Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

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Theo_Karon
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by Theo_Karon » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:50 am

Thanks so much everyone! This is incredibly helpful.

I didn't realize how many subscription models there were now - I've mostly bought plugins one at a time from smaller companies, here and there.

The irony is that in light of that, it's looking as though the bulk of the expense will be a UAD satellite and a handful of plugins to 'replace' gear I actually own (but don't want to ship yet) so that I can maintain *some* continuity in my workflow while I get used to the new setup. Which seems kind of dumb but also fairly worthwhile. Kind of funny that a handful of UAD plugs will end up costing more than complete PA, Waves and Slate yearly subscription combined.

I guess I can sell the satellite + plugs off when the time comes but who knows, maybe I won't want to by then! I really am curious to see just how things measure up - after some years of idiot analog purism, then many more spent embracing the possibilities of a DAW but still *liking* analog equipment and workflows - I'm trying to treat this as a bit of an experiment. There's a part of me that's deeply uncomfortable with the notion of having a studio where you couldn't switch the computer off completely and still make a record... but that happens about once a year at this point.

Onward!

Cheers

Theo
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by kslight » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:54 am

Under that argument - why buy a uad satellite at all? Or do you specifically need something only available on that platform?

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by Theo_Karon » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:05 pm

kslight wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:54 am
Under that argument - why buy a uad satellite at all? Or do you specifically need something only available on that platform?
It seems that as far as temporarily 'replacing' specific pieces of equipment with no fuss (LA3As, LA2A, 2254 etc) UAD are widely considered the best option.

I'm going to try to keep things orderly during the move but I'm sure that even if I can manage to not be in the middle of mixing a record when I make the jump, there are going to be some recalls etc... I need to be able to replace an analog insert with a plugin, match settings and not have it sound totally different.
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by dave watkins » Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:47 pm

Another vote for the Plugin Alliance subscription. They ran an extended demo period last year when the pandemic hit and i got hooked. The Brainworx stuff is great, also really love the Shadow Hills comp and the Townhouse comp. They also have some pretty decent amp sims and virtual instruments which can help get a broader tonal palate and more bang for the buck without having tons of physical gear in the studio. The unfiltered audio effects are pretty wild when you need to get weird.

Though I like the whole emulation of real gear plug-in thing, I also lean towards using a lot of plugins that make use of that fact that computing power can do more than just model old circuits. In that category these are must haves for me:
Soothe 2
Gullfoss
Oxford Inflator
Various Izotope plugins like Neutron and Ozone (when used judiciously, valuable for dynamic EQ alone)
Seventh Heaven reverb is my go to for plate and room sounds vs other convolution style verbs
+1 for Aberrant DSP and Valhalla for fun, out there sounds, and Baby Audio is making some fun multifaceted verb/delay/modulation/lofi character plugins worth checking out too.

My studio situation has been in massive flux over the last year. Between covid limiting access to the building it was in last year, and this year just as i was getting back in the swing of things, the space started leaking and I pulled my gear out and set up at home. Luckily I have no big sessions for bands or other artists lined up, but for my own work and the general audio work I do for the Ballet company I work for, I've been limited to working almost entirely in the box with a tiny interface and the above plugins and I'm not bummed about the results.
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by roscoenyc » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Theo_Karon wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:50 am
Thanks so much everyone! This is incredibly helpful.

I didn't realize how many subscription models there were now - I've mostly bought plugins one at a time from smaller companies, here and there.

The irony is that in light of that, it's looking as though the bulk of the expense will be a UAD satellite and a handful of plugins to 'replace' gear I actually own (but don't want to ship yet) so that I can maintain *some* continuity in my workflow while I get used to the new setup. Which seems kind of dumb but also fairly worthwhile. Kind of funny that a handful of UAD plugs will end up costing more than complete PA, Waves and Slate yearly subscription combined.

I guess I can sell the satellite + plugs off when the time comes but who knows, maybe I won't want to by then! I really am curious to see just how things measure up - after some years of idiot analog purism, then many more spent embracing the possibilities of a DAW but still *liking* analog equipment and workflows - I'm trying to treat this as a bit of an experiment. There's a part of me that's deeply uncomfortable with the notion of having a studio where you couldn't switch the computer off completely and still make a record... but that happens about once a year at this point.

Onward!

Cheers

Theo
I have a lot of UA plugs that I use at home in place of the actual hardware I have at the studio.
I end up using them at the studio too on tracks I know I'm gonna automate.

Some UA plugs I think are pretty amazing.
The premium LA2s are really something else. The "grey" is a favorite for vocals and bass and the "silver" seems to love guitars.
Their EMT 250 was put together with input from the original designer. That one is pretty great as is the Capitol Chambers.
It's handy have at least one channel strip from them The API one has a lot of options. The Vertigo Sound comp is a recent favorite for me on the bus. 2 frequency side chain on it is helpful.

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by Theo_Karon » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:26 pm

Great stuff, thank you!!
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:42 pm

anyone selling their UAD card, satellite, etc, should be telling you what plugs it is coming with. Unsure if they changed it - it has been a while since I bought or sold anything of theirs, but if you have pieces of hardware, you can have them in the same system or separate systems. If they are separate system, any duplicate licenses you have can be placed there, but you can't pick and choose which ones go where - you have to move all of them or leave them all with the new card/system.

For example, long ago I bought a UAD2 solo card that came with a bunch of plugs including the Lexicon 224 and the 1073 - both of which I wanted. I think there were a couple I already owned. Once the license was transferred to me, all the plugins I didn't already have got moved onto my system 1 (I think it was a quad at the time?). The solo ended up as it's own system and it ended up with whatever plugs I already owned in addition - I think it was like an LA3 and maybe the Cambridge or something. This may have required a customer service call to help make it a separate system and give it the orphaned licenses. Then I went ahead and sold that card, listing those additional plugs. I think when all the dust settled, I was out about $75, but ended up with like 6 new plugs. I did this a few times when I was growing my UAD library.

Also, only buy plugs on sale from them (and everyone, really)

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:47 pm

oh and UAD stuff I can't live without:
33609, 1176s, LA2A (mkII), Ocean Way Studios (I don't have a big live room anymore)

honorable mention: Studer, Pultecs

I'd second that the Soundtoys little plate is easier and faster to use than the UAD 140.

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by Theo_Karon » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:52 am

permanent hearing damage wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:42 pm
For example, long ago I bought a UAD2 solo card that came with a bunch of plugs including the Lexicon 224 and the 1073 - both of which I wanted. I think there were a couple I already owned. Once the license was transferred to me, all the plugins I didn't already have got moved onto my system 1 (I think it was a quad at the time?). The solo ended up as it's own system and it ended up with whatever plugs I already owned in addition - I think it was like an LA3 and maybe the Cambridge or something. This may have required a customer service call to help make it a separate system and give it the orphaned licenses. Then I went ahead and sold that card, listing those additional plugs. I think when all the dust settled, I was out about $75, but ended up with like 6 new plugs. I did this a few times when I was growing my UAD library.
:shock:

So if you want a plugin and you already own it - once the license is transferred from the new hardware - it ends up on its own on a separate system, then you call customer service to transfer the licenses off the card. Then the licenses are on the card, and you are an orphan. Got it.

(Kidding. Thank you. I'm sure this will make sense once it needs to.)
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by joninc » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:16 am

i highly recommend Kush audio - i own most of their plugins but that have crazy cheap subscription option as well. Really vibey and characterful comps and eqs.
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:33 pm

joninc wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:16 am
i highly recommend Kush audio - i own most of their plugins but that have crazy cheap subscription option as well. Really vibey and characterful comps and eqs.
he also runs the coolest youtube channel there is, "kush after hours with ubk". some solid advice on his videos on practical mix stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDNm2FYwXZg

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:23 pm

for fun/interesting/different the entire Soundtoys bundle is very worth having.

Valhalla stuff is great. The FreqEcho is insanely fun and free. Supermassive too. Their Room reverb is superior to any other reverb in that style that I've tried. I miss an old PCM60 a lot, but this feels equally effortless.

I like Kush Audio's UBK-1, AR-1 and Gold Plate plugins. They offer a more unique take on compression/reverb than others I own. The Omega plugins are cool too, and super cheap. The 486 "tube" one is my favorite of those.

The Massey CT5 compressor rules.

The UAD stuff is cool. I'm not apeshit over it like some folks, but I like the LA2A, API 560, 1081, 1176 for meat and potatoes stuff.... sometimes the Fairchild, sometimes the EMT140 (been digging the Gold Plate and Soundtoys Little Plate more lately), sometimes the API 2500. The ATR-102 can be cool. I find that the instant gratification it provides can wear off as you progress through a mix, but when it works I'm glad I have it.

Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ is very useful and can do some create "tricks" with all the sidechain, m/s, etc. options.

To be honest I kind of miss the days when I had like 4 plugins, even though I use the above a lot.
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by losthighway » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:59 pm

I find it illustrative that in 2 pages of discussion of plugins with many different companies named, no one had mentioned Waves.

How far the mighty have fallen.

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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by joninc » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:43 pm

i use Waves stuff all the time but it's more for utility than vibe.

I like their F6 A LOT and use it constantly. Vitamin and others...
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Re: Plug-in suggestions for the minimalist studio

Post by losthighway » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:26 pm

joninc wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:43 pm
i use Waves stuff all the time but it's more for utility than vibe.

I like their F6 A LOT and use it constantly. Vitamin and others...
I need to explore dynamic eq. Seems like a bit of a learning curve (excuse the pun).

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