Although it's easy to end up with a Mac or PC that contains an obscene number of plug-ins, most producers still retain a core list of favourites that they return to again and again.
These may be workhorse effects and instruments that enable you to get things done quickly, or extra-special processors that add that all-important sparkle.
MusicRadar is now seeking to compile the ultimate list of must-have plug-ins, so we need you to nominate your favourites.
What to do now
Fire up your computer, go through your projects and look to see which plug-ins you use most frequently and couldn't afford to lose. It doesn't matter how much they cost (freebies and commercial products are all eligible) – we simply want to know which effects and instruments you'd struggle to live without.
Once you've made your selections, log in to MusicRadar and post them in the comments below. Whether you've got just one favourite or half-a-dozen, we want to hear from you.
We'll publish your list of essential plug-ins in the coming weeks.