Best Plugins for Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X comes with a lot of different amazing stock plugins. You can create a hit record with everything that comes by default.

For music production or for mixing vocals, you can do it all using an array of well crafted plugins that will help you define your sound like the pros.

Sample delay:

This is a plugin that a lot of people overlook including myself until recently, you can slap this bad boy on any sound you’d like to be panned differently and to sit a little wider in the mix.

You can either choose to have a delay on the right or on the left. This doesn’t work too good with instruments that are typically known to hit directly in the middle (Kicks, snares for example) but it works wonders on FX like risers.

It helps give life to instruments or voices.

You can also use them on open hats and percussion as well.

I recommend trying it out and seeing how it influences your mix and finding how it fits perfectly to your taste. It’s very easy to use, only has two knobs and the job is done very quick. Great simple interface to work with on this plugin.

Bit crusher:

This plugin is fantastic for adding a bit of distortion to anything you’d like. I personally like to use it on kicks and snares to add a little grit. What’s important to keep in mind is that less is more. Always.

Play around with the mix knob as it will become your best friend to achieve the best results possible to have a powerful sound but that doesn’t sound too distorted either.

Try adjusting the down sampling along with the resolution to find the best balance to enhance your sound.

Rather simple plugin to use as well and quick to get what you need out of it.

Channel EQ:

The default EQ that comes with logic has a very transparent sound, is incredibly easy to get by on, and is visually engaging.

It’s a go to for easy adjustments on any track.

What makes this EQ special is it’s simplicity and visually appealing look. It demands very low CPU usage and therefore makes it a favourite for applying in whichever situation.

Pitch Correction:

Logic comes with it’s own built in Pitch Correction, also known as Autotune.

It’s very easy to use and only requires to adjust two knobs, one to put in the key of the song, the other is to adjust the power of the autotune applied.

It can achieve great results and can sound very robotic if needed.

Stereo delay:


This is a plugin I use just about in every mix. From vocals to transitions to hi hats, it works literally everywhere.

What’s amazing about this plugin is that you get to adjust each side individually to generate very interesting rhythms that compliment each other.

By default the left side comes at 1/4 and the right side is at 1/8. I tend to leave it as it and play with the feedback to fit my taste for that particular track.

You can play around with this plugin on hi hats to make intricate patterns that make tracks very bouncy. To make this plugin even better, the creators made sure to include a built in filter for each side.

So you get to filter high or low frequencies left and right and really craft a sound that is unique. One of my favorite stock plugins by far.

Tremolo:

The tremolo is another interesting plugin that can be used for many different situations. It works well to add movement in a song.

It pans the sound left and right continuously, and can be very fluid or extremely rapid, depending on the speed.

Putting a tremolo on instruments help it stand out in the mix, and always be in motion.

Exciter:

The exciter is another tool that comes with Logic Pro’s arsenal that can be used virtually anywhere.

This plugin can enhance pleasant harmonics or if needed more prominent distortion, but when used in little amounts it can tremendously boost a whole track.

This plugin works well in the mixing stage as well when wanting to add some extra harmonics on a master bus.

You can use it on a piano to give a little more grit and power, it works very well with guitars as well. It can be applied on vocals as well to make them stand out more in a mix.

Q-Chord Review- A Classic Revisited

There is a lot of joy to be had with sophisticated, complex instruments – like keyboard workstations.

However, at certain times, you’d just like to have a go at an instrument that’s fun, simple, and somehow more immediate. And when you first lay eyes on a Suzuki Q-Chord QC-1, you may very well think that you’ve found just what you need.

You may think that you’ve found a handy alternative controller. However, the more you use it, the sooner you’ll realize that it’s a fun preforming instrument or songwriting tool, but not necessarily the controller you desire.

Q-Chord Appearance

Suzuki calls its pear-shaped, burgundy-colored Q Chord a “digital song-card guitar”. However, in reality, its something akin to an electronic Autoharp, with chord buttons alongside a Strumplate letting you (proverbially) strum the chords.

Its “neck” contains 36 chord buttons assembled in three rows. The front panel has a 5-inch speaker that comes with bass porting, as well as a volume dial and an assortment of other plastic buttons, mostly controlling different operation modes.

The upper-right part of the Q-chord is where you’ll find the pitch-bend wheel.

On the side, you’ll see the MIDI ports, a jack for an AC adapter, and an 11/44-inch audio output that can serve you as a headphone jack.

At the end of the neck, you can see a port for a Q-card song cartridge, letting you play with popular rhythm patterns and song sequences.

The Strumplate

The arguable main attraction of the Suzuki Q-Chord is the Strumplate; spanning four octaves that you play by using the tip of your fingers to stroke. You can also tap, though you’ll find the response somewhat poor.

You’d have to hit a very narrow sweet spot to get an even response to even slow taps.

You can trigger chord tones using the Strumplate via one among ten different sounds on the front panel: Sound FX, Synth, Harp, Flute, Voice, Organ, Vibes, Strings, Piano, and Guitar.

And if these aren’t quite up to snuff for your purposes, you can use other GM sounds with the MIDI Program Changes. You’ll also be able to control sustain and relative volume.

The Sections

As I’ve mentioned above, the Q-chord is not really anything more than a home instrument; you won’t be able to use it for any truly professional purposes.

Its focus is on playing along with melodic fill, bass, chord, and drum auto-accompaniment. The Q-Chord sections control effects, Q-card, Strumplate voices, rhythm, and EZ play. Barring drums, every other accompaniment section may be individually turned off.

You can set your accompaniment up using six buttons in chord mode. Auto Chord gives you basic comping, the chord is sustained by Chord Hold, and Chord Plus will add any other auto-accompaniment parts.

Also, Manual Chord will trigger a constant chord without including any other accompaniments, and Bass Control will give you any appropriate patches and the bass line.

Obviously, you can mix up various combinations. Conversely, you can use a melody keyboard feature to perform individual notes using the chord buttons. You will identify the notes via a keyboard overlay on the bottom two rows.

There are ten different rhythm section styles: blues shuffle, rock, ballad, waltz, march, new age, dance, jazz, country, and bossa nova. The majority of these aren’t that bad, though the new age style seems more Latin, and the blues shuffle works better at a slower tempo.

The Instrument In Practice


Regardless of what instrument we’re talking about, the way it handles in practice matters a lot. And while this is a pretty fun experimental instrument, there’s no getting around one simple fact – regardless of how you hold it, playing won’t be anything near comfortable.

It comes with rubber feet, so you may lay it on its back and play it right-handed, but then the location of the pitch wheel is pretty inconvenient – though that’s the position for playing that the manual shows.

However, seeing as this is dubbed by Suzuki as a digital song card guitar, the chord buttons look like they’re designed to be played upside down; like a guitar neck.

So, if you use it like a guitar, with the optional strap accessory or placed on your knee – you’ll be able to use your right pinkie to access the pitch wheel and strum. Also, the chord buttons are aligned perfectly with left-handed playing.

However, that’s where the cutaway and plastic horn, obviously designed to make the instrument look more like a guitar, make the playing uncomfortable in terms of using the left hand for chord buttons.

All things considered – it’s probably better to play it when it’s lying flat, but that’s still a poor choice.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the Q-chord isn’t as shallow and one-time as the initial contact with it may suggest. It’s definitely well-manufactured, and it can give you hours of fun as a stand-alone music instrument.

In terms of low-end household instruments, its sound isn’t that bad either.

And in tandem with a GM module, you can use it for basic songwriting. Unfortunately, it isn’t without its drawbacks. For one, the selection of MIDI data that it sends is odd, and the lack of an option to disable drums as well.

Plus, technical issues aside – it’s simply not that well-designed when it comes to ergonomics. If the instrument is not comfortable to hold, there’s really not that much else to say about its practicality.

Basically, if you wanted to use it as a MIDI controller, I’d advise looking elsewhere.

As it stands, this is an instrument with some home entertainment value and not a broad variety of MIDI features.

iZotope Neutron 3 Review

The mixing process in music and film has become pretty advanced at this point.

To put it simply, one should never leave anything to chance, but always have control of every aspect of an audio recording. And this is especially the case with music.

No matter the genre or any other creative and artistic factor involved, a mixing engineer or a producer or an independent music creator should always strive to make the best out of it.

After all, the standards are pretty high these days and it makes no sense to release music that will sound outdated or just unpleasant. However, with such a harsh competition these days, how are you supposed to do great mixing?

Well, thankfully for all the serious mixers or independent music makers, there are some pretty great all-around mixing plugins worth checking out, something that encompasses many different plugins into one. This is exactly why we decided to cover Izotope’s Neutron 3.

Relatively new on the market, there’s a lot of exciting improvements compared to the previous version. But let’s get into it and see whether this plugin will make wonders of your audio recordings.

Features


Essentially, Neutron is a virtual channel strip with six different modules. On it, we can find two different multi-band compressors, gate (or expander), a very detailed EQ, Transient Shaper, Exciter, as well as their new Sculptor.

To add to all this, there’s also the company’s Track Assistant which can analyze the coming audio and create appropriate presets for it dynamically.

It comes in three different versions which are labeled as Elements, Standard, and Advanced. The one we’re interested in is Advanced Neutron 3, which is the flagship version.

Compared to the second edition, Neutron 3 has a fairly improved graphic interface. On it, we can see control panels of all the modules with all the display meters. In this regard, it’s pretty similar to iZotope’s Nectar 3.

While the Track Assistant is pretty much the same as we’ve seen with the previous Neutron edition, the addition of the Sculptor module is something that provides more options in this regard.

It’s also worth noting that Neutron 3 comes with the Mix Assistant that does its “smart” track analysis for pan, width, and level controls. And it’s pretty simple to use.

Just set one track as the “center,” play the whole piece, and the plugin will do its automatic tweaking.

When it’s done, you get five main groups that your tracks are put into – voice, bass, focus, musical, and percussion. You’re then free to adjust everything and sort tracks into these groups the way you want to.

Performance

But no matter how great features like Track Assistant and Sculptor are, there’ll always be some additional tweaking.

This is pretty much expected as your plugins just can’t create magic on their own. You’re supposed to do some work as well, but at least it’s not heavy lifting with these useful additions. It just gives a starting point for you to work with.

The same could be said about the Mixing Assistant. After the automatic setup, you’re free to change things according to your needs.

One of the downsides here is that the Visual Mixer lacks some of the much-appreciated features. For instance, mute and solo buttons would be great in such a setting.

Either way, with the right set of skills, you can get some really surprising results with Neutron 3.

For instance, using the Focus option in the Mixing Assistant on the main vocal track, you get more than half of your otherwise tedious work done automatically.

Even with a larger number of tracks, it helps you get the desired results with ease. It might be a little trickier for instrumental tracks though, as you don’t exactly have a very “focused” setting in there.

But with all this said, you’re supposed to have a good set of skills for this plugin. It’s not exactly a cheap piece of software intended for occasional fun mixing an amateur will do at home.

What’s really exciting about Neutron 3 is the relatively low CPU and RAM usage. If we’re talking about the same hardware configuration, Neutron 3 will actually load noticeably faster compared to Neutron 2, which is definitely a surprise. Optimization is always welcome.

Conclusion

And we could go on for days about countless features of Neutron 3 and how exactly they all work. But, at the end of the day, what is our conclusion here? Not to get into it too much, but this is a fully professional plugin.

It’s not exactly something you’d want to purchase if you’re not at least entering the world of professional mixing and production work. That’s also obvious when you look at the plugin’s price.

What’s more, a plugin like this one will make a difference only paired with professional equipment.

If you’re a home recording enthusiast, then we would advise you not to purchase Neutron 3, unless you’re willing to spend a lot for an expensive piece of software that you won’t be able to fully implement in your work.

We would argue that this one is “reserved” for either fully professional studios or highly experienced independent music creators who are armed with all the necessary equipment and skills. And if that’s the case, iZotope’s Neutron 3 will serve you for years to come.

The signal processing modules here are definitely a selling point. Although it’s not a cheap one, the plugin offers a great deal for the price.

The additions of these assistants that we described above are definitely welcome.

However, even without them, Neutron 3 would be a plugin worth checking out. They just come as the icing on the cake, as Mixing and Track assistants make your life easier by reducing your mixing hours.

Toontrack EZMix 2 Review

Whatever are the genres that you’re working in, there should always be an array of different effects plugins involved in the process.

What’s more, things can sometimes get quite messy with a very complex virtual signal chain of different effects. Even to the point where you might even forget why you even added some of those plugins.

So in some cases, it’s usually a good idea to go with the multi-effects plugins. This way, you’ll save both your time and patience with a product where all the components are designed to work well with one another.

Knowing how useful these kinds of plugins can be to some, we decided to look into EZMix 2, made and developed by Toontrack.

It’s been a while since it was originally released, with the latest upgrade 2.1.5 being launched back in May of 2019.

Since it’s present on the plugin market and has already built its reputation, we’re certain that many have been satisfied with it. This is why we decided to take a closer look at it and give our take on EZMix 2 and all of its features.

Features

What are all the goodies that we get with such a diverse plugin? Well, before we get into it, we need to point out that this is a multi-purpose multi-effects and mixing product.

It’s intended for pretty much any type of physical or virtual instrument, as well as any type of vocals.

In its array of effects, all designed to work hand-in-hand together, we have specialized presets for different types of instruments and vocals.

For instance, if you’re recording an electric guitar, EZMix 2 will provide you not only with some amp simulations, but also whole presets with numerous effects all set for the final product.

But aside from the basses and guitars, we also can find presets for keyboards, drums, and vocals, as well as different mastering settings, all with additional effects.

From this feature, it’s pretty clear that the guys over at Toontrack wanted a multi-purpose full package for everything.

With all this said, there’s a wide variety of different effects included. Anything from basic EQs, over compressors, modulation effects, up to full-blown guitar amp simulation.

Using the plugin’s graphic interface, you’re able to create, or edit, different signal chains on your own. When you arrange the virtual rack effects or pedals or amps, you can select each one and tweak its parameters. It’s all pretty visual-based.

Performance

One of the first things that we could notice about it is that the search engine was way more practical than the one in the first edition of EZMix.

For instance, in the EZMix 2, the user is able to search using different criteria or different instruments and more easily find what’s suitable for their needs.

But, of course, such a feature is a must in this day and age, especially if we’re talking about a multi-purpose plugin with a wide array of implementation.

In fact, it seems that the search option is the very center of this plugin.

Knowing that Toontrack sells additional presets of countless signal chains, it’s intended to operate through already available presets, with just a little bit of your own tweaking.

This might not fit with the idea some users might have for a multi-purpose mixing, effects, and mastering plugin.

On the other hand, this particular approach with pre-made presets is exactly what some musicians or producers are looking for.

The same things could be said about the overall design and arrangement of all the effects on it.

The user interface with all the controls offers easy operation for any purpose or effects presets. It’s a plugin with a very simplified approach that’s designed for those who love working with premade presets.

Going over to effects, they offer some pretty realistic and useful representation of even some classic analog units.

If you’re familiar with how basic effects controls work and have some experience behind you, there won’t be any issues. And even if you’re a beginner, the clear and very precise design makes it easier for any level.

Aside from being the standard VST plugin, it also comes in AU and RTAS forms for different platforms, which is most certainly a good addition for a variety of users.

Conclusion

To put it simply, EZMix 2 justifies its very creative name – it does make it easier to mix everything yourself. Well, it’s more than just mixing as it offers different effects and mastering features.

However, you just need to bear in mind that this is a multi-purpose unit and should be regarded as one. This means that you cannot expect it to perform some specific tasks as well as some other plugins with a more narrow array of use.

We’d single out the guitar amp simulation. While there are some very specific guitar cabinet and amp models, even replicas of famous amps, EZMix 2 does not perform as well compared to specialized plugins.

We’re not saying that it’s bad, but if you’re recording guitar-centric music, you’d rather want to consider going with something else. If, on the other hand, the guitar is just a random backing instrument, then the plugin would do the trick well enough.

So the plugin definitely has its purpose and clearly justifies the price tag. It’s available with different packs, and the price may vary anywhere between 130 and 180 USD.

What’s more, different additional EZMix packs with elaborate pre-made signal chains are available for an additional price.

We are looking at a professional and very versatile plugin, but you’ll need to try it out first to see whether it suits your needs.

Like we said – general use is great, but if you need something very specific, it might be a huge letdown for some users. Thankfully, you can try it out before buying it.

Ezdrummer 2 Review

Just what kind of advantages modern technology has given us can be seen in music production.

What was usually done with large robust machines and racks is now literally summed up in one small computer program.

For instance, just take any of the old tape delays and you’ll see that same exact warm and “swirly” saturated tones of these effects can be replicated digitally.

But one thing that was always excruciatingly complicated was recording actual drum sets in the studio. Just imagine – every single component needs to be miked up and then processed and mixed individually.

Luckily for all the music producing enthusiasts and professionals these days, there are some great virtual drums worth checking out.

EZdrummer is one of the most popular drum plugins out there.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to look more into the EZdrummer 2, do a brief review of it, and see if it’s good enough of a plugin for your needs.

Features

Made by Toontrack a while ago, it was designed to be a convincing replication of an actual drum set and a drum player, with no obstacles to your creative ideas.

It was basically a more affordable (and maybe even more reliable) replacement of your drummer.

First off, the plugin itself requires around 4 GB of space on your drive. Compared to the original EZdrumer, released back in 2006, it features an obviously improved library with samples recorded over at British Grove Studios by producer and engineer Chuck Ainlay, known for working with Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.

And the so-called Groove Library is very well organized. You can easily access any particular groove at any time, with all of them being sorted into very precise categories.

They’re all grouped according to the genre, playing style, and different intended tempos. What’s more, you can even tap the desired tempo and EZdrummer 2 will provide you with all the possible grooves in that particular bpm territory.

For those who were used to the first EZdrummer, there’s the original browser included onboard for easier drum beat search.

The plugin also allows you to create your own groove presets. This is especially made easy if you have a MIDI controller or a standard electronic drum kit.

However, compared to EZdrummer 1, the EZdrummer 2 comes with a completely new engine. At the same, it keeps somewhat of a similar recognizable layout so anyone used to the original software won’t have a hard time figuring it out.

There are also Song Track and Song Creator features integrated into the plugin. When you drop the desired groove in your project’s timeline, Song Creator immediately shows all the related grooves and fills that you can use to complete an entire song. And by using EZdrummer’s Song Track feature, you re-arrange all of these MIDI blocks more easily.

Then there’s also the Power Hand control which allows you to immediately change individual components on one drum set preset.

But probably the most exciting part comes with the so-called Multiple Hits Emulation. We all know how annoying can those repetitive hits be, especially coming from some simpler and cheaper software.

You can leave the hi-hat or a snare or any other component many times in a row, and the feature will try and make it more realistic and convincing.

Combined with Velocity and Amount controls for each of the individual components, it allows a whole new world of tweaking and drum making possibilities that will help you create some pretty realistic beats.

Overall sound and performance

Generally speaking, EZdrummer 2 is designed to be as simple as possible if you want to create an entire drum track to your project by simply dragging and dropping them in your DAW’s timeline.

It is also possible to map out all the individual components and then add effects to them. However, the plugin itself has its effects which are more than decent.

But if you want more control and detailed control over components with your own plugins, it’s a better idea to map it out and use specialized VSTs that you already have in your DAW.

The library of samples or different drum sets and components is pretty vast. The same could be said about the groove library. It can be pretty convincing if you’re not doing anything that’s extremely complex.

Going over to the aforementioned Song Track and Song Creator features, these can be extremely practical if you just want to add a finished drum track to your song.

However, a more experienced ear would be able to differentiate and even recognize what software is in question.

Don’t get us wrong – the samples, presets, and all of the effects are pretty great. But if you’re trying to do something more complex, they just might not be enough to fool more experienced listeners.

But, in the end, EZdrummer 2 provides you with an abundance of solidly convincing samples to choose from.

Conclusion

Look, it’s generally a great VST and it’s well worth the money. In fact, it can even be used for professional recordings.

If you’re doing any kind of a commercial pop/rock song, it will be more than enough, even with its pre-made drum patterns.

The Multiple Hits Emulation is most certainly a great addition and turns even your self-made grooves into pretty convincing drum tracks and drum parts.

To conclude – for its price, it’s definitely a great piece of software.

But if you’re planning to do some extremely high-level production kind of stuff, then you might want to check out some other software.

For instance, Superior Drummer 2 will most certainly provide more detailed and nuanced control compared to the EZdrummer 2. Then again, Superior 2 has a 60 GB library.

At the end of the day, if you’re making a drum-centric song you’ll probably want to have an actual drummer instead. Not even Superior 2 will be able to help you there.

Best Free EQ Plugins

With such an abundance of effects, VST plugins, and all the other stuff, things might kind of get a bit chaotic.

At one point, we tend to forget about some of the most basic stuff that’s essential to making our recordings sound better. And this same thing happens no matter the instrument that you play, or whether you’re a vocalist or a mixing engineer.

We get so obsessed with effects that we might forget about the fact that a simple EQ can help us completely improve the recorded audio, to the point where it sounds completely different, or just fits the context of the song or the song section better.

The problem with some plugins these days, in general, is the fact that they might be expensive for some. If you’re a home-recording enthusiast just looking for a simple way to do some EQing, then you just might want to avoid paying ridiculous amounts just so you could have some basic stuff.

But worry not, as we’ve done some digging and found a few interesting EQ plugins that are completely free of charge.

You should be familiar with how the EQing process works in order to use them, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue as all these are pretty straightforward. So let’s get into it.

Melda Productions MEqualizer

Melda are pretty well-known for their abundance of useful plugins. So here, we’re including their cleverly named MEqualizer.

And it’s a pretty straightforward one, that can handle any type of simple processing or coloration you need to apply to your recordings.

There are 6 frequency ranges that you can edit, as well as 7 different filter types. The plugin also includes tube saturation and a few other useful additions.

But in order to get it, you’ll need to download their entire MXFree bundle, which includes a few other great plugins, all of which are free of cost.

Cockos ReaEQ

ReaEQ became known as one of those very useful plugins that come free of charge with the famous Reaper DAW.

Nonetheless, you can also download it for free as a ReaPlugs package. Knowing how well Cockos made Reaper, there’s no doubt this is another one of their great products.

But what really makes it stand out is the fact that you can technically have an unlimited amount of bands to tweak. It’s the classic parametric type EQ where you can determine the frequency, its level, and the bandwidth.

To put it simply, it’s one of the best and most intuitive EQ plugins out there, and it’s pretty weird that it’s available for free.

Vladg-sound Nova-67P


Here we have a parallel parametric EQ on our hands. There are five bands that you can edit, as well as optional low-pass and high-pass filtering.

Now, what makes it stand out is the addition of a compressor within the same plugin. Yes, it may look a bit weird with its interface, but it’s actually a very potent EQ.

We wouldn’t recommend this one to beginners though. But if you’re more experienced, you’d be surprised by what this plugin is capable of doing.

This is yet another one where we need to admit that it’s pretty weird to know that the plugin is completely free.

Blue Cat Triple EQ

Blue Cat’s Triple EQ is, as its name suggests, a simple 3-band parametric equalizer plugin. You can completely customize the curve’s shape and even do some basic frequency filtering with it.

It works with low shelf and high shelf filters. We also have a very wide range of gain here, with 40 dB of both boost and cut.

It also comes with its own “Smooth Update” mechanism which helps you control the equalizer curve in real time. To be fair, it’s not a very versatile one, at least compared to some other EQ plugins here.

Nonetheless, it’s a great option for those who need to do some filtering and tweaking for free.

Voxengo Marvel GEQ

But not to make this whole guide just about parametric EQs, there are some great classic linear ones that are worth checking out. After all, these might be easier to use for some. For instance, Voxengo’s Marvel GEQ is a pretty great and simple-to-use plugin.

In it, we can find 16 different bands for tweaking. The exciting part comes with the fact that it comes with multi-channel support, covering up to 8 inputs and outputs.

Overall, Marvel GEQ is one of the easiest ways to do additional EQ tweaking in combination with parametric equalizers.

Sonimus SonEQ

Knowing that Sonimus has a lot of great stuff in their line of products. One of the examples is their SonEQ equalizer plugin. Just like with some of their other stuff, the plugin adds somewhat of a vintage vibe to the processed signal.

It’s a pretty simple one, rocking only three basic bands to tweak. However, it also comes with the pre-amp section that can add some of that classic analog mixing console feel to it.

We can also find low and high-pass filters on it, as well as a bass booster. It’s able to achieve great clarity with the detailed resolution of 64 bits and 192 kHz sample rate. It’s a good addition for anyone who’s into vintage stuff.

Leftover Lasagne Pushtec 5+1A EQ

While the brand name is a little weird (to say the least), Leftover Lasagne has one great equalizer plugin to offer, the Pushtec 5+1A EQ. Now, this is something for those who are looking for more exciting plugins.

It’s unlike any of your standard EQs and it might be a little confusing to some beginners. But after getting a hang of it, you’ll be able to do some serious tweaking.

It sort of works like a parametric EQ, although you don’t get the intuitive graphic interface experience with it. Nonetheless, it’s a great equalizer plugin.

Best Affordable Studio Desks

Whatever it is that you do, having a work-friendly environment is a must.

Just imagine how much time and energy you’d spend dealing with uncomfortable working space and all the inconveniences that come with it.

If you’re dedicated to studio work, production and mixing, what you really want is to fully concentrate and focus on the music instead of constantly getting distracted and irritated by all the flaws of your surroundings.

Of course, one of the most important decisions you have to make while setting up a studio is finding a proper work desk.

However, no matter how crucial they are, these specialized desks sometimes might get a bit expensive. Especially if you’re looking for some kind of custom measures for your work space.

Luckily enough, there are some affordable studio desks that you can find out there. We figured that we could do some digging and we came up with a brief list of these cheaper solutions.

You don’t need to worry anymore – you can still have an ergonomic desk and a work-friendly environment without unnecessarily draining all of your savings.

Pyle Height Adjustable Sit & Stand Desk

Something for those who’d like to have an adjustable height desk without busting a bank. It might not be suitable for those who plan to have a bit of a larger setup, but it definitely comes in handy for every solid home studio.

This desk, made by Pyle, ensures easy setup and adjustment and is designed with ergonomics in mind.

There’s enough room on the main surface for a monitor and anything else you need, in addition to the keyboard tray. Definitely worth checking out for its price.

HomCom 61 in. Modern L-Shaped Computer Desk

But if you want space, and have enough room for such a piece of furniture, you should definitely check out HomCom 61 in.

Modern L-Shaped Computer Desk. Aside from its great looks and a sturdy steel frame, this one allows a few different practical features. It would probably take some time setting up, but you get a very practical elevated rack, keyboard trail, and even a computer stand in the corner.

Of course, being “L” shaped, it takes up some space and is probably a better option if you have a larger studio.

Overall, the HomCom 61 is designed as a classic work desk with a bit of workspace to spare.

If you do have some room to use, and if you plan on having larger studio speakers without using separate floor stands, then you should definitely consider one of these.

Z-Line Designs Cyrus Workstation

Maybe not as spacious as HomCom, but Z-Line Designs Cyrus Workstation  gives enough room in addition to its great design. After all, do you often see such an affordable desk with tempered glass as the main work surface?

In addition, it features a keyboard tray, a lower surface for the computer, and a monitor rack that’s as wide as the entire work surface.

It can come in handy if you have a setup with two computer monitors in mind. This way, however, you’d probably need separate floor stands for your speakers. Since the rack is wide enough, you can also use it for one monitor and two speakers.

Ultimate Support Nucleus-Z Explorer Studio Desk

Although this one is right on the edge between affordable and expensive, the Ultimate Support Nucleus-Z Explorer is probably one of the best options for its price. Yeah, it’s about $900 or so, but it’s a well-built and sturdy desk with two 4-space rack modules.

Made of powder-coated fiberboard, it has around 24 inches surface depth and the secondary upper surface with about 12 inches of depth.

Whatever kind of setup you have in mind, the Nucleus-Z Explorer will be a very useful workstation for your needs. If you want to go professional, this is the more affordable solution for a solid studio.

Studio RTA Work Station

It might be a relatively higher price, at least compared to some other products on the list. But, after all, the Studio RTA Work Station is not exactly a computer desk either. Although pretty straightforward, it is designed for studio works.

A very wide desk with specialized rack spaces for different outboard gear, a separate monitor tray, and the lower surface for your computer or anything else that you might have had in mind.

Being in the $450-500 territory, the Studio RTA Work Station is on the line between amateur and professional workspaces. It’s simple, it has enough room, it’s very well-built, and it’s not really that expensive for such a piece.

Studio RTA Producer Station Maple

Another one by Studio RTA, the Producer Station Maple is a bit of a behemoth among these desks that we included in the list.

Just like the product described above, it’s on the territory between amateur and professional-tier desks. However, this one allows more room for different rack-mounted units.

In fact, it has dual 20-space racks, monitor surface, one smaller rack below the monitor surface, keyboard tray, an extra slide-out tray, and the lower surface for computers.

The main surface is over 70-inches wide, while the upper monitor surface has about 60 inches of width. Pretty impressive if you’re planning on having many rack-mounted units.

Omnirax Presto Studio Desk

Now, Omnirax Presto 4 Studio Desk is also one of those lower-end professional work stations like the Nucleus-Z Explorer.

It can be found for a bit less than $900, but it’s more than worth it for a desk of such quality that has ergonomics and spaciousness in mind.

The upper shelf for computer monitors and near-field monitors, the very spacious main surface, keyboard shelf, and two rack spaces – is there anything else you need?

It’s also very well-built and comes in a few different color options. It might be a bit heavier, but it provides so many features for professional or semi-professional-level

Best Parametric EQ Plugins- Level Up Your EQing

In our endless pursuit for better-sounding recordings, we’re lucky enough to have an abundance of great plugins for our DAWs of choice.

Whatever kind of music you’re into, there’s always a way to enhance the tone at least a little bit, no matter how polished it already is.

However, we should never stray too far away from the basics and neglect some of these fundamental principles and effects.

With this said, proper EQing is a must, no matter the genre, instruments, or the setting.

And there are two basic types of equalizers: graphic and parametric.

Although their function is essentially the same, they usually have a different application, but it often comes down to personal preferences of the one who’s in charge of the mixing process.

Graphic EQs are pretty simple to figure out, with each slider control presenting a specific frequency range.

With parametric EQs, it’s a bit more complex, but it allows more precise tone shaping methods.

It offers more detailed controls over all the parameters, and you can even completely filter out certain “troublesome” frequencies.

In this brief guide, we’ll be looking into the matter and sharing some of the best parametric EQ plugins that we can find. You can find a summarising table below, and the full list after.

Product Name
Main Features
Our Rating and Price
Editor’s Choice
FabFilter Pro Q3.
– 24 frequency bands
– Dynamic mode
– High and low pass filters
– Flat tilt filter shape
– Per-band mid/side or left/right processing
– Auto Gain
– Intelligent solo mode
– And much more
4.9/5
CHECK PRICE
Universal Audio Harrison 32C – 4 frequency bands
– High and Low pass filters
– Knob based view
4.6/5
CHECK PRICE
Massenburg DesignWorks MDW Hi-Res Parametric EQ 5 – 5 frequency bands
– High and Low pass filters
– Q control and other EQ curve shaping features.
4.7/5
CHECK PRICE
Sound Radix SurferEQ 2 – 7 frequency bands
– High and Low pass filters
– Q control and other EQ curve shaping features.
4.5/5
CHECK PRICE
PSP Audioware ConsoleQ – 4 frequency bands
– One frequency and one gain knob per frequecy
– Vintage, console-style flavor to the sound
4.8/5 CHECK PRICE

FabFilter Pro-Q

Released back in 2011, Pro-Q by FabFilter slowly found its way into the world of professional music-making.

Of course, it’s been improved many times since then, and the current version is up to date with all the current trends and needs.

The current version allows users to tweak up to 24 individual frequency bands.

What’s more, since the third version, there is also a dynamic mode which helps you save time by automatically filtering out the “bad” parts of the spectrum.

Whenever they reach a certain peak, Pro-Q automatically takes care of it. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, there are also high-pass filter and low-pass filter curves, which helps a lot with any types of vocals or instruments.

If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, Manchester Music’s video on the Fab Filter Pro Q3 is a great little gem to get deeply acquainted with the possibilities of this plugin:

This is perhaps the most popular parametric EQ plugin, having received a bunch of awards and accolades from industry leading producers and engineers.

It gets a perfect score of 5 stars on pluginboutique:

Universal Audio Harrison 32C

Harrison 32C by Universal audio is a bit different from the rest of the plugins in this list.

First, its interface does not include the view of the curve.

Instead, it has somewhat of a “vintage” approach, giving the view of a supposed rack-mounted unit.

This is a console-styled plugin with only knobs and switches available on it.

The whole idea was to recreate the well-known Harrison 32C console, the one that ruled during the 1980s.

Expectedly, it gives that analog feel to the tone, making it a great choice for anyone who’s aiming at that type of sound.

There’s a total of four bands to control.

Each of these has a frequency level knob, as well as a gain knob.

You can also add a low-pass and a high-pass filter.

The approach feels a little “outdated” in some way, but it still provides great results for those who love vintage vibes in their sound.

Sonoris Mastering Equalizer SMEQ

The idea behind this particular plugin was to have a very precise and detailed EQ for any purpose.

There’s a total of seven bands to control on it, along with multiple different curve shapes.

Basically, you have full and comprehensive control over every possible parameter.

It can be set to do low and high-pass filtering, different bell curves, as well as shelves and additional fine-tuning.

What’s interesting is that you can set this equalizer to work between the linear phase and minimum phase response.

With the linear phase, you can keep all the frequencies in sync while also adding a small delay.

This way, you can do substantial boosts and cuts without messing up the relation of frequencies across the entire audible spectrum.

Massenburg DesignWorks MDW EQ5

MDW EQ5 by Massenburg DesignWorks became well-known for its completely clean and very flat response to the original signal.

This gives a solid base to shape the tone the way you want to with this EQ plugin.

As its name suggests, this plugin can control five frequency bands, with each having its own detailed controls.

Aside from different shapes like shelves and peaks, there’s also a useful Q control that gives more detailed EQ curve shaping.

Sound Radix SurferEQ 2

Sound Radix’s SurferEQ 2 takes the parametric EQing process to another level.

Now, what’s really special about it is that it not only takes care of the EQ curve but also handles the pitch of monophonic tracks.

Whether it’s an instrument track or a vocal track, it can help you sort out any “loose ends” and help you figure out the best equalizing practices with lower or higher notes.

It’s a fairly advanced feature that you don’t see in most of the EQ plugins today.

With its special Surf mode on, the plugin automatically tracks the audio recording’s pitch and adjusts the curve.

This feature also works with any standard MIDI controller, allowing some unusual tone-shaping processes.

Check out the video below for a quick glance at the plugin:

PSP Audioware ConsoleQ

And here’s another one for the lovers of vintage-oriented and console-style EQ plugins.

PSP Audioware’s ConsoleQ is not the regular kind of “clean” equalizer, but rather adds somewhat of a “flavor” to any track that you’re processing.

It is based on many different old consoles.

This plugin deals with four different frequency ranges, and it includes a separate high-pass filter.

Again, just like with other old school types of parametric EQ plugins, there’s one knob for the frequency and another one for the gain level for each frequency range.

It might take some time to get used to for those who are not familiar with parametric EQs, but it’s still a very effective one that adds a vintage dimension to the sound.

Brainworx bx_digital V3

Now, Brainworx made sure to make a very detailed and complex EQ with their bx_digital V3.

It takes only a glance to realize how advanced it actually is.

Not to get too technical, you can do both mono and stereo editing here.

In the stereo mode, you can do different settings for both the left and right channels.

Overall, there are five frequency ranges here.

And each of them can be shaped with special parameter controls.

As we said, it’s fairly advanced, this most suitable for professional work.

Final Thoughts

All of the above listed plugins are time tested favorites of our community, but regardless of which one you end up choosing, never forget to deep dive into it and learn all of the features and knobs.

Only this way will you give the plugin a fair chance.

If you’ve got any suggestion that we’ve missed, please leave it in the comment section below.

Principle Pleasure Studios Releases 1GB of Analogue Synth and Drums

No point in adding much fluff to this one. Here’s a link to the 1GB treasure trove of samples released for free by Principle Pleasure Studios.

DOWNLOAD LINK

DOWNLOAD LINK 2

In another selfless act designed to help bored stuck-at-home producers, Sharooz Raoofi of Sample Magic, has made this 1GB sample pack available for free.

These are the result of sampling over 100 analogue synths and drums located in the LA based principle pleasure studio.

How can you use them?

Simply import them to your favourite DAW, assign them to your favourite MIDI, etc.

If you’re not sure what this all means, we strongly recommend taking an online music production course.

But if you’re reading this, chances are you are already familiar with all this.

Anyway, happy producing, feel free to share your coronavirus freebies in the comment section below!

Best Online Beat Maker- Reviewed and Compared

It’s really mindblowing when you think of all the things that we have at disposal today.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or a full-blown pro, there are so many resources and different tools that you can use in creating your own original music.

In fact, we kind of take it for granted in some way, not always realising how great we have it now compared to musicians from a few decades ago.

👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

Whether you want to record your instruments and vocals, or whether you want to make electronic music – it’s all possible even with a decent home studio setting.

But the topic of todays article is online beat makers.

It turns out that you don’t even need to bother too much with combining a bunch of random plugins in your DAW in order to do stuff.

You can just use one of the online beat makers and create anything for electronic music, hip-hop, or anything that your heart desires.

So let’s get into it – what are the best online beatmakers?

We’ve done some digging and have come up with this list. Any of these beat makers work well for most of the electronic or hip-hop music settings you need.

#1- LoopLabs

While it’s mostly hip-hop oriented, LoopLabs provides a great platform for basically any type of music.

But the best part about it is that it’s beginner-friendly, while also retaining some of the really important and very complex features which make it useful for full-blown professionals.

This online music studio has an abundance of different royalty-free sounds. There’s anything for electronic, hip-hop, and music, and even genres like jazz, funk, and many others.

It features tens of thousands of samples, and the sound library is constantly growing.

In case you’re a vocalist, this is pretty much like a dream come true.

You can easily record your voice over any beat in an instant.

It’s also possible to remix already added tracks, or even record any of your parts over them. LoopLabs is a very useful online music-making collaborative tool.

#2- Splice Beat Maker

Splice is essentially like a large GitHub for musicians.

It’s based on collaborative projects and a vast library of DAWs and different plugins.

However, one of its greatest features is the Splice Beat Maker.

The great thing about this one is that it’s really easy to use. The interface is very intuitive and really easy to figure out.

Once again, we have collaborative projects and a whole bunch of different options for any music genre you need.

Just add your tracks, instruments, and start laying out beats.

Note: you can check out our review of splice sounds here.

When you’re done, you can download your track either as MIDI or Toraiz SP-16 files.

#3- Mixxx

Although it can come in handy for various different settings, Mixxx is mostly intended for DJs.

In fact, it’s pretty much a collection of tools that a DJ would need for their live sets.

Once again, like with many of the great online beat-making software, it’s easy to use and can come in handy for both pros and beginners.

It features the classic key and BPM detection with the possibility to sync different tracks when they’re played together.

There’s also an integrated DJ control support with already mapped out controls.

Aside from these and an abundance of effects, there’s also integrated vinyl record control.

The whole thing is rounded up with their community and great support that you can get for any problems that might occur along the way.

#4- Dumb.com

According to their own words, Dumb.com is a “source for dumb stuff.” Anything from fun harmless activities and jokes, up to a few different types of beatmakers.

It’s pretty obvious that with a website like this one you won’t really get a professional beatmaker.

But this is still a fun little addition to their website and there are seven different types that you can use on your computer, as well as an additional one for iPhone.

It’s available through a browser and works as a flash plugin.

#5- Drumbot

Drumbot is a service with multiple tools for musicians.

You can find some great effects, sequencers, a tuner, and, of course, a virtual drummer.

This beatmaker is also a flash plugin that you can use to create drum beats for any type of music you need. It comes as a perfect solution for those who want to jam out without a drummer.

It’s really straightforward, making it very simple to use. The controls for it are also laid out on the keyboard.

But you can’t expect much of it. Similar to the one on Dumb.com, it’s more of a helpful addition for any jam session rather than a serious software.

#6- Soundtrap

While not that flashy or designed for pros, Soundtrap provides a very simple interface for multi-track projects.

It’s designed for a wide variety of genres and even features guitar amp simulations and AutoTune.

Among these features, we can also find their Patterns Beatmaker.

It also comes with a great deal of pre-made beats and presets that you can use or further edit.

#7- CreateRaps

Here we have a very useful piece of software that you can use without any downloading.

As the name CreateRaps suggests, it’s mostly intended for rap music and rap beats.

How it works is that you choose any of the royalty-free premade beats, record your rapping over it, and download the file. That’s basically it!

Obviously, this is not something a professional would use, but it’s rather a beginner’s tool for making any rap and hip-hop tracks on the go. It’s fairly simple and all you need is a simple microphone and near-zero latency operation.