This article is for anyone who is doing all of there music editing in the box. Obviously the best way to do this is to actually use vintage hardware in your processing chain, however, these days plugins are so advanced you can generate harmonics and imperfections just how an analog piece of hardware would. The main difference between analog and digital is distortion / filters and imperfections. Check out some of the cool options you have below
This plugin is great at adding vintage FX to a channel and why it is first on the list. This FX is very literal and will completely change the way the audio is represented, which is a good thing, I don't usually like plugins that add a subtle effect to an audio channel. It can add a little 50's sheen or it can completely destroy the audio making it one of my favorite vintage vibe FX
D16 Decimort 2
This plugins will emulate REALLY accurately some of the most of sought after hardware that ever existed. From Akai to Ensoniq It's all in there.
It's not just a bit crusher. it can do so many things that a lot of other plugins claim to do, but just don't do as well. Plus I was once in the studio with Illmind producer and he mentioned D16 as one of his favorite plugin companies on the market right now. Some of the emulations are on the website go check it out and let me know what you think about this badass plugin, they have MANY badass plugins to check out so its def worth your time to visit D16 Group!
I own this plugin because it can add subtle FX that just sound really amazing, I'm not usually one for subtle, but this one is REAL.. I saw it first on a live stream by producer Galimatias, if you haven't heard of him, now is the time to search... but he was using it on a sound he designed and it just made the audio sound like it was coming right off a tape. I use this a lot! it would be great to shootout this along side Waves and UAD, (maybe even Slate Digital too)
This plugin adds harmonics in a way i've never heard a plugin. The really interesting thing is i've seen this plugin in all high end studio environments throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Any session I've either recorded myself or worked with an engineer this plugin was pulled up, it can do some really amazing things to a bass channel. Soundtoys are not toys at all, they are literally a staple of sound all over the world! Well worth the price.
ToneBoosters ReelBus 4
Two minutes into using this plugin you will realize the value, and be shocked by the price. This plugin has a really cool unique feature which is kinda of an EQ section that lets you drive specific frequencies into the tape modeling. Very Well Done
PSP Vintage Warmer
First I'd like say that all of PSP plugins are extremely high quality as far as sonic capability is concerned. These plugins are NOT subtle at all and you will get use out of them. I own the warmer and the EQ modules, both are accurate and deliver what is stated in the manual, specifications. A lot of plugins claim to do so much, have a listen to the effect. Plus there is a 30 day trial I suggest you try
Do some of your own research on analog gear / vintage equipment. You will notice that back when these hardwares were used to make music the options were limited to 3 band EQ, no multi band compression etc. Things were simpler, and required you to get a great recording on the way in! If you really want to get some great analog sounds, use some outboard gear during the processing and see how it feels.
It’s a very different feeling spinning physical knobs then it is clicking a mouse, plus don’t be afraid to drive that old analog gear into distortion for some cool sounding color FX, (Use a limiter, though don’t blow your system) IF you have any suggestions let me know, I’m always looking for new stuff!