Top 10 Simple But Amazing Plugins 2019

Simplicity is the mother of virtuosity and sometimes less IS more. That is the case when it comes to audio plugins. We all love them and we all need them but sometimes their GUIs and options are too much to comprehend. This is why we scouted for some of the simplest yet amazing plugins that will give you great results!

1. Soundtoys – Little Plate

Three knobs and a switch are the only controls you have here and my god, the results are amazing. One of the most affordable and rich sounding plates out there. Inspired by the original EMT 140 plate reverb, Soundtoys have captured the gorgeous sound and vibe of this studio classic and turned it into a fun and musically inspiring plug-in. 

2. Brainworx – bx_subfilter

If you need some much-desired low-end thump in your bass or drums, this is a good place to start. Four knobs for controlling low end, tight punch and gain in & out and a resonance switch will give you a massive weight to your tracks. Oh, and IT’S FREE!

3. FabFilter – Micro

FabFilter Micro offers a single filter which is smooth and creamy, yet easily turns into raw saturation and self-oscillation when tweaked using the interactive filter display. It features low-pass and high-pass shapes and an envelope follower to modulate the cut-off frequency.

With the individual Input Gain and Output Gain parameters you can fully control the saturation of the internal filter making FabFilter Micro not only ideally suited for basic filtering tasks but also capable of beautiful distortion and analog saturation effects. It also features a midi learn option so you can control it via knobs and faders on your midi controller.

4. Waves – Greg Wells Signature Series

These are one-knob wonders and very useful when you want to send your work-in-progress demos to producers and directors without the hassle of mixing them first.

There are four plugins in this collection: MixCentric, VoiceCentric, ToneCentric and PianoCentric. ToneCentric focuses on giving you a nice analogue touch to your tracks and buses as if they were recorded on a tape machine and the other three are rather self-explanatory. A very useful set of plugins.

5. Sonnox – Vox Doubler

Vox Doubler is actually a set of two separate plugins that focus on the two most common vocal doubling workflows. Doubling vocals is a really effective way of adding more contrast and width to your vocal tracks. Widen and Thicken are the two plugins in this set and both of them feature a few controls which will give you immediate results.

Thicken is great for emulating double tracking of the vocal and creating a stereo group of voices whilst Widen is great for widening a mono signal by generating two new mono sources, panning them hard left and right of the original mono signal. Although meant for vocals, these work great on guitars as well.

6. SoundToys – Devil-Loc

Two knobs, one big drum sound! This is a level destroyer with a vintage vibe at its core. You can place it on a drum kit or percussion loop and listen to Devil-Loc inflate the room ambience, pumping excitement into an otherwise weak rhythm track. Push it to its limits to create extreme gating effects where loud hits crush the signal to silence and the output blooms into a fuzzy mess. I dare you to place it on your drum bus, instant Nine Inch Nails!

7. iZotope – Neutrino

This is a great little plugin by the awesome engineers at iZotope and what it does is it concentrates on sound specters of voice, drums, bass and guitar (or instrument) by doing spectral shaping. It’s totally free and you have four buttons and two knobs to tweak in order to get your sound.

8. Plugin Alliance – SPL De-Verb Plus

This is a little plugin that should be in your mixing arsenal because it can really be helpful when you get a recording with baked-in reverb that gives you a hard time at processing the actual signal. With it, all reverb events can be reduced regardless of their signal level. Decay curves of any sound event can be reduced very simply with just the turn of a single knob.

De-Verb Plus also offers an output gain control that allows compensation for level changes after processing the signal. This combined with the onboard peak limiter and dry/wet control ensure a simple and safe adjustment of levels while avoiding internal clipping and shaping the decay characteristics of your sound.

9. Klangheim – DC1A

Two knobs are all it takes for you to get a nice compressed sound. DC1A looks like a one trick pony but don’t be fooled by the lack of additional controls. You may be surprised about how many different materials this little thing works. DC1A has a few tricks up it’s sleeve: negative (over) compression, parallel (New York style) compression, option to compress the left and right channels independently (via the DUAL MONO switch), peak and RMS compression (RELAXED switch on) and DEEP activate a high pass filter to reduce pumping on bass heavy material. It’s free, so give it a shot!

10. Softube – Tonelux Tilt EQ

Go from shimmering bright to warm and wide with the twist of a knob. The Tonelux Tilt plugin is a fast and easy way of making a track sit better in a mix or make it sound warm or sparkly. It is very simple to use, and it will surely give your tracks their own place in your mix!

Are there any plugins that you would include in this list?

Written by Nikola Nikita Jeremic