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PRODUCTION MENTORING FROM A DANCE MUSIC INDUSTRY VETERAN
My Black Friday Picks
Top Ten Wildly Creative Plugins for Under £100

Every year Black Friday comes around and there are a hundred and one things your wallet is screaming out to purchase. I'm going to keep it nice and simple, and tell you what wildly creative effects you can get for under £100. To give life to your static, lifeless, pedestrian tracks.

1. D16 Sigmund

I shouldn't really be telling you this because it's my secret groove weapon. It useful on everything from single lead hits to high hat lines. It gives your tracks energy and spunk!

LINK: D16 Sigmund
2. Wavesfactory Trackspacer

This is the de facto 'fuck off' to side-chain ducking, because it's way more controllable. But if you start to push this in different directions on multiple tracks interesting rhythms emerge. You don't always have to use a plugin for what it was intended for. And this is a fun one to play with! LINK:

Wavesfactory Trackspacer
3. Wavesfactory Cassette

Degradation on tracks isn't just for Lo-fi house, the wow and flutter, and phasing, you get from tape emulation gives humanity and life to many instruments when used well. LINK:

Wavesfactory Cassette
4. XLN RC-20 Retro Color

And if Cassette isn't for you then here is its forerunner. It does the same thing as above but has a superb interface. The overall magnitude slider allows you to dial in the right results in a cinch, and is worth the price of admission alone.

LINK: XLN RC-20 Retro Color
5. Waves Meta Filter

Good old Waves with their perpetual bollocks of over-complex sales, you've got to love ‘em. But they don't just provide an over-abundance of emulated old hardware. Here is a straight effect that's worth picking up to use as part of your creative arsenal. Filters filters everywhere. But this one I like because it has a nice step-sequencer built into it!

LINK: Waves Meta Filter
6. Waves Brauer Motion

Okay, so this might be the only other effect from Waves that's pure creative. But you can have endless hours of fun working on how you want your sounds to spin around someone's head. And if you miss this sale, don't worry, Waves sales are like buses. There'll be another one coming along any minute.

LINK: Waves Brauer Motion
7. Output Movement

Make sure you have a top-drawer computer if you plan on putting this powerful rhythm engine on all your tracks, because it's a beast! It offers a plethora of combinations for movement (LFO / Sidechain / Step-Sequencer). And you get this times four to play with all at once. Lovely stuff. NOTE: Might just be a little over £100 but it is on sale.

LINK: Output Movement
8. Dmitry Sches' Tantra

Alternately, this is not on sale at the moment, but comes in way under £100. And it's an often overlooked multi-effect unit by an indie developer genius, so I'm putting it on the list despite not being on sale. Get ready to draw your shapes on its progression sequencer. It's great!

LINK: Dmitry Sches' Tantra
9. Native Instruments Straylight

At first this wasn't anywhere close to being on my list until a few days ago when they updated to 1.5, which allows you to throw your own samples into its double-sound granular synth engine. It's Native Instruments quality and it's evolving, super-easy, sound-design heaven. Although it does need a fast computer!

LINK: Native Instruments Straylight
10. Arturia Mellotron

Likewise, I've tried to stay away from instruments in this list, because that would be an article on all it's own. But this, like Straylight, has made the cut simply because I'm so impressed with the fact that you can load your own samples, mix seamlessly between them, and end up with lush results. NOTE: This isn't on sale, as such, for under £100. But if you have an earlier version of the V Collection then you can pick up the upgrade for less than £100 and it's well worth doing just for this. V Collection for $299 is still a steal.

LINK: Arturia Mellotron
Funk D'Void is a DJ and producer veteran with over 30 years experience. He has released records on Soma Quality Recordings, Outpost Recordings, ON IT Recordings, and Lost & Found. And has DJed around the world over the last thirty years. He now lives in Barcelona, where he plays table tennis and is here to out the next generation of talent.

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