10 Best VST Plugins for Music Producers in 2020
It’s been said that we’re currently living in the golden age of music production. What was once only possible in expensive studios is now available to anyone in the world from the comfort of their laptop. Any fan of electronic music can download a DAW like Ableton or FL Studio and use the same technology as the world’s biggest DJs. However, producers will quickly learn how complex the EDM production world truly is. One of the most important steps in making the music of your dreams is finding the best VST plugins. While every individual producer has a unique workflow and creative process, here are 10 of the best plugins for music producers of all genres.
Best VST Plugins for 2020:
Understanding how to EQ sounds with an equalizer is an essential skill for producers. The built-in equalizer in your DAW will definitely get the job done, but many producers prefer FabFilter‘s famous Pro-Q 3. Linear phase mode, natural phase mode, mid/side processing, and dynamic EQ are a few of its best qualities. Each instance can handle up to 24 EQ bands, and several shapes and customization options are available. FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is the industry’s favorite equalizer, and many producers consider it a must-have VST plugin.Download
One of the most interesting plugins on the market, Portal by Output alters audio via granular synthesis. Portal will stretch and manipulate any sound while maintaining the original quality of the input. It comes loaded with over 250 presets and 7 built-in FX. Sounds can be modified with time manipulation, grain delay, pitch modulation, and more. If you’re looking to create some sounds that no one has ever heard before, Portal is the best plugin for you.Download
While they’re historically known for selling reverb plugins, Valhalla released the incredible Valhalla Delay plugin in 2019. It offers both classic and modern delay styles such as ping pong, tape, ratio, quad, and dual. Like all Valhalla plugins, the interface is straightforward and easy to learn. It comes loaded with over 10 delay modes and includes presets of the most useful settings. With Valhalla Delay, the company once again proves that they have some of the best VST plugins in the world.Download
First released in 2012, iZotope Trash 2 continues to be one of the best distortion plugins in the music industry. With over 60 state-of-the-art distortion algorithms, Trash 2 allows producers to explore new sonic dimensions within the module-based interface. It combines multi-band and dual-stage distortions with advanced post-filtering effects for a full and satisfying sound. There’s plenty of customization options including pre and post-distortion EQ, six different delay types, and 20 adjustable filter types. Hundreds of presets are available in iZotope Trash 2, and its stellar reputation is well deserved.Download
An innovative resonance suppressor and dynamic equalizer tool, Soothe2 by oeksound is easily one of the best VST plugins for 2020. It has the appearance of a standard EQ, but Soothe does much more. Specifically, it analyzes the audio signal and makes adjustments internally. This means that fine-tuning problematic frequencies with notching isn’t necessary, as Soothe will fix these problems for you. The resulting output signal is automatically free of most artifacts, and it has a natural sound with the option for oversampling and multi-band compression. Originally designed as a vocal processor, it is specifically used to adjust mid and high frequencies. Soothe is a must-have for professional producers.Download
If you’re looking to give your tracks a warm, vintage vibe, RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio is the best VST plugin for you. It recreates the feeling of old recording equipment and adds life and texture to any audio source. RC-20 comes loaded with several presets and also includes a “magnitude” knob that allows for intricate FX adjustments. It can recreate audio similar to a vinyl record, VHS machine, and more. Mostly used on drums, guitars, keys, basses, and full mixes, RC-20 Retro Color will give your tracks a warm and cozy feeling.Download
One of the best transient shapers available, DS-10 Drum Shaper by XLN Audio is a useful plugin for producers of all genres. It allows you to shape the attack and sustain of drums, loops, or any other audio source. The interface is straightforward and also includes a “mojo” knob to add more color and flavor. DS-10 makes it easy to create both tight and punchy drums or huge and heavy beats. With simple and effective parameters, DS-10 Drum Shaper is a great VST plugin for both beginners and experts.Download
One of the most widely used mixing and mastering plugins, iZotope Ozone 9 combines many AI-powered audio production tools. Its innovative interface allows for easy comparisons between your song and an external reference track. Some of the built-in effects include an imager, equalizer, maximizer, spectral shaper, exciter, and dynamic EQ. Most commonly used as a mastering plugin, Ozone 9 is a diverse application that can be used on any audio source. It is the ultimate tool for ensuring your track is ready for streaming platforms.Download
Soundtoys Decapitator is the best VST plugin to recreate the feeling of analog gear. Decapitator features five different saturation models and works perfectly at both low and high settings. It can give tracks warmth, make specific elements more pronounced, thin things out, and much more. The interface has low cut, tone, and high cut settings, as well as a drive knob and a “punish” button for extra gain. For an effective saturator with a perfect analog vibe, look no further than Soundtoys Decapitator.Download
Would any VST list be complete without Xfer Serum? The wavetable synthesizer and its hands-on, visual interface is the go-to digital synth for EDM producers everywhere. The oscillators, modulation settings, wavetables, effects, and LFOs allow you to create virtually any sound possible. If you’re looking to experiment with sounds and get your EDM production career started, Serum is undoubtedly one of the best VST plugins to download.Download
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Image Credits: Pro-Q 3 (Fabfilter), Portal (Output), Delay (Valhalla), Trash 2 (iZotope), Soothe2 (oeksound), RC-20 (XLN Audio), DS-10 (Plugin Fox), Ozone 9 (Splice), Decapitator (Soundtoys), Serum (Splice)