An essential part of my mix chain is the plug-ins applied to the mix buss. Below are my top 5 go-to plug-ins, all used for various reasons and not all at the same time.
The VBC is my go-to plug-in for both mix and drum buss processing, although modelled on some very famous hardware, the combination of the unique Slate tweaks to the models, the ability to combine the three units, the filtering and the option to mix both clean and processed signals make this a winner for me. Of all the Slate plug-ins this one is my favourite. See our Slate VBC review here
There are a lot of tape emulations on the market, but I keep going back to the ATR-102. It has a great sound and best of all some excellent presets. The ATR-102 is great at gluing a mix together and doing some audio magic, in fact the kind of thing printing a mix to tape does - funnily enough. See our UAD ATR102 review here
iZotope Ozone 5
Ozone 5 has a number of uses for me on a mix. I use the multiband compressor to keep everything under control, it allows me to push both the lows and the mids hard without them getting out of control. I also use the multiband stereo feature, pulling the low into the centre and pushing the top out to the edges.
UAD Dangerous BAX EQ
A recent addition to the toolbox, the Dangerous BAX Eq is simply magic. The EQ curves are musical and the M/S processing is awesome for pushing electric guitars, backing vocals and keyboard out to the side of a mix to give the vocal a chance to breath. There’s some hot presets from Fab Dupont, well worth checking out. See our Dangerous BAX Eq review here
There’s a few Pultec EQ emulations on the market, suffice to say all of them can help with the low end trick which has made the Pultec EQs a go-to when needing to give your low end some energy without colouring the low mids. The unique curves of the boost and cut manage to do this like no other EQ around. We show how to do the Pultec EQ trick here
Of course all of this is down to taste, I’m sure there are plug-ins that find there way onto your mix buss that I’ve missed. So those are my mix buss favourites, what are yours?