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The 13 Best Filter Plugins For Unmatched Movement & Texture

Filters can dramatically alter the sound of your tracks, carve out space within a mix, and create movement and texture that brings your beat to life.

 

They help clear up unwanted frequencies and emphasize the ones you want to stand out so your tracks are always on point.

 

So, as a music producer, it’s important to know the best filter plugins available to make sure your music always sounds professional and fluid.

 

That’s why we’re breaking down the 13 best filter plugins, all containing key features/functions like:

 

  • Multi-mode filters ✓
  • Extensive modulation capabilities ✓
  • Analog emulation ✓ 
  • Real-time visual feedback ✓
  • MIDI compatibility ✓
  • Advanced routing options ✓
  • Programmable modulation envelopes ✓
  • Tempo-syncing capabilities ✓
  • Built-in distortion or saturation ✓
  • Stereo processing ✓
  • User-friendly interfaces ✓
  • Much more ✓

 

You’ll not only have access to the best filter plugins but also be able to take advantage of their power like an expert.

 

As well as skyrocket your sound design skills to a whole new level.

 

This way, your tracks will instantly captivate your listeners and blow the competition out of the water will professionalism and creativity.

 

So, let’s dive in…

 

Different Types of Filters

 

Before we dive right into the best filter plugins, let’s quickly go over the different types of filters so you can shape the sonic character of your audio properly. If you’re looking to enhance your tracks, the first step is knowledge.

 

  • Low-Pass Filters

 

filter plugins

 

A low-pass filter allows frequencies below a certain cutoff point (low frequencies) to pass through while attenuating frequencies above the cutoff. 

 

This type of filter is key when you want to remove harshness from certain sounds or make them sound more muffled and distant. 

 

For example, using a low-pass filter on a bright synth lead can soften its presence in a mix 一 allowing your other instruments to really stand out.

 

  • High-Pass Filters

 

High pass filter 3 - Unison

 

A high-pass filter does the opposite by allowing frequencies above a specified cutoff point to pass, and attenuating frequencies below it. 

 

It’s invaluable for cleaning up low-end rumble or isolating higher elements like hi-hats and vocal sibilance. 

 

A high-pass filter on a vocal track can help eliminate unwanted low-frequency noises like microphone pops or room hum.

 

  • Band-Pass Filters

 

Band Pass Filter 1 - Unison

 

Band-pass filters allow frequencies within a specific range to pass through while cutting off those that fall outside this range. 

 

A band-pass filter is super useful for isolating particular instruments within a busy mix or for creating telephone-like effects on vocals

 

For example, applying a band-pass filter can help a solo guitar stand out by focusing on its most critical frequency range.

 

  • Notch Filters

 

Notch Filter 2 e1679426247692 - Unison

 

Notch filters, also known as band-stop or band-reject filters, remove a specific frequency band 一 creating a notch in the frequency spectrum. 

 

A notch filter is useful for eliminating unwanted resonances or feedback from audio tracks that need it.

 

By applying a notch filter, you can reduce the impact of a resonant frequency that is causing muddiness without affecting the rest of the sound spectrum.

 

  • Formant Filters

 

Formant Filters - Unison

 

Formant filters are specialized filters that shape the sound by mimicking the vocal tract.

 

It emphasizes specific formant frequencies to alter the character of sound sources, especially in vocal and synthesizer performances. 

 

Using a formant filter can transform the timbre of a synth line 一 giving it a more vocal-like, expressive quality than other filters.

 

Now that you have a basic understanding of these essential filter types, let’s get to fun stuff: 13 must-have filter plugins available right now, so you can knock out professional tracks every time.

 

#1. FabFilter Volcano

 

FabFilter Volcano - Unison

 

FabFilter Volcano is loved for its cutting-edge interface and powerful filtering capabilities that set it apart in the digital music production world.

 

It extends beyond traditional filtering by offering four multimode filters, each capable of operating in a variety of configurations.

 

This includes serial, parallel, and per channel. 

 

Volcano’s innovative modulation system features extensive routing options, allowing almost any parameter to be modulated by sources such as: 

 

  • LFOs
  • Envelope generators
  • MIDI inputs

 

This flexibility makes it incredibly effective for creating dynamic, moving textures and razor sharp filter sweeps.

 

Volcano’s standout feature is its ability to interpolate flawlessly between different filter types 一 providing smooth transitions and a wide variety of tonal options

 

The graphical display is both functional/visually engaging and you’ll get real-time feedback that helps you shape the sound with precision and creativity. 

 

Its high-quality sound engine ensures that all filtering is crisp and clear, so it’s definitely a top choice for professional producers and beginners alike.

 

If you’re looking for the best example of a filter plugin that can bring the maximum movement and texture, look no further.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Four multimode filters with various configurations
  • Extensive modulation routing capabilities
  • Stereo processing capabilities, which allow independent left and right channels filtering for creating spatial effects.
  • Seamless interpolation between filter types
  • Graphical display for real-time feedback
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#2. Soundtoys FilterFreak

 

Soundtoys FilterFreak - Unison

 

Soundtoys FilterFreak is a powerhouse filter plugin that replicates all the warmth and depth of classic analog hardware. 

 

It excels in its ability to deliver authentic-sounding filter effects that perfect if you’re looking for that real vintage flavor.

 

FilterFreak can operate in one or two-filter modes 一 allowing for complex, layered filtering effects.

 

It includes a range of emulation modes that perfectly mimic the behaviors/characteristics of different hardware units.

 

Each filter can be driven with a built-in saturation control to add harmonic content, which enhances the overall warmth. 

 

It also features an adaptable LFO and envelope follower, so all dynamic modulation can be tweaked to the tempo and energy of any track. 

 

Whether used for subtle enhancement or more dramatic transformations, FilterFreak adds an undeniable presence to any audio material you feed it.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Authentic analog filter emulation
  • Single or dual filter configurations
  • Built-in saturation for added warmth
  • Adaptable LFO and envelope follower
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#3. Xfer Records LFOTool

 

What is LFO Tool - Unison

 

Xfer Records LFOTool is a must-have filter plugin for electronic music producers, renowned for its versatility and precision in modulation. 

 

It provides an extensive range of customizable LFO shapes.

 

It lets you users to modulate not just filters but also amplitude, pitch, and pan 一 making it a multi-purpose tool for dynamic effects. 

 

The interface allows for intricate drawing of modulation curves and has some seriously unparalleled control over how your effects evolve over time.

 

LFOTool is especially useful for creating: 

 

  • Rhythmic gating
  • Tremolo
  • Sidechain compression effects

 

All without needing any external inputs, which is incredible.

 

Its ability to sync perfectly with the host DAW’s tempo ensures that all modulations are tightly integrated with the musical context. 

 

Plus, it also includes a variety of filter types to apply these modulations, from simple low-pass filters to more complex formant and phaser effects.

 

Bottom line, you can get as crazy as you want with sound design techniques, so there’s really no better option.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Extensive range of customizable LFO shapes
  • Capable of modulating amplitude, pitch, and pan
  • Perfect sync with host DAW’s tempo
  • Great for any music production or sound design process
  • Variety of filter types including formant and phaser
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#4. Waves MetaFilter

 

Waves MetaFilter - Unison

 

Waves MetaFilter is a creative filter plugin designed to harness the power of filtering combined with an intuitive modulation system.

 

This makes it a super intriguing option for dynamic audio effects. 

 

Waves MetaFilter shines with its ability to track MIDI input, which lets you have real-time control over the filter’s cutoff frequency and resonance.

 

Meaning, whether you’re messing around in your home studio or performing live, there won’t be any problems (signature Waves styles). 

 

The distinctive feature of Waves MetaFilter is its step sequencer control, which can be used to create complex rhythmic patterns or subtle dynamic fluctuations in the filter’s parameters.

 

MetaFilter offers three separate modulation sources: 

 

  • An LFO
  • An envelope follower
  • A programmable step sequencer

 

Each source can be intricately linked to any of the filter parameters 一 providing a level of customization that lets you play around with creativity.

 

Plus, of course, Waves MetaFilter includes a variety of filter types, such as low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass, each with adjustable slopes for precise frequency isolation.

 

Overall, if you want to create standout stands, infuse your tracks with movement, and enhance your sound design skills, this is a great choice.

 

Key Features of This Waves Filter Plugin:

 

  • MIDI input for dynamic performance control
  • Step sequencer for complex rhythmic modulation
  • Professional brand, sounds, data, events, values, etc.
  • Three modulation sources (LFO, envelope follower, step sequencer)
  • Variety of filter types for movement with adjustable slopes
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#5. Cableguys FilterShaper Core

 

FilterShaper Core - Unison

 

Cableguys FilterShaper Core, which runs in SharperBox 3, is a highly versatile sound-shaping/modulation plugin that’s loved for its laser-precision control and creative potential. 

 

It excels in its envelope follower and LFO capabilities, which allows you to manipulate filter cutoff and resonance in real-time.

 

It responds to the amplitude of the incoming signal. 

 

This creates highly complex modulations that are perfectly in sync with the dynamics of the audio material.

 

FilterShaper Core features a unique visual interface that displays the waveform and allows users to draw custom modulation curves directly onto the sound. 

 

This direct manipulation of the waveform enables precise control over the modulation effects 一 making it ideal for detailed sound design manipulations. 

 

It includes several types of filters, including, for example: low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filters (you know, the usual).

 

They each provide super distinct sonic characteristics that can be blended and modulated in innovative ways.

 

FilterShaper Core won’t disappoint for any production or sound design project/process.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Envelope follower and LFO for dynamic modulation
  • Visual waveform interface for precise control
  • Ability to draw custom modulation curves to help create unique sounds
  • Comprehensive filter types including notch filter, band-pass filter, and other filters.
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#6. Sugar Bytes WOW2

 

Sugarbytes WOW2 - Unison

 

Sugar Bytes WOW2 is actually a pretty unique one because it offers unique filter types and creative effects that are not commonly found in other plugins. 

 

21 filter types, to be exact, including vowel and comb filters, which open up a world of sound design possibilities that I’ve personally had a lot of fun playing around with.

 

One of the key features of WOW2 is its extensive modulation system, which includes an envelope follower, an LFO, and a step sequencer. 

 

These tools can be used independently or combined in various ways to generate dynamic, moving effects within your track. 

 

This filter plugin also features a distortion section that can add grit or warmth to the filtered audio 一 enhancing the impact of your effects nicely.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • 21 unique filter types (examples: vowel, comb, and other filters less common)
  • Powerful modulation system with multiple sources
  • Intuitive interface designed for experimentation
  • Built-in distortion section for enhanced sound design
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#7. u-he Filterscape

 

u he Filterscape - Unison

 

u-he Filterscape is more than just a filter plugin… it’s triplet threat.

 

Combining filtering, EQ, and delay into one extensive package, it certainly conquers the rest when it comes to adaptability.

 

You can easily transform and manipulate your audio in endless ways.

 

Filterscape offers a: 

 

  • Dynamic EQ section
  • Flexible delay line
  • Powerful filter module

 

All of which can be configured independently or used together to create complex, evolving textures that people go crazy for.

 

Its filter module gives you everything you need and some, featuring traditional types like low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass, along with more exotic options such as comb and formant filters. 

 

NOTE: Each filter type is finely tunable, with controls for cutoff, resonance, and modulation depth. 

 

Filterscape’s modulation capabilities are extensive 一 including LFOs, envelope followers, and step sequencers that can be routed to any parameter.

 

So, achieving detailed dynamic changes and rhythmic patterns within the audio is easy as pie (not to mention fun).

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Combines filtering, EQ, and delay in one unit
  • Exotic filter types like comb and formant
  • Extensive modulation routing capabilities
  • Dynamic EQ for frequency-specific adjustments
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#8. TAL-Filter-2 (Free)

 

TAL Filter 2 - Unison

 

TAL-Filter-2 is a diamond in the rough when it comes to free filter plugins as you get all the vital functionality without any of the cost. 

 

This free filter plugin is designed to be both user-friendly and versatile 一 featuring a multi-mode filter with options for low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filters. 

 

Its super easy to use and has a straightforward interface, so it’s perfect for new producers and professionals who need quick and effective filtering solutions.

 

One of the key attractions of TAL-Filter-2 is its programmable envelope editor, which lets you create custom modulation shapes that can be applied to any filter type. 

 

It provides immense flexibility and precise control over how the filter affects the audio signal, so you won’t have to sacrifice quality.

 

Plus, this free filter plugin includes a built-in LFO that can be synced to the host tempo, providing rhythmic modulation options that music production enthusiasts need.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Multi-mode filter including notch and band-pass
  • Programmable envelope editor for custom modulations
  • Built-in tempo-synced LFO
  • Perfect if you want to create epic sounds
  • User-friendly interface, ideal for all sound design skill levels
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#9. MeldaProduction MFilter

 

MeldaProduction MFilter - Unison

 

MeldaProduction MFilter is a highly advanced filter plugin that goes beyond basic filtering methods to offer unparalleled control and flexibility. 

 

Its standout feature is the adjustable filter curve, which you can shape precisely to meet all your specific sound design needs. 

 

It supports virtually unlimited filter types, including standard low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and more exotic forms like: 

 

  • Variable slope filters
  • Resonators

 

This alone makes it one of the best filter plugins available.

 

The customization extends with its powerful modulation system, where almost any parameter can be modulated from sources.

 

This includes LFOs, audio levels, envelope followers, randomizers, and more. 

 

MFilter even includes a real-time spectral analyzer 一 giving you instant visual feedback on how the filter settings are affecting the audio signal. 

 

This makes it not only powerful but also intuitive to use, even for complex sound manipulation tasks (remember, it’s all about evolving and growing).

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Highly customizable filter curve
  • Supports unlimited filter types for extra movement
  • Extensive modulation capabilities 
  • Real-time spectral analyzer
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#10. Eventide Physion

 

Eventide Physion - Unison

 

Eventide Physion is a unique and innovative filter plugin that utilizes Eventide’s Structural Effects technology to split audio into its transient and tonal parts. 

 

This capability allows users to apply a combination of different effects to each component separately.

 

Meaning, you’re reaching a new level of precision and creativity in your sound processing endeavors.

 

Physion is not just a filter plugin 一 it’s the ideal tool for reshaping and enhancing any audio material you can think of.

 

It includes a range of filter options tailored for the transient and tonal elements, from simple high-pass and low-pass filters to more sophisticated band-pass and notch filters. 

 

This dual approach helps you fine-tune their sound’s attack and sustain characteristics separately, optimizing the clarity and definition of the audio. 

 

And yes, it has an intuitive interface so even newbies can take advantage of its powerful features.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Splits audio into transient and tonal components
  • Separate filtering for each component
  • Range of sophisticated filter options
  • Innovative Structural Effects technology
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#11. Native Instruments Driver

 

Native instruments Driver - Unison

 

Native Instruments Driver combines an aggressive distortion unit with a powerful resonant filter, which is perfect for adding dynamic edge to any track. 

 

It really comes through with the effects, from mild tonal adjustments to over-the-top distortion-driven transformations. 

 

Driver features a clean and intuitive interface that simplifies the control of its complex capabilities, such as the envelope follower and LFO, which can modulate both filter and distortion parameters for synchronized dynamic effects.

 

The key to Driver’s versatility is its adaptive resonance control.

 

It allows you to dial in the perfect amount of emphasis without risking runaway feedback (a common issue with less sophisticated filters).

 

This makes it especially useful for aggressive music styles where clarity and impact are paramount, like EDM, hip-hop, trap, rock, etc.

 

NOTE: Driver also includes a side-chain input which can trigger the filter envelope, offering further creative control over how the filter interacts with other elements in the mix.

 

I would say it’s one of those best filter plugins that are going to stick around.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Combines distortion and resonant filtering for extra movement
  • Envelope follower and LFO for dynamic modulation
  • Adaptive resonance control (huge amount of control)
  • Side-chain input for complex setups
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#12. Phoscyon 2

 

Phoscyon 2 - Unison

 

Phoscyon 2 is a detailed emulation of the classic Roland TB-303 synthesizer, known for its distinct acid bass lines and squelchy resonant filters. 

 

It extends the capabilities of the original hardware with enhanced control over its filter section, including a finely tunable cutoff, resonance, envelope modulation, and decay. 

 

Phoscyon 2 not only recreates the iconic sound but also integrates a: 

 

 

This adds a modern twist to its retro foundation that is absolutely epic.

 

Phoscyon’s filter is key to its character, offering both a classic low-pass mode and a high-pass filter setting.

 

This way you can shape the harmonic content of the acid sequences dramatically. 

 

Plus, its intuitive pattern editor and various modulation options let you play around with  innovative sound design, experimentation, and exploration. 

 

This makes it an invaluable tool for generating some real vintage acid vibes. 

 

That old school, new school combination of sounds is super popular right now, so take advantage of this one.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Authentic 303 emulation with extended features
  • Classic low-pass and high-pass filter modes
  • Built-in arpeggiator and random pattern generator
  • Tunable filter parameters for detailed sound shaping
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

#13. Bonus: Kilohearts Filter

 

Kilohearts Filter - Unison

 

Kilohearts Filter is a simple, yet highly effective filter plugin that is part of the Kilohearts Snapin ecosystem, designed to be used alone or within the modular host environments like Multipass or Phase Plant. 

 

It offers a selection of essential filter types, including low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filters, each with its distinctive characteristics and applications, of course. 

 

Kilohearts Filter features a super minimalist interface that focuses on only the essential parameters, like cutoff and resonance.

 

The simplicity of the Kilohearts Filter does not compromise its utility…

 

It still provides smooth, artifact-free filtering, which is key for professional-grade tracks

 

NOTE: Filter supports Kilohearts’ modulation system 一 allowing for easy integration of LFOs, envelope followers, and other modulators available within the Snapin ecosystem. 

 

This makes it a flexible partner for quick filter tasks and complex, evolving soundscapes alike.

 

Key Features of This Filter Plugin:

 

  • Selection of essential filter types
  • Part of the Kilohearts Snapin ecosystem
  • Smooth, artifact-free filtering for extra movement
  • Supports complex modulation setups
  • One of the best filter plugins available

 

Best Filter Plugins: Final Thoughts

 

Now that you have access to the best filter plugins in the game, I just wanted to leave you with one final pro tip…

 

In order to get really creative you need to practice with the absolute best sounds and resources, which is where these Free Project Files come in.

 

In reality all an EQ is is a bank of filters, so try swapping out some of the EQs in the project files with filters and see how it can change the entire feel of the mix.

 

For example, try swapping out the master EQ’s top-end band with a low-pass filter (analog variety) to hear how this simple change can enhance the harmonic profile while also cutting the frequencies above the cutoff.

 

This is a trick that’s used by your favorite producers, I can guarantee it.

 

There’s so many opportunities when it comes to filters and filtering techniques, so remember to always keep learning, practicing, and expanding your mind.

 

Your music and audience will thank you.

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

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