At least for me, and I recommend the same for you too. Wait, don’t stop here, there are benefits, really. The necessary, highly used ones stay right where they are now, I only intend to remove the few which has no real value to me.
I don’t say that they are not good plug-ins or they are useless. It’s simply a practical thing, if you don’t use it for long months, probably you don’t really need that particular plug-in. I try to keep my list short and tidy. Many times we got plug-in envy, have to try, buy all the new shinny gadgets, which is not a bad thing at all as we learn and discover new things, new companies and possibilities, but sooner or later (rather sooner) we end up with a huge list of plugs, and be honest, most of them sitting in our folders/lists unused.
This is why sometimes it’s a good idea to browse through your plugs folder and clear out the items you don’t need anymore. If you don’t want to delete them permanently, then at least drop them into the unused plug-in folder, so Pro Tools (or any other DAW) don’t have to scan through all the unused stuff.
I know I promised that there are benefits. First, you’ll have a much tidier list, which isn’t contain all the unused plug-ins, so you’ll find the necessary ones faster.
Second, your DAW won’t have to scan and initialise all the stuff you don’t use, therefore it can be more stable. If you don’t use some plugs for a long time, it’s unlikely you updated them properly which can cause trouble with any DAW, so removing these can actually help you keep your DAW “in-shape”.
The last benefit is the reality check we all need sometimes. Who needs 30 different brands of eq or 200 different compressors? I agree that variety is good in many areas, but there’s a point where the plug-in count or variety will be detrimental. Stick to those what you really use and throw out the rest.
Probably the easiest way to find the plug-in folders is to go to MAC HD/Applications/Avid/Pro Tools where you can find two symbolic links:
- AAX plug-ins
- DPM plug-ins
Be honest, be cruel, do it!