Plugins: Any I could live with out?

Hi Everyone!

I’m brand new to the forum and class, also new to mixing in general. Could you let me know of the recommended plugins for the mixing/mastering modules is there anything that you could live with out?

I noticed that UAD doesn’t offer a student discount on their website, and that unfortunately is where the heavy price tag is coming from.

Right now if I went all in, minus the soundtoys bundle which I already have, with student discounts it would be about $3300.

Do you think it is possible to bring this down to $2000-$2250?

Thank you in advance!

Having done the whole mixing and mastering program and invested heavy in UAD, here’s my thoughts. Remember, this is just me and everyone will not only have different thoughts, but also, those thoughts change over time!

I love a lot of my UAD stuff. However, the one thing i learnt most from doing the program was every $ spent on deep learning the tools, is worth $5 or more of actual tools. You can have all the tools in the world and still have no idea how to use even the lowest costs ones properly.

If I was to start the plugin buying now and had to watch the budget (as we all do), the must have’s for me would be the Fabfilter collection, Slate, Soundtoys and Softube Tape. This is where I may get counter arguments, but I think with just those alone, you can get 95% or more of the way if only you learn them fully and learn the Mixing and Mastering Program techniques.

This doesn’t mean I have wasted money on UAD and that I don’t use a lot of UAD. I am a sucker for the SSL and also the Studder and their 33609, but could I get pretty much the same without them. I think I could. I know @Danny and others here definitely could. I also think Plugin Alliance who not only offer student discounts to Next Level Sound students, but also a rent to own scheme are going to steal a lot of sales from UAD. Elysia Alpha, SPL, all on there.

There are a lot of new tools that get discussed in Graduates Club and during Test Kitchen. I think UAD may need to start offering student discount or innovating something the others don’t have. Sorry UAD fans. I am one of those too, just being objective.

My advice, push the limits of Slate/Softube before building up your UAD. Hope that helps. As I say, it won’t be the only thought on it, but its where my head is at currently.


Great answer by Elton! I fully agree.
Fabfilter collection, Slate, Soundtoys and Softube Tape is almost exactly what I would recommend. With those tools alone, you can without a doubt do really good sounding hits :wink:
Later when/if it’s time to invest in UAD, you can also ask here for similar options. There are some great contenders for most UAD plugins.


I have to go with what the others have said here. Start with the Fabfilter, Soundtoys, and Slate plugins. Once you have completed your courses here then you can see if you need additional tools to get the job done.


I wish I had this insight several years ago. I am a plugin junkie. I compensate my creative block just buying new plugins.

I now have the insight that less is more. Learn a few plugins truly well and you can accomplish anything.

I also agree with the others above. Buying plugins in that order is all you need.


Also, to be honest. If I would had a gun to my head and someone told me that I needed to delete ALL my plugins except ONE bundle and that I could never use any mixing bundle except that bundle.

Fabfilter would be the bundle I would save.



To build on your gun example: Fabfilter any day for mixing/mastering but Soundtoys for producing.

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Yes, and we both know I would be cheating.

I would say Fabfilter, but actually keep SoundToys and Melda Complete Plugins bundle as well. Ohh, and OTT. Because it would be unfair if only Ableton users could use the OTT preset…

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Oh man, I didn’t want to spend anything on plugins this year (New Year’s resolution!) but now I have to ask: What are the need-to-have Melda plugins?


I’d choose them because they are som many and you have free updates for live.

My gotos are MUltraMaximizer I use it on every channel and bus. MAutoDynamicEQ, but here is much more such as MTurboComp, MTurboEQ, MTurboReverb. I better stop or else we forgot about the goal here… Minimize the plugins we have…

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fabfilter hands down. especially pro-Q, pro MB, and pro-L. lots of people love soundtoys but I unless your mostlly a producer, I definitely think you can do without in favor of better ‘mix specific’ tools. valhalla are must haves. and Ozone Maximizer for me personally.

I would agree with above, UAD is something you can gradually acquire over a period of time, they have huge sales twice a year, Black Friday/Holiday sale and a Summer Sale in July I believe.

Although I don’t own Slate, since I own all the UAD offerings, they are very good and at a great price, I think the Slate subscription would cater for all your analogue emulation needs.

You already own Soundtoys so that is your effects covered!

I am a huge fan of Fabfilter and would recommend the Professional bundle but if you wanted to save a little, you don’t need Pro DS, as Pro MB is an excellent de-esser, you could live without Pro C2, as Pro MB is a great wide-band compressor, although you would not get the different compressor algorithms classic, opto etc that you get in Pro C2. Pro Q2 is a must have!

ValhallaDSP are my favoritereverbs, I sold my M7 after purchasing these. Valhalla Room and Vintage are the two most haves for me.

Izotope Ozone for mastering duties, limiting in particular, although I am not happy with the direction of the company and it seems other developers have great offerings.


Wow Everyone! This is all very helpful information. Can’t wait to be using this forum more!!

I’ve since purchased the Fabfilter Pro Bundle, The Soundtoys Bundle, and just waiting on the slate discounts.

Still need to purchased some of the others, but very nice to know I can add the UAD plugins over time.


Does pro q 2 work a lot better than logic stock’s eq? I like the solo feature that seems really helpful. I think fab filter would be next purchase too!

Yes! You will be very pleased with the quality difference.

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Yes if I eventually bought another plug in it would be fab filter. I actually have been doing my mixes using no third party plug ins except pro c 2, one or two native instruments effects plug ins and ozone 7 for master. I like using the stock logic plug ins cause they are right there and optimized for logic’s cpu.


That is great! Nothing wrong with using stock plug-ins, many great sounding releases have been mixed with stock plug-ins and Logic’s stock plug-ins are actually quite good!

I see many people purchase a ton of 3rd party plug-in without understanding the fundamentals e.g. compression and have too many plug-ins to know the characteristics/behaviours of the plug-ins they own.

I think what you are doing is the right way, purchase plug-ins as and when you need them and get to know them inside out.