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What Software (or plug in) Do You Use The Most?


Ernest Buckley
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Most of my productions involve some sort of drums so EZ Drummer gets used a lot. I own several of their sample libraries and really enjoy the sound and ease of use.

 

I also started to use Native Instruments Kontakt more and more in 2015 and I especially like the Rickenbacker library. The Giant piano is also a very flexible and interesting tool.

 

Even though I swore I would never use a guitar amp simulator in 2008, I have to admit that sounds have improved so much, I hardly use my Vox amp anymore. The guitar amp simulators that come with Digital Performer really amaze me. I also the Waves Guitar Rig plug in but not as much. Digital Performer also comes with a Master EQ which in my opinion is one of the best EQ plugs I have used so far. I`m always pleasantly surprised with each new version of DP.

 

As for plugs, the Waves Renaissance collection still gets heavy use, especially their EQ and compressor. The CLA collection also makes its way onto every production. The SSL collections always finds its way onto my vocal tracks. I think the SSL collection really is amazing on vocals giving that beautiful sheen and focus that SSL consoles are known for. Not bad for a couple of $$$.

 

What software are you using on your productions the most?

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I still use the Waves Renaissance compressor often, as well as the Spitfish de-esser from Digital Fishphones.

I still use the SIR convolution as my go-to reverb, and I like the GDuck Delay from GVST as my go-to delay.

I use the Classic Master Limiter from Kjaerhus for quick and dirty home mastering for checking my mixes on CD before sending to a real Mastering Engineer.

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I pretty much use what's bundled with SONAR, of course including the 16 "CA-X" amp and bass sims. For drums I tend to use acoustic drum loops rather than drum modules or drum machines. I have all the Cakewalk ProChannel modules, which do the job.

 

This isn't just being rah-rah Cakewalk, the program has a feature called FX chains so I get to "assemble" my own processors. As a result they do exactly what I want, so of course, they get the nod most of the time.

 

What Cakewalk doesn't have is a good multiband limiter/maximizer. I like the WAVES maximizers for that application. Other plug-ins that get the nod tend to be the more esoteric ones from Eventide (great stuff, I'm having a blast doing the pro review on them), Waves, Native Instruments, etc.

 

For soft synths, Kontakt, the Cakewalk synths, and Arturia's products get a lot of use. But there are some outstanding synths like the ones from FXpansion and Jeff Rona's Orbit that get pressed into service as needed, along with (of course) Omnisphere.

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I pretty much use what's bundled with SONAR, of course including the 16 "CA-X" amp and bass sims. For drums I tend to use acoustic drum loops rather than drum modules or drum machines. I have all the Cakewalk ProChannel modules, which do the job.

 

This isn't just being rah-rah Cakewalk, the program has a feature called FX chains so I get to "assemble" my own processors. As a result they do exactly what I want, so of course, they get the nod most of the time.

 

What Cakewalk doesn't have is a good multiband limiter/maximizer. I like the WAVES maximizers for that application. Other plug-ins that get the nod tend to be the more esoteric ones from Eventide (great stuff, I'm having a blast doing the pro review on them), Waves, Native Instruments, etc.

 

For soft synths, Kontakt, the Cakewalk synths, and Arturia's products get a lot of use. But there are some outstanding synths like the ones from FXpansion and Jeff Rona's Orbit that get pressed into service as needed, along with (of course) Omnisphere.

 

Omnisphere… I`ve had my eye on that for some time. I may get it in 2016. Do you have any tracks that you`ve used it on that I can listen to? So far, everything I`ve heard from it sounds more like background pads. Just curious.

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At least one or two of these are on everything I track:

 

Kontakt (the Scarbee electric pianos and MM-bass)

 

East-West Play (host player for The Fab Four and Quantum Leap Pianos libraries)

 

GSI's VB3 - hammond B3 (and other) organs. Used to use NI's B4/B4II/Vintage Keys, which are very good, but this VB3 is another big step better.

 

NI/Reaktor's minimoog emulation, Monark. I use mostly hardware analog synths, but I don't have a mono bass monster hardware synth, so Monark gets a lot of use.

 

But you know, midi latency, even these days with fast computers and ASIO drivers, still bugs me a lot recording virtual instruments. I'd rather record real instruments via mics or direct-to-preamp any day. I've done all the latency-fixing tweaks there are but midi recording is still not there for me. To play virtual piano parts really tight, I have to bounce all the backing tracks to one audio track and run only one VST instance of the virtual piano - and even then, between input and output, there's a very pestery delay that I just can't abolished so I have to either quantize or otherwise shift the notes in the DAW to line up right.

 

nat whilk ii

Edited by nat whilk II
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I pretty much use what's bundled with SONAR, of course including the 16 "CA-X" amp and bass sims. For drums I tend to use acoustic drum loops rather than drum modules or drum machines. I have all the Cakewalk ProChannel modules, which do the job.

 

This isn't just being rah-rah Cakewalk, the program has a feature called FX chains so I get to "assemble" my own processors. As a result they do exactly what I want, so of course, they get the nod most of the time.

 

What Cakewalk doesn't have is a good multiband limiter/maximizer. I like the WAVES maximizers for that application. Other plug-ins that get the nod tend to be the more esoteric ones from Eventide (great stuff, I'm having a blast doing the pro review on them), Waves, Native Instruments, etc.

 

For soft synths, Kontakt, the Cakewalk synths, and Arturia's products get a lot of use. But there are some outstanding synths like the ones from FXpansion and Jeff Rona's Orbit that get pressed into service as needed, along with (of course) Omnisphere.

 

Is Sonar what you used on the tracks on your latest album? Did you use it on all the tracks? Considering the quality of the tracks and production values employed on those recordings...I gotta say..Pretty impressive considering the relatively low price.

 

I went to their website to check it out and saw there is a whole subset of plugins with your name on them, That's pretty cool!

 

Is the whole subscription based thing working out for them?

 

I'm through asking questions now.

 

For now anyway.

 

 

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Is Sonar what you used on the tracks on your latest album? Did you use it on all the tracks? Considering the quality of the tracks and production values employed on those recordings...I gotta say..Pretty impressive considering the relatively low price.

 

It's 90% SONAR. The Cakewalk eZine that accompanies each release is free, and a few months ago we started doing an "Anatomy of a SONAR Project" every issue. The one in this month's issue goes through the effects and settings used on "neo-", I think you'd find it interesting.

 

I went to their website to check it out and saw there is a whole subset of plugins with your name on them, That's pretty cool!

 

It's all stuff I've done for myself. With one or two exceptions all the guitars on "neo-" go through the CA-X amp sims. Quite a few of the basses do too.

 

Is the whole subscription based thing working out for them?

 

The people who like it really like it, and the people who don't like it don't necessarily agree on what they don't like. Some people find the idea of a program that changes monthly disorienting, although they don't have to update every month...if they skip a month, or several months for that matter, then resume they'll pick up whatever they missed. People could update once a year if they wanted. Some people have settled into updating once a quarter...it varies. Some people are concerned that if bugs surface after the membership expires, they won't get fixed.unless they're show-stoppers. Some are upset because Cakewalk didn't add some feature they wanted.

 

The attitude was very negative when the membership started, but here we are a year later and Cakewalk indeed delivered major features every month for the past year. Now no one can say "they'll never pull it off." :) The attitude is vastly more positive now that people have been able to look back and see what they got over the last year and how SONAR has evolved during that time.

 

And that's the short form!.

 

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Hi,

 

My most used list.

 

Drums:

NI Session Drummer

Toontrack Superior Drummer

 

Bass:

NI Kontakt Jazz Bass and Music Man bass

When I'm not tracking my own electric bass with either the Kemper or the Atomic Amps Amplifire.

 

For guitar:

While not software for my PC/Mac I use the Kemper Profiling Amplifier for almost everything I do. Sometimes bass too.

Scuffham S-Gear has a great Tweed sim that I use quite a bit.

 

Electric piano:

AAS Lounge Lizard 4

 

Hammond:

NI Kontakt Vintage Organs

 

Synths:

Rob Papen's synths are wonderful.

U-he Diva and Zebra 2

PreSOnus Mojito

Spectrasonics Omnisphere

 

For orchestral arrangements:

Spitfire Audio Albion One for the cinematic large sounding bits

IK Multimedia (got it three days ago), for the more restrained authentic sounding bits

 

Cheers,

 

Mats N

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Sonnox EQ - It's the most accurate and transparent EQ I have and it's my main all purpose go to EQ.

Some of the T-Racks EQs - the vintage one that looks like an old Pultec has an incredibly smooth high end.

Amplitube 2 and EZ Drummer with the vintage drums sound pack.

IK multimedia B4 II

Breverb and IK multimedia Classik Reverb

Mr. Tramp and Mr. Ray Free versions

Emulator X

PSP Vintage Warmer 2

 

Last year I purchased the IK Multimedia Total Studio 3 Bundle when it was on sale and I plan on building a new system around it but I haven't used it yet. It has lots of instruments and plugins including Amplitube 3 and Sampletank. The problem is that some of them are 32 bit and some are 64 bit.

 

The main reason I have not built a new system is that all of my plugins are 32-bit and and will not work with a 64-bit system. I'm still using Sonar 7 with my old Emulator X for the bulk of my sound sources.

 

I'm planning on building a new 64-bit system based on whatever the newest Sonar version is. Supposedly if you buy SampleTank 3 (Which is only 64bit) then all of the older 32 bit IK Multimedia plugs will run under it. But Sampletank doesn't do diskstreamimg like the Emulator X does so I guess I'll need a lot of RAM. Also want to get EZ Drummer II which has a a new feature that helps you find suitable patterns.

Edited by Folder
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I can't really answer "the most", so I'll just provide a list of some things I use often.

 

 

 

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Steinberg fan, so Cubase and Wavelab are my DAW platforms. I'm using Cubase 6.5 and Wavelab 7.x.

 

 

 

For synths, HALion 5.x gets a lot of use, and amazingly, the original Native Instruments synths still get used heavily (Pro53 and FM7). There aren't many compositions I've done where FM7 doesn't find it's way in somewhere.

 

 

 

For plug-ins, my UAD collection gets the most use, especially the Precision bundle for Mastering. My favorites include the SSL G-Buss compressor (or 4K buss compressor), the 1176 and LA2A emulations, and the mighty EMT-140 plate. I also love the Precision EQ, the Precision Limiter, the Precision Maximizer, and the Ampex ATR-102 tape simulator.

 

 

 

I also love Ivory II (upright and grand pianos), and I've got the Arturia collection. There is so much in the Arturia collection that it's overwhelming, but I'm just starting to explore the Matrix 12V. Great stuff...

 

 

 

 

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Cakewalk SONAR has been my DAW for many years now. It simply has a robust set of capabilities, it's not aimed at techno-teenyboppers, and most importantly, since I've stayed with it for so long, I know where every command is (not a small consideration).

 

As for plugins, KONTAKT is also my go-to. It's easy to get started on, and its potential for learning and development is huge. I keep telling myself, one of these days I'm going to buckle down and learn its advanced programming capabilities. Maybe 2016 is the year. ALICIA'S KEYS may be my favorite piano program for KONTAKT.

 

What plugin do I use the most? Probably Melda AUTO-ALIGN. It really does do a magic something in aligning the phase of two tracks.

 

iZotope RX2 is also a superb spectral tweaking platform... in fact, it's better in many ways than Adobe AUDITION.

Edited by rasputin1963
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Cakewalk SONAR has been my DAW for many years now. It simply has a robust set of capabilities, it's not aimed at techno-teenyboppers, and most importantly, since I've stayed with it for so long, I know where every command is (not a small consideration).

 

As for plugins, KONTAKT is also my go-to. It's easy to get started on, and its potential for learning and development is huge. I keep telling myself, one of these days I'm going to buckle down and learn its advanced programming capabilities. Maybe 2016 is the year. ALICIA'S KEYS may be my favorite piano program for KONTAKT.

 

I`ve had Komplete for a little over 2 years now and I`m just scratching the surface. Just today I was editing the "Upright Piano" sampler. Its amazing how deep editing can get in Komplete and just like REASON, I`m pretty sure I won`t ever master these programs. I know enough to get the job done but there is definitely a huge learning curve.

 

Interesting you like Alicia`s Keys so much. I heard some really good things about it but every time I go to it, I`m disappointed. It took me a while to get my head wrapped around the Giant... maybe Alicia`s Keys will grow on me too. Have you used The Giant?

Edited by Ernest Buckley
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I forgot about one of my other go-to's,,,, The Steven Slate Drums plugin.

 

 

 

Whenever I do a rock composition, it's my go-to drum source. The cymbals and hats are amazing.

 

 

 

Truth be told, if my old Steinberg LM4 plug-in would run on Windows 7, I'd still be using that in heavy rotation. The Wizoo "Basic XXL" kit had a great kick/snare combo, and it was the first drum sampled solution that I can recall that had polyphonic cymbals (they wouldn't choke each other with multiple hits).

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