This is of course the season to be jolly, but it is also the season for lists. Hence, we asked Eric Thorsell at Pole to list his top 5 sound design plugins. But first a few words from Eric on why iZotope’s RX didn’t make the final cut.
“There are so many great plugins out there and new ones are being released at an increasing pace, so I think it’s really hard to put together a top 5 list. There are just so many things I love. But if I look at plugins I keep coming back to because I developed a kind of long-term friendship with them in one way or another, then you’ll find some of them in the list below. iZotope’s RX should probably be in there as well, but for me, it’s become like an extension of Pro Tools. I always fire both up at the same time, so I don’t think of it as a favorite plugin anymore. It’s just always there.”
Top 5 Sound Design Plugins
1. Native Instruments Reaktor. A great set of sound design tools out of the box, but what I love the most about this thing is how you can build your own weirdness when you need it. It’s been with me since the Transformator days and it still surprises me.
2. Oeksound Soothe and Spiff. Two plugins that I use as a pair all the time, so they’ve become like one to me. Soothe to soften the harsh resonances and Spiff to shape the transients. For voices, SFX, music – I have a whole bunch of these in every session.
3. Krotos Reformer. It can be a little tricky to roll your own libraries, so they play as you imagined them, but there’s something truly amazing about performing complex sound effects with your voice or indeed with other sounds.
4. Cargo Cult Envy. I use this a lot for transferring the envelopes of one sound in broad strokes to another. Superfast workflow for trying different sounds on each other means I keep coming back to it. For outright morphing, I might use other tools, but for envelope shaping, this is one of my go-to’s.
5. Fabfilter Q3. Okay, while perhaps not a spectacular sound design plugin this one just has to go on my top five because it’s literally on every track in my sessions. Fast, flexible, great sounding and it has great features such as spectral matching, dynamic filtering, and midi control. I’m all for mixing with your ears, but this one is a good example of how mixing with your eyes can allow you to zoom in on those problematic frequencies quickly.
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