We’re back with another episode of FAQ Friday!
As always we have a ton of marvellous questions this week!
Our featured question this week: “What are your thoughts on and have you mixed a song completely with stock plugins? Do the high dollar plugins make that big of a difference?”
Well firstly yes I have mixed many songs with stock plugins, we have some videos already done like that and I did a live streaming song like that not too long ago using only Pro Tools stock plugins.
If you follow me you’ll know there are a handful of Pro Tools stock plugins that I use all the time. For instance, Avid’s own reverb especially the plates are pretty darn good. – That’s a secret weapon of a lot of producers and engineers.
Of course, there are the Waves Abbey road plates which I’ve only frankly discovered and completely love. But to answer your question really specifically, there are a couple of plugins that are made by another company which I don’t know if I could entirely replicate, at least not easily only using stock.
For instance, the Waves MV2 and Waves RBass, If you’ve seen an interview with me or more importantly an interview with Andrew Scheps. Those are go-tos for both of us. They might be the two things that I can throw into a mix that would take it over the edge and then use stock plugins from there.
Of course, if you like stock plugins there are a lot of inexpensive other plugins that are interchangeable. For the most part, when it comes to stock plugins they don’t do as many emulations of old pieces of equipment like 1073’s or 1176’s, of course, Pro Tools has the bomb factory 1176.
Essentially most DAW’s stock plugins are fairly “neutral” not entirely but you can open up a plugin in any DAW and do basic EQ moves using that plugin, boosts, and cuts without coloring the sound too much.
If you want a lot of coloration and you want something to emulate a vintage piece of equipment then you are going to have to get a third party plugin.
For me, the two plugins that I could throw in with stock plugins and be able to pretty much mix anything would be the Waves MV2 and the RBass. That’s not to say there aren’t any other plugins that I love.
I love IK Multimedia’s Black 76, it’s two plugins in one because their 1176 is a little brighter and crunchier, there are lots of those. Of course, I’m really in love with the Abbey Road stuff at the moment, the chambers and the plates sound absolutely phenomenal.
Valhalla reverbs such as the Vintage Verb, there are so many great plugins out there I almost feel like I don’t want to ignore anyone in particular because of course McDSP’s Filterbank is some of my go-to EQ’s and has been for years. Sountoys’ delays, Sountoys’ effects in general, the crystallizer, a wonderful thing.
But Gun to my head, the two that I would miss the most and I couldn’t really mix at the same level without would probably have to be the MV2 and the RBass. – Those two plugins are absolutely phenomenal.
I can replicate those to a certain extent but I’d have to use a multiband compressor, control the low end, blend it back in to get the same effect as an RBass. For the MV2 I would probably parallel compress the signal, then fold them back in together, and limit the two things together to get the same energy that comes with those two simple controls on an MV2.
The short answer is yes I can mix a song with stock plugins and it would sound pretty awesome. It would just take a bit more work and be a little harder to do some of the things that I’m used to doing with certain plugins that just solve the problems immediately.
If you have the acquired knowledge you can get away with using very very limited pieces of equipment, you just have to work a little harder. – That’s all it really is.
Of course, having plugins or having a beautiful mic, whatever it might be, there are certain pieces of equipment that would just make things easier for you to get from A to B. – That does not mean you cannot mix using stock plugins
You can mix with stock plugins and you can get amazing results.
We cover the following questions during this episode of FAQ Friday!
• What are your thoughts on and have you mixed a song completely with stock plugins? Do the High dollar plugins make that big of a difference? (1:05)
• How to best prepare and export tracks to send to a mixing engineer? (5:35)
• How would you describe or define warmth and how might it be different from low end? (11:00)
• Any Tips on the Thought process for a Hip Hop style record vs. a Rock approach we’re used to? (17:05)
• If I’m going to be high passing a source for example A guitar amp or vocal, Is it best to do it on the mic itself, on the Preamp or in the DAW? Can you introduce phase anomalies or other problems in doing it at more than one place? (20:55)