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I'm jumping into post production (movies, games) and also sound design. Which would be more essential or worth buying? Are any just way too many plugins than I'd need? Here's what I've been looking at:

Waves Gold Bundle

Waves Sound Design Suite

Fabfilter Pro/FX Bundle

Sound Libraries: Hollywood Edge Premiere Edition 01 Sound Ideas 6000

Which library would be better to start with or is it preference based?

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i wouldnt buy either of the libraries you mention, both are tired/over used and you will learn little from owning them.... better to put the sme money into a basic field recording kits, and invest some spare time into starting your own library of FX and Ambiences, motivated by your first projects requirements...

  • beat me to it ;) While a stock library may be a good place to bulk up in some general categories as a safety net when starting out, I can guess what sort of budget you're working with based upon the items you list - and around that same cost, you can get a decent recording setup (and likely even a decent mic too) – Stavrosound Oct 24 '13 at 7:28
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Spend your money on a good convolution reverb (e.g. Altiverb, LiquidSonics Reverberate, others. Though the reverb plug-in is not as important as the impulses that you get, esp. in Altiverb). Secondly, AudioEase Speakerphone and iZotope RX are significantly useful products.

In terms of EQs and compressors and a bunch of other stuff, not that necessary. You can use the stock stuff that comes with your DAW, or download freeware plug-ins (especially useful for basic effects plug-ins).

Once you can afford them, you might want to look at the GRM Tools package (for which there are some variable alternatives, from Elevayta and Michael Norris for example, or NI Reaktor, MeldaProduction as well). These are effects plug-ins though. Loads of freeware VSTs in this department as well.

Mostly I would suggest looking more at sound effects packages, rather than plug-ins, because those are tremendously more useful. Online sound effects sites like SoundDogs are great, because you only pay for what you want. Or (better) recording gear, mainly microphones.

  • Thanks for the input! I've been hearing really good things about Space Designer in Logic, but I definitely was looking at Altiverb/Revibe too. iZotope RX and Iris both look incredibly useful! For a great diverse general sound library, do you think the Hollywood Edge HP Premiere Edition would be enough to have the basics? – Andrew Noctem Holscher Oct 22 '13 at 6:09
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I'd rather think of sound design plugins in categories, not bundles, depending of what kind of purpose the effect serves.

  • dynamic effects (compressor, expander, gate, multiband compressor, limiter)
  • eq (linear, nonlinear)
  • filter, deesser, phaser
  • delay, flanger, chorus
  • reverberation (algorithmic, convolution)
  • pitch shifter, time stretcher, doppler, frequency shifter
  • distortion, multiband distortion, amp simulation, glitchers, sound destructors
  • spectral effects (GRM Tools, Soundhack etc.)
  • restoration
  • analyzers

You can start with multipurpose effects (Fabfilter, ValhallaDSP, MeldaProduction etc.) and then widen your toolset as you go. BTW, there's a huge amount of great free plugins around. Also, it might be a good idea to look at NI Reaktor. It has some interesting ensembles for modern sound design.

  • Thanks, great info! I do have NI Rekator, I have NI Komplete 8. I was thinking maybe picking up a Fabfilter bundle to have some good basics. Then decide what I want for specialties. – Andrew Noctem Holscher Oct 21 '13 at 9:32
  • Fabfilter's good. Not sure whether you need all of their plugins, but Volcano is definitely the one I would recommend. It's not just a filter plugin. You can use it as saturator, phaser, chorus, auto panner, stepping filter and much more. – Denis Druzhinin Oct 21 '13 at 10:05
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Sound Design Suite. Then again, Horizon seems to be on special at the moment. But do you need to buy big names? There's a lot of good stuff out there that isn't Waves..

Komplete 8 already has the following gems for sound design:

  • Absynth - for anything tonal - it has sample grains and rich modulation.
  • Battery - use this like a real sampler, forgetting for a moment it's meant to be for drums - it has pitch envelopes and built-in effects
  • Kontakt - load some samples and play them at extreme pitch, recording the results, which you can then bend further
  • Reaktor - if you have the time, it's a bottomless well.

You will find the following already in your DAW: compression/gate/limiting, EQ, delay/flanger/chorus, reverb, pitch shift, distortion. If you're lucky also Convolution reverb - just load up sounds other than impulses.

For sound post things may be a bit different. A noise reduction suite, a set of reverbs (convolution+algorithmic), a "futz" plugin, a great limiter, a metering suite - all these so you can plough through the technicalities more easily. Then add some experimental effects like GRM tools... etc.

  • Very true, there's definitely still a lot I could do with Komplete 8 and the Logic and Pro Tools plugs. I didn't see Horizon was on sale, with basically everything from the sound design suite plus some for cheaper! – Andrew Noctem Holscher Oct 21 '13 at 11:33
  • I set up Komplete 9 Ultimate recently and realized during 10 minutes with it that I could easily lose myself for 10 years in it. – Stavrosound Oct 22 '13 at 17:30
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Checkout the Sound Effect libraries that Tim Prebble (first guy to comment on here) has recorded. Great Quality sounds. I also agree with what he said about investing into solid recording gear and spending some time collecting your own field recordings. It can be a fun reason to get out of the house : )

-Krux

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While a lot of what people have already said is true, the Waves Bundle is professional shit. Their EQ's and compressors sound significantly better and more accurate than most stock EQ/Compressors (Waves Renaissance EQ and SSL Channel are of particular note, not to mention one of the best multi-band compressors out there, C4 or C6). That being said convolution reverb is a good thing to have, also comes with Waves bundle in the form of IR-Verb (although Altiverb is admittedly a better plugin).

Don't get the fabfilter or that sound library you mentioned. There's nothing you can find there that you can't produce on your own with a decent DAW and that Waves bundle. My two cents, anyway.

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Just one little Tip that i realised myself some weeks ago! Dont spend lots of money into Plug-Ins. Plug-Ins seem to be cheap, but they loose their re-seell value in 1-2 Years. So if you buy a Compressor Plug-In for 100$ its worth 0 in a few Weeks.

If you instead buy a good oldskool Hardware Compressor, you pay 1000$ and in 10 Years it might be worth 1500$. Even if you sell it for 950$ its cheaper than the Plug-In.

Same goes for Recording equipment and Sound effect libraries.

Peace!

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