One of the biggest advantages of using a digital audio workstation (DAW) for your home recording studio is that you can easily expand your capabilities to match your needs by using plug ins. So, if in the middle of a home recording session you realize you really need to add a slight distortion effect to get the perfect guitar tone, you’ll be able to do exactly that without much effort. With the right plug ins, your virtual studio can effectively simulate thousands upon thousands of different amplifiers, effects pedals, and a whole lot more.

What are Home Recording Plug-ins?

Simply put, plug ins are optional applications that add additional functionality to the existing software. Or, in other words, plug ins are programs that work with your recording software to give you even more possibilities when recording. Since the software you use for your DAW is essentially just a virtual studio, it can be helpful to view plug ins as additional equipment inside the studio. So, for example, when your guitar track really needs that distortion, you can use a distortion pedal plug in to produce the desired effect without having to own the physical equipment.

What can I do with recording software Plug-ins?

A better question is: What can’t you do? When you want your guitar to simulate the famous warm tones of a Fender Twin Reverb amp; there’s a plug in for that. If you’re looking to tweak your sound with the classic delay of the Roland Space Echo; there’s a Plug in for that too. With the right plug in, your home recording studio will be able to effectively simulate all your favorite amps, effects, modulators, and more.

What type of Plug-ins can I use in my home recording studio?

The type of plug ins available to you will depend upon what software you use in your home recording studio. Don’t worry though, no matter what recording software you use for your home recording studio, chances are that there are more than enough plug ins available for you. Just remember to always check that your specific software supports the Plug in type.

Virtual Studio Technology (VST) — VST Plug Ins are far and away the most commonly supported file type today. VST plug ins will work on both PC and Mac computers, and across many different software configurations.

AU (Mac) and Direct X (PC) — AU Plug Ins will only work on Mac-based computers while Direct X plug ins will only work on PC computers. However, plug ins in these formats will sometimes be available in VST as well, and should then work with recording software on either a PC or a Mac.