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3 Free Plugins I Use in Every Mix

Transcript
Hey, what’s up? It’s Matty at mixandmastermysong.com. Today, I’m going to show you three songs that I use on just about every mix. The special part — the special thing about these plugins is they’re actually free, which is really cool. There are so many different plugin manufacturers out there now who might just be trying to get a name, or get their product name out there now, that they’ll release a plugin for free, and it benefits us because we get to use them and check out what they have to offer, and a lot of them are just really, really special.

So let’s jump in and I’ll show you three different ones I use in a lot of my mixes.

The first one is the DMG Control. Now, it’s more of a utility type of plugin. Let me go through it. It’s got M/S to LR, then you can swap the left and right, which is cool if you have a piano sent to you that was panned hard right, or panned with a lot more information on the right, and it’s kind of getting in the middle of the mix over there, and you want to switch it to the left, just hit swap LR. You can fix your phase on here.

It comes with a high pass filter, which is kind of a nice extra feature. You can change the slope on that. Balance, which is left to right, and then width, which is kind of cool and different, as well as the left/right and right pan, which you can switch back and forth, and a delay, as well as trim and gain.

So check it out.

[piano]

So that switches your mid/side to the left/right speaker, which is kind of cool. And you can swap…

[piano]

And it’s really cool sometimes just what swapping the sides can do to a mix. Phase, left and right if it’s out of phase, high pass filter here.

[piano, filtering]

Then your balance, which because this is stereo is going to be left and right.

[piano, adjusting balance]

And so with Studio One, I don’t use this this much, but if I’m mixing in Pro Tools which is usually two different pans, the left and the right, you can use this balance here if you want to automate a pan or something like that. Instead of having to draw two different sides, you can just use the balance, which kind of makes it helpful.

Width, which is really interesting.

[piano, adjusting width]

Spread things out quite a bit. This is kind of cool to have, especially on a utility plugin, and then you can pull the pans in if you want.

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Then a delay if you wanted to delay it too.

So this plugin is great. When you just need to grab something and check a phase, if you want to swap your left and right, just need a high pass filter, want to fix the balance, it’s got a lot of little kind of utility things all packed into one, which makes it super useful, and I end up pulling it up on a handful of mixes.

The next plugin that’s cool is called the “Ochre.” I don’t know how you want to pronounce it. This is by Acoustica. If you’ve seen any of my videos, you know I love Acoustica plugins. This is a really cool EQ that they gave away for free, it’s part of their homebrew, as they call it, which you know, Acoustica does a lot of modeling of other EQs and compressors, but this is their homebrew, which could be a little bit of a modeled with some things they changed. They do some really crazy things over there at Acoustica, and this is one of them.

So basically, you have a low frequency, mid frequency, and high frequency EQ. Here is your frequency ranges, your Q, and your gain and boost — gain and subtraction. Then it also comes with the pre-in, and input trim and output trim. The cool thing about the input trim is sometimes these Acousticas, they are kind of modeled after some sort of analog, so pushing them to be up around 0VU is really helpful to kind of get the sound out of what that emulation does. So you can see, I have this boosted pretty high.

So this is for the piano, I just boosted a little bit here in the lows, subtracted a little in the mids, then boosted again a little bit in the highs so you can hear with and without it. It sounds really good.

[piano]

So really cool. Really adds some nice shine to the top, a little thickness in the low end, and then we got rid of a little bit of the nasally kind of sound that we didn’t like in the middle. This thing is great, it sounds really good on vocals, but I do tend to use it quite a bit on synths, just because it can add a little bit of sparkle that you might need for something that was recorded completely in the box.

So turn those off, and this is the last one. This is the Multiply, which is a chorus plugin. Acon Digital. This thing is super cool. I always find that there’s a limited amount of chorus plugins, and a lot of your host DAWs will come with them, but this is really cool, and this thing kind of goes the extra mile on what you can do with choruses, so you have a frequency modulation, your amplitude modulation, and then a voice count, stereo spread, and pre-delay. The pre-delay is really kind of cool, and I’ll show you how we can make another kind of effect with that, once we start playing around with this. But this I decided on the Rhodes chorus kind of sound, and I’ll play it with and without.

[piano, with and without Multiply]

So really cool. Sounds great. Then it’s got an EQ, so say you didn’t want it to affect your low end, you can cut it out so that it’s not really in the way there.

[piano with Multiply]

So cool kind of way you can change the chorus sound with just the EQ which is cool. Now, the pre-delay is another thing I’ve used a couple of times with this chorus plugin, and if you bring up your trusty music math, we’ve got tempo 116, you can put the sixteenth notes, which is 129…

[piano with Multiply, pre-delay adjusted]

So really cool effect. It can actually add a little bit of width and dimension to strings, or the piano in this instance. Kind of get a little more energy without making it stand out too much in the mix. So really cool, I really like that pre-delay setting on there.

So hopefully this was helpful. You can use some of these in your mixes and they’re completely free, it’s pretty awesome. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, or you want to post some of your favorite plugins, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks!

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Matty Harris

Matty Harris

Matty Harris is a Mixing and Mastering Engineer who has worked with artist such as Kelly Clarkson, A$AP Rocky and more. You can find him at his online mixing and mastering service, mixandmastermysong.com.
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