Stock compressors

Hi, I never really use the built in fx in Cubase but a few months ago tried the vintage and valve compressors. Wow. I pretty much only use them now. Stack then in rows of 4 they are adding good. Any thoughts on others, I can’t find a good EQ delay or rev on Cubase.

Here’s an overview:

I think a person’s view of what is “good” is going to vary hugely. For example I am happy with the stock reverbs for many applications. Revelation for small rooms, Roomworks for quick fixes and Reverence (especially Catacombe and English Chapel) for bigger spaces.

I use Frequency as a forensic EQ (love the Mid/Side option), Quadrafuzz for subtle distortion and the Tube compressor on busses.

My most used non-Cubase plugs are Softube Console 1, NI Passive EQ, Waves Aphex Vintage exciter, Abbey Road Chambers and Sibilance. Beyond that a wide range of plugs that I have accumulated over the years.

There will always be ‘better, best, I like the most’ plugins! But I also think most people don’t even try the native Steinberg plugins and automatically assume it’s ‘free’ so it must suck and is only suitable for the amateur consumer! I can tell you from experience this is totally false!

Like 3 years back (I believe it was Cubase 9?) I just installed windows and Cubase freshly and started a new project. And I forced myself to only use Cubase stock plugins. All it went pretty well except for the EQ editor. i just couldn’t get things done like I did in fabfilter Q2 at the time? But this and all other plugins have evolved enormously in 10.5!

So I think, today I can state that one can make a professional mix just using the stock plugins that Steinberg offers!

The main thing is that one dives in one ‘expensive’ plugin and fools himself that it can only be done with this. Because it’s so expensive it must be good? Just because a YouTube review tells you it’s a must have?

But in fact, if you would’ve put in the time to learn what the stock plugin of Steinberg could do, you would’ve never invested that money because maybe it can do exactly the same?

And I know, I suffer the exact same decease! “If it’s expensive, it must be good or better? Or at least better than what’s offered for free in Cubase?!”. But in fact I think in a lot of cases we’re fooling ourselfs?

Most people don’t use them because they always have been unappealing and boring looking. And no I’m not supervisual. I’ve been using plugins from Airwindows like forever.

The stock stuff is great nowadays. Admittedly I don’t use much of it - just from habit. If I‘d start out today I‘m sure I‘d just have some third party add ons and not an excessive collection of great plugins which I mostly keep for my own backward compatibility.

Each tool well learned, stock/free/cheap or expensive, is a more useful tool than the latest greatest thing one hasn’t explored its potentials and limits of.

I have a whole range of the usual suspects of 3rd party “character” type compressor plugins but I’ll often use the stock compressors in scenarios where I’m looking for more straight dynamic control rather than enhanced sonics if that makes sense. Even just the standard Compressor on multi-stacked stacked BVs and guitar parts, for instance. I guess I just know the control set, how it responds, and can get quick results, A recent overhaul moved the threshold control to a slider on the RHS of the UI though, it somehow seems a bit counter-intuitive to me and that is taking a bit of getting used to!

The other stock compressors i use less, but I still like them. The Vintage Compressor can get a bit dirty for my tastes but find it can work well on a parallel buss.

The stock plugin set nowadays is pretty good I think, it’s improved a lot over the past few years. There are still a few clunkers but they tend to be things that are more legacy items kept for project compatability (for instance Roomworks) Certainly Revelation and Reverance get a fair bit of use, as does the Frquency EQ which I think is great.

The only plus for Roomworks is the hold control which can result in some nice effects.

Well said. DAW ITB environment is always evolving and changing. The VST/VSTI environment in 2019 is totally different than 15…10…5 or even just a couple years.

Another aspect I think some users forget is that all these stock tools are not created nor upgraded at the same time. So in any DAW you might have something old and something new, and not necessarily know their ages/quality. Also, just because it hasn’t been updated doesn’t mean low quality. A lot of tools I see get GUI make-overs, and a new parameter tossed in just as a marketing tool.

If I were new and starting out today, I would devote much time to really learning the stock stuff. If you really learn them, then eventually you know the strengths and weaknesses…you can even know in your mind the sonic results before you actually turn a knob. Once you learn the tools, then you can go to 3rd party and look for the gaps to replace the weaknesses.

If you grew up on the real tools, then I think it’s natural to gravitate toward UAD emulations for instance. The GUI makes it comfortable, and you have already learned the tools.

As far as not finding any “good” EQ, delay, or reverb, and assuming you have really learned tried the Cubase stock plugs, then explain your sonic objectives with EQ, delay, and reverb.

I wish LogicX’s built in compressor was available in vst format, that compressor is better than any compressor I ever tried. Imo.

I like the stock plugins. I use them all the time and I like the strip, too. In my workshops I show every time to my students how to get professional mix using only the stock stuff. Most of the time, we don’t need more than that.

Without knowing what the material is, and what the objective is, it’s like asking a carpenter “what’s your favourite nail?”

I don’t think I’ve used anything other than stock effects in Cubase in the past 2-3 years, and I definitely have not needed to look outside for something as basic as a compressor since, perhaps, the last century? On the other hand, if I was going for the signature pumping effects of certain genres, then yes, of course I’d be looking for that specific plugin, but that would be more than “just” a compressor, then, wouldn’t it?

If someone is not able to get a professional result using just the stock effects in Cubase, then I’d say the problem lies elsewhere.

Thanks for all that yes I forgot frequency that’s great. I will give the others a go. I’m just so used my slate and sound toys that I can’t seem to find the same in Cubase. I was just shocked I supposed to have ditched my go to compressors for stock. And well done to Cubase. One more the vocal tune amazing.

this is one of the main reasons I stopped using stock steinberg plugins:

The plugins that come with Cubase are really quite good.
The need for other plugins is mostly by advertisement or the need for more.
A good basic EQ and Compressor, gate etc is provided by cubase.
So i would take a good look and tryout before buying other plugins.

The EQ is hardly basic - and you can get it to null or very close to null the fabfilter EQ.

Nothing beats the Pro Q3 in terms of easy/fast/deep control though. M/S, L/R, even dynamics.

What about Multitap delay? I’m still mulling upgrading to 10.5 but it looks pretty good:

Multitap is very clever and comprehensive, but note that it’s really heavy on CPU - at least here it is. EQ Waveform Comparison, Smart Select tool and some other stuff convinced me.

Note to OP, EQ Waveform Comparison allows you to see and use two channel EQs in the same window and view frequency analysis of both. It’s a handy tool at times.

Yeah I’d agree with that.