The other morning I was activating a new plug-in licence in my iLok account and I thought it would be fun to play the plug-in memory game.
The Rules: Sign into your iLok License Manager, before reordering the list of plug-in licences by "Deposit Date", try to remember the first ever third-party plug-in you purchased.
I knew it was roughly ten years since my first third-party plug-in purchase and I knew I could check this in the iLok manager as I've always used the same iLok account for plug-in licences. I wasn't entirely sure if it was going to be Melodyne or iZotope Ozone. It was a 50/50 guess, so I went with my gut and believed it was Melodyne - I was wrong, it was Ozone version 3.
This silly little memory game got me thinking though - Why did I purchase Ozone and more importantly what was it that got me into purchasing third party plug-ins?
Why Did I Start Purchasing Third Party Plug-ins?
I took delivery of my first ever Pro Tools system in 2004. It was a Digi 002 Pro Tools 6 LE system - at the time my recording skills and budget were both limited so this system did everything I wanted. In 2007 my recording skills went up a few levels so I invested in a Digi 003 that included a plug-in bundle called Ignition Pack 2. Ignition Pack 2 was a bundle of stripped back third party plug-ins that were not quite fully featured plug-ins but not demos either.
The plug-ins in Ignition Pack 2 were:
- Ableton Live Lite Digidesign Edition
- FXpansion BFD Lite
- IK Multimedia Amplitube LE
- Izotope Ozone 3
- Celemony Melodyne Uno Essential
- Digidesign Xpand!
- Arturia Analog Factory SE
- Way Out Ware Timewarp 2600 Lite
Now that I've refreshed my memory with the Ignition Pack plug-in list I remember why I started purchasing third-party plug-ins in 2007 for my Pro Tools system. Pro Tools 7 LE shipped with my Digi 003, it was very powerful and I got a lot from the stock plug-ins but these lite third-party plug-ins in Ignition Pack 2 introduced me to new and exciting workflows such as pitch & time correction (Melodyne), drum programming with high-quality drum samples (BFD), mastering (Ozone) and virtual guitar amp recording (IK Mulimedia Amplitube LE) that Pro Tools by itself couldn't do.
Each of these products had really affordable options for upgrading to unlocked fully featured versions. Ozone 3 by iZotope was my first ever third party plug-in purchase as at the time mastering was the process I knew little about yet I knew I had to learn in order to get better results out of my work. If memory serves me well the Ignition Pack 2 version of Ozone 3 included around 10 mastering presets, the ability to adjust input and output trim and controls for engaging and disabling dynamic modules in whatever preset was loaded. Those stripped back Ozone features clearly were enough to sell me the fully featured version.
Melodyne, a plug-in that I have used in nearly every Pro Tools music session over the last ten years was my second third party plug-in purchase also from upgrading from the Ignition Pack lite version. Ignition Pack then acted as a great third-party plug-in primer for me that got me into purchasing third-party plug-ins for Pro Tools.
Play The Plug-in Game
Cast your memory back to when you believe your first third party plug-in purchase for Pro Tools was, then check you iLok account using the iLok manager to see if you're right.
Share you first third party plug-in purchases in the comments below, we'd love to hear what they were!