It’s time for me to come clean.
I have too many plugins.
A couple years ago, when freeware plugin creation became very popular, I developed a very bad habit. When I saw a plugin that I liked, or thought might work in a new and interesting way, I would immediately download it. Then I would usually find every other plugin by that creator and download it, also. Then I would separate the effects from the instruments and organize them by creator. And then I told myself that I would use it later.
Eventually, later would arrive when I needed a taste of something new. But when I reached into my stockpile, I would see this:
. . . and there’s no way to stay informed about that many plugins. So when I choose, I choose at random.
That might not seem like a problem until you consider that softsynths aren’t magic programs that can be operated on 100% intuition; they all have a learning curve. So, in effect, whenever I wanted something creatively new or different, I would have to bring myself up to speed on a brand new plugin, but (because there were always more to choose from) I never spent enough time with any one of them to get completely familiar.
Well, that’s an enormous damper on my creative energy, and I’m not going to take it anymore, so last week I purged my library to only that which I’ve used more than a few times. When I finally hit delete, I felt an enormous sense of relief.
I write this as a warning for those who’ve yet to develop a plugin addiction and a wake-up call to those who have: Free things are great, but these aren’t consumables, they’re tools, and if you have too many you won’t be able to use them effectively.