If you’re a regular reader, you know I don’t often tout plugins.
Truth be told, there are tons of great choices. You can even get a great mix using stock plugins alone.
With that being said, here are a few worth checking out…
1. Sonarworks Reference 3
Reference 3 will improve your monitoring system by compensating for acoustic problems in your room. The result is a flatter, truer listening environment—which makes it easier to craft mixes that sound great on other playback systems.
I’ve been using Reference 3 in my acoustically-treated mix room for several months now. Though it’s not a substitute for proper monitor placement and acoustic treatment, my mixes translate better than ever before.
I’ve tried several other room correction products, including the IK Multimedia ARC System 2 and KRK ERGO. Reference 3 takes the cake.
2. Sample Magic Magic AB
Still importing reference mixes into your sessions as audio tracks? You’re stuck in the stone age.
Magic AB allows you to load and play back references directly within its interface. Your references remain in one location, and you can even save presets for easy recall.
This one’s a lifesaver.
3. FabFilter Pro-Q
Pro-Q is my favorite EQ, hands down. Its GUI is both beautiful and easy-to-use, and the built-in frequency analyzer and auto-gain features are super handy. I rarely EQ with anything else.
4. Slate Trigger
Rather than spending hours trying to salvage lackluster drum recordings, Trigger allows you to quickly augment or replace them with samples. I don’t know how I ever mixed drums without it.
The triggering is remarkably accurate—it’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of tool. The included drum samples are excellent as well.
5. iZotope RX 5
I often receive sessions full of bad edits. But when the audio’s already been consolidated, the resulting clicks and pops are often tricky to remove.
iZotope RX 5 is God’s gift to engineers. The de-click tool is worth the price of admission alone. It isn’t sexy, but it certainly gets the job done.
6. Sound Radix Auto Align
Auto-Align makes phase-aligning tracks too easy. It’s perfect for tightening up relationships between bass DI and amp tracks, multi-mic’d guitar cabs, and drums. Awesome plugin!
Did I miss one of your favorites? If so, let me know by leaving a comment below!