Will Hicks’ favourite music software
Avid Pro Tools 12
“Still the best DAW around. It’s reliable and already in a format that is perfect for the mix engineer.
“I used to make stuff in Logic - the MIDI is better - and then, halfway through a project, change over to Pro Tools for recording. But Logic X, or whatever it’s called now, just doesn’t suit me; I like working with audio rather than MIDI. Not only is it easier, but it also sounds tighter. The ‘commit’ function in Pro Tools 12 is a gamechanger when it comes to using MIDI in Pro Tools.”
Universal Audio UAD plugins
“I like hardware and I own a lot of it, but I have a UAD interface on both my portable and studio rigs. The converters sound great, and using the Unison plugins - especially on a portable setup, when I haven’t got the hardware with me - can really help.
“I own most of the UAD stuff now. The new 1176, 660, 670 and LA-2A feature on every production at some point. Like the hardware units and unlike many rival software emulations, they make things sound bigger, not smaller, when stacked up in a mix. The 1073 emulation and the Ampeg SVT bass amp get a heavy workout too.”
Particle Sound JNO II
“This is a sample-based recreation of the classic Juno 106. It’s not always practical to carry around a delicate Juno from job to job.
“Sample-based synth plugins definitely have a place in the modern studio; it means you can get the exact sounds straight from a laptop.”
Acoustic Samples B-5 Organ
“One of the best sounding Hammond Organ plugins. Not only does it sound much more realistic than ‘the most popular one’, but it’s also in tune! It’s another one of those tools that’s earned its place in the studio because it’s much quicker and far more convenient than recording the real thing.”
Slate Digital VerbSuite Classics
“As far as I’m concerned, this is the unsung hero of the Slate Everything Bundle. It’s packed with fantastic sounding reverbs, but the Bricasti library is a favourite… and it’s indistinguishable from the hardware.
“I’m very familiar with Bricasti, so having it inside the computer comes in very handy.”