Back to Blog

The 13 Most Popular Music Production Plugins of 2024 (Rated)

With so many plugins dropping every other day, it’s hard to know which ones are really worth it and which ones will seriously let you down.


So, we’re breaking down the most popular music production plugins of 2024 that are ranked by the masses and top professionals alike. 


Each plugin included will not only help your tracks sound super clean, but help you enhance your production and sound design skills in the process.


The reason these top plugins were crowned elite are for things like:


  • Pristine audio quality and unique features
  • Expansive libraries of dynamic sounds & presets
  • Revolutionary real-time waveform manipulation
  • Integration with all major DAWs
  • Customizable interface with endless creative possibilities
  • Advanced modulation feature set
  • Comprehensive support for high-resolution audio formats
  • Community-driven development and updates
  • Sound design tools for detailed audio sculpting
  • High-performance algorithms with low CPU impact
  • Versatile capabilities for various music genres
  • Sick effects and vocal processing plugins
  • Much more


After reading this article, you’ll know everything about the most popular music production plugins in the game (in depth). 


This way, you can make the right decision before wasting your time or money, and ensure your tracks are always on point.


So, let’s dive in to these essential plugins…


#1. Zen Master by Unison Audio (10/10)


music production plugins


Zen Master is one of the most legendary new free plugins in the game, hands-down. 


Considered to be the most innovative new plugin around, it’s designed to instantly infuse any track with that magical warmth and vintage charm of lo-fi music. 


With just five knobs, Zen Master simplifies the process of transforming sounds 一 making it perfect for both beginners and professionals alike.


Each knob was made with precision to alter any sound uniquely: 


  • Hypnosis 一 For detuning and widening
  • Imbalance 一 For tape-modeled pitch wobble
  • Electrify 一 For classic lo-fi bitcrushing
  • Noise 一 For adding vinyl crackle or white noise
  • Ascend 一 For lush, clean reverb


For a free version, you’re getting insane value you won’t find anywhere else. 


Whether enhancing tracks with subtle vintage vibes or creating a fully transformed lo-fi soundscape, Zen Master delivers unmatched quality and simplicity.


It’s a must-have free plugin in every music production toolkit and a go-to plugin for some pretty heavy-hitters in the game.


Download the #1 Music Production Plugin Now


Key Features of this Free Plugin:


  • Instant lo-fi warmth & vintage sound with simple controls/free download.
  • Five unique effects knobs: Hypnosis, Imbalance, Electrify, Noise, Ascend.
  • Compatible with all digital audio workstations and both Mac & PC.
  • CPU-friendly, even with intensive reverb and pitch modulation.
  • 100% free forever, with no cost for the plugin or future updates.
  • One of the best free plugins/music production plugins available for achieving professional lo-fi sounds.


#2. Serum by Xfer Records 9.9/10


Serum 8 - Unison


Serum by Xfer Records is the most mind-blowing (and recognizable) wavetable synthesizer 一 known for its clear, detailed sound and high-quality audio.


It avoids aliasing noise thanks to ultra-clean setup, and excels in innovative sound design with its dual wavetable oscillators.


Serum allows for intricate manipulations such as: 



Each of which are complemented by a sub-oscillator and noise generator for additional texture and depth.


The interface offers a drag-and-drop system for ease of use and efficient workflow, which enhances creativity and inspires many professionals you probably love.


Serum includes a comprehensive effects rack with reorderable processing like reverb, delay, distortion, and filtering for dynamic sound creation. 


Additionally, it comes packed with a vast library of presets and wavetables that users like yourself can customize or expand by importing their own audio.


It will help you create unique wavetables and epic sounds like never before.


When it comes to music production plugins, Serum’s real-time visual feedback on wavetable manipulations are unmatched. 


It provides a highly interactive and intuitive user experience 一 making it one of the most essential music production plugins for EDM (and other popular genres).


So, any music producers looking for an industry-standard VST plugin, Serum combines quality, control, and creative freedom in sound design for the perfect option.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • High-quality audio with ultra-clean oscillators to prevent aliasing noise.
  • Advanced wavetable manipulation with real-time visual feedback.
  • Dual wavetable oscillators with multiple modulation modes.
  • Comprehensive effects rack with an ability to change the order of effects.
  • Easy modulation and dynamic options for sound designers.
  • The best wavetable synth VST plugin/music production plugins available.


#3. Arturia V Collection X & Analog Lab (9.5/10)


Arturia’s V Collection X Arturia’s V Collection and Analog Lab are both very comprehensive sets of virtual instruments that bring all the sounds of classic synths into your modern digital audio workstation


V Collection X 



V collection arturia - Unison


V Collection X features a seriously game-changing library of over 28 iconic synths and keyboards for any innovative producer.


Each are modeled with Arturia’s exclusive True Analog Emulation technology to ensure  that authentic analog warmth and texture people absolutely love.


Analog Lab


Analog Lab 1 - Unison


Analog Lab, on the other hand, serves as a streamlined interface to this vast library 一 offering over 2000 presets from the V Collection in a straightforward format.


Both top plugins excel in delivering vintage sounds alongside cutting-edge features.


This includes: 


  • Advanced modulation matrices
  • Customizable presets
  • Integrated effects


So, you can imagine how creative and intricate you can get.


For any music producers and sound designers looking to blend classic tones with modern audio production techniques, either plugin is top-notch.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • True Analog Emulation® technology for authentic sound reproduction.
  • Over 28 classic synths and keyboards meticulously modeled.
  • More than 2000 presets available through Analog Lab V.
  • Advanced modulation matrices for dynamic loops/sound shaping.
  • Customizable presets and built-in effects for enhanced creativity.
  • Integrated with all major digital audio workstations for seamless workflow.
  • One of the best VST (virtual studio technology) plugins for music producers.


#4. FabFilter Pro-Q 3 (9.4/10)


FabFilter Pro Q 3 3 - Unison


When it comes to music production plugins, FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is definitely up there.


It is loved in the audio production community for its unparalleled sound quality and flexibility as an equalizer


This VST plugin excels in both simple and complex mixing tasks with a dope feature set that offers things like:


  • Dynamic EQ
  • Per-band mid/side processing
  • Aautomatic gain compensation


Pro-Q 3 offers up to 24 bands of precision equalization 一 allowing you to sculpt audio with razor-sharp accuracy. 


Its intuitive spectrum analyzer and Solo mode will help you identify problematic frequencies and make adjustments with some serious confidence. 


Plus, its sleek interface and fluid workflow enhancements (such as the ability to drag and drop bands) make it an absolute favorite.


For all music producers demanding both functionality and aesthetic simplicity in their VST plugins, this is definitely one of the music production plugins for you.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Up to 24 bands of ultra-precise equalization.
  • Dynamic EQ options for responsive frequency sculpting.
  • Per-band mid/side processing for advanced stereo imaging.
  • Automatic gain compensation to maintain volume consistency.
  • Intuitive spectrum analyzer and solo mode for precise adjustments.
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for easy workflow integration.
  • One of the best VST plugins/music production plugins available.


#5. Valhalla VintageVerb (9/10)


VintageVerb Effects - Unison


Valhalla VintageVerb offers a collection of reverb algorithms inspired by both vintage hardware and modern digital design


So, when it comes to reverb plugins, it’s actually pretty unique.


It captures the essence of classic reverbs from the 1970s and 1980s 一 delivering lush, warm sounds that are perfect for adding space and depth to your tracks. 


With its simple yet powerful interface, VintageVerb includes 18 different reverb types such as Concert Hall, Bright Hall, Plate, Room, Chamber, and more. 


Each setting offers unique reflections and decay patterns that can be deeply customized with controls over:



This flexibility makes it incredibly valuable for music producers looking to tweak and manipulate different reverb sounds for various genres.


Plus, it’s straightforward style really lets you get things done quickly and efficiently.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • 18 distinct reverb algorithms inspired by vintage and modern styles.
  • Controls for decay, pre-delay, mix, and modulation to shape the reverb.
  • Color modes that replicate the saturation and tone of older reverb units.
  • High-quality sound with low CPU usage unlike other music production plugins.
  • User-friendly interface that speeds up workflow.
  • One of the best VST plugins/reverb plugins available for music producers.


#6. Soundtoys 5 (9/10)


SoundToys 5 - Unison


Soundtoys 5 is an extensive bundle of creative effects plugins that transform any sound design or music production task into a playground of sonic possibilities. 


This bundle includes 21 individual plugins such as: 


  • Decapitator 一 For analog saturation
  • EchoBoy 一 For classic echoes
  • Little Plate 一 For smooth reverb effects
  • Many others


So, since they’re offered all in one place, you’ll have access to all the audio processing tools you’ll need to create epic beats.


Each unique plugin is designed with an intuitive interface and includes some legendary presets.


Soundtoys 5 excels in combining vintage tones with modern features, so you can create custom effect chains and unique soundscapes effortlessly.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • 21 powerful plugins for a variety of sound shaping capabilities.
  • Analog emulation for warmth and character.
  • Advanced rhythmic effects and pattern creation in EchoBoy and Tremolator.
  • The ability to create custom effect chains with the Effect Rack.
  • Preset library with hundreds of settings to start quickly.
  • One of the best VST plugins available for music producers.


#7. Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor (8.9/10)


SSL G Master Buss Compressor 1 - Unison


The Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor plugin models the famous SSL 4000 G console’s master buss compressor, renowned for its ability to glue mix elements together seamlessly. 


This VST plugin is essential for achieving polished, radio-ready tracks because it provides the perfect balance of clarity and cohesion. 


It features a simple set of controls including:



These are, as you know, key for fine-tuning dynamics.


The auto-release function adds a level of smart processing that adapts to your music 一 making it easier to maintain energy while controlling peak levels. 


The SSL G-Master Buss Compressor is widely used by professionals to ensure their mixes sound unified and dynamically consistent.


So, if you’re looking for music production plugins that are trusted and reliable, look no further.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Precise emulation of the SSL 4000 G console’s buss compressor.
  • Simple controls for threshold, attack, release, and makeup gain.
  • Auto-release function for intelligent dynamic control.
  • Adds cohesion and punch to mixes without sacrificing clarity.
  • Trusted by professionals for mastering and mixing.
  • Pristine quality, like all waves plugins.
  • One of the best VST plugins available for music producers.


#8. Decapitator by Soundtoys (8.9/10)


Decapitator 1 - Unison


Decapitator by Soundtoys is not just another saturation plugin in the world of endless music production plugins…


It’s the perfect way to add analog warmth and depth to your tracks.


This VST plugin provides five different analog saturation models that mimic the harmonic distortion of vintage gear. 


Whether you want to gently enhance the warmth of a track or radically transform it with rich overtones and gritty textures, Decapitator handles both with ease. 


NOTE: Its ‘Punish’ mode intensifies the effect for more aggressive tonal shaping, while the balanced mix control allows for perfect blending with the original signal. 


Decapitator’s ability to emulate tube, tape, and transistor circuits makes it a versatile and indispensable plugin in any music production toolkit.


Side note, if you’re looking for the top saturation plugins, we’ve got you covered.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Five distinct analog saturation models that emulate classic hardware.
  • ‘Punish’ mode for extreme saturation effects for any innovative music producer.
  • Mix control for blending the processed and dry signals.
  • Emulates the sound characteristics of tube, tape, and transistor circuits.
  • User-friendly interface that facilitates quick adjustments.
  • One of the best VST plugins available for music producers.


#9. iZotope Ozone 11 (8.8/10)


Ozone 11 - Unison


iZotope Ozone 11 continues to redefine the boundaries of mastering plugins, that helps music producers achieve a polished, industry-standard sound. 


Enhanced with AI-driven mastering tools, Ozone 11 offers a way smarter and more intuitive workflow through its Master Assistant.


It automatically suggests starting points for signal chains based on the sonic profile of your music, which is actually pretty awesome.


This top-notch mastering plugin features advanced modules like the: 


  • Spectral shaper
  • Dynamic EQ
  • Maximizer


Each of which give you precise control over dynamics and tonal balance. 


iZotope has further improved Ozone’s codec preview function 一 providing real-time listening feedback on how masters will sound post-compression


The addition of new vintage modules adds warmth and character, emulating the analog feel of classic gear beautifully.


With its seamless integration into any digital audio workstation and support for high-resolution audio formats, Ozone 11 by iZotope is certainly one of the best music production plugins around.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • AI-driven Master Assistant for automated setup suggestions.
  • Advanced modules for dynamic and spectral shaping.
  • Codec preview for real-time encoding simulation.
  • Vintage modules for adding analog warmth and character.
  • Seamless integration with all major DAWs.
  • Support for high-resolution audio formats.
  • Recognized as one of the best mastering plugins available for professional sound quality.


#10. Kontakt 7 by Native Instruments (8.8/10)


Kontakt 7 - Unison


Kontakt 7 by Native Instruments sets a new standard for virtual sampling, offering unparalleled depth and flexibility for music producers and sound designers.


This latest version from Native Instruments features an updated HiDPI Factory Library that brings a richer sound palette and more realistic instrument simulations. 


Native Instruments has included innovative sound design tools into Kontakt 7, so you can manipulate and create sounds with precision. 


The new version interface is also streamlined for better workflow 一 making it easier to flip through the vast library of sounds. 


NOTE: With enhanced scripting capabilities, Kontakt 7 by Native Instruments provides advanced users the ability to create and customize their own instruments and effects


Kontakt 7 supports all major DAWs, thanks to Native Instruments’ commitment to compatibility and integration.


And, it also includes a variety of effects of course (from reverb to modulation) for any music producer and all types of audio production. 


The creative possibilities are endless, so you can get as crazy as you want.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Revamped HiDPI Factory Library with enhanced sound quality.
  • Advanced scripting capabilities for custom instrument creation.
  • New user interface for improved navigation & workflow.
  • Compatibility with all major DAWs/VST format available (virtual studio technology)
  • Comprehensive effects section for versatile sound shaping.
  • Continuous updates and support from Native Instruments.
  • One of the best VST plugins available for music producers/making music.


#11. Pigments 4 by Arturia (8.6/10)


Pigments 4 - Unison


Pigments 4 by Arturia continues to be a leading choice when it comes to VST instruments/virtual instruments.


With one comprehensive interface, It blends:



This VST plugin is famous for its innovative design that allows for visual manipulation of soundwaves in real-time.


It greatly enhances the sound design experience, take it from me.


Pigments 4 is killing it with its new harmonic engine 一 adding another layer to its already insane sound palette. 


Its intuitive layout, combined with its powerful sequencing and modulation capabilities, makes it ideal for producing complex sounds and textures. 


With its extensive preset library, you’ll have immediate access to a huge selection of all the sounds that you can customize to fit any track.


So, when it comes to music production plugins, the masses would agree that this one is not only effective, but seriously innovative (and flat out fun).


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Advanced synthesis techniques including wavetable, virtual analog & granular.
  • New harmonic engine to generate sound like a pro.
  • Real-time visual feedback on all adjustments for making music with precision.
  • Powerful sequencing and modulation options.
  • Extensive preset library featuring a wide range of sounds.
  • One of the best VST plugins/VST instruments/virtual instruments available.
  • Amazing music production software available for music producers.


#12. PORTAL by Output (8.4/10)


Portal - Unison


PORTAL by Output transforms any input signal into a reshaped sonic landscape through its granular synthesis effect.


This alone makes it a go-to plugin for producers looking to explore new musical ideas and textures that can crush the competition.


It stretches and manipulates sounds in real-time 一 helping you to create everything from rhythmic patterns to sweeping, ambient textures. 


PORTAL’s interface features an XY control pad, which makes it highly interactive and immersive for any music producer.


It provides real-time tactile control over the granular synthesis parameters


With its various presets and effects, including modulation, filtering, and tempo-synced grain delay, PORTAL is super intricate.


It’s perfect for adding a unique touch to pads, vocals, percussion, and more.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • Granular synths that reshapes and manipulates audio.
  • Interactive XY control pad for dynamic effect manipulation.
  • Wide range of presets and effects for instant creativity.
  • Modulation, filtering, and grain delay functionalities for vocals, percussion, etc.
  • Ideal for creating unique rhythmic patterns and textures.
  • One of the best VST plugins available for music producers and many professionals.


#13. Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Bundle (8.3/10)


Lexicon Pro e1714425213396 - Unison


The Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plugin Bundle brings that legendary Lexicon reverb sound to your digital audio workstation with unparalleled quality and flexibility. 


Known for its transparent sound, it provides a comprehensive set of algorithms that replicate the sounds and characteristics of Lexicon’s famed hardware reverb units. 


The PCM Native Reverb Bundle includes all the essential reverb types, like:


  • Hall
  • Chamber
  • Plate
  • Room
  • Etc.


Each with extensive customization options to help you fine-tune reverb decay, reflections, and tonality with ease.


Its intuitive user interface and flexible presets make it easy to achieve beautiful, lush reverb sounds that are ideal for any music or post-production project.


Key Features of this Music Production Plugin:


  • High-quality reverb sounds/audio software based on Lexicon’s classic hardware.
  • Wide variety of reverb types including Hall, Chamber, Plate, and Room.
  • Extensive customization options for decay, reflections, and tonality.
  • Transparent sound that does not overwhelm the original signal.
  • User-friendly interface with flexible presets for quick setup.
  • One of the best music production production plugins/reverb plugins available.


Music Production Plugins: Final Thoughts


Each one of the music production plugins we broke down today are not only loved by the masses, but they can help you enhance your skills.


Plus, help you make unique, show-stopping music, of course.


Remember, the right music production plugins don’t only refine your tracks, but also expand your creative horizons and make you a better overall producer.


It’s all about finding options that vibe with your unique style and elevate your music.


So, with these unparalleled music production plugins at your fingertips, go ahead and don’t just make music 一 make movements.


Until next time…




Leave a Reply



Sound Doctor Mainstage Expansion Pack



You have no items in your cart.