10 Best VST Plugins For Reggaeton 2022


10 Best VST Plugins For Reggaeton

As one of the most popular genres in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, reggaeton has got its own musical vibe, derived from hip-hop, Latin American, and Caribbean music.

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules as to what tools you need to create great sounding reggaeton music, you’re obviously going to require both virtual effects and instruments (especially if you plan to do most of your recording “inside the box”).

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

Strum GS-2 + PACKS by Applied Acoustics Systems – Best Overall

Strum GS-2 + PACKS by Applied Acoustics Systems – Best Overall

The sound of the guitar can play an important role in reggaeton music, either taking the part of piano “chucks,” or interweaving and complementing it.

Applied Acoustic Systems’ Strum GS-2 + Packs has got a bit of everything in terms of sounds, but for that very reason, could come in handy in a variety of scenarios.

This collection includes Strum GS-2, with a large library of acoustic and electric guitars, automatic chord recognition, sophisticated chord voicing, integrated strumming, integrated picking action, a MIDI riff library, amp and effects, and more.

But you also get Latin Vibes 2 Sound Bank, All That Jazz Sound Bank, Tropical Jam Strum GS-2 Sound Bank, Take 3 Strum GS-2 Sound Bank, Funky Cat Sound Bank, Blues Rhythms Sound Bank, Power Chords Sound Bank, Good Folks Sound Bank, Latin Vibes Sound Bank, and Pop Rocks Sound Bank.

I probably don’t need to point out that the Latin Vibes, Latin Vibes 2, and Tropical Jam Strum GS-2 sound banks will likely prove the most useful to you, but just in case.

Virtual guitars are rarely perfect, but honestly these do sound quite good and should fit nicely in your mixes. It’s a must if you don’t play guitar, or don’t have access to a guitarist.

The variety of sounds and value for money makes Strum GS-2 + Packs our best overall selection. That said, it all depends on what you’re looking for, and if you’re self-sufficient for guitar, you’ll want to keep reading…

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Piano V2 by Arturia – Best Premium Option

Piano V2 by Arturia – Best Premium Option

An element that often plays a critical role in reggaeton is piano. The piano is typically responsible for the syncopated chord “chops” or Latin jazz style riffs that make the genre what it is.

Whether you need the best piano sound for this is a point of contention, but if you did end up settling on the amazing sounding Arturia Piano V2, you’re unlikely to have any major regrets.

This saucy number comes with 12 piano models, including a concert grand, intimate grand, pop grand, jazz upright, piano-bar upright, classical upright, glass grand, metal grand, Japanese grand, plucked grand, and Tack upright.

You also get customizable action settings, global string tension (tuning), unison detuning, stretch tuning, dynamic range, hammer hardness, hammer position, velocity curve editor, mechanical noises, pedal noise, key noise, hammer noise, mechanics, lid position, soundboard resonance, multiple microphone positions, microphone mixer, convolution room simulator with 14 room types, output parametric EQ, and 88 factory presets.

Its price is kind of up there, but Piano V2 is a very satisfying plugin with quality tones.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Groovemate ONE by ujam – Best Budget Option

Groovemate ONE by ujam – Best Budget Option

While ujam’s Groovemate ONE isn’t the only virtual percussion VST on this list, it may well be one of the most affordable, and quite possibly the best sounding.

Percussion tends to fill all those holes left by other instruments – drums, bass, piano, synths, etc. Percussion adds the much-needed spice to your reggaeton productions.

Groovemate ONE comes with 30 styles (Combi and Solo styles), four sounds (shaker, claps, tambourine, and one-shot shaker), nine mix and four ambience presets, as well as MIDI Drag and Drop.

With ready-made phrases, and the ability to play the instruments yourself (with your MIDI controller), Groovemate ONE puts sophisticated patterns at the ready to add to your hard-won tracks.

This virtual percussion instrument is simple, easy to use, and affordable. It’s perfect for adding some flavor to your tracks and it’s a shoo-in for our best budget option.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Serum by Xfer Records

Serum by Xfer Records

A synth that can do anything? Yep. As you can imagine that ought to come in handy for reggaeton productions. The higher end is often covered by the piano, horns, or perhaps some guitar sounds, but there’s usually plenty of space in the lower end for some synth basses or stabs, maybe even the occasional pad. Really, it’s up to you!

Xfer Records Serum is considered an electronic music essential, and for good reason. It pretty much covers all the bases for synthesizer sounds, and it’s customizable to an extreme degree (as most superpowered synths are).

Different producers like Serum for different reasons, but it mostly comes down to the sheer number and quality of sounds you can achieve. And if you love to tweak, you can go well beyond the presets to develop your own timbres.

Serum isn’t the most expensive synth, neither is it the cheapest, but thousands of producers agree – it’s well worth the asking price.

Learn more: Splice

Sylenth1 by Lennar Digital

Sylenth1 by Lennar Digital

As an alternative (or perhaps to complement) to Serum, the long-standing Sylenth1 is another electronic music favorite. Synths are individual, so maybe you’ll like one more than the other, maybe you’ll end up buying both (it’s certainly not unheard of), but this virtual analog synth continues to hold up to scrutiny long after its original release (even as updates become fewer and further between).

You’ve got all the doohickies here that make a rhinoceros of a synth – oscillators, filters, modulation, and of course master FX, including arpeggiator, distortion, phaser, chorus / flanger, equalizer, delay, reverb, and compressor. Customization is a turn of the dial away.

Built from a producer’s perspective, Sylenth1 has a beautiful interface, is easy to work with, surprisingly CPU friendly, highly versatile, and it just sounds great.

Learn more: Lennar Digital

Bass Master by Loopmasters Plugins

Bass Master by Loopmasters Plugins

A big, fat bass sound is the hallmark of a killer reggaeton track. It stands to reason, then, that you should be able to inject some “boom” into your projects with Loopmasters Plugins’ Bass Master.

Rattle some bones with a huge array of sound sources, 217 waveforms, nearly 50,000 possible combinations, and 350 mix-ready presets, all taken from legendary hardware units all the way over to the latest and greatest synthesized drum sounds.

You also get access to 13 filter types with dedicated filter envelope and LFO modulation, three-band Frequency Booster, effects (distortion, chorus, reverb), mod-wheel macro (assign any three parameters), ADSR (top) and AR (sub) envelopes, signal mixer, direct out control for the sub, sample start selection for the top layer, as well as legato / portamento with glide, and pitch bend up to + / – 12 semitones.

With so many sounds and parameters, you should have everything you need at your fingertips to create weighty bass lines using Bass Master.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Repeater by D16 Group

Repeater by D16 Group

Echo plays a critical role in the reggaeton genre (often for vocals), and Repeater by D16 Group is a pro grade delay plugin that can handle just about anything you can throw at it, as it includes sounds ranging from oil cans and tape delays to more modern circuits.

You don’t have to get this delay, but trust me, you are going to need one, and there are better options than the stock one in your DAW (including Repeater, of course!).

Regardless, Repeater comes with 23 designs, including Cassette Tape, Digital 42, Memory Guy, Plexy Echo, Space Delay, Telephone, and many others.

It even comes with independent re-panning and dry / wet mixing for each of the two stereo channels. This allows you to create double delay line effects that’ll surprise and delight the listener.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Latin Percussion by AudioThing

Latin Percussion by AudioThing

For a little Latin percussion flavor, there’s AudioThing’s Latin Percussion. This sizzling 80s analog drum machine is a sample-based emulation of the rare Sound Master Latin Percussion.

Latin Percussion features six Latin sounds – bass, low conga, high conga, bongo, claves, and maracas – along with 20 factory presets and nine factory patterns.

The six sounds can all be pitched, panned, or mixed independently. There’s also overdrive and reverb which allow for additional sound shaping. To top it all off, there’s a built-in sequencer, which lets you build patterns and drop them into your DAW.

Unsophisticated and affordable, Latin Percussion could be just the ticket to adding more reggaeton flavor to your tracks.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Melody Sauce 2 by EVAbeat

Melody Sauce 2 by EVAbeat

The Melody Sauce 2 music production assistant is a powerful tool for those who are less than confident with their music theory, or even those who are a little short on inspiration.

This melody creation tool comes with a sound engine of nearly 100 sounds and three built-in FX. You also get a style mode with over 300 style settings (including reggaeton settings), advanced editor for selecting chords or melodies to follow, controls for loop length, octave, speed, and more.

Coming up with catchy hooks and memorable melodies is often the hardest part of any project, but with Melody Sauce 2, you could come out looking like a genius every single time. Let it create melodies for you and then tweak them as you please. It’s a blast!

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

DOPE 2 by ujam

DOPE 2 by ujam

Huge, aggressive, pounding drums are a defining characteristic of reggaeton, and in that sense, it certainly takes after hip-hop. That’s why you need ujam’s DOPE 2, a 90s hip-hp drum machine. This baby will put the perfect boom bap, hip-hop, and rap sampled beats right at your fingertips to expand and mangle as you please (a saturation plugin will probably come in handy for this purpose too).

ujam’s plugins are always beautifully designed, easy to use, and loaded with features. Case in point – DOPE 2 comes with over 50 styles, 1,180 phrases, and 10 kits. It even comes with song intros, fills, verses, choruses, breakdowns, and endings, in case you need to switch things up over the course of your track.

You’ll be happy to know that there’s a mastering section to pump things up too – sweep, saturate, maximize, multi-band EQ, and ambience. Maybe you could get away without that saturation plugin after all. Maybe. But you’d probably end up using it anyway, even if in other ways.

Obviously, you’re not forced to use one drum machine for all of eternity. There are other options mentioned in this guide, and they might be quite complementary to DOPE 2. That said, DOPE 2 has got some nicely processed jams, clearly utilizing some of our favorite drum machines from the last few decades.

If you can’t at least find a few beats you can use here, you’re doing something wrong.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In Reggaeton VST Plugins?

You should be equipped with most of the information you need to make a purchase decision now.

That said, we understand well the issues of decision fatigue and analysis paralysis.

There are a lot of VST plugins out there, even in the same category, and most are “good enough” for the job. So, which should you choose, anyway?

Here are some questions to consider in settling on your ideal plugin(s):

  • What do you need? It seems obvious, but sometimes when shopping it’s easy to get caught up in the act of buying, forgetting why you were shopping in the first place. Examine your VST inventory and then decide. If you don’t need a delay right now, for instance, you might prioritize that synth you’ve been putting off.
  • What sounds good to you? Ultimately, you’re the one working with the plugin. So, what I say doesn’t matter as much as what you think of it. Have a listen to each of the plugins you’re considering. There are plenty of quality audio samples out there.
  • Which plugins are within your budget? If money isn’t an object, then we don’t intend to put a damper on your shopping experience. That said, we don’t advocate going into debt for these types of purchases, so please be responsible with your spending. Use your budget as a filter.

Top VST Plugins For Reggaeton, Final Thoughts

No matter what VST plugins you end up with, at the end of the day, what matters most is how you use them. You can make great sounding reggaeton with old, bad gear guaranteed! So, how your projects turn out is not all about how fancy your reggaeton VSTs are. It has a lot more to do with your ear, skill, and experience.

Once you’ve grabbed those VSTs, it’s time to get to work. Start making some beats and get some practice in today.

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