i have 704 plugins

Bill Dennis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,032
I would spend hours and days looking through the freebies and collected a bunch of freebies. At my last DAW upgrade I flushed everything that was not true 64 bit, not vst and was not at least top 5 in its category. I have 1 delay, 3 reverbs, 2 comps, 4 eqs, 2 limiters that get 90 percent of the work. Probably more. Fewer choices has made for much better production and efficiency
 

John Quinn

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,210
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.


At the same time that abundance of plugins is a great equalizer between studios - now if we could get people to understand them!:D
 

John Quinn

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,210
I would spend hours and days looking through the freebies and collected a bunch of freebies. At my last DAW upgrade I flushed everything that was not true 64 bit, not vst and was not at least top 5 in its category. I have 1 delay, 3 reverbs, 2 comps, 4 eqs, 2 limiters that get 90 percent of the work. Probably more. Fewer choices has made for much better production and efficiency
I have a little more than that - probably upwards of 24 - I use everyone - 8 of them are mastering plugins - I don't see the need nor the use of having more - the OP said upwards of 700 - that would hamstring me every time I went to record.
 
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nsureit

Old Guy...but not too old
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,835
A few years ago, my Pro Tools instructor told the class that we should avoid the plug-in rabbit hole because once you fell in, there was little hope for escape. He tried his best to convince us that the Pro Tools plug-in bundle would cover 90% of what we needed. I paid no heed, and bought maybe 13 Waves and 5 Plug-In Alliance plug-ins, and the iZotope Production Suite. So, that makes for about 150 total, of which I use fewer than a dozen at a time (since I aux-bus many of the effects instead of instantiating on each track). I use hardware on the 2-Bus along with level measuring plugs - I don't use processing plug-ins on the last stage.
 

Toffo

Member
Messages
483
I don’t have the heart to uninstall the unused ones yet, but I have set up some groups and filters in my DAW that makes it easier to pick my favourites and filter out the noise.

I don’t want to know how many plugins I’ve got but I’m up there with other folks in this thread with several hundred.

If I had my time again, I’d buy some of the really high quality stuff on sale and stop chasing the daily bargains.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,510
Your advice is very timely. I converted to Ableton Live a little more than a year ago and have been on a binge of getting a wide range of instrument libraries for Kontakt and I think it's time to slow my role. It hasn't yet affected me, and it's nice to have them available for any particular project, but it's only a matter of time until their usage and maintenance rises up to bite me....
 

dito

Member
Messages
231
I would spend hours and days looking through the freebies and collected a bunch of freebies. At my last DAW upgrade I flushed everything that was not true 64 bit, not vst and was not at least top 5 in its category. I have 1 delay, 3 reverbs, 2 comps, 4 eqs, 2 limiters that get 90 percent of the work. Probably more. Fewer choices has made for much better production and efficiency
Could you share your preferencea with us?
I'm pretty new to the recording world. I could really benefit from your experience be4 starting to buy some plugs
 

sleshnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,838
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.
maybe it's because i learned to engineer starting with 4 track cassettes, but even though I've been using Pro Tools since the very early 90s, I still treat it in some ways like an analog system. I probaly use maybe 4 compressors, 2 eq and a couple verbs. makes for a faster workflow.
 

Bill Dennis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,032
Delay - Echoboy
Reverb - Waves Abbey Road, IK Sunset sound and Valhalla Vintage verb
EQ - Waves API 550 and Puigtec,
Comp - Waves CLA3A, CLA76, DBX160, Kramer PIE
Limiters - Waves Puigchild and CLA2A

I have several Stillwell Audio plugs that I bought and held onto. They are very good too and I use them for the last 10% of the time when I just need something a little different.

I use the custom shop Amplitube 5 and Waves PRS for amp sims and Slate 5 for drums. Forgot about those.

Some of the free stuff is really good though. The Tokyo Dawn stuff is solid for example. I held onto a handful of the better freeware synths just to have some sounds to use if needed. Those are the only freebies still in use

I waited for sales etc and got all of them on the cheap.
 

Bill Dennis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,032
maybe it's because i learned to engineer starting with 4 track cassettes, but even though I've been using Pro Tools since the very early 90s, I still treat it in some ways like an analog system. I probaly use maybe 4 compressors, 2 eq and a couple verbs. makes for a faster workflow.
I do this too. I will set up a chamber, a plate and something else and that's my reverb for the track 90% of the time. Delays are similar but those can be for specific sounds so those vary more. Gtr vs vox for example.
 

gigsup

Member
Messages
1,615
I'm in the 2-3 great reverbs camp.
I'd trade 650 weirdo modulation plugs for a great algorithm and a great convolution reverb.

Delay is delay. Nothing new about it, nothing more to enhance or 're-imagine' through software.
Many software products fall into the 'this does this effect AS WELL AS this, too' category.
I'm generally not a fan of those. If you know what you're doing, built in side-chains or send-returns with distortion, chorus, verb, or added pitch effects aren't necessary to your vision.

Using HPF's or LPF's with a delay enhances the sense of track depth in a mix, especially when paired with (or omitted from) the mix verb.
That depth information works harder at building space in a mix than modulating delays with more effects... which are, ironically, often more delays.
 

eclecto-acoustic

Serial tree-hugger
Messages
11,177
I think it's maybe important to make a distinction between "standard" mixing tools for rock music and sound design tools for genres off that particular path. There's still a lot to be said for working within limitations, but it's never a bad thing to have a variety of options if you're looking to create novel sounds. As ever, a good methodology matters a lot and saves time vs scrolling through presets and the like.
 

Billinder33

Member
Messages
2,372
I think it's maybe important to make a distinction between "standard" mixing tools for rock music and sound design tools for genres off that particular path. There's still a lot to be said for working within limitations, but it's never a bad thing to have a variety of options if you're looking to create novel sounds. As ever, a good methodology matters a lot and saves time vs scrolling through presets and the like.

That's a good point.

Most of the plugins I'm leaving behind are ones I used before getting into sound design... Waves, Acustica, anything resembling a real-life hardware unit. Things being carried forward are almost exclusively non-hardware designs... FabFilter, Sonible, Polyverse, Sugarbytes, Vital/Serum, etc.

I found that modern plugins work just fine on traditional styles as well. Dropping Kazrog True Iron on a track with Pro-Q or Smart:Comp works just fine if I need vintage sounding outboard and no listener would ever know the difference or even care. I'm over fiddling with fake knobs for the most part.
 
Messages
3,348
Sometimes we get a little to wrapped up in a one thing does it all sort of solution space. I just watched Warren Huart’s interview with Daniel Lanois and was reminded of how much fun you can have by feeding back signals into a processing chain. Takes a bit more work to set it up in your DAW, but think of all the fun you can have. Reverb + Pitch shift in feedback is crystal echoes, for example. Lots of fun to be had with delays in feedback with other processing. This sort of stuff is far more exciting than a new plugin that try’s to ape some vintage gear.

Back to the subject, though, I think there’s maybe 20 plugins that I really use. Sure, I have lots more, but I have my go-to’s always at the ready and I’m rarely looking beyond them.
 

Cosmo-D

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,335
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.
Same here, I put a moratorium on plugins and have more than I currently need, which is about 100. I haven't bought any in about a year. I also have a lot of Waves & PA plugins that go unused like many here (Omni Channel is great though). I too wish I held off on the deals and just sprung for the high quality ones but I have everything I need to get it done. I think I could actually survive on just the Soundtoys bundle alone.
 

theRagman

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,777
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.
Same here—I reached the conclusion earlier this year that FabFilter and Soundtoys, plus the stuff included with my DAW, cover the bases for me, and I deleted almost everything else save for a few oddities that scratch some quirky itch or other.

I also trimmed down my VST instruments to a handful.

It’s easier for me to work with a few tools I know well than a big old endless pile of options.
 




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