Musicians have always loved a healthy dose of sonic possibilities, and as many different ways of treating their sounds as possible. People in other industries may be surprised at how huge the audio plugin industry is, but when you consider the number of guitar effects pedals, studio effects and slight variations on acoustic instruments that existed before the digital revolution, it starts to make more sense: these are instruments for creation and expression; not just tools. This list is in no particular order, and there are many plugins that have just fallen slightly short of legendary status.
Version 6 now opens with a choice of Play, Patch or Build setups. Patch lets you command a modular-style setup using virtual patch cables. The idea behind Omnisphere has always been to give you the best possible sound straight out of the box, but also to offer a huge amount of control over other aspects of the sound.
Since the release of the LABS series over a year ago, the platform of free instruments continues to swell. Coming from Spitfire Audio, the artisanal samplers of orchestral instruments, you can basically guarantee the sound quality here. Serum has two wavetable oscillators which can import custom sounds, a great filter, up to eight draw-your-own LFOs, envelopes and a whole bank of in-built effects.
For a basic guide on getting into Serum for beginners, check out our Quick Start Guide. This drum machine from the makers of Addictive Drums takes a fresh approach to choosing sounds, laying them all out in a virtual space for easy, visual browsing and auditioning. Features like shortlisting, hotswapping and easy identification of similar sounds make replacing one hit with other candidate sounds a complete breeze.
The usual drum machine controls of tuning, envelope, velocity sensitivity and so on are here, as well as effects delay and reverb. Standing at over GB of raw samples, and boasting seven kits with 25 snares and 16 kicks, Superior Drummer has got to be the last word in getting great acoustic drums in your DAW. You can even import your own drum samples into Superior Drummer to have its engine play them back.
So why such a large library? For these six kits and those 25 snares and 16 kicks , Toontrack have sampled everything at a huge level of detail, at many velocity layers, with round-robin options so no two successive samples sound the same, and with brushes, rods and mallets in addition to just sticks.
Despite the name, VocalSynth is actually an effects plugin, specialised for creating effects that we associate with vocals, thanks to five main processors and some extra effects. The Vocoder module gives you the classic vocoder sound, and Talkbox applies a similar effect to the hardware of the same name, without needing you to stick a tube in your mouth. Compuvox gives real vocal the tinge of early digital speech synths using bit reduction and more.
Polyvox offers harmonisation and vocal doubling to make thicker vocal sounds, giving chorusy effects at low levels, and full-on wide doubletracking at higher levels. Biovox models the human voice and lets you give other sources whether synths or otherwise a tinge of real speech.
You can apply all five effects together, just a single one, or any combination in between. These effects are reorderable so make yourself a tricked-out vocal chain. Used on the master bus, it can give you a critical insight into the tonal balance and loudness of an entire tune. It starts with the thoroughly digital graphic interface and spectrum readout, from which you can just click to create a band. Ever wanted to take the best components from one analogue synth, and combine them together with the most influential parts of another?
All the Valhalla reverb plugins including the most recent, ValhallaDelay are bona fide classics of music production, and for good reason. You can find our Quick-Start Guide to all the ValhallaDSP reverbs for an intro to the Valhalla canon, but the concepts will be familiar to anyone who knows even the slightest about reverbs. With 12 reverb modes, and no-nonsense control over the parameters of both the early and late reflections of the reverb signal, ValhallaRoom gives you everything you need to come up with a great-sounding reverb every time.
Actually, the way people tend to pay for Slate Digital plugins by subscription , gets you every single plugin made by Slate Digital. It also goes further, offering track referencing features, master assistance to gain a starting point for a project, codec preview, dithering and more, depending on whether you take the Elements, Standard or Advanced packages. Each can be split into multiple bands of operation, can have its rate and timing messed with, and there are preset curve shapes as well as entire preset setups that use multiple shapers in a complete configuration.
A Pro version is also available. The usual compression controls are here, but the oscilloscope view displaying gain reduction is a particularly useful feature. Vengeance-Sound Avenger is fast becoming one of the most trusty synths out there. Its reputation for comprehensiveness is very well deserved, boasting eight oscillator sources including wavetable, classic analogue, sample, FM and even drum machine types. Avenger is available at Vengeance-Sound website or through Plugin Boutique. You can find out more about Thorn from the DS Audio website.
Using a mix of effects, a little like a macro control over the depths of several processes, sausage fattener has stolen the hearts and the sausages of producers the world over. Reveal-Sound Spire has gained a huge following and a legion of preset packs since its release, thanks to its many synthesis types and the ability to morph waveforms. There are also dual filters, four LFOs, four envelopes and an effects section.
T - In the House. Broken Beats. Disco Nu Disco. DJ Tools. Downtempo Ambient Chillout Trip Hop. Free Samples. Hard Dance Hardcore. IDM Electro Glitch. Live Music. Music Courses. Pop Future Pop Indie Pop. Reggae Dancehall Dub Reggaeton. Sound Archives. Trance Psy Trance. Trap Chill Trap. This is your starting point for finding out how to get the most out of your Loopmasters samples. Browse our selection of tutorials covering a range of topics from popular DAW tips, fundamental studio techniques, basic music theory tutorials, promoting your music, and making the most of your audio plugins.
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