VST plugins are one of the most talked about (and often controversial) topics among composers and sound engineers. Manufacturers claim the maximum possible transfer of analogue character in their products, but in practice the picture is not always colorful. We did a short survey and got a list of the most popular audio processing tools in 2018!
Slate Digital VMR (Virtual Mix Rack)
Slate Digital VMR is a semi-modular virtual rack with equalizers, compressors and other important instruments in the work. It offers a number of excellent algorithms at an affordable price (it is important to note that recently the license is available by subscription for $ 15 per month). Of the advantages, you can highlight a small load on the processor and convenient work with controls. You can use it on each track, and summarize them with a virtual mixing console * (* meaning the VCC Channel and VCC MixBuss modules). An iLok USB key is required for operation.
Empirical Labs Arousor
Not so long ago, Empirical Labs introduced a version of its compressor from the manufacturer of popular plug-ins from Universal Audio (UA) and Slate Digital (as a stand-alone module). Its basic VST version is also known, distributed directly by developers on the official website. This is familiar to all Distressor with some interesting new features, such as attack modification and controlled saturation. A minus can be noted that its cost is expensive compared to similar tools. Many note that the behavior of the distressor was ideally assembled in a digital form, which allows you to use all its advantages and character.
iZotope Neutron 2 Advanced
There is a lot of talk about plugins from iZotope and is often demonstrated in projects. These are undeniably some of the best tools in recent years. Neutron 2 comes in three versions – Elements, Standard and Advanced, and is a host with various modules (equalizer, compressor, saturator, analyzer and other instruments). Get high flexibility and the ability to correct every envelope. Unfortunately, some advanced features are only available in the most expensive version. In addition to Neutron itself, you can also find RX, Ozone7 and other plugins for processing, restoration and saturation of sound.
Slate Digital VTM (виртуальные ленточные машины)
Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machines is an emulation of a tape machine, with its noise, throughput and inherent coloring. It gives a very realistic sound and perfectly shows itself on second-party parts (for example, back vocals and pads). It is not worth using on each track of the project, since it has the property of “clogging” the sound with unnecessary artifacts and compressing the overall frequency / dynamic picture. The virtual machine is intended only for neat and surgical interventions. The plugin is delivered separately from the rack, and, unfortunately, the last one and a half to two years is not updated.
Acustica Audio Sand
Acustica Audio Sand is an SSL-style plugin with bus compressor, equalizer, filters and saturation. Passes all the familiar elements of the famous British consoles into your workspace. Of the minuses, it is worth noting that a powerful computer is still desirable for use, since it eats a lot of DSP resources. You can look at other products of the company, since the creation technology affects the patented mechanism for transferring all the intricacies of analog equipment (and almost every model is a “taken” copy).
FabFilter Pro-Q 2
FabFilter Pro-Q 2 is one of the favorite equalizers of all, without exception, engineers. Each interview on the topic of the products used will include this powerful and accurate graphic EQ. It is rich in features and options. It is unlikely, but some users may find it too “vanilla” in sound, since it does not copy analog devices and lacks this saturation (but it can be colored additionally).
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_console N
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_console N is a Neve VXS console emulation. It provides a universal solution for working with the base channel and a very light processor load. However, other analogues of this plug-in have softer operation algorithms and the sound becomes richer. He deserves to take a confident place among the most popular tools in 2018. You can also look at the VCC modules from Slate Digital. In the event that there is no money for a full-fledged mixing console, these tools are simply necessary.
Kush Audio Novatron
Novatron is a versatile compressor that can deliver a clear to sandy sound. The company has been awarded awards for work and build quality many times. Thanks to the simple design, the ability to choose the nature of the compression, a flexible and at the same time effective compressor will be in your hands. The controls are no different from other plugins for this task.
DMG Audio EQuilibrium
Equalizer with an insane amount of curves, configuration and internal processing settings. Demonstrates excellent sound, incomparable with other previously presented modules. Impressive with incredible features and one of the most powerful tools on the market. This is an independent model that does not recreate any iron devices.
UAD-2 Universal Audio
No matter how we avoided Universal Audio, the popularity of their plugins may occupy TOP3 among mixing and mastering engineers.
Over 90 unique products of their kind that other developers do not have (such as approved copies from Sonnox, Shadow Hills, Harrison, and Manley). Here you will find any exact copy for mixing, filling space and mastering music. It is important to note that plugins only work on Universal Audio SHARC processors located on PCI UAD-2 boards and in Arrow / Apollo sound cards.