10 Plugins EDM Producers Need In Their DAW Now

top 10 plugins for music producers

From pulsating synth textures to earth-shaking bass, every beat, and drop in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) revolves around a dynamic digital ecosystem. The epicenter of this creative process? Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and their indispensable allies: plugins. As an EDM producer, you know how the right plugins can transform your DAW into a powerhouse of sound, helping you produce chart-topping tracks. Here are the 10 essential plugins EDM producers need in their DAW now.

1. Serum by Xfer Records

Serum by Xfer Records

Serum, a wavetable synthesizer, is an absolute must for EDM producers. Its intuitive interface and high-quality sound output set it apart. From intricate pads to growling basses, Serum offers unprecedented control, enabling producers to engineer soundscapes that pulse with the heartbeat of the dance floor.

2. Native Instruments Massive

Native Instruments Massive

Massive, another titan in the realm of synthesis, is a versatile plugin that excels at creating a wide range of tones. Its dual wavetable oscillators and extensive modulation capabilities make it ideal for creating rich, layered sounds, indispensable in genres such as dubstep and future bass.

3. FabFilter Pro-Q 3

FabFilter Pro-Q 3

Pro-Q 3 by FabFilter is the EQ plugin that can redefine your mix. With its unique spectral display and dynamic EQ bands, it allows for surgical precision in frequency balance. It's a staple for EDM producers, perfect for refining those throbbing bass lines or crisp hi-hats.

4. iZotope Ozone

iZotope Ozone

Mastering is crucial in EDM production, and Ozone from iZotope excels in this area. Ozone offers a complete suite of mastering tools, from spectral shaping to multi-band compression, maximizing loudness while maintaining sonic integrity. An invaluable plugin for getting your tracks ready for the dancefloor.

5. LennarDigital Sylenth1

LennarDigital Sylenth1

Sylenth1 by LennarDigital, a virtual analog VSTi synthesizer, has long been a favorite of EDM producers. Its warm analog tones, rich harmonics, and easy-to-use interface make it a must-have for creating those infectious synth hooks.

6. Cableguys ShaperBox 2

Cableguys ShaperBox 2

From rhythmic gating to time-shifting effects, ShaperBox 2 by Cableguys is a multi-effect plugin that can inject fresh energy into your tracks. Its innovative LFO tools and flexible modulation system make it an excellent choice for creative sidechain effects and pumping grooves.

7. Output Arcade

Output Arcade

Output Arcade is a loop synthesizer with a difference. With its vast, continually updated library of high-quality loops and its potent transformation tools, Arcade can inspire new directions in your music, helping you keep your sound fresh and up-to-date.

8. Valhalla VintageVerb

Valhalla VintageVerb

Reverb is essential in EDM, and VintageVerb by Valhalla delivers. It offers a range of emulations from different eras of digital reverb, providing a lush, dense texture that can give your track depth and ambience.

9. Kick 2 by Sonic Academy

Kick 2 by Sonic Academy

An EDM track is only as good as its kick. Sonic Academy's Kick 2 is an industry standard for designing powerful, punchy kick drums. With its extensive shaping and sculpting features, you'll never have to settle for a weak kick again.

10. Xfer Records OTT

Xfer Records OTT

OTT, short for "Over The Top," is a free multiband compressor from Xfer Records. Loved by EDM producers for its aggressive sound, it's excellent for bringing out the crispness in synths, and adding an extra edge to your mix.

By integrating these 10 essential plugins into your DAW, you will 

significantly amplify your production capabilities, broadening your sonic palette and enabling you to create tracks that resonate deeply with your listeners.

With Serum and Native Instruments Massive, you'll wield powerful synthesis tools to forge unique sounds and textures, the lifeblood of any memorable EDM track. FabFilter Pro-Q 3 will be your ally in shaping these sounds, providing fine-tuned control over frequency content and ensuring that every element in your mix sits perfectly.

When it's time to add character to your sound, plugins like LennarDigital Sylenth1 and Cableguys ShaperBox 2 will step in. The former is revered for its warm, rich tones, ideal for crafting distinctive synth hooks, while the latter provides a playground of rhythmic possibilities, helping you design pulsating grooves that set feet tapping.

For fresh sonic inspiration, Output Arcade will be a game-changer. Its treasure trove of high-quality loops and transformative tools will spark new ideas and help you keep your sound innovative.

To give your tracks a polished, professional finish, iZotope Ozone and Valhalla VintageVerb are indispensable. Ozone will ensure your track is loud, clear, and ready to make an impact on any sound system, while VintageVerb will add the depth and ambience that will make your tracks truly immersive.

Finally, Kick 2 by Sonic Academy and Xfer Records OTT will help you achieve the sonic impact that EDM tracks require. With Kick 2's extensive shaping features, you can create the punchy, powerful kick drums that are a hallmark of the genre. And with the OTT multiband compressor, you can add that extra edge to your mix, ensuring it cuts through and commands attention.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of EDM, staying at the forefront requires not just talent and creativity, but also the right tools. These 10 plugins are just that – essential tools that can help you unlock your potential as a producer, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in your DAW and enabling you to create tracks that will light up any dance floor.

So plug in, tune up, and prepare to take your EDM production to the next level. The dance floor awaits!

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