I first met Optiv back in the 98/99, I used to drop promos over to him at the record shop he worked at in Surrey, UK. Cause4Concern were just getting started, causing waves on Renegade Hardware and well over a decade later Ed is still at the very top of his game with a reputation for quality, versatility and a habit for producing ‘BIG ‘ tracks. In the last few years it’s been his critically acclaimed work with BTK that has taken front stage, culminating in the brand new shit hot album, Blackjack on Virus Recordings (available now).
Ed has has kindly taken time out of his busy schedule to give us his current top 3 plugins.
Take it away Optiv…
Camel Audio – CamelPhat 3
“I use this plugin for many different types of applications. The distortion is very distinctive, highly adaptable and with the choice of 4 different types to blend together makes it quick to find the right tone you might be looking for. There are many great sounding filters on this plugin but the band pass filter is the one I use the most and actually has its own section separate from the filter module. This BP filter has a really great sound and is almost comparable to my Sherman Filterbank, which in itself is a bold statement. Lastly if you are looking for a really quick brick-wall limiter then you only need to initialize the plugin and you’re there. CamelPhat3 is a great sonic tool packed with loads of great features and really springs to life when you start to automate or modulate its parameters, it’s the “go to” plugin for many drum & bass producers.”
FabFilter – Pro-Q
“Everyone has their favourite EQ and for me it FabFilter’s Pro-Q. In the past I was a heavy user of RNDigital Labs’ Uniquel-izer but as the company went bust and the plugin was no longer supported I searched around for something as good and in doing so found something better. Just like Uniquel-izer the sound quality is excellent and you are able to add as many or as little bands as you desire, this makes it very versatile for any given situation. FabFilter plugins all have a great looking and intuitive interface, making some of it’s more complex tasks, such as Mid Side Eq-ing or variable stereo placement of EQ bands easy to do. It also has a good spectrum analyser and I find myself having at least one instance of the plugin on every channel.”
Izotope – Ozone 5
“I really love this mastering suite from Izotope. When I first started using it I was slightly daunted by all the different modules and choices I had at my disposal but having played with the interface for a short while I discovered how well Izotope had designed this plugin in terms of layout and sound quality. There are so many parts to this plugin that I will just mention the modules I use the most. The EQ section is excellent for mastering, I use it sparingly for “sweetening” the mix and there is a good choice of different modes to choose from. I also love to make use of the Harmonic Exciter, I only ever really use it on the top bands but it just adds a great deal of life to the mix. Finally the Maximizer, which is Izotope’s name for the limiter is the best I have used and I feel like I have tried them all! Again, there is a lot of choice here but in my opinion you won’t find a better sounding, transparent limiter. The plugin comes in two flavours, Standard and Advanced. I have the latter and it includes Insight which is an excellent analyser. I recommend this plugin to anyone regardless of the style of music they write.”