Top 14 Creative Effect Plug-Ins

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We roundup our favourite 14 creative effect plug-ins, ranging from guitar-amp sims, mastering suites and sound morphers to give your tracks a little edge…

Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer


creative effect plug-ins

Price €129
Type Multi plug-in mixer
Format VST, AU, AAX

A unique plug-in that splits the signal into several frequency bands and lets you mix and process them seperately.

We say: “Brings such a range of tools together in one easy-to-use interface.”

Eventide Physion


creative effect plug-ins

Price $179
Type Transient waveform mangler
Format VST, AU, AAX

Splits incoming source sound into its transient, impactful part and tonal part for separate editing and more.

We say: “Physion is groundbreaking, with great creative possibilities.”

Cableguys PanShaper 2


creative effect plug-ins

Price $34
Type Stereo panning plug-in
Format VST, AU

A multi-band modulation and panning tool that ‘takes stereo control to a new level with unparalleled ease of use’.

We say: “A great-value tool for controlling your stereo width in new and creative ways.”

Heavyocity Punish


creative effect plug-ins

Price $199
Type Multi-saturator and compressor
Format VST, AU, AAX

Custom compression, saturation, transient shaping and equalisation, all within one plug-in.

We say: “The effects sound great and the ability to manipulate and automate so many parameters is very useful. A worthy addition for anyone.”

Cableguys ShaperBox


creative effect plug-ins

Price €94 (bundle), €39 (TimeShaper)
Type Mastering plug-in suite
Format VST, AU

A simple effects rack that can host up to five individual Cableguys effects behind one GUI and can easily be re-ordered, bypassed etc.

We say: “An innovative, flexible and editable toolbox of creative effects that can be used for anything.”

IK Multimedia Amplitube MAX


creative effect plug-ins

Price £399
Type Guitar-amp sim and more
Format VST, AU, AAX

It’s an amp simulator that’s been around for a while, but the latest version takes it to new creative levels.

We say: “With over 300 pieces of gear modelled in the MAX version of AmpliTube, this has to be one of the most creative amp sims around.”

iZotope VocalSynth


creative effect plug-ins

Price £199
Type Vocal effect
Format VST, AU, AAX

VocalSynth represents the first time several of the most popular vocal effect techniques have been combined in a single product. It has four engines for harmonies, vocoder, chip and talkbox.

We say: “A well laid out, easy to pick up and a unique plug-in.”

PSP Audioware L’otary


creative effect plug-ins

Price $99
Type Rotary-speaker emulator
Format VST, AU, AAX and RTAS

A plug-in to emulate the swirling effect of a rotary speaker based on the Leslie 122 and 147, associated with the classic Hammond organ sound.

We say: “A solid speaker emulator that sounds great on a variety of sounds and, of course, organs.”

MeldaProduction MMorph



Price €149
Type Sound morpher
Format VST, AU, AAX

Spectral morphing plug-in that, rather than fading from one sound to another, finds common elements from each to blend smoothly between them.

We say: “An advanced sound design tool for truly unique creations.”

UVI Rotary


creative effect plug-ins

Price €79
Type Rotary-speaker emulator
Format VST, AU, AAX

Another plug-in to emulate the swirling effect of a Leslie or rotary speaker.

We say: “An extremely creative effect that offers drama, dirt, tremolo and swell, all behind a simple interface. Quite brilliant.”

MeldaProduction MTransient


creative effect plug-ins

Price €59
Type Transient processor
Format VST, AU, AAX

Transient processor that’s designed to alter the character of attacking sounds in any rhythmic material.

We say: “For the price, this is a useful and powerful plug-in with a great depth of features.”

Wave DNA Liquid Music


creative effect plug-ins

Price $199
Type Composer plug-in
Format VST, AU

A new take on MIDI composition. You draw in a succession of single notes –the software will generate chords or harmonies around them.

We say: “An authentic-creation tool, and at no point do you think that you’re cheating.”

Output Movement


creative effect plug-ins

Price $149
Type Rhythmic processor
Format VST, AU, AAX

A plug-in designed to impart a range of rhythmic qualities onto any number of audio sources you pass through it.

We say: “Demonstrating the same creative spark as its instruments, Output’s Movement is an inspiring and intriguing audio plug-in.”

zplane reTune


creative effect plug-ins

Price £146
Type Elastic processing software
Format VST, AU, AAX

Gives you full access to the pitch content of your audio samples and enables you to map each input pitch to any other pitch of the chromatic scale – all in real time.

We say: “A magical plug-in; it’s both revolutionary and creatively inspiring.”

Check out our Essential Guide to Plug-in Effects

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About Author

Andy Jones

Andy Jones has an MA in Music Technology and has been writing about it for 25 years. He has launched and edited several magazines on the subject and was editor of MusicTech for the last four years. Naturally, he has far too many synthesisers...