What's on your Master Bus ?

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by whitewasteland, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Every mix is different, and there is no special recipe that works on every source. But I guess we all have our little habits :) So what are the plugins that almost always make it to your Master Bus ?

    Lately, these has been my usual suspects :


    2CAudio Breeze2 : Absolutely love this Reverb, and I find it perfect on orchestral tracks as a final "glue". The Halls & Chamber algos are truely fantastic.


    A1Audio StereoControl : Great, free little plugin I'm using to mono the bass frequencies.


    Tone Empire Goliath : I have to keep experimenting with this one, bought it a few weeks ago on sale at PluginBoutique. The saturation modes are gorgeous, and the Envelope Section is where you can make things really interesting. Had a crush on this one !


    Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack : These 3 EQ Modules are gorgeous for adding top end, and there is always one doing exactly what I want :)


    A.O.M. Invisible Limiter G2 : Pure witchcraft. I can't recommend this limiter enough.
    Recently made some tests with a producer friend, comparing it to Slate FG-X, PSP Xenon, FabFilter Pro-L, and the maximizer from Ozone 8 Elements. The A.O.M. was our favourite, and Pro-L a very close second.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    Maxfabian likes this.
  2. ghandizilla

    ghandizilla Active Member

    Make your bass frequencies mono -> excellent advice, thanks! Very easy to implement with Pro-Q mid-side capacity, never thought of it.

    Not so much on my master:
    - FabFilter Pro-L, very gentle
    - SlickHDR to make the sound more detailed
    - Sometimes a bit of Pro-C, sometimes not, it depends on how I can keep my dynamics natural (to put it roughly: I never compress concert music, I always compress media music)

    That's it. All EQ, MB, distorsion stuff happens on the busses. Glue-verb is on a dedicated FX channel where all busses send a defined amount, but definitely a +1 for the choice of an algorithmic reverb (VSS3 and VSR24 are also great, I don't own Breeze so I don't know how it differs).
  3. robgb

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    Schep's Omni - Amazing Channel strip (best plugin I've ever bought)
    ReaXcomp - Amazing Multi-band Compressor (available to anyone, not just Reaper users)
    LoudMax while mixing
    EQ to flatten headphones (used demo of Sonarworks and matched the EQ)
  4. OP

    whitewasteland Senior Member

    Didn't know about SlickHDR, will have a look, thanks !

    Just be careful with Pro-Q's MS mode, I might be wrong but I think it's not the same thing ! With a tool like StereoControl, you're "just" collapsing to mono, but with a MS eq, you would effectively remove bass (in fact every low frequency that's not on the Mid Channel). To be confirmed, though.
  5. ghandizilla

    ghandizilla Active Member

    Hey, you're right! Using MS mode in a high pass curve actually removes all sound information from the sides, so to keep the sound as rich as possible StereoControl would be better, you're right. Since it's free, there is no reason to hesitate. Thanks!
    whitewasteland likes this.
  6. OP

    whitewasteland Senior Member

    Scheps Omni looks like a great channel strip. I'm in a difficult position here, as I love Andrew Scheps, but had a very bad experience with Waves. :) But it looks like it's one of their best plugins to date.

    Never tried LoudMax, I know it's a clone of the Waves L1. Another free limiter I would recommend is the Limiter n°6, by Vladg/sound.

    robgb likes this.
  7. jmauz

    jmauz Member

    Fabfilter Pro-Q
    SSL G-series Master Bus Compressor
    Fabfilter Saturn

    Always trying out different things but when I don't have time for tomfoolery this is what's on my template.
    ghandizilla and whitewasteland like this.
  8. ghandizilla

    ghandizilla Active Member

    Out of curiosity: how do you use Saturn on the master bus? (I use it mainly on my strings bus.)
  9. DS_Joost

    DS_Joost One day I'll fly away!

    Nov 19, 2015
    Scheps Omni Channel is fantastic! I bought it because of your recommendation on a sale and I couldn't be happier! I don't use it on the master bus though; but I do use it on everything else! I have a channel strip macro in Studio One that with a push of a button adds a VU Meter, Mixtool, Pro EQ with low/highpass filter AND the Scheps Omni Channel after that. I am in love with it, everything on it sounds so nice and thick!
    robgb and whitewasteland like this.
  10. Wally Garten

    Wally Garten Active Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    Just a limiter, usually, though I like this idea of using a bass-to-mono plug on the master....
    whitewasteland likes this.
  11. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    London, UK
    That's quite similar to mine.
    I might use Pro-Q2 if need to eq.
    Saturn and Pro-L is always there.
    I also use Gclip very gently - around 1 dB.
    whitewasteland likes this.
  12. Nicholas B

    Nicholas B New Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    A Designs EM-EQ2
    Portico 2 Master Buss
    Portico 5042
    GP_Hawk and whitewasteland like this.
  13. sostenuto

    sostenuto Big NKS Fan !

    Mar 10, 2017
    St George, UT USA
    Plugin Alliance; often. Many of their 'Mastering' VST from super sales :P
    NI_K11U FX too.
    whitewasteland likes this.
  14. wst3

    wst3 my office these days

    Apr 2, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    I used to actively avoid pre-populating the 2-mix buss, but in my never ending attempt to streamline my work I am experimenting with just that. So far I've settled on a few:
    - Brainworks bx_control - manage the stereo image
    - I really want either a multi-band compressor or a dynamic EQ in the next slot, but my favorite is an very old (still x86) Izotope plugin that I need to replace. I've been playing around with Brainworks DynEQ, Lindell Audio 354E, and the UA Precision Multiband compressor.
    - I love the Maag Audio EQ4, pretty much only use the "Air Band", but sometimes I use others.
    - For some really gentle compression (which I try to avoid at mix time, but sometimes the multiband won't do it) I use the Millenia TCL.
    - I've also avoided using reverb in the 2-mix, but lately I've added a couple and I'm experimenting. Right now it is between Exponential Audio, Liquidsonics and 2C-Audio, but the new Eventide 2016 could land there too. I really like the UA Oceanway Room too, but I tend to use that on tracks, and one can have too much of a good thing.
    - for that little extra touch I have the SPL Vitalizer, but I'm not real happy with it on orchestral tracks. Need to do some more hunting. Recently I tried Soundtoys Radiator, but that was difficult to control, it went over the top quite quickly.
    - the last step is always a limiter, and for the last couple hundred years it has been Waves L something or other<G>! I know how to get it to disappear, and I'm too lazy to learn a new one<G>!

    Other then the Wave L the order can change depending on what I'm hearing. Usually bx_control is first, and usually a reverb is near last. The Vitalizer and EQ4 can land anywhere.

    And while I very seldom use effects I have found that SoundToys Crystalizer can add a little touch of something to the 2-mix, the problem is it grows old quickly.

    If I can get it right it will save me some time...
  15. sostenuto

    sostenuto Big NKS Fan !

    Mar 10, 2017
    St George, UT USA
    Really timely comment re. Millenia TCL __ as the curent promo, less another Code gets cost waaay down.
    Use Maag EQ4 and continue to puzzle over adding EQ2 .... ?
    bx_Limiter works fine for me, but many other good ones out there.

    Would luv to like SPL Vitalizer but trial expired without grabbing me.
    Just added Eventide SP2016 Reverb /Stereo Room .... too early, but good so far.

    THX & regards
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  16. ghobii

    ghobii Active Member

    Mar 14, 2017
    Waves SSL-G - for glue
    U-He Satin - saturation, exciting, slight compression
    Ozone 7 - mostly for the limiter and imager, but other modules often get used to lightly adjust things
    Ozone Insight - metering
    whitewasteland likes this.
  17. miket

    miket Team Dany

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    Very little. Maybe a touch of Logic's stock limiter, and pretty much always the Waves J37 for some "vibe."
  18. j_kranz

    j_kranz Active Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Pro Q2
    Inflator (sometimes)
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  19. ceemusic

    ceemusic Active Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    New York area
    on my project mixing templates 2bus for the past year:
    Acustica's Diamond, Lift, Tim-Petherick's Vari Level or L-Bus, clipper, Alex-B MFC console mixbus
    Other plugins get swapped in / out depending..
  20. Vik

    Vik Scandi Member

    Dec 15, 2013

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