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Top 5 plugin companies for fx

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
No particular order :
PA (mention for brainworx stuff)
Valhalla
Apple (Logic stock)
Liquidsonics
Fabfilter
Softube (I’m surprised it doesn’t get more votes)
Eventide
Soundtoys (excellent but takes time to get something outside the presets)
Native Instruments
etc.

I stopped using Waves because of their update policy and I had to many issues updating, uninstalling, etc.
 

bill5

Senior Member
I stopped using Waves because of their update policy and I had to many issues updating, uninstalling, etc.
Same, which is why I wrote them off. Plenty of great stuff out there without such nonsense.

Also I don't think PA should be on here as it's a series of companies, not one. I have heard good things about Brainworx though.
 

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
It's interesting that Acustica hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. I think I know why...

To me, Acustica's plugins sound exceptional and I love their overall design approach. But even though I own a substantial amount of their offerings, I find I actually use them very rarely. There are several reasons for this:

CPU: Acustica's plugins can put quite a heavy load on your CPU, especially if you use a lot of them in a project. For this reason, I mostly limit them just to instrument busses and the master bus. Putting their channel strips on every channel simply isn't practical, which is a shame.

UI Response: The thing that bothers me most about Acustica plugins is the laggy response of buttons and some dials in their UI - it's a really annoying speed bump in my mixing workflow and makes the plugins seem fiddly. More than anything else, this makes me reluctant to use them.

Too Many Choices: Acustica is extremely generous in providing multiple varieties of preamps, compressors, and EQs in their channel strip plugins, which is really great, but I simply don't have time to audition 36 preamps when I'm mixing, plus compare endless permutations of compressors and EQs, especially with the laggy UI. There is often a sense of being overwhelmed when pulling up one of their plugins.

That said, Acustica's plugins sound amazing, and I'm usually always pleased with the results when I decide to use them. If the first two issues above could be addressed, I'd happily use them almost exclusively!
 

kgdrum

Greetings
Denise got my attention from this thread!
Which plugins from Denise would you recommend checking?
It’s probably just me but the only plugin I ever bought from Denise Audio was Bad Tape which I can’t stand,I think it’s so awful I think it should be named “Horrble Attempt of a Tape degradation plugin”
I like effects that mangle ,degrade and transform sounds. Audiothings Wires is a favorite of mine ,I love quality colored Tape sims like Alborisie Dub Station and all sorts of tape sims ,bit crushers,filters etc….. but Bad Tape? For me it was one of the worst effect plug-ins I purchased in a really long time.
So to make a long story short,Denise Audio? I haven’t looked ,purchased or payed attention to them since I got Bad Tape.
Maybe I might like other products they make but after Bad Tape I haven’t been able to take Denise seriously.
 

vitocorleone123

Senior Member
It’s probably just me but the only plugin I ever bought from Denise Audio was Bad Tape which I can’t stand,I think it’s so awful I think it should be named “Horrble Attempt of a Tape degradation plugin”
I like effects that mangle ,degrade and transform sounds. Audiothings Wires is a favorite of mine ,I love quality colored Tape sims like Alborisie Dub Station and all sorts of tape sims ,bit crushers,filters etc….. but Bad Tape? For me it was one of the worst effect plug-ins I purchased in a really long time.
So to make a long story short,Denise Audio? I haven’t looked ,purchased or payed attention to them since I got Bad Tape.
Maybe I might like other products they make but after Bad Tape I haven’t been able to take Denise seriously.
I also have a couple of plugins of theirs I never use - no interest in anything from them in the future, honestly.

EDIT: That sounded a little harsh, but they'd have to really up their game at some point to compete for my $$ again. Stranger things have happened!
 
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bill5

Senior Member
It's interesting that Acustica hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. I think I know why...

To me, Acustica's plugins sound exceptional and I love their overall design approach. But even though I own a substantial amount of their offerings, I find I actually use them very rarely. There are several reasons for this:

CPU: Acustica's plugins can put quite a heavy load on your CPU, especially if you use a lot of them in a project. For this reason, I mostly limit them just to instrument busses and the master bus. Putting their channel strips on every channel simply isn't practical, which is a shame.

UI Response: The thing that bothers me most about Acustica plugins is the laggy response of buttons and some dials in their UI - it's a really annoying speed bump in my mixing workflow and makes the plugins seem fiddly. More than anything else, this makes me reluctant to use them.

Too Many Choices: Acustica is extremely generous in providing multiple varieties of preamps, compressors, and EQs in their channel strip plugins, which is really great, but I simply don't have time to audition 36 preamps when I'm mixing, plus compare endless permutations of compressors and EQs, especially with the laggy UI. There is often a sense of being overwhelmed when pulling up one of their plugins.

That said, Acustica's plugins sound amazing, and I'm usually always pleased with the results when I decide to use them. If the first two issues above could be addressed, I'd happily use them almost exclusively!
You forgot "they are ridiculously overpriced" and "their web site is an annoying PITA/POS." :) Sorry, if you're happy with them, great, more power to you, but there are great-sounding plugins all over the place which are vastly cheaper, not CPU hogs, make it clear and easy to find out quickly what the heck they actually are, and I can't even comment on lag which also seems to be an issue.
 

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
You forgot "they are ridiculously overpriced" and "their web site is an annoying PITA/POS." :) Sorry, if you're happy with them, great, more power to you, but there are great-sounding plugins all over the place which are vastly cheaper, not CPU hogs, make it clear and easy to find out quickly what the heck they actually are, and I can't even comment on lag which also seems to be an issue.
Of course there are many great-sounding plugins besides Acustica - I use many of them on a consistent basis. That doesn't detract from how good the Acustica plugins can sound - but for all the reasons we both mutually listed, I don't use them very often.

For sure they're expensive, but so are FabFilter plugins. Devs are free to charge whatever they feel their plugins are worth and what the market will bear. Their affordability doesn't change how they sound.

Besides, we all know that all you really need to achieve perfectly good mixes are just your DAW's stock plugins, but that's not what the topic of this thread is about.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Denise got my attention from this thread!
Which plugins from Denise would you recommend checking?
I don’t get the hate ^ but hey don’t mind me. Denise have done two excellent reverbs but if I had to recommend a couple I’d say check out PerfectPlateXL and DragonFire compressor.





As for Bad Tape, it does exactly what it is aims to do. It doesn’t want to be a standard tape emulation. ;)
 

daviddln

Member
I like Fabfilter and Izotope. And also VSL for the Vienna Suite Pro. I mainly use plug-ins from these three companies.
 

SteveC

Active Member
As an EQ I use a towel which I hold skillfully and virtuously in front of the speakers and then record the whole thing again with my mobile phone. In this way I try to keep up with the sound that reaches the consumer. - and sometimes FF and other stuff
 

juliandoe

youtube.com/juliandoe
Fab Filter (general purpose)
Soundtoys (color and character)
Klanghelm (compressors and saturations)
Valhalla (delay and reverb)
DMG (mastering)
 

ThomasL

Senior Member
If I had to work with only 5 developers plugins it would probably be the following:
Softube
PreSonus (YES! Stock plugins, crazy I know! They do create extras, like the MixFX ones, really like them)
UAD
SoundToys
Eventide
 
Epic thread! It's cool to read everyone's favorites, there are so many wonderful options out there today. Here are mine at the moment.

Valhalla DSP for all things reverb and delay!

Fuse Audio Labs for excellent analog modeling of tube preamps, tape, EQ, etc.

Black Rooster Audio for more of what Fuse does well, plus great compressors.

NEOLD (via Plugin Alliance) for REALLY great tube sounds.

Soundtoys for a little bit of everything. (EchoBoy and Valhalla Delay are neck and neck for my #1 delay plugin.)

Between these fine companies I'm absolutely set, and only buy new plugins for fun. I've been tempted by FabFilter but I'm honestly perfectly content with Logic's workhorse transparent EQs, limiters, etc. I just use third-party plugins for color, which the above do incredibly well. Plus, they've permanently quelled my temptation to shell out for a UA system... so I'm grateful for that...
:emoji_grimacing:
 

NULL_Bits

New Member
I’ve kinda gone full circle with plugins. Years and years ago I just went with stock Logic stuff, then I started getting into 3rd party plugins, then I went absolutely insane buying them - including doing the whole UAD thing (god the amount of money I’ve spent on plugins… embarrassing) and now I’m more-or-less back to square one.

I’ve really fallen off the UAD bandwagon over the last year or two. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on them, but then started doing more online collaborations and really started working with another guy remotely all the time, but we have different plugins and he doesn’t have UAD so doing the whole bounce tracks all the time and such became cumbersome. We decided to create a template using only stock Logic plugins with a few minor exceptions (a Waves SSL bus compressor, a few Soundtoys plugins, and Fabfilter Pro Q3) and it has been like a breath of fresh air. No more overcomplicating plugin choices or analysis paralysis, no more being tied to UAD’s giga-dongle (since you can only run UAD plugins with a UA interface/satellites), my mixing speed has increased dramatically and it’s less stressful.

Just my personal experience, I certainly don’t poo-poo people who love UAD, they make great stuff, but I can get plenty out of out Logic’s stock stuff and plenty of nice character with a few select character plugins from Soundtoys and such.
 

Russell Anderson

Active Member
Hardly a mixer track goes by without something from Melda, TDR or Kush now. It would be probably a slightly more detailed story if I owned Satin and Presswerk, or Saturn/Spectre 2 (which doesn’t exist, but if SlickEQ M’s stereo and Spectre’s EQ difference-saturation had a baby with an envelope follower and modulation system...)

I’m not counting reverbs. I plan on having a problem with reverbs some day, when I can afford it.
 
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