Music Production Software
With thousands of music apps and plugins available today, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing your music software. That's why we have put together this list of our favourite and most used programs and plugins.
We're going to cover everything, from the DAW'S we use to the EQ's and compressors we sculpt our sample packs with. We've been using some of this software for over 20 years, so we think we've got a handle on it!
Digital Audio Workstations (DAWS)
The centrepiece of many a modern studio is the sequencer, otherwise known as the DAW. Here are some of the best (in our opinion).
- Reaper - The infinitely powerful audio production software. Our main choice, cheap too!
- Propellerheads Reason - Everything you need to make music on your computer.
- Ableton Live - Great software for using with your audio loops and samples.
- Steinberg Cubase - Cubase audio production software is an old bit of kit and still going strong.
- Apple Logic Pro - Logic is another one of the big boys in DAW town.
- Image-Line FL Studio - Another very popular digital audio workstation.
- Native Instruments Maschine Software - Popular hardware and software combined.
Software Synths (VSTI)
There's some amazing software emulations of analog hardware, but in our opinion, some of the new digital wavetable software synthesizers just sound out of this world!
- Xfer Serum - A powerful wavetable synth that can do more than just bass genres.
- Native Instruments Massive - One of the most popular software synths.
- U-he Diva - Probably the most analog sounding soft synth out there!
- U-he Repro-1 - Great for bass and leads. The effects section is great.
- U-he Hive - Versatile and quick to use. We made 3 audio demos for U-he on their website.
- Spectrasonics Omnisphere - A huge library of sounds and a very deep synthesiser.
- Reveal Sound Spire - Big wide and punchy, Spire finds its way into most things.
- Sonic Charge Synplant - The strangest synth with the best noises.
Samplers and Drum Machines
Everyone needs a sampler, everyone needs a drum machine. These are the best on the market.
- FXpansion Geist - Amazing drum machine for messing with loops and samples.
- Sonic Charge Microtonic - A drum synth with a cool morph feature.
- Native Instruments Battery - A staple drum machine for many.
- Native Instruments Kontakt - Kontakt is a powerful VST sampler.
- Steinberg Halion - A real sampler that lets you sample, cool!
EQ is probably our most used effect plugin, from the simplest HPF, to removing resonant peaks, the humble EQ finds its way onto every track. Here's our most used.
- Fabfilter Pro Q - One of the best EQ plugins with a great GUI and cool spectrum analyser.
- UAD Pultec Pro EQ - The EQ that gives you the big bottom end. On our drum bus and master!
- UAD Neve 1073 EQ- Lovely sounding mid-range and top end.
Some people say compression is a mysterious dark art, we say that's nonsense - it's an automatic volume control, simples. :P
- UAD Fairchild 670 - The secret weapon! Always on the master and probably on a few groups.
- UAD 1176LN - This adds smack to your snares and punch to your kicks like nothing else.
- UAD LA-2A - A nice levelling amplifier, good for rounding off vocals and bass.
- UAD Neve 33609 - Slightly more difficult to use, but gives a 'clicky' compression.
- SPL Transient Designer - Not just great for transients, but also for adding sustain and body.
- Native Instruments SSL Bus Compressor - We use this mainly for side-chain compression.
- Dada Life Sausage Fattener - This will give you a fat sausage, whether you want it or not.
- Fabfilter Pro L Limiter - An essential, full featured limiter plugin.
Reverb and Delay Plugins
We use a lot of Reverb and Delay in our Sample Packs and these are our favourites.
- UAD Plate 140 Reverb - Beautiful reverb, great for vocals and synths.
- Valhalla DSP VintageVerb - Very nice classic reverb plugin, can get big!
- Valhalla DSP Valhalla Room - Great room reverb emulation, gets a lot of use.
- Sonic Charge Echobode - Great sounding modulating delay, good for effects.
- UAD Space Echo - The classic Roland space echo tape delay in plugin form.
Saturation and distortion plugins usually aren't all that fun, until you try these 2 that is!
- Fabfilter Saturn - From subtle tape saturation to full digital distortion, Saturn does it.
- Izotope Trash 2 - More than just distortion, Trash 2 is a sound mangler.
Filter plugins are an integral part of modern music production. We're using these:
- Fabfilter Simplon - A simple little filter that gets a lot of use. Nice and clean.
- Sugar Bytes WOW2 - A dirty filter with thick sound and great GUI.
- FXpansion Etch - Analogue modelled filter plugin with lots of modulation.
Modulation effects such as Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Vibrato etc. are widely used in the making of our Loops and Samples, and are equally well used in our Synth Presets.
- Melda Production MFreeFXBundle - Contains a vast array of modulation plugins.
- Valhalla DSP UberMod - Everything from Chorus to Tape Echo to Flanger.
Other Useful Plugins
We use many different effect plugins that don't fit into other categories. Some are multi-effects, some are analysers or stereo enhancers. Here's a few more from our box of magic tricks.
- Fabfilter Pro DS - Transparent De Esser plugin. Nice GUI.
- Sonic Charge Permut8 - 12 bit digital delay with added CRAZY!
- Sugar Bytes Turnado - Multi effects, perfect for automating like DJ effects.
- Brainworx BX Tuner - Simple but necessary Tuner plugin. Useful while making presets.
- Cableguys VolumeShaper - This plugin is used a lot to create the side-chain effect quickly.
That just about rounds up our most used and favourite audio software and plugins. Now if you need some New Loops and Sample Packs to use them on, head over to our shop and check out the Latest Deals.