6 Unusual Plugins to Jumpstart Creativity

NI's Molekular
Sometimes the best way to get inspired is to get some new sounds to add to your productions, and the best way to change up your sound is to add a new plugin to your arsenal. Courtesy of MusicTech, here are 6 unusual and innovative VST’s that are guaranteed to force you out of your comfort zone and help you get inspired.


According to its creators at Sonic Charge, the pur­pose of Synplant “is to move fo­cus away from the some­times in­tric­ate and dif­fi­cult pro­cess of sound syn­thes­is and in­stead let you de­vel­op sounds by simply us­ing your ears.” Instead of the usual array of filters and oscillators you’d find on most synthesizers, sounds in Synplant are generated by growing “seeds”.

Did we mention that you can delve into each seed’s DNA – again, actual DNA strand – and mess with it?

To call Synplant “unconventional” might be the understatement of the century.

2: Vurtbox

Krakli Vurtbox
How do you program a synth if you can’t tell what any of the controls are for? Well you start twisting knobs until figure out what everything does, or at least that’s what Krakli’s Vurtbox is trying to get you to do. The wonky GUI takes a liberal approach to organization, and apparently harbors some hard feelings towards things like labels.

The whole thing looks like someone has taken a synth and actually melted it down.

Half of the fun of Vurtbox is in discovering what everything does, and the weird discoveries you’re bound to make through random button tweaking.

3: Gargoyle

Krakli Gargoyle
Also from Krakli, Gargoyle’s GUI isn’t as confusing as Vurtbox’s, but the eye in the center can be more than a little unnerving. This little synth offers more than it lets on, with a surprising amount of modulation routing and control for a freeware synth on the more basic side.

While the Vurtbox might excel in happy accidents and incidental inspiration, Gargoyle’s strong suit is in designing weird textures and unsettling audio effects.

Both Vurtbox and Gargoyle are available for free download.

4: Alien Artifact

Hercs Music Systems' Alien Artifacts
For those who were excited by Vurtbox’s minimalist GUI, Alien Artifact will probably capture their hearts straight away. Clearly made for the more masochistic among us, Alien Artifact’s GUI consists of four buttons adorned with strange symbols, each accompanied by a pair of sliders with no scale markings or measurements of any kind.

Though Hercs Music Systems is no longer operational, Alien Artifact is still available as a free download from their website.

5: Relectro

Linplug Relectro
With Relectro, Linplug found themselves in the peculiar situation of developing a synthesizer that they later realized would be a lot better as an effects plugin. The result is an effect built on a synth’s engine, and one of the most innovative processing plugins ever made. It’s got a pitch section, compressor, and a full EQ, as well as the variable wave function, which allows Relectro to process each wave in the sound individually. Unfortunately, Linplug has discontinued Relectro, however the full version can still be downloaded here.

6: Molekular

Native Instruments' Molekular
Molekular is a modular effects unit that allows users to assemble complicated multi-effects by selecting from different blocks. The effects can be routed in a number of different ways, and a variety of different parameters can be modulated from a few different modulation sources, and at the end of the chain, the central matrix allows for even further sound morphing. As a result, Molekular is a highly musical effects processor and has the ability to really transform sounds into something entirely new. You can pick it up from Native Instruments‘ for $149, or included as part of the Komplete bundle.

Hopefully these unique plugins will help you get inspired! If you’re interested in learning more about music production, make sure to check out our courses! Feel free to contact us with any questions, or to set up a free tour of the studio.

The Top 50 VST/AU Synth Plugins (Part 1)

VST synths have been a huge part of producing ever since its introduction in 1999 with Cubase 3.7. Now 16 years later, there are several hundreds of thousands of VST/AU synths to choose from. How do you find which one is best for you with all the options that are available? Musicradar is here to help as they have compiled a list of their top 50 VST/AU Synth Plugins for us to choose from!

50) Wolfgang Palm PPG WaveMapper 2

Starting off the list strong is the PPG WaveMapper 2. This synth comes equipped with three oscillators,three noise generators, four LFOs, a 24dB/octave low-pass filter, the Arptor step sequencer, and more!

WaveMapper 2 is probably Wolfgang Palm’s best software synth yet. It’s immensely powerful, hugely enjoyable to use and truly unique

49) Madrona Labs Kaivo

The Kaivo synth from Madrona Labs comes equipped with pads, ambience, and what Music Radar calls “‘realistic’ physical modelling”

This is an instrument that’s truly inspiring to use, sounds wonderful and does things that no other synth can.

48) LinPlug Spectral  

Next up is the LinPlug Spectral synth. This one comes equipped with four oscillator sections that have their own filters and amp/filter envelopes. It also comes with a massive 850 presets available for use.

It won’t be for everyone, but if the idea of hand-designing unique textures right down to the raw oscillator level appeals, with its friendly interface, easy learning curve and superb, characterful sound, Spectral could well be the synth for you.

For a more in-depth review of these synths along with the rest of the list, please visit the original article written by Music Radar.

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