With the holiday season upon us, thoughts turn to plug-ins. Xmas deals are everywhere. Shopping for presents, whether for ourselves or others, is on everyone’s mind. And for those of us running businesses, end of year purchases are a great way to optimize and tweak our deductible expenses.
With all the virtual flyers reaching our inboxes every day, it can be difficult to block out the “noise”, and zero in on what might be of real value to us. So we thought it might be fun to choose a single plug-in that we can’t (or wouldn’t want to) live without. In other words, to cut through to the bone of what is really important to each of us. Perhaps that might be of value to you as you are contemplating your own potential purchase choices?
SSL 4000 E Channel from Universal Audio
I didn’t have to think too long to come up with my choice. It was obvious to me it had to the be SSL 4000 E Channel Strip from Universal Audio. Why? Because I track through it every single time I hit the record button in my studio.
I’ve got it set up as a Unison powered plug-in on my UA Console app for my VO mic that I track through every day as I am creating my groove3 (and other) videos. I also have one set up on each of my drum mic channels in the Console App so that my drum tracks are printed with tasty sounding SSL EQ. I don’t track the drums or my voice with the compressor module. That’s just a personal choice. In fact, I barely use the filters on the E Channel either for tracking (just a little bit of low end roll off on my VO mic).
What I love about using the SSL 4000 E Channel Strip to track through is the sweet sounding analog console thickness I get by gain staging the preamp section so that I can push the fader level up a bit. Plus I love the sound of the broad stroke initial EQ adjustments on the source tracks. I don’t think twice about committing to them and printing them to disc on input.
Can I get a similar effect using Logic’s plug-ins? Maybe. I can probably come up with something nice sounding with some careful EQ and compressor tweaking. And maybe a bit of drive from one of the new Console EQs. But it is convenient having the SSL setup in place and ready to go on the input of each mic. That is something that requires a bit of setup in Logic to pull off (creating and setting up input objects in the Environment and creating a template to start from each time). With the Unison powered Universal Audio SSL 4000 E channel strip; I can use any template or project I want in Logic, without having to worry about whether or not the right Environment setup is in place.
Check out this article and video on how I use the Universal Audio SSL E Channel Strip on my drum mics. So, that is my single plug-in I would choose to keep if I could only choose one. What is yours?