Default Plugs on a mix???

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by robchittum, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    I am using Nuendo with Waves Plugs and would like some input on what plugs you folks would recommend as "standard" (pretty much use on everything as a place to start). I am currently using the waves stereo spacializing plug, Waves Rverb, C1 compressor, and Waves 10 band EQ). Some of the Nuendo plugs are decent, but I've been gravitating toward the Waves stuff for some reason. I am liking the sound of these, but wondered what other people use as a standard on things to start with. I try to use the less is more philosophy when possible, and just put enough to beef the sound up a bit. Also, I have been normalizing all of the tracks first. Sorry, if my question is too general. Thanks.

  2. Less is more. That is absolutley true. What kind of material are you recording, Rob? The Waves stuff is pretty good, but moderation is key, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Doc
  3. Jbuntz

    Jbuntz Guest

    Try not to rely on mix plugins too much for your sound. Especially compression as that should be left for mastering. Remember, if you can't hear the benefit of it, leave it off. When equing a mix, if you do any dramitic boosts on a mix (say more than +-3db) listen to what you are "fixing" and try to fix it in the mix rather than on the whole mix because that eq setting is more than likely unflattering to several other things in the mix that already sounded good.
  4. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I like the waves mastering pack and the UAD-1 card. Also SIR (free) will enable you to use some great sounding convolution reverbs. Most of the stock plugs that come with software actually make your mixes sound worse. The number one thing is to get it to sound good from the get go so that minimal work is needed for improvement.
  5. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    seems anyone is releasing plugs nowadays. Soon you will end up watching behringer pops us copying Bomb Factory and so
  6. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    As a general guideline I also keep my channels "plug-free" as long as possible. In some cases I add light compression (Waves offers a number of niceplug-ins and then I group instrument and apply high-pass filtering to "get rid of low-end mud". Guitar, Keyboard and backing vocal subgroups are usually good candidates.

    Heavier EQ usually only gets used on Bass, Kick, Snare and sometimes the Lead Vocals (usually only a little "air").

    Of course, "In-time Delay" is added if the song needs it and more or less all channels have a send to a drum room or main (vocal) reverb.

    Hope this helps,

  7. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Thanks for the input guys. Actually, I am doing mostly acoustic stuff (bluegrass and folk). I agree that less is more, but seems like without anything my recordings are pretty bland. The instruments sound good, but need some light eq'ing to give them a little sparkle, and I almost always feel the need to add a little reverb. It is easy with a bunch of plugs to get into the trap of adding too much. Restraint is good I guess. I guess I'll ask what the best sounding reverb (most natural) you guys have found. Thanks again.

  8. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Yes, never ^#$% up the 2 mix bus. Forget L1, L2 and so.
  9. paul lani

    paul lani Guest

    this less is more rule you guys are preaching here
    is not always true - at least for me. if you have a
    good collection or plug in tools that you can really
    work with, sometimes more is more. just ask phil spector. on the stereo bus i sometimes have
    4 to 8plug-inson it - but i am using most of it
    so sparsly that im not messing up anything. without
    most of it , i could not acheive what im wanting.
    as far as keeping your plug in free as long as
    possible, i dont even know what that means.
  10. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Plug-ins and/or outboard processing and effects are a very subjective topic. I've found that acoustic instruments, excluding rock drums, should sound as close to perfect as possible when put down to track. Then you just add the finishing touches at mix down. With rock, i.e. crunchy guitars, etc., there is more room for play at mix, mostly because there is more need for "control" of the instruments. With electronica (techno, rap, etc.) the sky or processing power is the limit. However, I NEVER put anything on the Master track of the mix going to the mastering house, although I will compress (Pro Tools Maxim actually) for the client mixes just to add a little level.


    They mean that you should get the absolute best mix you can before even beginning to process the tracks.

    Uncle Bob

    LESS IS MORE - Miles Van Dero
  11. Stealthbalance,
    Non-threatening observation:
    If the processing you are doing is subtle, do you really need to do it? One thing I have learned is to bypass all myplug-insafter finishing a mix, and see what the difference is. Many times I found that could leave theplug-insbypassed and it sounded just as good, and less processed. Another thing I am big on is trying to do more in tracking and less in mix. Getting rid of mud can happen as early as the mic placement stage.
    Rob- this is also applicable in your situation- you can never add more sparkle than when you are going to tape. Find you are always adding a little more compression to the kick during mixdown? Do it during tracking. Find you are always cutting the bass at 60 hz to give the kick some room? Do it during tracking. Don't be afraid to make individual instruments sound a little weird when they stand on their own, if it does the job in the overall mix.
    Any time you process something, you are adding distortion to it. It is subtle, yes, but it adds up. Solo any individual track and it sounds good, but listen to the whole mix and... feel a little underwhelmed? It all adds up.
    Why does a musician playing in a room sound more vividly present and textural than a recording of them playing exactly the same thing (set at the same volume)? Because the signal going from a sound-source directly to your ears is the best it will ever be. Once the signal hits a mic it gets interpreted by a device that is less competent than your ears, as is the storage device the sound is recorded on. We can be artful about it and manipulate the signal, squash it, eq it, add harmonics, etc, but we still lose to the live performer.
    Am I way out on a limb or what?! Boom! Let's have a little controversy. Doc
  12. paul lani

    paul lani Guest


    yes - you are way out on a limb - well not really :) .
    everything you are saying I agree with as long as
    you really know what you are doing. that's all i need
    is to have more young inexperienced recording
    engineers doing more processing to tape or
    hard drive - isn't it tough enough dealing with
    someones hack recording as it is ?? some of the
    stuff i get to mix is truly requiring of surgury more
    times than not. i dont want someone to roll off bottom
    end on a kick thank you - i'll do it. or some of the vocals
    i get to mix that are compressed so badly ( more than
    anything its the worst attack & release they could have
    used - and now here i am trying to save it. just put the
    stuff down quickly and happily FLAT or close to it.
    and just because you are slamming a compressor
    to the hilt doesn't mean you are some hip and current
    mixer. do it all if you are good and know whats up.
    which brings me to another thought. in my opinion,
    if you want to be an unbelievable recording engineer-
    than do some mixing for a bit. if you want to be an
    unreal mixing guy, than do a bit of mastering.
    with the new perspective you gain at the next level
    your stuff is on its way to, you bring back a wealth
    of new knowledge to the job you really do. MHO
    p.s. whats mic placement ??
  13. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Getting back to the topic here I have found that I will always use the RVox plug in for vocals as it is truly the $*^t! Gating and compression with a touch of love that really brings those vocals out at you!

    I as well like to limit the amount of plug ins but there's a point of balance here where it depends on the song at hand and how many vocal tracks you have!

    Sometimes I get rap songs that have about 15 tracks of vocals on them and each one needs some attention to it to help it come out a little more!

    Also some effects, with the advent of the FX channels or sends within the program is a nice helper as well.

    Anyways, the Rvox and the UAD plugs ins are my best friends at the present well as some I can't discuss of course! (hee hee :D
  14. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    I have lost the number of times I urged clients not to ^#$% up the 2 mix bus with shitplug-insand cheap outboard gear. Also, bad mixing environment, bad monitors and the syndrome of normalization!!!!!!
    OH MGGGG!!!!!

    In my opinion, very fewplug-insare really worth using. nice mono plugincompressors are very hard to find. EQs and reverbs are reaonable.

    Hey guys, based on this, I am writing another thread...
  15. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    I'm in a little different camp. I think there are a few good compressor plugins out there, if you treat them as different animals than their outboard siblings. EQ's I'd agree, are pretty good. Reverbs are still dismal on the whole- I *hate* all the Waves verbs, and I think my $150 Lexicon MPX100 beats them all hands down. The UAD1 verb is liveable, although it really only does 'clean and open.'

    My kingdom for a chamber.

    I also don't agree about bus compression- limiting, yes, leave it alone, but ^#$% it up with the compression if you like. Just use your ears, and be aware of the compromises.

  16. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    I have replaced my external Reverb units with the TC Powercore ClassicVerb. It might not be a PCM91 or a 6000 but I think it is not inferior than the MX-500's and alike.

    Having finally also the reverb inside the machine really makes for a nice and clean solution.

    Then there are also the AltiVerb / Impulse Response kind of algorithms. Some of them even being free downloads ...

    I think there is decent stuff becoming more and more available.

  17. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    A light compression shall do a nice job. If you do it all, what will left for the amstering guy?

    You said you normalize individual tracks. I recommend you not do that!!!

    AS default plugs for mixing I would recommend :
    MC DSP Compressor bank
    WAves Q series, Ren collection
    PSP Vintage Warmer
    TC chorus
    Amp FArm
    Echo Farm
    Autotune ( ouch!!)

  18. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Most plugs sound best when used delicately. I have a wierd habit of closing my eyes whenever I'm done setting up a plug. I first find the on/off button for the plug then close my eyes and I hit my mouse button a bunch of times to confuse myself so that I'm doing a blind A/B or on/off test with the plugin. With my eyes closed there is less distraction and eye candy and it's easier to concentrate on the sound and imaging. It also helps to loop a small section before listening. I started to mix this way after working with a blind engineer. A lot of plugs screw up the imaging or add distortion or phasing. I think Doc gave some good advice about getting it right in the recording stage. If you do that your mixes should end up sounding better than live.
  19. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I agree with Opus that the Rvox is the $*^t, I really love it, although I am finding that the UAD-1 LA2 is also really smooth on certain vox as well.

    Most vocals will require some form of reverb to help them sit better in the mix...lots of early reflections for my taste.

    As far as the 2-track...I agree with most of the posts here...leave it be! When mastering for my own use, I use the UAD Pultec EQ and the L1, and that is about it!
  20. Guest

    as a pro tools user, i like the digi ReverbOne much better than rvox. Before I got that, i was able to get decent results from TCMegareverb, but a lot of that has to do with being really familiar with it, which ultimately is probably the key to any plug-in use. These days, for eq and compression i'm really loving the oxford eq and dynamics from sony.
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