As producers we should always be looking towards improving our arsenal of weapons to create our next best dance hit.
Our Digital Audio Workstations come with amazing Audio plugins but sometimes they don't contain all the features we need to create high quality EDM.
In this list today I wish to guide you in exploring some EDM Plugins that will take your producing to a new level if you manage to acquire and master them.
BEST EQ Plugin
FabFilter Pro Q2
Fabfilter is an amazing company that creates some of the best plugins for mixing and mastering.
My favorite plugin from them is the Fabfilter Pro Q2.
The Fabfilter Pro Q2 is an Equalizer that allows us to EQ surgically so that we can mix each element into the mix.
Fabfilter has a good set of features but I think the most important thing about it is that it allows us to EQ in Linear Phase Mode.
Linear Phase mode is really useful as it prevents any phase issues from occurring when cutting frequencies via a low pass and a high pass. Something most Equalizers in our favorite Digital Audio Workstations lack.
Another great feature is the freedom to EQ in Mid -Side Mode and Left and Right Mode.
If you are in the market for an EQ Plugin and you make EDM Music this is the first place to look.
The Waves CLA-A2 is a plugin created to emulate electro-optical tube compressors.
These type of compressors were very easily used as there is only a couple of simple knobs that allows us to compress.
No need to worry about the attack or release.
This plugin is amazing in EDM as we can use it on Leads, Vocals, and Bass religiously and get good results out of it.
Pair this up with some of the plugins in this list and you will have amazing results.
Best of all it's super simple to use as long as you stay within -7 gain reduction.
AOM Invisible Limiter
The loudness war has been going on for quite some time now but when EDM blew up back in 2010-2013 it just got deadlier.
How do we get loud but still sound pleasing?
Well this is where the AOM Invisible Limiter comes in with it's transparent as f!ck limiting.
I found out about this limiter thanks to AUDIEN and it was the biggest investment I ever made.
It's very transparent and it can be pushed so hard that your track won't distort.
Ofcourse be gentle with it and test it out ;)
X-FER Records Serum
OH BOY this was a super hard decision to make as there are tons of amazing virtual synthesizers out in the market to date.
Serum released in 2014 and came into a market where Native Instruments Massive was king.
Well, wavetable synthesis now has a new face and that face is Serum.
Serum is an amazing synthesizer because it does what Native Instrument did with Massive, but at a whole NEW LEVEL.
You can use this synthesizer to create analog style saw patches to Dubstep/Trap screaming leads with wavetables.
Import your own wavetables to get more sound palettes out of Serum.
Use the best LFO on the market right now with ultimate freedom to program some amazing sequences with ease.
Lets not forget about the high quality effects on top of the Serum with it's notorious OTT.
One key thing here as well is that Serum is the new Sylenth1.
This means that there are thousands of presets available for it making your sound palette potentially bigger.
The UVI Sparkverb is easily one of the best reverb plugins for me as it caters to any crowd, and contains some amazing presets for people who need them for on the fly work.
It's beautiful UI shows just how lush and beautiful this reverb can sound.
Best of all UVI knows that Reverb is much more than just making leads and vocals sound pretty as they have an amazing modulation source to creating interesting sound design effects.
Runner Up on this one is the Valhalla Reverbs as they are amazing as well. If only the UI'S were prettier and the reverb sounded a bit more top of the line.
Best Distortion Plugin
FABFILTER makes it to this list again and for a couple of reasons.
Fabfilter Saturn is the perfect blend of complex and simple.
If you just want standard saturation or distortion you can achieve this with the standard presets presented.
However, lets say you want to take things up a notch!
Well easily start getting into modulating the distortion and creating your own distortion presets.
Izotope Thrash 2 is good as well but for this area I have to go with the Fabfilter Saturn.
Best Delay Plugin
Waves are a mecha for amazing plugins for mixing purposes.
The most popular delay and for good reason is the H-Delay which emulates the old school analog feel with a modern touch.
Best of all Waves brings it with numerous presets to get you making your own delays fast.
Now what can we use delay you may ask?
We can use it to create psycho-stereo which means fake stereo signals using the HAAS Effect.
We can give vocals the feeling of more space
We can make plucks sound amazing in EDM.
Definitely a plugin to have in your arsenal and best of all it's cheap and only costs 39$ ;)
Best Vocal Editing Tool
When making EDM music in 2017 you will come across some vocals you want to use.
The problem is that sometimes vocals aren't 100% perfect and will have to be treated.
This is where Melodyne comes in to help you get those vocals sound 100% in tune to your track.
While some people my opt to have it not fully perfect I think in EDM we must have it due to the nature of the music.
Nevertheless for timing and tuning vocals this is the plugin you need.
Useful Plugins To Check Out
DADA LIFE Endless Smile
Seriously one of the best build up tools on the market. It gets so much hate but I have used it in almost every single song I've worked on even Hip Hop genres.
Waves One KNOB Series
When you are just looking to add a sidechain, sature,and filter stuff the waves one knob brings a lot of value to the table.
Plugins don't have to be complicated to be good ;)
While there are amazing more amazing plugins I think these here can get you started in the right path to making Dance Music in 2017. Remember it doesn't how many plugins you have if you don't know how to Utilize them to their potential.
So make sure to learn your tools.
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