What are the best stock plug-ins?

Hey everyone!
recently, I’ve purchased a copy of Cubase 9 pro
and right now I don’t have any money to spend on virtual instruments(I’m thinking of getting ‘KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE’ in a couple of years and that’ll wrap it up,right?)
but for right now, what do you think is the best (stock) presets for:
live instruments(best piano sound, electric piano sound, drum kits, rhodes, horns, saxs, etc…).
best guitar/bass amp presets?(for all kinds of genre)

basicly… everything :laughing:
With soo much presets and versatillty, you can get lost pretty easy.
so what are your “to go” sounds for “live” music.

IMHO, Pro Nine is very compete.

I like the Channel Strip and usually start there. I use channel presets and strip presets. Each of the stock plug-ins has its place and character.

I like the Standard Compressor on the Channel strip. I really like how easy it is to change the order of items on the channel strip.

I like – the Tube Compressor, the Vintage Compressor.

Basically, I like all the stock plug-ins. It’s a great set of tools. Tremendous value.

The gate is a hidden gem!

The deEsser is really good, use it a lot on hihat and acoustic guitar.
All the multiband plugins are worth spending some time on.

Interesting that the OP only mentions VSTi’s and asks about ‘sounds’ - yet all the replies have been about signal processing plug-ins. :laughing:

Regarding instrument sounds with Pro9 you have access to a huge number of sounds, many of them excellent, plus the ability to create your own patches.

But establishing which are the ‘good sounds’ really can’t be done since it is so subjective as to what different folks like. And besides do you really want to use the same sounds that everyone else is going for? The best thing to initially do is sit down with a beverage of your choice and start auditioning instruments and presets. Keep track of the ones you like and start building a library of your go-to sounds.

While it is tempting to use the Star Ratings in Media Bay to flag the good sounds, I don’t recommend it as on occasion I’ve had everything revert to the default 3-stars. As an alternative when you find a sound you like save it as a Track Preset.

Finally when auditioning sounds make sure you stock up on useful bread-and-butter sounds - sounds that aren’t flashy but work well in a mix. It is easy to get caught up with patches that modulate and echo and have a huuuuuuuge sound. These often sound great solo but don’t really play well with the other sounds.

The compressors are quite good, quadrafuzz is excellent as is the de-esser, the multiband compressor is good, envelope shaper works well, the Bass Cab VST is very good. Tape saturation is worth using. Frequency is a very, very good EQ almost up there with the top-end alternatives. Stereo Enhancer is very useful. I rarely fire up Melodyne these days as vari-audio is good enough for the usual little tweaks.

A decent producer could easily produce studio quality results with the stock plug-ins, the after-market ones are sometimes easier to use and aid work-flow - sound-wise, there isn’t as much difference as you’d think.

Wow guys thank you!
Im actually familiar with the “insert” plugins(effects, eq, comp…) I watch a lot of youtube videos daily, I play lots of instruments, but I can’t play trumpets or saxs in my room😅.
I’m more focused here about the live instruments alternative.

I started on a.piano and e.piano, (I tried all of their presets and tweaked them) to try and find some ‘almost the real deal’ presets(for each sound of these two I’ve found 2 which I’ve set as 5* and some 4*)
*(no tremolo, delay or anything, pure basic sound)

But I find it very time-consuming with all of the choices and the variety.
there are must be some excellent sounds for certain instrument
Or certain pads/synths, perhaps several drum kits for different genre.

Sure, I’ll have to fine-tune the sound, eq and add some chorus or any other mixing decision.
But to have a starting point and to not check every @!@*! Preset😅

Again guys, I can’t thank you enough, if you have any source of learning more about the mixing phase, how to pan correctly the mix to make a wider mix, what kind of approach should I take on each plugin and why should I put it in on the first place.
Sorry for the misunderstanding, and for my bad English^^

Great comments. I’ll try some of the things recommended in the comments.

Finding the sounds in the Ocean of choices can be daunting. Use the rating system. Lower ratings for sounds you don’t want to bother with, and put four stars for ones you like. Work with the Library in Media Bay more to set Attributes for Sounds – dark, bright, clean, etc.

I find lots of patches need to be “tamed” or shaped to fit a part as opposed to how it sounds when first loaded.

There’s just a lot there and it takes time to audition Presets. Over time, you’ll get to know the presets offered by your instruments and the instruments themselves. For me the Part usually comes first, then I pick the instrument for it. However, plenty of times a Preset suggests a part. Good luck. :slight_smile:

Good posts here, everyone, thanks for the tips.


The gate on the channel strip and the plug-in both.

I use a touch of (Dynamics) Maximizer on individual tracks as well as the mix buss which add a nice bit of punch and level boost.