12 Best Soundtoys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound

12 Best Soundtoys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Soundtoys is a respected company, and we hope this list proves that. The effort put into every single item in their catalog showcases how committed these professionals are to recreating the gear we know and love, with the addition of making it accessible to anyone with minimal CPU requirements.

There are some good choices regarding hardware modeling, and Soundtoys has chosen some great units to recreate. For example, we’ve seen how close to the real unit the Decapitator is, bringing the Ampex 350 tape driver preamp to our DAWs with extreme fidelity in sound quality. Other recreations, like Radiator and PrimalTap, also showcase their devotion to registering all nuances of a hardware gear into algorithms.

12 Best Soundtoys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound

1. Decapitator (Tape Emulation/Saturation)

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This vintage-inspired plugin provides a wide range of saturation sounds.

Saturation is one of the effects of making a specific instrument sound so good. The unique aspect of a hardware’s circuitry lies within every single component, reacting to your signal and resulting in a warm, shaped tone. Inspired by this, Soundtoys created Decapitator, a plugin that recreates the analog feel and rich warmth of a genuine saturator device, like a tape machine, all in a beautifully designed plugin.

Decapitator - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Decapitator - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Style
      The five knobs in the lower part of the screen represent five saturation algorithms created to mimic a specific aspect of a famous saturation unit. The first knob, “A,” was modeled after the Ampex 350 tape driver preamp, the “E” was designed after the Chandler/EMI TG Channel, “N” is a take on the Neve 1057 Input Channel, “T” gets the Thermionic Culture Culture Vulture triode setting just right, and, finally, “P” recreates the Thermionic Culture Culture Vulture pentode setting
    • Punish button
      Located near the “Drive” knob, the “Punish” button instantly adds an extra 20dB of gain to your signal. This handy tool can increase the overall loudness in seconds, bringing grit and wild tones to your signal chain. With this option activated, the “Drive” knob will be more sensitive and react better in dynamics while increasing the audio level substantially.
    • Attitude meter
      The VU meter right at the middle of the screen is called “Attitude” for a reason. Saturators usually bring lots of attitude to the table, making dull sounds come to life with a great dynamic response. And here is where you can check the balance between the audio level concerning the “Drive” control, inspired by an authentic vintage VU meter.
    • Thump switch
      If activated, the “Thump” switch can add some dB of low-frequency boost at the “Low Cut” knob. This recreates the ‘head bump’ so characteristic of analog tape recorders, one of the reasons recording in it can sound so rich and fat. Keep in mind that this extra gain boost will not always sound so good, so give it a test to see if it fits your production accordingly.
    • Steep switch
      The equivalent switch for the “High Cut” knob is called “Steep,” and it’s responsible for altering the slope of this filter. When it’s not active, the “High Cut” filter has a gentle 6 dB per octave roll-off, but if activated, it can add up to 30 dB per octave filter, which can be a good simulation for a guitar amplifier speaker cabinet, thus providing a realistic addition to your tone. 
    • Auto switch
      Connected to the “Output” knob, the “Auto” switch controls Decapitator’s auto-gain. This means that the plugin can automatically reduce the output level signal as you increase the drive level, even with the help of any boosts mentioned earlier. Every time you adjust the “Drive” knob, the “Output” control will move in the other direction.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Tape saturation is one of the most sought-after effects that can help your track sound just right. These units were widely used in the past to record great instruments in iconic records, so it’s natural we love this sound so much. Soundtoys Decapitator gets all nuances and aspects about such audio gear perfectly, with great details in every component’s recreation, which can react very naturally to your command. In addition, the response can be very intrinsic to what values you add, showcasing great dynamic response from its controls and switches.

2. Radiator (Tube Mixer/Preamp Emulation)

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This well-done remodeling of an iconic preamp unit will surprise you positively.

Radiator is a dual-drive tube preamp and equalizer based on the Altec 1567A tube mixer input. This classic channel has been extensively used since the 1960s, with unique elements such as retractable transformers, a fully-functional equalizer, and over 90 dB of gain to be added to your signal.

Radiator - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Radiator - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • The circuit
      To better understand how Radiator works, we must look at how the signal path flows through it. This path follows the original Altec 1567A hardware and responds likewise, beginning at the first tube saturation stage, then going into a two-band EQ, and then to the second and final saturation stage, before finally reaching the channel of the wet/dry mixer (which is the only addition Soundtoys has made to the original circuit).
    • Input control
      The “Input” knob determines the amount of gain in your signal entering Radiator’s virtual circuit. As you increase its value, saturation will also increase accordingly, along with the output level. However, this knob only deals with the drive in the first stage of saturation, shaping how it will react with the other segments of the circuit.
    • Mic/Line switch
      You can select your audio signal’s source via the “Mic/Line” switch near the “Input” knob. The genuine Altec 1567A delivers an impedance-dependent response in the input signal, which is masterfully recreated inside Radiator. These two modes represent significant differences in behavior when using a microphone and a line signal, each bearing different values that can interfere with your final result. Below you can see the frequency response differences relating to the source selection.
    • Noisy/Clean switch
      The original circuit displayed a significant amount of noise, even in lower settings that wouldn’t use too much saturation. This disturbance can be measured up to -68dB in maximum settings, and you can reduce it by 10dB with the “Line” option enabled. Going further than that, if you want a pure, clean tone, you can suppress the noise by selecting the “Clean” option on the switch near the “Input” knob.
    • Two-band EQ
      Between the input and output modules, a two-band equalizer can be set via two knobs, “Bass” and “Treble.” The “zero” value for both knobs is at the 12 o’clock position, with a clockwise motion adding more of its frequencies and a counter-clockwise motion removing them. Depending on how you twist it up, this can give you a 10dB boost or cut.
    • Mix control
      The only modern feature in Radiator is the “Mix” knob that deals with the wet and dry signals. Turning all the way to the left gives you a 100% dry signal – as if it wouldn’t be running through the inner circuit – while all the way to the right gives you a 100% wet signal. Mixing between these positions can be useful to make parallel processing without needing an external bus to do it. 

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Hardware simulations tend to cover some aspects of the original unit, and most times, it’s hard to capture that characteristic so organically. Hopefully, Radiator excels at this task by bringing a simple yet highly functioning recreation of the Altec 1567A mixer. The controls are minimal and provide great functionality, with the slightest change already making a significant difference in your final sound and adding lots of character and warmth.

3. Tremolator (Tremolo)

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The complete tremolo unit gives you unprecedented control of all parameters.

Tremolo can be a subtle effect if set properly, but it can also generate huge sonorities. In essence, tremolo is the effect of oscillation in a particular sound’s volume through a certain period, and it has been used in music creation since at least the 16th century. However, Tremolator was inspired by a specific set of gear: from vintage Fender amps that had this effect to the circuit found inside a Wurlitzer, every slight parameter was analyzed by Soundtoys to achieve the perfect flavor.

Tremolator  - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Tremolator  - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Depth knob
      The first knob from left to right is a “Depth” control, which essentially defines how much of the audio signal’s amplitude will be modulated, from a subtle shift to drastic movements in the volume (even more if you’re using a waveform with sharp edges, like sawtooth). You can also modulate its dynamics via the “Tweak” menu.
    • Groove
      Right beside “Depth,” the “Groove” control is a forward-thinking addition included in Tremolator that allows for adding rhythmic “grooves” into the effect. You can choose “Swing” or “Shuffle,” and the ‘zero’ setting is at the 12 o’clock position. Any adjustments to this control will shift forward or backward in your rhythm, which goes for “Shuffle” and “Swing,” respectively. 
    • Feel
      Like the “Groove” control, “Feel” is responsible for shifting the delay output forward or backward, in opposition to the rhythmic pattern. This is a great way to set the tremolo by relaxing the effect behind the groove or propelling it forward, speeding up the tempo a bit.  Both situations can be useful and will provide new soundscapes on the go, crafting bold sonic elements that interact with your chosen tempo.
    • Accent
      The final control related to alterations in your tempo is called “Accent,” and it allows you to add new rhythmic feels to the tremolo effect. Turning the knob clockwise towards the “Max” position emphasizes the downbeat of the rhythm pattern (when fully turned that way, the “2, 3, 4” in the beat will be completely silent, without modulation). By twisting it in the other direction, you get the “Sync” setting that de-emphasizes the “1” count (like in “1, 2, 3, 4”) almost to a minimal.
    • Shape
      This selection allows for choosing multiple LFO wave shapes. You can select all the basic shapes, like sine, triangle, and square, but you can also create customized waveform ideas. By doing this, you can expand the sonic possibilities even further and make the effect work tailored for your track.
    • Tweak menu
      Located on the far-right side of your screen, the “Tweak” menu can be activated by pressing the switch with the same name. After this, an elaborated menu will expand, and controls for envelope (“Attack,” “Release,” and “Threshold”) can be freely set, while seven different analog profiles and a “Gate” mode can be applied at any time. The best things about this menu are the “Shape Editor” and “Rhythm Editor,” both providing meticulous monitoring to edit the waveform shape and the rhythmic pattern in which the wave will resonate. This unprecedented configuration can be very immersive and specific to your track.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Maybe you never dealt with tremolo before, and that’s alright. This effect is not as popular as reverb or delay, but it gets its deserved attention, and it’s applied in many different music styles. Even so, Soundtoys crafted a plugin that allows for an ultra-precise configuration regarding every single parameter about this effect, thus resulting in Tremolator. The number of possibilities is almost endless, with various adjustments related to the overall rhythm patterns and the waveform. If set properly, this effect can be applied to virtually any track you want in a simple and straightforward design interface.

4. Echoboy (Delay)

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Refined controls and characteristic tones are included in this elegant packaging.

Delays and echo units are one of the oldest and most common sound effects applied to instruments, either studio or live. The classic sonority of 1950s rock and roll, the distinct echo of the 1960s, expanding through the modern digital sound of the 1980s are all cherished and coveted by producers, independent of the music style covered. To get this versatility just right, Soundtoys was inspired by classic gear such as the EchoPlex, the Space Echo, DM-2, Memory Man, and many more.

Echoboy - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Echoboy - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Echo styles
      The almost hidden “Style” menu offers a wide range of over 30 echo profiles that are ready to use or tweak to your taste. They were modeled after different units present at the Soundtoys lab, with dynamic and sound variations that make each stand out on its own. You can pick profiles that were modeled after a specific circuit, like the “DM-2,” “EchoPlex,” and “TelRay,” but there are also Soundtoys originals like “Binsonette” and “Cheap Tape” included.
    • Saturation
      One nice aspect about echo units lies within its preamp. Yes, these equipment could provide a nice sound effect and good-quality sounds due to the preamplifier working along the other components. This generated a tube-oriented compression that sounds very good and warm, even by modern standards. Depending on which profile you’re on, the “Saturation” knob will react specifically, adding saturation in certain frequency ranges and thus mimicking the unique aspects of every unit with extreme precision.
    • Prime numbers switch
      If the “Prime Numbers” switch is activated, the delay repetitions are slightly altered in time to retain resonance from your final sound. It can be extremely useful when dealing with time-oriented effects like a short delay, reverb, feedback, and even flanger, preventing the resonances from repeating echoes to dominate your sound.
    • Tap tempo
      As the name implies, EchoBoy includes a “Tap Tempo” selection that ensures your effect will resonate within your track’s tempo. You can also use this to tweak the appropriate “feel” to your echoes, allowing for a more organic approach to the overall resonance to be developed. You can type the desired value or repeatedly click the white button to set the correct BPM.
    • Dual modes
      Feel free to explore EchoBoy both as in a “Single Mode” or “Dual Mode.” The first one is really simple to use, with straightforward controls, and capable of loading and recreating the classic echo sounds we know and love. You can also further edit the sounds in the “Tweak” section. On the other hand, the “Dual Mode” is based on two independent echo modules running simultaneously, with the possibility to set each in a different configuration. The “Echo 1” section deals with the left channel and the “Echo  2” with the right.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

This awesome echo unit is one of the best we’ve analyzed on this website, mainly due to the multiple inspirations in the same plugin. Soundtoys wisely decided to comprise different models and sound profiles in the same software to offer better possibilities and expand the already known sonorities further. The different modes, the different profiles, and the saturation provided by the preamp are the main reasons why EchoBoy is versatile while retaining a very familiar sound characteristic.

5. Little AlterBoy (Pitch Shifter)

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Manipulate your voice in many different ways with minimal controls.

Unlike other plugins in this list inspired by vintage hardware, Little AlterBoy is heavily inspired by Soundtoys’ first plugin, PurePitch, which claimed to be the world’s first real-time formant shifting software. Going further, the team combined it with the tube saturation section from the already covered Decapitator plugin. The result is an organic and very fluid effect that can be blended and modified according to your needs.

Little Alterboy - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Little Alterboy

Key Features:

    • Pitch control
      The dedicated “Pitch” knob is responsible for altering the pitch of your track in semitones, up to an octave above or below the original. If you set it all the way to the left, at -12, the result will be one octave lower than what you first recorded.
    • Formant
      The vocal formants are the main aspects of each voice, giving them exclusive particularities that are very intrinsic and characteristic. It resembles an EQ acting all the time as you speak, altering each particular resonance in a specific way. To get this right, the “Formant” knob control goes from a deep, bassier tone in the minimum values to a high-pitched, resonant sound in higher settings. There are multiple applications for this effect, but it can be extremely useful in correcting some slight particularities in someone’s voice, like lacking some frequency range, for instance.
    • Different modes
      There are four distinct modes in Little AlterBoy, and each boasts specific characteristics related to its character. For instance, “Transpose” is the regular control mode, where pitch shifting will occur without automatic correction, while “Quantize” instantly tunes your vocal down to the nearest chromatic semitone. The other two modes are “Robot” (locks your vocal track into a single note) and “Tip” (allows you to map the plugin’s pitch control via a MIDI keyboard).
    • Drive
      The “Drive” section was reutilized from the Decapitator plugin, offering the same functionality. Even though it focuses on saturation, this module could be successfully implemented in Little AlterBoy, so analog tube saturation could be included in any pitch alteration you make, delivering high-quality results with rich resonance.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

There are not many secrets behind Little AlterBoy. The straightforward controls respond very nicely to your input values, and the different modes are the real culprits for delivering such sonic variety with the same controls. This variation in profiles can be useful to achieve different results but also can provide different sonorities for the same work you’re crafting. But, again, the process doesn’t matter; rest assured, the result will be as organic and warm as possible.

6. MicroShift (Stereo Width/Vocal Spreader)

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One of the best studio tricks for astonishing wide vocals is the main core for this plugin.

Before Soundtoys came to be, team leaders Ken and Bob worked at Eventide and helped elaborate what would become the H3000 multi-effects processor, containing dozens of effects digitally crafted to bring the most innovative and modern sounds to your setup. One of the aspects of this rack that inspired Soundtoys was the versatility in pitch shifting and stereo imaging: tweaking left and right sides and adding a bit of delay at the end would result in an immersive stereo sound and that’s the main characteristic of MicroShift.

Microshift - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Microshift - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Detuning
      Controlling the “Detune” knob will adjust the amount of detuning in each specific MicroShift style, measured by a detuning percentage applied to your signal. It can go from zero percent up to 200%, where the detuning is doubled.
    • Focus control
      The dedicated “Focus” knob sets the crossover point of a two-band crossover filter and applies the affected signal exclusively in the high band. This is a very crafty and handy tool that can widen mid and high-frequency content without making the low-end sound too muddy or without definition.
    • Styles
      MicroShift contains three distinct styles that can act as presets with ready-to-use configurations. The first, or I, is modeled after preset #231 from H3000 and contains close matched delay and pitch variations. The second style is very similar to the first and only changed slight variations in values for both parameters, all based on preset #519 from H3000. Lastly, Style III is modeled after a particular AMS/Neve DMX 15-80 unit setting and boasts different delay variations, saturation characteristics, and a “de-glitching” circuit.
    • Delay knob
      This dedicated “Delay” knob sets the right amount of delay in any of the three styles, with equal scale as the “Detune” control. You can halve its value or double it, depending on how you want the final sound. Each style mentioned above will influence this knob’s sound, providing different sonorities from the same control.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Stereo imaging can be a complex subject, and often producers like to do it their own way. Soundtoys team discovered one cool way to manipulate these settings via a specific hardware unit, and thankfully they translated that to the digital world. The MicroShift plugin is a quick tool to properly adjust how wide your sound is, with different styles that comprise what sonorities this plugin can achieve. As the team had considerable past experience dealing with similar effects, it’s safe to assume that this plugin is a nice digital reproduction.

7. PanMan (AutoPanner)

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Auto-panning is finally made easy with this excellent software.

PanMan is an auto-panning software designed to combine classic sonorities into a new level, blending analog aspects and digital elements in a single housing. Encompassing different elements from vintage hardware like PanScan, Cyclosonic FS-1, and Electrospace Spanner, this plugin houses the best characteristics of each unit to provide authentic and useful sounds in your mix.

PanMan - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

PanMan - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Input and output controls
      Both “Input” and “Output” knobs are meant to cut or boost the signal going into PanMan. You can easily set the controls to unity gain (when the same level coming from the input is going to output) by monitoring the LED-style indicators beneath the controls, with the single yellow color indicating that the signal is 6dB below clipping. Saturation is not always wanted, but this can be a great way to achieve it if needed.
    • Offset knob
      This knob defines the base pan position, with zero degrees corresponding to the center (12 o’clock position). If you want to achieve hard left or hard right, simply set it to more or less 90 degrees, with the possibility to go up to 105 degrees – giving you the unprecedented feeling of audio coming from “beyond the speaker.”
    • Width
      To set the appropriate width upon which the panning will react, there’s a dedicated knob. In more precise words, the “Width” control adjusts how the pan position can be modulated according to its position. The default value is 180 degrees, and the same limit regarding the “Offset” knob is also applied here (105 degrees on each side, totalizing 210 degrees). Speaking of which, these two controls are imperative to be explored to better set into your source material, and consistent experimentation is recommended.
    • Smoothing adjustment
      The “Smoothing” knob configures how smoothly the pan position is set to transition from one point to another. The two extremes are “Hard” and “Soft,” with the former bringing abrupt jumps between the positions and the latter being more delicate and gradual. 
    • Modulation sources
      The different modulation types included can be selected via a small white button in the center of PanMan’s design interface. Including sources are “LFO,” “Rhythm Step,” “Rhythm Shape,” “PingPong,” “Random,” and “Step.” To change any modulation source, click and hold on the push button below the current display type.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

With the same elegant design as the other plugins in their catalog, Soundtoys has made auto-panning much easier and even more funnier to mess with than usual. The controls offer varied and detailed configurations depending on what style of setting you’re tuned in, proving to be very versatile and responsive. PanMan is the kind of plugin that deserves intrinsic exploration and experimentation to achieve better results over time, gradually adapting to whatever positioning needs your track requires.

8. PrimalTap (Retro Dual Delay)

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This dual mode delay offers the perfect retro vibe for your lo-fi productions.

Soundtoys presents a very powerful recreation of the iconic Lexicon Prime Time Model 93 delay processor in PrimalTap. This awesome delay unit was introduced in 1978, constantly utilized in multiple genres and by various artists. The good thing is that PrimalTap also offers unique modern features in the same package besides covering the important aspects of remodeling this unit.

PrimalTap - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

PrimalTap - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Freeze
      Such a unique feature is one of the great add-ons included in PrimalTap. Essentially, the “Freeze” knob allows for a momentaneous ‘freezing’ of the input audio being processed inside the plugin, providing an infinite loop. As soon as it’s engaged, a red light pops up to indicate that, locking the audio data and being deactivated only by pressing the same button one more time.
    • Multiply
      This is another key element to providing the characteristic sound of PrimalTap. The “Multiply” control aims to increase the currently selected delay time by 2x, 4x, or 8x. Like in the genuine Lexicon Prime Time delay, every time the delay time is doubled, the sample rate is halved, for instance. This introduces some steep antialiasing filters, reinforcing that if the delay time goes up, the fidelity goes down.

      Delay time
      Bandwidth
      1x
      12kHz
      2x
      6kHz
      4x
      3kHz
      8x
      1.5kHz
    • Two delays
      Two delay lines are included in PrimalTap, described as “A” and “B,” each designated in a specific, colorful knob. Each line can be operated in “Time” or “Beat” modes, in which the first will give the delay time on your screen in milliseconds, while the latter will display on the same screen the given spacing related to the current host tempo, with a value range from 0.00 to 4.00.
    • Link switch
      The tiny switch located between the “A” and “B” knobs is called “Link,” and it’s useful to tie both delay lines together, linking the knobs. For example, if you tweak the red “A” knob, the yellow “B” knob will automatically adjust its value according to how you set the red knob, and so forth. It’s extremely useful to keep proportions between the two delay line’s values very precise.
    • Adjust
      This might be a good place to start if you want to get into experimentation territory. The “Adjust” knob modulates the delay times for both “A” and “B” lines, creating sounds akin to chorus, phaser, or flanger. “Rate” and “Depth” controls are also present to set this effect properly, setting the tones you want very subtly.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

PrimalTap is another nice rendition of classic hardware, with all the good aspects present in the unit allied with the infinite possibilities of the digital remodeling world. The number of choices and possibilities regarding the delay control is absurd, even more, if you add a second delay line. Cool elements, like the “Freeze” button, make this plugin work as organically as the real unit would, with the powerful help of computer processing to introduce awesome elements to the effect.

9. Crystallizer (Granular FX)

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This highly creative effect is a combination of pitch shifter with reversed echo.

Another plugin inspired by the H3000 unit from Eventide, Crystallizer, is not so easy to be explained in a few words. Although it’s branded as a “Granular Echo Synthesizer,” it’s capable of much more: you can pitch shift, add echo and shimmer in multiple ways, and bring awesome, reverse effects into this mix. The result is a highly creative and forward-thinking effect that can expand your sonic choices significantly.

Crystallizer - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Crystallizer - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Pitch knob
      The dedicated “Pitch” control adjusts the audio signal’s pitch in three octaves, either up or down. The values are listed as “cents,” and the maximum values are -3600/+3600. Setting this control at +100 cents, for instance, will result in a half-step change – in this case, upwards. 
    • Splice
      This configuration determines the audio selection’s length captured and played back, with readings in milliseconds (from zero to 2050ms). A short value will result in minimal delay time, offering a subtle variation that lightly resembles a metallic sound, while higher values will make a selection of the input signal to be ‘grabbed’ and played back for the interval you have selected, like 300ms, for example. This creates small loops that can be set to be repeated according to your input time value.
    • Recycle
      Located near the “Delay” control, the “Recycle” knob is a feedback control for the delay that ensures the output of the effect signal will be sent back to the input at varying values. Turning the knob up will generate repeating, rotating pitch effects, possibly even setting the spiral up or downwards. 
    • MIDI sync
      Activating the “MIDI Sync” button locks Crystallizer to incoming MIDI information, making it possible to select specific note lengths and ensuring the effect stays in sync with the MIDI clock simultaneously. Although this can act similarly to an oscillator in a synth, this can be very helpful to keep this effect as responsive as possible and sound very organic to whatever MIDI controller you’re using.
    • Tweak mode
      As with other Soundtoys plugins, there’s a dedicated “Tweak” page for Crystallizer. Here you can set offset values for pitch, splice, and delay controls, with a “Smoothing” knob that sets the crossfade between splices in the plugin’s delay. You also have high and low-cut knobs with an envelope control, making it possible to accurately set the dynamics in the effect.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Incredible sounds can come out of Crystallizer, and this doesn’t mean you have to be tweaking the values for hours to get a decent sound. The easy-to-use interface welcomes anyone willing to experiment, but if you pay close attention to what each knob does, it will be much easier to configure every value. This plugin can be a cool alternative for a more aggressive and customizable delay unit, with some interesting effects options that will provide new sonorities to your arsenal.

10. PhaseMistress (Phaser)

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This beautiful package recreates one of the most inspiring effects from the 1970s.

Swirling effects are always welcome in whatever style you can think of, applied to a wide range of instruments. The creamy sounds to come out of this effect can build up a progression, make a riff stand out, or even make one note sound as funky as possible, with precise dynamic reactions relevant to what you play. Inspired by the likes of the MXR Phase 90, Maestro PS-1A, and Electro-Harmonix Small Stone, PhaseMistress is Soundtoys‘ take on one of the most iconic effects from the 1970s.

PhaseMistress - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

PhaseMistress - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Styles
      You can choose between various phaser profiles from the “Style” selection, displaying characteristic and famous circuits. Each entry can evoke a certain aspect of a famous unit, like the Maestro Phaser, Mutron II, among others, and everything can be modified to your taste with the help of the “Style Edit” button, which can be used to create new styles.
    • Frequency knob
      This knob allows setting the midpoint of the phase notches. In other words, it determines the frequency at which the phaser effect will revolve, like an ‘initial’ setting of sorts. Such useful control can be essential in capturing a particular swirling effect, with the other controls responding directly to what you set in the “Frequency” knob.
    • Resonance
      Adjusting the resonance will enhance the phase shift significantly, creating resonance peaks that affect each notch filter. The effect brings enhanced, boosted harmonics in the input signal falling around in each notch. If you set it at higher values, the harmonics will begin to fall into various notches that are exaggerated, arriving at a very intense phasing effect.
    • Mod
      The “Mod” knob sets the amount of modulation in your signal that will be used to sweep the phaser frequencies. It’s very basic: if you turn it up, the modulation will increase, determining how far the frequency will be swept, above or below the center frequency. It’s safe to assume that this value depends on how you set the “Frequency” knob and the style being used at the moment.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Phasers are awesome, and the different circuits available to be used in PhaseMistress prove how each can sound very different from another. Soundtoys brings a nice recreation of phaser units but is not focused on a single inspiration. The point here is to have a modulation unit in a plugin format, ready to be loaded whenever you need it and with very versatile and very straightforward configurations. The different styles offer different circuits to mess with, and you can create your own style based on the sounds you like and want to use.

11. Devil-Loc Deluxe Audio Level Destroyer (Crusher/Compressor)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)
Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)
An aggressive compressor that can sound massive, inspired by a classic unit.

The Devil-Loc Deluxe Audio Level Destroyer is a limiter plugin heavily inspired by the Shure Level-Loc Model M62. This microphone limiter was heavily used in the 1960s, so you can expect that this is another remodeling of an iconic hardware that we all know and love from our favorite records. It was developed as a consumer-grade brick wall limiting amplifier to keep audio at a PA system level.

Devil-Loc Deluxe  - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Devil-Loc Deluxe  - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Crush
      This control determines how much signal is sent to the plugin’s gain reduction circuit, resulting in more compression if the signal sent there is great. If you drive it up to the limit, the gain reduction circuit will saturate, thus changing the overall release time.
    • Crunch
      Adjusting the “Crunch” knob properly can bring a refined selection on the amount of gain added to the signal after limiting it while also setting how hard the output amplifier stage is driven. And, of course, the harder you drive the output stage, the more distortion you will get. 
    • Darkness
      As the name implies, the “Darkness” control sets the cutoff frequency of a high-cut filter. This filter is located after any distortion is applied, so it can be a helpful tool to shape better the distortion created by the previously mentioned “Crunch” knob.
    • Mix control
      A mix control can be fairly common in multiple plugin effects and virtual instruments, but in Devil-Loc Deluxe, it’s an essential part of the experience. Here, you can instantly determine the balance of processed and unprocessed signals, with the zero value mark favoring the “dry” signal. This is crucial when dealing with gain staging, compression, and saturation in general, with the audio signal balance.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Some producers prefer compressors, equalizers, and limiters in an actual hardware format, mainly because of how the components react inside the circuit with your signal. Working with such equipment is marvelous, but that’s not the case for most of us. Gladly, Soundtoys developed Devil-Loc Deluxe to be an astonishing good-sounding limiter plugin that can do much more than just add saturation to your track. The simple yet highly functional controls prove to us that.

12. FilterFreak (Creative Filter)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)
Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)
An analog filter boasting character and iconic sounds to get your groove going.

FilterFreak is an insanely customizable and resonant filter plugin encompassing classic sounds, reasonable controls, and functionalities. Envelope filters are a characteristic element of genres like funk music, being very expressive and responsive to the player’s dynamics. The fat, round analog sounds to come out of iconic units like the Mutron III and the Morley Wah Wah are all included here, with the addition of being able to tweak them even further.

FilterFreak - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

FilterFreak - 12 Best SoundToys Plugins 2022 For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Algorithms
      There are seven “Analog Style” algorithms for FilterFreak, each setting the precise saturation characteristics applied to the audio signal. They are “Clean,” “Fat,” “Squash,” “Dirt,” “Crunch,” “Shred,” and “Pump.” Each can evoke a particular aspect, like an exaggerated clipping in “Crunch,” for example.
    • Filters
      Each module contains controls for setting the perfect filtering in your effect. You have LPF (lowpass filter), HPF (highpass filter), and BPF (bandpass filter) knobs that instantly shape the frequencies according to your needs. You can start by adjusting low and high frequencies first, then using the BPF to further select the harmonics above and below the input frequency value to better polish the frequency spectrum.
    • Poles
      This control determines how strong the harmonics will be filtered out, above or below the set frequency value. Each pole is equivalent to a specific gain reduction change, corresponding to the harmonic’s gain level one octave from the cutoff point. 

      Poles
      Slope
      Two poles
      12dB/octave (harmonics one octave from the frequency cutoff are lowered by 12dB)
      Four poles
      24dB/octave
      Six poles
      36dB/octave
      Eight poles
      48dB/octave
    • LFO mode
      The low-frequency oscillator, or LFO, works by creating a repeating waveform that will oscillate between zero and 20Hz, thus being why it’s for “low frequencies.” The dedicated LFO mode uses “Rate” and “Shape” controls and an additional set in a dedicated “Tweak” menu that contains adjustments for frequency modulation, resonance modulation, left and right offset balance, and smoothing just to name a few.
    • Shape editor
      Also included in the LFO mode, the “Shape Editor” is a very easy way to create new LFO shapes, simply by drawing the pattern you’d like to use in the corresponding screen. Shape presets are also included to help your creativity develop, and you can tweak the already existing patterns to create new and exclusive ones.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

The incredible response FilterFreak offers make it sound like a genuine effects pedal or rack. Envelope filters tend to rely heavily on dynamics, so it’s crucial that the components inside are sensitive to this aspect. As the software doesn’t contain physical components inside, the algorithms do an excellent job mimicking these sonorities, with just as many controls and tweaks available to make your instrument resonate as it should.

Bonus

Soundtoys 5 – All 21 SoundToys Plugins (Best Value)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)
Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)
The definitive bundle to get down on all Soundtoys products.

To wrap things up, it’s nice to mention the Soundtoys 5 bundle that contains all 21 plugins offered by the company. The centerpiece of this collection is the Soundtoys Effects Rack, which emulates a real effects rack that you would display and organize each of these units together. It resembles the wooden racks found in many recording studios, and the crucial part is that you can build and rearrange the effects in any way you want.

Aside from gathering everything in a single window, you also get global mix controls that easily blend the dry signal with the effects. The “Recycle” control allows you to mix the rack’s output back into the input so that you can build your modulated effects over others effortlessly.

The additional effects that didn’t make this list are just as worthy of looking out, mainly because Soundtoys has a take on almost every kind of studio gear and effect you may need. The variety is immense, and this bundle might be the ultimate package to get all your production needs flowing.

Soundtoys 5 - Best SoundToys Plugins For Pro Sound | integraudio.com

Conclusion

If you need new effects to inspire you, this list also provides a few great options. They are often very sought-after because they were included in our favorite records, and it’s exciting to try to replicate the iconic sounds we are familiar with. PhaseMistress, for instance, nails the perfect phaser sound with extreme precise controls to tweak each value, and the same goes for similar plugins like PanMan and FilterFreak.

Last but not least, the main recommendation is the Soundtoys 5 bundle, which includes all 21 products and will surely help you a lot in your daily productions. Sure, you won’t get the same response as a real unit would provide, but it can get pretty close to that. Aside, it’s nice to have at least one tool that incorporates the sonic elements you’re looking for, even if algorithms mimic their responsiveness.

Soundtoys offers a 30-day trial period for all their products, so sign up for that on their website. You’ll receive all the necessary information in your email box very quickly. It’s important to test these plugins before buying them, so you’ll be 100% sure that they are right for you.

See you next time!

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