Your Best Plugins & Libraries of 2019?

What was your best investments in Plugins/Libraries in 2019?

We composers all get new tools all the time! :stuck_out_tongue:
But, sometimes we score those amazing plugins and sample libraries that goes into our “essential toolbox” since we love them so much.

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Great post!

I think the best plugins and instruments I’ve bought last year include…

Scheps omni channel - incredible and very very musical!

Izotope essentials - always use this bundle!

Bass and vocal rider - time saving to the max!

Roam - a native instruments verb that you can create in house pads and drones that evolve. Awesome freeze and morph function.

Performance samples Caspian - sounds real out the box, super versatile brass! I love all the little imperfections in the performing, really adds to that real feel!

Spitfire drama toolbox - textures are so sexy in this plugin!!!

Spitfire EDNA Earth - probably the best multi sampling synth I’ve ever used. It’s just so programmable.

Think those are the best things I use all the time, though here are a few plugins I think are notable to say I use regularly that I got last year.

Abbey Roads Chambers - phwoar, this is the best “real” sounding room generator I’ve ever herd. Also has tape delay and filter functions, along with tons of customisable stuff!!

Supercharger GT - very coloured compressor! Great for super wide pianos and drums.

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Supercharger GT, is that the NI one? I have used it as one of my “desert island” insert FX for years! :stuck_out_tongue:

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I have contemplated getting an “action brass” library. Either Caspian or Adventure Brass. Hmm…

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Yes, it is one of the NI COMPRESSORS. It really does a whole lot to the signal. Personally I’d say that it it more of a saturation plugin really as, yes it does compress fairly well but it does colouration even better. So I usually use that coupled with the scheps omni for the heavier side of the compression and it gives me an extremely nice console sound after processing. Very good way of getting “that sound”.

Caspian is the best decision I’ve ever made. So good for brass sounds. There’s not a plugin out there that sounds more real. Plus the only knob you really need is your modulation, as it’s a hugely playable instrument. All you have to do for your articulations is play the note how you want it and it intelligently switches between staccato, marcato and longs. Then your modulation switches between dynamics and raspiness… however there’s already some movement baked into the sounds making it extremely usable. PS have to be the best samples for realism out there atm for sure!!! The new star wars film used all of PS samples exclusively… so it must be good!


Wow that sounds really amazing! Do you have a track you can share which focuses a lot on Caspian?

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I’ll see if I can make one soon. The problem is the tracks I generally make are for libraries these days so I’m not able to share them under their contracts. I have however just used caspian on a thriller trailer track which I was apprehensive of but it worked stupendously well!

Damn, I just read that their scripting causes glitches with Logic Pro, and they don’t recommend Logic users to buy Caspian. :frowning:

I use logic with it and in all honesty it’s absolutely fine! I haven’t had any of tgecreported glitches that it apparently does.

Perhaps you have a super powerful Mac? I’m still on an old 2013 iMac, hence my thread here asking about whether it would be “silly” of me to buy a refurbished maxed out vader’s trashcan.

Nope I work on a late 2013 Mac that struggles like mad. Only 8gb of memory and it copes well with Caspian. It doesn’t cope as well with libraries such as Albion 1, massive (when there’s a lot of processing) and output stuff, but caspian has been fine. I’ve only experienced one glitch I think and that was as soon as I got it. I think the volume kept spiking and i wobbled the mod wheel and it stopped instantly. Haven’t had that since so I assumed that was the glitch they were talking about.

I also have PS fluid shorts which is incredible too. You need to set your channel to have a 300ms delay though when using it. The science behind it is that they include the start of the note in the samples to give more if a real performance. I must say they’re spot on the money, best shorts I’ve herd for realism by far. Makes sense too as string players have to naturally play early so when they get to the Center of the bow the volume peaks in their performance. So adding a 300ms delay so the samples start playing early makes it simply beautiful to listen to.

Most samplers just cut that first bit off you see.

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I would love if all libraries to include the feature that Nucleus has, which is that you can set it to respond to 0ms latency when playing/recording live, and then dial it back as you say to include the initial attack time for a natural sound. This is because I record practically ALL parts live, because I hate “programming” aka writing music personally. I love the feeling of performing, and without it I don’t enjoy the music making process.

Big second on Supercharger. I’m still trying to figure out why that saturation seems to be better than most. Very nice take on the dbx compressors.

So you are saying that Caspian was used in the final score for Star Wars? I’d like to read about that.

My go-to is still SampleModeling brass, though I’m evaluating the new SWAM stuff too. Some things about the SWAM are better, but SM is older so that’s not surprising. I will say that the tone of SM is warmer at the outset and there are some things about transitions that I’m still working out, but the trumpet in SWAM is capable of some amazing things.

There’s a point in getting through a show, though, where I have to weigh what’s the most expressive vs. what gets me there quickly. My brass sounds epic when desired, intimate when desired, and they do whatever I tell them to do specifically - but I sometimes eye the newer 8Dio brass because it’s sort of big and already there. Now I’ll add Caspian to that list. But what I keep finding is that in the traditional sample world things that sound big aren’t agile and vice versa, and also that going for a big sound means lots of dicey legato transitions (why Spitfire SO Brass sits unused on my system - they are really some of the worst offenders). How does Caspian manage? And how does it do with the timing of shorts? And intonation?

The ensembles I have made in SM are very flexible and with a little randomizing sound very natural. With Divisimate it can be even better (just a few things they need to add to make that the best thing ever). SWAM can take it too. Funny how AudioModeling have said that they are not made to be ensemble instruments, but they include anti-phasing parameters so one can layer same instruments together.

Best new thing I got last year? SampleModeling Strings. Why? Although many people have fussed about their sonics, a lot of that is unfamiliarity with the concept, and also it takes a little messing about to make them sound right. (Altiverb’s scoring stages are the supercharger here.) They are agile, capable of sounding big or small, fully dynamic, and stunning for animation. I also bought the full Berlin Strings package and Cinematic Studio Strings (and the solos). All of them are just sitting there not getting used. I’m waiting to see if OT’s SinePlayer makes their library usable for me - and even if it does, once you have used a library with great intonation, all of the marketspeak about “human” samples begins to sound like what it means : “we couldn’t afford to record it again or fix it.”

Yeah that would be a very cool thing to include!

I think for me, too much control in libraries actually hinder me using them to be honest, I actually go towards libraries that have subtle amounts of vib that’s phrased rather than using a mod wheel to transition between vib and no vib (for instance).

However, I think for this to happen effectively libraries would have to be much more specific in how they record articulations. So it’s basically a catch 22 for them at the moment I guess.

I’ve never used SMB, what do you like about it? Very interested in that bh the sounds of it.

I very much agree that a good library does the extremes very well, this is something I look for too. I think that’s what I like about the studio series in spitfires range too tbh. They do that very well.

And yes supercharger really does sound incredible. Some things I’ve noticed is that it’s amazing when used on the right stuff, but it doesn’t do some things well such as acoustic instruments because it’s so coloured. But then again you’d naturally grab an omni style compressor of a blue face for that I guess.

Agility. Responsiveness. No keyswitching for articulations - just play what you want it to do. The mutes are good. Legato is good. Tweakable enough. Takes reverb nicely.

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I’ll definitely be looking into that. Cheers!