Fabfilter plug-ins are well known for their excellent sound quality and even better user interfaces. We have the Fabfilter Pro bundle containing their expander, compressor, multi-band compressor, limiter, EQ and de-esser.
Fabfilter plug-ins are a godsend in mixing, perfect for clean, digital, workhorse functions – when you don’t want to the character of say, a Slate plug-in, but you still need to compress – but they come in handy for mastering too.
The Pro-Q EQ acts as our linear phase options when we need one, and works as a simple clean EQ with highly customisable filters. Even better, it makes it very easy to pinpoint troublesome frequencies using its audition features. It also comes in handy when numerous points are needed, particularly in mid/side mode, allowing as it does for 24 separate moves to be made in a single plug-in instance.
The Pro-DS is a very flexible de-esser that is great for taming excessive high frequencies in a mix, as well as sibilance. It’s easily the best de-esser we’ve come across.
The Pro-C compressor and Pro-G expander are both excellent workhorse plug-ins for mixing work, particularly for post-production where you don’t necessarily want to impart the tone of an analogue emulation, you just need a compressor to do what it does.
When we use a multiband compressor as the main mastering compressor, the MD3 is simpler and smoother, but the Pro-MB multiband compressor is incredibly useful for taming specific frequency ranges in a very clean and tweakable manner.
Again, we prefer limiters other than the Pro-L (Voxengo’s Elephant and the Sonnox Limiter are our favourites) but every now and again only the Pro-L will do. Fairly aggressive in character but nearly impossible to distort thanks to its oversampling and lookahead functions, it’s great for pushing mixes to the edge when needed.