Plugins for Adding Rhythmic Creativity

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Boost Your Rhythmic Creativity: Plugins That Add Spark to Your Music

Crafting a compelling melody is one thing, but laying down a bed of rhythm that complements and elevates it can be equally challenging, if not more so. Oftentimes, a strong rhythmic foundation can serve as the spark that ignites a new composition. Whether you’re aiming for traditional orchestral sounds or venturing into hybrid styles, the right tools can significantly boost your workflow and unlock creative possibilities.

Today, we want to introduce powerful plugins that we absolutely LOVE, which can inject fresh energy into your vanilla percussion loops (or just about everything that’s audio). In this post, we used a simple 120 bpm 4/4 loop as our starting point. Each plugin offers unique ways to manipulate and transform your rhythms, pushing them beyond the ordinary.

Note: we are not in any way associated with the plugins introduced in this article.

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Original Audio

This is where we start—a loop at 120 bpm, a 4/4 rhythm. Can it be any more ‘vanilla’ than this?

LFO Tool by Xfer Records

The LFO Tool is a simple yet widely popular plugin for a reason: it’s easy to use, yet there are no bounds to where you can go with this plugin. In our example, we apply a simple sine sweep to a High Pass filter with a 1/4th rhythmic rate, creating a subtle yet effective quarter note pulse.

LFO Tool by Xfer Records

*Check out how Jacob Collier employs the LFO Tool in his productions for a simple dynamic control (in this case, adjusting the attack of a Timpani). Watch from 12:40.

PhaseMistress by Soundtoys: Add Drama and Movement

Next up, we explore Soundtoy’s PhaseMistress. We simply applied “5 High Mistress A” preset but tweaked the settings slightly to fit our needs. We adjusted the Rhythm to a 1/2 note for a slower movement and opted for a Square shape for a more dramatic result. Also, the MIX level is set at around 80% to minimize unwanted pops and clicks that come with the square wave signal.

PhaseMistress by Soundtoys

FilterFreak by Soundtoys: Subtlety is Key

While FilterFreak boasts an impressive arsenal of filter effects, sometimes, less is more. Here, we employ a simple LPF movement with a 2-bar cycle, creating a subtle yet impactful shift in texture.

FilterFreak by Soundtoys:

  • Recreates classic analog resonant filters with warmth and grit.
  • Offers flexible filter types, modulation options, and rhythmic control.
  • Ideal for shaping guitars, bass, drums, synths, and vocals with funky auto-wah, sweeps, and saturation.

MultiPass 2 by Kilohearts

Kilohearts MultiPass is a powerful multiband audio processor with a unique modular design. What it can offer is beyond our imagination, but in this case, we use it for a delicate touch. We engage a simple Frequency Shifter modulated by an LFO (not perfectly in phase) to introduce subtle sonic movement without overwhelming the original loop.

Multipass 2 by Kilohearts:

  • Advanced multi-band processor with flexible signal routing and parallel processing.
  • Combines EQ, dynamics, modulation, and transient shaping within each band.
  • Designed for surgical precision mixing and mastering, offering detailed control over tonal balance and dynamics.

Bonus Tip: MultiPass is currently included in Slate Digital’s All Access Pass, which is a great deal if you’re already invested in their plugins (disclaimer: no affiliation with Slate Digital).

Check out how Austin from Make Pop Music uses MultiPass to create an intriguing high-hat movement in his Weeknd-inspired song! (Watch from 5:50 -)

ShaperBox3 by Cableguys

ShaperBox3 opens a world of possibilities. While there’s a learning curve involved, Cableguys’ extensive YouTube tutorials make mastering ShaperBox3 a rewarding journey. Additionally, its CPU efficiency is impressive, considering the sonic sculpting power it offers.

We crafted an interesting 16th-note rhythmic effect by tweaking a preset, leveraging its built-in drive, crush, filter, and other effects for instant impact.

Shaperbox3 by Cableguys:

  • Versatile multi-effect plugin with morphing between 13 unique modules.
  • Offers distortion, compression, EQ, modulation, and creative sound design tools.
  • Tailored for dynamic sound sculpting, adding character and movement to various instruments.

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