Time+Space staff reveal their Top Plugins of 2019

Time+Space staff reveal their Top Plugins of 2019

Over the past 12 months there have been hundreds of exciting new virtual instrument, effects plug-in and sample library releases, each one offering something new to the industry.

As the Time+Space team see so much of this amazing software come in and get to use a lot of it, this makes choosing their favourite plug-ins of the year a near-impossible job, but we asked some of them anyway!

Read on to find out their top plugins and musical highlights of the year, plus their dream gig!

Jack Hale (Tech Support) 

Jack Hale

What's been your favourite plug-in releases of the year at T+S and why?

Audiomodern Opacity – Hard one to pick, but I think this one comes out on top as the best audio plugin of 2019! Opacity is super easy to use, with a superb user interface which is easy to understand. Within minutes of loading this product you can have a colossal soundscape brewing at your fingertips, which can be used in multiple settings; from ambient music (a personal favourite of mine) all the way to film scores – all at the press of a button! Deep swells, long reverbs and lush delays, what’s not to love?

Which instrument or effects plug-in have you used a lot this year/couldn’t do without and why?

 

FabFilter Pro Q – EQ is the ground for any good production, and the FabFilter Pro-Q is the top of the top! Easy to use, and a great visual aid to help get rid of those pesky frequencies. The solo button is a great addition to this product which can help to find those sweet spots, or clashes with other instruments! This goes great along side the Pro-MB to really sculpt the sound you are wanting from your recording.

A lot to pick from here, as I’m a busy man in the music biz; but I think managing to sell out our biggest local venue, Plymouth Pavilions with my band Haunt The Woods for the venue's new line of 'Pavilion Introduces' events; helping bring the ‘little man’ to the big stage! We played alongside one of my favourite acts down in the south-west, Wildwood Kin.

Another highlight - managing to storm a stage with a full production which I was in the front line for; from audio to lights, and then performing! All in aid to headline the show to promote our new album (dropping 28th February 2020, Hint Hint 😉). A very special moment for myself.

If you had to organise a concert featuring the best artists/bands of all time who would be the headliners?

Red Hot Chilli Peppers, easy! And to know John Frusciante has just joined the band again, this is a given – a little Christmas present from the big guys!

Snarky Puppy - If you haven’t heard of these guys before, do yourself a favour and go listen to them – great musicianship, funky tunes, what more can you want?

Vulfpeck - Incredible. Bass. Player. Great live shows, and fun to watch!

Garrick Wareham (Graphic Design)

What's been your favourite plug-in releases of the year at T+S and why?

Without a doubt, Omnisphere 2.6 is the best audio plugin of 2019. It’s great. An already huge instrument expanded with analog hardware capabilities and sounds from classic synths, what isn’t there to love?

Which instrument or effects plug-in have you used a lot this year/couldn’t do without and why?

Overloud TH-U tops the list, especially for the last few months - I’ve finally gotten around to teaching myself how to play guitar, and it’s indispensable for feeling like I can play along to songs with great tones, whilst not driving the rest of the house absolutely mad. Headphones in and I’m away!

An honourable mention goes to Toontrack SD3 here, it’s still a go-to for all things drum related and still gives me inspiration when I’m stuck in a rut...

What's been your greatest musical achievements/highlights of 2019?

I started my Masters in Music Therapy this year! Learn more about Music Therapy here: https://www.bamt.org/ 

If you had to organise a concert featuring the best artists/bands of all time who would be the headliners?

It would be easier to book a festival than a single gig!

Alexisonfire, Tesseract, and Caligula’s Horse would be my top current 3, although my music library has a lot in there that feels snubbed right now!

Jamie Farrington 

Jamie Farrington

What's been your favourite plug-in releases of the year at T+S and why?

Rob Papen Punch 2 was the best audio plugin of 2019. I’m always looking for both new drum samples and ways to create them myself. Punch 2 just happens to be a great combination of both of these! I was a frequent user of the original Punch so became very excited when I heard news of an update, and it’s exceeded my expectations! The new sample import feature has been a big one for me, I love having an easy way to sequence my own samples whilst combining them with the large range of high quality samples included in Punch 2.

 

Zero-G Psychoacoustics – The raw source material created by Si Begg and Sam Underwood for this Kontakt instrument is just crazy. There are loads of unique sound sources they recorded that you’ve probably never heard of such as ‘Dumbo Pipe’, ‘Superball Bass Drum’ and ‘Processed Lynch Rumble’ but trust me, they sound amazing! I’ve found myself constantly opening up Psychoacoustics when I need sound design or ambiences, and the Kontakt interface allows you to merge two sources together and manipulate them.

Which instrument or effects plug-in have you used a lot this year/couldn’t do without and why?

This year I’ve frequently been using Applied Acoustic Systems Objeq Delay, it’s a very creative effects plug-in that’s also really quick and easy to learn. I love it because it has an interesting effect chain; the input signal is run through unique acoustic resonating objects as well as a delay. I’ve been using it in lots of different circumstances and on many different sound sources/instruments, but I’ve found it particularly useful for adding variety and interest to a boring loop.

What's been your greatest musical achievements/highlights of 2019?

During the first half of 2019 I was working on a project with a dancer from the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance called Rosie. We put together a 14-minute performance which I wrote all the music for and she responded to, based on a concept we came up with together.

The piece is titled ‘States of Motion’ and features 3 separate movements, each one based on one of Isaac Newton’s 3 laws of motion. We decided on some rules that the music and choreography should follow which related to each law of motion; for example, the second law of motion discusses the acceleration of a force, so in the music you can hear the tempo accelerating and in response, Rosie’s dancing increases in intensity and speed. There is a full performance on YouTube, see below!

 

If you had to organise a concert featuring the best artists/bands of all time who would be the headliners?

It would have to be Aphex Twin, Björk and Arthur Russell (if he could return from the grave of course!). Maybe they could form a band together there and play? I would probably cry.