All too often people dismiss factory-supplied plug-ins in preference for purchased plug-ins; in some cases the free ones are just as good. Whilst Avid may have a reputation for being misers when it comes to giving stuff away with Pro Tools, there are some gems that ship with Pro Tools that I reach for on a regular basis. Here are 5 factory plug-ins that you should no ignore.
Pro Tools Factory Plug AIR Vintage Filter
Watch enough of the Pro Tools Expert video tutorials and you’ll see me grabbing the AIR Vintage Filter. Use it on synths, guitars, bass, drums and you can really give a sound some added character. With automation you can create the familiar dance effects like filter sweeps or rises.
Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid BF76
There are a lot of plug-in versions of the brilliant 1176 compressor, used on more recordings than I’ve had hot dinners. You may think that the free one that ships with Pro Tools is not worth considering, but it’s a great little plug-in that performs very well up against those you can spend several hundred dollars on, take that from someone who has a hardware 1176 in his rack.
Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid 1-Band EQ III
You may wonder why I would choose the 1 band Eq in preference for the 7 band Eq, it is simply this, filters. When mixing I often reach for the 1 band Eq to simply use as a low or high pass filter – on vocals, guitar busses, drum overheads, synths, pianos. The one band version of the Avid EQIII is one plug-in you will find on every mix I do… period.
Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid Signal Generator
It may be thought of as a tool for creating test tones, but the Signal Generator has more musical uses. You can use the Signal Generator to give kick drums some real low energy when coupled with a side-chained gate or as the basis for a noise sweep in a dance track… and yes you can also use it for test tones.
Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid Pitch II
A relative newcomer, but the Pitch II is long overdue and already a favourite of mine when mixing. You can use Pitch II to widen guitars, vocals and synths – you can also use Avid Pitch II to change the pitch of an instrument in real time, it uses granular technology to do it so you get great results.
So which factory freebies find their way into your mixes?