Today more and more FOH engineers and sound engineers are resorting to using digital audio plug-ins in their live set-up. This is because of the numerous advantages that they offer like reproducibility, unlimited storage of settings, flexibility, etc. The biggest advantage is the whole new ways of processing and editing audio content. To be clearer, we outline some major benefits of using plug-ins in a live sound mix.
- You set up your show even before entering the venue
The plug-in-based mixing system allows you to get the bulk of your work done in the studio itself. It allows you to prepare quality sounds and get most of your processing routed before the sound check. It reduces the stress of the show, get the sound with just a few clicks and immediately start fine-tuning it. You get a lot more time this way to concentrate on getting an awesome sound as you need not process racks.
- Unlimited number of instances
If you use aux/send; you need to set individual effects for the entire mix. But if you are using any plug-in like the Nexus vst plugin; you can use them on each track individually as inserts and then parameterize as required. The number of times you can use your plug-in is almost endless. You can access everything from your mix position and use them any way you want. Its limit is decided merely by the power of the CPU in use.
- Significantly less gear to transport
The plug-in-based mixing system allows you to bid adieu to the racks full of compressors, EQs, and all other processors that you might be using. Shedding away tons of equipment; you can travel light with just a laptop, a sound card or a computing unit along with your mixing desk which is no larger than the size of a mini-fridge. Thus, you save plenty of space, cost of transportation and of course the special care that you need to bestow on the delicate equipment.
- Minimal cabling requirements
When you are mixing with hardware processors; you need to connect them with plenty of cables and other wires. But if you are using a digital console; you eliminate a significant number and length of cables. This gives you a quieter system and also reduces any potential risk of a faulty or mismatched cable causing a major flaw in the performance or broadcast. But this does not compromise on your creative routing fantasies.
- Control your processors from your mix position
Plug-ins allows you to mix from your same standing position i.e. the mix position. You have everything at hand and need not bend, turn or shift anywhere. You can effortlessly adjust the graphic EQ even at the bottom of the rack and have an assistant help you remotely.
You might already have a digital mixing console or might be designing one system from scratch; plug-in-based mixing system allows you plenty of options. You can use them as per your choice and create magic each and every time you mix with them. It is no surprise that plug-ins are becoming the norm of mixing music.