I am very late to this plug-in by Empirical Labs. I’ve had it for a few months but I’ve never reached for it because I never liked my hardware Distressors and sold them. This leads me to think I had faulty units though, it sounds incredible. The Slate one is pretty nice too but the feature set on this one makes this version a little more versatile. Now that VMR 2.0 is here and they’ve finally fixed the noise issues I may get a bit more use out of the Slate stuff. Personally my attitude is that more is more when it comes to plug-ins even if I’m doing a lot hybrid mixing with hardware. A lot of my hardware choices have been informed by plug-in use and plug-ins are always a bit more predictable and reliable than hardware. Some days mixes come together a lot easier in the box than they do on my hardware. Anyways. Here’s a fun list of my go to plug-ins and what I use them for.

  • Waves MPX tape (tame sharp snare transients)
  • Oeksound Soothe (I’ve had this for a week and it’s on guitars, overheads, rooms or literally anything that needs to be bright)
  • Waves SSL (perfect channel strip, comp is great for drums, EQ is great)
  • Valhalla Verbs (unreal sounding plate, room and vintage verb, these have been on every record I’ve made in the last year or so)
  • Slate VCC (Trident setting is my go to, brightens everything up really nice. The neve is great but it’s hard to get things happening through it and if I want that I use my hardware)
  • Waves CLA76 (black on bass, blue on vox. Haven’t heard anything beat those for those applications in either analog or digital domain yet)
  • Elysia Karacter (parallel drums, vox and special fx distortion, everything this company makes is insane. I use their X Filter hardware on the master and it’s beautiful)

That’s all for now. I wrapped a record for Waster last week, I’m wrapping a record for North Shore this week and starting records for Screaming At Traffic and Sit Calm this week. Busy busy.

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