Plugin-alliance discussion

This is a dedicated thread for PA plugins. Made so to not clog the deals thread with general PA discussion.


There’s a lot to like from that company. Light on CPU and added latency.
I’m rather picky yet still find myself justifying a new purchase from them somewhat regularly, and I think their marketing savvy is obvious.

On the cheaper side of things, bx_opto is a favorite. I like how it gives me that optical sound but with some more control. Reminds me of my old TF Pro P10 hardware, which had different optics you could switch between.

Maag EQ2 is great for the high end.

Purple MC-77 I like for just chunking things up that are otherwise uninteresting, even if i only use it 15% dry/wet.

All three current synths, Oberhausen, Thorn, and Lion are worth having, IMO. Love the per OSC spread on Oberhausen.

I have many others but those are def my faves at the moment.


I picked up Sandman and Instant Delay. I’ve had the HG-2 plugin for a while now and absolutely love it. It’s on my drum bus in my default project now.

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And if you do the survey and get the $25 voucher they are, I believe, $15 each? That’s what I got Thorn for and am happy with it.

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Yea that’s what i used my mega $20 voucher on, first go around, a few days ago.
SpecOps into Sandman Pro is great for making backing layers, and interesting atmospheres out of just about any source material.


SpecOps looks interesting. Is it basically a granular multi effect? The technique you’ve described it basically what I use Output’s Portal for.

Not a sexy pick, but will juice your mixing skills if you learn how to use:




I didn’t really need any of them and grabbed Dent 2, the distortion. Haven’t downloaded it yet. Wonder if it’s any good…was free, though!

Yea, kinda.
You’d think it would have a more granular sound based on what it can do.
I quite like it for pitch shifting and stretching, creatively.
The modulators take it to interesting extremes.

Hey! Michael from Unfiltered Audio here. I popped up in the Bargain Thread, but figure I should post here. There are a lot of posts on BYOME, Triad, and LION, so I’ll bump some of the others:

SpecOps is purely a spectral effect, meaning all processing happens in the frequency domain using Fourier transforms. It’s not a granular effect, although the results can certainly be chunky and grain-like. One thing worth noting is this plugin generates latency, so it might not be the best in live setups. We have a “report zero latency” option that tells the DAW not to apply latency compensation. With this enabled, the dry signal is zero-latency. With some of the crazier SpecOps modes, this might not be noticeable, but with something simple like a basic pitch shift, you’ll notice a brief delay between dry and wet.

It’s pretty wild that you can get Dent 2 for free. It’s a super-aggressive distortion, inspired a lot by working with analog Eurorack modules. In particular, touchstones are the Doepfer A-136 and A-189-1, along with the Malgorithm. It works best on synths in my opinion.

If you have an Analog RYTM, Fault is worth checking out. I used the RYTM a lot while building that algo, so they pair well together. The first demo for Fault was just it + RYTM:

Sandman Pro is a micro-looper (think more stutters than sound-on-sound) and multi-mode delay in one. The Sample Rate knob affects the entire DSP algorithm (inspired by the TipTop Z-DSP or any FV-1 algorithm where you can control the clock rate of the processor). This makes it really well suited for lo-fi explorations.

Zip is our sleeper. Definitely demo it if you’re looking for a versatile dynamics processor. It’s probably our least-known plugin, but also the one that we get the most passionate emails about. Our friend Valance Drakes used it on every track on his latest album and upcoming EP.

Other than our stuff, I literally have every PA plugin since we’re part of the family. Even after all these years, I’m still working my way through them! My favorites so far:

  • Obvious ones are HG-1 Black Box and Phil’s Cascade. Not much to add other than I love these.
  • bx_refinement. If you do a lot of experimental stuff like me, this can save your mixes. It does a great job at removing harshness from the higher frequencies. I used it on every track on my Telemetry EP (
  • bx_delay 2500. This has solid ducking features and responds well to modulation (pairs especially well with Bitwig). I used it heavily on the first track of that EP.
  • bx_digital. Very well-behaved EQ. I use this and/or Fabfilter Pro-Q on everything

I bought Triad and I like it very much. It’s fun to use the built in modulation and sequencers for glitchy fx stuff.

Any recommendations for bread and butter mixing plugins on sale? Almost everything in the store is tagged as “mastering” so I’m not sure what to look for.


^I get a lot of use out of the Focusrite Console SC.

Lindell ChannelX is also good but a different flavor thanks to the 1176 and Pultec eq. The transformer saturation does the trick too.


I recently purchased the Mega Bundle and am very much enjoying my decision. It’s $250 for a one year lease of everything, plus they give you a $250 voucher to use towards permanent licenses. With the recent sale, I was able to grab about 8 of my favourites for a grand total of $30 after using the voucher. For reference I make kinda minimal experimental electronic music and master music for a few bands around town.

My standouts thus far are:
-All the Unfiltered Audio stuff, especially Byome. I also love Lion and Zip. I haven’t used Triad too much yet but as it follows the same principles as Byome I know it will come in handy when I encounter more harmonically varied source material in the future.

  • The Shadow Hills Mastering Comp, Townhouse, MC77, VSM Vertigo, Subfilter, Pan EQ, Digital and Channel X

The things that have been less useful for me have been the modelled channel strips (SSL/Neve/Focusrite etc) as I just really struggle to make them a part of my workflow, especially when I tend towards pretty basic source material (a lot of basic waveforms mashed with samples) but I can see how they would be awesome for people recording/mixing bands and the like.

I should hopefully have about 15-20 permanent licenses via Sales by the time my subscription finishes, it’s been well worth the price of the subscription to figure out what has value for me personally and what doesn’t.


For me Dent has passed the test and will be bought. Though funny you should say it is super-aggressive because all afternoon I was using it to give just the right amount of fullness to some acoustic guitar type sounds. Great results - just a tad bit more thickness to the sound. Great plugins and happy to see you on the forum!

Sandman pro is unbelievable for my needs. Mapped to a controller I get great results as a performance instrument. Instant delay also seems to have its own vibe (having said that I’m sure you’ll follow up and tell me it is the same code with less options and the vibe is just the presets - I won’t believe you!).

I’ve messed with zip but haven’t yet succeeded at turning it into the improved OTT that I’m looking for - something to bring up the noise and texture in a track (think dubtechno vibes) the way OTT does. Keep in mind that I’m a ham-fisted brute who just puts it on the master bus.


I’ve gathered a couple pa plugins over time. As already stated they sound good and are light on the cpu.
My workhouse in the composition phase is the SSL 4000 n. It’s on every channel to tidy up the sounds, add some compression and EQ for sound design. It’s so light on the cpu I can keep my buffer near the lowest setting.

Hg2 and elysia mpressor are always on my drum bus. Spl iron always lands on my 2 bus.

Spl vitalizer lands on almost every bus while mixing. It’s a workhorse for adding that extra something. The widening is crazy good.

Vsm3 does really good things when it works.

All the other plugins are for more specific uses. But I find they all are of high quality.

I picked up dearvr yesterday. If it’s useful I don’t know, but I bet it’s fun. Have some things in mind I want to try. If it doesn’t mess the phase up and doesn’t destroy a speaker sound, I’ll try to do some fun headphone gimmicks with it.

For everybody thinking about taking the pa route, try some trials. But be aware of monthly sales addiction.

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Just a heads up, if you used the $20 voucher a few days ago, they reset it and you can get use the same again.

I got the orange distortion and the green one for free. All of the Unfiltered Audio stuff is amazing, one of the programmers was the guy who did the Euro Reakt blocks, oh, the guy that posted above, been using them since they came out. Sandman Pro is defo one to check. The guitar pedals are decent, they sound amazing on Digitone.

The Neve strip is really nice, worth a look, the interface is horrible, but the comp is great. The Elysia Master is nice for compressing reverb tracks. The Maag4 is a classic plug in/hw too, it’s a bit weird to start with. The new SS9000 is very impressive too, quite different sounding to the others.

I can’t think of a single bad plug in the sell if I’m honest. One that everyone overlooks is cleansweep pro, it’s actually very good, it would be tricky to get the results that can with even the best eq’s, you’ll never get them in the same time.

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some PAs that I use:

BX digital EQ …. mix on single channels, master on the master bus
Elysia Alpha compressor on the master (sometimes I prefer it over the UAD SSL because of different flavour aka no flavour)
Byome … but this can get cpu heavy when modulating a lfo with a lfo with a lfo with a … you know :wink: reminds me of MI Clouds soundwise

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I’ve picked up bx_townhouse for a nice buss compressor to apply to my drum buss and possibly master buss.

I’ve also been evaluating the bx_console SSL 4000 channel strip plugins. I picked up the G series and I think I’ll also pick up the E as well.

I love the workflow that good channel strips provides. I’ve been using Satson CS, but I like the bx_console ones as they have a few more capabilities and I like the UI a bit more.

I also evaluated the bx_console N, but couldn’t get on with the UI even though it clearly had a nice warm sound.

has anyone tried the ADA Flanger? curious about that one, will go ahead and install the demo.

I was curious too, but since Valhalla made Space Modulator free, I am no longer curious.