Slate Digital FG-X is a great mastering tool for the DAW user. The presets alone are usually enough to get that final touch to your mix.
I'm a huge Waves fan and for mastering limiting I have the L2 hardware version as well as the L3 software version.
The FG-X was used in a CLA video series put on by Slate Digital. With the course was a one month free subscription to Slate plugins. I of course had to compare it to my lifelong go-to mastering limiters. There was no comparison... not even close. Never thought I would veer away from the L2 and L3, but this limiter is THAT good. Well done Slate!
Best Plug-In I Own
Completely transformed my mastering process, allowing me to keep transients intact as well as make everything as loud as I need it to be.
I have tried many combinations of plug-ins trying to get my mixes correct to present to a client. This plug-in is a great tool for bringing your mix up in level without changing the dynamic feel. I love the RMS meter as a guide for overall loudness. I also recommend watching the tutorial video before you start playing with the settings. A simple preset and some minor tweaking gets me where I want to be quickly and easily. My clients have commented on the difference lately in my pre-mastering mixes.
Slate FG-X Dynamics Rack
The FG-X group lets you compress as gently or hard as you need, then the level portion lets you build the balance of RMS to Peak signal that you need. This combination can give you exactly the signal structure you want. I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
slate digital fg-x
I don't think you can master without it before I used to have a lot of issues with keeping transients in tact but with this plug-in its has changed that with all the hard compression we do during the mix phase transients get lost this plug-in is a live saver awesome plug-in!!!!!
Great Plug-in ONLY 32bit
Fantastic. Just beware that as of right now you will have to used toolz10. Slate is said to be working on a 64bit version and should have it available for download soon.
Great tool for those who wear many hats...
Is your budget too low to pay for professional mastering? Or maybe you just ran out of time? Are you good at mixing your own material, but not feeling confident about mastering it? Then this is a great tool for you! The controls are easy to understand and smooth to operate thanks to an excellent GUI. Using this plug-in is an enjoyable process. Did I mention that it sounds fantastic? If you're concerned that you shouldn't be mastering your own material, this plug-in will help alleviate those concerns as it presents you with a simple-to-use and effective set of tools that will get the job done and leave you feeling good about the finished tracks without regretting not going to a pro with your material. Be warned though: it can get VERY loud without losing perceived dynamics or introducing distortion.
I've been in the studio for over 20 years. This is by the best master processor I've used. As long a your mix down is done correctly and your frequencies are correct this will be all you mood to master along with a fab. Eq and some noise reduction, you can even use tape or tape emulator to add a little more warmth. It's not for the amateur , once your learn how to mix you'll be food to go
I run a small studio in Sounthwest Florida, many of the local bands can't afford to send my finished mixes out to a true Mastering House, so rather than let them butcher my work at home I struggled to get the levels up and do the best mastering I could for them here. I have tried a number of digital limiters but by the time you get a rock band to -10dbfs RMS you have lost the crack in the snare, the kick loses it's bottom and the whole mix sounds lifeless and squashed. The FG-X flat out-performs them by a long shot for what I am doing, which is to add a little punch, and bring up the levels to commercial or near commercial levels without it sounding that way. I want my mix to remain my mix and maintain dynamics, not a pancake! The slate FG-X did the job better and faster for me on my last 2 projects, I am glad I picked it up as I am sure it will see a lot more work.
All In One Mastering Plugin
After several years of attempting to handle the subtleties of mastering at my home studio I tried the slate digital FG-X plugin. Here it is, project studio owners! All the nuances and tweaks that you could want to create a great sounding master.
Slate Digital FG X
Excellent mastering tool!
Makes my kick drum thump in my tracks! Always had a problem making the bass or kick sound louder. The FG-X is a very good solution. Worth the money. Also good for making things sound louder. I have used it in Studio One and Maschine. No problems. It does spike my CPU meter a little, but its worth it for the sound. Ordering and downloading from sweetwater was very easy. My sales engineer always takes care of my orders. They always do a great job. It does require a ilok to activate. Im ok with it because i own one for Machfive 3 and other uvi sounds. I put the ilok in both a mac and pc, loaded the Slate program and im off and running.
Does just what it claimed to do. Very transparent lift. Preserves low end punch with lots of headroom. Actually pulls the drums up instead of burying them. Keeps the mix intact without introducing harshness or mud. Very impressive!
Sounds Amazing... Easy to use. FG-X has found a permanent home on my master channel. I highly recommend this to anyone that is serious about recording music.
I mix Rock, and Im able to increase my mixes overall volume to have people saying my mixes sound very professional (the loudness pill), and it does not requires an Ilok 2, because I have an Ilok 1 makes no sense to me to have to pay whole cost for an Ilok 2 now
I love this mastering tool. If you are a DIY type of person, this is the tool for you. It gives your tracks the sheen that they need to sound professional and broadcast quality. Add it to a good mix on the master bus and it sounds like you paid a mastering house $200. The thing is, you didn't!
Not just for mastering
So this guy (like all Slate plugs) is kinda CPU intensive, so be sure you've got enough juice to run this. On my MBP Retina I can run about 8 instances of it no problem, but on my aging iMac i3, I can only get 2 max. But if you do have the power, use this as your main compressor for EVERY group you have. Stem it out if you have to, its worth it. Especially for vocals. A little goes a long way with this unit. The controls are extremely clean and even though its actually kind of hard to over-do it with this, you really feel the difference in small changes. Also turn off the metering when you don't need it, it helps a lot with CPU load. I've heard that Slate is working on bringing just the compressor section out as its own plugin... can't wait for that day to come! Its like the digital equivalent to a Grace.
Very, very, very good
This plugins have a lot of presets for all king of music.
it really work, i strongly recommend.
How did I get along without this plugin all these years. Priced just right so you don't have to get a crack.LOL Definitely a must have.
Very Helpful If you don't have a expensive studio
Its Very Helpful If you don't have a big expensive studio to work in but you still want to sound loud. This will do it....
Slate Digital Is Awesome
The Mastering Software is "OFF THE CHAIN". My cousin purchased the Mastering software and told me how great it was. I was hesitant at first and did not purchase it for 2 months later. I wasted 2 months of time in my life with regard to my music by not purchasing it right away.
The software is AWESOME!!!
This is the best software for Mastering on the planet right now and believe me i have tried at least a half dozen of the industries considered "best". If you are hesitating to purchase this software for your mastering needs, then you'll be making the same stupid mistake i did in the beginning.
the cleanest mastering plug-in ever, sheer volume at its best without those nasty distortion,this is a must if you want to get your master hot, worth every penny, what a clean compressor,love everything about this plug-in sweetwater rocks thanks Stuart niven once again.
Great For Professional Demos!
I must say that the tracks I mastered with the Slate FG-X, simply using their presets as a quick test, blew me away. Sorry Ozone, but the slate plug sounds way closer to real, much closer to full, and more closer to warm. I put up a song that I had mastered with the FG-X against the same song mastered by a very popular mastering lab, using outboard analog and tube gear, and it holds it's ground nicely. It might even sound better. Plus, this is a crazy funk- rock, acid-jazz, warmly recorded tune with a lot going on, not just a simple pop tune. I can't believe my ears, but it's true. My Focal monitors don't lie. If you have the money you still might want to get your record done by a professional with awesome analog gear, but if that's not in the cards this is the next best thing. It's def great for professional demos!
So user friendly, a small studio's must
Most of us aren't actually mastering engineers. We don't have the room for it, the monitoring, the gear. Heck, many people who have completely legit studios and mixing setups don't have all the tricks of the trade for the best mastering.
That being said, having a high quality, professional sounding plug-in for ITB mastering is absolutely essential these days. I've used T-Racks (both old and new) and the usual Waves suspects (l2,L3, etc.). I've also used some of the MCDSP stuff, too. Personally, i find the Slate FG-X the easiest to use out of the group. MCDSP is awesome, and the Waves stuff is emblematic of digital mastering. That being said, you can get just as good of a sound (if not better) out of the slate stuff and it's so user friendly that I find it preferable. The metering is super useful. The "Constant Gain Monitoring" option is also awesome so you can master your track without a volume increase that makes it incredibly hard to hear the subtle differences between the master and mix. Finally, the shaping capabilities afforded by the FG-X equals the same power found in a variety of different MCDSP and Waves plugins . . . except you get it all in one plug.
The ITP lets you morph between nice soft clipping saturation or extremely hard and punchy limiting. Vintage and modern combined. The Low Punch and Details transient controls allow you to tweak the EQ ever so slightly if you think a certain frequency is being crushed or overwhelmed too much. It's works like subtle multiband compression, but is much more user friendly for the small studio. However, best of all, this thing sounds great even if you never tweak that stuff. Simply increase the gain until the meters reach the desired RMS level. The manual has nice suggestions about RMS levels and the "Loudness Wars," too. The meters are also completely customizable.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the mixbuss compressor. I actually like it more than Waves emulation of the famous SSL compressor. The controls are more delicate on the Slate comp, in my opinion, allowing more fine-tuning.
So, if you have a small studio and want to be able to give your clients who don't want more expensive mastering competitive sounding masters, this is the one-stop plugin. If you're a songwriter who wants to produce his/her own music, this is perfect. Finally, even if you often send your stuff to a mastering engineer for the highest possible quality master, this is useful to give clients mixes that sound closer to what they'll sound like when the songs are mastered so you don't get clients who are turned off by a mix simply because it's not as loud as his/her favorite album.
This is better then over $10,000 worth of plug-ins I have used!
If you are reading this there is a reason! You want to make recordings.
I can tell you this plug-in hands down blows everything else away. I have used it on everything, to just find something that it sounds bad on, and I can't. Let me just say on DRUMS this thing is awesome!!!!! I know everyone that reads this is thinking, I don't know on my budget I can buy something more useful....DON'T. This will change the way you work forever. I promise!!!
FG-X is Amazing
everything you heard about it is true...try it and be prepared to pick up your jaw from the floor
Transparent mastering without getting into the volume wars.
Fantastic transparent mastering without coloring you mix or crushing it with compression of limiting. Will get you the volume and punch you are looking for. Now this will not fix a bad mix but will make a good mix sparkle.
Also putting this above other mastering plug-ins is the instructions tutorial. Simple, straight forward, and to the point of how things work and why.
A great tool!
It sounds great- the metering is just what I needed and I like the dynamic perception, low punch and high detail adjustments. I mostly do live recordings as I am a live mix engineer and this plug-in makes putting a polishing touch on my recordings quick and easy.
Digital mastering at it's best!
The most transparent mix bus compressor in plugin format that I have used. The amount of sheer volume you can get out of this bad boy is incredible. It gives my clients a great idea of what the mastered record will sound like. And a lot of clients are just havingme master their project now! The metering is an amazing tool, and the constant gain monitoring is super handy. If you are on the fence give this bad boy a try. You won't be sorry. Digital delivery is hassle free too! Enjoy.
This is the shape of things to come - here now!
Coming from an analog background as early as the '70s, the digital age has presented both great joy in creativity unbound and an extreme struggle to get warm, smooth sound without ugly digital artifacts.
The loudness wars only increased that struggle... more so with plugins than hardware - but an issue either way (thank goodness people are starting to get back to dynamic masters). The FG-X is the FIRST plugin I have ever used that transcends the gap between analog & digital; producing compression, limiting and transient design that is pure pleasure to my ears.
Whether mastering a mix or detailing a track (you should hear this thing on drums!), you'd have to go a long way to prove it's equal in OR out of the box. I could not imagine mastering without it.
If I might add - the support I received from my Sales Engineer here at Sweetwater (Trent) getting this delivered and registered was top notch... like having a local music shop online. Thanks!
FG-X Mastering plugin
I used Izotop 5 for mastering proces for more than 5 years and I like it for all details in dinamic section. But I really like FG-X too for fast results and transients restore maybe in the futures they will add something for wide effect too.
Thank you SweetWater and Nick LaMendola !!!
Always perfect .
Look No More
I've used everything from Ozone to Waves mastering Plug Ins and I have to say that Slate holds the edge. What I want in a master is a louder,more dynamic, punchier mastered version of my song and I achieve it with the FG-X. Don't get me wrong, my waves bundle does marvels, but at the mastering level, Slate Digital performs and performs well.
Intuitive to use and gives a great sound
I mainly use this as a mastering “brickwall” limiter, and it has been absolutely fantastic in this regard. The “transients” controls allow you to bring back low and high frequency transients that can sometimes get lost in the initial parts of the mastering chain. The “Gain” and “Dynamic Perception” controls do exactly what they state, and it’s quite easy to dial in the right amounts for each, especially in regard to the “Gain” control as there is an active RMS meter for both channels to give you a real-time view of your peaks. I was able to dial an almost perfect -10dB RMS level at the loudest section of the track. The FG-X also provides a sweet “Constant Gain Monitoring” option that removes the “Gain” control from the equation, allowing you to adjust the other levels at lower volume levels. I could really not be more pleased with this tool, especially at such a reasonable price. Highly recommended.
One great tool!
I started off needing a tool that I could use to begin mastering my own tracks in my home studio. I usually read a bunch of articles and take online classes to learn this art, and EQ along with Limiting seems to be the norm. Well, this FG-X will take you to the finished product faster than the old method. It does this easily, musically, and actually preserves the good stuff you really want. Awesome! You may need a small bit of EQ here and there, but over all, this is great! Can't wait for the Slate VMR!
FGX gets it done fast and without breaking the bank
You can spend $10,000 on high quality outboard gear....or 10 min with FGX. I'm not saying its the "end all be all" of mastering software/gear, but for the money its at the top of the digital food chain. Best thing about it is, its not just for mastering, it has a combo of a leveler (LA2A style), compressor(1176 style), and a simple EQ ( electrodyne 511 style), so its capability is fairly vast. Usually I'll do a quick master of the songs I've Mixed,to just get them up to "Radio" level and I'll have seasoned engineers/musicians, ask me, "What's your chain, it sounds fat?" and "Do you master as well?"...complements and questions every engineer loves to hear. Thanks Slate, and remember trust YOUR ears.
Great Mastering TOOL
Sounds so transparent! It works so good and easy to use. So happy to have this in the arsenal.
Perfect for the Job
I was looking for a mastering plug in that was easy to use, concise and virtually transparent except for LOUDNESS! Slate FG-X does the job! Perfect if your looking to make a professional sounding CD demo to shop around.
After a second thought
At first I did not like this plugin at all and then it dawned upon me I didn't know what it is used for and HOW to use it. Folks before getting knee deep in poop, learn about all this stuff. I am slowly understanding this plugin for mastering and it's quite something else. Bottom line - educate yourself first. I highly recommend getting the instructional DVD's for PT users (go to accessories at the top then books and DVD's). I recently received my instructional DVD and the lesson I have learned is that you do NOT need a lot of money and high end gear of course that is nice but you can make great recordings with all the tools that you have granted you need some tools. So I will have to revise my rating of this plugin and give it a 4.5. I think it is freakin' awesome.
What You Really Need
This Plug-In does what most home recording engineers need, transparent compression/limiting at its finest, it wont fix a bad frequency mix, but it will make good mix sound EXCELLENT, Ive used Ozone for years, it definitely creates an overall fullness to the mix better than Ozone, but it lacks a great mastering EQ that Ozone offers, as far as price goes, this gives you excellent bang for your buck, plus it offers excellent level metering, which is crucial in the mastering stage,
The FG-X has replaced at least three plug ins that have been in my mix buss chain for years. It's an amazing, must have tool. 5 Stars if they make it a little less CPU intensive!
Pretty good mastering effect tool helps create space and dynamic on master output great find recommend this to those looking to try
digital mastering on a intro level
This product seems aimed at those who want to back away from the loudness wars and try to maintain a better quality mix/master (even at the sake of overall loudness). Steven's goal apparently is to guide us away from those awful "squashed to the point of garbage" mastering jobs and I salute him for it. Transparent is a good word to describe this product. I have some other transparent mastering plug-ins (Voxengo Elephant comes to mind) as well as a few zero-slammer products. This product seems to fill a niche. The metering is awesome. Not many presets but that's ok because it's easy to use and learn. If you're looking for a more surgical-approach type product this probably isn't it (Ozone or something like it would be a better choice perhaps). If your mixes are sounding really good and you just need that little bit of oomph for public consumption - this is highly recommended. Sweetwater has it priced just right! Thanks to them too! I'm used to using multi-band type tools with EQ so I need to spend a little more time with this. I will have to rethink how do a final mix in order to let this product do what it does best, It might not be right for everything I do here but it's a great addition to my mastering toolbox. Steven Slate's got it going on. So does Sweetwater, I salute them! ;-)
Good Stuff from Slate
This plugin is very easy to use, even though it's constructed a little differently than your standard comp/limiter. I love the big knobs and the meters. But the real thing is how it sounds of course and it does not disappoint. It does have a ceiling, however, beyond which distortion is lurking. There are other combinations of compressors and limiters that will get your song "louder" but they won't sound as good as Slate. I would have given it 5 stars but it is still 32 bit. 32 bit? Who does that these days?
Unique processing at the cost of CPU power
I think this plugin is unique on how it approaches its intended job. Also the meters are great. Only downside is its demand on processing power.
I detest Plug-Ins................but.
My first plug in. I use hardware interfaces; tubes and such and I leave Mastering to a mastering engineer. However, I needed to master a project for a friend (not a big deal) so I downloaded the FG-X. After 10 days I still thought this was a great product. The sound is quite good and it has some nice tweaking elements I've not seen in hardware compressors. It doesn't "sound" like a digital toy.
I was expecting this plug-in to give my music that extra "something" to give it a slicker, more professionally mastered sound. It did indeed make the overall music louder, but I don't think necessarily better. It took out a great deal of the dynamic range of the music, which is exactly the opposite of what I wanted. I know the trend in today's music is to compress and normalize all the tracks to make the music louder, but it's not what I'm going for in my music. I've been composing various types of music over the past 20 years; funk, rock, urban contemporary and jazz, and even a little pop. But even when I write pop, I still like the music to have a "live" feel to it, if that makes any sense. I don't know. Maybe I just don't know how to fully use it just yet. But I've bought it, so maybe after using it for several more weeks I can get the sound I want.
The other, really, really, really frustrating thing about this software is that stupid iLock. I often switch between my desktop and my laptop when I'm composing and this thing never, ever works right off the bat when I change it between computers. I always have to reboot and reauthorize it. That part should definitely be done away with. A total groove killer!
FGX-e More Info...