Mixing Minute

Audio Plugins Intro

Audio plugins come in three basic categories: Dynamic (compression, limiting, etc.) Spectral / Filter effects (EQ, etc.) Time Based effects (delay, reverb, etc.) All three are critical for a good mix, but I dare say that no mix is complete without compression and EQ.  So let’s start there. First thing to know about plugins is that you need to buy some!  You say, “My NLE (or DAW) comes with a ton of plugins already…”  Buy some anyway.  In fact, buy the Renaissance (RennMaxx) bundle from Waves.  I’ll tell you why. First, Dynamics.  The R-Compressor is extremely versatile and colorless.  I literally use this compressor every day.  I will go into detail on best practices in a later blog post, but for now just know that for dialog or voice-over, this compressor is easy to use and sounds great.  Also a part of dynamics is de-essing.  The R-DeEsser is quite possibly the best DeEsser available at any price.  It just plain works.  Set it to “Split” and adjust the threshold and range so that it’s working.  The R-Vox and Renaissance Axx plugins are simple, two knob compressors that certainly have their uses as well. Default_PluginsSecond, Spectral/Filter Effects.  The Renaissance Equalizer is my go-to EQ for the same reasons.  It’s colorless and easy to get the results you need.  There are many reasons to use different EQs, but my “desert island” EQ would have to be the REQ-6. Also in the spectral category is the Renaissance Bass plugin.  R-Bass is a really nice effect to use to bring out bass elements that you need, or to prepare low frequency sounds for playback on less-than-full-range systems.  Quality plugin, but not essential for everyone. Third, Time-Based Effects.  The Renaissance Reverb is extremely good.  I have better reverbs, but not even close to this price range.  It’s easy to use and sounds very good.  You also get the IR-L Convolution Reverb, which is more difficult to get a good sound right out of the box, but has capabilities beyond that of the R-Verb. Lastly, as part of the bundle you get Waves Tune LT, which can be used to tune or modify pitch.  I use the “non-LT” (Full) version of Waves Tune all the time to change the inflection of dialog.  For example, if you have to cut a sentence and make it finish on a word, when it actually keeps going, you often need to change the pitch and length of at least the final syllable.  Waves Tune does that well.  Personally, I found the LT version less useful for my purposes, but the full version works for me. So, my first audio plugin recommendation is for the Waves RennMaxx bundle.  Until next time!

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One comment
  1. Pingback: of Sound Mind | Need more music AND dialog in your mix?

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