Filter plugins are one of the simplest and most powerful tools available for music production. Filter plugins are uncomplicated because they serve a clear purpose: they remove some frequencies while allowing others to flow through. Filter plugins, on the other hand, are extremely powerful since they can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including sound design, tension buildup, and smoothing out transitions in a song. A filter is a plug-in that removes a specified part(s) of the frequency spectrum of your music in the way you define. For example, a second-order high pass filter with a slope of 12dB per octave at 200Hz attenuates all frequencies below 200Hz for a low pass filter.
A dedicated filter vst plugins, on the other hand, does more than that filter cutoff frequency. Some creative filter plugins have a unique sound built in; for example, one of the most prevalent versions uses saturation and slope curves to simulate an analog filter. Similarly, certain filters include gating and modulation capabilities. These types of filters can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re making electronic music as a music producer. To clarify, the standard EQ plugins we’re used to are actually collections of various filter sweeps such as a cut-off, notch filter, bandpass, and band-stop. When we talk about filter shapes, we’re usually talking about cut-offs and bandpasses with a lot more control, diversity, and flexibility.
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With a new user interface, stronger filters, and much more flexibility, Volcano 3 is a total reworking of the previous generation of this creative filter plugin. This 2021 version of the Volcano filter plugin, which was first released in 2005, is jam-packed with features. The filter plugin has a vintage-style gritty and creamy sound, despite its futuristic and digital user interface. And if reviewing FabFilter plugins has taught me anything, things are going to get a lot more convoluted as we go deeper.
Let’s have a look at the graphical user interface. From top to bottom, the UI of Volcano 3 has three primary sections: the filter display, the controls, and the modulation area. The filter display looks like a parametric EQ and lists all of the filters you’ve installed. The filter controls, likewise, allow you to adjust the settings for the currently selected filter. Finally, the modulation section displays all modulation sources capable of producing highly creative outcomes.
The filter display part is an interactive display that allows you to add up to four self-oscillating analog-modeled filters. By double-clicking on the frequency spectrum, you may quickly construct a new filter. Similarly, you can use your mouse to modify the frequency and resonance of each filter. You may also modify the filter shape and pan of each filter using a little pop-up.
By double-clicking on the left or right edge of the frequency spectrum, you may also add a low-cut or high-cut filter. The smart parameter interpolation is simple as scrolling your mouse wheel over the filter nodes to change the slope of the filters. Other control options, commands and shortcuts make working with Volcano 3 even faster and easier. The filter controls are located in the plugin’s centre part. The Routing controls are located on the left side of this section. You can alter the channel mode of the plugin and how the filters are connected here. To begin, you can connect any two filters in parallel or serial mode. The routing mode button toggles between stereo, dual-mono, and mid/side mode for the filters. The mid/side mode comes in helpful as a stereo imager during a mastering process.
Volcano 3 is a filter saturation plugin you don’t want to miss out on if you need versatility, modulation curves, and a quick process in your music production. This fantastic filter plugin has almost all of the multimode filter features you might want in a filter plugin. Furthermore, it has a silky smooth sound pass filters that may be used to simulate analog-style grit or modern transparency. Because of its modulation capabilities, this filter bank can transform a dull saw pad into an exhilarating rhythm with a complex chorus effect on its own like step sequencers. While the pricing may appear to be high, the sheer capability of this plugin makes it feel like a bargain for source material. This is the Best Filter Plugin in 2023.
Soundtoys filterfreak plugin adds an analog flavor to your audio with silky-smooth filters and overdriven hardware saturation. FilterFreak 2 is a highly customizable resonant filter plug-in that mixes antique filter sounds with current flexibility. It contains two filter modules with low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filtering capabilities. It also has “pole” switches for controlling the steepness of the filter slope.
Similarly, this band pass filters plugin has a variety of modulation sources, each of which may be tweaked to create bespoke sweeps, sci-fi laser effects, or gated riser effects. It’s worth mentioning, though, that only one of the available modulators can be utilized at the same time, and it only impacts the frequency parameter. However, this sound effects does ensure simplicity and speedy outcomes.
The creative sound design of old analog resonant filters are faithfully recreated by FilterFreak. Smooth retro synth sweeps can be achieved by changing the frequency knob. To add some edge, increase the resonance or even drive the filter into self-oscillation. And, just like hardware, when you push the vst plugin, FilterFreak responds by breaking up in a gritty and satisfying way. Seven analog saturation “styles” are offered, ranging from warm or gritty distortion to pumping compression. FilterFreak puts a lot of analog magic into a little digital box, from subtle to severe.
FilterFreak is actually two distinct plug-ins: FilterFreak 1 and FilterFreak 2. FilterFreak 1 is a single, simple filter that can be loaded. FilterFreak 2 is a better option if you need more power. It provides two analog filters, one in series and one in parallel, that can be used in series or parallel. Combining two filters with FilterFreak’s rich modulation capabilities allows you to experiment with a wide spectrum of moving sounds like you would in hardware filters. This is the Best Filter VST Plugins in 2023.
FilterShaper 3 is a solid contender among the contemporary choices, with two powerful filters and a highly versatile modulation architecture. You can choose from a variety of filters in each filter in this plugin for bass sound. For even more versatility, each filter has a drive, pan, and volume knob. Furthermore, practically all of these variables are programmable. The modulation section of this plugin, on the other hand, is its greatest strength, as it enables near-limitless flexibility. Another point worth highlighting is that the preset library is updated on a regular basis by a user-powered community, ensuring that this plugin never runs out of creative inspiration. Enabling the external sidechain capability is a similar technique to open up completely new options.
You have a large selection of best filter plugins types to choose from. Clean and Salen-Key filtering characters are the two types of filtering characters. The latter is based on a 1955 design by MIT Lincoln Lab’s R. P. Sallen and E. L. Key. The filters are nicely organized by character and slope steepness, with values ranging from 6dB/oct to 24dB/oct.
Most of the parameter knobs in this plugin have a circle button next to them. This button opens the modulation area of the parameter, which has two LFOs and one envelope follower. Furthermore, each LFO has its own speed and intensity control, as well as its own LFO and envelope follower. So you have a total of 60 LFOs and 50 envelope followers, which opens up a world of musical possibilities.
Filterstation 2 is a straightforward dual-filter plugin with a dozen different filter types. The plugin has a huge graphical interface that shows how the two filters are rendered. Drag the filter nodes left and right on the graph to alter their frequencies, and move them up and down to modify their resonance. There is also a chain-link icon between the two filters that links them together. The first two sections below the graph are dedicated to more advanced filter controls. The sidechain is controlled by envelope controls in the third part, and the LFO modulator is, of course, in the fourth.
The plugin Filterstation 2 includes two filters in total. Each can be assigned one of eleven filter types (including “none”). 5 low-pass, 3 high-pass, 1 band-pass, 1 notch, and 1 peak filter are among the filter types. Several of the filters are hardware emulations, therefore they produce unique sounds. Unfortunately, none of the filters allow you to modify the steepness of the slope. Internal and external sidechaining are both supported by the plugin. The sidechain detector’s response to the input is controlled by the Envelope portion. In the filter sections, the “Env Amount” determines how much the sidechain impacts the filter frequency.
Filterstation is an excellent choice if you want a simple filter modulation that gets the sound quality job done quickly for music production. It’s worth mentioning, though, that you can’t adjust the steepness of the slope using this plugin. However, it compensates for the constraint by providing sidechain and LFO modulation, allowing users to achieve the most popular creative effects in the smallest amount of time.
WOW 2 is no exception to Sugar Bytes’ tradition of bringing something a little unusual to the table. Despite its simple interface, this plugin is really versatile, and it has an arsenal of 21 great and authentic-sounding analogue-styled filter types, including Comb and Band Reject settings. WOW 2 also includes a Vowel Mode that sets up a sort of formant filter that adjusts itself to the incoming signal to create filtered speech effects with plenty of movement (Envelope Follower, Step Sequencer, and LFOs), as well as extremely flexible modulation options for such a streamlined plugin (Envelope Follower, Step Sequencer, and LFOs).
To obtain similar expressive sounds with other plugins, you’d have to do a lot more setup (or add more chains of plugins). For that gritty and snarling modulated-filter sound that helped coin the sounds of Dubstep, EDM, and modern Drum & Bass, but which is also ideal for many other modern electronic and pop styles, this could be just what you’re looking for.