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FabFilter always has very appealing looks to their plugins, but how do they work? In my opinion, just as good as they look!

In this video I’ve gone over all plugins within FabFilter’s Pro-Bundle:

  1. Pro-Q
  2. Pro-C
  3. Pro-L
  4. Pro-DS
  5. Pro-G

Pro-Q

FabFilter has really brought an industry standard to the table with this EQ.

Just the visual look to the EQ is eye catching enough to want to purchase it! — But, does it sound good?  Does it work ok in FL Studio?

You know most of the time if a plugin works in FL Studio, that the coders behind the scenes know what they’re doing.  It’s almost just a given!

This EQ gives you so much flexibility on what you can do to your sound.  Especially with being able to EQ only your left and right channels, and having the ability to do mid/slide mode!

Having an EQ with 24 bands?

That’s unheard of!

You are able to get very sharp Q’s with Pro-Q, plus are able to zone in to a certain frequencies by clicking the headphone image on the band.

Have an annoying sound?  Hit the headphone image, scan the frequency spectrum for that sound.  Widen or narrow the Q while your in that mode, and cut it!

The visual frequency spectrum is what really pushes this EQ to the top of my list.  Plus that Mid/Side mode, very handy!

It makes going back to another EQ feel like your missing something when EQing!

Rating: 5/5

EQ’s just don’t get better than this.  The visual is WOW, the flexibility of EQing your right or left speaker is pretty cool, plus that Mid/Side for widening/making space for other tracks.

Pro-Q is also a linear phase EQ.  This tool is handy for mastering to prevent “phasing issues” which can really wreck your track!

Having a nice on/off button on the plugin is always handy to have and saves time from having to go to your mixer!

Nothing but good to say about this EQ.  5 stars!

Pro-C

Pro-C is a beautiful design with that can teach you to learn compression!

Pro-C comes with 3 different types of compressors:

  1. Clean
  2. Classic
  3. Opto

Again, the visual is what really got me looking into these plugins.  But, like I’ve said before, don’t let your eyes purchase for you.  Make sure you check out the product fully before purchasing.  (Which they allow you to do for a 30 day trial!).

But after going through the plugins, I realized, these plugins aren’t like your average.  They give you so much flexibility on your routing options, your mixing options, and creativity level.

Features inside Pro-C,

Pro-C shows you everything from your input volume, output volume, gain reduction, PLUS, has a VERY UNIQUE “Expert Panel”.

Inside this panel you are able to compress each left and right audio signal differently!  And again, another Mid/Side mode to allow for some “wideness” into your mix”.  I find the whole Mid/Side flexibility very useful.  It really helps to free up space when things seem to be getting crowded.

Inside this this expert panel you are even able to side chain!  Again, the routing options are there on what you’re wanting to achieve!

It’s also nice to have that input knob to increase gain before compression!

Rating: 4/5

I am very impressed with this compressor.  It is definitely my favorite at the moment because of being able to visually see everything going on, flexibility of routing, and ease of use.  Plus, the presets they give you are very useful to learn from. I find myself from time to time checking out their presets to learn how and why they set things up they way they did.

Compression is a tricky topic to learn.  Even when you “think you got it”, that’s just when you realize you don’t with compression!  Learn more about How Compression Actually Works.

The reason for 4 stars is because I find the compressor a bit hard to read and understand what’s going on at times.  Having an indicator of where the threshold actually is on the gain reduction meter would really push the ease of use while using the compressor.

Also, the compressor does not have an on/off switch, making it a tedious going back and forth to the mixer to turn it off/on. (All their other plugins have the on/off button except Pro-C, so it makes me wonder why it’s not on this compressor as well!).

Overall though, a real nice compressor.  Very happy with how it looks and performs.  Plus, all their plugins are very light on CPU resources which is always a bonus!

Pro-L

Pro-L is a limiter with some major transparency.

The features within Pro-L are over the top which is what you want in a plugin.

FabFilter has also implemented Bob Katz K-Metering system, for radio broadcast, music production, and cinematic/movie scores (K-12, K-14, K-20), which is to help fight against the loudness wars.

Pro-L has 4 different limiters within this one plugin:

  1. Transparent
  2. Punchy
  3. Dynamic
  4. Allround

The actual metering of the limiter (seeing the RMS, Peak, Gain reduction), is very nice.    You are also able to zoom in closer with different scales. (16 dB, 32 dB, 48 dB).

A limiter is a pretty important tool to learn about as this is the final tool you will use within a master!  Since these are professional plugins, the presets are there for you to learn and understand why they have set it up the way they did!

Pro-L has an inter-sample peak meter to help with MP3’s and distortion.

It also has Dithering within the plugin itself! (With a couple different noise shaping).  Also included is oversampling to help reduce aliasing.  Read more about Aliasing and the Nyquist theorem here.  (A bit confusing stuff, so take time out if you are wanting to learn!).

Rating: 5/5

This limiter is over and above what I understand right now in my audio journey (which is good, and helps push me to the next level).

The visual of your peaks, RMS, and gain reduction are awesome.  Tons of flexibility over all controls, your loudness etc.

I really like the feature of holding down ALT, and moving the gain up to accurately judge how the limiter is effecting your audio!

Having the option to choose the regular view of the plugin to the compact is pretty cool!  Everyone works different, and they have left the option up to you!

Again, check out those presets and learn from them! — Very nice limiter!

Pro-DS

This De-Esser works for both vocals, and your overall mix!

WOW!

This De-Esser is phenomenal.  Again, the visual.. Does it get nicer than this?

The way how the audio smoothly scrolls across the plugin is rare.  There aren’t many plugins that have that butter-like smoothness that the FabFilter plugins achieve!

The De-Esser really allows you to focus in where the harshness of your audio is coming out with the audition button, then to even zoom in further, with the headphone button to hear what is actually going over the threshold!

I really like feature of seeing the volume on the actually threshold knob!  Allowing you to dial in very precisely.  Very unique.

There are many other de-essers on the market, such as SPITFISH (which is free), but use SPITFISH, then try Pro-DS; plugins don’t get nicer than Pro-DS!

Rating: 5/5

This plugin not only allows you to De-Ess, but teaches you where harsh sounds and sibilants usually occur.  This gives you an ear to be aware while you are mixing what to look out for.  Now when it comes time for mastering, you’ve already fixed the problems within the mix!

Overall solid plugin.  Beautiful smoothness to the GUI, and lots of flexibility on how you want to de-ess and HEAR WHAT YOU ARE DE-Essing / high limiting.

Great, great plugin. (Did I mention you have the ability to route audio to Pro-DS to take advantage of it’s side chain feature? ;)).

Pro-G

A gate that allows you to create your own trance gates?

Most gates are pretty basic in how they work.  They make the quiet things quiet to help clear up your mix; similar to a compressor when dealing with the threshold, but opposite on how it works.

But this gate is no where NEAR BASIC.

I feel this plugin is the most complex out of all 5 of the plugins within the Pro Bundle.

When watching Dan Worrall’s tutorials; this was the hardest for me to understand. (Still is!).

But something wonderful about FabFilter is their extremely helpful help guides.

Something that really stood out to me is the ability to create trance gates within Pro-G! (check the video out for that).  This allows your trance gates to actually have rhythm within your song, rather than  just creating a random one.

Another thing to mention again is the visual of it.  Being able to precisely see where the audio is hitting to lower the threshold exactly where you want.   How quick you want the gate to open/close, hold for, have extremely high ratio settings, and an Expert Panel just like Pro-C.

You are also able to side chain within the plugin it self.   This can get you that real deep side chain effect, unlike side chain compression.   Side chain compression will lower the volume, but a gate can turn off the volume while the other audio is playing.  Try this out with your PADs and see the effect!!  (Use the ducking mode within Pro-G and make sure to turn on Sidechain – External)

Rating: 5/5

I can’t say much else with Pro-G as I’m not experienced enough in audio language.  But this is a plugin that will make you want to learn more so that you can take advantage of the tools Pro-G is offering!

Hopefully that gives you an idea of it’s capabilities!

Definitely a very complex plugin that is gentle on the computer and built to last.

Overall,

Nothing but good with this Pro Bundle by FabFilter.  All amazing looking plugins, they all perform phenomenally, and the best part about FabFilter’s plugins is that they actually teach you how to mix.

FabFilter’s manuals are a must to read through.  Every time I read through them, I pick something new up!  Also, if you hover your mouse over a knob within any of their plugins, a pop-up menu will appear explaining what the knob does!

By seeing the visual, you can start to understand what you are actually doing to your audio.  Although it’s not “all about visual”, visual helps huge! (Especially when starting up).

They all have such unique features and functions.  They all have been really thought out in their design and sleekness.

It’s pretty amazing how much they fit into each plugin, yet keep the plugin surprisingly compact! (If you’re on a small monitor, you can relate at big plugins being annoying, taking up the whole screen!).

My only con is within Pro-C, it being a bit hard to understand.  I feel the meters are a bit small, therefore I find myself always have to go to a more zoomed in scale to see what I’m actually doing to my audio.  Once zoomed in, things come quickly understandable, but sometimes your audio is below the scale your zoomed in on!

So this makes it a bit of a hassle with Pro-C, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do the job.  It does the job and does it well.

Improvements in the visual when it comes to the threshold would be definitely take it to a 5/5.

Nothing but good.

“Their help menus are a definite.  Their tutorials are a must.  Their products are a standard!”

FabFilter,

I am amazed with your plugins.

Check out more reviews by Beatstruggles!

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