Vst's in order of preference?

Can anyone tell me if there is a preference in which pug-ins should go when you using insert Eg should a vocoder go after a compressor or before- same with plugin delays-or does it matter?

There is no real rules for that ! Just use your hears !

It’s up to you. It can sounds different.

Aloha J,

The above posts are ‘right on’.

For me I tend to start with EQing first; especially if I am removing frequencies.
Depending on the song and the mix, this might change tho’.
Sometimes a comp/limiter will ‘smooth’ the ‘edges’
so I may have a lil EQ at the end as well.

Whatever sounds good is best and less is more.

Thanks guys for you input (excuse the pun) I remember back in the days of hardware you had to be careful with various line in and line out configurations!

The order of inserts DOES matter, in that it definitely has an effect on how things will sound. While it’s true there are no laws in music production, it’s also true that there are many common effects chains that folks use for various situations.

For example, each of these paths are pretty common, and match pretty closely what I do, depending on the musical part and the specific plugins in question (although I only use gates occasionally):

  • Gate > Compressor > EQ > Effects
  • Gate > Compressor > Effects > EQ
  • Compressor > EQ > Effects > Gate - when I’m going for a “looped” effect

This path is less common, and I’ve never personally used it, because I like to do my compression earlier on in the chain- but it can probably be put to useful effect depending on what you’re going for.

  • Gate > Effects > Compressor > EQ

I set each effects chain up gradually, only adding inserts when I sense something’s missing. And I frequently swap the order of inserts. At the end of the day, though, it usually ends up being one of the first two chains I mentioned.

Your right, it does matter, depending what you are trying to accomplish. You have to consider what each element in the chain accomplishes to recognize its potential ‘effect’ on the others.

I’d add to your helpful list that their are several places you could insert an additional eq in your examples. For example " - gate> comp> eq> effx" could easily have another eq placed at the beginning of that chain to focus in on the most important frequency content of the material you are processing. Similarly, if the effx is a reverb, for an example, you might want to add an eq after that to again focus in on desired frequency content.

eq and comp are your best friends and can be used more than once and in different orders in your chains.


Those are good examples

Many thanks guys I shall take your recommendations on board