Recommended Plug-Ins?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bass12, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm just getting back into home recording and am currently running the latest edition of Logic. The only plug-ins I currently have are those that come standard with Logic. Does anyone have recommendations for good plug-ins? Drums/percussion, keyboards, bass mostly but some horns and strings could be useful as well. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
     
  2. Logic comes with a ton of stuff. Try it all out first.
     
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  3. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I’ve checked out all of the drums, percussion, bass and most of the keyboard sounds on Logic. I find the percussion sounds, especially, lacking. Drums are okay (much better for electronic than real drum samples). Bass sounds are very limited. Horns aren’t very useable (though very few sampled horns are, to my ears).
     
  4. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    first thing you should try is Kontakt (start with free one, if you like what's in free pack, consider of buying full one). most of things you're mentioning are there.

    for drums/percussion, Toontrack and XLN Audio make nice products, they're worth demoing.

    keyboards is really an endless journey, many folks use some instruments for Kontakt, some dig Pianoteq, some like Keyscape. Toontrack and XLN audio of course also have keyboards.
     
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  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Just to clarify: When you say "plugins" you're really looking for instrument VSTs. Right? You're not talking about plugins for signal processing, you're looking for ways to play a virtual instrument via MIDI...?
     
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  7. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Yes, that’s right - sorry if I wasn’t clear or if I’m using the wrong terminology (though recommendations for signal processing would be great too).
     
  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I've substantially reduced the number of VSTs I use these days. These are my go-to VSTs, which are all getting a little long in the tooth and can probably be updated with better sounding versions.
    • Superior Drummer for drums when I don't want to mic up a kit or I need a piece of Latin percussion I don't own.
    • Addictive Keys for piano and electric piano sounds.
    • Logic's built-in B3 with a lot of signal processing if I need organ sounds.
    • Native Instruments Session Strings Pro for smaller string arrangements.
    • Native Instruments Session Horns Pro for smaller horn arrangements
    • Spitfire Audio's Albion for orchestral string and horn arrangements.
    • XFer Serum for synth sounds.
    • Ample Sound for a variety of acoustic guitar, electric guitar and electric bass sounds when I don't want to record the real thing myself.
    If I need anything beyond that I'll either use Logic's built-in sounds with a lot of processing, or I'll hire someone to come in and record the real thing.

    I'm very interested in the products from Output. If I were producing a modern pop tune I would go and buy their full suite of products immediately as they absolutely nail that sound.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
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  9. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    For signal processing I have a couple of staples that get used on most sessions.
    • Logic's built-in Gain plugin is the single most important plugin that software or any third part software has to offer. Get gain staging right from the start and everything sounds better.
    • Softube Console 1 goes on EVERYTHING. This requires the Softube Console 1 hardware, so it may not be feasible.
    • Softube Tape goes on pretty much everything as well.
    • Izotope Neutron for mixing tasks when I need something more surgically precise than Softube Console 1, which is honestly pretty rare.
    • Izotope Ozone Advanced for lots of things. The Advanced version is necessary because sometimes I want to put the vintage compressor module and the vintage tape modules on my 2buss without the full processing demand of mixing into the full suite of Ozone tools. Those two modules on their own are worth the price of admission for gluing a mix together.
    • Valhalla DSP is my go to for both reverb (Valhalla Room) and delay (Valhalla Delay). They offer more versions, but those two are general purpose enough that I never need anything else.
    • Anything beyond that can be accomplished with Logic's stock plugins, which are remarkably good sounding.
     
  10. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    @silky smoove Thanks a million for those recommendations and for your detailed explanations. Very much appreciated!
     
  11. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Sure thing. They all have their quirks, which is something I find with every VST I use. Albion sounds spectacular, but was recorded very loose so you have to get creative with MIDI event placement to get things sounding tight. By comparison, Session Strings Pro sounds perfectly tight rhythmically and has a killer interface, but has never blown me away soundwise. Pros and cons... You'll find which ones suit your workflow and tastes.
     
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  12. To add to what was said, there are a few plugins that are either free or super cheap that I use all the time: Free like the Synth1 or cheap like the MJUC compressor. Also PSPAudioware has currently a sale $20 on many of their excellent plugins. But as it was said, I'd start with Logic plugins.
     
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  13. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm not sure if it's still available, but Blue Cat Audio used to offer their spectrum analyzer plugin (FreqAnalyst or something like that) completely free of charge. It was a much more usable meter for frequency response than what's available by default in Logic.
     
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  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I’ve been playing around with Kazrog’s True Iron plug-in. It’s a transformer emulation plug-in that, when set at noon, adds a pleasant amount of harmonics (even and/or odd depending on the model of transformer selected). It adds a nice presence to tracks in a different way than tape sims. For instrument and creative purposes it allows you to overdrive the plug in a very pleasing way. Could be a great tool for getting bass or guitar tracks to sit well in a mix. More testing is required, but it’s shaping up to be a real winner.
     
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