My Dad hates curry, he won't touch the stuff, oddly enough he's never tried it, but he just knows he won't like it. I'm not a fan of that kind of logic I think try something and then decide. Of course there are things that you know you won't like without having to try them, like a branding iron on your ass or tear gas, but sometimes we miss out on really great things either because we are too busy to try them or have never seen a reason to.
In this new series I'm going to share the plug-ins I JUST LOVE. Some of them are going to be popular, some not so. Some plug-ins do amazingly complex things whilst other very simple things. These are the plug-ins that you will almost always found sat on my mix somewhere because when I'm mixing I think 'I know what is going to help that' or in some cases rescue it!
I'm going to choose a different type of plug-in for each post and I hope you will also suggest a similar plug-in that you use for the same job. What I hope we achieve with this series is sharing of our favourite plug-ins.
I'm not expecting you to agree with my choices, or to go out and buy every plug-in I talk about. You may want to try them, but like me you may already have a plug-in that's a faithful friend to you, if that's the case then keep on using it.
As I say what I hope the articles and the comments do is point all of us to some real gems that we may never have tried. Enjoy!
In this first post I'm going for a plug-in that has very few features but it just keeps appearing in my mixes, it's the simple filter plug-in from McDSP FilterBank, the F202.
F202 is part of the McDSP FilterBank. FilterBank is a high-end equalizer plug-in designed to emulate the sounds of vintage and modern equalizers and filters. FilterBank is 3 plug-ins:
- E606 – parametric, high and low shelving EQ, high and low pass filters
- F202 – steep high and low pass filtering with resonant Q control
- P606 – parametric EQ with variable Q modes
McDSP FilterBank is used by a lot of top mixers and producers but even if not one of them used it I would still carry on using it.
Why The McDSP FilterBank F202
There's a couple of reasons I love the FilterBank F202; first there's the sound, which for me is just right. Some filters sound very clinical and others have a leaning towards being used on synths, but the sheer musical sound of the F202 means I use it all the time on drums, guitars, vocals, in fact it's the first thing I'll try when needing to filter. FilterBank was doing analogue modelling before many were doing sexy vintage GUI models of hardware.
The second reason why I love the FilterBank F202 is the peak option which allows you to add a resonant Q at the point where the cut happens. In practice this means I can clean a serious amount of bottom end out of a snare and still have the low thwack I need. Or I can take a lot of the horrible scratchy top end that is often found when people track with guitar plug-ins but then still get the bite I need to get them sitting well in the mix.
Having the option to cut low and high at -6,-12,-18 and -24db gives a serious amount of flexibility, even the slopes seem to work differently than other filters I've tried, perhaps that's the analogue modelling. With the combination of the filter modes, range and the peak boost I seldom find the F202 failing to deliver.
The F202 may not have zillion features but when it comes to mixing this baby is a keeper for me, if you've not tried McDSP FilterBank then download the demo and let me know what you think. It's also good to remember that F202 is just part of the McDSP FilterBank.
As already said, I'd love to know what you use for these kind of jobs and why.