The list of best plugins decided by users is...

ok. we all have our favourites. so to start off, I own a lot of plugins, some very expensive and some free. like most of you I’ve downloaded and tried hundreds, but end up using a select few. so this post will hopefully generate some useful opinions and info. not intended to say X is better than Y. just a thread to show what users think is really good and give the price info if applicable.
so, to start off, I mention Nomad Factory SC226 analogue channel. I got it in the integral studio bundle, but it is available singly

keep an eye out because it sometimes comes up for a lot less at jrr shop, don’t crack etc.

it is a channel strip with compression, eq and distortion. I find it very quick to use and very smooth sounding. so much so that I use it now before going to my uad plugins…

ok, what other goodies have people found that we should be checking out?
p.s. I am talking about 3rd party plugins. I know there are some good plugins built into Cubase…

I think this Thread is a good idea. For me is good to see what other people use (especially the professional producers). I own a lot of Plug Ins too, but always use the same on every track i´m producing. I only produce music in the 70´s soul RNB style (like Earth, Wind &Fire, Kool & The Gang, The Jackson 5, Mighty Rheyders etc.) The other kind of music that i produce is the 90´s RNB (like Joedeci, Boyz II Men, Shai, Blackstreet, Montell Jordan etc.) And for this Styles i always use the following stuff:

ik multimedia - bus compressor
ik multimedia - Precision Compressor/Limiter

I know, these are a lot of links and this should not show “Oh i´m using this Plugs, i´m the biggest”. No,
this should only show that these Plug Ins for me and my Style of Music are the best. Especially the Waves REDD and Saturation Plug Ins (J37 & Eddie Kramer Tape) and UA´s Pultec are so great to get these “old dry 70´s sound”. I love it so much.

And sorry for my bad english. My school years are over since 1986. So I´m to old now for english. :wink:


yes, im an ik multimedia user and fan too. also have some waves. actually bought the Kramer pie channel and tape but so far haven’t liked enough to use. I think I prefer a cleaner sound. bought slate vcc and never used it either! ed

I got into plugins at first because i couldn’t record with an amp, but after using a whole bunch, and realizing that I was choking my computer I decided to go more outboard–improve my chain in. I did, very happy. HOWEVER, since upgrading my computer to 8gig ram, Windows 7 64bit, and installing Cubase AI7, I have been exploring that world again. But now I concentrate on the Master Buss. I am also somebody who like both good sound and good GUI, and free. So for 64bit friendly, Rough Rider and Plekton’s WTComp are good compressors, very clean, no bad artifacts. Then behind that I use LoudMax for a Limiter. This thing is LOUD and can be pushed also without bad artifacts. Again, I have the processing to handle it. These are all free.

But I will tell you, by far Variety Of Sound makes the best, fun to use, free VST’s for 32 bit. Their Density MkIII compressor is a hoot, works, looks great, easy.

Just one caution, while Cubase 7 has a built in bridge for 32bit to 64bit, when I pulled in some of my fav 32 bit plugins they seemed to work initially but then crashed my program.

thanks zepfan59. I hadn’t heard of these so will check them out. ed

Yes, i have all these Variety Plugs to. This is really great great stuff. And that’s for free. Unbelivable. I use always the Nasty LowCut. Fantastic Tool for quick cutting. Everyone should have these plugs for free.

had a quick look and saw pre-Fix. I tried this a few weeks ago and it totally froze my pc, repeatedly. so I uninstalled. shame, because when it worked it was good…

No Problems here. I have trying all the Plugs, but never had any Problems with Variety Stuff. The pre-Fix runs without any Problems on my System. But i have to say, that i really don´t use him so much. I had uesd this FX only on one Song. Maybe that´s the Reason why i have no Problems here. But generally all the Variety Plugs are running fine here.

OK interesting. I have Windows 7 64 bit also and when I tried to use Density MKIII, my fav compressor, it worked when I first opened it. However, when I closed it, then opened it again, the GUI froze–everything stopped dead. Had to use task manager to stop it. I also tried another VOS plugin and the same thing happened. Using Cubase AI 7 btw which may be the problem (AI that is).

i’m on full Cubase 7.06… ed

You are using the same plugs and are into the same type of music as me!

We should try some joint tunes.

Your english is fine, and so is your taste bro! :wink:


I tried all the Variety Plugs a few Hours ago again in my actually Project, and all the Plugs work fine for me. Of course, i´m using the Plugs via JBridge. And so here is absolutly no Problem with any Plug In of Variety. And i´m on Cubase 7.06 and not 7.04. I must change my Tech-Spec. in my Account.

Oh, and i forgot to say that i use always this Comp. for Sidechaining:

Great Sound, i love him to.

Oh, really the same Plugs like you using? That´s cool. A good sign for me that i make the right music with the right plugs. Are you recording more live with real Instruments or more with Instrument Plugs (maybe Fender Rhodes live or are you using Plugs?)

And yes, we should try. :wink:

Native Instruments Monark…

10 years producing and I’ve never really been able to get the bass sound I’m looking for, not 100% anyway (progressive house/techno). Now I almost exclusively use Monark for bass sounds, it just so big and round and filthy but defined and alive, I love it, probably will be a staple for a long time for me.

Great thread

Im using waves,softube,psp,IK,Slate and a few others
I also like to use cubase stock plugins too.

Be nice to avoid the obvious big players and see if anyone can thow in some other interesting plugins or recommend some not as talked about plugins. I just stumbled on this looks decent and for the price you cant moan.unless its a cpu hog. :laughing: im going to give it a go.

Also sausage fattener is a good little plug

These are not free, but so cheap they are almost free and seriously under rated.

Scroll past all their hardware units & you will find the following tools: - great tape delay - a superb DBX 165x emulation - the classic EMT 250 - very usable algorithmic reverb - an amazing vintage compressor that is superb on Basses - not for the faint hearted, but this is one hell of a good channel strip/buss emulation that avoids the regular & obvious SSL 4000 & later Neve consoles but do not let this put you off. It’s one of the finest console emulation tools there is and is right up there (and in some cases surpassing) even the mighty Slate VCC. The Jewel in their crown for me. Only warning is that the learning curve on this is quite steep, but then the lights go on… :smiley:

There is a lot more there as well - go take a look. You’ll be happy you did

IK Multimedia Tracks Grand CS, great stuff! Variety stuff also very cool.

I own loads of plugins that I use according to situation, but the following build the absolute basis of my work and are not negotiable:

Cubase 7.5 channel strip

Waves Renaissance Equalizer
PsP ClassicQex

Waves Renaissance Compressor
Waves C4
PsP VintageWarmer 2
PsP MixPack2

Waves IR1
Waves Renaissance Reverb
Waves H-Delay

I use a lot of my own DSP. Which after seeing the level of unseriousness in the DSP and mastering environment, makes a lot of sense.

On KvR people slandered me because I did not support their gayactivism. That was their qualifier, not if one had optimal algorithms or not.
Mastering-engineers on Gearslutz talk about analog, and try to ridicule “the guy with the plugins”, and claim 1950s “unobtainium” has magic qualities, and it is even from before the era of Hi-Fi, which started in the 70s.

And people who complain about digital, and think the right dither is necessary, is ofcourse completely unaware, that their amp probably has higher saturation levels, and even probably use a 1-bit D/A, which is like a compressed format, since it cannot perfectly reproduce the signal. One famous masteringengineer even said “they listened to blank CDs” to see if the “digital” was right.

The internet brings a lot of “rock and roll” opinions. The kind of attitude that one does not need to be learned. One thing good about the 1950s is maybe trained vocalists, trained artists. Which ofcourse went away with Elvis Presley, and did ofcourse not help with the LSD-slur of the 70s. With some of these still using reduced frequency-range amp-designs from the same time.

There is no need to emulate poor transistors or power supplies. But one needs to understand that a lot of what goes on in analog units, are simple things. 1 pole envelopes, output saturation, etc. Something you do NOT want in an EQ. And even the simplest of analog filter emulation, will sound correct with gradually lower clipping before each stage, and this will also remove the bad keytracking of analogs. People who think this is more complex than it is, and has mythologized analogs, will make extremely poor emulations taking much CPU due to emulating obscurities.

Ofcourse if one wants softclip one can separate that from the rest of unwanted analog qualities like noise and distortion. And it will be the quality one wants. With a good softclip on each channel, driven to “no objectionable distortion” it does sound like an analog mix. And many used mixers this way, or limiters, and ofcourse when recording to tape.

What I did was simply make some sensible DSP, based on my wants as a musician. And also avoiding arrongant nerdyness, that reads the wildest myths into something. Simplicity is ofcourse not good enough, for someone who needs to conjure their own status, or have inane marketing-gimmicks.

And also “the loudness war” was not relevant with Nirvanas Nevermind. Infact the master sounds better than the live performance, and they should be happy they sold at all. Now masters are twice as loud, and even sounds cleaner. The reality of that argument is that one does not need more transient than necessary. At some point that ofcourse is an argument, but many loud masters does indeed sound very good, and when played back loud, good limiting should ofcourse be done, to remove unecessary loud transients from the ear. This simply makes sense. Some analog engineers will ofcourse not be able to do such a loud sound, on outdated gear, without objectionable distortion.

And if people want, actually perfect limiting can be done. Manybands zerocross limiting, would do the loudest limiting possible, without distortion. It does use much cpu though, but many would probably buy a necessary graphics-card if one were made to run on the GPU.

In the mean time, I am using my own DSP :slight_smile: Which is quite good, and can do quite low-distortion processing (Drums here are saturated ofcourse).

I am going to make it available for purchase, sometime in 2014.

Peace Be With You.