10 Best VST Plugins For House Music 2022


10 Best VST Plugins For House Music

House music has had a widespread impact on pop music, especially on dance music. To this day, DJs, artists, and producers continue to pioneer new subgenres and sounds, making it ever more exciting.

If you want to create great sounding house music that gets people up and dancing, then you also need the best tools available.

In this guide, we look at the best VST plugins for house music.

V Collection 9 by Arturia – Best Overall

V Collection 9 by Arturia – Best Premium Option

If you value authentic keyboard sounds but can’t possibly imagine collecting everything from Moog’s legendary Minimoog console to a vintage Fender Rhodes, Arturia’s V Collection 9 is where it’s at.

Producer Carl Finlow thought it was an “incredible tool,” Disclosure found it to be an absolute pleasure, and Sound Bytes Mag liked the macro sliders.

This synth suite comes with several new and rebuilt instruments, including the Korg MS-20 V, SQ80 V, Augmented STRINGS, Augmented VOICES, CS-80 V, Prophet-5 V, Prophet-VS V, and Piano V.

Also included are the Jun-6 V, Emulator II V, Vocoder V, Analog Lab V, Jup-8 V, Stage-73 V, OBXa-V, Synthi V, CZ V, Mellotron V, CMI V, DX7 V, Buchla Easel V, Clavinet V, ARP2600 V, B-3 V, Farfisa V, Matrix 12-V, Mini V, Modular V, Piano V, SEM V, Solina V, Synclavier V, VOX Continental V, and Wurli V.

Let’s put it this way – if you buy this collection, you’re not about to run out of high-quality piano, keyboard, and synth sounds any time soon! All the classics are here, and these are the gold standards most soft synths aspire to in the first place.

In total, you’re getting 32 instruments, four new instruments, Prophet-5 V and Prophet-VS V (previously one instrument, not two), CS-80 V rebuild, Piano V rebuild, 14,000 presets, 14 sound banks for the new V Collection 9 instruments, easy MIDI mapping, and more.

Clearly, the V Collection 9 is jam packed. If you already have solutions for most keyboards and synths mentioned here, you might not need this. But if there are significant gaps in your collection, or you’re starting from scratch, this collection is one way to build out your virtual instrument library in a hurry.

As this is a bundle of plugins for house music, the V Collection is more expensive than buying a single plugin. But you also get 32 amazing sounding instruments, including many of the classics you’ll probably end up leaning on frequently. Check out the video below to hear just what this collection can do.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Omnisphere by Spectrasonics – Best Premium Option

Omnisphere by Spectrasonics – Best Overall

Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere doesn’t need much of an introduction. This synth is practically a superpower unto itself, and for electronic music of all kinds, including house, it’s a must see. If you’ve got the budget for it, there’s no reason to put it off.

There’s no way to cover everything Omnisphere does in the small amount of space we’ve got here, but let’s talk about some of the particulars so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Ominsphere comes with an insane number of parameters that allow you to customize your synth patches to the nth degree. It includes four layers, per layer modulation matrix, LFOs, filters, envelopes, and all the standard stuff you’ve come to expect from high level synths.

If you enjoy dialing in your synth sounds and having complete control over them, then unmistakably Omnisphere is for you.

Naturally, Omnisphere also includes countless presets that serve as excellent starting points. Whether it’s a pad, bass, lead, FX, or anything else you might be looking for, you won’t have any trouble finding killer sounds for your house tracks.

For such a sophisticated soft synth, Omnisphere is very well laid out. Its design is attractive if relatively basic, but the way all the controls and options are organized make it easy for you to create new sounds, even from scratch.

Honestly, there are so many great synths that it’s hard to pick just one for our best premium option. But like I said earlier, if you can afford Omnisphere, chances are you won’t regret the recommendation.

Learn more: Spectrasonics

Trash 2 + Expansions by iZotope – Best Budget Option

Trash 2 + Expansions by iZotope – Best Budget Option

If you love greasy, fat, raunchy distortions, then you will love iZotope Trash 2. This plugin will take your signal, mangle it, transform it, saturate it, and more.

You can take advantage of the four bands, each with a different distortion. You can use dual-stage distortion on each band, use one of the included algorithms, or even draw your own using the custom wave shaper.

Use the two filters to take your distortions to new heights or tame them in any way you see fit. Take advantage of a variety of filter types to further influence your sounds.

The modulations can be used to add pulsation to your signal, and the convolve module lets you tap into a variety of impulses or even load up your own.

Use the multiband dynamics module to control the compression, and use the delay modulation to add an echo.

Whether for bass or any other sound requiring distortion, Trash 2 can certainly punch up your house mixes and give them some serious raw energy. Just beware of transforming your sounds too much – you might have to remix.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Decapitator by Soundtoys

Decapitator by Soundtoys

Soundtoys is well-known for their quality creations, and their Decapitator analog saturation modeler is no exception.

Tchad Blake says he likes it on everything, Ryan Hewitt said it will tear your head off, and Fabrice “Fab” Dupont thought of it as an “instavibe” in a box.

At its core, saturation is simply analog distortion. But as any producer worth her salt will tell you, it breathes life into mixes and makes them sound more musical. Tubes, transistors, and circuitry being pushed to the limit is what produces this classic sound, and it’s one of the key ingredients of analog recordings.

Decapitator comes with five saturation models, ideal for just about any application you can think of – tracks, mixes, or otherwise. You can use the additional parameters to further shape the sound until it’s to your liking.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Serum by Xfer Records

Serum by Xfer Records

In a conversation about power-packed soft synths, it’s unlikely that the name Serum wouldn’t come up. This is a favorite among electronic music producers, and it’s not hard to see why – Serum comes with a ton of parameters that allow you to dial in amazing tones.

Its versatility is nearly unmatched. With the sheer array of functions and features available, you can create sounds for any electronic genre.

The wavetable importing is incredibly handy, and you can even create your own (which can be further shaped and mangled). All your sounds can be saved for later use.

We could talk about all the features, but at the end of the day, Serum must be experienced. After all, there are plenty of plugins out there claiming to have similar features, so it’s harder to differentiate on descriptions alone. You’ve got to hear and try Serum for yourself to know why so many producers use and love it.

Learn more: Splice

Diva by u-he

Diva by u-he

Considered better than (or at least on par with) Serum in some circles, u-he’s Diva is a soft synth with the proportions of a dinosaur (actually, that has more to do with the naming than anything, but it’s fun to say).

Whether free or paid, u-he has a track record of creating impressive sounding synths, and the Diva analog emulation synth is jam packed with classic, vintage sounds you’ve come to know and love.

There are a ton of presets to choose from, ranging from vintage to modern, depending on what you need for your tracks.

The video below covers a ton of sounds, so you’ll be able to get a good sense of what Diva can do before picking it up.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Pigments 3 by Arturia

Pigments 3 by Arturia

Arturia’s Pigments 3 is a polychrome software synthesizer that efforts to put limitless options at your fingertips – sound engines, modulation, utilities, studio grade FX, and more.

The latest version includes CrossMod, 16 distortion algorithms, comb filter, sample engine browser, Apple M1 compatibility, streamlined UI, dozens of new wavetables, and 150 new patches created by world class producers and in-house sound designers.

Composer Marius de Vries thought it sounded great, producers Plaid said they heard real detail and depth in the sound, and Mark Ayers suggested that it was the perfect meeting place of old-fashioned and modern.

Pigments 3 comes with four sound engines (you can combine any two), utility engine with extra oscillator and up to two layers of sampled noise, dual filters (choose two out of 10 filter types with advanced routing), 18 FX algorithms, modulation (modulate anything with anything), sequencer (with advanced randomization, scale quantization, and polyrhythms), and 1,200 presets spanning every genre.

Pigments 3 is relatively easy to tweak, but if you find the parameters are a little overwhelming, no problem – simply choose from the many presets available – they all sound great!

Arturia doesn’t make junk from my knowledge, but either way, you can’t go wrong with Pigments 3. Check out the video to hear it in action.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ELYSIUM by Wide Blue Sound

ELYSIUM by Wide Blue Sound

Wide Blue Sound’s ELYSIUM is a hybrid Kontakt instrument.

Music Instrument News said it must be heard to be believed, Music Radar thought it was able to create sounds no rival could replicate, and Charlie Clouser loved it for pulses, arps, synthetic percussion, and more.

ELYSIUM features a new way to create sounds. Where most synths end up putting preset creators first, ELYSIUM comes with macro knobs and generators to make the process of dialing in your tones more fun.

This synth comes with deep sampled acoustic instruments, modern synths, and bass synths. You can run hundreds of synths through the Pulse-Chop-Flow Engine and use the tag-based sound browser to preview the pitch range of a sound, create mood-based sound combos and FX chains, and revert to original settings with the “Cancel” button while you’re experimenting.

Wide Blue Sound boasts this synth has one of the most powerful and fun FX sections, with 31 stomp boxes, amplifiers, chorus-based effects, delays, reverbs, 300 effects presets, convolution reverb library with 600+ verbs in 27 categories, as well as the ability to add harmonic plates, household items, and samples to your sound.

In all, ELYSIUM comes with hundreds of deep-sampled sound sources, Perc layer with up to three sound sources at once (Main, Morph, Bass), multi-mode high-cut and low-cut, length control, Perc layer advanced evolution controls (Analog, Flux, Speed), synth layer with up to four sound sources at once, 11 filter types, and synth layer triple engine mode (Pulse, Chop, Flow).

Additionally, there’s a 16-step Phase Sequencer, sound browser, Generate panel, FX section, and Motion page.

As you’ll be able to tell from the video, ELYSIUM is great for rhythmic pulses, dreamy vintage pads, dirty basses, and a whole lot more.

If you’re the inventive type, you will love being able to combine a variety of sounds with ELYSIUM.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain by Waves

Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain by Waves

One of the things that made Abbey Road Studios famous is the mastering chain utilizing the EMI TG12410 Transfer Console. This console has been used at Abbey Road since the 70s and continues to be utilized in every Abbey Road mastering suite to this day.

The Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain allows you to create custom processing chains (drag and drop). It can obviously be used on the master, but it’s a great tool for individual tracks or groups or while mixing.

The interchangeable modules include the TG12411 Input Module, TG12412 Tone Module (EQ), TG12413 Compressor / Limiter Module, TG 12414 Filter Module, and the TG12416 V.A.L. (Spread) Module incorporated into the Output Module.

The compressor / limiter comes with two types – Original and Modern (48 dB / Oct linear-phase sidechain filters included). Original will give you a dirty and aggressive sound, while the Modern will help you retain a pristine sound while increasing loudness.

The Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain plugin also includes different processing modes (Stereo / Duo / MS) and monitoring modes (Stereo / Mono / L / R / M / S).

Mixer and FOH engineer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten loved the depth and tonality of the mastering chain, producer / mixer Count said it was his favorite EQ for brightening vocals and drums and mix engineer / drummer Emre Ramazanoglu thought it was a powerhouse of a tone engine.

Whether you’re mixing or mastering your house tracks, this tool is sure to come in handy. There’s so much you can do to enhance your tracks, you’ll be amazed.

Learn more: Waves

EchoBoy by Soundtoys

EchoBoy by Soundtoys

More than a mere delay, Soundtoys’ EchoBoy is practically a legend unto itself. The developers spent decades obsessing over delays in creating EchoBoy, a versatile, innovative effect that’s been used on countless tracks, including Peter Gabriel’s vocals.

Having studied their collection of vintage gear, the developers endowed EchoBoy with 30 styles, including Space Echo, EchoPlex, Memory Man, DM-2, TelRay oil can delay, and more.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a built-in chorus, which takes after the much-lauded CE-1 chorus, as well as saturation inspired by the Ampex half-inch two-track machine.

EchoBoy makes it easy for you to dial in your timed delays with ease. You can even tweak the echo’s rhythm using the Groove, Feel, and Accent controls.

There are also multiple echo types, like Single Echo, Dual Echo, or Ping-Pong Modes. You can even take advantage of Rhythm mode and the Echo Style editor.

Whether you’re looking to add some space to your vocal tracks, or a tight, rhythmic pulse to your beats, EchoBoy is sure to come in handy in a variety of scenarios.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In House Music VST Plugins?

Soft synths. Drum machines. Samplers. Effects.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of tools you could buy as a house producer.

Electronic producers tend to focus on synths more than anything else, and understandably so. Many of them have multiple high-powered synths in their VST arsenal depending on what they’re called upon to create.

The main thing to think about here is whether you have everything you need to make music in the capacity you want to. If you’re happy with your synth selection, you don’t necessarily need to buy another. But if you don’t have a killer sounding delay effect yet, that might be the place to look.

And so on. Examining your current selection of VST plugins is probably a good starting point.

Even so, some decisions are harder than others. That’s why we’ve hand picked a few factors you should consider with any purchase. They are as follows:

  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Let’s get into this.

Sound Quality

Sound is what most producers consider first. That may not be much of a revelation, but it is your job as a producer to train your ear and to listen for what you need while filtering out information that’s unimportant. Using your ear as your guide, if nothing else, is good practice.

You can easily find high quality audio samples for every plugin found here, so you shouldn’t struggle with that.

And don’t be afraid to cast aside the reviews and opinions of others in finding your ideal plugins, because at the end of the day you’ll be the one using them.

Features

Make it a point to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

You can make a straight comparison from one synth to another (although they’re all starting to sound alike these days), but you can’t compare a distortion to a mastering chain. It just doesn’t make sense.

Budget

Use your budget as a filter so you don’t end up going into debt to purchase musical gear. We don’t recommend it!

Top VST Plugins For House Music, Final Thoughts

Now that you know what plugins to buy, it’s time to get back to work! You’ll want to spend some time familiarizing yourself with your new plugins, so you know how to leverage them in a variety of musical situations.

Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly makes better. So, open your DAW and get started now. Happy producing!

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