I will continue to update this as I have time to create a guide to things that have been incredibly helpful for my recording efforts. Hopefully, a few items on this list will be a big help to others trying to record on a low budget. I’ve included a player at the bottom of my post with songs I’ve recorded using this stuff.
Guitar Amp / Effects Modeling Plugins
Peavey Revalver – I never would’ve imagined this would be my favorite, but a version of this came bundled with my drum VSTi download, and I love it! Very convincing sounds.
Amplitube Custom Shop – This is a free download, and a must have. There are endless possibilities with the fully functional pre-packaged selection of virtual amps, mics, cabs, pedals, etc. and there is always the option of buying piece by piece.
Reaper – I have used Cakewalk’s Sonar (various versions), Music Creator, Adobe Audition, Acid Music, FL Studio, and others, and finally landed on my favorite DAW of all time: Reaper. There is only one fully featured and fully customizable version, which is very affordable, and allows free upgrades for the next two full versions from the one you purchase. I would highly recommend downloading the trial and trying it for yourself.
VST, VSTi, and Other Various Plugins
Ambience – The only plugin I use for reverb. It is completely free, and rivals professional reverb plugins.
Addictive Drums – This plugin has been well worth every penny I put into it. The drums are very convincing, and especially nice to have if you have an electronic kit, or even some MIDI drum pads. If you have neither, there is and extensive loop collection to give you a solid foundation to put song ideas together fast. XLN audio has a great nag free demo version to use as long as you like which is limited to kick, snare, hats, and one cymbal. It’ll convince you to buy eventually. I used the demo for a year or more before recently buying it.
More to come…