C Demands Answers: Plug-Ins

This week’s segment is a great question seeing as I’ve posted so much content related to it, but didn’t explain it for all of the people who (a) just read this site for my nonsense or (b) the people new to the recording realm. See this is why you always include a smart female to proofread your site because she’s dated enough idiots that she understands their train of thought, thus making life even easier for us non idiots right?! I’m gonna go ahead and hand this over to our girl next door who happens to really dig guys who record music.

I’m back guys! Yall are all looking as handsome as ever (editors note: who are YOU looking at C?) SHUT UP Bryan! You all look very nice and well dressed (except that guy reading the site in his undies. You might wanna get that mole checked out.) Ok.. Bryan… I read the site everytime you call me in the middle of the night bawling, asking “Am I funny enough for you to love me now?” and you’re always talking about these things called Plug-Ins. Oh and I’ll go ahead and answer the above question with an “almost” but what are these Plug-Ins and why are you always harping on them?

*Wipes tears from eye First off people… I don’t call her crying. sniff sniff, I just had something in both my eyes and was trying to drown it and we all know if anything, my sense of humor is at least “interesting.” Plus I was a little horse that night and I asked, “Am I funny enough for you to LOVE me now” oh that was what you said… awwwwkwarrrd
But to answer your question, plug-ins are software that work in tandem with whatever recording program you use. Say if you use the recording software Cubase, the plug-in would be a piece of software that has a certain job inside of the program to help make the mix sound better. There are also different formats of plug-ins that only work with some programs or operating systems. The formats are usually VST, RTAS, AU, TDM and you can check the software you use to see what type you need.
There are TONS of plug-ins that serve almost any purpose you can think of from adding echo, to making a news broadcast sound like the people are singing. Yes, THIS was made with a plug-in called Auto-Tune. You hear it everywhere whether its blatantly in your face or just used to touch up vocals. There’s not a single song on the radio now that doesn’t use some sort of pitch correction software. There are other types of plug-ins that can emulate different types of microphones as well and these are just a few of the crazier ones. Most of the time you’re seeing me talk about two major types of plug-ins that are very popular, EQ, and Dynamics. The EQ plug-ins are the ones that will boost your bass or make the vocals sound more crisp and the popular trend nowadays is to emulate some of the classic analog (non computerized) hardware that is either too expensive or rare to own. The dynamic processors are the same way. These are made to take a track and bring it more forward in the mix or add warmth to it without making it distort. These are usually called Compressors. People use compressors for a ton of different reasons from changing the whole sound of a drum track or making an acoustic guitar louder with more body. I could seriously go on for days about the types of plug-ins but I won’t because girls have short attention spans about this stuff and we don’t want to lose what is probably the only female in here with us. I will say this, Plug-ins do serve a great purpose in that they save us from having to own a separate room for all of the physical gear it would take to do them, but don’t get too wrapped up in them. Proper pre-amps and “what’s a pre-amp” C… you had your question already! and recording practices will sometimes eliminate the need for plug-in use.
Do you have any parting words C?

see this people.. she talks IN YouTube Clips…Great…. she’s giving me the silent treatment for not answering her pre-amp question…sigh…. Would you tell her that I am not amused and ask her if I’m funny now?