While we focus on the musical process of music production, we often overlook the technical side of things. To create a great-sounding mix, we need to have quality tools at our disposal. The right tools can help us to achieve a better sound and, in turn, help our music reach a wider audience.
Mixing, mastering, and superb sound design can be challenging to achieve without the right plugins. Moreover, we need plugins that are compatible with our DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) and easy to use.
Slate Digital’s VST plugins have been industry standards for many years, and the company shows no signs of slowing down. That’s why we’ve collated a list of the top 7 Slate Digital VST plugins that can help take your audio production to the next level in 2023.
These plugins will help you achieve various sounds, whether you’re looking for mixing and mastering assistance or creative sound design possibilities. You can use them in any DAW or audio editor that supports VST plugins. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Top 7 Slate Digital VST Plugins 2023 For Mixing & Mastering
1. MO-TT (OTT Revived)
The multi-band compressor is based on the company’s OTT plugin and can help bring your tracks to life. It does the service of recreating the lush, drama-filled sound of the legendary OTT setting in Ableton.
This versatile tool can add everything from subtle textures to massive walls of sound, and it is also straightforward to use, having a basic layout and precise controls.
- Professional Sound Presets
The plugin offers a wide range of high-quality sound presets designed by top music producers and engineers. The scalable GUI for MO-TT opens in Easy mode for rapid preset adaptation. Three Quick Set presets (OTT, Hip Hop, and Vox) are available on this screen, along with a pop-out folder that contains subfolders for Master, Instruments, Vocals, Drums, and FX.
- Controlling Each Frequency Band
Controlling Each Frequency Band gives you complete control over each frequency band, allowing you to shape the sound of your track in new and innovative ways. You are not restricted to controlling the entire track at once, which gives you much more flexibility in your sound design.
- First-Class OTT Sound
The MO-TT plugin gives you the same high-quality sound as the original OTT plugin. This means you can get the same lush, drama-filled sound in your tracks without worrying about any quality loss.
- Timing Style
The new Timing Style feature of Slate Digital MO-TT allows you to fine-tune the performance of the dynamics and transients in your mix. You can choose between three different timing styles, ‘Classic,’ ‘Smooth,’ or ‘Smack.’
- Global Macro Controls
The Global Macro Controls make it easy to manage the overall sound of your mix by allowing you to adjust the levels of all the frequency bands simultaneously without tampering with their relationship settings.
MO-TT 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.
MO-TT is convenient to use with its straightforward structure and controls. When compared to the original OTT, you have greater control.
While the Advanced view provides additional customization choices for refiners, the Easy view maintains everything simple and easily accessible.
I believe Rock, Pop, and R&B music producers will find this Slate Digital plugin helpful in their audio production journey as it gives nuanced functions and outlandish results.
2. Infinity EQ (Ultra Flexible EQ)
The Slate Digital Infinity EQ spotlight parametric and graphic equalization and a real-time analyzer that offers you control over the sound of your tracks. The real-time analyzer allows you to see the frequencies in your track and identify problem areas that need attention.
It is designed to give you surgical precision in your EQing, as well as provide you with options to work with multiple bands at the same time.
With its interface, you can quickly dial in the sound you’re looking for. It provides a representation of your sound with zero latency analog matched curves and various filter shapes and controls that give you the flexibility to sculpt the sound of your tracks.
- Full-Screen Display
It features a full-screen display that lets users see all of the parameters of the equalizer at once. That makes it simple to tweak the equalizer settings and see how changes in the equalizer settings affect the sound of the music. The feature is helpful when working with large projects or when multiple EQs are needed.
- Band Grouping
It allows the user to group multiple bands of frequencies, allowing for more precise control over the overall sound. It helps achieve a specific soundscape or work with complex audio sources. Grouping numerous bands of frequencies will enable users to save time by not having to adjust each band separately.
- Auto-gain Feature
The Auto-gain feature is a way to set the level of your audio signal automatically. This feature allows you to select the desired gain for each frequency and then sets the overall signal level accordingly. It ensures that your audio signal is always at the proper level, no matter what source you use.
- Real-time Analyzer
A real-time analyzer is used to measure sound levels to optimize audio equipment. Sound engineers and technicians use them to ensure sound systems function correctly and adjust as needed. An RTA can help identify areas where the sound is too loud or soft by measuring the sound levels in a room or space. It can also help determine the best speakers and audio equipment placement. In addition, an RTA can be used to measure the clarity of sound, helping to ensure listeners can hear the audio.
- Graphic Equalization
A Graphic equalization is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the sound quality of audio signals. Graphic equalization can be used to correct problems with the sound of a recording or to create the desired effect. For example, if a recording sounds too harsh, boosting the low frequencies and cutting the high frequencies can make it sound warmer. Or, if a recording sounds too soft, raising the high frequencies and cutting the low frequencies can make it sound brighter.
The Infinity EQ is compatible with macOS 10.13 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 8 or higher (64-bit). It runs in VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin
The Infinity EQ features a real-time spectrum analyzer so that you can see the effect of your changes in real time. The plugin also provides a comprehensive set of presets for different genres and moods to allow getting started quickly and easily.
3. Murda Melodies (Hip-Hop Multi FX)
Murda Melodies is a multi-effect plugin explicitly designed for Hip-Hop producers. It features many effects, including delay, reverb, EQ, and modulation. The plugin also includes a beatbox module to create your rhythms and beats.
The beatbox module is easy to use, with controls for tempo, swing, and volume. The modulation section includes a phaser, chorus, and flanger. The delay and reverb modules are very versatile, with a wide range of parameters you can adjust.
It also includes a library of pre-recorded sounds and loops created by Murda Beatz that you can use to create new tracks.
- Pitch Shifting
The plugin has a pitch shifter that allows you to transpose the notes up or down by a span of four octaves. The pitch shifter can be used to create sounding melodies and harmony parts by shifting the notes of a melody at different intervals.
The Spread feature helps control the amount of stereo width. Spread creates the illusion of space without spatializing the sound by adding a bit of slight attenuation and delay to one side of the signal. The result is a fuller, wider sound that still sits nicely in the mix.
- High and Low Pass Filtering
With the low pass filters, producers can roll off the high frequencies of a sound, making it darker and fuller-sounding. You can thin out sounds and remove mud and clutter from a mix with high-pass filters to create a more open and transparent sound.
Murda Melodies is available for macOS 10.14 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 8 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
You can add effects like delay and reverb to give your melody more depth with Murda Melodies.
4. FG-DS (DeEsser)
One of the simplest De-Essers available is FG-DS. The dial allows you to select any frequency between 800 Hz and 8 kHz. A mode switch also alternates between a wideband mode and a high-frequency mode.
The range control is used to specify the appropriate level of de-essing, such as how much attenuation should be applied to sibilances that have been detected.
Its user-friendly design produces smooth, organic results in seconds, and its feature set provides exact control over your sound.
- Virtual Led Meter
By tracking the sound input level, engineers can ensure they aren’t distorted or clipping the audio signal. The LED meter can also monitor the amount of gain reduction applied to the signal. As a result, you can avoid over-compressing the signal when using compressors or other dynamic processors.
- Listen Mode
The Listen Mode lets you hear only the audio you’re removing. Therefore, you can select which frequencies to remove without affecting the rest of the track. Listen Mode is perfect for removing unwanted background noise or isolating and removing individual sounds.
- Mix Knob
With this tool, the user can control how much dry or unprocessed signal is blended with the processed signal. By doing so, the user can achieve the perfect balance between the two signals. Too much of the dry signal will make the mix sound natural, while too much of the processed signal will make the mix sound artificial. The mix knob also allows the user to control how much of the processed signal is sent to the output.
- Output Level Control
Users can adjust the device’s signal level using this tool to optimize the overall system performance. One of the most important uses for output level control is gain staging. This purpose is to prevent clipping and distortion, ensuring that the final audio quality is of the highest quality possible.
FG-DS 902 is compatible with macOS 10.14 and higher, as well as Windows 8 and 10 (64-bit). It runs in AU, VST, VST3, and AAX formats.
This FG-DS 902 is an excellent plugin. This Virtual Mix Rack module is ideal if you need a de-esser that can handle a wide range of vocals without affecting the overall quality of your sound.
5. Verbsuite Classics (Reverb)
VerbSuite Classics, developed in collaboration with LiquidSonics, employs patented Fusion IR processing to capture the ever-changing and modulating properties of the modeled gear.
VerbSuite Classics features LiquidSonics’ exceptionally outstanding Fusion-IR technology, which uses multi-sampled impulse responses to generate significantly more detailed early reflections and tails than static IRs.
Using multiple true-stereo reverb streams that are treated simultaneously, this innovative new processing technique captures the developing character of time-varying reverbs.
The convolution streams’ inputs are adjusted, and the outputs are blended into a rich, engaging space that blends seamlessly with the music.
Reverb can help make a recording sound more natural or create a sense of space. Reverb can be used to develop a sense of space and ambiance in music, and it can also be used to make specific instruments stand out in the mix. When used sparingly, reverb can be a powerful tool for adding depth and texture to a recording.
- Decay Knob
It is used to scale the tail length or the reverberation’s decaying sound. The Decay knob can be set to anywhere from 25-130% of its original length. The longer the decay, the more pronounced the reverb effect will be.
- Attack and Predelay
The Attack and Predelay control fade and offset the reverb by up to 150ms. Users can use this to make some exciting reverb effects and control how their reverb sounds.
- Width Control
Controlling the width of the sound enables you to create a more focused or spacious sound by narrowing or widening the stereo field. When mixing, width control can also be used to create a more balanced mix. By placing different instruments in different stereo fields, you can avoid having them compete for space in the mix.
- Hundreds of Presets
The VerbSuite Classics has hundreds of presets for a variety of different reverbs. Presets are helpful for quickly getting starting points on audio that would otherwise take too much time to set up from scratch. Each one is adapted to work with the other reverbs in the suite so that you can create your unique sound. The presets are also organized by type, so you can easily find the right one for your project.
The plug-in is compatible with macOS 10.11 and higher, as well as Windows 8 and 10. (64-bit). It runs in AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX native 64 bits.
The Slate Digital VerbSuite Classics reverb plug-in emulates various world-class digital hardware reverbs. It can be used on multiple audio sources, including voices, drums, guitars, and more.
6. FG-Dynamics (Compressor & Gate)
FG-Dynamics is one of the most accurate solid-state dynamics emulations because of its unique blend of traditional color and real-time reaction.
FG-Dynamics is the finest option if you want to capture the sound only solid-state dynamics can provide.
With a powerful compressor and a virtually unlimited gate/expander beneath the hood, this machine packs a lot of creative power into a small, easy-to-use design.
There is a mix knob that improves on fader design for rich, crisp percussion sounds by providing real-time parallel compression.
- Pro-level Presets
The FG-Dynamics plugin pro-level presets are a great way to get the most out of your mixing and mastering projects. With over 100 different presets, you can easily find the perfect sound for your music. And with the ability to import and export presets, users can share their creations with other producers and engineers.
- Automatically Adjusts Makeup Grain
It automatically adjusts your makeup gain to ensure that your signal is always at the optimal level. You can use this method to align all your channels correctly when working with multichannel audio setups.
FG-Dynamics is compatible with macOS 10.13 (intel only) and higher, as well as Windows 8 and 10. (64-bit). It runs in AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX native 64 bits.
FG-Dynamics combines a strong compressor and expander/gate into a single, user-friendly solution that will rapidly become indispensable to any producer’s toolset.
7. FG-X Mastering Compressor (Mastering Compressor / Chain)
The Slate Digital FG-X is a mastering dynamics processor. It could be helpful in swiftly preparing reference-level masters to present to clients or as a dynamics processor in a professional mastering situation.
The FG-X comprises a compressor, a leveler (similar to a limiter), and a meter. The compressor is transparent, reducing peaks in a mix without adding character.
There are controls for attack, release, ratio, threshold, and a conspicuous VU-style meter that displays input, output, or gain decrease.
The Intelligent Transient Preservation (ITP) is a patented technique employed by the FG-Level Loudness Enhancer module.
With ITP, you can anticipate peak mix levels and create custom blend profiles that maintain their properties. The ITP will maintain your mixes punchy and vibrant while increasing their volume competitively.
- Dynamic Perception
Dynamic Perception is a procedure that simulates different dynamics in your mix, which can aid with loudness as dynamics are decreased. It’s an impressive and mighty control that can help you keep your mix’s original dynamics or add some extra.
- Constant Gain Monitoring
The Constant Gain Monitoring button is a feature unique to this particular model of sound mixer. It is intended to keep the user from hearing any increase in loudness, regardless of how much gain is applied.
- Bar Graph Meters
It has a bar-graph meter showing the signal’s root mean square (RMS) and peak values. To prevent clipping or overs, you must have this information in hand.
- LO Punch and Detail
Lo Punch and Detail are two essential tools for mixing audio. As their names suggest, Lo Punch raises the intensity of the low-end punch while Detail raises the level of the high-end punch. While both tools are essential for a well-balanced mix, they can also be utilized in creating different sound effects. If you want to create a more aggressive sound, you can boost the low-end with Lo Punch. Alternatively, if you want to create a more detailed and nuanced sound, you can use Detail to highlight the finer details in the mix.
- Intelligent Transient Preservation
ITP is an intelligent transient preservation technique that analyses the peaks of your mix and makes the best of a custom saturated curve that best saves its features. ITP can be used on drums, percussion, guitars, bass, synths, and vocals. ITP can be applied to individual tracks or buses.
The plug-in is compatible with macOS 10.11 and higher, as well as Windows 8 and 10 (64-bit). It runs in AU, VST2, and AAX native 64 bits. To operate, an iLok 2 or 3 is required, which is sold separately.
The Digital FG-X Mastering Plug-In makes your mixes louder without compromising dynamics, losing punch, or skewing mix balances.
Fresh Air (Mixing & Mastering Exciter)
Fresh Air enhances your top end’s brilliance and energy without adding brittleness. Slate Digital has merged numerous complex parallel processing techniques to improve individual tracks or a whole mix while maintaining a simple user interface. As a result, the processing is modern, transparent, and has a vintage sheen.
One of the most intriguing parts of Fresh Air is the Dolby-A style exciter effect, which is based on a technique employed to improve the top end of recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s.
As part of this procedure, Dolby A301 and 361 noise reduction systems were altered by turning off two lower band frequencies and compressing only the top end while recording.
- Trim Knob
Use the Trim Knob to level-match the input and output signals. You can use this feature when Fresh Air is placed before other processors in your signal route, and you don’t want to change the gain staging. If you’re using Fresh Air on a complete mix, you can use it to increase the output gain to avoid clipping.
- Dolby-A style exciter effect
The Dolby-A style exciter effect is a psychoacoustic processing technique that improves sound reproduction quality. The effect aims to make the reproduced sound more natural and lifelike by enhancing the high-frequency response and spatial imaging.
The A > B Snapshots feature is a great way to store two different settings of the Fresh Air plugin and instantly A/B between the two settings. You can use this feature to save two different sets of plugin settings and toggle back and forth quickly between them. This can be quite helpful if you want to compare two distinct sound versions or test two different plugin settings.
The plug-in is compatible with macOS 10.3 and higher, as well as Windows 8 and 10 (64-bit). It runs in AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX native 64 bits.
Fresh Air solves one of music production’s most significant issues: obtaining control of high-frequency content and smoothing your mixes without adding harshness.
I see many people asking how many VST plugins they need. To be honest, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. However, I consider a number close to four the sweet spot, with the condition that, in a typical session, most tracks would use no more than two plugins.
If you haven’t already, check out Slate’s “All Access Pass,” which includes all of their plugins, upcoming plugins, and all plugin updates for an annual plan paid a monthly fee of $14.99. It’s a fantastic deal that will meet all your mixing needs for a fraction of the price of purchasing hundreds of different plugins.
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.