Should I buy VST/Plug-ins?

Messages
37
Likes
9
#1
Ok, so I've been producing for around 5 or 6 years - Started using Fruity, then Reason & recently Logic. I've been saving up for a while for a new set up & finally have the funds to go ahead... I've got my Imac & about to buy Logic Pro X. My question is, do I spend on VSTs/Effect plugins/Mastering plugins or are Logic's/freeware downloads sufficient? I know getting a professional sound heavily rests on production techniques, but does using professional standard (paid for) plugins have an extra effect?

Before spending my hard earn money, I'm looking for advice. If so, what would you recommend to buy? if not, why not?

P.s, I'm already planning to spend on professional sample packs, but if you have a view on this or any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Thanks in advance. JB
 

smoothassilk

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
720
Likes
174
#2
I wouldn't say you should buy extra plugins for extra 'quality' - quality comes more from your own abilities.

Extra instruments and effects make you more versatile. There are things you can do with say, alchemy or serum that logic plugins can't do at all.

Sample packs don't contain anything that hasn't been done before, but that might not bother you- all music recycles ideas all the time.

I guess it depends whether you prefer to design your own sounds or use samples/presets.
 
Messages
37
Likes
9
#3
Yes I agree, it depends on your own ability - what I'm looking for is sound quality, this also relies on your techniques. But I get the feeling running your original sound through professional software plugins would indeed produce better quality, maybe I'm wrong?

Paid sample packs do however give you the initial quality to work with - as the saying goes "you can't polish a turd". I'm only looking for high quality one-shots, I love to organize my own sequences and feel loops take this creativity away.

what do you recommend for build ups and fills?
 
Messages
80
Likes
12
#5
You can do a lot of stuff with Logic's built-in effects. Can't say the same for its instruments - there are better commercial vstis available(and with much better ui and different synth types).
You said that you already have Reason so you can ReWire it into logic and use its instruments. There are a lot of producers who still use Reason's instruments almost exclusively - they are greate and with proper processing can lead to good esults.

For effects you should at first get comfortable with Logic's, especially with the main ones like eq, comp etc. And after that you will know what you want to expand on (like more saturation options, better tape sim, more advanced eq etc.). Or if you are a fan of analog classics you should search for emulations.
 

Fluff

Active Member
Messages
476
Likes
95
#6
Plug-Ins are tools and like any tool if you don't understand or can't use a tool properly then it doesn't matter whether you use the standard tools or the pro level tool.

I don't think the Logic plug-ins should be seem as poor versions as in my experience they tend to do a pretty good job and buying third party products only gives small advantages.
 
Messages
37
Likes
9
#7
All valid points, especially the one about seamlessr #smoothassilk ...

I know from years of producing you can't expect anything unless you have learnt how to use the tools properly, but as I have only ever used plugins that come with the software I thought maybe paying for plugins could increase sound quality whilst still using the same process... I do however stick by my statement, buying pro one-shots does make a big difference in the end quality of your drum sounds, even after all the effects compressions etc.

#wesStyle that’s an interesting comment, I don't actually have reason on my mac but i agree the synths and mastering in reason kicked ass.. I especially like the orchestral sections, sounded so real. I may have to look into getting a version for mac and rewiring.
 

Know One

Living A Lie
Messages
309
Likes
41
#8
I've always wanted to use logic due to the good reputation of the stock plug-ins (never had the money for a good Mac computer though).

I say, grab yourself a good synth and get to learning that and the stock plug-ins and you'll be good to go for some time. Eventually you'll run into a few situations were you'll want something extra to get the job done... At that point you'll know exactly what you want/need.

:: sent from android with tapatalk ::
 

Saftstein

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
597
Likes
167
#10
Jokes aside. About the sample packs, first find all the free stuff thats around the web (especially on this forum). Breaks, fx and bass oneshots are provided and you don't essentially need to buy sample packs.

For drum hits buy vengeance stuff, their quality is flawless and they are imo worth the money.
 

djdizzy

Active Member
Messages
215
Likes
49
#11
if you want better quality then your best bet is:
* use good quality samples for your one shots or whatever other samples you might be using
* 90% of a good sounding song comes from a good mixdown. that's a made-up percentage but you catch my drift, it's all in the mixdown!
* after you finish your mixdown, gain stage your song and get it professionally mastered. there are countless options out there for a mastering engineer so do some research and pick a good one. not all mastering engineers are created equally ;)

generally the stock plugins in logic should be perfectly sufficient to create a professional-sounding song. not to say there aren't crappy-sounding plugins out there because there are definitely some VST's that sound way better than others IMO, but logic's stock plugins are fine. i'd only buy a VST if you feel a need for it, like if you want a wavetable synth, etc... basically if you feel you need it. look at them like tools, what tools do you need for build a piece of furniture? be sure you have the tools you need, some tools are extravagant and make the work more of a pleasure but aren't necessary. alot of times you can achieve better results from using your existing tools in a creative way.

i've noticed that the more synths/etc i have, the less knowledgeable i am at all of them. once i realized that, i narrowed down the synths i use to just a handful and focused mainly on a couple. now i'm way more knowledgeable on those couple synths and am in a better position because i'm more capable with those synths.
 
Last edited:

Saftstein

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
597
Likes
167
#12
if you want better quality then your best bet is:
* use good quality samples for your one shots or whatever other samples you might be using
* 90% of a good sounding song comes from a good mixdown. that's a made-up percentage but you catch my drift, it's all in the mixdown!
* after you finish your mixdown, gain stage your song and get it professionally mastered. there are countless options out there for a mastering engineer so do some research and pick a good one. not all mastering engineers are created equally ;)

generally the stock plugins in logic should be perfectly sufficient to create a professional-sounding song. not to say there aren't crappy-sounding plugins out there because there are definitely some VST's that sound way better than others IMO, but logic's stock plugins are fine. i'd only buy a VST if you feel a need for it, like if you want a wavetable synth, etc... basically if you feel you need it. look at them like tools, what tools do you need for build a piece of furniture? be sure you have the tools you need, some tools are extravagant and make the work more of a pleasure but aren't necessary. alot of times you can achieve better results from using your existing tools in a creative way.

i've noticed that the more synths/etc i have, the less knowledgeable i am at all of them. once i realized that, i narrowed down the synths i use to just a handful and focused mainly on a couple. now i'm way more knowledgeable on those couple synths and am in a better position because i'm more capable with those synths.
You have some good points there but i don't agree that good sound comes to 90% from mixdown. It's the interaction between mixdown and using the right sounds. If you build your drums and the samples in them don't work together it will sound shitty, doesn't matter how perfect the mixdown might be.

Also if you use samples that have a bad sound in general, a mixdown won't fix that :)
 
Messages
20
Likes
2
#13
Hypothetically, you never have to buy any plugins to make good sound. As long as you've got some stock plugins (eq, filter, reverb, etc.), a few vst's for midi, and solid samples, you're set.

You can download a whole wealth of free plugins, just Google em or look around different forums. Hit up ResoundSound, dnb producer Resound's music production blog. He has a giant thread on free plugins, and doles out a lot of good info.

However, paid plugins really make things easier. I'd still be looking for a lot of different hits if I wasn't using Battery 4. And I'd have to run a lot of fx over my synth if I wasn't using Massive
 
Last edited:
Top