Here is our top 8 selection of effects and instrument from Sugarbytes, one of the giants when it comes to VST plugins. Some of these plugins are old, but they are time-tested and works great nowadays.
Let’s dive in!
1. Sugar Bytes Graindad
Graindad is a granular effect plugin by Sugar Bytes for high-quality and real-time audio manipulation.
The advanced grain engine plugin allows you to adjust the grain size, position, pitch, speed, and jitter settings. You can also adjust the settings for filter and time modulations and add reverb and delay effects to your sounds. In addition, it has an audio editor that allows you to freeze, texturize, reorganize, and slice your audio.
- Granular capabilities
The plugin allows you to chop the audio into 64 grains and has 12 main controllers for manipulating the audio. In addition, the plugin has two modulation structures: harvested for creative, playful, and simplified granular manipulation and the classic system with step sequencers, LFOs, and envelopes.
- Modulation capabilities
You can use MIDI notes and randomizers as the sources to trigger modulations, along with the typical step sequencer, LFOs, and envelopes. The plugin also has Modmix control, allowing you to crossfade between the two granular engines.
The plugin allows you to have high quality and a wide variety of effects, like filters, reverbs, delays, etc. For example, the reverb category includes effects like HQ reverb, spring reverb, and shimmer. The delay effects include phasers, flangers, and other time-based effects.
The most advanced feature of Graindad is its Harvester system which allows you to modulate all twelve controls simultaneously, allowing for complex modulations and effects.
Graindad is available in Audio Unit, VST2, VST3, AAX, and Standalone plugin formats and requires a minimum of macOS 10.12 or Windows 7 operating system.
The possibilities with this great granular plugin are infinite. However, due to its unfamiliar workflow, it may be a bit strange at first, but it is fun once you get hold of it. In addition, the creative output you can derive from the plugin is limitless.
It’s just great for randomizing percussions. Resample it, slice it and find the best bits to fit in your composition – great practice for advanced DnB production.
2. Sugar Bytes Aparillo (Minimal, Yet Powerful FM Synth)
More Info & Price (Trial Available)
This advanced 16-voice FM synth is the perfect choice for majestic sounds.
Most of all, synthesizers can create beautiful sound layers within a track, with subtle frequency ranges and smooth-sounding notes. In other words, the perfect balance for aerial textures that can create the perfect vibe instantly.
Sugar Bytes Aparillo is just like that, and it’s based on two interacting FM synths capable of forming complex and organic timbres, with a 16-voice-unison character on top of that.
- 16 voices
Synths are great for polyphonic phrases, with most of them natively controlling such parameters that will make it sound huge. Aparillo achieves this by using 16 individual synth voices that are triggered whenever you play any single note, thus quickly delivering complex sounds that vary from atonal noises to super rich and harmonic textures on the go.
This awesome effect is not so well-definable, but it’s as useful as a delay, reverb, or pitch-controlled resonator. The character will be defined by the “Spacial Range” and the “Size/Pitch Fader” controls for fine-tuning, as follows:Small1 ms < Range < 250 msMedium1 ms < Range < 500 msLarge1 ms < Range < 1,000 msPitch-24 semitones < Range < +24 semitonesSync1/16 bar < Range < 1/1 bar
The “Feedback” fader can create a reverb wall instantly, getting the perfect aerial vibe nailed down instantly. The “Mix” control adjusts the dry and wet gain signals accordingly, with the possibility of including the “Arp” signal.
The “Envelope” section houses the common ADSR controls that affect the “Modulation System” and its output. Each parameter comes with individual modulation options, but with the addition of “Slope-Curve” and “Loop Mode” configurations. Lastly, the envelope mode can be switched between “Unison” (all 16 voices in sync, but with a monophonic envelope) and “Polyphon” for a 16-voice polyphonic synthesizer.
This unique Aparillo feature is a one-touch macro-controller that affects the entire sound inside the plugin, giving you absolute control over the sound manipulation options. All this power is available at your fingertips’ reach, with an XY pad that controls all parameters. You can navigate between all sounds by mouse-clicking it or pressing the notes on your keyboard, containing 128 different sounds.
Having pre-recorded sounds and phrases ready to be used is a great way to kick things off accordingly. You’ll be easily inspired by the 450+ hand-picked presets that are inside Aparillo, distributed within categories such as “Bass,” “Pads,” “Lead,” etc.
- 16 voices
This plugin is available for macOS 10.12 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
FM synthesis is not easy to play around with, and this technology usually requires an equally good platform to run smoothly. Aparillo gets this aspect down easily, with concise parameters that can be customizable and reach higher dimensions by themselves.
This plugin is one of the best choices to get ambiance textures, perhaps most sought-after by sound designers, cinematic composers, and score makers.
3. Sugar Bytes Looperator (Looper, Sample Slicer, Multi FX)
Looperator is a sample slicer and fx platform designed by Sugar Bytes.
Looperator is a creative production tool that can help you transform simple sounds and samples into new, exciting, creative compositions. It slices the sample you load into chops, rearranges it, and adds different effects on a per-step basis to spice it up.
- Effect sequencer
The main interface of Looperator is centered around a 16-step sequencer. The sequencer controls six different effect modules. The idea is that you can sequence different effects to modulate a certain sound or song. Once you load Looperator on a track inside your DAW, you can sequence the slice, loop, envelope, filter, FX1, and FX2 modules to affect the sound. The interface is colorful, with each module’s color, while a dice switch at the far right of each module lets you randomize each sequencer for unpredictable results.
- Midi trigger
Looperator works in two modes, host and manual. In host mode, it’s synced with your host tempo so that you can create steps in time with the rest of the song. You can trigger certain effects in manual mode by playing midi notes. For example, you can set up a tape stop effect to be triggered every time you play the C3 note on a midi track. Now all you have to do is create that midi track and place it anywhere in your track, saving you time and CPU usage since one instance of Looperator can affect multiple tracks/sounds.
- Slice and rearrange
Looperator is extremely powerful when it comes to chopping up samples and rearranging them. Once your sample is warped, and in time with the project’s tempo you are in, you can load it in Looperator and sequence the slice module. It will create 16 chops of sound which you can place anywhere you want in the 16-step sequencer in any order. It’s a great tool for sampled-based producers who need a different approach to sampling.
- Perfect for live performances
A huge asset of Looperator is its compatibility with Traktor. Traktor is a DJing software used by many DJs. You can DJ with Traktor and simultaneously run Looperator as an FX processor. This can be achieved by running it on manual mode and bringing a midi controller with you to the club. You can map certain midi buttons to certain effects, which you can trigger while DJing to add extra spice to your performance. Similarly, it’s a great performance tool for those who perform with Ableton Live.
The versatility of Looperator comes from the countless effect choices it offers. You can select between 25 different filter styles, which include vowel options, bandpass, notch, and filter sweeps. You can even open up the filter styles and tweak them on left and right basis, creating so interesting stereo effects. Of course, you also have plenty of choices in distortion, reverb, pitch-shifting, tape-stop effects, and many more.
Looperator is available on Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher in VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU formats.
Looperator is an exciting live performance and production tool by Sugar Bytes. Its ability to chop and transform the input audio is mesmerizing, while its compatibility with Traktor makes it a formidable live performance tool.
The step sequencers are designed nicely and are easy to understand, while the visual representation of the incoming audio makes placing your chops and effects a piece of cake.
4. Sugar Bytes Factory (Synth inspired by Sytrus)
Factory is the fastest way to create intricate, evolving sounds with a meager amount of effort.
At its core, Factory has two oscillators, eight kinds of modulators, and three effects. However, the plugin takes everything above and beyond what we usually see. You can modulate just about every parameter using two LFOs, two envelopes, and four sequencers.
Furthermore, Factory has a dedicated modulation matrix, which users of Image-Line Sytrus should immediately recognize. On the left of the matrix, you’ll find the modulation sources like the LFO, envelope, etc. And at the bottom, you’ll find the modulation targets. We’ll talk more about this below.
- The Matrix
There are eight modulation sources and ten target slots. However, you can switch any of the slots for another. For example, suppose you used LFO 2 to modulate several parameters. Then, you realize you’d rather use Sequencer 1 instead. All you have to do is switch the LFO 2 slot for Sequencer 1!
In the Matrix, blue blobs show a positive value, whereas the pink ones indicate a negative value. Also, a value indicator at the top of the interface shows you precise percentages of your modulation, so you needn’t rely on the blob size alone.
Factory has two truly incredible oscillators. Each features ten modes, including subtractive waves, wavetable modes, waveguide, FM, and transformer. Here, the transformer mode lets you use audio samples as oscillators. Unfortunately, there is no visual representation of the waveforms in the wavetable modes.
Under the Modulator tab, you will find two envelopes and two LFOs. While they are pretty standard, both employ a shape knob that lets you create funky shapes out of your envelopes and LFOs. The envelopes get exponential shapes in various parts of their curves. Similarly, the LFOs dance around with different shapes, from the typical sinewave and saw-wave to asymmetric and randomized waves.
Factory’s sequencers are probably the most potent modulators of all. I wasn’t expecting much when experimenting with it, but then I opened its step shapes. Each step in the sequencer can have a unique shape, from a simple square or curved fade-in shape to insane curves that I can only describe as anime hair. You’ll find 36 step shapes.
Under the Effects tab, you’ll find three effect slots, where you can load from an array of effect processors and change the order of the slots. There are 17 effects in total, including delays, reverbs, EQ, filters, chorus, phaser, compressors, Lo-Fi, etc. Other than such effects, you’ll find features like arpeggiator, glide, scale quantization, intonation, and so on under the Arpiculation tab.
You can morph between two presets or variations of the same preset using the Morph slider. It’s handy for creating changes between two parts of a song, for example. Similarly, the modulation matrix features a knob that lets you control the value of each modulator at the same time, proportionately. You can automate both parameters to achieve complex results quickly.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
In terms of features, Factory is chock-full of them. Thanks to the innovative step shapes, the oscillators are powerful, and the sequencers are second to none. Furthermore, the preset library features a characteristic-based search, making navigating the large preset bank much more effortless.
However, I found Factory’s sound leaning towards a harsher sound. It works perfectly for EDM, hip-hop, electronica, and experimental music. But I wouldn’t recommend it to create pads for ambient or similar genres.
5. SugarBytes Drum Computer (Drum Machine/Designer)
SugarBytes offers a plugin that makes the drum programming process easy and allows you to treat your drums like a synthesizer.
Like the previous one, the focus of DrumComputer is on producing drums for electronic and dance genres. Many great features like the chain of patterns and options that can give you humanized performance make it an excellent choice for live performance.
You can choose a preset, choose a pattern from the library, even make your own, and start playing with it using various effects and modulation options. Run the instrument from each of the eight channels through the three main sound processing sections: The Resonator, Wavetable/Analog, and Resynth/Sampler.
As with every part of this plugin, the Resonator section offers you the most simplified way of drum processing. There is a Tone knob that represents a simple EQ adjuster and a Partials knob that helps you layer more harmonics over the existing tone. And the Pitch option represents the cutoff for the filter.
Wavetable represents a waveform of your sample. Experiment with the wave knob to find the desired waveform. Using the Analogue option on the top, you could get more analog, distorted sound. Similarly, the Frequency Modulator option could provide usage of the waveform from the Resonator to modulate it at the wavetable section.
SugarBytes came up with the great idea of putting the simple sampler as the third section. It offers you every control a regular sampler should contain: duration, time correction, looping, pitching, etc. But, the element that makes this section special is the library filled with harmonized samples with a percussion quality. Then, the color knob represents another option that could help affect and change your sound.
- Pattern chain
Make an order of the patterns any way you like. Start with the first one at the top, copy it to the Chain option, and make a playlist that you can use for the whole song. The Chain enables achieving a logical connection between each bar and keeps a constant flow.
Besides a simple EQ, gain, filter cutoff, and a single knob compressor, you can also have fun with the distortion knob. It provides two options for distorted sound. One of them is more oriented towards a digital sound, while the other has analog quality.
Under the Resonator is the Modulation section. Choose the Modulation Generator, a Destination for it, and create dynamic sounds over time. The economic way of space organization in the plugin almost makes it look like the multi-FX pedal.
On the Sequencer page, you can create and edit your rhythm. Similarly, you can also adjust each step’s velocity, probability, roll, offset, decay, pitch, and modulation. Interestingly, it also offers a Humanize option for a natural-sounding performance.
Drum Computer is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
The plugin’s number of effects, modulation features, and different possibilities make it very desirable for producers and even live music performers. Although it’s programmed to work as a drum machine, it could be used as a sampler too. It’s a powerful tool in the songwriting process.
6. Sugar Bytes Cyclop (Synth/Looper)
Cyclop by Sugar Bytes is a hybrid monophonic synthesizer and looper plugin primarily designed for bass creation & sound design.
It has six sound engines, a Wobble knob, an FM sequencer, vowel mode, and more functionalities that make it an all-in-one bass instrument for all your bass sound design needs, whether it is for films, foley, or any genre of music.
Its sound engine is designed to cover various genres of music. For example, the vowel mode is perfect for creating dubstep bass and leads; the FM sequencer is great for creating dirty & gritty wall-splitting & thumpy bass lines; the wobble knob is great for dark and underground bass, etc.
Then there are formant, glide, and attack knobs for unique sound shaping and LFOs, filters, and sequencers for interesting movements.
- Multiple sound engines
The six sound engines included in the plugin are Saw Regiment, Analog Sync, FM, Transformer, Spectromat, and Phase Stressor. In addition, there are ten unique filter types, Routing Module for Synth/Filter patching, Sub Oscillator, and Bass Processor.
There are 800 presets of various types & styles included in the plugin. That makes it easier for you to get started with the plugin, even if you don’t understand its signal flow, work style & unconventional sound architecture.
Cyclop requires Windows 7 or higher or macOS 10.12 or higher and is available in VST2, VST3, AAX, Standalone, and AU plugin formats.
When it comes to the looper, it is great for setting different effects and their parameters on different grids of the sequencer, given the divisions and time. You also get access to a gater, swing, dry/wet sliders, and more to program your effects on the sequencer further.
It’s hard to find a unique and versatile plugin, as it has an immense range of utility and usefulness. However, there may be a steep learning curve when it comes to an understanding and using the full potential of cyclop fully.
7. Sugarbytes Turnado (Ultimate Multi FX / Randomizer)
Sugarbytes’ Turnado is a one-knob-per-effect plugin with eight simultaneous slots and 24 effects.
Although it may look simple on the outside, Turnado, in fact, offers precise controls. Beyond its extensive set of effects, this plugin’s versatility lies in the edit menu, accessible per slot.
The effects are arranged by type, so you get delays, modulations, reverbs, transformations, distortions, filters, loopers, and lo-fi effects. To use them, simply drag the effects you want into the slots.
The Edit menu is accessible via the Edit button under each slot. There you’ll find effect-dependent controls, two LFO graphs, and an Envelope Follower. The Edit menu lets you tweak an effect to taste, allowing complete control and contributing to this plugin’s versatility. Each of the effect-dependent parameters is affected by the LFOs and the Envelope Follower. When the three colored lines appear from the bottom of the control area and reach “+” and “-” symbols, that means you can either increase or reduce their impact on the controls. In the upper left corner, you can easily access the Edit menus of all other effects. Just click the tiny knob-like icons.
- Amount controller
Below each parameter, you’ll find an amount controller. When turned towards the “+” position, the Modulator has an additive effect. The opposite happens when you turn it towards the “-” part. Below the knob, there’s an arrow-down icon. From there, you can access an extensive set of waveforms. These can be chosen and used to modulate the effects. There are a total of twenty different waveforms, which only show this plugin’s range and versatility.
- Key Sync
Inside the Edit menu, you’ll find the Key Sync menu up top. It allows you to choose a beat subdivision and lock the effect to its tempo. Alternatively, you can turn it off so that you will only hear the effect when you turn up the main knob. You can do that via automation or with a MIDI controller. This is helpful if there is any specific effect to which you want to add a more human expression.
By Clicking the Dictator button, you’ll get access to a 16-beat sequencer that controls the eight effects. They’re vertically arranged, and the fader on the left lets you move through the sequence. It is super easy to automate how you want the effects to act. You also get access here to a randomizer per track instead of the global function present in the UI. You can apply a few presets to individual tracks at the top, or you can just click the lock button and create automation points by simply moving the main knob.
Character & Sound:
Turnado is a highly customizable plugin that sounds the way you want. You can arrange and tweak the effects to taste and make them contribute to the music you’re making. Even though it’s a user-friendly plugin, it can be awe at first sight.
In case you still don’t know how to get the best sound out of the plugin, Sugar Bytes made it easy for you to rely on the several high-quality presets available. Make your way through the plugin by choosing presets and tweaking every parameter in the Edit menu to hear how they sound.
After a bit of experience, it will take virtually no time for you to develop new combinations that will affect your own.
Turnado is available for macOS 10.9 or higher and 64-bit only Windows 7 and up as a standalone application or as a VST2, AU, AAX, and NKS (for Komplete Kontrol and Maschine) plugin.
However you need, Turnado responds to your demands. If you’re feeling experimental, you could spend hours looking for the right sounds without getting bored. If you already know what you’re going for, the plugin makes it super easy to reach your target quickly.
This Sugarbytes plugin is an excellent addition to your toolkit if you’re searching for a multi-effect sequencer.
8. Sugar Bytes Consequence (Arpeggiator / Chord Sequencer)
Consequence is an arpeggiator that features sounds as well as the option to act as a midi effect.
The plugin uses notes you input to create its sequences. At the center of the interface, you’ll find the grid where you can create patterns. The various controls are labeled on the right end of the interface. You’ll find modulation, octave, glide, tie, mode, trigger, gate, and chord.
Similarly, on the left, you’ll find options regarding the controls I mentioned above. For example, you’ll find the glide time and the modulation target selector in this section. Let’s get deeper into the instrument.
- Sound Engine
Consequence features 3 oscillators, each of which can load an instrument from its 800 MB sound library with 222 presets. Each oscillator features an amp envelope and two effects: age and crush.
At the bottom, you’ll find a keyboard and a row of numbers from 1 through 16. Each represents a chord. You can either create your own chords or use a bank from the Chord Bank on the left.
After you have your chords ready, you are prepared to begin creating your arpeggio pattern. You’ll generally want to start from the bottom up. Start with the Chord row, where you can select which chord is triggered in each of the 32 steps. The Gate row shows the velocity of each step. You can choose to play the next, previous, or the same note in the Mode row. The rest are pretty self-explanatory.
- MIDI Out
Finally, you can use the MIDI Out feature to connect Consequence to another synth plugin to control it. Remember to use Consequence as a midi effect or place it before the instrument plugin, depending on the DAW you use. Furthermore, you can also save the performance as a midi file.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
If you’re only after a midi arpeggiator without any built-in sound, the price of this plugin may not be very appealing. However, I must say that the sound library can come in handy, especially if you make hip-hop and trap. Still, it may seem limited compared to using a full-fledged synth. In terms of the arpeggiator itself, though, Consequence is undoubtedly rich and capable.
Sugar Bytes Thesys (MIDI & Pattern Sequencer)
Thesys offers a distinctive workflow, a built-in synthesizer, or the ability to pair it with any other instrument.
Each of the sequencers on the home screen is independent of one another, meaning you can have different loop lengths, start times, and more to create exciting patterns.
- Performance Sequencer
This section allows you to apply transposition, pitch bend, chord harmonies, note rolls, and randomize various parameters per step. However, it could be time-consuming if you wanted to specify all the parameters for each step. There are many presets to choose from, and it’s effortless to apply them so this could be a good choice. However, with the Command Key pressed, you’re able to click through the various preset options for each box quickly. You can also employ the randomization functions to work for you here as another option.
- Three Trigger Modes
The different trigger modes allow you to use a variety of methods to start and stop audio. You can use your ‘host’ application as a trigger mode, ‘note toggle’, which will halt the sequence if you play another note on your keyboard, and ‘note on,’ which means that the sequence is triggered for as long as you hold a note.
- Modulation and MIDI Learn
A modulation engine is a wild machine that will turn your progression into a morphing, evolving, musical phrase. A powerful MIDI learning function is available with Thesys that allows you to connect and integrate many instruments, effects, and more. You can easily map parameters in Thesys to affect some of your chosen instrument’s parameters through MIDI learning.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only) and macOS X 10.7 or higher – Apple Silicon M1 supported (64-bit only). It comes in VST2, AAX, and AU formats.
Thesys has a refreshingly unique workflow that can be heaps of fun to explore and create with. They keep things light on the eye but under the hood, there is a radical machine with the ability to blow your mind.
It feels like Sugar Bytes paid a lot of attention to the workflow and kept it slick, to the point, and user-friendly.
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.