8800Prohomemusic brings you the list of 10 best VST plugins released in 2017. It is a good time to be alive to witness the landmarking feats being achieved in the pro audio software development world. Taking advantage of the milestone improvements in the processing power of modern computers, music production software developers are really switching up their games. Now music production plugin effects and synths are delivering amazing results that would have been a pipedream few decades ago right in the box. Every year, VST plugin developers put in more work to put out the best product that will trump competition. This is a win-win situation not only for we end users, but to the entire world of music production and audio engineering.
Nowadays, the disparity between results that can be gotten from mixing music using plugins and using hardware processors is not that huge. So much an average music consumer can hardly tell any difference. Year 2017 recorded the release of groundbreaking VST/AU plugins and synths. Especially with the entrance of some amazing new plugins in the compression and dynamics processing sector. Note that this list contains one or two products released at the tail end of 2016. Hence, it is safe to categorize them with the rest, because many people only got to actually buy and use them in 2017. Here is our list of 10 best VST plugins released in 2017 in no particular order or rating.
Soothe by Oek-sound:
A revolutionary release at the latter part of 2016 by a fairly new company. Oek-sound released soothe, a dynamic spectral audio processor for suppressing resonances in the mid and high frequencies. One of the edges software processors have over their hardware conterparts is the creation of room for innovation and flexibility in crafting modern pro audio problem solving tools. Before now, getting rid of resonances and harshness in recordings can be quite a challenging task. With the advent of dynamic EQs and processors like Oek-sound Soothe, sound engineers are saved the lengthy times spent to manually notch problematic frequencies often present especially in vocals and other close miced sources. By automatically detecting the resonances in an audio, Soothe does an amazing job in getting rid of such resonances without introducing cross-over artefacts or pre-ringing. A very amazing product! Check rave reviews on this gearslutz thread.
Preview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5C66n0xmBY
VPS Avenger by Vengeance sound
The only software synthesizer to make the list. Vengeance sound, the veteran German company famous for their awesome drums and sample packs decided to venture into the world of soft synths. As expected, they never disappointed because they delivered a top notch synth in Avenger. Released on December 1 2016, VPS Avenger can easily be tagged the best new school synth around for EDM and dance without much dispute. With numerous cool features all packed in one, Avenger has on board 8 source signal generating oscillators, VA synth, wavetable, multisample waves, drum machine, filters, effects, arpegiator, modulations, e.t.c. It ships with a 5 Gig content and sample files to enhance its performance. The vector-based resizable GUI is interesting with several visual feedbacks and animations. If you’re looking to get a new Synth, you won’t regret choosing this.
Demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IswmvtQGWW4
Novatron by Kush Audio
“Ladies and gentleman, behold: Novatron, the sweetest ITB compressor, period!” That was the first sentence of the introductory text by Gregory Scott, the amazing chief developer at Kush Audio. That sentence alone portrays so much confidence in one’s product. Kush Audio Novatron is some sort of hybrid compressor plugin that combines the compression characteristics of 3 vintage circuits depending on the speed adjustment. It can produce the fat thump and distinctive knock of a Variable Mµ tube compressor with slow settings. It can mimic the bright snap and visceral punch of a tube VCA when set to medium speed. Finally, it can do the aggressive growl and smooth leveling of a tube FET when set very fast. Other special features worth mentioning are the two optional Tone Shift circuits — Dark and Airy which can be activated both pre and post-compression. Novatron is an amazing compressor and one of the 10 best VST plugins released in 2017 which has been getting rave reviews.
Price: USD 149
Introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtELJpLsFHk
FG-Stress by Slate Digital
A brainchild of the Slate Digital DSP. FG-Stress is an officially endorsed software emulation of Empirical Labs Distressor hardware compressor. Though Empirical Labs themselves already released Arousor as an official emulation by the company, I guess FG-Stress nailed the nuances, tone and character so well enough that Dave Derr had to endorse it. The Slate Digital team led by the co-founder and programmer Fabrice Gabriel, worked hard to ensure that every single detail of the hardware was perfectly recreated. The plugin models the hardware from the subtle harmonic tones to its special modes like the Opto mode and Nuke mode.
Before its release, a distressor plugin had been Slate Digital’s most customer requested plugin emulation. They had to come through with an awesome plugin. So its release was announced on September 29 , and it was finally released in October. Like its hardware counterpart, it is capable of an extremely wide variety of tones that will work on all kinds of material. It is definitely a plugin to get to make your compression task as smooth as butter.
Price: USD 199
Check demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZbGFY-Hs80
Ozone 8 / Neutron bundles by iZotope
An innovative leader in professional audio plugin effects world, iZotope really raised the bar high with the release of Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 suites. With the additional new features added to the the fairly new Neutron and the established Ozone bundles, the awesome effects just got better. They displayed their prowess in intelligent audio technology with features like tonal Balance. Tonal balance enables these new plugins communicate in such a way that makes the achievement of a tonally balanced professional mixes and masters a piece of cake. Utilized optimally, one is sure to get a finished music that sounds great in any listening environment.
Another notable feature is the spectral shaper plugin, which can be used as a resonance and harshness tamer. Also, the auto master Assistant feature could provide DIY mastering engineers an optimal starting point which will guide your mastering tweak decisions that will speed up your mastering process.These and many other new and previous features are what you’ll get with the amazing products.
Price: Ozone 8-USD 249
Ozone 8 Advanced-USD 499
Neutron 2- USD 249
Neutron 2 Advanced-USD 499
O8N2 (Ozone 8 Advanced and Neutron 2 Advanced)-USD 699
Introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IofL1jyGMEQ
Pro-L2 by Fabfilter
Tagged as a “true peak limiter”, Fabfilter released the version 2 of its Pro-L limiter on December 5, 2017. As most pro audio heads know, the fabulous Fabfilter company hardly disappoints when it comes to delivering masterpiece plugins. Fabfilter Pro-L 2 is advancement of an already amazing Pro-L limiter plugin. Pro-L had four limiting modes namely ; Dynamic, Allaround, Transparent and Punchy. Pro-L2 brings on board two whole new modes which are the modern and aggressive modes. The UI design got better and the metering really improved. So much useful information can be gotten by merely assessing the graphics meter display.
It is awesome how transparent, transient and at the same time musical the Pro-l2 can be irrespective of which genre it is used on.
Price: USD 199
Introductory video by Dan Worrall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMJeWXtJODc
Little plate reverb by Soundtoys
The first shot at reverb effect plugin by Soundtoys, a company famous for its incredible line of Pro audio plugin products which include Echoboy and Decapitator. As expected of them, the shot hits the bull’s eye. Little plate closely models the original EMT 140 plate reverb, but with additional features like infinite decay time and modulation switch. Released on November 7, 2017, Soundtoys offered Little Plate for FREE at soundtoys.com till November 22, 2017. Once the offer ended, Little Plate was put on sale individually for $99. Customary of Soundtoys, I think we should be expecting the release of the fully featured version pretty soon.
Price: USD 99
Demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgkKEHQJYg0
VPRE-73 by Black Rooster Audio
Black Rooster Audio are among the best at nailing the recreation of analogue phenomenon in a digital environment. This plugin serves as a proof. The VPRE-73 plugin is modelled after one of the most classic preamps in recording studio history, the Neve 1073 EQ. While streamlining the original processor, Black Rooster did their best to bring us an authentic emulation of the discrete preamp’s circuitry and audio transformers. They also emulated the famous sweet high shelf filter band which turned out so smooth and musical. The VPRE-73 offers the low-end magic, the high-end sparkle and just the right amounts of characters needed to reproduce that unique and classic vibe. This plugin can really deliver that special smoothness mojo on vocals. It has a slight compressor/transient shaper-like effect because of how it tames the transients. With an amazing Sound, quite low cpu usage, and a reasonably low price, this plugin is a must pick.
Price: USD 28
Introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZLQ471f0U
Elevate by Eventide and Newfangled audio
An end product of the collaboration between Eventide and Newfangled Audio, Elevate preserves the dynamics and improves the tonal balance of your mix. It features a 26 band filter bank that separates audio into frequency bands that mimics the frequency curve of the human ear. The adaptive limiter analyzes these 26 frequency bands and alters the gain, speed and transients for each band in real time. This results in a transparent natural sound, no matter how hard it is pushed. Also, with this feature, one can solo the output of one band or more to pinpoint the problem frequencies. Elevate also uses this smart algorithms to carry out transient shaping, and spectral clipping for each band, which can be fine tuned to taste. However, you can choose to reduce the number of bands used to as low as a single band to suite your current project and workflow. Additionally, its six different types of metering allow you to keep an eye on every aspect of your output audio. In a nutshell, Newfangled elevate redefined the conventional way of limiting with its new bag of tricks.
Price: Upgrade from EQuivocate EQ +$199.00. Price as configured: $298.00
Intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWXTBo7RI3w
OD De-edger by Tokyo Dawn Records
Released on 24th May, 2017 under the TDR imprint, OD DeEdger was originally coded by Ohlhorst Digital, which is a brand owned by Jan Ohlhorst. This plugin was initially developed exclusively for his work as a mastering engineer. A collaboration with TDR resulted in getting these well refined products publicly accessible. DeEdger brings a new way of smoothening out the hardness of audio signals without negatively affecting the original sound qualities.
DeEdger operates devoid of threshold, thus can comfortably handle any input signal level, type, and dynamic range. Where other plugins might under or over process, DeEdger applies processing only when any hardness is detected. Once it detects hardness, it smooths it with remarkable elegance. After its initial setup, DeEdger can be left in a “set and forget” configuration without further attention. Having this alongside other edginess and harshness tamers like Oek-Sound’s Soothe above will have you covered in achieving smooth and transparent dynamics processing.
Introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbWreuOi9zc
That there is our list of 10 best VST plugins released in 2017. You can also read a list of recommended best VST plugins collection to acquire to achieve pro sounding mix.
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