Okay, so I know that there are some people who like questions that are short and to the point, and others who prefer longer, more elaborate ones for the sake of detail. So I'll give both.
SHORT VERSION: Is it really worth it to buy additional plugins for Pro Tools? Will they really make any kind of noticeable difference in comparison to the EQ adjusters and compressors that come factory-loaded?
LONG(ER) VERSION: I recently got Pro Tools 9. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't need it. I use it strictly for multi-track mixing, and whatever VO tracks I record are imported into Pro Tools after I record and edit them in the God-sent audio editing program that is Twisted Wave. I do not consider myself a Pro Tools guru, nor do I particularly long to be one. It's not much more than a hobby, because this kind of stuff interests me. While it is true that I purchased three different video tutorial sets for Pro Tools (Voiceover Xtra's Pro Tools Beginner webinar, Voiceover Xtra's Pro Tools Advanced webinar, and "Producing Voiceovers in Pro Tools" from Groove 3), and all of them were specifically geared towards producing voice-overs, and I probably *could* edit and record my VO tracks in Pro Tools...............it falls into the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" category, in the sense that Twisted Wave is working just fine for me, so I'll probably stick with it.
At the same time though, I would like to learn all I can about Pro Tools, even if it's just from the standpoint of a hobby. To that end, one of the first things I noted about Pro Tools is that, while it does come with its own factory-loaded EQ adjusters and compressors, you can apparently buy ones that aren't factory-loaded. You can even by a few directly from the Avid website.
So.......do they really make that much of a difference? Is there a noticeable difference in the sound quality or type that you would get out of a different compressor? Or are they pretty much the same things but with different graphic designs?
I really like Waves plugins. I think they are usually better than the standard Pro Tools ones, but if you have a pretty good idea what to do, you can use either with good results. If you start out with the Gold Bundle you can upgrade later, but it is a great start. Also, you can buy them cheaper from Waves Universe.