6 Plug-ins That Can Transform Your Drum Mixes... And Other Stuff Too

06-07-2014 07:42 AM

There are plenty of plug-ins out there to grab, here are 6 that I reach for to transform drum mixes… and of course you can use them on other stuff too. As ever let us know your favourites, we love to try them out.

Fabfilter Pro G

There are a lot of noise gate plug-ins on the market, there’s even some free ones Avid ship one with Pro Tools, but if you want a noise gate that get really get in and clean up a live drum kit then this is the one. It has great presets to get you close to where you need to be and then all the tweaks you need to make sure you nail it. More here

McDSP Filterbank F202

Any mixer worth their salt will reach for filters to clean up the mix. Again there’s a lot of free stuff but nothing comes close to the McDSP F202 which has steep high and low pass filtering up to 24db with resonant Q control which is where the magic happens. It means you can carve out a load of top and bottom end but still retain loads of character - it’s almost voodoo. More here

Sonnox Oxford Transmod

You can a take lot of time working with a compressor to get the threshold, ratio, attack and release set just right, or you can just plug-in the Sonnox Oxford Transmod and get instant thwack on the snare or click on the kick. Alternatively you can use the Transmod to pull a sound back and add extra ambience. The overdrive also helps to add a nice kind of tube warmth to what sometimes start off as pretty sterile sounds. More here

UAD Pultec EQP-1A

A lovingly crafted version of the Pultec EQ. This is often strapped across my drum buss to add the magic Pultec bottom end created by boosting and attenuating. It works great on kick and bass for extra balls, I also use it to take some of the harsh top end off overheads and cymbals. More here

Slate VBC

A law should be passed to have this installed on every drum buss. The Slate VBC features three excellent buss compressor models of classic comps with the Slate twist. I created my own preset called Drum Krush which uses two of the three units. The ability to use a HPF on the comps as well as mix them in with the original is icing on the cake of my number one buss compressor plug-in. More here

Exponential Audio PhoenixVerb

Warning, don’t download the demo of PheonixVerb if you are broke, listen for 5 minutes and you’ll buy it. If you want authentic rooms, chambers or plates then this is the baby, it has the smoothest tails out there and the CPU hit is almost zero. Great for bedding an entire kit together or for great snare and tom reverbs. More here