McDSP Tutorial

McDSP Plug-Ins Explained®

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33 Videos | Length: 5hr 5min 54sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Introduction & EQ Basics


    Learn about some of the standard McDSP interface conventions, and review basic EQ and filter operations.

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    Tutorial 2

    4020 Retro EQ


    Listen to how the unique variable slope Q system and split octave slope design are used to give this four band EQ plug-in it's own unique personality on drums, bass, keys, and vocals.

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    Tutorial 3

    Compression Basics


    Eli gives you a brief refresher on how compressor controls work.

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    Tutorial 4

    4030 Retro Compressor


    Hear how this compressor's mix control, sidechain function, and unique signal dependent adjustment of attack and release times brings color and personality when pushed to extreme settings.

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    Tutorial 5

    4040 Retro Limiter


    Hear how natural this look ahead brick wall limiter sounds, even when pushed to extreme gain settings.

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    Tutorial 6

    6030 Ultimate Compressor Pt. 1


    Listen to how the separate 6030 Ultimate Compressor models sound on drums, used as both a bus compressor and for parallel compression and with extreme settings so as to emphasize their differences.

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    Tutorial 7

    6030 Ultimate Compressor Pt. 2


    Listen to the rest of the emulations in context on drums and vocals.

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    Tutorial 8

    Analog Channel Controls


    Learn about the AC101 and AC 202 interface, controls, and functions.

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    Tutorial 9

    AC101 in Action


    Hear how this plug-in is used as sonic 'glue' to blend mixes together when applied either to the stereo bus or the individual tracks feeding the master. Also see how the attack and release controls are used to tame digital clipping, and shape the contours of over saturated signals.

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    Tutorial 10

    AC202 In Action


    See what the AC 202 can do on a variety of individual tracks, busses, the master output, and on doubled vocals.

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    Tutorial 11

    Channel G Compact Overview


    Learn how the controls and interface of this plug-in work, including the unique compressor input options, knee modeling, flexible routing, switchable EQs, and the various EQ modes that model the response and calibration of hardware EQs.

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    Tutorial 12

    Channel G Compact In Action


    Discover some creative uses for the filter and the various input modes to the compressor, and hear the effects of the various EQ calibrations on a lead vocal.

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    Tutorial 13

    Channel G Console


    Explore the additional components of the expanded Channel G console version, including the altered layout, Gate/Expander section, and additional EQ bands that include two powerful notch filters.

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    Tutorial 14

    Compressor Bank


    Discover the power of this compressor's unique features, including it's pre and post compression filters, the BITE control, it's undershoot and overshoot knee ranges, alternate peak detection circuits, and dynamic EQ function that tracks the attack and release settings.

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    Tutorial 15

    DE555 De-esser Controls


    Explore the DE555 interface, and learn all about it's various tools used for isolating and attenuating sibilant frequencies.

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    Tutorial 16

    DE555 De-esser In Action


    Eli shows you how the DE555 performs on some sibilant dialog, a female vocal, and a guitar squeak!

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    Tutorial 17

    FilterBank Controls


    Explore the user interface of the three separate plug-ins that comprise FilterBank which are the E606 EQ, the P606 parametric EQ and the F202 filter set.

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    Tutorial 18

    FilterBank In Action


    Hear how these EQs and filters sound on various instruments, as well as on a full mix!

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    Tutorial 19

    FutzBox Controls


    In addition to simulating Lo-Fi audio devices, FutzBox also includes filtering, EQ, distortion, a noise generator, a gate, downsampling, and bit depth reduction. Learn how all the controls work and hear it in action on some dialogue.

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    Tutorial 20

    FutzBox in Action


    See how this plug-in is used creatively to add some dirt and hair to a variety of instruments, and why this plug-in's mix knob is worth it's weight in gold!

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    Tutorial 21

    MC2000 Controls


    Discover the flexibility and power of this multi band compressor and how different emulations can be applied to different areas of the frequency spectrum.

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    Tutorial 22

    MC2000 In Action


    Listen to how this plug-in is used to subtly smooth out a drum buss and vocal sub group

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    Tutorial 23

    NF575 Noise Filter


    This powerful noise filter features five fully tunable notch filters as well as steep high and low pass filters. Hear how it's used to remove low frequency hum from an electric guitar track and a a nasty resonant ring on a snare track.

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    Tutorial 24



    Explore the Revolver interface, and learn how the three band routable EQs, two tempo synced delays, three band crossover, and stereo imaging controls work.

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    Tutorial 25

    ML4000 Controls


    Learn how the mastering limiter and multi band dynamic processor interface and controls work, and get a brief final refresher on gate, expander and compression concepts.

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    Tutorial 26

    McDSP in the Mix


    Listen and look at a real world mix including both live and programmed parts, peppered with various McDSP plug-ins.

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    Tutorial 27

    ML4000 In Action


    Watch as the ML4000 is used on a full mix. Upward expansion is used to even out the tonal balance and some mild multi band compression evens out the levels at this final stage. The mastering limiter is then used to maximize the level while preserving dynamic balance.

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    Tutorial 28

    6020 Ultimate EQ Overview


    The 6020 is a collection of ten equalizers in one plug-in. Listen to some of the unique qualities each model offers.

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    Tutorial 29

    6020 in Action


    See and hear how the 4020 is used in a session on drums, bass, guitar, and organ.

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    Tutorial 30

    AE400 Overview


    Get an overview of the controls on this ground breaking four band equalizer, and learn how the active EQ controls are used to have incoming signal level influence when and how each band of equalization responds.

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    Tutorial 31

    AE400 in Action


    Hear how the AE400 is used in several different scenarios to establish two separate EQ responses, based on the level of the input signal crossing a threshold set uniquely for each band.

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    Tutorial 32

    SPC2000 Overview


    Explore the controls of this multi stage compressor plug-in and see how the knee and BITE controls are used to emulate various vintage hardware compression styles.

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    Tutorial 33

    SPC2000 in Action


    See how the two, three, and four stage versions of this plug-in are used within a mix.

5/19/14 - Added new videos covering the 6020, AE400 & SPC2000!

Eli Krantzberg is back again, this time with a must have series covering the critically acclaimed plug-in suite by McDSP. Learn all the McDSP Plug-ins inside and out with "McDSP Plug-Ins Explained".

The series starts off with Eli going over the McDSP interface conventions and then features each plug-in individually, showing you all of their features and functions. Next, Eli demonstrates how to use each plug-in with an "In-Action" video, where you can see the plug-in applied to various tracks in real-time.

Eli covers the 4020 Retro EQ, 4030 Retro Compressor, 4040 Retro Limiter, 6030 Ultimate Compressor, Analog Channel, Channel G, CompressorBank, DE555 De-esser, FilterBank, FutzBox, MC2000, ML4000, Revolver, 6020, AE400 and SPC2000. He also includes videos about EQ basics, compression basics, and using McDSP plug-ins on a mix!

Don't just fiddle with McDSP plug-ins, really learn them inside and out. You'll then be able to get the most out of them and your productions. Watch "McDSP Plug-Ins Explained" today.

Sage Halo
Submitted 5 months ago


A really good overview of the McDSP plugins. My only criticism would be that the audio examples were often a lot quieter than the presenters voice, making the it difficult to hear what the plugins were doing. Other than that, all good!

I am a: Beginner, Hobbyist, Semi-Pro, Producer, Beat Maker, Logic Pro

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1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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McDSP Plug-Ins Explained® is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great! A really good overview of the McDSP plugins. My only criticism would be that the audio examples were often a lot quieter than the presenters voice, making the it difficult to hear what the plugins were doing. Other than that, all good!
Date published: 2017-10-11