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Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

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

Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby ITHertz » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:28 am

Hi Folks,

In the sales at the end of last year I picked up a couple of the Acustica plug-ins - Pink and Ebony. Both of these come with preamp plug-ins which contain a variety of preamps.

I'm interested in how people are using these - do you record through them, put them on when mixing individual tracks, buses, mixbus, etc.? Do you used them everywhere or selectively?

As these are CPU-hogs do people commit to them?

My question also applies to other preamp plug-ins from companies like Black Rooster and Fuse.

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby IAA » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:48 am

- I always record clean and insert later - if I need to. Mind you, I’m not a pro! :D
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:19 am

ITHertz wrote:Hi Folks,

In the sales at the end of last year I picked up a couple of the Acustica plug-ins - Pink and Ebony. Both of these come with preamp plug-ins which contain a variety of preamps.

I'm interested in how people are using these - do you record through them, put them on when mixing individual tracks, buses, mixbus, etc.? Do you used them everywhere or selectively?

As these are CPU-hogs do people commit to them?

My question also applies to other preamp plug-ins from companies like Black Rooster and Fuse.

Very sparsely, and generally as coloration after the fact. If you think of what a driven preamp does - it’s taking a signal and make it clip a little bit, adding all the oddness that happens when the circuit is pushed outside its performance envelope - it makes little difference between doing that on uptake or later on on a very clean signal.

If I want the sound during the performance - vocals and bass mainly - I’d rather drive an hardware preamp and save myself the hassle. The one exception can be stuff like the UA unison preamps which run the emulations onboard and are easy to set up.

That said, I bought Ebony out of curiosity and so far I’m mightily unimpressed. Don’t doubt people can use it, but I don’t find it doing anything particularly special so far (admittedly, haven’t tried hard)

The only preamp emulation I have consistently used over the years is Bootsy’s BootEQ mk II - you find it at Variety Of Sound and it’s free. It's 32bit but works perfectly with a bitbridge. If you like preamp color in software, I strongly suggest trying it!
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby Zukan » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:40 am

For colour. Some of the pre topologies that come with their plugins are really good.
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:42 am

I record clean and choose anything of this type aftterwards, and mostly by feeding through my Focusrite Liquid Channels.

These days I am perfectly happy with a smudge of saturation from the offerings built into Cubase, so I don't reach for this kind of plug-in very much.
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:30 pm

I occasionally use soundtoys little radiator to add a bit of colour. I record clean and then I'll add this as the first plug-in in the chain.

And frequently take it off later when I decide the whole thing is too muddy! :D
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:28 am

Like everyone else here I record clean, but I do indulge in various preamps to add some colour to specific instruments at the mixing stage (often low end stuff such as kick drum, bass sounds and so on).

My most often used is Kazrog True Iron (not strictly speaking a preamp, but its trafo-style mojo can add a real cumulative warmth, especially when spread across multiple tracks).

I also like Fuse Audio Labs' VPRE-376 for its unique sound and smooth alteration of mojo (so many preamps seem to jump from clean to distorted with little control in between, but this one provides a real range)

I've also just bought Black Rooster Audio's VPRE-73 (once again a lot of tonal variation through the various gain options, although I haven't used this in anger yet ;) )

However, in most cases I tend to use these in a subtle fashion, for their combination of a little harmonic colour and a little tailoring of EQ.


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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby Zukan » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:43 am

I've been eyeing the Black Rooster Audio's VPRE-73. Might give it a spin even though I have a gazillion harmonic distortion plugins.....
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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:18 pm

Zukan wrote:I've been eyeing the Black Rooster Audio's VPRE-73. Might give it a spin even though I have a gazillion harmonic distortion plugins.....

It's only $29 at the moment Eddie, which may sway you ;)


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Re: Preamp Plug-ins - How Are You Using Them?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:16 pm

For live instruments I use use UAD pre-amp plugs, with my Apollo Unision preamps for color on the way in like in olden days.

:thumbup:
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