Are you searching for smooth, silky, analog filter sweeps? Or are grimy, resonant squelches more your style? Nothing adds character to a track faster than a great filter. Let’s look at some of the best filter VST plugins around…
Mutronics Mutator. $149.
Meticulously modelled on the rare and coveted 90s classic, Softubes Mutronics Mutator adds the usual modern niceties such as tempo sync and the potential for automation. The original stereo hardware was used and abused by Fatboy Slim, Radiohead and Daft Punk. Yeah, it’s pretty much the 1990s in a box.
Soundtoys FilterFreak. $150.
Fat analog sweeps, pounding filter rhythms, big hardware sound – FilterFreak can do it all. From funky envelope follower sounds reminiscent of the classic Mutron, to wide resonant LFO sweeps like the Sherman Filterbank. From timeless wah-wah tones to campy sci-fi sample-and-hold effects. Whether you’re controlling it manually or locking it to tempo for rhythmic effects, FilterFreak delivers the warm, fat, resonant tones you crave. And we’ve also added exclusive features you won’t find in the classics, so you can create practically any filter effect you can dream up.
Arturia Mini-Filter. $110.
A plugin recreation of Moog’s famous 24dB per octave low-pass ladder filter, updated with exciting new features for the modern music maker. Now you can use one of the world’s most famous synth filters in your DAW as a dedicated plugin. Add the familiar filter tone to warm or smooth out your audio, or simply add sweetness to a sensitive recording. Mini-Filter also includes a powerful modulation section which consists of an envelope follower, an LFO, and a step sequencer. A patch manager is also built-in, along with a set of presets to inspire your creativity. This is certianly on of the best filter VST plugins in our book. An essential, expressive, and creative tool for any producer or performer. As Moog fan boy this is definitely one of the best filter VST plugins in my books!
iZotope Mobius Filter. $49.
Not your usual filter-and-go plugin, Mobius Filter actually uses many parallel filters that move at the same time. The result is a sort of barber pole effect but for filtering, making us think that a filter cutoff is forever rising or falling. In many ways, this effect sounds like flanging, but technically it’s a filter plugin, so get off our case, alright?
Vengeance Sound Philta XL. $55.
Philta XL gives you two filters that can work individually or together to carve space out of your channels. Each of the filters can be set individually to between 12 and 96 dB slopes, and there’s adjustable input and output gain for the entire plugin as well. For modulation, you can get your hands on two LFOs and two envelope followers for auto-wah. There’s filter saturation, ring modulation, and an output limiter. It’s practically everything you could ever want from a filter plugin, and you get it all for a cheap and cheerful price.
Moog Filtatron. $5.
By now Moog made waves with superb iOS apps such as Animoog and Model 15, but Filtatron was their first. As you’d expect, Filtatron models the famous 24db ladder filter found on Moog products, past and present. You can route external signals through it, or use the included oscillator or samples. LFO and envelope modulation are possible, and there’s a built-in delay.
PSP Audioware PSP stompFilter. $69.
This filter takes its inspiration from guitar stompboxes. Sure it’s a filter, but the idea behind this one is that it’s paired with an LFO, creating rhythmic movement in your track. Actually, stompFilter isn’t just triggered by an LFO, it can also be triggered by the envelope of the sound going through it – auto-wah style – or both the envelope and its internal LFO.
TAL Filter 2. Free.
TAL make some of the best 80s emulations around, both free and paid for, so you’d expect them to have this filter thing down, and they do – and then some. Initially released with a built-in envelope follower, TAL Filter 2 adds in an exquisite graphical envelope designer that can be used to modulate one of seven filter types, volume or pan.