Plug-ins for the field recordist

September 14, 2009

As anyone familiar with processing audio on a computer will testify there are hundreds of plug-ins available for any application. Searching the KVR site for an EQ for OS X based applications gives you a choice of 141 different plug-ins. For the Windows platform you will find 226. And that’s just for EQ.

Without any exception these plug-ins were engineered with music in mind and that makes life for the field recordist slightly more difficult. While the Abbey Road TG12413 compressor/ limiter plug-in is a brilliant piece of software that does wonders on a drum kit, few field recordists will find a use for it. Vintage style EQ plug-ins can bring excessive coloration to a recording. Many plug-in developers will advertise the ‘warmth’ their processors will bring to your recorded material but that does not interest me, and I suspect most field recordists,  at all. What I am looking for is audio processors that keep the recorded material intact. No added warmth required, not looking for increased presence or transients adjustment to obtain better attack.

My search for the ideal field recording plug-in pack is an on-going thing but here is the result so-far:

EQ: Waves Q10 Paragraphic equalizer, DDMF LP10 Mastering Equalizer

Dynamics: Flux Pure Compressor II, PSP Xenon Limiter

Channel strip: Waves Audio Track

Audio restoration: iZotope RX

Analysis: RNDigital Labs Inspector XL

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