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The 12 Best Plugins For Hip Hop Production (2024’s Best)

If you’re a hip hop producer, I’m sure you can agree, plugins are everything. 

 

However, with all the whack plugins out there, it can get a little difficult to find the ones that truly elevate your sound. 

 

Plus, you never know if a plugin will deliver the quality you need or just end up being a waste of time and money, which can seriously destroy your creative flow. 

 

That’s why we’re breaking down the 12 best plugins for hip hop production available today that are sure to enhance your beats.

 

Plus, they all include features like:

 

  • High-quality sound libraries ✓
  • Versatile effects and filters ✓
  • Real-time modulation options ✓
  • User-friendly interfaces ✓
  • Extensive preset libraries ✓
  • Built-in samplers ✓
  • Advanced synthesis capabilities ✓
  • Dynamic EQ and compression ✓
  • Customizable drum patterns ✓
  • Multi-band processing ✓
  • Much more ✓

 

After reading this article, you’ll have access to all the best plugins for hip hop production, so your tracks will always sound professional and stand out from the rest. 

 

Plus, you’ll be able to create, tweak, and perfect your music like a pro.

 

Side note, unlike most other articles, we’re not just naming a few details 一 we’re breaking down everything about each plugin. 

 

This way, you can make the right decisions for your unique workflow and know how to take full advantage of each plugin.

 

So, let’s dive right in…

 

#1. Drum Monkey by Unison Audio

 

best plugins for hip hop production

 

Drum Monkey by Unison Audio is a revolutionary drum loop generator designed to take your hip-hop production skills to the next level.

 

It’s one of the best plugins for hip hop production of all time.

 

This hip hop plugin uses cutting-edge machine learning and Unison-exclusive “drum-pattern recognition” algorithms to generate genre-specific drum loops.

 

It offers instant generation of drum loops for 30 different genres, so you’ll always have access to the right drum patterns for any project you’re working on.

 

Drum Monkey comes loaded with over 3,000 professional-quality samples, which is epic, and a built-in piano roll so you can edit your drum loop’s:

 

  • Velocity
  • Swing
  • Humanization

 

This way, you’ll have complete flexibility and control over your drum patterns.

 

Additionally, Drum Monkey includes a built-in saturator specifically designed for drums 一 which adds thickness, power, and punch to your drum sounds. 

 

Drum Monkey Piano Roll - Unison

 

It also features an ADSR envelope shaper and panning options so you can customize each sample’s punchiness, tightness, and stereo placement. 

 

With its user-friendly interface, Drum Monkey makes it easy to drag and drop loops directly into your DAW or export them in both audio and MIDI formats. 

 

NOTE: The groove saver feature allows you to store your favorite loops as presets, which is perfect for easily recalling them later.

 

Drum Monkey’s combination of advanced algorithms, extensive sample library, and intuitive editing tools make it an essential plugin for hip-hop productions.

 

If you’re looking to create professional-quality drum tracks effortlessly, look no further.

 

Download Drum Monkey Now

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Drum Monkey ADSR - Unison

 

  • Instant generation of genre-specific drum loops
  • 3,000+ professional-quality samples
  • Built-in piano roll with velocity, swing, and humanization
  • Built-in drum-specific saturator
  • ADSR envelope shaper and panning options
  • Drag and drop/export in audio and MIDI formats
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins/best software available

 

#2. Output Arcade

 

Output 2 - Unison

 

Output Arcade redefines sampling and loop manipulation, making it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

It’s been crowned the hitmakers’ favorite playable sampler and instrument plugin around and, unlike traditional VST plugins, it streams content directly from the cloud.

 

It provides a constantly updated library of loops and samples, so you’ll never have stale or outdated sounds.

 

Its intuitive interface allows for effortless real-time manipulation of loops, which makes it super easy (and fun) to create unique beats and melodies on the fly. 

 

One standout feature is the ability to transform loops into playable instruments 一 giving you immense creative freedom to modify and personalize your sounds. 

 

Arcade also excels in real-time customization, offering tools like: 

 

  • White keys for playing loops.
  • Black keys for modifying them. 

 

This setup allows for precise control over each element so every beat stands out. 

 

With an impressive library that spans various genres, like boom bap, Arcade is perfect for both traditional hip-hop and experimental hybrid styles

 

Plus, its user-friendly design and extensive sound manipulation capabilities make it an indispensable tool for modern hip-hop production. 

 

The combination of continuous content updates and intuitive controls solidifies Arcade’s place as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Arcade 1 - Unison

 

  • Cloud-based loop and sample streaming
  • Intuitive real-time manipulation
  • Transform loops into playable virtual instruments
  • Daily updated kits, one shots, and loops 
  • Genre-spanning sound library
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#3. Serum

 

Serum 8 - Unison

 

Serum by Xfer Records stands out in the hip-hop production world with its powerful wavetable synthesis and pristine sound quality. 

 

It offers an extensive sound library that can be tweaked to any producer’s needs through its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. 

 

Serum’s oscillators allow for creating both deep, rumbling basslines and crisp, sharp leads (which are, of course essential for hip-hop productions). 

 

Plus its high-quality filters and modulation options provide precise control over sound shaping so each beat has the punch and clarity needed for top-tier production. 

 

Also, Serum includes built-in effects such as reverb, delay, and distortion for added flexibility.

 

Another standout feature of Serum is its real-time wavetable manipulation, which you can use to create evolving sounds that will add depth and complexity to your tracks. 

 

This hip hop plugin also features an advanced unison engine 一 allowing up to 16 voices per oscillator for richer, fuller sounds. 

 

The modulation capabilities in Serum are epic, offering multiple LFOs and envelopes that can be assigned to any parameter, providing infinite creative possibilities.

 

The plugin’s ability to handle complex sound design while maintaining ease of use makes it a staple in hip-hop production. 

 

Plus its detailed control and high-quality output ensure that you can achieve the exact sound you’re envisioning, which is what it’s all about.

 

Bottom line, its status as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available is well-deserved.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Serum Remap Warp - Unison

 

  • Powerful wavetable synthesis
  • User-friendly drag-and-drop interface
  • High-quality filters and modulation options
  • Built-in effects (reverb, delay, distortion)
  • Real-time wavetable manipulation
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#4. Kontakt by Native Instruments

 

 

Kontakt - Unison

 

Kontakt by Native Instruments is a versatile and powerful sampler that has become an industry standard, making it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

This hip hop plugin features an extensive library of over 55 GB of high-quality sounds, including various: 

 

 

Plus Kontakt’s advanced sampling engine allows for detailed control over every aspect of the sound 一 from pitch and time-stretching to intricate modulation and scripting. 

 

And yes, it supports third-party libraries, so that’s always a plus.

 

Kontakt also includes a powerful effects section with over 70 high-quality effects (such as reverb, delay, compression, and EQ), which can be applied to any sound.

 

And its scripting capabilities allow for the creation of custom virtual instruments and effects, so you can tweak your sounds all day.

 

Kontakt’s time machine and beat machine modes offer advanced time-stretching and slicing capabilities, perfect for manipulating loops and samples in hip-hop production. 

 

It also supports multiple outputs for complex routing and mixing within your DAW. 

 

Kontakt’s combination of a vast sound library, advanced sampling engine, and flexible scripting make it an invaluable tool for all hip-hop producers. 

 

The depth and versatility of Kontakt solidify its status as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available, period.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Kontakt 1 - Unison

 

  • Extensive 55 GB sound library
  • Advanced sampling engine
  • Intuitive interface for music production
  • Used by professional producers (like Kanye West)
  • Over 70 high-quality effects
  • Powerful scripting capabilities
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#5. Omnisphere by Spectrasonics

 

Omnisphere 5 - Unison

 

Omnisphere by Spectrasonics is renowned for its expansive sound library and powerful synthesis capabilities 一 making it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

It features a mind-blowing variety of over 14,000 sounds perfect for hip-hop.

 

Omnisphere’s dual-layer interface allows for combining sounds from its extensive sample library with synthesis layers, offering unparalleled sound design flexibility.

 

It also includes a variety of synthesis techniques, including: 

 

 

So you can create everything from atmospheric pads to hard-hitting basslines, and everything in between.

 

Additionally, Omnisphere’s comprehensive modulation options, including multiple LFOs and envelopes, allow for intricate sound shaping and dynamic modulation effects. 

 

Its high-quality effects section includes reverb, delay, distortion, etc. which can be applied to any sound within the plugin to enhance its impact and presence.

 

NOTE: Omnisphere’s innovative Orb interface offers an intuitive way to manipulate sounds in real-time, making it easy to create evolving and expressive soundscapes

 

Plus, it also supports hardware integration 一 allowing users to control Omnisphere directly from their favorite hardware synthesizers.

 

Omnisphere’s ability to blend different synthesis methods and its huge sound library make it a powerhouse for hip-hop production. 

 

This blend of depth and versatility solidifies Omnisphere’s reputation as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Omnisphere - Unison

 

  • Expansive sound library (14,000+ sounds)
  • Great plugin with a sick sound selection
  • Dual-layer interface for music producers
  • Multiple synthesis techniques (wavetable, granular, FM)
  • Comprehensive modulation options
  • High-quality music effects section
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#6. FabFilter Pro-Q 3

 

FabFilter Pro Q 3 3 - Unison

 

FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is a standout equalizer plugin that is essential for hip hop production due to its exceptional sound quality and flexible functionality. 

 

This hip hop plugin offers up to 24 EQ bands per instance, allowing for precise control over the frequency spectrum

 

Pro-Q 3’s dynamic EQ feature helps to apply gain adjustments that respond to the input signal, perfect for taming resonances/enhancing specific frequencies in a dynamic mix. 

 

Plus the zero latency mode is ideal for live tracking, which ensures there is no delay in the audio signal. 

 

Additionally, the unique spectrum grab feature allows users to directly manipulate the EQ curve by clicking and dragging on the frequency spectrum.

 

This makes it not only intuitive, but extremely user-friendly.

 

FabFilter Pro-Q 3 also includes mid/side processing, which is key for managing the spatial elements of a mix.

 

This way, the center and side elements of your track are always balanced correctly. 

 

Also, its high-resolution spectrum analyzer provides a visual representation of the frequency content, so you can make more precise EQ adjustments. 

 

Pro-Q 3’s interface is designed for efficiency, with features like solo mode for isolating specific frequency bands and a customizable display for tailoring the workflow to individual preferences. 

 

The combination of its dynamic EQ capabilities, intuitive interface, and advanced features makes FabFilter Pro-Q 3 one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Pro Q 3 Mixing and Mastering Features - Unison

 

  • Up to 24 EQ bands per instance
  • Dynamic EQ feature
  • Zero latency mode
  • Spectrum grab feature
  • Mid/side processing
  • One of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#7. Battery 4 by Native Instruments

 

Battery 4 software - Unison

 

Battery 4 by Native Instruments is a powerhouse drum sampler specifically designed for creating and manipulating drum sounds.

 

This makes it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

It features an extensive library of over 200 professionally designed drum kits, covering a wide range of styles from classic to innovative hip-hop beats

 

Battery 4’s advanced cell matrix provides 128 cells for loading samples, each with individual controls for: 

 

 

This way, you’ll have detailed customization of every single drum hit.

 

It includes various built-in effects such as EQ, compression, and reverb 一 allowing you to shape your drum sounds directly within the interface. 

 

Additionally, Battery 4 supports drag-and-drop functionality so it’s easy to integrate with your existing sample library and streamline your workflow.

 

Moreover, Battery 4’s powerful modulation capabilities include envelopes and LFOs that can be assigned to any parameter, offering dynamic sound shaping options. 

 

This flexibility allows for creating complex, evolving drum patterns that are essential for modern hip-hop production. 

 

It also features a comprehensive mapping editor, which makes it simple to assign samples to MIDI notes, perfect for integrating your MIDI controllers/drum pads.

 

Battery 4’s high-quality sound engine ensures that all samples (like vinyl samples) retain their clarity and punch, even after extensive manipulation. 

 

If you’re looking to create unique and professional drum tracks, Battery 4’s versatility and depth makes it a top choice.

 

The combination of a vast library, intuitive interface, and powerful modulation is why its reputation as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available is on point.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Battery 4 - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Extensive library of 200+ drum kits
  • Epic sound selection
  • Advanced cell matrix with 128 cells
  • Built-in effects (EQ, compression, reverb)
  • Powerful modulation capabilities to tweak your own audio
  • Comprehensive mapping editor
  • Also one of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#8. Pigments 4 by Arturia

 

Pigments 4 2 - Unison

 

Pigments 4 by Arturia is a legendary software synthesizer that combines the best of analog warmth and digital synthesis.

 

This hip hop plugin features dual sound engines, letting you blend analog waveforms with modern wavetable synthesis for a wide range of sonic possibilities. 

 

Pigments 4’s intuitive interface includes drag-and-drop modulation, so it’s super easy to assign LFOs, envelopes, and other modulators to any parameter. 

 

It also comes with a vast preset library created by top sound designers 一 offering instant inspiration for hip-hop producers looking to create unique sounds

 

Additionally, Pigments 4 includes a range of built-in effects such as delay, reverb, and distortion, allowing for comprehensive sound shaping directly within the plugin. 

 

Pigments 4’s powerful sequencer and arpeggiator will help you create intricate rhythms and melodies that are essential for all hip-hop tracks. 

 

It also features a state-of-the-art granular synthesis engine for the creation of complex textures and evolving soundscapes. 

 

NOTE: The harmonic engine in Pigments 4 adds another layer of depth, enabling the synthesis of harmonically complex tones

 

Its user-friendly design and extensive modulation options make it an ideal tool for both beginners and experienced producers alike.

 

Pigments 4’s ability to combine different synthesis techniques and its epic sound design capabilities ensure it stands out in any hip-hop producer’s arsenal.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Pigments 4 - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Dual sound engines (analog and wavetable)
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop modulation
  • Vast preset library for modern music
  • Built-in effects (delay, reverb, distortion)
  • Powerful sequencer and arpeggiator
  • Also one of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#9. VocalSynth 2 by iZotope

 

VocalSynth 2 - Unison

 

VocalSynth 2 by iZotope is a cutting-edge vocal effects plugin that offers unparalleled vocal manipulation, making it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

This hip hop plugin features five unique vocal modules: 

 

  • Biovox uses vocal modeling to enhance the natural characteristics.
  • Vocoder creates classic robotic sounds.
  • Compuvox offers digital vocal effects reminiscent of computer voices.
  • Talkbox replicates the iconic sound of the hardware talkbox.
  • Polyvox  generates rich harmonies, perfect for adding depth to vocal tracks.

 

In addition to its vocal modules, VocalSynth 2 includes a comprehensive set of built-in effects, such as distortion, chorus, and delay

 

So if you’re looking for extensive vocal processing within a single plugin, you’ve got it. 

 

It also features a powerful pitch correction and vocal tuning module 一 ensuring that all vocals are pitch-perfect. 

 

Plus, its advanced MIDI control capabilities will help you control the vocal effects with MIDI input for real-time manipulation and creative control. 

 

VocalSynth 2’s ability to stack and blend different vocal effects modules allows for the creation of unique and complex vocals, which hip-hop is all about. 

 

The combination of versatile vocal effects, built-in processing tools, and intuitive design solidifies VocalSynth 2’s status as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

VocalSynth 2 2 - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Five unique vocal modules (Biovox, Vocoder, Compuvox, Talkbox, Polyvox)
  • Built-in effects (distortion, chorus, delay, tape saturation)
  • Mastering tools for vocals
  • Pitch correction and vocal tuning
  • Advanced MIDI control for smooth music-making
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
  • Also one of the best hip hop VST plug-ins available

 

#10. Portal by Output

 

Portal3 - Unison

 

Portal by Output is a groundbreaking granular effects processor that pushes the boundaries of sound design, making it one of the best plugins for hip hop production. 

 

It transforms audio into grains for radical manipulation and the creation of intricate textures and unique effects with its powerful granular engine.

 

Portal’s visually stunning circular XY control offers an intuitive way to shape granular synthesis in real-time 一 making it easy to create dynamic and evolving sounds. 

 

Plus, its extensive modulation system includes multiple LFOs and envelopes that can be assigned to any parameter, providing endless creative possibilities. 

 

Additionally, Portal comes with a comprehensive library of presets designed by top sound designers, offering instant inspiration for hip-hop producers like yourself.

 

So, when you want to beat beat-block, it’s perfect.

 

Its real-time grain control enables producers to manipulate the timing, pitch, and density of the grains 一 creating unique rhythmic and melodic patterns. 

 

Portal’s user-friendly interface and powerful sound manipulation capabilities make it an essential tool for producers looking to experiment with new sounds and textures. 

 

The combination of granular synthesis, intuitive control, and extensive modulation options ensures Portal remains one of the best hip hop VST plugins available.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Portal Drums - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Granular synthesis engine
  • Circular XY control for real-time shaping
  • Extensive music modulation system
  • Comprehensive preset library for hip hop music
  • Built-in effects (reverb, delay, distortion)
  • Super fun and intuitive
  • Also one of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

#11. Sylenth1 by LennarDigital

 

Sylenth1 2 - Unison

 

Sylenth1 by LennarDigital is a virtual analog synthesizer that has become a staple in the industry thanks to its rich sound quality and user-friendly interface. 

 

It features four unison oscillators capable of generating analog-style waveforms, producing sounds that are both warm and thick. 

 

Each oscillator can produce up to eight unison voices per note (allowing for up to 32 voices per note), which is essential for creating powerful and complex sounds. 

 

Sylenth1 also includes two state-of-the-art, analog-sounding filter sections, each with four filter types and various modulation options. 

 

This means you’ll have ultimate control over the sound-shaping process. 

 

Its extensive modulation capabilities that can be assigned to numerous parameters, which include: 

 

  • 2 ADSR envelopes
  • 2 LFOs
  • A modulation envelope

 

Sylenth1 also comes with an extensive built-in effects section 一 featuring distortion, phaser, chorus, EQ, delay, reverb, and compressor

 

Plus, its high-quality sound engine ensures that all sounds remain crisp and clear, even when heavily layered or processed. 

 

Its ability to produce a wide range of sounds, from deep basses to shimmering leads, is invaluable in the hip-hop world.

 

The combination of powerful oscillators, flexible modulation, and built-in effects solidifies Sylenth1’s reputation as one of the best hip hop VST plugins available. 

 

It puts most other great plugins to shame and is not just a bit cool, it’s revolutionary.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Sylenth1 Anatomy - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Great plugin with four unison oscillators
  • Analog-sounding filter sections
  • Extensive modulation capabilities for professional production quality
  • Built-in effects (distortion, saturation plugin, phaser, chorus, EQ, delay, reverb, compressor)
  • User-friendly interface for hip hop music
  • Perfect for any hip hop producer
  • Also of the best hip hop VST plug-ins available

 

#12. Addictive Drums 2 by XLN Audio

 

Addictive Drums 2 1 e1719967082673 - Unison

 

Addictive Drums 2 by XLN Audio is an industry-standard drum tool that’s perfect for creating and customizing drum sounds. 

 

It includes professionally recorded acoustic drums, captured in world-class studios to ensure the highest sound quality. 

 

As well as drum kits, one-shots, and MIDI beats for a wide variety of sounds and patterns to inspire rhythmic creativity. 

 

Addictive Drums 2’s user-friendly interface allows producers to quickly load kits and tweak individual drum sounds, providing detailed control over volume, pitch, and effects. 

 

It also features a powerful step sequencer that allows producers to create complex drum patterns with ease. 

 

And the advanced mixer offers individual channel controls, including EQ and compression, for each drum element 一 ensuring a polished and professional sound. 

 

Plus, Addictive Drums 2’s flexible routing options make it easy to integrate with your DAW (like FL Studio) and external hardware. 

 

The ability to combine and layer different drum sounds and effects allows any hip hop producer to create unique and dynamic drum tracks

 

The extensive library, intuitive interface, and advanced features make Addictive Drums 2 an invaluable tool and one of the best plugins for hip hop production.

 

Standout Features of this Hip-Hop Plugin:

 

Addictive Drums 2 - Unison

 

  • One of the best plugins for hip hop production
  • Professionally recorded acoustic drums
  • Extensive library of drum kits, one-shots, and MIDI beats
  • Built-in effects (distortion, reverb, delay)
  • Powerful step sequencer
  • Perfect for boom bap and other hip hop subgenres
  • Flexible routing for external hardware synths, etc.
  • Advanced mixer with individual channel controls
  • Also one of the best hip hop VST plugins available

 

Best Plugins For Hip Hop Production: Final Thoughts

 

Using the best plugins for hip hop production will take your music to new heights and help your tracks skyrocket to the top of everyone’s playlists.

 

The options we broke down today were all designed to give you high-quality sounds, versatile effects, and invaluable features.

 

All of which will make your production process smoother and more creative so your beats are always professional, clean, and on point.

 

So, go check out these classics for yourself 一 they can be your secret weapon.

 

Just remember to never stop getting creative and thinking outside of the box, which is what hip hop production (and production in general) is all about. 

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

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