Archives For Plugins

Reviews of the latest and greatest audio plugins.


Saturation plugins model analogue tape saturation, which sounds a bit like very gentle and soft overdrive. It is often used on lead vocals, and is a useful effect for buss mixes, and even on master mixes. If you don’t have a dedicated saturation plugin to try out, have a look at our Taphead review which is a free saturation plugin from Massey and very easy to get to grips with.

Here are a few ways that you can use saturation in your mixes, on lead vocals and drums.

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massey new

Massey Plugins inc. are our favourite plugin designers – because they are very high value for very low money.

They have been slaving away at converting their much loved plugins from the Pro Tools specific rtas format to vst – which is great news as it is much more widely used across the various recording and mixing software.

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massey VT3 vst

Today we review the Massey VT3 eq plugin, and it’s been very easy as it’s the simplest eq plugin we have ever used. It has been available in rtas format for a while, and has recently been released in the much more commonly used vst format!.

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Knowing which plugins to use for a particular sound, and how to use those plugins effectively will improve your mixes and help you work quickly. Plugins are the most versatile tools that are available for mixing, as they come in a vast range of sounds, shapes, applications and in varying levels of complexity. Here is our guide on how to get the best from the different plugins used in the majority of digital mixes.

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Today is your last chance to enter our competition to win £100 in plugins of your choice from Plugin Boutique.

If you’re wondering what you could do with £100 of plugins, take a look at our suggestions here.

You can boost your chances of winning our hitting the ‘like’ Facebook page, tweet just one single tweet you get THREE extra entries!

So don’t miss out, this weekly is your last chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win £100

We’re now into the FINAL WEEK for our plugin giveaway, so if you haven’t entered already – do it right now!

The Prize

The winner will receive £100 to spend on plugins of your choice from Plugin Boutique, where there is a huge library of plugins; everything from compressors to synthesizers. Don’t take our word for it though, just have a look at their plugin library!

What You Could Choose

Our number one recommendation is the outstanding and simplistic Waves ‘One Knob’ series for £99. The reason we recommend this product is that it actually includes seven individual plugins in one bundle, and everyone knows that Waves are synonymous with unbeatable quality.

In the one bundle you get the following at a single touch:

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Win £100

As you know, here at Cobalt Audio we constantly review a range of the best plugins that we can get our hands on. We especially like recommending plugins that are unbeatable value for money, to help you build up an outstanding plugin arsenal.

Today we are very excited to announce that we have partnered with our friends at Plugin Boutique, to offer you the opportunity to get adding to your list of plugins.

We are offering one lucky person the opportunity to win £100 to spend at the awesome online plugin store, Pluginboutique!

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Altiverb is a ‘convolution’ based reverb plugin designed by Audio Ease, and comes in both VST and RTAS format. It works by multiplying the incoming audio signal (which can be anything – a complete mix, drum overheads or lead vocals), with the frequency response of an acoustic space or a piece of audio equipment. This simulates how the incoming audio would have sounded in the original acoustic space, or through the piece of equipment you have chosen, and the result sounds fantastic.

Altiverb comes with a huge library of real acoustic spaces like the Sydney Opera House, legendary pieces of audio equipment like the Lexicon 480, as well as an extensive selection of sound design spaces like the interiors of vehicles or enormous metal pipes and containers. The library is growing constantly as more and more frequency responses are added by users.

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RescueAE is a free VST stereo-imaging plugin that packs a punch. It has a more specific application than most regular plugins and as such is probably best suited to slightly more advanced users.

The plugin works on a stereo channel, but instead of treating the left and right channels independently like you might expect, it encodes them to give a ‘middle’ and a ‘side’ channel. The middle channel is the mono part of the audio, everything that is identical on the left and right channels and sits in the middle of the stereo image. The side channel contains the rest of the audio, everything that is not in the center of the stereo image.

Dividing a stereo channel into ‘middle’ and ‘side’ like this gives you very precise control of the stereo image, which is useful, but RescueAE has a few more tricks up its sleeve to take it from being just useful, to a must-have plugin.


The main two sections of RescueAE are the middle (‘Mid’) and side panels. They both have independent gain controls and can be muted independently, so you can hear clearly the changes made to one section at a time.

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EZdrummer from Toontrack is an underrated virtual instrument plugin for €119. It comes with one of the best drum sample libraries around and is VST, RTAS and AU compatibile. It’s really intuitive to use and comes with a whole range of preset ‘grooves’ to get you started really quickly.


You can use EZdrummer as you would any other virtual instrument, create a MIDI channel and load it as a plugin. You can then program in the MIDI data either manually or by recording it with a MIDI controller.

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