Official Artist
Johnny Chao
Composer , Music Producer , Sound Engineer
168,894 views| 73  Posts

Crazy About Plug-Ins

Over the years as a mixing engineer, I have purchased a ridiculous amount of plug-ins for my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Obviously, I will never need that much plug-ins in a single mix, but being able to try different ones out to hear how it sounds is a great option to have.

There has been a lot of debate between mixing in the box, out of the box, or a hybrid of both. Just to make things clear, mixing in the box means mixing without any outboard gear so the box in this case is the computer.

There are engineers who cannot live without their vintage outboard gears and then there are engineers who only mix in the box and therefore, rely on plug-ins to give them the sound they are after. For me, I mix in the box with plug-ins, mainly because when I started mixing, I could not really afford any outboard gear and took the plug-ins route. And of course, this type of work flow began to grow on me and there was no turning back.

Lucky for people like me, we now have plug-ins that emulate vintage analog gears that work wonders on a digital system. Of course there are people who say that although sounding pretty close, these plug-ins don't exactly sound like the analog versions they are trying to replace. I agree. But at the same time, if you took 2 exact same models of a vintage analog gear and used them side by side, they will sound different as well.

I would like to share this plug-in that was introduced to me about a year ago from my mentor/ engineer Charles Dye. It is called Console Strip Pro from URS. So what's so cool about this plug-in? Well, its got input stage, compressor, and 4 band eq all in one, all emulating vintage analog gear. There are 30 input stages to choose from, including tube, tape etc... Lots of compressor models and best of all, each band of eq can be a different model. So an engineer can actually choose let's say, an SSL for a certain band and a Neve for another. The possibilities are endless!

Another plug-in company that I absolutely love is Steven Massey. http://www.masseyplugins.com/

Its a one-man company and Steven makes great inexpensive plug-ins that are so user-friendly and sounds amazing! He offers full functioning demo versions with no expiration dates and his plugs work for both Po Tools LE and HD(TDM). Whenever he has a new plug-in out, I don't even demo it anymore, I simply just pay the guy and downlaod it and have not been disappointed.

I could probably go on and on about plug-ins from other companies such as McDSP, Waves, and Sonnox etc.. but I think that's enough geek talk for a day? So to wrap things up, my conclusion is: I can never have too many plug-ins, just like women will never have enough shoes!

Until next time!

over 15 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares


Johnny is a producer/engineer/composer/guitar player located in Los Angeles, CA. http://www.youtube.com/user/FatsoMusicInc

Learn More

Languages Spoken
english, mandarin
Location (City, Country)
Los Angeles, United States
Member Since
September 6, 2008