Want to save a ton of money and time buying software plugins? Here’s how. Buy a plugin bundle.
Not familiar with plugin bundles yet? Here’s a quick explanation.
A software plugin bundle is a group of plugins offered as a package deal by a software company. The idea is simple. You buy in bulk and you save money. Ideally the particular bundle that you buy should contain a group of plugins that you will get a lot of use out of.
No. When you buy Pro Tools, or any other reputable DAW, it will come with a wide range of useful free plugins which should be more than enough to get you started. However, at some point there will likely come a time when you will want to pay a little extra for a set of higher quality set of plugins. They certainly do have their advantages.
Advantages of Software Plugin Bundles
1. Saving Time
There are a million different plugins out there by a million different software manufacturers. It would take forever to sort through them all. You could spend weeks doing product research for each different type of plugin or you could just buy a bundle from a leading manufacturer and get it all taken care of in one shot so you can get back to making music.
2. Saving Money
The other advantage is that you save money when you buy plugins in bulk. Individually these plugins would cost way more than they do as a package. If you are going to end up buying a bunch of them anyway, it makes sense to just purchase the whole bundle all at once.
Disadvantages of Software Plugin Bundles
1. Less Customization
Even with one of the best plugins bundles on the market, it is quite unlikely that you will get the optimal plugin of every type for you studio. It is a bit of a sacrifice I know, but at the same time, as we have talked about before, they are all just tools, and skill of the person using the tool plays a much bigger role on the outcome than the actual tool itself. So don’t be too concerned if your EQ plugin is not the latest greatest thing that everyone is raving about.
Native vs TDM Plugin Bundles
Most bundles on the market will have two different versions to choose from: the TDM version, and the Native version. If you aren’t running Pro Tools HD, then you will have no use for TDM plugins. Just get the native version instead.
If you are running Pro Tools HD, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should automatically opt for the TDM version of a bundle. Since the TDM versions are more expensive, you really shouldn’t get it if you don’t need it. If you already have a super fast computer, it may be able to get away with just using the RTAS versions of the plugins. Whether or not you need TDM plugins will depend onhow much processing you have available in your studio, and how much processing you require in a typical session. If you have a lot to spare, there’s nothing wrong with saving a bit of money by opting for the native version.
Plugin Bundle Buying Guide
While there is no single best plugins bundle out there for everyone, there are certain ones that will provide you with all the tools you need to get started making great mixes in your studio. The following is a list of popular plugin bundles which many people use and recommend:
Waves is probably the leader in software plugins right now. Their products can be quite expensive, and they often receive a lot of criticism for it. Yet, people still use them probably more than any other company. So I guess that says a lot about the quality of their products.
If you don’t want to spend forever comparing different plugin bundles, just buy the Waves Gold Bundle. It has basically everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Waves actually offers a huge variety of plugin bundles for a variety of different purposes.
On the low end, they have Waves Musicians Bundle for less than $200.
On the high end, they have Waves Mercury Bundle which goes for several thousand.
Waves Gold will cost you a decent chunk of change, but it is still on the lower end of some of the bundles that Waves has to offer.
Sound Toys Native Effects
If you are looking to add some cool effects to your mixes, look no further than this bundle. While it does not include and EQ’s, compressors, or reverb plugins, it does include a variety of interesting effects such as delay, filtering, phase shifting, auto panning, pitching shifting, and tremolo.
Wave Arts Power Suite 5
The WaveArts Power Suite 5 bundle contains all of the essential sound processing tools such as a channel strip, a reverb, a limiter, and a multiband compressor. In addition it also includes one very special plugin known as Panaroma 5. This plugin allows you to add a variety of interesting 3 dimensional effects to your mixes through an entirely unique combination of sound processing technologies.
Sonnox Elite Collection
The Sonnox Elite Collection plugin bundle includes all of the most essential sound processing tools you will need to create a great sounding mix. It includes an EQ, a reverb, as well as a number of unique dynamics processing tools.