There is no ideal structure when it comes to making a beat, but you usually focus on one thing – how it sounds. Is it thin? Is it muddy? There are countless more steps to take before you come up with a good piece of music. That’s why you need all the help you can get. Here are my five best picks for plugins that are perfect for hip-hop and trap.
Hats by AudioThing
This drum machine is an instrument plug-in known for one particular feature, its hi-hats.
You start by selecting a sample to filter, pitch and tweak. Then you get controls for modifying the noise type, levels, and stereo width so you can start creating your own custom hi-hats or percussion. On top of that, you get two envelopes (short and long) and a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) to add some variation to the sound.
Hats have four effect modules: Ring Mod, Bit Crusher, Filter and Reverb. Each module offers two parameters that allow you to change the sound. They can also be reorganized based on your preference. The plug-in makes it easy for you to get started since it has a lot of presets and samples. You’ll soon realize it has become a high-end necessity for track making.
Beat Machine 2 by DopeSonix
This plug-in gives you three decades worth of presets – 600 ready-mix kits to be exact. That’s 300 stereo outputs and 300 multi outputs, all with complete access to the individual tracks. Way to get you started, right?
The little beatbox from DopeSonix lets you make music by transforming beats rather than actually creating them from scratch. Beat Machine 2, in particular, offers pre-made mixes from the 90s, 00s, and 10s eras. You may even find yourself in a brain-lock with so many things ready from the start. If you want to take your time, you also have the option to play each kit element individually just so you can get a feel of each one.
Once you take your pick, you can adjust panning and levels even for individual sounds. If you’re looking for a quick mix, the Beat Machine 2 comes with hundreds of ready-made solutions just for you.
Sektor by Initial Audio
A relatively new player in the synth department, this recent release by Initial Audio has been gaining popularity fast. Why? You get 200 wavetables. These power two main oscillators. Each oscillator comes with sixteen voices. You can literally explore countless variations with those numbers. Add to this a sub-oscillator and a sample type oscillator, and you can instantly bulk-up the music by adding weight and noise.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Sektor also has two filters, two ASDR envelopes, three multi-segmented envelopes, frequency modulation, four low-frequency oscillations, nine effects, and macros. Plus 500 presets to jump-start your project. Not enough? It also offers a cool sequencer, which is so much like having your own piano roll inside the synth panel.
VocalSynth 2 by iZotope
iZotope presents a high tech full studio solution with VocalSynth. It is an all-around solution to vocal sound transformations. You get five general vocal treatments – Biovox, Vocoder, Polyvox, Talkbox, and Compuvox.
Biovox presents natural human voices and allows you to modify sound using human characteristics. Vocoder is all about robot software voices, while Compuvox crushes or resamples vocals to add subtle timbres or unleash digital chaos. Talkbox gives you the funkiest music and Polyvox acts as the harmonizer our doubler for thicker sounds.
You can apply one treatment or multiple treatments together. Once that’s done, you also get seven vocal-oriented effects. With VocalSynth 2, you never run out of new discoveries.
Bass Master by Loopmasters
If you want a quick solid bass fix, you’ve got the Bass Master. The plugin welcomes you with speaker-shaking, preset tones that let you make music exactly how you want it.
Bass Master has two oscillators that you can set envelopes for. There’s also 217 waveforms that include samples from classic hardware, including some of the most famous keyboards and digital pianos. Finally, a filter that has its own envelope and drive control giving you reign over your music.
Distortion, Reverb, and Chorus – the three effects in the plug-in that acts as a three-band frequency booster that polishes sound using macro controls that link all parameters. If you prefer less complicated set-ups, you can choose from 350 ready-made mixes that will undoubtedly match any one of your preferred tunes.