Best EDM Plugins | Top 5 Friday by Plugin Boutique
Plugin Boutique published recently their few on the Best EDM VST Plugins. If you want to get that polished, highly professional EDM sound, you’re going to need to use the right tools. In this rundown, Plugin Boutique shed some light on the top VSTs for crafting tearing leads, solid basslines, and huge drums.
XO (XLN Audio)
An innovative new way to get the right drum sounds, XO (Affiliate Link) analyzes your one-shots and groups them by similar sound on its intuitive GUI. The straightforward interface makes it easy to find the sound you’re after, and XO also features a huge library of one-shots to get you started.
XO (Affiliate Link) even includes a powerful step sequencer so you can make beats right in the plugin, plus it’s got convenient drag and drop export and can work as a standalone application.
Nectar 3 (iZotope)
This intelligent channel strip was designed just for vocals, and so it’s a key part of any EDM tune’s workflow. The modules available are EQ, gating, compression, delay, reverb, harmonisation, pitchshifting, auto-levelling, dimension, and even the Breath Control processor from iZotope RX. Any of these can be run in any order you want, mixed and matched exactly how you like them.
In the Advanced version of Nectar 3 (Affiliate Link), there’s also a Vocal Assistant tool that helps recommend processes based on the sound of your input vocal. You can also deal with masking in Nectar 3, cutting down on clashing frequencies.
Nectar 3 (Affiliate Link) comes in Advanced, Standard and Elements versions, with the cheapest one coming in at $140, and the most expensive at $270. Elements offer a stripped back set of tools with a lot of the same effects onboard.
Spire (Reveal Sound)
Spire (Affiliate Link) has loads of oscillators and synthesis types to give you a diverse range of sound sources, and an impressive level of control over morphing those sounds with two Ctrl knobs, which change their function depending on what type of synthesis you’re running. There’s also 9x unison for each of the two oscillators.
Next come dual filters, a total of four LFOs, and another four envelopes. All that modulation power can be harnessed thanks to the five pages of modulation assignments in Spire’s matrix. There’s also an effects section featuring a Shaper/Decimator, a Phaser, a Chorus and flanger, a Delay and a Reverb processor.
If you’ve got any extra attention or cash after dealing with Spire (Affiliate Link) itself, you can also check out a huge number of third-party presets available for the synth too.
ShaperBox 2 (Cableguys)
If music is all about melody and rhythm, Shaperbox 2 (Affiliate Link) has the second one well and truly covered. It offers six effects that you can run individually or independently, to control your audio’s Filtering, Panning, Volume, Width, Bitcrushing and even Timing.
Each of these is controlled over time using a draw-your-own curve to apply the amount different over a few bars or beats, meaning that you can animate any of the six processors to make rhythmic or slow, evolving changes, with MIDI control thrown in too.
Each Shaper can also operate in multiple frequency bands, Lo, Mid and High, to add yet another dimension to the effects you can get. Shaperbox 2 (Affiliate Link)
SubLab (Future Audio Workshop)
For powerful electronic music, you’ve got to have yourself powerful sub-bass, and Sublab (Affiliate Link) is one great way to get it. Starting with Synth, Sampler and X-Sub sound sources, and running them through filtering, distortion and compression stages, all designed to suit working with bass tones, this is one specialized little synth.
Let’s go in-depth on those oscillators, where you get a choice of three. The Sampler lets you choose from 250 kick and 808 bass sounds, and also lets you import your own. Standard sampling functions such as choosing your loop points are included here, too.
The Synth module gives you a more standard way to generate your own tones from a basic sub oscillator, taking in volume, filter and pitch envelopes along the way.
The X-Sub bass source is psychoacoustically constructed to keep your lowest lows tight, no matter what note you’re playing. Check out Sublab (Affiliate Link).