If I had my time again I would buy far fewer vsts.
But the ones I would have are:
PSP Xenon - The limiter in Ableton is a bit crap, this one is awesome.
Fabfilter Pro Q - My go to eq
PSP Vintage warmer - for warmth
Ohm force Ohmicide - for distortion
Dada life Sausage Fatner - for fatness.
I use the Ableton compressor 90% of the time, I think it is very good. I do have the Fabfilter Pro C and the PSP Master comp - I really like both but the Ableton one does the job fine, so just gets uses the most. I use the Pro C for NY compression and the PSP Master comp on the master, but I use the Ableton on channels and on mix busses.
I’m not a huge fan of the way ableton’s EQ Eight does shelving EQ’s. It starts out gradual and the more you increase the Q it just raises it towards the end.
For example. say I want a shelf eq of +1 db for the sub bass. I try to shelf it starting a like 80 Hz however it only starts increasing once its down to like 60 and then the slope gets steeper and steeper. I dont know if you know what I mean exactly.
I like how logic’s EQ has a shelf mode where you can set it at say 80 Hz, +1 db, and then its a consistent +1 db from 80Hz all the way to 0 Hz.
You need to meddle with the Q, the higher the Q the faster it shelves it at the mark you want, the lower the Q and the slower it reaches the actual deduction/addition.
However, if you want a REALLY good EQ try FabFilter Pro-Q. Only tried it a few times myself but it wowed me everytime. Its got its own spectrum analysis built in and it is very easy to use and it looks hot (like all FabFilter products).