Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Essential Pro Tools Add-ons and Plug-ins (Recording)

This entry is basically a review of various essential Pro Tools entries from the past couple of weeks. For the time being, the following plug-ins (and one supplemental add-on program) will make your Pro Tools program the most amount of flexibility on a budget (relatively speaking):

Virtual Instruments, or audio Illustrator
Strike instead of drum loops;
VST to RTAS Adapter to use free VSTi plug-ins, downloaded from the Web;
Xpand! as a sampler of sampled sounds.

Postproduction, or audio Photoshop
Melodyne Plugin to quickly fix pitch/tempo issues, or to explore the technology;
Repli-Q to mimic the tone of other recordings;
SoundSoap 2 or SoundSoap Pro to clean up noisy recordings.

Keep in mind the Audio Suite and RTAS plug-ins that come with Pro Tools by default are also useful - the EQs, the limiters, the delays, etc. We'll get into those already paid-for effects in future entries.

The only thing truly missing is the human element, and that's where you come in (and possibly some nifty guitars, amps, and mics, too). The above list will give you that audio Photoshop advantage for about a thousand dollars (not counting the price of the initial Pro Tools DAW), and they are all RTAS (or RTAS-dependent) add-ons. When you spend the big bucks on a TDM-based Pro Tools HD system, you'll get more than the above effects.

Happy recording!

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