We had to update this list since Eventide gave us Ultrachannel. It’s not on the poll at the bottom, but for those of us who got it for free it’s a real winner to have in your plug-ins tool-box.
We’ve just started a series on the value of channel strip plug-ins in the modern recording set-up, so it might be good to know what AAX channel strip plug-ins are worth taking a look at.
For Pro Tools users with RTAS plug-ins, unless you read otherwise these will also work as RTAS plug-ins in Pro Tools. If you are not sure what AAX plug-ins will work in your Pro Tools system then check out our comprehensive AAX plug-in database.
Let us know what you think by taking our poll and also adding any comments at the end of the article.
UAD API Vision
A more recent addition to the UAD powered plug-in collection, this is an awesome model of a strip used on albums by such recording greats as Fleetwood Mac and the Foo Fighters. It packs a lot of punch we reviewed it here.
Avid Channel Strip
The Avid Channel strip is part of the plug-ins that ship with more recent versions of Pro Tools, it might be free but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed in preference for those costing money. Modelled on the channel strip from the System 5 console it has a lot to offer, the collapsible GUI is a real bonus when running out of screen real estate.
UAD E Series Channel Strip
For those looking for a faithful model of an SSL E Series console strip this is UAD’s version. The British sounding E-Series console is ubiqutous in the world of professional recording and for good reason. The strip features all the orginal components from the channel, plus the addition of a ‘no chatter’ curcuit that was used in later designs of the console. You will need a UAD powered device to run this. More here
Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel
The Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel combines Tube-Tech CL 1B Compressor, Tube-Tech ME 1B Mid-Range Equalizer and Tube-Tech PE 1C “Pultec” Equalizer into one single plugin. Any more questions? Joking apart this offers some real classics and can really help to transform a mix when used on the master buss, the Pultec EQ can offer that great bottom end trick used by many top producers. More here
McDSP Channel G
Featuring an easy to use layout with excellent visual metering, the McDSP is a feature rich channel strip with lots of goodies that you would expect from McDSP, it also boasts tight inegration with several Avid consoles. More here
iZotope Alloy 2
Allow 2 is perhaps the most comprehensive channel strip in this list and although it may not have the sexy looks of some of the modelled classics, it packs a serious punch. The multiband transient processor alone is worth the price of admission. The modules can be turned on and off and the audio processing chain can be moved around. We reviewed it here
Waves SSL 4000 Plug-in Collection
Both these SSL channel strips based on the E-Series and G-Series consoles are big favourites for Pro Tools users, offering excellent models of Solid State Logic British consoles used on more recordings than you can shake a stick at. Even better you get the equalizer and master buss compressor thrown in as part of these collection. More here
Metric Halo Channel Strip 3
The Metric Halo Channel Strip 3 is a big favourite of Windows Editor Neil and many other Pro Tools users too. It features a fully featured comp, expander/gate as well as a comprehensive 6 band EQ. It also includes a limiter and a resizeable GUI which is very useful. More here
UAD Neve 88RS
A faithful model of the Neve board that has found its way into some of the finest studios in the world, including Ocean Way, Abbey Road, AIR, and The Village as well as several top post production facilities. Described by some as the closest thing to having real hardware in your studio. You will need a UAD card or Firewire device, or an Apollo to run this - which of course means you can do old school tracking through this strip and print it to ‘tape’ as you record. More here
Softube Summit Audio Grand Channel
Another great channel strip from Softube, the near industrial grade Summit Grand Channel offers some nice features not found on other channel strips such as Saturation and Parallel Inject. It is a feature rich analogue wonder that would be eqaually at home in a mix or mastering situation. We reviewed it here
Waves Renaissance Channel
Perhaps not the most attractive plug-in on the market, the Waves Renaissance Channel is still a favourite amongst Pro Tools users looking for high quality processing in one plug-in. It features colour coding that helps the user get around the GUI quickly, the plug-in order can be moved around and it also features a rotation control for phase accurate flipping of the stereo image. More here
UltraChannel™ is Eventide’s new 64-bit native channel strip plug-in for AU, VST, and AAX64 for Mac and PC featuring micro pitch functionality from the flagship H8000, stereo delays with variable feedback paths, plus two stages of compression, gating, and five bands of parametric EQ.
UltraChannel was available as a free download but it now costs $249.
Now take our poll, which one is your favourite Channel Strip?