There’s a lot of plug-ins on my Pro Tools rig but the reality is there are some that I reach for time and time again when mixing. I feel sure you will have a completely different list, but I would be interested to see if there are any on my list you use and any you think I really do need to check out.
Take the poll at the end to tell us which ones you use and leave comments with some tips.
Our People’s Choice winner in 2013. This is such a fantastic EQ, it sounds amazing on vocals and guitar, in fact it sounds amazing on almost everything. Best of all it’s so easy to get a great sound with the Maag EQ4, some plug-ins fight you, this one is my best friend. Check out our review of it here
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - UAD DBX160
In the absence of owning the real thing, the UAD dbx160 is such a great compressor/limiter, again it’s easy to use and sounds great. You’ll find this on most of my tracks, it loves bass guitar, vocals and electric guitar. It so damned fun to use too and that has to count for something.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Softube TSAR Verb
A favourite of both me and James Ivey, while many people love to use Convolution this Algorithmic reverb is sweet and versatile - it’s sitting on a buss somewhere in every mix I do.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Waves H-Delay
One of the reasons I love the work of Bob Clearmountain is his genius work with delays in mixes. The Waves H Delay has a great sound and is filled with some cool features that help all of us aspire to the cool delay tricks of a master like Mr Clearmountain. Check out our video showing 3 tricks for using it here.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Avid Pitch II
A relative newcomer to the Pro Tools free plug-ins, the Avid Pitch II offers some very nice ways to thicken sounds, great on vocals, guitar and keyboards. Check out our videos here
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - McDSP 6030 Ulitmate Compressor
Buy it. 11 cool compressors from McDSP, all very useful… love them, need I say more? Here’s our review
From the master of reverb algorithms, heard on many top albums and films, Exponential Audio have made this killer reverb, it has a gorgeous sound and lots to tweak. If you are yet to check out the Exponential Reverbs then you are missing some sweet space in your mix. Check our the latest versions here.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Waves Renaissance Bass
This is one plug-in that seems to divide opinion, some love the Waves Ren Bass and other people hate it. I for one like knowing that the Waves Ren can help sit bass in a mix even when people are listening on laptops or crappy MP3 ear buds. Check out our video on how the Waves Renaissance Bass works
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Slate VBC
Perhaps my favourite of all the Slate products, not one but 3 virtual buss compressors, even better you can use all of them at the same time if you really want to. I have a drum buss preset I created which is like magic, it simply brings drums to life in a way that no other comp seems to be able to. Check out our review here.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - iZotope Ozone 5
This baby is often sat on my masters, filled with great modules and excellent presets Ozone 5 is a must-have plug-in for mixing. It won’t replace a mastering engineer but it does give me the tools I need to bring lifeless mixes back from the dead. Get the free 2013 Mastering Guide here.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Pultec EQs - Take Your Pick
The Pultec Eq is another favourite with its unique way of cutting and boosting the bottom end and leaving a rich low on bass, kick or an entire mix. There’s good versions of this EQ from UAD, Waves and Avid, so choosing one is hard. Watch our video on how it can do some cool tricks here
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - UAD ATR102
There are some excellent tape emulations on the market but the ATR102 from UAD is my favourite, it sounds amazing and has some excellent presets from some of the best in the industry. This is on every mix. Check out our review of the UAD ATR102 here.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Which ones do you use?