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How many is too many plugs? Dynamics Plugins
Old 19th November 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How many is too many plugs?

There are so many available and constantly coming out. How many can you use and understand?

I'm struggling with do I really need 10 EQs, etc.
Old 19th November 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
Less is more..
Old 19th November 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

I'm pretty happy with what I've got but sometimes a plugin will come out that is a must buy. Either through excellence, originality, or improved workflow.

To keep things simple, I only load the plugins I use. Say I want an SSL style buss compressor. I'll load just one for my options. I'm still using Cytomic The Glue. Until another game changer comes along, I'll stick with that. I want a Variable-mu compressor? The Klanghelm MJUC gets the load. The others are collecting dust in a folder somewhere.

As for EQ, I usually use the built in one. Or, if I want colour, I'll load up Nebula with some nice EQs I bought. Want a plate 'verb? Again, Nebula. Want an algorithmic verb? Valhalla. Want analog style summing? Airwindows console and busscolors.

I'd rather spend time mixing rather than drooling over every plugin release.
Old 19th November 2015
  #4
One good tool for each task.

For me:

One great EQ.
One Great bus compressor.
One great comp for tracking/mixing.
One Great metering plugin.
A few specific plugs that model hardware (because you wont be buying that Fairchild any time soon.)
And a bunch of unique tools, ie. transient shaper, Noise reduction, maxx bass, a tape emulation, "character" plugs, harmonizer, multi-effects, etc...

Options are good, but I have a ton of plugz and always find myself using the same stuff... many times the built-in effects in my DAW.
Old 19th November 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
I think I probably have too many, so I'm not the right person to answer your question. But I do think it's worth spending time with a lot of different plugins to find out what they do well, and what they don't do well. I'm still learning the fine points of a lot of my plugins, but I feel like the time spent will help me down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by axeman57 View Post
There are so many available and constantly coming out. How many can you use and understand?

I'm struggling with do I really need 10 EQs, etc.
Old 19th November 2015
  #6
HSi
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HSi's Avatar
 

Try four of each, it's hard to choose just 4 compressors and 4 eq's, the rest is easy after that. I used to do five of each, then I saw this..

For instance I use for compression:

Klanghelm , Tubetech CL1B, Waves DBX 160 and Millennia TCL2 for m/s. I have Elysia Alpha just for master and PIE just for bus. That's enough for anything!

It's better because you start to pick up more and more on all of the expensive intricacies we payed for...


Old 19th November 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I use the same plugins all the time. I haven't bought a new plugin in probably 6 months. I think buying new plugins is just another symptom of lack of creativity. Chances are you have everything you need already, and by buying new things you aren't expanding your ability to produce music.

I see so many people that seem to always be buying new plugins but hardly actually producing.

If you spend time and learn how to use a good Eq/compressor/imaging/delay/reverb etc you know like have 1 or maybe 2 products for each task and learn them inside and out and focus on making music.

I mean seriously when is the last time you had a great track you were working on and hit a roadblock because "I don't have the right compressor" or thought "this track would be good if I just had the right EQ" that's never happened to me. Good music doesn't require crazy amounts of resources. By buying plugins you are just adding to the indecision and complexity that is preventing you from actually making music
Old 19th November 2015
  #8
HSi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalvare1 View Post
.

I mean seriously when is the last time you had a great track you were working on and hit a roadblock because "I don't have the right compressor"
If you only had a VCA and Bus comp and you needed a slow attack opto to compress the sustain of a sound..

Old 19th November 2015
  #9
I'm afraid my 500+ plugins + Logic's stock plugins is too much??
Old 20th November 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Those that die with the most plugins win.
Old 20th November 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 

You know you have too many when you can't instantly remember what some of them are for. I try to concentrate on quality, not quantity: a few well-chosen plugins will save a lot of time and deliver great results.
Old 20th November 2015
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovessuperstrats View Post
Those that die with the most plugins win.
Yes, yes and more

can`t get enough plugins, as long as I have more than I know I need more!
Old 20th November 2015
  #13
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ksandvik's Avatar
 

This is a totally subjective question that will just get subjective answers.
Old 20th November 2015
  #14
Gear Addict
I like a large palette but with no redundancy. Make sure each plugin offers somethings sonically or functionally unique.
Old 20th November 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I have disabled all but the plugins I need. Not interested in auditioning tons of plugins while mixing. For the most part, 1 ch strip, 1 eq, 3 compressors, 1 multiband, and a handful of FXs. I've taken the time to find the ones I really need and it has accelerated the process. Decisions happen fast. Work gets done.
Old 20th November 2015
  #16
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

One.
Old 20th November 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Number that ruins your workflow.

Not enough->Can't get job done / Too many, endless tweaking
Old 20th November 2015
  #18
Gear Addict
 

3 or 4 of each type is understandable.
You might have 3 or 4 reverbs for example. 3 that are different flavors, 1 that may do multi well. For me, I have 3 valhalla verbs, room (room sim), vintage (old rack sim), and plate and the rest I use IRs.

You might want 2 or 3 Eqs. For me, 1 dirty analog desk sim, one easy to use fast, 1 very precise.

And so on...

instruments, sky is the limit I guess though.
Old 20th November 2015
  #19
I've got a subjective response!

It is pretty crazy. I've got LOADS of plugs. A lot accumulated over the years of just upgrading bundles to snag other key plugs I wanted.
And... what's funny is, I've got some super spendy plugs, but Q10 is still my go to eq lol

I prefer to be really comfy with a plug and use it over and over if I like it, than to always be chasing through plugs just to use em or try to find something surprising.

I think over the years as I've gotten better at recording, and as my outboard has improved, that I don't rely on plugs as heavily for 'sound', but more for correcting/improving things that were unavoidable problems or limitations of the recordings or performances.

If any of that makes sense.

That said, quality. I'd rather own a few select plugs that are awesome quality, than own thousands of plugs that suck.
Old 20th November 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
yeah, i've narrowed things down quite a bit now. Just using Waves, Slate, Ozone, and Cubase built in plugs.

Master bus = Waves L2/L3 Slate VTM, Slate FG red, Ozone Multiband Dynamics, and Imager.

Everything else:
Ozone EQ, Waves SSL, API, Puigtec, V EQ's,
Slate VBC Red, and VTM. Not using VCC much and i don't like the eq boost from FG Grey and Mu.
Waves IR 1 with M7 impulses.
Waves H Delay and Cubase native delay.
Waves 1176
Waves Mondo Mod/Meta flange
Waves GTR pedals

Don't really NEED anything else.
Old 20th November 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
Having around 3 plugins for each category still puts me at about 100 plugins or more no matter what. And each one has some features that the others don't.
I may hardly ever use ring modulation or bitcrush, but I keep one of each around anyhow. For stuff like EQ's I easily have a lot for different types of uses (graphic vs parametric).
Old 20th November 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
One.
Who do you think you are, Sheryl Crow?
Old 20th November 2015
  #23
Lives for gear
 

In all honesty for someone seeking "that sound" it's pretty tough to keep it down.

I play (er, attempt to play) guitar, bass and then do all the drum programming (and there is of course acoustic/electric) and synths, special FX....

Then there are many eq's to choose from, comps*, maybe some saturation or console stuff (like slate VCC) Then of course there are amp sims: the NEMESIS that you are always looking for something better.

Do I need to continue? My point is that it's not really a sin to have many and it doesn't mean you just have gas. Though I'm not saying I DON'T have gas



*My main weakness
Old 20th November 2015
  #24
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
I'm sure everyone on this thread has "too many" plug-ins.
Old 20th November 2015
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalvare1 View Post
I use the same plugins all the time. I haven't bought a new plugin in probably 6 months. I think buying new plugins is just another symptom of lack of creativity. Chances are you have everything you need already, and by buying new things you aren't expanding your ability to produce music.

I see so many people that seem to always be buying new plugins but hardly actually producing.

If you spend time and learn how to use a good Eq/compressor/imaging/delay/reverb etc you know like have 1 or maybe 2 products for each task and learn them inside and out and focus on making music.

I mean seriously when is the last time you had a great track you were working on and hit a roadblock because "I don't have the right compressor" or thought "this track would be good if I just had the right EQ" that's never happened to me. Good music doesn't require crazy amounts of resources. By buying plugins you are just adding to the indecision and complexity that is preventing you from actually making music
^ Amen.

However many plugins you have, chances are, you don't need any more. You can make a number-one hit with nothing but your stock effects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
This is a totally subjective question that will just get subjective answers.
Thank you so much, Captain Obvious! Of course it is subjective you genius, the OP is asking for our opinions. So what exactly is the added value of your reply?
Old 20th November 2015
  #26
I try not to stress too much about it, honestly...I have a few of everything

if you can afford it and you want it, why not? everyone knows you don't actually need it but if it makes you happy and makes your life easier, there's no reason not to go for something

there's a reason you're on a site called gearslutz after all
Old 20th November 2015
  #27
Lives for gear
I've never listened to a track and said "I don't have the right plugin" but in the last week or two I've had a couple of occasions where I wasn't quite happy with the sound I was getting, tried a different plugin, and felt like it was what I was looking for. In those cases I was quite surprised just how much difference changing a plugin can make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalvare1 View Post
I mean seriously when is the last time you had a great track you were working on and hit a roadblock because "I don't have the right compressor" or thought "this track would be good if I just had the right EQ" that's never happened to me. Good music doesn't require crazy amounts of resources. By buying plugins you are just adding to the indecision and complexity that is preventing you from actually making music
Old 20th November 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
I hold out hope that he who lives with the most plugins wins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovessuperstrats View Post
Those that die with the most plugins win.
Old 20th November 2015
  #29
Lives for gear
That pretty much sums it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielF View Post
Number that ruins your workflow.

Not enough->Can't get job done / Too many, endless tweaking
Old 20th November 2015
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post

Topic:
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