Audio Plugs

No matter whether you’re already an established producer, or just entering into the vast world of digital music production, every musician needs new toys and new bits of software to play around with. Plugins are an incredible way to create unique sounds, spark inspiration, and even stumble upon happy mistakes while learning to use them.

We reached out to some of our community members to ask them about their favourite plugins of the moment, their best features and how they come into play in their music making.


Singer and electronic musician from London. 

New Sonic Arts – Granite has been one of my favourite go to plugins over the last year – it’s a granular synthesiser that allows you to drag in your own samples and turns them into these beautiful glitchy ambient textures. I love how creative it can be if I’m stuck on a production or need some inspiration when writing something new. I never know what it’s going to sound like so the element of surprise and I guess collaboration with the plug in is something I find really captivating.

You can learn more about Tusks at / Instagram

Island Fox

UK-based songwriter, producer, and audio engineer.

I generally tend to think of my plugins in terms of sound makers and sound shapers and it’s hard to choose one favourite. Some of my recent favourite sound making VSTs are made by the uniqueFelt Instruments. I admire their commitment to bringing totally unique sounds into the DAW and I am currently loving creating haunting halloween-esque atmospheres with the Jasno.

Felt have a similar ethos to Spitfire in their plugin user interface, but with the added bonus of bringing unusual and undervalued historical and hidden instruments to the world deserving to have a light shone on them. I’m really intrigued to see where they go next to be honest. I’ve also been recently integrating some hardware into my set-up and so the Universal Audio plugins have become a new staple in the Ableton chain, both on vocals and on the UDO Super 6 etc as well.

You can learn more about Island Fox at / Instagram

Charlie Deakin Davies

Pop/indie record songwriter/producer multi-instrumentalist and artist based out of London.

I think to start, the first plugin I’m going to talk about is pretty simple and it’s the fab filter Q3, any producer will know why this is such an important plugin. I mean any graphic equaliser really does the job but I love the dynamic compression setting that it has, and honestly their MB by FabFilter is also pretty solid, you never really stop messing around with these sort of things, especially when you understand how incredible they are and how much it can elevate so quickly!

The second plugin I’m going to talk about is the Devil-Loc by Soundtoys specifically the Devil-Loc Deluxe, honestly put it on any vocal take for an alt pop track that’s got a bit of edge and instantly got an in your face compressed sound that you’ll hear on so many records!

You can learn more about Charlie at / Instagram

Sanj Shajan

Engineer / Producer

Over the last year, my go to for my distortion and saturation needs has been the Decapitator by Soundtoys. It can add a rich analog character to any track it’s on and by using the tone control, I can quickly shape the sound of an instrument often without having to go for another eq. It has five different styles (modelled around different analog tape and tube hardware) and it’s super interesting how they change the sound and feel of an instrument. My favourite button is the punish button and it’s irresistible to not use it on at least one or two tracks in a mix. The ‘Punish’ button adds a tone more gain creating interesting harmonics all over the place. I often put the decapitator on synths, guitar layers or drums to give it a little bit of the edge that it was lacking.

Beat Repeat is a great tool on Ableton that allows me to quickly randomise and create some cool variations on an instrument. Beat Repeat creates interesting timing and pitch variations on any track so by putting this on a synth or a sample and messing around with the chance and variation knobs- my 4 bar synth loop idea can suddenly turn into a 3 minute long piece where every few bars the synth or the sample I’m using is doing something different.

Catch Sanj around the studios or follow him on Instagram !

A huge thank you to Tusks, Island Fox, Charlie and Sanj for their contributions. Always great to learn about the features and capabilities of new plugins and get first hand insight into their creative process! Be sure to check out the plugins mentioned and share this with anyone looking for new audio toys!

At Ten87 Studios we offer long term studio hire and day hire music studios. Each recording studio is acoustically treated and sound proofed to optimise any type of audio recording and music production. We are home to a large community of musicians, producers, engineers and audio professionals working in the music industry. Our main day hire studio is a world class tracking facility equipped with the best in recording studio gear, instruments, outboard and backline. We’re based in Seven Sisters, Tottenham with easy transport links to the city centre – ideal for anyone looking for a London recording studio.

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