THE LATEST & GREATEST WAYS TO KEEP YOUR DAW ROCKIN’The personal computer continues to gain acceptance in virtually all sectors of music and audio production. Studio professionals can now choose from a wide range of new and ever-improving software to handle audio-related tasks “on the desktop.” Whether you work on a PC/Windows machine or a Mac, there are some truly wonderful applications out there.
But beyond the core applications, there is now an incredible amount of software plug-ins that elevate these primary applications to an entirely new level. A good number of the currently available plug-ins sound really impressive. While some professionals may argue that dedicated hardware still holds the upper hand in terms of sound quality, that difference has narrowed substantially; numerous engineers now opt for software if for no other reason than they needn’t worry about introducing noise into the system via the traditional patchbay.
The audio community’s thirst for ever more capable software to enhance primary applications has created a sizable “cottage” industry of third-party software developers. Plug-in software is currently available in a number of formats – including DirectX, VST, MAS, RTAS and TDM, and many plug-ins support multiple platforms and formats.
In this article, we’ll take a look at plug-ins that were introduced since the beginning of the year. In researching this material, we discovered a huge range of products. While there are plug-ins that function as soft synths or samplers, DirectX-to-VST converters or even surround panners, this article will focus on signal-processing applications.
The material that follows provides a brief description of each plug-in (in alphabetical order), supported format(s), suggested retail prices and contact URLs. Formats such as MAS, TDM and DirectX are platform-specific. VST plug-ins are usually, but not always, available for both PC and Mac – check with the software developer to determine platform compatibility. In many cases, demo versions are available for download.