The Best Plugins for Mixing and Mastering


Welcome, fellow audio adventurers, to the mystical world of plugins! These magical digital tools hold the power to transform your raw recordings into polished sonic gems. But wait! Before you embark on this plugin quest, let’s dive into the whimsical realm of choosing the right plugins for your mixing and mastering needs.

Understanding the Role of Plugins in Mixing and Mastering:

Imagine your audio tracks as a canvas waiting to be painted with sonic brilliance. Plugins are your trusty paintbrushes, offering a mesmerizing array of effects and tools to add depth, clarity, and sparkle to your music. They are like the magical creatures that bring your mixes and masters to life, with EQs, compressors, reverbs, and more!

Different Types of Plugins for Mixing and Mastering:

EQ Plugins
Think of EQ as the audio doctor, delicately adjusting the frequency balance of your tracks. Whether you need to tame a boomy bass or bring out the shimmer in your vocals, EQ plugins like FabFilter Pro-Q, Waves SSL E-Channel, and Universal Audio UAD-2 Precision EQ will have your tracks singing the right tune.

Compression Plugins
Compressors are the superheroes of the audio world, reigning in unruly dynamics and adding that magical “oomph” to your mixes. Get ready to unleash your sonic powers with plugins like the Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor, Universal Audio UAD-2 LA-2A, or FabFilter Pro-C. Villainous audio peaks, beware!

Reverb and Delay Plugins
Ah, the enchanting spells of reverb and delay! These plugins transport your music to ethereal realms, creating lush soundscapes and captivating ambiance. Experience the wonders of Valhalla VintageVerb, Soundtoys EchoBoy, and Eventide Blackhole as they weave their sonic sorcery.

Additional Plugins
As you delve deeper into the plugin kingdom, discover the secret weapons that add flavor and character to your sound. Saturation, harmonic enhancement, stereo imaging, and modulation effects will sprinkle your tracks with that extra pinch of magic. Explore plugins like Soundtoys Decapitator, iZotope Ozone Imager, and Native Instruments Guitar Rig, and watch your music soar!

Considerations for Choosing Plugins

Before diving headfirst into plugin wonderland, ensure your chosen plugins are compatible with your DAW and won’t send your computer into a meltdown. Check those system requirements and make sure your trusty machine is up to the task.

Quality and Reputation

In a world full of plugins, it’s essential to seek out the ones that have earned their magical reputation. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations or shoddy knockoffs. Stick with plugins developed by reputable companies known for their top-notch sound quality and reliability. Trust the wisdom of the audio wizards who have gone before you!

Workflow and User Interface

Let’s be honest: we all want plugins that are not only powerful but also delightful to use. Look for interfaces that speak to your creative soul, intuitive designs that make you feel like an audio wizard effortlessly conjuring sonic wonders. Bonus points if they offer handy presets and customization options, because who doesn’t love a shortcut to sonic bliss?

Building Your Plugin Collection

Ah, the joy of expanding your sonic arsenal! Start with a core set of essential plugins, and let your collection grow organically as you explore new realms of sound. Take advantage of demo versions and trial periods to test the waters. Find the plugins that resonate with your musical spirit and bring out the best in your creative wizardry.


Choosing the right plugins for your mixing and mastering journey is like assembling a team of mystical creatures, each with their own unique powers. So, fellow audio adventurers, embrace the magic, explore the possibilities, and let your music shine with the plugin-tastic sound it deserves. May your mixes be legendary and your masters be enchanting! Now, go forth and create sonic wonders that will leave the world spellbound!



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering, which he helped found in 2012. For the last 10 years, he has made it his mission to empower aspiring artists and musicians from around the world. You can see more of Andre's writings on our Blog.

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