Quick Tips 002: Effect Presets

Quick Tips

Welcome to the second instalment of my Quick Tips series, where I aim to pass on bite-sized nuggets of information to help you smooth out your workflow and give your productions a boost. Following on from exploring the benefits of setting up project templates, this time we'll take a look at another big time-saver - effect presets.

Most of us have a personal bunch of go-to effects plugins that we use all the time. It's pretty standard to also have a couple of factory presets that we know well and which require only a few further tweaks to get to the settings that we actually use regularly. However, those extra few tweaks cost time, and perhaps more importantly, that time is spent not thinking about the bigger picture of the track.

Taking the time to simply save these regularly used settings in a new, bespoke preset, can make the production process that little bit smoother next time. You can even save a small number of variant options within a project template, all helping to save vital seconds and minutes off of the production process. Once you have a more comprehensive array of project templates set up, using your own effects presets allows you to limit the number of templates you have to maintain overall, by building greater flexibility into each template.

So if you have a project template set up with drum bus processing ready to go, for example, give yourself some tried and tested processing options that are literally only a click or two away. Once you've tried it, you'll see what a great effect this can have in narrowing down the bewildering array of choices which a DAW offers and streamlining the path from the genesis of a tune to the finished track, ready for mastering!

The Process

1. Open a template project.

2. Link of regularly used effects (EQs, compressors and reverbs for example) and how you typically like to use them. For example, I usually like to take an EQ and cut at around 30Hz to free up some much needed headroom on my drum bus channel.

3. Save the presets of these effects with helpful names (my brilliantly inventive name for the EQ setting example above is 'Drum Kick Cut').

4. Save your template project, itself now preprepared with effect presets.


Check out the complete Quick Tips series here.


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