Keith Everette Smith

Producer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist

Filtering by Tag: plugins

Plugins are so dang expensive!!!

As you know, plugins can be very expensive. I think I’d be jaw dropped at the amount of money I’ve spent on plugins in the last five years or so. Without counting, I must have about 100 plugins and software instruments and I’ve purchased every single one of them. (I’m a big proponent for PAYING for the tools and music you use… anything else is stealing, right?)

There is hope though! Have you ever considered buying plugins on ebay? Well, if not you should! In the last few years I’ve purchased many plugins and plugin bundles on ebay at massive discounts. I paid about $60 for Smack!, $125 for the Focusrite Bundle and I purchased the Waves SSL TDM bundle for $600 and the entire Sound Toys Suite for $750. Now, that’s still a lot of money, but it’s still a great deal! I’ve purchased the above plugs as well as things like TL Space, the Pultec Bundle, Moog FX, Fairchild Compressors, Auto Tune, etc.

So, before you go spending full price for your plugins, do an ebay search for what you need. You can save your search criteria and ebay will notify you when what you are looking for becomes available.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy giving gifts but I pray you’ll spend some time enjoying your families and celebrating Jesus Christ this season.

If I could only have 2 plug-in bundles!

I am a talker… especially when it comes to recording. I could go on for hours about new toys, techniques and music. What I don’t want to do is make you salivate over all the stuff you can’t afford. No one’s spouse likes us spending money we don’t have. BUT if you are mixing your own music there are a few plug-ins that I believe every musician should own. At this point, I literally could not mix a song without these tools. Take a look.

#1 WAVES SSL 4000 Bundle – These plug-ins are modeled after the famed SSL recording consoles. Before the industry got on board with in-the-box mixing, the vast majority of hit singles and platinum albums were mixed on these boards. Still today, tons of engineers won’t mix a record without one. They have a fantastic sound. The EQ is especially aggressive and has a very recognizable quality that it adds to the sound.
Waves’ did a great job of cloning this console. The SSL E-channel plug-in models a single channel of the E Series Console. It has EQ, compression/gating (dynamics) and all the other routing functions of the original E series console. The 4-band equalizer is similar to the EQ on the channel strip except it mimics the sound of the G series console, which sounds slightly different than the E series. The bus compressor is modeled after the master bus compressor of the console. This compressor is most often used on the entire mix, adding “glue” to the sound and giving everything a little aggressive edge.
OK, this bundle is a little expensive but well worth the price in my opinion. I literally think I could sell almost all my other plug-ins and mix exclusively. (Thus, the reason for this blog.) At this point, I wouldn’t think of mixing drums without it.

#2 WAVES MUSICIANS II Bundle – Another great bundle from WAVES. These plug-ins are not models. They are original plug-ins and they sound great. At a price point of a little over $200, this bundle is well worth the price.
R-Compressor – Is a really nice sounding compressor. It can handle standard compression or even venture into optical compression (useful on vocals, bass or anything else you’d want processed with transparency).
R-Vox – Here is a good reason to buy the musicians II bundle. R-Vox is a compressor limiter, expander specifically tailored for vocals. This thing is magic and adds presence and excitement to a vocal.
R-Axx – This is another compressor tailored for guitars. I really don’t know what it does but it does it well! Adds beef and excitement to guitar tracks.
R-EQ – I absolutely love this eq! It’s not particularly colorful but it allows you to easily pinpoint EQ points for adjustment. It treats the high end very nicely and things don’t get overly harsh.
SuperTap Delay – Another reason to buy this bundle. This delay does everything from U2-type delays, simple analog mono delays and lush reverb type complex delays. It’s a “do it all” delay unit.
Doubler – This plug comes in handy when you wanna create a pseudo-doubled vocal effect on the chorus or thicken background vocals to fill up a bit of the mix.

You know, I really didn’t mean for this to be a WAVES advertisement. I really don’t care who makes the plugs I use. I just care about the result. These bundles help me do my job. I use many other plugs but if I had to, I could do everything I need with these guys.

Other plug-ins I use regularly:
Massey CT4 Compressor, Massey TD5 Delay, TL Space, Digi ReVibe, Drawmer Dynamics, Massey L2000 limiter, SoundToys EchoBoy, Digi Echo Farm, Waves MaxxBass, McDSP Filter Bank Bank, BombFactory 1176


OK people. Listen close. If you don’t own plugins by MASSEY PLUGINS you are missing out! My goodness, this guy is amazing. His compressor is fantastic, his 3 band EQ is easy and colorful, his De:ESSER is genius and transparent, his analog Delay is PERFECT, his LIMITER is the industry standard, his Tape Head modeler glues my mixes together…. the list goes on.

The best part is that every plugin is well under $100!!

The reason I’m posting this blog is because Massey just introduced DTM, a drum to midi drum replacement plugin FOR FREE if you own any of Massey’s other plugins. THIS THING IS HOT! Logic already has something like this and it’s nice to have it within pro tools!

Speaking of Pro Tools. Pro Tools 8 comes out soon and has some AMAZING new features. If you had though about moving to Logic, think again!