Software Secret Weapons

One of the most powerful weapons in any arsenal is the element of surprise.

One of the most powerful weapons in any arsenal is the element of surprise. This month, our panel of A-list producers answers the question “What’s your favorite exotic plug-in, and why?”



My plug-in collection is very small and simple. My current favorite instrument is an Ableton Rack I made called the Shermoperator Filterbitch. It’s Ableton’s Operator synth followed by an External Effect device that routes it out to my Sherman Filterbank, a hardware analog filter. I use Operator to generate complex digital waveforms which I then shape with the Sherman.



One of our favorite plug-ins, hands-down, is Native Instruments Massive. From sci-fi textures to floorripping bass, this plug-in can do just about everything. The filters, overdrive, and voice routing make this synth an absolute beast. One of our favorite tricks with Massive is modulating the wavetable position while simultaneously morphing through parameters.



I’ve used Waves as well as the UAD card stuff, but at the moment I’m really into the Delay Designer that’s included with Logic. You can put percussion sounds through it and get a great lead sound via some of the warped presets. Once I have the sound, I’ll then put it through the Wave Tune plug-in to create the proper pitches.



(Dragonette |
SoundToys EchoBoy. In selecting the different kinds of delay sound (“Studio,” “Telephone,” or “Binsonette,” for instance), you get all sorts of great ambience that can totally change the character of the whole mix, even if put on just one track—like the vocal. Amazing.



That’s a tough one. The first one that comes to mind is PSP Nitro. It’s been one of those plug-ins I’ve gone to when I want to change a sound radically, but without chaining too many plug-ins together. (That reminds me, I need to take a look at PSP’s new N2O.) There are a lot of cool plug-ins for Reaktor that are good for this task as well.