How To Use Plugins

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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.

Parametric Equalisation

Eq, or equalisation, is the most common effect applied to audio during mixing. Here is our guide on how parametric eq plugins works, and how to use them effectively.


Learning how to use compression effectively can be a tricky business, so here’s our guide to using compression, with snare and vocals as examples.

Expanders and Gates

These work very similarly to compressors and can be used to reduce or cut out quiet sounds. Here’s our guide to how gates and expanders work, and how to use them effectively.


Knowing how to use reverb effectively is one of those things that really comes with practice, but we want to help you a get ahead, as poorly balanced reverb is one of the most obvious signs of an inexperienced engineer. So, here’s our guide to how reverb works and how to use it effectively. In this article we will use natural reverb on solo piano, and plate reverb on vocals as two examples.


Tape saturation is a helpful tool for lead vocals, to add colour and depth. Here’s how to use saturation plugins.

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