the end of the day, all the other plugins are just clutter and distraction.

when i first got into recording music, i did what we all do and i googled the **** out of it and i asked a ton of dumb questions and i got alot of dumb answers. but one of the wisest things i was told by the grizzled vets of music production was to quit searching for The Next Great Thing™️ and master what you already have. focus on the fundamentals.

so this is all just the long way of saying, y’all were right. i know i received just this feedback here, from some of you. for a long time i attached the price of a piece of gear to its value, against your advice. it was a habit i had to break the hard way. so let this be a cautionary tale against throwing money at your weak music. don’t buy 300 plugins thinking it’s the thing you need, “if only i had this synth or that model tubescreamer i could finally create my masterpiece!” it doesn’t work, it never has, and the only things it will reliably create are debt and denial
 

MuzicToyz

Member
Messages
431
thats right, you heard me: i have over 700 plugins. i noticed this morning while installing ableton live 11. i’m sure there are a lot of duplicates, AU and VST of the same thing. but if there are even half that many unique plugs, that’s still 350. that seems like way too many especially since around 75-85% of the plugins i use are native to Live. a handful of synths, and a small smattering of specialty effects, thats all i use. maybe 20 in total. wasteful. at the end of the day, all the other plugins are just clutter and distraction.

when i first got into recording music, i did what we all do and i googled the **** out of it and i asked a ton of dumb questions and i got alot of dumb answers. but one of the wisest things i was told by the grizzled vets of music production was to quit searching for The Next Great Thing™️ and master what you already have. focus on the fundamentals.

so this is all just the long way of saying, y’all were right. i know i received just this feedback here, from some of you. for a long time i attached the price of a piece of gear to its value, against your advice. it was a habit i had to break the hard way. so let this be a cautionary tale against throwing money at your weak music. don’t buy 300 plugins thinking it’s the thing you need, “if only i had this synth or that model tubescreamer i could finally create my masterpiece!” it doesn’t work, it never has, and the only things it will reliably create are debt and denial
For the longest time every time something would go on sale I would jump on it thinking it was something I need. I think I have over 1200 plugins at this point... If I could do it over I would probably just go with Fabfilter and SoundToys for effects and call it a day.
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,990
Same here. Something that was normally 99 bucks was on sale for 9.99! Too good to pass up. Never mind that it would be my 12th compressor (not counting the stock plugins from my DAW). Part of me was scared to actually compare my new plugins to what I had. The reality is, a lot of these plugins are good, and it can be pretty hard to hear a difference between one good reverb and another for example.

"Workflow" is definitely a thing, it's a reason you see all the time for someone preferring one plugin over another. That said: if you don't ever go in and edit the EQ on reverb tails (for example), then one plugin doing this a little faster and easier than another isn't a great reason to buy it :) And that brings up the fact that I'm a hobbyist, I'm not working under a deadline for a client (I once did that, but nobody is breathing down my neck to put out a mix these days).

I'm not saying I'm not *ever* going to buy more plugins, primarily because with Kontakt I do watch out for libraries that cover areas I don't have and want to use. But for fx, and synths, and pianos...just stop already! With synths especially I can get into a preset surfing trap where I spend ages listening to great presets on multiple plugins instead of just picking one and going. I don't tend to be a "I know what I'm looking for" person, I'm more of a "try some stuff and see what sounds good". I highly recommend picking a few good instrument plugins and stick with those. You can also nickel and dime yourself into quite a high $ amount by buying cheap plugins....

One reminder to NOT buy from a lot of companies, and also to buy from those that stay on top of updating their products was the recent changes to MacOS hardware and OS. Some of my plugins stopped working when I went to OS Monterey, even those that are still being sold today (Izotope, looking at you for not updating R4 and other plugins.) Having to go check a zillion plugins from many companies for compatibility after some big OS update is not fun.
 

Orvillain

Member
Messages
964
I used to have about 1400, but I uninstalled all of the Plugin Alliance stuff, and most of the Waves stuff I had, and that brought it down to a reasonable number.

Lot of crap plugins in both of those packages!
 

kiki_90291

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,928
I started going down that rabbit hole a couple of years ago and realized what was going to happen, so I made a rule for myself. No new plugins unless I needed to do something that none of my existing plugins could do. In the last 18 months, I haven't had to buy anything. I did make one exception when someone sent me a mix that eq'ed the vocals really, really well. When I asked what he did, he pointed me to a preset on the Scheps Omni Channel from Waves - so I did buy that and have used it quite a bit.
 

sergiodeblanc

Member
Messages
4,722
Everything everyone “needs” pretty much comes with whatever DAW program you wind up choosing anyway.

Like, I could get by just fine with all the plugins that come with Logic, but I’m coming from a place and time where you learned how to record and program beats with limited resources.

I just bought a new Mac and reinstalled Logic, I installed a few extra plugins by Moog and Melodyne but that’s pretty much it.

I will resist the urge to put a hundred 1176 plugs across all my tracks with the four buttons pushed, and ya know, set my ratio, attack, and release times on my compressors by ear like a super genius.
 

Billinder33

Member
Messages
2,376
I have almost 900, but that's counting all the ones included in Reaper. It also doesn't include the 200 or so Waves Mercury plugins that I own but chose not to install on the current system.

One of my goals when my new Apple finally arrives (if it ever does) is to leave behind any plugin I'm not using and slim down to only the critical ones. And from now on when I get a new plugin, I'm going to test it on the old system before deciding to install it on the new one.

It all sounds great in my head when I say it now, but I know in 5 years the Apple will end up just as big a mess as the current system is.
 

jmoose

Member
Messages
5,163
I might have 74 plugs installed on the main system and maybe, at best use about half of em on a regular basis.

They get treated like virtual outboard gear... which is what they are but it imposes limits. And art lives & dies by it's limitations or lack of.

Example is even at the very best studios on the planet there's really only one style of equalizer... You want to EQ something? Its basically whatever's on the console. There aren't 50 different styles to pick from.

Same could be said for reverbs & everything else. Real studios have one Lexicon box... maybe two. Nobody has 20 different reverbs.
 

Billinder33

Member
Messages
2,376
I used to have about 1400, but I uninstalled all of the Plugin Alliance stuff,

I recently got a couple of things from them that I really like... specifically everything ADPTR. Also bought bx_crispytuner in a bundle that also included bx_masterdesk, both of which I find very nice. The other stuff in the bundle I thought ranged from just ok (Focusrite_console) to downright crap (BlackBox HG2). Not a big fan of analog emulations, so maybe I'm not the target market.

Was there something specific about the PA plugins that you didn't like? What did you replace them with?

and most of the Waves stuff I had

Yeah, I don't miss any of those.
 

Canard

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
343
Yeah, between NI and Waves I've got a lot of Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer options, too many compressors, EQs, phasers, choruses, and reverbs, too many ampsims, and thanks to my fascination with TwoNotes, more cabsims than I need. Don't get me started on synth plugins. Plus all the stuff that came stock with Reaper. Time to start thinning the herd.
 

Neer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,046
That’s too many for me. The good news is you can actually sell some the licenses if the developer allows.
 

Orvillain

Member
Messages
964
I recently got a couple of things from them that I really like... specifically everything ADPTR. Also bought bx_crispytuner in a bundle that also included bx_masterdesk, both of which I find very nice. The other stuff in the bundle I thought ranged from just ok (Focusrite_console) to downright crap (BlackBox HG2). Not a big fan of analog emulations, so maybe I'm not the target market.

Was there something specific about the PA plugins that you didn't like? What did you replace them with?



Yeah, I don't miss any of those.

I didn't like a lot of the Brainworx stuff. Or at least, I didn't think it brought much to the table. Particularly their amp sims.

These days I mostly use IK Multimedia T-Racks for my 'analog modelled' type plugins, as well as Black Rooster. Then there is Fabfilter, Izotope, ValhallaDSP, and SPL, which I kept from the PA bundle I used to subscribe to.
 

Captngeetch

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,870
I am afraid to look at how many I have. Plugins are a drug. You get hooked and it can be tough to break the habit. I stopped looking. Like most, I have my favorites and goto plugins. Software instruments can become an issue too. I am willing to bet I have a least 500-600 plugs myself.
 

NashSG

Member
Messages
4,019
I've been using the Harrison DAW for the past year for mixing and one of the things I really like about the application is that you really don't need any other compressors or EQs as they got really workable ones built onto every channel. I've added a programmable delay and reverb and I feel pretty much set.
 

adi

Member
Messages
1,398
the only area i have perhaps overdone it is pedals, with the other stuff i'm good.
imma start selling some of my pedals when i get some time
 

eclecto-acoustic

Serial tree-hugger
Messages
11,188
Amen. Especially when it comes to any plugin that lands in "sweetening" territory like a special EQ or a saturator, it's easy to get buried under them all and still not make better recordings.

As a home recordist who has to do it all, being a better musician yields increases in quality which dwarfs whatever I gain from a new plugin.

I think the only exception here is if I genuinely need a sound that my current library doesn't accomodate, but even then, it doesn't take much to be able to cover nearly every base.
 
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