Music production

The best plugins for home music production

Producing an album at home is now easier than ever thanks to a host of enthusiastic software developers and their versatile plugins. Racks of heavy recording and mixing equipment are now faithfully represented in software form, allowing anyone with a laptop computer to access a personal recording studio.

There are literally thousands of music production plugins available today: compressors, preamp emulators, equalizers, noise generators, tape emulators, and even automated AI-driven mastering tools. The secret to your best mix is ​​just a few clicks away, and the level of control offered by the new software is truly unprecedented.

Here are some of our favorite plugins for music production available right now.

The Waves Gold Bundle includes 42 standalone plugins that range from utility tools to extremely creative effects. Containing mastering limiters, tape echo, guitar pedals, de-essers, compressors, reverbs, EQs, and more, this set is ideal for producers who do a lot of studio recordings or create music. mixes from scratch. Users will appreciate the extensive functionality and creativity that the Gold Bundle can lend to any DAW.

One of the most notable offerings in the Gold Bundle is Waves’ famous H-Delay Hybrid Delay plug-in, a responsive and highly customizable emulation of vintage digital hardware delays in the vein of the Lexicon PCM42. It’s perfect for adding a subtle slapback echo to vocals and drums, ping-pong-style delay for guitars and pianos, and for achieving extravagantly modulating pitch bend and vibrato effects. Set the feedback to infinity and create a wall of supernatural sound or hit the Lo-Fi button for an even more vintage flavor.

Another of our favorites is the TrueVerb reverb plugin, with its easy-to-use graphical interface and highly customizable controls. The sound of this reverb is very natural and easily creates a realistic sound space around your tracks. Among other things, you can control the size of the room, attenuate specific frequencies, and adjust early reflections to bring that reverberation anywhere along the line, from the subtle garage to the subway tunnel.

KOMPLETE 13 is a true best-of in Native Instruments’ catalog of synths and production sounds, comprising a collection of 68 instruments and effects, 24 expansions and over 36,000 sounds totaling 320 gigabytes. Since each of these instruments is available individually, this set includes great value and provides an extension to the creative capabilities of any studio. All of the included instruments are pre-mapped for compatibility with NI’s proprietary hardware, including Komplete Kontrol keyboards and Maschine controllers, so they’re incredibly flexible and versatile.

iZotope Ozone and Neutron

There’s nothing quite like the suite of AI-based mixing and mastering plugins from iZotope, Ozone and Neutron, and their combination of versatility, utility and uniqueness makes them all the more. exciting. These plugins are perfect for handling entire mixes and tracks at a macro level by providing different levels of balance between mix elements or finishing a track with mastering keys ready for streaming. Whether you’re a mixing or mastering engineer or a freelance songwriter, iZotope’s software suite is guaranteed to be an unmatched asset in your toolbox.

Ozone 9 is a 16-in-1 mastering tool with a sleek user interface and a host of modular effects, as well as track analyzes, rebalances, and benchmarks. Effects on tap include a newly improved stereo imager to expand mixes and add space to vintage-style tracks and limiters, EQ and tape overdrive. Use the match reference track feature and Ozone’s AI will automatically configure your track with the ideal settings for your specific hardware. Its library of presets is also a fantastic way to get started using Ozone for mastering and serves as a crash course in the myriad of ways this tool can sculpt and shape your finished master.

Neutron is iZotope’s mixing toolkit that is designed as a one-stop-shop mixing accelerator and uses the same proprietary machine learning as Ozone to reduce guesswork and save time. Neutron contains a host of tools, including the Sculptor which automatically equalizes and compresses your tracks specifically based on the material and may be essential for increasing clarity and dynamic range. A really special feature here is the Visual Mixer, which analyzes your entire mix and lets you adjust the levels of all percussion, vocals, bass, and other elements relative to each other, which is unprecedented for a plugin product.

FabFilter total set

FabFilter’s Total Bundle contains some of the best audio production software ever, including high-performance basic EQs, compressors, filters, saturators, and synthesizers. The GUI is beautiful and incredibly intuitive, providing a high degree of control over these very versatile and powerful plugins. If you work with a lot of audio, mix creatively, and need a level of granular control over your mixes, this is hands down one of the best sets available.

The Pro-Q EQ is one of the most powerful, flexible, and transparent EQs we’ve ever used and it’s intuitively designed to boot. It includes analog modeling and linear phase processing, intermediate processing, integrated spectral analyzer and much more. Activate the dynamic EQ and use it as a subtle sound sculptor, or use it to find and surgically eliminate problematic frequencies in your source material.

The Total Bundle also includes Saturn, a remarkable multiband distortion and saturation plugin that is just as good at adding analog warmth and punch to any source as it is at generating heavy lo-fi distortion and signal destruction. . It comes with tape, tube and amp effects, up to six separate saturation bands, and a unique modulation matrix to bring your performances to life and dynamics. Use it on your synths and beats or put it on a full mix and use it for mastering – it sounds great on everything.

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