Disclaimer: I would love to give an overview of each plugin in this bundle, but my girl would probably strangle me before I fully demoed, researched, and reviewed plugin #20. I'm simply not man enough to risk my life, not even for this fine collection. Therefore, for reasons of self-preservation, I will merely provide an overall summary. — Tommy Zai
Intro The VIP Bundle by Plug & Mix features 45 unique plugins that each have their own function, character, and design. They range from high-end rack emulations to pedals and vintage gear. The price per plugin ratio is insane. To quote another reviewer," It's an absolute steal." The purchase, download, install, and authorization process is straightforward and simple. They do not require an iLok or other protection devices. Upon launch, I immediately noticed The GUIs are inviting, inspiring, and look slick. Each plugin has it's own special flavor. I know this is about audio, but I'm a visual guy and write, record, and produce music with all my senses. Everything about these plugins are user-friendly and great-sounding. The simple, yet powerful concept reminds me a little of the Waves One Knob series, but more extensive and affordable.
I spent two days randomly loading plugins from the bundle, trying them out on basses, drums, guitars, vocals, effects, etc. I started off checking out the factory presets, using them as a foundation for my knob twisting madness. The sound is excellent and most of the plugins seemed to have zero or near zero latency. There is a wide range of CPU load, but most are light. The sound sculpting possibilities in this bundle are limitless.
A Little Extra About One Plugin Found In This Bundle: The LS-Rotator is an authentic and stunning emulation of a Leslie cabinets and loudspeaker with some cool twists. For example, the spread slider for stereo image width control is a fine addition. Many years ago owned a 147 and a Neo Ventilator. From what I remember, LS-Rotator is sonically close enough to the original with a zero physical footprint and no intermittent crackle and hum. There are other Leslie simulation plugins out there, and I own a couple of them. This one is not the deepest, but it's simple, fun to use, and sounds great. LS-Rotator is perfect for creating that early to mid-Beatles vocal sound — just a touch of rotary movement can bring extra life to anything you run through it, especially the human voice! It's also excellent for keys, guitars, and of course — the John Lennon vocal sound, which is often my goal.
Next Up On My List ... After a brief noodling, Vinylizer is calling me. I'm a vintage vibe junky and a plugin that is capable of producing vinyl record surface sounds is worth of more attention. The factory presets are very creatively designed and named. Another noteworthy plugin that deserves more attention is Clarisonix, which is a powerful, low-end booster. Mini-Magnetic saturator, Cool-vibe, and so on.
Pros • Simple install process. • Fantastic interfaces. • Many unique, intuitive, single purpose, usable plugins. • freeDOM! This word comes to mind for no specific reason. • High quality algorithms. • Useable presets. • Someone mentioned the knobs and sliders being a bit fiddly, but I found the majority of them to be highly responsive and easy to dial-in values. • 64-bit and supports all formats (not all AAX, but several). • No need for a manual. • Up to five computers may be authorized. • No iLok or other annoying protection devises are needed. • Cool, responsive developer. They seem to listen to user's comments and suggestions and then update and/or add what the user's want. • Unbelievable price per plugin ratio (Today, that's just over $5 per plugin). And, the series is growing and growing along with registered user's initial investment — The collection began with 20 plugins and now have 45. • All future updates and additions are free of charge to registered users. You pay once, and that's it! These guys don't milk users dry.
Cons • If you have a full-featured DAW and some 3rd party plugins, there will undoubtedly be some overlap; yet, even if you only use ten, twenty, or thirty of these fine plugins I feel it's well worth the price. • I'm not sure if all of the plugins are zero or near zero latency, and if not, I'm hopeful that the developer takes notice and action. • Limited ability to tweak, due to streamlined approach. I personally consider this a Pro, but some might yearn for more tweak-ability. • Interface is fixed, not scalable.
Summary For me, it's all about the workflow — having a simple, yet powerful set-up that supports my creativity instead of getting in the way. At first I was a little overwhelmed and worried about how this bundle would fit into my collection. It didn't take long for me to come up with an efficient plan. I will continue to use a few of my cherished workhorse plugins for their respective effects, and everything else will come from this bundle! The fact that P&M will add to the collection makes it that much more exciting and valuable to me. If you are like me — an eMusician, producer, sound designer, etc., who is looking for an affordable high quality arsenal of plugins, I highly recommend the VIP Bundle by Plug & Mix. At the very least, this is an unbelievable supplemental set that will fill in any holes you have in your wall of effects. Tommy Zai gives this collection 45+ thumbs up. Thank you P&M for all you do and how well you do it.
"The look, sound, and simplicity of these plugins make me feel like I'm using an otherworldly rack of effects that are begging to be chained together for endless sound designing." — Tommy Zai (quoting myself like a madman)
Note: I would like to rate this collection a 9.5, but that's not an option, so it's a 10.