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DAW recordings and mixing VST plugin advice anyone?


While in the meantime, I am sometimes able to call up a good overdriven / hi gain tone on my Matrix Q12a, these tones still do not translate well into my recordings (Cubase 7.5). I am not looking mainly for metal but rather slightly overdriven tones a la Dumble.

I have read and understand the basic concept of (guitar) mixing, applying EQ and compression to make room for the individual instruments and in particular in this case the guitar. I am also somewhat familiar (and have partially successfully applied) the concept of multi-tracking guitar to make it sound big.

What I am wondering now, especially in the light of some of those beautiful recordings here, if someone has advice on a "magic" channel strip, a combination of plugins or recommend particular VST plugins to tweak the guitar tone in the mix. Or does it not matter what plugins to use and it is rather the application of standard EQ and compression only?

Recently, I have bought EZMix 2 and this works ok for clean tones (no real problem to begin with here) but still sounds rather shitty for higher gain stuff IMHO.

How do you guys make your recordings sound so great?


I'm no expert, but I've found that it ALWAYS sounds better to get the tone you want that is mix-compatible before the recording. Also compression on guitars isn't always a great idea. The guitar amp usually compresses it a lot already.

In terms of VSTs, I use the Slate Audio FG-X on the master bus and it really pulls everything together and makes it sound wonderful.


there is no Magic chain.
I use EQuallity plugin and maybe a slight touch of tape emulation, you can use Magneto II from cubase it's quite great. I hate EZmix, cause it's like using somebodies presets (in fact it's exactly what it's doing), but presets are made for some particular situation and usualy don't work well in reality.
As Jbmetal said, try to make the best sound you can at the source. Play through your studio monitors to adjust the sound for recording. Compare your sound to BIG mixes. And use spectrum analyser to "see" your sound.
Some of my mixes you can hear on my soundcloud (there is mostly IR tests and thungs like this) but main idea is that there are minimum of postprocessing on the guitars. Just the tone from Axe FX
Also a good IR can help you to achive the sound you want.


Nothing magical going on in my gtr busses also. EQ and maby a waves C4 multiband compressor to tame 160-280hz. Im just dialing my axe fx to fit the drums generally im currently mixing, and then use those few to glue it up, if even that.


The easiest thing to do is get a great tone first then try not to wreck it with other elements of the mix.

For electric guitar the tried and true hardware emulating plugs really work: 1176 compressor -> API EQ -> 24" Tape.

I personally like the UAD 1176, the Waves API EQ, the UAD or Slate Tape emulators.

But honestly these are for sweetening a great tone to begin with. That is the secret / magic. The tones are good from the get go so you don't have to go crazy in post.

I don't think I've used any or little channel processing in my demos here. Probably on the drums / mix buss only.


Power User
Lots of good advice here. Remember, what works in a mix won't necessarily sound great by itself. Don't be afraid to be a bit drastic with the EQ if that is what works. Make space for all the instruments. Reference against recordings you like. Also rest your ears often.

EJ James

Also rest your ears often.
Probably one of the most overlooked aspects of mixing. Took me a long time to realize this when I first started doing home recording. I'd spend an entire day recording, then trying to mix that evening. Not a good idea.

Andrew Male

I find a simple tweak of EQ on the track can sort out any issues. I usually end up boosting 1000-2000 slightly and reducing the low mids.
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