This article will discuss the best CLAP plugins of 2023 for authentic, realistic, and more humanized sound.
Claps often serve as the backbeat in many styles of music, particularly in pop, rock, and electronic dance music (EDM). They usually emphasize the beats’ 2 and 4 in a 4/4 time signature, creating a driving rhythm that encourages dancing and adds energy to the track. They are frequently used to build tension and signal transitions in a song.
They can be of various types and styles, such as hand claps, finger snaps, Stadium claps, synthesized claps, and more. Synthesized claps are mostly used in hip-hop, pop, and electronic genres, whereas stadium and hand claps are used in Gospel, Rock, and Pop songs.
Even in live performances, claps can be triggered using electronic drum pads or MIDI controllers, allowing musicians to add a live, interactive element to their shows. Hence, it’s important to find the right samples or drum machines for the genre or song you’re producing.
Depending on the genre you’re producing, finding realistic claps can humanize your productions, add more width and depth, and make them sound more anthemic and huge. We have created a list of all plugins and virtual drum machines that will add different flavors and realism to your sounds. So, let’s dive right in and explore the list.
4 Best CLAPS Plugins For Realistic Claps 2023
1. Robotic Bean Hand Clap Studio (Best one)
“Robotic Bean’s ‘Hand Clap Studio’ is designed to infuse your productions with authentic and humanized handclaps and finger snaps.
These handclap and snap samples were expertly recorded by a seasoned percussionist at the renowned Atlantis Studio. The plugin offers comprehensive sound control, allowing you to fine-tune the number of performers, their clapping style, and their spatial placement. It’s a great tool for crafting grand, stadium-sized claps reminiscent of anthemic songs like that of Queen, Avicii, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Beyonce, Adele, David Guetta, etc., which can lend your compositions a colossal sonic presence.
- Diverse Clap Types
Hand Clap Studio provides a range of clap varieties, including Soft, Bright, Basic, and Snap claps. Each style offers unique attack and release characteristics, allowing you to produce sharp, impactful claps.
- Dynamic Realism
The plugin incorporates five velocity layers and thirteen round-robin variations, ensuring that every clap sounds natural and expressive. Furthermore, you can select from different microphones to achieve the desired spatial depth and room characteristics of the genre you’re going for.
- Custom Clapper Arrangement
Hand clap allows you to arrange up to eight clappers to construct the right rhythms. Additionally, a Rhythm Xpander sequencer facilitates the creation of sixteen-step clap sequences.
- Expressive Parameters
Hand Clap Studio offers control over parameters such as Spread, Loudness, Strength, Pitch, and more. You can also adjust the accent switch between Hard, Soft, and Mid settings.
- Comprehensive Effects
The plugin includes built-in compressor and EQ effects, allowing you to sculpt your claps’ frequency balance and dynamics. Additionally, there are echo/delay effects with customizable decay and level settings.
Hand Clap Studio is available in AAX, AU, and VST plugin formats, ensuring compatibility with the majority of popular digital audio workstations (DAWs). It functions seamlessly on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Hand Clap Studio is a great tool for crafting dynamic, expressive buildups, as well as verse and chorus clap patterns. You can tailor the spatial depth of your claps using different styles of microphones. By enabling you to craft intricate rhythms with up to eight clappers and the Rhythm Xpander sequencer, Hand Clap Studio gives you deep customization tools for your sounds. In conclusion, this plugin is a valuable addition to your production toolkit.
2. AudioThing Hand Clapper (Minimal But Good)
The AudioThing Hand Clapper is a drum synthesizer plugin designed for creating clap sounds.
The plugin’s internal design is inspired by the Roland TR-909. This dedicated hand-clap software is designed to produce authentic clap sounds reminiscent of the classic percussion tones from the 1980s. The plugin is particularly useful for adding vintage-style clap sounds to your songs and offers a creative way to infuse retro vibes into modern tracks.
- Inspiration from Classic Boss HC-2 Pedal
The plugin draws inspiration from the iconic Boss HC-2 pedal. Its primary purpose is to generate natural handclap sounds, replicating the characteristic tones of the original device.
- Factory Presets and Analog Samples
The plugin comes with 45 Factory Presets, utilizing 21 custom analog samples sourced from various instruments such as drum machines, analog synths, and real claps. This collection of samples emulates the renowned TR-808, TR-909, and the HC-2 itself, allowing users to achieve vintage drum machine sounds.
- Custom Sample Support
In addition to the onboard sounds, you can import your own samples (up to four seconds long) to create unique and experimental results. This flexibility enables the use of diverse sources like synth shots, piano noises, and vocals, leading to a wide range of creative possibilities.
Hand Clapper is compatible with MAC, PC, and LINUX operating systems, supporting various plugin formats, including VST, VST3, AU, and AAX, all in 64-bit. Additionally, it is offered as an AUv3 plugin and as a standalone application on the App Store.
The AudioThing Hand Clapper captures the essence of classic clap sounds, inspired by the Roland TR-909. With 45 Factory Presets and 21 custom analog samples, including TR-808, TR-909, and HC-2 tones, it infuses vintage percussion into modern music. The plugin encourages experimentation by supporting custom sample imports, enabling you to explore synth shots, piano noises, and vocals.
3. 2getheraudio CL4P Maker
2getheraudio’s CL4P Maker is designed for producing high-quality handclaps suitable for various music genres like Hip Hop and EDM.
The plugin consists of two main views: Edit View and Expert Edit view, such that the Expert Edit View has more detailed editing options, while the Edit View consist of MACRO controls with broader editing options. In addition, CL4P also consists of a limiter, a preset sector with 50 editable presets, and a master volume control.
- Ambience: Reverb effects
The ‘Space’ effects—Room, Plate, and Hall—offer distinct virtual reverb environments. For example, ‘Room’ emulates the acoustics of a smaller space, ‘Plate’ replicates the metallic resonance of a reverb plate, and ‘Hall’ simulates the reverberation of a larger concert hall. In addition, there’s also a ‘Mix’ knob, giving you precise control over the amount of reverb applied to the handclap sound.
- ENHANCE tab: Stereo shaping
ENHANCE tab consists of the ‘Spread’ parameter that controls the stereo width of the sound. Increasing it enhances the sense of spaciousness and separation between the left and right channels. The ‘Time’ control adjusts the delay between the stereo channels, creating a perceptual difference in timing. This effect contributes to a sense of depth and immersion in the stereo soundstage.
- ENHANCE tab: Drive effect
The ‘Drive’ effect, the other effect on the ENHANCE tab, offers varied distortion characteristics. ‘Smooth’ imparts a gentle saturation, adding warmth and harmonics without overwhelming the sound. ‘Crunch’ introduces a more pronounced distortion for infusing grit and intensity into the handclap. ‘Sizzle’ enhances high-frequency harmonics, bringing brightness and presence to the sound without sacrificing clarity.
- Noise Shaping
CL4P consists of ‘Noise’ effects that allow manipulation of added noise. ‘Attack,’ ‘Delay,’ ‘Hold,’ and ‘Decay’ control the envelope of the noise, determining how it evolves over time. The ‘Level’ parameter adjusts the overall volume of the noise in relation to the handclap sound. ‘Grain’ modifies the size of individual noise grains, influencing the texture of the noise. ‘Tone’ alters the tonal quality of the noise, while ‘Width’ adjusts its stereo spread for enhanced spatialization.
- EFFECTS tab
There are effects like ‘Bitcrush’ and ‘Decimate’ in the “effects” tab that introduce digital distortion to the sound. ‘Bitcrush’ reduces the audio’s bit depth, creating a gritty, lo-fi character with audible artifacts. ‘Decimate’ reduces the sample rate, achieving a similar distortion effect. In addition, this tab consists of the lopass and hi-pass effect knobs and ON/OFF switches.
CL4P is available in AAX, AU, and VST file formats, which is accepted by almost all mainstream DAWs.
Overall, the CL4P Maker plugin is a versatile handclap synthesis tool that offers both simplicity and expert-level customization. With 50 editable and 100 handclap presets, you can easily create authentic handclap sounds and use the ‘Audition’ button to audition them. Intuitive macro controls facilitate quick adjustments, while 24 advanced parameters enable precise sound shaping, encompassing tone, size, effects, and ambiance.
4. Boz Digital El Clapo
Boz Digital El Clapo is a versatile clap and applause generation tool that offers various features for creating realistic handclap tracks.
It is available as a plugin and sample collection. The plugin can generate a wide range of clap sounds, from single intimate handclaps to large crowds. It provides control over mic placement, round robins, and slop to enhance realism. The sample collection is designed to help you create clap tracks of different sizes, from individual claps to entire crowds.
Boz Digital Labs aims to simplify the process of adding realistic claps to music production with El Clapo’s detailed control and customization options.
- Realistic Handclap Generation
El Clapo transcends conventional approaches. Crafted as a one-of-a-kind plugin, it delivers handclap tracks ranging from the intimacy of a single clap to the sheer exuberance of a huge crowd of up to 150 people.
- Microphone Position & Effects
An exceptional feature is the provision of three adjustable mic positions—close, mid, and room. In addition, you can also add EQ, compression, and width adjustment as ‘CLOSE MICROPHONE FX.’
- Dynamic Slop Control
Tailoring the authenticity of your handclaps becomes effortless with the ‘slop’ control. This unique parameter allows you to fine-tune the rhythm tightness or looseness, aligning with your artistic direction.
- Evolutionary Step Sequencing
The built-in step sequencer brings automation to the forefront. With 12 editable patterns and adjustable speeds, it introduces dynamic movement and rhythmic evolution to your handclap arrangements.
- Expressive MIDI Influence
MIDI velocity control lends an extra layer of expression, allowing you to modulate the intensity and dynamic range of your handclap sounds with the finesse of MIDI modulation.
- Optimized CPU Efficiency
El Clapo exhibits exceptional resource management, even for large crowds. The plugin generates samples on-the-fly, minimizing CPU load while delivering lifelike performances.
El Clapo is available in VST, AAX, AU, and RTAS plugin formats and is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
Boz Digital Labs meticulously considered every facet, from recording techniques to post-production contexts, while creating the plugin. That results in realism and versatility when it comes to the samples and instruments’ controls. Boz Digital El Clapo also offers a great toolset for RTAS plugin enthusiasts.
Best Free Clap Plugin
Xoxos Clap of Luxury
Xoxos Clap of Luxury is a virtual instrument (VSTi) that specializes in generating synthetic clap sounds.
It employs a syncable noise algorithm, which is precisely amplified and then passed through three filters to create various clap sounds. This plugin is designed to be versatile and capable of producing a range of clap sound variations and is known for its ability to create detailed and high-quality clap sounds.
- 2-Stage Envelope
Each of the three envelopes in Clap of Luxury provides control over attack and decay parameters. These parameters allow you to shape the amplitude envelope of the generated clap sounds. You can easily adjust the attack and decay of both the
Clap of Luxury offers two effects options, each controlled by buttons labeled “f1” and “f2.” These buttons allow you to apply additional processing to the generated clap sounds. These effects could include reverb, delay, distortion, or other audio modifications.
- 2-pole filter
The plugin features a 2-pole filter with the following parameters: Frequency for controlling the cutoff frequency; Resonance for emphasizing frequencies near the cutoff; Type for filter selection (low-pass, high-pass, etc.); a Color Knob for adjusting tonal characteristics, enhancing timbre; and a Series Button to toggle between series and parallel filter configurations, modifying their interaction with the sound.
The plugin is available in 32-bit VST plugin format only for the Windows operating system.
Overall, Xoxos Clap of Luxury is a dynamic virtual instrument featuring a potent 2-pole filter, three customizable envelopes, effects buttons (“f1” and “f2”), and a hall reverb effect that lets you create an array of distinctive synthetic clap sounds.
XFer Serum (Synh)
Xfer Serum is a popular wavetable synthesizer plugin used for sound design and music production.
Serum is known for its versatile capabilities in creating a wide range of sounds, including claps. With its ability to combine wavetable oscillators with noise oscillators and add filters and different modulators: Envelopes & LFOs, you can craft realistic clap sounds with the plugin.
Hower, you have to be a skilled sound designer and need to be familiar with Serum to do that. Otherwise, you can also find preset packs for Serum that provide you with those sounds.
Layering different waveforms can add complexity and richness to your clap sound. Consider using a combination of noise and tonal elements to achieve a balanced and natural clap sound.
- Drag-and-Drop Modulation
Serum features a drag-and-drop modulation system that lets you easily assign modulation sources (such as LFOs, envelopes, and more) to various parameters in the synth.
- Flexible Filters
It provides a variety of high-quality filters, including analog-style filters, spectral warping filters, and more, allowing you to shape the tonal characteristics of your sound.
Serum allows you to adjust the amplitude envelopes (attack, decay, sustain, and release) to mimic a natural clap’s transient and decay characteristics. Quick attacks and decays with a slight sustain can help replicate the sharp initial hit and subsequent tail of a clap sound.
- Pitch Variability
You can introduce slight pitch variations between the two claps that make up the stereo field. This can create a more organic stereo image and simulate the natural variations that occur in handclaps.
- Effects Processing
Serum has a great set of effects, including a multiband compressor, EQ, Distortion, Delay, Reverb, Hyper Dimension, Filter, Chorus, Phaser, and more that allow you to add interesting sonic characteristics to your clap sounds.
Serum is available for Windows and macOS systems and can be used as a VST, AU, or AAX plugin in various digital audio workstations (DAWs).
Notable for its intuitive interface and versatile design, Serum offers advanced wavetable editing, real-time waveform visualization, and drag-and-drop modulation. With an effects rack, various filters, and vector oscillators, Serum enables sound designers to create various styles of sounds, including drums and percussions.
With four oscillators, you can layer and create huge and impactful clap sounds, and with its effects like hyperdimension and distortion, you can add more depth and character to them.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.