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What have you realized after years of collecting plugins?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
Lives for gear
 
andrew montreal's Avatar
I stupidly went whole hog and bought the entire Albion orchestra from Spitfire. I had heard a few demos and liked it and needed a quality orchestra for a project. Well... as I got moving forward with it I realized that a good portion of the collection sounded marginally better than synth sounds. There are even some VERY awkward sounds like sound like 80s cheesy synth trying to emulate an instrument. It was shocking. Thing is... I can’t get a refund NOR CAN I SELL TO SOMEONE ELSE! So boom... a couple of thousand dollars wasted! It has sat there unused since. Won’t make that mistake again.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
Lives for gear
 
telecode's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pali View Post
That they are becoming cheaper and better.
^^ this!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew montreal View Post
I stupidly went whole hog and bought the entire Albion orchestra from Spitfire. I had heard a few demos and liked it and needed a quality orchestra for a project. Well... as I got moving forward with it I realized that a good portion of the collection sounded marginally better than synth sounds. There are even some VERY awkward sounds like sound like 80s cheesy synth trying to emulate an instrument. It was shocking. Thing is... I can’t get a refund NOR CAN I SELL TO SOMEONE ELSE! So boom... a couple of thousand dollars wasted! It has sat there unused since. Won’t make that mistake again.
that was dumb. but you already know that. there are some terrible orchestra sample collections out there.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
Gear Nut
 

Last time I checked I was over 800 plug-ins. I spent a lot of money in just 6 years. Before that I was strictly a reason user buying racks.

In my template I use 20 in every session.

I still have hundreds of plug ins that Ive bought strictly because the marketing was good but I still have never used.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew montreal View Post
I stupidly went whole hog and bought the entire Albion orchestra from Spitfire. I had heard a few demos and liked it and needed a quality orchestra for a project. Well... as I got moving forward with it I realized that a good portion of the collection sounded marginally better than synth sounds. There are even some VERY awkward sounds like sound like 80s cheesy synth trying to emulate an instrument. It was shocking. Thing is... I can’t get a refund NOR CAN I SELL TO SOMEONE ELSE! So boom... a couple of thousand dollars wasted! It has sat there unused since. Won’t make that mistake again.
Same here. The guy that does the demo had me hooked too. Once I bought them I was super disappointed and have never used them.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Nut
A long time ago I use to demo anything that caught my eye. It was fun but not productive. Now I just use the Uad plugins mostly and a couple others. It is working out fine and more productive.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

I've learned that my ears and my skills aren't refined enough to effectively identify, let alone apply, the distinct qualities of all the different compressors and EQs etc. that I have collected.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
Gear Guru
Spitfire has the coolest ads tho......
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
Lives for gear
 

Other that my list of fav's, it is hard to remember what you have and what they do without opening each one up, so I tend to gravitate to the shortlist. That doesn't mean the rest are bad, just have to be rediscovered. These days when I come across a so-so one, I tend to remove it in an effort to streamline things a bit.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Here's what I learned:

I've never had a single plug in that after I put it on a track was completely satisfied with the sound. It always seems to take 3 or 4 to bring in the tonality of the sound and then the image can go flat and although I achieved the tone being pursued, the depth and width suffered. So after thousands of dollars of expenditure, I moved back to hardware mixing except for occasional mastering. The music seems more alive now, mixing goes faster. One man's journey.
Nice. I am going that direction too. I just can't be really happy with eq and compression in the box, so buying more hardware it is, and the occasional rental and likely Accessanalog for some reprints.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Musician's Avatar
After many hours of trial and error I finally know how to made a mix shine... with stock plugins.

But it takes hours to fine tune and zero in on the sounds and create the mix.

I soooooo wonder if hardware would get me there faster and how fast.... but hardware recall would be an issue.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #42
I find that the stock plugs that come with my DAW (Logic Pro) are just as great as any acclaimed third party plug. These days I stick with stock.

Edit: Other than Soundtoys and the Waves SSL package.

Last edited by danielkov86; 3 weeks ago at 01:49 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #43
Gear Nut
 
HexRanger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler View Post
What I've realized after years of using plugins is that it's more about the musical performance and the quality of the initial tracking than it is about anything that happens after the fact.
...
You can't polish a turd, even with 500+ different turd polishers. You just get poo dust and maybe a museum-presentable turd.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #44
Lives for gear
I've learned that too many can put a huge damper on my creativity and productivity. Mastering just a few suites me just fine. It's how they did it in the old days with hardware. I have 1 or 2 of the main characters; EQ, Comp, Reverb, Delay, etc. I still have a lot that I purchased over the years and never really use.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #45
Gear Addict
 

I've learned that many of us focus more on maintaining a plugin collection that a music career. Our plugin collection is quite literally a collection rather than a toolbox. There is nothing wrong with that if you can afford it but most people cannot.

I have a list of rules that must be met before a plugin purchase. I also keep a list if my 10 most wanted plugins. I can't add to it without replacing something or buying something. The top 10 list is surprisingly helpful. It keeps me from buying plugins for months most of the time because I try very hard to make sure I actually have a good justification for everything on it and I also rarely pay full price for anything so it can often be as long as 3 months before something on the list goes on sale. I make exception for certain situations. A $200 plugin on sale for $29 that I know I will actually use is a great example of an exception.

At the end of the day I have found that acknowledging the reality of my situation and reminding myself every time I want to buy a plugin has made me make better purchase decisions. I could go on forever about this topic but I'll stop there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #46
Lives for gear
 
telecode's Avatar
I think I have learned that there are a lot of plugin vendors and I don't trust prices and sales. I used to just click away and buy but now I demo them first for a good week or so. Then make a decision whether it's something I will use, or decide whether its something I want to go in that direction and learn it some more.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #47
Gear Head
 

Your skill with your plugins is inversely proportional to the number of plugins you use.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #48
I am very picky when it comes to plugs. I don't have many plugs, I got only few good sounding ones. Nevertheless I can live with only PA SSLE, my UAD mixbus chain, and couple of FX plugs (reverb delay etc.) and I am done. Every plug has a sound and you only need few of them to master and make a good music with it. Less is the way for good music!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #49
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notheorem729 View Post
I've learned that many of us focus more on maintaining a plugin collection that a music career. Our plugin collection is quite literally a collection rather than a toolbox. There is nothing wrong with that if you can afford it but most people cannot.

I have a list of rules that must be met before a plugin purchase. I also keep a list if my 10 most wanted plugins. I can't add to it without replacing something or buying something. The top 10 list is surprisingly helpful. It keeps me from buying plugins for months most of the time because I try very hard to make sure I actually have a good justification for everything on it and I also rarely pay full price for anything so it can often be as long as 3 months before something on the list goes on sale. I make exception for certain situations. A $200 plugin on sale for $29 that I know I will actually use is a great example of an exception.

At the end of the day I have found that acknowledging the reality of my situation and reminding myself every time I want to buy a plugin has made me make better purchase decisions. I could go on forever about this topic but I'll stop there.
This is an awesome system and great advise for anyone. That discipline makes you better at music and more focused in my opinion.

I also mandate that I use a plug I have not used for at least 15 minuets on a project even if I have no clue what it does I have found some gems in my collection this way.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
cjack2020's Avatar
that Navy2 is wonderful.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #51
Gear Maniac
 
wheever's Avatar
 

As someone said above: plugins are getting cheaper and better.

For one thing, developers now understand the importance of internal oversampling. The filters on EQ are getting better and smoother. Emulation of hardware are especially getting better because of those two points.

And lastly, "intelligent" plugs really are becoming effective in terms of doing useful things. (I'm thinking of Gullfoss, here.)

Overall, I tend to use my newer plugins over my older ones, because they tend to sound better. There are exceptions, sure, but by and large some of my new plugs make me want to go back and remix everything I've ever done.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #52
Gear Addict
 

1. I need very few.
2. I strongly prefer those that can easily and cheaply be resold.
3. Just as with hardware synths (for example), what matters is workflow and how it sounds.
4. Quite often, it’s those that fly under the radar that are truly the best.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #53
Lives for gear
 
andrew montreal's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMGOD_OFFICIAL View Post
Same here. The guy that does the demo had me hooked too. Once I bought them I was super disappointed and have never used them.
I wonder how many more have done the same and felt the same way. I was profoundly troubled by it. I even contacted them to let them know... sent them samples of the horns. Is it legal to have a no-resale clause only such a product?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #54
Gear Maniac
 

I realized I wanted to play guitar...

Old 3 weeks ago
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMGOD_OFFICIAL View Post
Last time I checked I was over 800 plug-ins. I spent a lot of money in just 6 years. Before that I was strictly a reason user buying racks.

In my template I use 20 in every session.

I still have hundreds of plug ins that Ive bought strictly because the marketing was good but I still have never used.
I'm under 400 altogether but hey...getting there

Only a few are getting used BUT - sometimes I use a SW instrument just for one song and never again (or maybe years later) and that's fine.

I'm getting some $ from radioplay so that's ok.

k
Old 3 weeks ago
  #56
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
So many excellent replies here most suggesting really learn your tools and don't become a collector or slave to marketing.

My Facebook page, which I use less and less, is filled with endless plug-in advertisements, and 99% of the time I laugh at the plug-in ad (the most cheesy from NI...congratulations!) and I'm amazed by the comments which are usually "I need this" "I'm broke please lower the price" etc. Sure maybe some posts are bogus, but I think it shows that often times users don't really think much about what is really necessary. Impulse buying. "It makes me sound like Serbian." "The best presets!" "i can't believe the price has dropped so low!"
Old 3 weeks ago
  #57
Here for the gear
 

I have to say I do have some fun in learning new tools, figuring out the nuances and details. While I don't often put Glitchmachines stuff on my pieces, I learned stuff--not just about the synths/effects but about concepts underlying them. I still have some learning to do about what buffer manipulation can produce, for example. Next time off from work, maybe I'll dig deeper on that one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #58
Gear Head
 

After years of collecting plugins I realize that I have spent years collecting plugins.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #59
Lives for gear
It's true, some of the best plugins are inexpensive and, in some cases, free. IMO, price doesn't determine the value or how useful a plugin is.

One more observation of my own. While not all new plugins are worth owning, and many duplicate functionality I already have, there are still new and innovative plugins coming out. The VST standard has existed for something like 20+ years, but there are still new and exciting tools being developed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjack2020 View Post
After spending thousands over the last decade I’ve realized the best plugins I own and gravitate to the most are often the cheapest ones I own (and sometimes FREE!!!)

all Kazrog stuff (cheap)
Airwindows (free but I’m a Patreon supporter)
Apogee FX (free with my interface and sound amazing)

I’ve also realized the best plugins I own are usually plugins that correct my room and headphones (Sonarworks...reasonably priced ) show me things I can’t hear in my room or show me what I’m doing wrong...

Tonal Balance Control (indispensable tool!!! but stupidly attached to an extremely expensive izotope bundle that I don’t care about but must pay to own via splice)

Bassroom (cheap)

MagicAB (cheap)


Plugins that show me how loud I can push my masters

Dynameter (cheap)
Youlean Loudness meter (free)

Plugins that come with my DAW... (Free)

Nebula was a high entry fee but essential to use Tim Petherick libraries (cheap and amazing)

And if I never bought anything else at all I’d be perfectly happy with this list!! (plus a couple unlisted top secret ones that are also cheap!)

I guess the only way of building the perfect arsenal is by unfortunately buying a bunch of things you think you need...realizing you never needed them at all and downsizing from there.

Anybody wanna buy some plugins?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #60
Lives for gear
I've learnt that unfortunately my favourite, most used and best plugins are the expensive ones.

Sonoris Mastering Compressor
MD3 and VSS3
My UAD collection
Relab reverb collection
Eventide H3000 Factory

Now I'm saving for the Softube Weiss MK3 suite.

Same with VI's

Ivory II
Omnisphere
Keyscape
Superior Drummer 3

But there has been the odd bargain here and there that has given great value for money.
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