In today’s digital audio recording environment there are a wide variety of plug-ins to choose from, ranging from homemade EQs to $1,000+ bundles. All can be useful if used in the proper applications.
The most consistently useful plug-ins for me seems to be in the WAVES bundle; including “renaissance strip.” The EQs and compressors are predictable and always do what you require without adding too much colouration to the sound.
Another great plug-in I use a lot is Isotope Trash. By far the most in-depth distortion plug-in I have ever heard. It takes a little more fiddling with the controls to get the sound you want, but will yield great results in the end. It works fine on bass as well.
For reverb, I still prefer the classical outboard digital reverbs like the Lexicon 480 and 960, but Rverb and TLspace are also superior sounding plug-ins. I also have found Dverb is useful from time to time … but don’t tell anyone I said that.
So basically, if you’re able to afford it, go with WAVES. If not, the Digidesign plug-ins can do you just fine. For cool FX and nice distortions check out the Isotope series.
Chris Crerar is an Engineer at Metalworks Studios. Visit www.metalworksstudios.com.