Pre-Amp/Power Strip Emulation Plugins . . .

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by tommyzai, Sep 25, 2023.

  1. tommyzai

    tommyzai Platinum Record

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    I've been setting up some track and bus FX chains starting with a pre-amp/power strip type plugin (I initially considered the stereo mix bus). For hardware units, a pre-amp is a pre-amp (mostly), but plugins often have other features. Be that as it may, which pre-amp-ish plugin do you prefer? Do you use them in the first slot of your FX chain? I have discovered some intriguing options . . .

    1. Pulsar Modular P42 Climax
    2. Black Box Analog Design HG-2 (first slot of mix bus?)
    3. Neold V76U73
    4, NEED Pre-amps
    4. Arturia Pre (they have a few)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2023
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  3. Jayster

    Jayster Kapellmeister

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    3. Neold V76U73
     
  4. executioner

    executioner Member

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    5. bx_console of your choice on every channel
    6. Lindell Channel (I like 80)
    7. NEED preamps (decent and underrated plugin. Convenient to switch modules in one plugin)
     
  5. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    1) Black Rooster VPRE-73 Halloween Edition - my go-to, I think it's the best sounding Neve-style preamp to my ears.
    2) Fuse Audio VPRE-31A - an emulation of RCA BA-31A Germanium preamp.
    3) Kush Audio Omega N & Omega A - N for thickening, A for adding more spank and it does nice thing to transient.
    4) Plugin Alliance LTL Silver Bullet MK2 - for stereo application, this thing is so sweet sounding.
     
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  6. shinjiya

    shinjiya Kapellmeister

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    I spent quite some time a couple of months ago testing preamp plugins. Turns out the less stuff on them, the better (in my workflow). I like the Arturia ones since I can set and forget them on every channel, and gain is properly matched with zero effort.

    That said, I stopped using preamp plugins since nowadays all my mixes sound better with the SSL MixFX console on Studio One (it's the Retro "something" legends addon from Presonus). I use the middle (1) boost option, Super saturation mode, character at around 1 o'clock and drive at around +12. Any other saturation I add the the end of the chain with Kelvin.
     
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  7. tommyzai

    tommyzai Platinum Record

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    Many of the pre-amp plugins seem like a partial channel strip . . . a lot of overlap in their features . . . missing EQ?
     
  8. tommyzai

    tommyzai Platinum Record

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    Do you place your preamps/channel strips on every track and/or busses? I guess every track with simulate a hardware console.
     
  9. Riddim Machine

    Riddim Machine Platinum Record

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    I'm having fun with the Neve Melbourn console of the STL Controlhub on my drums right now...
     
  10. macros mk2

    macros mk2 Producer

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    I use Alex Bs consoles
     
  11. mk_96

    mk_96 Audiosexual

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    If we're talking about the pre/saturation part of these things and only what's on your list, i take the Blackbox, based only on how many times it has worked vs times it hasn't.

    Yesn't. Nowadays i've made myself the habit of rendering stuff into the tracks before the mixing even starts (sometimes preamp-like stuff), then delete the original files from the session because the voices told me to do it. I guess that technically counts as first in the chain, even though it's Schrodinger's chain because it's there and it's not there at the same time, and even when it's there there may or may have not been a preamp in there, but first? last? Both? Who knows? It's gone now, poof!

    Point is, if you put a preamp plugin on a source that's already passed through a real preamp, does that make it a postamp? Answer: Yes
     
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  12. julianbre

    julianbre Producer

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    Kush Audio Omega A on drum bus only. I found using preamps on anything else makes the mix sound worse to me. Occasionally will use the Kush Reddi Tube D.I. Box on bass.
     
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  13. executioner

    executioner Member

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    Both, it depends on what I want at the time. In most cases, I like using it on individual drum tracks and other bus groups. You can use it on every track but my personal preference is to use other individual plugins to keep things visually sharp. Like if I'm just Eqing it's a Pro Q or if I'm compressing I can see the compressor plugin I used on that track. GUIs will be simpler and specialized, but strips have their time and place.

    Yeah, most ITB preamps are essentially just waveshapers (with the exception of UAD unison).
     
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