It’s finally Black Friday 2021! With that in mind, we’ve started compiling the very best plugin deals that we could find. Here’s what you can expect this shopping season:
Free plugins from popular VST makers such as waves
90%+ off VST plugins from popular stores such as plugin boutique and plugin fox
90%+ off your favorite iOS music apps
Free and heavily discounted coursera, masterclass, and producertech courses.
50% + off hardware.
Deals that stay live well after black friday.
And much, much more…
Before we dig into the best Black Friday VST Plugin, synth, and all music making related deals, here’s some information regarding this shopping season:
When is Black Friday in 2021?
Following the tradition, Black Friday is on the first Friday after thanksgiving, but this is becoming less and less of a rule, and because of vendor competing with one another the whole month of November 2021 can be considered “Black Friday” month.
When is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is on the following monday, but we have seen it mentioned less and less, all the focus is on Black Friday.
When do the Black Friday 2021 deals begin?
Well most of the seasonal deals are already live, keep on reading for more information!
When do the deals end?
This one is tricky, because there is no consensus. Some end in 1-2 days, some last until X-mas. You will have to check our individual articles that we wrote in regards to each deal to find end date.
Current deals list for 2021
Here are the current best music production and related deals that we have selected for our readers. This is by no means a complete and ultimate list, so take it as it is.
Note: Throughout November and and December, we’ll be updating this list at least 2 to 3 times a week. If you click on the name of the deal, you will access our individual article that details the sale
Thanks for checking out our list of deals, any question or promotion you’d like to add can be done through the comment section below.
If you liked our seasonal list of deals on Music production tools, be sure to also keep track of our Deals category, where we usually keep you updated with the best offers for VST Plugin products on the market.
If you always compared your own drum works to the professional sound and felt a little off, Diablo lite is for you. This VST is pretty nice, as our test shown, and really works especially on electronic drums.
So what is Diablo lite?
Diablo lite is a FREE VST offering by Cymatics. You know them mostly for their (paid) sample packs but they actually have a lot of free products too. And not just sample packs but plugins and also presets for popular plugins.
Now, about Diablo lite, this VST is part compressor and part transient shaper. The compressor is actually a clipper, so the compression ratio is very high, close to the well-known “brick wall” style of compression. Because of this dual nature of this sound treatment device, it is excellent for drums.
How do you use it?
So basically every producer uses some form or compression on the drums, either on the whole drum bus or individually. This is because most source material, be it sample-based, synth or live recorded is kind of in the middle in terms of dynamics. It can cut through your whole song but in it’s dry form doesn’t. It has the neutral drum sound, is not in your face but is also not absent. What you want to do is actually fit the drums in your sound.
Let’s take the 808 for example, it is ubiquitous and used in a lot, i mean A LOT of music genres. Some genres use it in a more aggressive flavour, some prefer it more mellow. So you basically do this with either a compressor, a transient shaper or both. Transient shapers basically dictate the initial snap and also the remaining tail of the sound.
This is the Punch control knob and dictates the presence. For dynamics, you have the Clip setting, which actually enganges the limiter and makes the sound more compact as you crank it. If you used too much Punch and the drum just jumps out of the mix and commands too much of the user’s attention, try to not use Clip and just turn it down in the mix instead.
But if the Punch knob does not actually do the trick for you because it makes the drum loose it’s initial character, then Clip can save you and achieve the strength that you are looking for in that particular sound.
At first glance, hip-hop music might not seem as complex as, for example, hard rock or heavy metal.
There are no crazy guitar-shredding solo sections, fast-paced drumming in odd time signatures, or slick bass lines, but producing this type of music is just as hard and rewarding.
While rockers and metal-heads have it easier given the fact that they just have to record their instruments and send them over to a mixing engineer, hip hop artists need to come up with unique sounds, beats, and tones from scratch.
That’s why today we are going to answer one of the most popular questions regarding this particular type of music production – what are the best VST plugins for hip hop?
Stick with us for a while longer as we review the most versatile, best-performing virtual studio tools that will change the way you produce for good.
You’ll be able to seamlessly switch between dozens of octaves, voices, pan-spread settings, stackers, and even generate completely unique effects on every module.
Furthermore, it packs eight ARP modules, an eclectic arsenal of OSC-transformation EQ settings, eight SQ modules, eight mod-envelopes, eight pitch envelopes, four AMPs, four filters, shapers, and an all-encompassing drum sequencer.
The list of its built-in features goes on and on, but all you need to know about the Avenger is that it possesses everything you need to record and produce top-quality hip hop tracks.
It’s packed with dozens of individually-assigned effect slots, wavetable shapers, multiple macro controllers, and an exquisitely designed Mod Matrix system.
To top it all, it’s not nearly as expensive as some of the less versatile plugins out there.
There’s a very obvious reason why Trillian is the go-to VST of many hip-hop producers; this is an all-encompassing bass module that will give you the edge you need in the fields of lower frequencies.
What’s so amazing about Trillian is that the entire module is based on instruments that were recorded in real-time.
It boasts a massive selection of various bass instruments along with controllable ‘techniques’, such as staccato, sustain, vibrato, slides, harmonics, and such.
Obviously, having a real bass instead of a clunky digital one on your tracks will help your tracks grow in a more organic way.
You’ll be able to pick and choose from the vast bass tone library, all of which are played on different instruments using different playing styles (electric, acoustic, fretless, picked, tapped, fingered, and so on).
Of course, there’s a ton of electronic tones and modules that you’ll be able to utilize into your analog-reinvigorated arsenal, or you can simply stick with a bit more traditional tones and timbres.
Those in need of creative samples and presets might want to check out what Nexus 3 has to offer.
This VST is basically one massive library of different sounds and tones that is complemented with a customizable digital keyboard and simplistic mixing features.
The Nexus is a VST program that complements the performance of other, a bit more ‘focused’ ones; even though its highlight feature is the library of over 8,000 factory presets (which is upgradeable, by the way), it does come supplied with basic filter, delay, reverb, and filter control knobs.
It’s remarkably easy to use, and it’s among the cheaper modules on our list of the best VST plugins for hip hop.
The AD2 is a dedicated beat-maker VST that offers fine-tune programming and presets, electronic and acoustic drum kit colors, and a variety of straightforward percussion FX tables.
One of the most notable features of AD2 VST is the ‘Kit selection’ panel; here you will be able to choose between dozens of actual drum sounds that were recorded in real-time.
Another very cool feature of this virtual studio tool is the ‘beat clicker’; basically, you’ll be able to click on any drum component of your chosen kit and simply ‘add’ these elements to your programmed beats if you think that something’s missing.
When combined with Trillian, you’ll be set with authentic instruments and ready to lay down some electronic vibes to the table.
In essence, you’ll need a wave-shaper, a mixer, a beat-maker, and a bass VST to start producing hip hop music.
You’ll quickly expand your library of plugins as you become more successful and professional, so finding your footing with versatile VSTs at the very start is crucial.
We hope you’ve liked our selection of the best VST plugins for hip hop and wish you luck in creating the most exquisite tunes.
Beat Machine 1 is an innovative, authentic and raw Hip-Hop VSTi/AU plugin for Mac or PC. It is the perfect choice for Hip Hop producers who require that gritty 90′s Boom Bap sound, notorious for its fat crunchy drums and dusty beats. Save 50% off for a limited time at Plugin Boutique!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.