You are here

Best value starter plugins bundle?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby uphillbothways » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:23 pm

I often get asked to recommend a DAW, invariably by novices on a budget. I'm increasingly inclined to suggest Reaper, but unlike most of the other big DAWs it doesn't come with much in the way of bundled plugins. Even the cheapest versions of the major DAWs come with loads of toys, and although Reaper has the basics covered, it feels terribly bare if you haven't got a stack of software already.

I've often heard the argument that "Reaper is cheaper than the other DAWs so you can spend the money you've saved on plugins", but what exactly can you get for that money? The obvious option is Komplete Elements, but what would you all suggest?
uphillbothways
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby The Elf » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:49 pm

TBH for a starter/novice I'd strongly advise them to ignore anything beyond the basic plugs included with their DAW. Beginners can become lost looking for the 'magic plug-in' when their attention is better spent on learning the basics.

That said, if a bundle of relatively sophisticated plug-ins is a genuine early requirement then there are plenty of freebies to try. There are some very good plugs from the likes of Variety of Sound - their NastyDLA, for just one example, is the equal of most costly delay processors I've used.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9936
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


Re: Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby oggyb » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:58 am

After pausing to check for the relevance of Elf's wisdom to your situation, head on over to http://antress.blogspot.co.uk/ and help yourself to the Antress plugin bundle.
User avatar
oggyb
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Leeds, UK

Re: Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby uphillbothways » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:29 am

The Elf wrote:TBH for a starter/novice I'd strongly advise them to ignore anything beyond the basic plugs included with their DAW. Beginners can become lost looking for the 'magic plug-in' when their attention is better spent on learning the basics.

That said, if a bundle of relatively sophisticated plug-ins is a genuine early requirement then there are plenty of freebies to try. There are some very good plugs from the likes of Variety of Sound - their NastyDLA, for just one example, is the equal of most costly delay processors I've used.

Thanks for the tip on Variety of Sound. I think you're somewhat missing the point though.

My issue with Reaper's standard plugins is twofold - firstly that the UI is intimidatingly abstract, secondly that all sorts of stuff is absent that is fairly standard. On the first point, Reaper is a bit of a blank canvas, which is brilliant if you know what you're doing but absolutely hopeless if you don't.

Take ReaVerb as an example - fantastically powerful, but if you stick a novice in front of it they flounder because the design is horribly unintuitive. It doesn't open with a default patch and doesn't actually do anything until you've selected an obscure option from a hidden menu - adding an impulse generator. The list of impulse sources is alphabetical, so the one you probably want most of the time ("reverb generator") is in fifth position. The comparison between ReaVerb and, say, Logic's PlatinumVerb is rather stark.

To use the applicable jargon, Reaper's plugins have extremely poor discoverability - if you're not certain of what you're looking for, it's very hard to find it. It's perfectly straightforward if you sit down with The Reaper Book and work through it, but only spods like us actually read the manual. Arguably that's the case for the rest of the interface, but there's inherently a steep learning curve in that respect, the alternative being Propellerheads-style Skeuomorphism and the muddled thinking that tends to result.

The second issue is the stuff that's missing that is standard in a DAW these days - amp and cab simulation, creative effects, a couple of softsynths, a sampler with a decent set of bread-and-butter patches and so on. You could genuinely produce a modern pop album with nothing but Logic Pro, a MIDI keyboard and a vocal mic, which can't be said for Reaper. It's far harder to avoid magical-plugin-chasing if you're told "go and have a rummage on the internet for some freebies" rather than "that box contains everything you need bar the talent". Most of the obvious options for filling those gaps involve either shonky Freeware plugs, severely cut-down evaluation versions or major expense. Say you want to dabble with orchestral arranging - no problem in Cubase or Logic, but what does a Reaper user do? Even the most basic license for an orchestral sample library is close to the cost of a DAW that comes with it's own.
uphillbothways
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby Zukan » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:05 am

If you discount the 'big boys' with the price tags to match bar any Black this or that sale then you are left with what I think are even better value: the smaller companies that make usable and cheap or free plugins. I could start a list here but it's Sunday and I'm gearing up for a heavy lunch followed by watching Bartha whoop some ass.

Go over to KVR audio and spend a few weeks there and you'll eventually get through all the plugins and their reviews and prices. Great resource site.

As for Reaper and any DAW, the bundled plugins, as the Elf has stated, are good for learning on and some are actually very good. Personally, and this is subjective, I prefer to collate my own list of plugins to use in a DAW.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 6141
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:00 pm

Samplecraze   Stretch That Note Masterclasses


Re: Best value starter plugins bundle?

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:15 pm

If you are looking at very good quality software for a low price look no further than Voxengo, this guy has some great plug ins (and some really useful freeware) and for very reasonable prices relative to other developers. Characterful, quirky and sound good.

Cheers
Safe and Sound Mastering
User avatar
SafeandSound Mastering
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:00 am
Location: London UK


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest