Top 5 Creative Effects Plugins From Native Instruments

Native Instruments is one of the heaviest hitters in the music software industry. They are widely known for their VST instruments and hardware controllers. NI was formed in 1996 with a core product that later became Reaktor. NI’s soft synths are legendary and include Massive, FM8, Kontakt, and Reaktor. They also have several incredible sounding creative VST effects that I use regularly. Here are my top 5 effects plugins right now.

#1 Raum – A Mesmerizing Creative Reverb

I know what you’re thinking. Who needs another reverb? Apparently, I did. Native Instruments was giving Raum away for Christmas in 2019. Naturally, I had to grab that up. I started using it over other reverbs in Maschine and Studio One.

Made to sculpt any space, RAUM can do everything from abstract echoes to spacetime-bending ambiance in one swift move. It’s your space laboratory, your mix fixer, and your utility tool. It’s simple, flexible – and most importantly, it sounds out of this world.

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One of my favorite things to do is use Raum as a carefully placed effect at key points in a song. For example, try it on a snare drum before a drop or pause. This reverb can sound lush and huge or carve out the perfect space for a drum kit. As with any quality reverb, the built-in highpass and lowpass filters are essential. The ability to lock the wet/dry controls while changing presets is another great feature.

#2 Replika XT – My Go-To Delay

These days I don’t even bother inserting any other delay for my productions. Replica XT is like an earworm. Once I started using it, I began to see how versatile it was and how creative it can be. The presets alone will astound you. They are often a great starting place to dial in exactly what you need.

Five deeply modeled delay modes span crisp digital repeats, analog warmth, and experimental textures. Advanced options offer fast ways to open up your mix with pinpoint creative control. And an elegant interface puts new possibilities right before your eyes. From single instruments to entire mixes, REPLIKA XT will add new character to your music.

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Much like Raum, Replika XT has controls for low and high frequencies. It also sports the same lock feature for your wet/dry signal controls. Since I typically put effects like delay on a bus (or send), this is extremely useful. You can also tempo sync delays in a variety of ways. Try starting synced to the tempo and then switch to bring the delay a little out of sync. It will help your delay stand out a little more.

#3 Supercharger GT – Tube Compression From Subtle To Extreme

The Supercharger GT runs standard on my drum bus and bass channel. The gentle touch can push any bass guitar or synth just a little further into the mix without overdoing it. You can also take it to extremes for fat distortion and momentary effects that excite listening ears.

SUPERCHARGER GT injects white-hot tube compression into anything it touches. Easily sculpt your tracks with rich, harmonically-driven sound. Loaded with additional saturation and character controls for detailed tweaking, SUPERCHARGER GT goes beyond compression to shift your inspiration into overdrive.

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A huge part of music production is automation. Being able to automate a creative mix tool like the Supercharger GT is so valuable. Turning up the heat at the right moment will send your mix over the top. Try turning it up on vocals during the chorus. Or hit the drums harder with it at a drop.

#4 Driver – Crazy Filtering & Distortion

Driver is by far one of the craziest VST’s available. It’s presets are generally extreme and somewhat unusable, at least in a general mixing sense. You can use Driver to create subtle textures on top of pads, strings, or even vocals and bring a whole new dynamic.

DRIVER is an inspiring creative tool from the creator of MASSIVE featuring the rare pairing of a high-quality filter with a punishing distortion unit. The smooth filter section delivers a wide range of effects, from ultra-subtle to incredibly rich, while two modulation sources produce dramatic textural shifts.

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On the more extreme side of things, try using Driver to make a moment in a song stand out. It can come across like a glitch style tool, a telephone effect, or an alien encounter! Fun fact: Driver can also be found as a Reaktor Block! Try adding driver to high-hats or overheads on drums to create a little more movement. It also sounds great on a synth lead.

#5 Molekular – Modular Multi-Effects

This Reaktor based effect plugin is deep. Molekular has some incredible features, one of my favorites is the morphing capabilities and step sequencing. If you are creating vast textures and ear candy, you will love how this sounds.

MOLEKULAR will change the way you use effects. Design your own modular system with 35 exclusive effects. Set it in motion with powerful modulation. Then perform your effects with the interactive morphing field. MOLEKULAR will expand your sonic imagination – get ready to be inspired.

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For creative effects that take you to other worlds, you want Molekular. As with any multi-effect plugin, you want to avoid mud in your mix. Be selective with this as an effect. EQ it to fit in the mix, and automate the volume at the same time. Try adding a new send for synths to create entirely new sounds, textures, and rhythms.

In Conclusion

The world of virtual studio technology, or VST, effects plugins is huge. There are hundreds of companies, some of them offering hundreds of products. I personally use and recommend only a small handful of VST effect manufacturers. Native Instruments is one of the few that I have used and loved over the years. Take the time to get to know each of these incredibly creative VST effects. I am sure you will grow to love them as I do!

Now go make Music!