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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My 5 Favorite Effects Plugins

Since everyone seems to enjoy reading about the gear I like to use, here's yet another post on the subject. This time it's on my 5 favorite effects plugins. If you missed it, you can can read about my favorite compressors, equalizers, microphones, preamps and most used plugins.

1. Soundtoys MicroShift - The MicroShift emulates the sound of the famous Eventide Harmonizer, and anyone who's used one of the various hardware versions knows that there's nothing else that sounds like it. The same goes for the Micropitch (except for the Eventide's own Ultra-Channel). If you want to widen out a guitar track, make a keyboard more interesting, or smooth out a pitchy vocal, this is the plug to do it.

2. Pro Tools Dual Delay - There are lots of other great stereo delays on the market and they all well, but I find myself always coming back to this basic Pro Tools native plug. It's simple and easy to use, doesn't eat processor power, and has plenty of features for the majority of situations you'll face.

3. Lexicon PCM Reverb Bundle - Once again, there are a lot of great sounding reverbs on the market, but there's something about the Lexicon bundle (which includes a hall, plate, chamber, and room) that just seems to meld a track together so well. Just like the famed Lex hardware units that were the standard in studios for decades, Lexicon reverb plugins are hard to beat. (Honorable mention to the Pro Tools native D-Verb, which always seems to work when you need some extra ambience without having to sacrifice computer processing).

4. Universal Audio EMT 250 - I'm a big Universal Audio proponent and one of the best things they've done is a great emulation of the world's first digital reverb - the EMT 250. The 250's limitations were actually its strong points, with a limited bandwidth that means it always sits well in a track. Hard to beat for drum ambience.

5. Universal Audio MXR Flanger/Doubler - For modulation, it's hard to find a more versatile plugin. It does deep flanging and excellent doubling (although the Boss CE-1 admittedly has a sweeter chorus), which works really great when it comes to subtly widening a keyboard or just plain making it more interesting. I find new uses for it all the time.

There you have it. You'll see at least a couple of these on every mix that I do.

If you want to learn some really great mixing tricks using some of the above plugins, check out my 101 Mixing Tricks coaching program.


Unknown said...

Do you still feel the UAD EMT 250 is the best digital reverb, or has it been replaced by the PSP 2445, which I know you also like? Or perhaps you have found uses for both - if so do you mind sharing your preferences for particular applications?

Bobby Owsinski said...

Personally, I like the 2445 a little better, although you can't beat the 250 for strings and pads.


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