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Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

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Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Craig840415 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:58 am

Hey,

I wanted to get some opinions on this. We work with a producer / engineer who has 30 years experience in the industry and she, like a real purist swears by manually setting EQ and effects when mixing, and would probably cut off your hand if she saw you reaching over for a program like EZmix, Isotope or Waves plugins and using the presets... However for me, as a total noob who is more muso than engineer, I really like the idea of having a couple of plugins and coming up with at least a basic recipe of presets etc to set my mixes in the right direction, while I realise every mix is different and requires different things, this would make life alot easier. So this begs the question/s, is it possible to get a pro sounding mix by using just presets on plugins?
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:17 am

Well obviously it is if you had enough presets and time to go through them. But no, not really. Presets are useful for creating your own default settings. Eg say you have an eq which opens with all the bands switched off (like channel strip) or you want a high pass filter on most things so have that activated etc etc. It makes sense when you only use a particular plug in for a certain job. If you find you always set something the same then by all means use a preset. They're obviously useful for effects. But the idea that you can click on 'kick' 'snare' 'male vocal' etc is silly. They're totally dependent on the source, the mic, the distance, any tracking processing etc.
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:37 am

Presets are fine as a starting point, but with something like a dynamics processor there's really no way a preset is going to suffice without some tweaking to suit the material it is processing, and an understanding of how it works. A 'pro' certainly wouldn't be relying on prests to buid a mix and, unless you are *very* lucky, it is as likely as a lottery win that the presets will suit all the material you throw at them.

Given the small number of controls on such processors it hardly seems worth saving presets anyway - I work from scratch pretty much every time. With something like a delay, reverb, etc., then there's more of an argument for presets.
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Bossman » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:54 am

I often reach for a preset for auditioning reverbs, at least as a starting point. but for EQ/dynamics I always start from scratch.
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby sambrox » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:05 am

Bossman wrote:I often reach for a preset for auditioning reverbs, at least as a starting point. but for EQ/dynamics I always start from scratch.
+1
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Zukan » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:31 am

Prests can be of help especially when using reverb. Most users won't know what a plate is so a preset with plate vocals might help the user a tad and help him/her/it to learn summat.

Personally, I delete all presets from every effects and dynamics I have. I hate them.
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:30 pm

I never use presets in a set and forget fashion, I always tweak any I have used, but it can be a good starting point, especially on very complicated synths or multi-effects.
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Re: Plugins & Presets vs Manually Setting Individual Effects

Postby Craig840415 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:26 am

Thanks for the advise everyone. Much appreciated.
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