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Alright audiophiles, I think it's about time to have an extensive archive of tools for the Mac! I've seen many questions pop up about great and interesting tools to use for the Mac... but I haven't seen very many threads supporting those questions. I went ahead and put my mac knowledge to the test and, after months of research, ended up compiling together a huge list of synths, compressors, effect processors, and all sorts of tools for the Mac! I hope you enjoy, and let me know if you see anything missing.
Talk about your favorites below, share tutorials, and discuss! I hope this thread can become a great reference for all of you Apple users out there. (A lot of these are cross platform as well!) There are some amazing, bodacious, SEXY tools out there. Below you will find every tool you'll ever need to produce music on the Mac. I can't possibly include everything out there, of course, but I have included many of the best tools available on the market. You can enhance your experience by further exploring the websites linked to in this thread. So, without further ado, I now present to you the Mac VST / Audio Unit Collection for your audio craving needs!
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)
Ready to start making music? Great! All of these tools listed here can be organized under one roof you know, without you having to worry about opening them all separately, crowding your computer screen. If you want to make things easier on yourself, I would recommend purchasing a Digital Audio Workstation to help piece all of your ideas and passions together into an awesome song. Here are the best of the best. Research a bit on each one and figure out which is right for you!
Cubase helps both musicians and producers with every step of the music creation process: from the first idea through the arrangement to the final mix. In doing so, Cubase offers various tools to meet your individual needs. And this is why Cubase can be tweaked and used for all music styles and areas of application. Be it a recording engineer, rock guitarist, dance DJ, hip-hop producer, songwriter or film score composer, Cubase users are among the most successful professionals in the world.
Producers of all types of electronic music find an arsenal of stunning virtual synthesizers and numerous effects in Cubase 6. Prologue, Spector and Mystic are based on renowned synthesizer technology by VirSyn and are the perfect choice for any type of synth sound, covering everything from powerful low end and impressive leads up to spherical pads and unheard-of atmos. In addition to hundreds of available presets, there are so many other ways to modulate, filter and edit your sound creatively. All this and the polyphonic pad synthesizer Embracer, the resource-saving Monologue synthesizer as well as the powerful HALion Sonic SE VSTi workstation round out the rich sound spectrum of Cubase 6.
With Cubase, composers get a complete software notation program for professional score layouts. MIDI notes being played are translated directly to musical notation, resulting in a score that can be edited using more than 100 professional notation symbols. On the other hand, all playing instructions noted in the Score Editor are converted directly into MIDI parameters that can trigger any VST instrument in real time. This program really just does it all.
REAKTOR 5.7 opens a universe of sound. It's a deep and powerful modular studio that sets no restrictions on creativity. More than 70 unique synthesizers, sound generators, grooveboxes, sequencers and effects are at your fingertips, with 3000+ more freely available in the Online User Library. Customize existing instruments, or create your own individual sound generator from scratch thanks to the fully modular architecture. REAKTOR is a true playground for the creative mind.
REAKTOR is a world-class studio right out of the box. The library includes more than 70 ready-to-use instruments and effects created by Native Instruments and our network of instrument designers, with several thousands of presets for an incredibly wide range of sound generation and audio processing applications. You'll find a stunning variety of synthesizers, grooveboxes, sequencers, sample transformers, sound generators, sample players, and effects, providing nearly any synthesis, sampling and effects technique you can imagine. From classic synthesis and sample techniques up to exotic methods such as delay-line resonance, modal or granular synthesis - REAKTOR is capable of fulfilling all of your audio desires - there are no boundaries to your creativity.
For starters, REAPER is coded by a small group of dedicated engineers, not multiple software units under the central command of product marketing. That means REAPER is lean, efficient, and stable. REAPER starts up and is ready to record in seconds, balances processing loads intelligently across multicore systems, and doesn't fall over when you start to tax it. That means you spend more time recording and editing, instead of staring at the startup splash screen.
This is one of the simplest and easiest DAWS out there. Crystal clear graphics, easy to use interfaces, and support for practically everything makes this hefty guy a flexible DAW. REAPER works with almost any hardware and can be used in combination with a vast universe of other software and plug-ins. Take advantage of REAPER's full functionality using only your current computer and a microphone, or use REAPER to drive an entire professional recording studio. See it in action.
You already know how to write great music. Logic Pro 9 streamlines the technical side of things, so you can record, edit, and mix it on your own. Tap into a huge collection of instruments, sounds, and loops for inspiration. Get set up and start recording quickly. Perform complex edits in a fraction of the time. And mix down projects of any scale with full automation and surround capabilities.
Logic Pro gives you everything you need for a professional recording session. Seamless punch recording. Automatic take management. Marker creation. ItâEUTMs all easy to do, and easy to undo. And it works just as smoothly for a two-hour symphony as for a simple singer/songwriter demo. With over 250 audio tracks available and the ability to run hundreds of plug-ins, youâEUTMll always have what you need to complete your project âEU" without paying for an upgrade or optional add-ons. Logic Pro features a powerful set of editing tools that lets you polish performances in no time. Easily assemble the perfect comp from multiple takes. And quickly perform complex edits âEU" like correcting timing errors and bending time âEU" that once required dozens of steps. Logic Pro brings it all together in a straightforward, customizable layout that makes it easy to focus on any part of your project.
Digital Audio Workstations (continued)
Ok, I know what you are thinking. "Doesn't this already come loaded on my computer? Doesn't that mean it sucks?" NOPE. This is a fantastic, simple, efficient and effective program that I have used for years. Why do I continue using it? Why don't I go off to Logic or Reason or some other feature full program? The main reason is because I personally don't need most of what comes with other DAWs. I enjoy simplicity at its best, at first, and then slowly build upon it as I learn. Garageband is where I started, without any understanding of music whatsoever. I found the environment very friendly throughout my journey and still use it to this day.
The main idea behind Garageband is purest simplicity with extensive and complicated support from external ideas. In other words, I can add WHATEVER I want to it. You see all these tools here? Can I add them to Grageband? You bet your sweet audio genius mind I can! Every synth, every effect, everything is compatible with Garageband. All I do is install it, load it into my VST and Component folder as I normally would, and open up Garageband. Boom. This, of course, works with most DAWsâEU¦ but for me it makes more sense to start off with a clean canvas with nothing extra and add exactly what I want to it. Fully customizable, fast, clean, and processor efficient.
And hey, the features that come loaded on Garageband are still awesome. You can turn your entire song into sheet music. That's pretty fucking cool. Plus, it comes with tons of awesome instrument lessons, really sweet guitar and instrument effects, equalization and compressing tools, and much, much more. It really just makes it easier than eating apple pie. (and that, for me, is the easiest thing in the universe). Also, any guitar you play with this program will make you look sexy.
Reason is an integrated music recording and production studio with unlimited audio tracks, million-dollar mixing, and a massive collection of sounds included. Reason comes with all the instruments, effects and mixing tools you need for writing, recording, remixing and producing great-sounding tracks. With its generous sound bank and intuitive flow, Reason helps you along in the creative process. It is the music making software that keeps you focused on the music and lets you finish that song. Should you need even more creative options, Rack Extensions expand Reason and lets you add more instruments and effects, created by Propellerhead and others.
The basic idea was to emulate all the Synthesizer and Sampler a recording studio has in its racks by software alone. It seems that this was just the beginning. Now this software has long passed this point and implements features you cannot find in a standard synth-rack. Especially the way to handle loops and what you can do with it is amazing and very inspiring.
Synthesizers and Instruments
A not so long time ago, in a galaxy right outside the dark basement you live in, a few men and women were getting together in other dark basements to experiment with electronic sounds. Pretty soon, they came up with an incredible tool chock full of knobs and buttons that, when turned and pushed a certain way, could produce an infinite amount of sounds unknown to the outside world. These "audiophiles" bent circuits, patched cables, and routed modules together to create the most revolutionary musical devices ever created. These tools are known as none other than "Synthesizers" and have completley changed everything. Get your hands on one of these babies and craft every thought you have into pure music.
Back to the early 80âEUTMs, the Prophet 5 and Oberheim OB series dominated the polyphonic synthesizer market. Having that in mind the Jupiter-8âEUTMs success, initiated in 1981, took every one by storm.Â
But what made the Jupiter-8 so successful? Well, in terms of sonic possibilities, it complemented its competition by bringing something different. The Jupiter-8 was capable of creating very versatile sounds. You could easily make 'fat' or âEU~CrystalâEUTM sounds with it. In fact, the Jupiter-8 sounded the way it looked, âEU~sleek and polishedâEUTM.
In other words, this is one of the most sought after synthesizers in the world, and the reproduction is just like it from my personal experiences. If you want to hear a weird guy with a freaky pair of glasses talk about it in action, look at this.
Although this new synth is extremely powerful, Omnisphere is designed with a unique user interface containing progressive layers of âEU~zoomingâEUTM to accommodate the complete range of users - from musicians who just want to be inspired by the sounds and customize them in an easy way, to expert synthesists and the most advanced sound designers. Users can go deeper and deeper into the software and progress in their synthesis knowledge by simply exploring additional levels of sound manipulation options. To make sure that all users get the most out of the new capabilities, Omnisphere includes an extensive set of video tutorials and synthesis lessons taught by the professionals.Â Here is a 20 minute presentation on this powerful tool.
Conceptually, DUNE is a virtual-analog type of synthesizer. Hence, it will be familiar to many musicians who are used to work with such gear. DUNE uses the traditional oscillator, filter and ADSR concepts, known from many synthesizers. The complexity is in the modulation matrix, which is only accessed when needed. This combines fast workflow with great depth. This new technology takes the well known unison concept to a new level. Unison is a classic synth feature which plays several voices simultaneously when playing a note, usually up to 8. Those voices can be detuned and spread in the stereo field. What's new about DUNE is the ability to do anything with those unison voices, or even voice clusters. The concept of DUNE does not only greatly extend the synth's capabilities, it is also a new way to approach sound design. Multi-layered sounds are not programmed by copy/paste operations, but instead designed relative to the basic layer. This makes patch design a breeze, and allows to morph or blend between layers easily. Watch this guy praise its sounds.
Synthesizers and Instruments (continued)
From the starship funk lead lines of the 70âEUTMs, to the gangster whine of mid 90âEUTMs hip-hop, the ever present minimoog has been making its phat presence felt for over 3 decades. In partnership with Bob Moog, we decided to reproduce the legendary interface with the same look and feel than the original because of its particular "mood", and because many musicians wish to use the same interface they used in the past. But the reproduction of this synthesizer does not stop to the look and feel, we also recreated its inside characteristics.Â
The moog is one of the first synthesizers ever made, and it is certainly one of the best. I have played with this synth along with the Jupiter over at guitar center and both are absolute top notch with crystal clear, fat, incredible sounds that can be used by ANY artist. Hell, I'm an ambient producer, and I love it. Don't believe this thing can crack out near-analog sound? Here's proof.
ABSYNTH 5 is unrivalled as a tool for creating unique sounds. The hybrid architecture features three oscillator channels and a semi-modular signal flow combined with diverse sound generating methods such as subtractive synthesis, FM, wave-table, granular sampling, and sampling with wave-morphing, filters, modulators and effects. In addition, a uniquely flexible envelope control with 68-stage envelopes allows for sounds to be subtly or radically animated. From softly undulating pads to aggressive rhythmic synth attacks - everything is possible with ABSYNTH 5
I personally use a wide variety of Native Instruments tools. Absynth 5 is great for creating unique soundscapes. As an ambient artist, this tool is an absolute must! Seriously, you can make some wicked intricate sounds.
Arturia, in partnership with Bob Moog, has made a faithful reproduction of one of the most famous series of synthesizers: Moog Modular. Whether recreating the abstract tonal qualities of the classic electronic soundtracks, or pushing forward the sonic boundaries of today, the Moog Modular V is the synthesizer of choice for sound exploration, anywhere, anytime. It has all the vibe and the fat sound of the original, cleverly combined with important contemporary features like polyphony, MIDI control, loading and saving of patches.
This is a HUGE synth. Seriously, when you open this bad boy up you won't know what is going on. It's like a giant electronic sperm whale just cummed knobs and wires all over your face. BAM. I have dabbled in this synth and find it to be an analog dream. You do need a good understanding of programming synthesizers to use this synth, however. Oh, and always make sure to test your sound at a low volume before patching virtual cables... Cause your gonna run into some nasty screeches if you don't know what your doing. Have fun with this bad boy.
Alchemy is the ultimate sample manipulation synthesizer which can turn your musical dreams into reality. It's a synth powerhouse and yet is easy to use thanks to its performance controls and remix pads. The library of contemporary sounds explores new sonic territory ranging from cutting-edge pads and sublime soundscapes to ultra-fat basses and synths. Just tweak the library of presets from many of the world's top sound designers or dive in and analyse your own samples - it's up to you!
Alchemy allows you to manipulate sounds in ways which are impossible with any other soft synth or sampler. Alchemy features the most powerful additive synthesis engine with the most accurate resynthesis available in any plugin, which allows you to create unique sounds. Alchemy also features spectral and granular synthesis, sampling, and a fat sounding virtual analog engine - it's like getting five synths for the price of one! You can morph or crossfade between sources for anything from vector mixing, to morphing one voice into another. Listen to the music player above to hear the huge variety of possibilities. (and you get to watch a guy crawl around in the desert. Neat)
Native Instruments has harnessed the power of FM synthesis. The strengths of digital are manifest in FM8âEUTMs powerful audio engine which generates breath-taking, brilliantly dynamic FM sound in pristine quality. With its emphasis on ease-of-use, the FM8 brings a high degree of simplicity to the otherwise intricate process of FM synthesis, delivering unsurpassed depth, brilliance, and dynamism.Â
FM8 embodies the bright, lively sound of FM synthesis. Load patches from classic FM hardware units or use over 1200 presets, including the full library from former product 'Transient Attacks'. Innovative features raise FM based synthesis to new levels.
When it comes to putting together synthesis using a subtractive and additive method, chipping away at a waveform and adding to it with other waveforms, FM8 is the easiest and most user friendly tool I have found. The matrix in it is so incredibly simple. Add a sine wave here. Put in a sawtooth. Adjust the attack and release of both waves. Boom. You've got your self a sweet synth.
The Hydra is a multi-model synthesizer, features three different routing models, each with three oscillators. Each routing model combines the three oscillators in different ways, by phase modulation or ring modulation - and each model has radically different possibilities.The logical organization of the user interface makes it easy to maintain a good overview of the high number of parameters, and design your own original sounds. Two of the three oscillators have 39 preset waveforms, and can be individually saturated. Envelopes can be switched to percussive mode, turning the instrument into an extremely versatile drum sound synthesizer.
Hydra comes with a library of 150 useful and imaginative presets, including house/club style organs, bells and percussions, basses, subtle ambient atmospheres, powerful leads and rich stereo pads.
iDrum turns your Mac or PC into a powerful and flexible virtual drum machine. Inspired by both vintage and modern-day hardware, iDrum was designed from the ground up to capture the same feel in software form. The result is an indispensable, easy-to-use tool that is also a blast to use.
Don't trust your own rhythm? iDrum has you covered there, too. iDrum comes with dozens of part presets, a unique feature that makes it incredibly easy to create killer beats simply by mixing and matching parts and samples, even if you've never programmed a beat in your life. Start experimenting with some of the included patterns and you'll be creating your own epic beats in no time.
Synthesizers and Instruments (continued again)
With twelve voices inspired by the famous X0X series of analog drum machines and an internal sequencer that is second to none, Tattoo makes an excellent addition to the arsenal for any electronic music producer. Each of the twelve internal voices has been created using our proprietary D-Plane synthesis, and each has been extensively tested and tuned in order to have a broad palette. Every parameter of every voice has its own modulation sequencer, allowing for extensive motion within a pattern.
The grid sequencer in Tattoo is a whole world unto itself, with comprehensive randomization features and multiple sync modes, including a MIDI note sync to enable use with virtually any time signature, groove template, or host swing. The sequencer has MIDI out (VST only) to drive other sound sources, to double or replace Tattoo's internal sounds.
The Unique synthesizer specializes in state-of-the-art vowel sounds and mighty, mighty analog keyboard sounds. With Unique, it takes just a rightclick on a control and complex parameter rides with internal and external controllers become a joyride. And thatâEUTMs what they should be, after all.
My favorite thing about this easy to use, small synth is, like the website advertises, the awesome vowel sounds it can create Â combined with funky arping. You can make some serious baselines that sound like they are talking to you. Really cool.
ACE belongs to a new generation of synthesizers developed with the latest, fastest computers in mind. ACE offers classic modular synthesis and more at a fraction of the cost of dedicated hardware. But like its hardware forebears, you can patch any output into any input: the number of different ways to connect modules together is practically infinite. Needless to say, you will never run out of cables!Â
The careful selection of modules and clear layout make ACE the ideal instrument for newcomers delving into the fascinating world of modular synthesis. But ACE also delivers the goods: like any medium-sized professional hardware system, ACE has enough synthesis power to keep you discovering new tricks for many years to come!Â
I have used ACE for various experimental synth creation. For me, the spirit of modular synthesis is all about having the freedom of creating whatever you want, if you know how to do it. ACE has offered me the opportunity to really dig deep into that world, and I LOVE IT. It is basically an organized set of modules stuck together in a gorgeous interface. You can even mess with CIRCUIT BENDING. Think about that...
Zebra is a wireless modular synthesizer. It combines many different types of synthesis with a powerful modulation engine. Imagine âEU" you can create any additive, freehand or spline-based waveform you like, apply a vast selection of spectral effects, morph between those waves and send them through classic synth filters. Perhaps use that entire sound as modulator for an FM oscillator, or route it through a comb filter âEU" the building block of physical modeling synthesis. All generator modules, all signal paths, all effects are stereo.
Although the possibilities are practically infinite, you will never be overwhelmed by needless complexity âEU" Zebra's adaptive interface only shows the modules you are actually using. It's a fascinating playground for sound designers! That's what Zebra is all about, that's why it has become so popular. That's why thousands of free presets are available online.
Phosphor is a VSTi/AU instrument modeled on the alphaSyntauri, a vintage digital additive synth. The original alphaSyntauri required an Apple //e to operate, but we've gone ahead and eliminated the middle-man, and now you can have this classic digital synth in your DAW of choice.
Featuring two sixteen-partial additive oscillators, each with its own amp envelope, Phosphor's topology closely follows the alphaSyntauri, while adding many modern features such as full velocity control, a much more extensive modulation routing system, tempo synced LFOs, a pair of delays, and two monophonic modes. The noise and oscillators are able to work in the original alphaSyntauri resolutions, and can also be run at modern sample rates. All this results in a much more sophisticated and capable synth than the original, without compromising the ability to recreate the classic sounds of the early days of digital synthesis.
Axon is a strange creature, and we won't tell you otherwise. Our goal was to come up with a new style of percussion sequencer/synth that wasn't linear and x0xy, and we succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. The Neuron Sequencer in Axon is a fundamentally different way of thinking about rhythmic sequencing, and results in new patterns and styles that will bring your IDM, dance, and ambient tracks to another place.
Axon's sequencer can either drive external synths and samplers or its own internal voices, seven of 'em, which are FM-based, but designed for quick and easy programming, and fine-tuned for percussive-type sounds. A full MIDI Learn complement allows external hardware control of both the sequencer and the internal voices, and an on-board stereo delay taken right from our fairly thick collection of delay algorithms extends the rhythmic possibilities right to the edge of what any sane person could possibly stand.
The oscillators, filters and envelopes closely model components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU-hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach.Â
Check out more than 1200 presets. If your computer can handle it, try them in "Divine" mode. This thing packs a hefty amount of memory... So it requires a decent computer. If your computer can handle this beast, then it is well worth it. I'm saving up the money for this bad boy right now.
Ever wonder how electronic artists make those crazy, bodacious sounds that seem to travel through your speakers and plant an egg inside your brain that hatches into pure, orgasmic, organized chaotic euphoria? I sure have. There are many tools out there that let you cut away at every sound you make, completely altering them and morphing them into beautiful (and sometimes terrible) sounds completely unheardâEU¦ that is, until you invent them. Go create some effects with these tools, and pretty soon you too can lay eggs in peoples brains.
Tear up your tracks in real time, building thrilling fills, complex effects, shimmering sweeps, and staggering stutters that will leave your listeners screaming for more. They'll think you spent hours slaving over the slicesâEU¦but all it took was a press of a button. (Don't worry, we won't tell)
My buddy and I got together and messed with this tool. Excellent interface with many possibilities. I enjoyed assigning my own effects to a MIDI keyboard and hit certain keys when he played his electric guitar, wired into my computers DAW. It made his guitar crutch, pop, wobble, and arp into all sorts of neat things. I think everyone should try this program out. Check out this sweet video about it.
Filterscape is a filter-based sound mangling tool, the ultimate in versatility and control. It can be a parametric EQ with morphable snapshots, a dual virtual analog filter, a sophisticated delay unit... you can use Filterscape to spice up your music in a myriad of ways. Best of all, Filterscape is a fun environment to work in âEU" the GUI invites you to discover new and radical ways to sculpture your tracks. And it's highly addictive! Filterscape comes bundled together with two sister plug-ins: the virtual analog synthesizer FilterscapeVA and the 6-band dynamic equalizer FilterscapeQ6.
Effectrix is the perfect tool for sequenced sound manipulations. Tweak your beats, create new rhythms, reverse parts, stretch others, apply delaylines; even create melodies with atonal material. If you like, do it all at once! Have it your way with 14 Candy Effects of Sugar Bytes latest Bang Effectrix, each one providing its own step sequencer and two modulation-sequencers.
I have used Effectrix many times over the past year and have enjoyed every second of it. It is SO simple to use. You can either use it for pre production mixing or live DJing. Either way, it is one powerful tool for sound mashing, beat making, and much more.
CamelPhat is the ultimate phattening processor! A powerful 'colouring' multi-effect that's been specially engineered to work wonders on guitar, bass and drums, adding warmth, punch and presence wherever they're required. Four characteristically different distortion effects are included, which can be used separately or blended together to create an endless variety of tones.
The unique 'Magic EQ' enhances the low end like nothing else - it's the perfect kick drum sweetener! Add to that an easy-to-use analogue-modelled compressor, three resonant filters, two LFOs and an envelope follower, and you've got one seriously phat package! A stunning graphical user interface puts all the controls at your fingertips, while the X/Y pad allows easy real-time manipulation of the most important parameters.
The ultimate lo-fi weapon, iZotope Vinyl uses 64-bit processing and advanced filtering, modeling and resampling to create authentic "vinyl" simulation, as if the audio was a record being played on a record player.
Turnado is a revolutionary multi-effect tool, crafted especially for massive real-time audio manipulation. It combines unique and dynamic effects with the most intuitive and immediate control you can imagine. Just turn it on and crank it up.
In the studio, simply dial in your effect from a super-sweet selection of 24 pro-quality algorithms, then mash up your audio content with minimum fuss, quickly adding dynamic variation to your arrangements. Take it to the stage and unleash TurnadoâEUTMs true power. With instant access to eight effects and immediate control over key parameters, Turnado is guaranteed to cause devastation on the dance floor, shredding beats and crunking breaks to insane proportions.
The idea is simple: Turn a knob and the effect is on. Turn the knob further to adjust effect parameters and apply modulations.Turn the knob down and the effect is off. I have used this a few time awhile DJing. It is a sweeeeet and easily accessible tool. Check it out.
Replicant is a delay-based effect in the "beat slicer/looper" vein, with some tricks of its own that separate it from the herd. From a simple delay or panning effect, on up to massive random beat mangling, Replicant is a capable plugin well in line with today's modern electronic music styles. Stuttering buffers and filter drops are easy to program, and the comprehensive randomization features give it a mind of its own, if so desired. If you're looking to add some chance to your programming, you've come to the right place.
FabFilter Saturn offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape and guitar amps. In addition, you also get three creative distortion styles, with which you can smudge, stretch, crush, rectify and clip your sounds in weird and unexpected ways. With its multi-band design and per-band feedback, dynamics, drive, tone and modulation options, Saturn will bring a unique flavor to your music.
Using Saturn's extensive modulation section, you can really bring life and depth to your music. By applying subtle modulation to crossover frequencies, dynamics, band levels or tone controls, great warmth and definition can be achieved.
With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop.
From mild tone-shaping or adding a bit of grit to full-on total waveform destruction, Kombinat Dva, the long-awaited sequel to our popular Kombinat plug-in, is a complete toolbox of sonic warfare. With 13 different options in each of the three distortion engines (plus pass-through), Kombinat Dva is capable of sophisticated and unique sounds. Want to add a ring mod to the low end, a mild tube clip to the mids, and a bit-reduction algorithm to the high end? No problem. Want to run your signal through three sine-warps or fuzz algorithms in series? This is your box.
Robotronic is a superb sounding and easy to use vocoder which can process mono and stereo input signals, includes sampler and synthesizer and contains quite useful features like the Frequency Focussing and Formant shifting. Both audio inputs have a complete channelstrip with Gate, Compressor and gain stage. Speech response is simply incredible!
On the outputs you will enjoy 3 Band EQ, Compressor and a multi effects unit with four lovely signal-pimpers. This is the vocoding sound you have always dreamt of! So make your dream come true and do the Robotronic.
More Feedback Machine has always been a synonym for ultra-flexible delay effects ranging from bread & butter to weird rhythmic deconstruction. In the early days of native plugins, MFM1 was well ahead of its time. MFM2 carries on the tradition and extends it into the future. The idea behind MFM was to give the musician as much control over 4 individual delay lines as possible, have them interact, and offer easy ways to modulate delay parameters in realtime.
In a little over 13 minutes, plugin tutorial maestro Dan Worall explains pretty much everything you need to know about it.
Discord3 is a comprehensive refresh of our popular Discord series of multi-effects. From subtle ADT effects to completely chaotic granular destruction, and everything in between, Discord3 is a capable and broad-reaching multi-effect plug-in.
The pitch-shifter consists of three separate algorithms: a "vintage" mode (the original Discord algorithm, modeled on the Eventide H910 and H949), a "clean" mode for more modern shifting sounds, and a "granular" mode for experimental effects. Each mode has its strengths, depending on the input material, and Discord3 has a broad palette of capabilities as a result. The P1 and P2 algorithms have full control over the buffer (window) size of the shift effect, for fine tuning the shift to the input signal, or for stranger sound effects. At the extremes of the six-octave shift range, some truly strange aliasing and artifacts can be had with this control.
FabFilter Volcano has proven to be one of the few plug-ins that offer convincing high quality digital filtering with unique analog character. With tons of new features, modulation options and a highly improved user interface, the new Volcano 2 is the absolute top of its class! With Volcano 2, FabFilter takes interface design to a whole new level. The innovative what-you-use-is-what-you-see concept shows only what you are actually using, making it a breeze to work with the impressive list of features that the plug-in has to offer.
The main advantage of THE FINGER is the ability to trigger effects via MIDI keyboard (or the "piano roll" in a sequencer). Four octaves of MIDI notes have a specific effect per sound with their own settings assigned to each. The order you trigger the notes is the order the effects get layered in, so chains can be arranged and re-arranged in no time. Make the last key a loop effect, and you can continue the chain from there, endlessly. This allows you to "play" and improvise with effects just like with a "real" instrument. When used within a host sequencer as an effects plug-in, you can record your playing as MIDI in the piano roll editor allowing to edit your effect chains in a much simpler way.
THE FINGER provides more than 40 effects including real-time samplers/transformers (e.g. loop, re-arrange, reverse, scratch, heavy granular effects etc.), as well as filters, gaters, delays, reverbs, distortion, wave shapers, ring modulation and many others. Each effect has two parameters controlled by velocity or mod wheel, and is tempo-synced to a master clock or the tempo of your audio host. The potential for creative audio mayhem is pretty much inexhaustible, and it has never been more fun.
FabFilter Timeless 2 is not only a perfectly modelled classic tape delay. Its unique high-quality filters and many creative options turn it into the ultimate sound-mangling machine! Create echo, chorus, flanger, phaser, scratch effects and much more. The delay signal is fed to two high-quality multimode filters, and then routed back to the delays with adjustable feedback and cross-feedback knobs. Per-channel phase inversion is provided to create jaw-dropping flanger and phasing effects.
BigSeq2 is a massive extension to the feature set of our popular BigSeq gate effect. With twelve sequencers controlling ten effects in six blocks, BigSeq2 is capable of everything from short staccato gate sequences to long, evolving filter sweeps and frequency shifts, and everything in between.
Nectar is a complete set of vocal production effects combined in one plug-in that's designed to give you immediate results. Built-in Styles get the grunt work out of the way so you can focus on the creative finishing touches. Start by selecting one of Nectar's dozens of Styles, like 60s Motown or 90s Grunge. Unlike typical presets, Styles configure a professionally-designed effect chain with producer-level controls like Clarity, Warmth and Sparkle.
Nectar's Styles feature dozens of professionally-designed effects chains that let you rapidly audition your voice in a variety of settings and genres. Quickly get the 60s Motown sound, the early 90s grunge rock sound, a radio-ready podcasting sound, a subtle jazz vocal or a modern pop soundâEU"everything from delicate improvements to highly-produced robotic pitch effects. Nectar also lets you dive under the hood and adjust extensive parameters if you're looking for more control. Plug in your microphone and start making sounds.
Ronin hails from a time not so kind nor gentle. This remade version features a new UI, full compatibility with current plug-in standards, and on the Mac side, the best news of all: Universal Binary VST and AU. eaturing pairs of BBD-style delays, multi-mode filters, saturation, and LFOs, Ronin also is fully modular.
Mastering and EQuing
When you have everything put together in a crisp, clean, and organized manner, you probably want to make things even better by making it SOUND crisp, clean, and organized. Compressing, equalizing, and mastering your sounds is very important. In many instances, you may hear pops, rings, and noise in your music. Use these tools to cut away at those nasty frequencies and make your sounds absolutely perfect.
Zotope's complete mastering system in a single integrated plug-in includes eight essential mastering tools: Maximizer, Equalizer, Multiband Dynamics, Multiband Stereo Imaging, Post Equalizer, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Reverb, and Dithering.
The process of mastering ranges from correcting mistakes made in the mix to preparing a recording for target listening environments. Like a final coat of polish, mastering makes the difference between a good-sounding mix and a professional-sounding master. With Ozone 5, we've delivered the biggest update ever to our critically-acclaimed software mastering system, making it easier than ever for anyone to master their audio simply and efficiently.
Aiming at professional mastering and re-mastering applications, the intricate design, the superior workflow and sound perfection, makes Alchemist tailored for the high demands of todayâEUTMs music and pro-audio industry. Alchemist presents the option to operate as a single broadband processor, or a full-scale multiband processor offering up to five individual bands. For surround/multichannel operation Alchemist provides up to eight channels of simultaneous processing. Be it a difficult dynamics processing job, or a severe problem in the mix, Alchemist provides you with everything you need to achieve finding the solution.
The Epure II is a five-band equalizer with an algorithm designed to deliver the most superior quality achievable in digital equalizing processing today. The logical and comprehensive user interface includes a range of quick "shortcut" functions to enhance and simplify the user workflow, allowing for ultra fast and precise operation.
For surround/multichannel operation up to eight channels of I/O, four MS decoders/encoders and internal processing groups are provided, all routable using the built in routing matrix. A powerful go-to processor for your day-to-day session work, and a sharp-edged surgical precision tool for the most demanding equalizing tasks conceivable
These guys make a huge amount of equalizing, mastering, and mixing tools for all your audio needs. Instead of posting all of their small tools here, I will link you to their website where you can individually download their great products. Check em out!
PSP develops high quality audio effect and processor plug-ins. Our products garner rave reviews and endorsements from every corner of the music production, engineering, composition, and post-production worlds. Our plug-ins have become staples in professional and home studios worldwide. Our credo explains our simple philosophy: It's The Sound That Counts!
Alloy 2 gives you futuristic tools, fast results and most importantly, fantastic sound. Bring character and life to every element of your mix with Alloy 2.
Far more than just a traditional channel strip, Alloy 2 is a modern twist on classic mixing. The basics have been re-imagined with forward-thinking features and time-saving flexibility. Innovative sound sculpting tools are ripe with potential for delivering your distinctive sound. And best of all, Alloy 2 allows you to focus on mixing without distraction, neatly packaging the mixing essentials in a self-contained and completely configurable plug-in that puts everything you need at your fingertips.
Solera II is the complete dynamic processing solution for superior sonic quality and distortion free operation within all fields of demanding audio processing. Primarily designed for mastering and re-mastering applications, making it a really versatile workhorse in the studio.
Four dynamic sections work in parallel, compressor, de-compressor, expander and de-expander. Three release modes (manual, auto, and advanced) are available. In advanced mode the minimum and maximum release values are user adjustable. An Auto Delay function allows zero attack times by introducing a delay line in the processed signal. The side chain features a three-band equalizer to generate frequency sensitive processing. Angel's Share is the parameter controlling the amount of auto-ratio determined by the signal dynamics and the manual ratio setting. Hysteresis is the parameter controlling the amount of auto-threshold determined by the signal dynamics and the manual threshold value. Angel's Share and Hysteresis are key features of all Flux:: dynamic processors because they make use of the dynamic range content of the signal, and not just the signal levels as standard processors do.
iZotope RXâ"¢ 2 is the most complete audio repair toolkit on the market, enabling you to remove noise, hiss, buzz and hum, eliminate clicks and crackle, restore clipped audio, visually select and suppress unwanted sounds, resynthesize missing audio and much more. RX 2 Advanced extends the standard version of RX 2 with new, specialized tools designed for audio professionals. Leveraging iZotope's extensive research and development expertise and drawing from the science of psychoacoustics and image processing, RX features cutting-edge tools that raise the bar on quality and usability enabling you to fix previously untreatable audio.
A comprehensive collection of audio processing tools, Diamond brings unparalleled signal processing power to your studio, for tracking, mixing, mastering, creative sound design, and audio restoration. Diamond now includes all the plugins found in Waves Platinum, Restoration, and Transform bundles as well as MaxxVolume, L3-LL Multimaximizer, and more. From dynamics, equalization, and reverb to pitch correction, spatial imaging, and beyond, Diamond is a must-have for every serious studio. This baby has over 50 plugins!
Spectron is the next generation of spectral effect plug-ins allowing unmatched control over audio by frequency. Now, take your mixed drum track and add delay to the snare, or send the hi-hat panning back and forth. Give your guitar a delay, but only on the high notes. Make your bass ring down low, but stay clear and dry up high. For effects that are subtle or out of this world, Spectron is the one-stop spectral toolbox.
Spectron splits audio into thousands of frequency bands, applies independent delay, morph, filter and pan effects, and then resynthesizes the processed audio into an entirely new sound. Using this unique control over individual frequencies, Spectron can sound like a phaser, chorus, vocoder and many new classes of effects. Spectron is perfect for radio spots, loop and sample manipulation, sound effect design, and electronic & dance music production.
Alright guys! Thats it! I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn't find what you were looking for hereâEU¦ well, you should certainly research the companies mentioned in this thread. You can also find more plugins, and a lot of free ones as well, over at the frequently updated Hitsquad. They have a bunch of tools labeled in many organized and easy to follow categories. Also give KVRaudio a shot. They are always bringing in the latest and greatest tools for all platforms to the table for your enjoyment. Still want more? The nice folks over at Cubase made a nice list for you as well!
Now that you have everything you need, go out there and produce some amazing tunes! Leave comments, questions, and feedback below! Discuss your favorites, talk about which tools you use, and post anything I missed. Cheers!
At 9/16/12 02:04 PM, Sequenced wrote: hahahaha I use a PC
Many of these will also work on the PC! :D
At 9/16/12 05:23 AM, Buoy wrote: holy shit, good effort.
...which ones are free? c:
There are also MANY free ones out there. Im considering compiling together a list of free tools as well! You can do your own research over at the mac freeware section in Hitsquad.
At 9/16/12 04:40 PM, SineRider wrote: Nice work Fatkid, will check some of these out!
Thanks! I know its a lot but i only expect people to skim through it and use it as a nice refrence for further expanding their musical and production knowledge.
I would like to add as a fully featured DAW, with a free version:
MuLab - A sound and music production modular studio system for Mac OSX and Windows. Currently the pricing is:
MuLab XT - 25 EUR
MuLab UL - 75 EUR
MuLab Free - well, 0 EUR, but you can pay 0 US Dollars as well...
Holy shit! This thread is amazingly under-endorsed. Thanks a heap, man! The way you've put this together is ace.
At 10/15/12 12:21 AM, The-iMortal wrote: Holy shit! This thread is amazingly under-endorsed. Thanks a heap, man! The way you've put this together is ace.
THIS THREAD IS PC AND MAC by the way :)
Holy crap. Look at all of this information!!!
Great job man. Thanks for taking the time out to provide us with this!
At 9/16/12 04:23 AM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Most helpful thing I've ever seen in this forum.
I think Patrick will explain it all.
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Awesome list dude. It would be convenient though if you were to just put a dash next to the names and put -priced or free and VST or AU. Selfish to ask but it'll save us from having to click and explore each link.
Hey there hun, I'll play anything you want me to. Oh yeah, stroke my strings baby. Finger my fret board.
At 1/19/15 07:38 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Wanted to bump this thread, perhaps there are people here who may find it useful.
Ohai, good to see you're still around.