Yeah, if you’re mainly dealing with virtual drums, then gates are probably unnecessary. For a live kit though, I really need to gate the kick and snare to get what I want - with toms I usually mute silence between hits by hand.
Good point! De-essers are handy - although I often find that using tape simulation on vocals obviates the need to use one. Still, handy for BVs
For subtle saturation, I use Slate VCC & VTM. For more outright crunch, I like Trash 2 & the Transamp model in Guitar Rig.
Span is always on my master - a very handy tool.
Try using slower attack and fairly fast release times. Pull the threshold way down low and exaggerate the effect to get a feel for how the compressor reacts to changing attack and release times. Compressors can be fun!
Yeah, limited studio space and close neighbours are tricky to deal with if you want to record loud stuff…
I actually use Guitar sims a lot for non-guitar stuff. Guitar Rig is particularly handy for creating really extreme effects on non-guitar sources. It’s a constant in all my mixes. For actual guitar stuff, have you tried Scuffam S-Gear 2? As a long-time Marshall enthusiast & player, I found it to be a really well executed model.
That’s a great way to work - nothing more fun or rewarding than getting great, mix-ready sounds at the source .