Making a Scene Reviews The Plugin-Alliance Mega Bundle
The Plugin Alliance is an umbrella company that pulls together a variety of software developers under a single digital marketing and authorization system. The companies that are now under this “alliance” are some of the industries top hardware and software developers with more slated to come on board in the near future. These include, at the time of this review:
Ampeg, Acme Audio, Analog Digital Associates, ADPTR Audio, Black Box Analog Design, Brainworx, Chandler Limited, Dangerous Music, Dear Reality, Diezel Amplification, DS Audio Software, Elysia, ENGL, Fiedler Audio, Lindell Audio, Louder than Liftoff, Mäag Audio, Millennia Media, Noveltech Audio, Pro Audio DSP, Purple Audio, SCHOEPS, Shadow Hills, SPL, Unfiltered Audio and Vertigo Sound
The Mega Bundle
Increasingly software companies have adopted the “Lease” business model. Developers like Adobe (which uses the leasing model exclusively), Slate Digital, SSL and McDSP (Through Gobbler) to name a few. I have purchased plugins from the Plugin Alliance over the last few years and they have become part of my mixing and mastering toolkit. When they announced the “Mega Bundle” I was intrigued.
First was the subscription price and terms, for $24.95 a month for the month by month subscription, you are not locked into any long term commitment. For me this was important, because if I did not find anything that was useful I did not want to continue playing for something I was not going to use. If you do want to commit to a more long term lease, you can opt for the annual lease, which gives you a substantial savings over the month by month option. Second, they allow you to authorize up to 3 machines for each subscription! This is huge for me as I often use my laptop for off site recording and demo mixing and a great collection of plugins is a big plus.
The best part is they include any updates and additions to their plugin catalog into your bundle, so if there is a new plugin or an update to an existing one you get it!
The next factor that put me over the edge when deciding to invest into this collection was the quality of plugins that were included. I have, in the past, been a customer of the Plugin Alliance for various other single plugin purchases. Each one found a home in my mixing and mastering toolkit. But I am also impressed buy the scope of developers that are included in this bundle.
Unlike other software subscription bundles the Mega Bundle contains a wide variety of developers as opposed to just one company. Some such as Ampeg and SPL, have had their plugins ported to other platforms such as the Universal Audio DSP card system.
This is an important point. The value of any software collection or bundle hinges on the reputation of the developers and their plugins. Each of the companies represented here have established a strong reputation for quality plugins and are recognized in the industry as such. Developers like Brainworks, Elysia, Lindall, Ampeg, SPL, Chandler Audio and Dangerous Audio, to name a few, all have a great standing in the industry.
Now, I have had the Mega Bundle for about 6 months now. I will be honest, many of the plugins have become an important part of my mixing and mastering toolkit in that time. I am not going to tell you that I have used them all, I would not get anything done if I continued to experiment with every plugin in this bundle considering their are over 100 to choose from. I can tell you that there is a substantial amount of them that have become my go to for certain tracks.
The Brainworx Focusrite Channel is nothing short of amazing on Drum overheads and the BX SSL Channels have become part of my guitar sound. The BX Boom can do wonders with a bass drum not to mention the drum replacer for that troublesome snare or tom sound. The Ampeg emulations are just magic when it comes to getting that bass sound that cuts through the mix. The Metric AB has opened up a new way for me to master using reference tracks that is clear and easy to use. The Limiters, EQ’s and compressors within this bundle are truly amazing and I find myself gravitating to them more and more.
Now I don’t use the guitar amp simulations or the pedal simulations so I can’t speak to them specifically, but if they are of the same quality as the other plugins in this bundle you will find them more than ample to cover your needs.
The bottom line is pretty simple, after spending years of purchasing plugins that I thought would be my savior in the mix only to be disappointed down the line or have to pony up more money to upgrade them, I have become more conservative in my plugin purchases. For the cost of a week of Starbucks I have over 100+ high quality Plugins in my toolbox that would have otherwise cost me thousands to purchase. To me, this is a good deal, especially today’s climate in recorded music. The more I experiment with what is available in this bundle the more important they become in my workflow. I can say this, I will be purchasing an annual subscription because they ARE that good!
Check them out at www.plugin-alliance.com
What you Get
Below is the “Current” as of this review, collection of plugins. You can check out the video’s to see for yourself what you would get in this amazing collection of plugins.
ACME’s vivid Opto Compressor, full of Mojo and Harmonic Coloration!
A true master of adding breathtaking bucket-brigade analog flanging to guitars and synths. Create musical modulation for vocal and drum tracks. The A/DA Flanger is still at the top of its game when it comes to all things flanging, after all these decades!
STD-1 Stereo Tapped Delay
Emulation of a rare analog Delay from 1980. The ADA STD-1 is loved for its ability to transform and widen guitars, vocals, drums and much more. It features an array of six bucket-brigade delays with flexible panning, modulation and LFO controls.
Compare your mix to any reference mix in real-time, with a simple click of the A/B button. It’s designed to provide you with a clear, intuitive workflow and unique analysis tools.
The 30-watt, 1X15 all-tube power machine is filled with character, giving you a thick fundamental note that has been responsible for huge records from the ’60s until today. The #1 re-amping solution in most high-end studios!
The Modern Ampeg. A true powerhouse in countless bass setups of legends like Metallica, Primus and Bootsy Collins. The SVT-3PRO is still a bass amp in a league of its own.
Ampeg SVT-VR! The Biggest, Nastiest Bass Amplifier the world has ever seen! Paired with a 8×10 cabinet (included) this thing moves some serious air!
The Ampeg V–4B All-Tube Bass Amp. A faithful reissue of the 1971 original SVT. Delivering thick tube tone that can be heard on countless hits!
Black Box Analog Design
Mastering Grade Tube Saturation & Harmonics. Meet your mix buss’ new best friend!
Inspired by the famous Amek 9098 EQ with the addition of Brainworx’ patent-pending TMT and M/S processing.
A faithful emulation of the legendary American amp that became the foundation for generations of rock ‘n roll amplifier design.
This exacting emulation of the classic ProCo Sound RAT 2™ stomp pedal provides instantly recognizable guitar tones.
The rich, smooth chorus of the classic “Blue” pedal in plugin form.
An incredibly simple plugin with just two parameters. bx_boom exists for only one purpose: to make your kick drums thunder!
bx_cleansweep Pro’s huge selection of HP & LP filter types will clean up your tracks and open new creative possibilities.
bx_console Focusrite SC
Officially endorsed and approved by Focusrite, the Studio Console plugin brings the world-class sound of the rare original desk to your DAW.
The original TMT channel strip. 72 different channels of analog sound, based on the iconic Neve VXS console owned by Brainworx Germany.
bx_console SSL 4000 E
Officially approved by SOLID STATE LOGIC (SSL) – 72 channels of 4000E series, injected with patent-pending Tolerance Modeling Technology (TMT).
bx_console SSL 4000 G
Officially approved by SSL. 72 different channels of 4000 G console sound with proportional Q! Injected with patent-pending Tolerance Modeling Technology (TMT).
M/S Stereo Field Enhancement plus Sophisticated Monitoring and Metering.
The bx_delay 2500 is an innovative delay plugin with signature Brainworx M/S and effects processing like Ducking & Distortion. Your new go to delay plugin!
The M/S EQ! Future Music’s “Plugin of the Decade” gets a raft of new features for V3. Mono & Stereo versions included!
Snarling, grinding distortion relied on by artists ranging from Kurt Cobain to Steve Vai.
A truly new approach to dynamic EQ. Innovative M/S cross-trigger features for results simply not possible with any other Equalizer.
The most popular overdrive pedal ever made, faithfully re-created as a plugin.
This powerful 11-band EQ allows you to quickly identify and fix problem frequencies. It offers analog audio quality and digital DNA.
Professional low-latency Stem limiter for mono & stereo channels. Catch transients early in the mix, and save your main mastering limiter some work. Get cleaner mixes!
#1 Best-Selling Plugin of 2018! A complete analog mastering desk in your DAW! Easy and Professional.
A faithful emulation of perhaps the most popular boutique tube guitar amp ever built.
A faithful emulation of a the legendary sound of a tube rectifier guitar amp.
This exacting emulation of the Boss MT-2™ stomp pedal gives you anything from clean guitar tones to total metal mayhem.
Sophisticated Peak, RMS and Dynamic Range meter provides a detailed look at your audio signal, which will help improve the sound of your mixes.
Modeled using Brainworx’ experience with analog audio gear, the bx_oberhausen synthesizer is a virtual instrument like no other. Stacked with TMT and M/S features, and offering a powerful set of effect modules.
Extremely musical Optical Compressor from Brainworx delivers artifact-free opto-tone for days.
A simple-to-use version of Brainworx’s Optical Compression Tone Monster. Great on guitars, vocals and even drums.
The Panoramic EQ by BX allows you to adjust frequencies at any discrete position of the stereo field. Must-Have plugin for Mix, Mastering and Sound Design.
Tame nasty high frequency harshness. Add sparkling presence and life with precision.
Eight (8) guitar & bass amps, rivaling high-end DSP systems. Includes one original ENGL and the BX Metal 666!
The M/S Reverb by Brainworx. Ultra-low on the CPU, can be used traditionally (Send) or even as an Insert FX on individual tracks!
Flexible M/S Multi-Band Saturation plugin, to get your mixes and signals to cut through.
Intelligent M/S width for doubled riff guitars. Auto-avoid common phase problems, and sound extra-wide and tight!
Convert any mono signal to stereo with this frequency-optimized M/S upmixing plugin. Great for synths, guitars, vocals and snares!
The Holy Grail for Bass Fanatics! Generate sub, punch and saturation; modeled after the heart of a dbx 120XP subharmonic synthesizer.
bx_townhouse Buss Compressor
In 1978 the Townhouse Studio crew in London built a Buss Compressor from legendary console parts. The perfect fit for our SSL 4000 E/G bx_console plugins.
Accurate tuning for guitar & bass with useful features like volume dimming. Tune up right before you hit the record button.
The New Loud! bx_XL V2 is an M/S stereo mastering limiter which makes your mixes competitively loud while retaining desirable dynamics!
Warm to crunch to shred with this classic “Yellow” pedal in plugin form.
Classic Tube Amp Tones with a Modern Twist.
One of the most musical EQs on the planet. Hard to beat on the master buss or during tracking. Plugin made by Brainworx!
Mix your music in 3D! In any DAW, and all you need is a set of headphones!
The most comprehensive 3D audio solution for sound designers and music professionals in the VR/AR industry.
The Metal Monster DIEZEL is known and loved for around the globe. But get ready for some of the cleanest clean sounds you have heard in the box as well!
The iconic first DIEZEL amp that started it all! The VH4 revolutionized the industry with its 4-Channel design and its raw power.
Thorn is a virtual instrument that was designed to be easy to use and create really modern sounds. And it gets you there with just a few mouse clicks.
The alpha compressor plugin is a faithful software reincarnation of elysia’s legendary $10,000 analog M/S mastering compressor.
elysia’s charismatic M/S coloring box adds tame to twisted shades of saturation and tube-inspired tone.
With ground-breaking features like a gain reduction limiter and negative ratios, the mpressor redefines what a compressor can do.
The museq plugin puts elysia’s musical equalizer straight into your DAW, with all the tone and functionality of the original hardware. And then some.
Next level transient shaping tool. Manage the attack and sustain of your signals with more precision than ever.
elysia Phil’s Cascade is a plugin based on a one-off prototype hardware, which was built exclusively to be modeled! Esoteric components from the last century!
The ENGL E646 VS delivers the tones required for modern metal – from crystal cleans to high gain goodness. And much more.
The amp you should hear! Singing Distortion & Crunchy Rock Riffs, as well as sparkling cleans.
Next-gen spatial augmentation tool that supercharges the stereo image of your mixes.
The Classic English Analog Limiter, inspired by the legendary NEVE® 2254E™. The sound of Rock’n’Roll for the Master Buss, Drums, Guitar group, etc.
Multi-Band M/S Compressor based on the Vintage Vibe of the Neve® 2254E™.
Module-based channel strip, arrange the 3 modules to taste! Includes 1176-like FET compression, Pultec EQ and a pre-amp simulation.
The tone of the original transformer-coupled preamplifier and passive 2 band EQ are captured in the plugin version.
Lindell brings vintage “76” style FET based compression tone and lightning fast attack time to this native plugin.
Module-based channel strip, arrange the 3 modules to taste! Includes 1176-like FET compression, Pultec EQ and a pre-amp simulation.
Lindell brings the sweet musical sound of the legendary Pultec EQ to a plugin.
The classic 1960’s all-tube UE-100 Universal Equalizer from Klein & Hummel™ in a plugin!
Louder Than Liftoff Chop Shop A super musical analog 500 Series EQ. Transforms complexity into simplicity!
Louder Than Liftoff
A super musical analog 500 Series EQ. Transforms complexity into simplicity!
The perfect compliment to the legendary EQ4 and a great standalone EQ.
The wonder EQ from Mäag Audio. Adds that magic “AIR” to your Vocal Tracks and the Master Buss.
MAGNUM-K is a dual Compressor + Limiter ft. the famous AIR BAND®! Made by Brainworx and injected with patent-pending TMT (Tolerance Modeling Technology).
Millennia’s premium mixing/mastering EQ lets you choose between ultra-transparent tube and solid-state signal paths.
Faithful emulation of this purist-design, $3500 Hardware Opto-Compressor.
Noveltech CHARACTER intelligently enhances the tonal spectrum and dynamics(!) found in the signal. No nonsense auto-improvement tool.
Polish the most important signal in your mixes. Easy, with professional results.
Pro Audio DSP DSM V3 is a unique multiband processor. Capture the characteristics of any source, and apply it to any other sound. Incredible Mastering Tool!
Super fast response time and an impeccable, all-discrete signal path. The Purple Audio MC77 plugin is a classic dynamics tool on steroids!
SCHOEPS Mono Upmix: From Mono To Stereo & LCR. Improve your flexibility when working with mono sources in a mix.
The King of Compression from Shadow Hills Industries. New & Enhanced with External SC, Parallel Mix and more.
Punch up the attack of percussive sounds with this Microplug featuring the attack portion of SPL’s Transient Designer Plus.
SPL De-Esser Collection. They remove undesired sibilant frequencies precisely without compromising the timbre and character of your vocals. The most musically sounding De-Essers!
The De-Verb Plus Microplug employs SPL’s renowned Transient Designer processing to seamlessly pull room tone and/or reverb out of your audio.
DrumXchanger utilizes 2 SPL Transient Designers to make replacing drums in real-time (!) a snap.
EQ Ranger Plus
181 genre & instrument-specific EQ modules! There’s never been a faster path to professional EQ sound.
This meter tool by SPL stands out with special functions to analyze high resolution audio and the ability to arrange the plugin-components freely on your screen!
Utilizing Brainworx expertise in precise modeling of complex analog circuits, SPL now brings this versatile tool into your DAW preserving its unique sound and character.
Enhance the Sustain of any audio signal! Great on snares and keys.
The first hardware passive EQ with 3 separate frequency ranges for both boost and cut is available as a1:1 plugin emulation!
Transient Designer Plus
The King of Level-Independent Transient Control! Adjust Attack and Sustain of anything. Snares other drums, piano, masters, etc.
Tube Tone and Warmth in an easy, smooth way. Make your bass drums, guitars and vocals stick out.
Patented, un-masking EQ from Germany – a modern classic. Enhance your master buss and individual signals.
BYOME (Build Your Own Modular Effect) is the ultimate modular effects processor. It combines Unfiltered’s endless modulation options with a collection of over 40 effect modules.
A highly versatile distortion plugin with a full battery of wave-shaping and sound design tools.
Warp Your Audio in Exciting New Ways – Creative Pitch Shifting and Modulation deluxe!
Gate your tracks and unlock your mind with this useful, incredibly innovative and creative tool.
Intuitive and sleek saturation/tone box with a powerful modulation system.
An echo powerhouse in a tiny package with built-in filtering, saturation, and a powerfully intuitive modulation system.
LION is a multi-mode synth packed with amazing oscillator modes, industry leading FX and Unfiltered Audio’s powerful modulation system. Download it today and jump right in to discover your next big sound!
This incredible delay does everything you ever wanted a plugin to do – as well as a myriad of things you never imagined a delay could.
A Swiss Army knife delay unit that doubles as a transmogrifying time machine for your sonic travels
A spectral toolkit of mix processors, sweeteners, and sound manglers that slices, dices, and dissects your audio with surgical precision.
BYOME’s multi-band big brother. TRIAD combines state of the art processing, versatile modulation and dozens of effects.
The Lamborghini of creative compression sounds. Process your audio based on quietness or darkness? Yes, and more!
The classic tone of the best VCA compressors from the 70s and 80s with a modern, mastering quality signal path.
Mastering Grade Saturation and M/S processing. The VSM-3 is a digital emulation of a $7k hardware unit!