Software for sound design comes in many forms. From softsynths to effect plugins, there are a lot of choices.
Sound design programs are an electronic music producer’s best friend. We can’t help but indulge our interest in mangling a sound as much as we can. Furthermore, sampling and resampling a sound allow us to convert it into something new & unique. So, we thought it may be a good time to talk about what we think are the best VST plugins for sound design.
After all, developers are consistently outputting new plugins for just that. With so many new plugins out all of the time, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed under press releases and excess information when you just want to make sounds. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the best VST plugins for sound design.
iZotope Trash 2 – The best plugin for sound design (Distortion Plugin)
First, we have what the world declares as one of the best VST plugins for sound design – iZotope Trash 2. Trash 2 is a staple distortion for music producers here, there, and everywhere. But it’s far more than just a distortion plugin. It’s all about transforming sounds!
Trash 2 features a dual-stage distortion unit that allows you to zero in on what frequencies you want to distort in your sound. You can even chain pairs of distortions together! Its customizable waveshaper and lo-fi delay unit make it pretty different from other distortion plugins on the market.
The user interface presents in-depth graphical representations of what you’re doing in real-time. But the interface is broken down into different windows and parameters that you can play with and manipulate. You can combine filters, delays and dynamic control to make your sound truly unique. This is why we think it’s the best plugin for sound design!
Native Instruments Absynth – (Softsynth)
Like iZotope, Native Instruments are known for producing industry-standard sound design plugins. And Absynth is no different!
Despite the digital realm that it lives in, Absynth is a pretty natural sounding synth. Three wavetable oscillators allow you to add layers and detail to your sound, while 8 modules await a signal to add depth and effects. The modules have their own set of filters, and you can order the modules however you like.
One feature that Absynth is heralded for is its ability for custom wavetables. A window view allows you to take any wavetable and add further harmonics to it, meaning you can create your own wavetables. To be more explicit, you don’t have to use pre-existing wavetables. You can make your own from scratch!
Onboard envelopes allow you to control the velocity of your sound. You can use preset shapes or design your own!
Softube Tape – (Analog Tape Plugin)
Although it has a reduced set of uses compared to Trash 2 and Absynth, Softube’s Tape plugin is a pristine sounding noise-generating plugin.
For a vintage analog colour, look no further than Tape. This sound design plugin will add seemingly authentic tape noise to your mix. Lo-fi producers – this one is for you!
Soundtoys FilterFreak – Advanced Filter Plugin
You can make a sound as chunky as you like, but applying some movement can take your rhythms to the next level!
And that’s where Soundtoys FilterFreak comes in. Think dynamic filter sweeps, the ability to automate some breathtaking movement and rhythmic filter sequences with its Rhythm Editor.
FilterFreak comes with a set of presets that you can get started with, or you can play around with the many parameters. You can control the speed of the filter movement, its shape, filter type, resonance, and so much more.
If your sounds are in need of some movement, look no further!
Output Movement – Multi-Effect Plugin
Okay, maybe look a little further.
Movement is a multi-effect plugin that allows you to add motion and textures to your sounds.
Furthermore, you can modular any parameter you wish! Creating some crazy rhythms in this very plugin by converting static sounds into anything you can think of. A weak pad can become an atmospheric prowler with just a few tweaks!
Its intuitive user interface with its X-Y FX-engine allows you to rhythm-based effects that can get as crazy as you like. +300 inspiring presets allow you to jump right in!
Find your favourite sample and reimagine it inside these plugins!
The sampling revolution has risen in popularity and shaped music since the early 1970s. Sample culture continues to transform how millions of artists and producers do their thing in DAWs.
You too can break conventional norms, challenge the status quo, and open Pandora’s box of sound design.
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You’ll have access to our growing catalogue of loops, one-shots and sound effects that you can browse, download and keep forever for less than $3 a month.
Sign up today to find your sound!