While there thousands of Plugins online to buy it can a task finding the write tool for the job, and even getting the same type of plugin doesn’t meant mean both will of the same quality, have the same settings or do the same job. Before Purchasing it is important to do a a bit of research
-Check Reviews: written, audio and video if they have them
-Read what it says on the main webpage this can sometimes be the most useful thing.
-Cost: generally more expensive ones are going to be of a higher standard however there are some free absolute goldmines out there that work wonderfully.
-Your friends: Do you know anyone with it ask them if they like it and what they use it for.
-Specifications: A very important one but is it compatible with your computer and your daw if not then don’t waste your time downloading, struggling trying to get something to work for hours is not fun when all that was needed was to read the specifications.
-Experiment: The products with a hundred page manuals can be very daunting and can often speak in ways that end up missing half the info you need. Some manuals are very good and picking up some of the basics can be very helpful by sometimes the best way to learn is to play with all these faders, switches and knobs. Be careful though certain settings on some plugins can be very hard on the ear so watch your volume and be ready to smack mute.
ReaEQ (FREE with Reaper)
What does EQ do?
You can boost or cut certain frequencies and widen or shrink the bandwidth of those frequencies
This Reaper plugin does exactly that and we get a nice little display so when we hit play in Reaper we can see a visual representation of the frequencies of the sound.
I tend to use EQ on my compositions boosting or cutting vertain freuqncies in the mix such as a muddy percussion instrument or maybe a high pitched instrument that needs to have some of the highs dialed back so it’s not to harsh one the ears. I also use it when editing dialogue or creating/manipulating sound effects. EQ is usually a tool for fixing things making them sound better but when it comes to sound effects we can use it to be a lot more creative.
ReaPitch Free with Reaper)
This nifty little pitch plugin is very handy for sound design and also can be used to create some eerie effects when composing to. For a few sound effects I have created duplicating the sound and then using this plugin to change the pitch can provide a useful way of thickening sounds and also creating creepy and particular sounds depending on how drastic you go with the settings. You can also use this for altering peoples voices you want your voice actor to sound like a Chip Munk or like Darth Vader than this is quite a useful tool to alter the voice. If you want to be more precise with your pitch effects you can set the settings to change the pitch between notes or even octaves . I recommend playing with the automation in your daw with this plugin as you can have the pitch go up and down as much as you like when a sound is being played.
Valhalla Room Reverb (£39)
What does the reverb
effect do ?
Reverb occurs when a sound hits any hard surface and reflects back to the listener at varying times and amplitudes to create a complex echo A Reverb plugin places your mix inside an acoustic space.
My go to Reverb not only is this useful for orchestral compositions but it helps cover a load of other music genres to. Reverbs are great for adding realism to pieces of music but also adding atmosphere and thickening the sound. Reverbs are also very useful if you are editing dialogue and want to place your characters inside an acoustic space. For my compositions I’ll make sure all my instruments tracks are sent to this plugin. You can also use Reverb with your sound effects by going crazy with the controls and creating some even more interesting sounds. This Reverb plugin is geared mainly towards more natural Reverbs but other Reverb plugins are designed much more experimental types of sounds.
Raum by Native Instruments (Free)
This is labelled as a Reverb plugin but this is no ordinary reverb plugin it seems to create quite a lot of creative madness. It has some of yoru basic room Reverbs for sure but many creative reverb presets to which can create some rather eerie and fun echos /sutains. Maybe you want your characters to be on another planet, a space station or in some sort of weird original worlds or place of your own this plugin is very creative for creating alien/space type sounds. For composers there are many Reverbs sorted for your compositions whether it be orchestral or hiphop or Rap but also can be very useful for media composers.
Ozone Imager (Free)
Ok now this plugin will display your stereo filed and you can look at it in 3 different ways by clicking on the options to the right of the display. Now on the far left you can see a fader and the more you turn this up the wider the stereo field will be. This is very useful if you desire your sound to be thicker or thinner. I find this can be useful on some of my compositions when I want to get a fuller sound.
Guitar Rig Pro Noise Reduction (£179)
By Native Instruments this is very useful on dialogue and sound effects to rid of horrible background sounds and there is only one knob to play with (wink wink) so it’s nice and simple. The More you turn the knob the more louder sounds will be reduced. The aim is to find a balance getting rid of your crappy background noise but not to much they you damage the sounds you want to hear. Having Guitar Rig Pro means there is a while punch of other effects in tehre such as delay, reverb and distortion etc and they are all divided into easy categories for you. Some of the Distortion and delays in there are particulary nice
- ReaDelay (Free with Reaper)
A groovy delay plugin simple yet very fun
- FROSTBITE 2 by AudioThing (About £50)
Frostbite is a spectral freezing plugin combined with a Ring Modulator and a Feedback module.
- Reelight by BEATSKILLZ (aBOUT £60)
This is a tape saturation plugin with many features for getting an authentic tape vibe and also some of the desirable artifacts associated with tape.