Hi, Andrew. What do you think about evolution of plugins? Are they full able to replace outboard equipment? What philosophy do you follow now in the use plugins and outboard equipment?
I haven’t used any outboard gear, or other analog equipment, for mixing in a very long time (15 years or so). I think that talking about plugins as something to replace outboard gear is really not a valid thing to do. Plugins are great! Outboard gear is great! For mixing you should just use whatever is the fastest and most fun way for you to get what’s in your head to come out of the speakers.
For me the reason I use some modelling plugins is that I’m really familiar with the gear itself and know how it behaves. But more importantly, they model all of the extra processing that you have no control over (harmonic distortion, clipping, noise etc) which can be great, and you get it for “free”. Sometimes you don’t want that though, which is why I love mixing in the box, I have the choice. That’s also why I have four different types of harmonic distortion in my channel strip. That way I have complete control over what’s happening to the signal.
All that said, I absolutely love using outboard gear while recording. My basic thought is that while the signal is still analog, use all the analog tools you can get your hands on (if they are appropriate) to shape the sound before you record. Once it’s recorded, I want to just keep it digital.
Thank you for answer