Five best plug-ins for hip-hop and trap

Our friends at Plugin Boutique are back with a round up of great plugins. This time, producer Tim Cant runs through the top 5 plugins for Hip Hop and Trap…

Hats – AudioThing

Top 5 Plugins for Hip Hop and Trap - Hats


Hats is an instrument plugin that does one thing very well – and that thing is… hi-hats.

This plugin lets you select a sample to pitch, tweak and filter, and gives you control over Noise type, level and stereo width to start crafting your perfect hi-hats or percussion. Next, there are two envelopes – long and short – and an LFO to get a bit of variation into the sound.

The four effect modules you get in Hats – that’s Ring Mod, Bit Crusher, Filter and Reverb – each offer two parameters to change the sound, and can be re-ordered as you see fit. Hats lets you get started easily with plenty of presets, and soon becomes an indispensable high-end tool for getting a track moving.

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Beat Machine 2 – DopeSonix

Top 5 Plugins for Hip Hop and Trap - Beat Machine 2

You’ll get three decades of drum machines in DopeSonix’ little beatbox – although it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, with 600 pre-made and ready-mixed kits lurking underneath the surface – 300 stereo output, and 300 multi-output, with access to individual tracks.


Taking its inspiration from transforming beats rather than building them from scratch, Beat Machine 2 has three eras of ready-made drums – 90s, 00s and 10s – to get things rolling from the start, although you can indeed play the kit elements with individual notes.

After that, you can adjust levels and panning for individual sounds as well. For beats straight-outta-the-box, Beat Machine 2 is a quick, ready-mixed solution.

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Sektor – Initial Audio

Top 5 Plugins for Hip Hop and Trap - Sektor

Sektor is a recent release from Initial Audio, but it’s already been making waves among keen synth-heads. There are 200 wavetables powering Sektor’s two main oscillators, each of which has sixteen voices. To bulk up this sound-generating power, you also get a sub oscillator and a sample oscillator to add weight and noise.

Besides that, Sektor has two filters, frequency modulation, five envelopes (two ADSR and three multi-segmented), four LFOs, macros and nine effects. There’s also a generous 500 presets to get you started. Sektor also offers a very cool sequencer, which is a lot like having your DAW’s piano roll inside the main panel of the synth.

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VocalSynth 2 – iZotope

Top 5 Plugins for Hip Hop and Trap - VocalSynth 2

VocalSynth 2 is an insanely high-tech full studio solution for transforming vocal sounds.

There are five vocal treatments to choose from: Biovox models the natural human voice and lets you modify any sound using its human characteristics, Vocoder and Compuvox let you do the robot in software form, Compuvox affects a signal with the properties of computer-generated synthesised speech, and Polyvox is a harmonizer and doubler for thickening sounds.

You can choose one effect at a time, or run multiple options together at once, blending them together. When that’s done, there are seven vocal-oriented effects to run the signal through. With VocalSynth 2, there’s always something new and unexpected you’ll be able to create, whether you’re running vocals or anything else through it.

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Bass Master – Loopmasters

Top 5 Plugins for Hip Hop and Trap - Bass Master

If you need solid bass in a hurry, look no further than Loopmasters’ Bass Master. This plugin kicks out speaker-shaking, mix-ready tones at a moment’s notice, and lets you cook them up exactly how you want.

Bass Master’s two oscillators offer slots for its 217 waveforms, which include samples taken from classic hardware. You can set envelopes for both oscillators, mix between them in the Mixer, sculpt them with the Filter, which has its own envelope and drive controls as well.

There are three effects – Distortion, Chorus and Reverb – a three-band Frequency Booster to polish off the sound, and there are three macro controls to link to any parameter… but, if you don’t want to get in too deep, Bass Master comes with over 350 mix-ready presets to hit the spot straight away.

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