Best products for sound design work?

Please share your thoughts on products that have most potential use for pure sound design work, be it sound source, utility module or some other product for eurorack system.

An I/O module that lets you interface with the non-eurorack world of audio.


If such a thing existed - a module that captures your imagination.
That’s probably the most important thing alongside whatever equipment you own at the moment :slight_smile:


I guess everything, experimenting is the most important part.
But the essential one is a mic for capting and something for processing like Modular is wonderful to experiment but software as well like reaktor is very powerful.
Contact mics are used quite a lot and they’re cheap as hell and easy to DIY.
From what I heard Kyma sounds like the final solution in terms of sound design power.


I dunno. For DSP there are so many options available if you are willing to make use of a computer.

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Yeah I know I was saying that considering it as a complete and finalized product, especially made for that purpose.

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I recently use the Morphagene with various Eurorack filters for a sound design project. I was very happy with the results. I’ll definitely be doing this again in the future.

As boring as this is, Serato Pitch n Time Pro is one of my most used sound design tools. It has the best pitch and time compression/stretching algorithms I’ve heard to date. A close second is the TCE within Pro Tools.

The Unfiltered Audio plugins are quite impressive. The Sandman Pro and the Fault can get really insane once you start automating everything.

I’ve never used Kyma but this is also what I’ve heard. I’ve seen only the most serious of sound designers using it.

I’d say Erbe-Verb is a pretty amazing tool for sound design - a lot of possibilities from warm, lush, and pretty to very scary, brittle, etc. I get a lot of very interesting material from self-oscillation with high decay as well


+1 for i/o modules - a lot of WTF? sounds come from bits and bobs that I process. I’ve got a rode m3 that I can plug straight into my i/o module, sample whatever on the rack, and then mess around with it.

For ambiental noise, I’ve found that a lot of cross modulation of oscillators can really bring static sounds alive. I have a doepfer 143-4 that i patch into itself for complex ambiences and drones.

Modules that can feedback are also a massive bonus. I use a string reverb for this, but also analog delays can create amazing feedback loops that you can then filter, modulate, delay again, and generally have fun with.

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Music Thing Mikrophonie or Mutable Instruments Ears and an external contact mic.

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Just got Microphonic Soundbox from Leaf Audio, seems pretty legit weird noise source

for me the quartet morphagene + arc + cold mac + three sisters
plus maybe reverbs and delay

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Wow, any possibility to get sound example of this rig?

I’d be hesitant recommending the Kyma to anyone who wasn’t already doing sound design full time. I had one for a while but didn’t get past the initial learning curve. I don’t have a huge amount of spare time for music and the Kyma was too different to everything else I’ve used before.

Yeah I agree, I´m a professional sound designer and even I find it bit too deep for design work. Not saying it is not an amazing tool for design work but the manual alone is like i don´t know … 300-400 pages long. I requires a lot of technical understanding far from traditional music production.


I’ve just upgraded my audio interface to a UA Apollo Twin Quad to use with Ableton/Eurorack. I’ve got a 3 bundle plugin pack where I can choose any three plugins over the next couple of weeks so just demoing things and wondered if you guys on here had any tips? A lot of the sites I’ve looked at mainly talk about tracking live instrumentation. I do use electric guitar and voice occasionally, but really everything else is a small eurorack set up, ableton synths/omnisphere and lots of samples and field recordings.

I’m thinking of getting the brainworx V3 as one of the plugins for surgical EQ/Mastering but trying to decide if it’s worth getting some channel strips/pre amps or other speciality stuff for the other two plugins. I’ve listed below the FX it comes with.

thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Ampeg SVTVR Classic
Antares Auto-Tune Realtime Advanced
Antares Auto-Tune Realtime
Brigade Chorus
Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip
Marshall Plexi Classic
Oxide Tape
Precision Mix Rack Collection
Pure Plate Reverb
UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ

I’d recommend doing the 14 day demo for pretty much all of them… take something that’s pretty representative of the stuff you generally record and just try all the plugins.

Personally, I think one channel strip, one fx (tape, reverb, something), and a good compressor is a nice starting combo that will be useful in a lot of situations.

All the plugins are good, so it’s really just a matter of which ones you will find useful for the kind of music you make.


I’m a big fan of the EMT 140. It sounds really good on acoustics and vox, but also shines on line level gear like synths. The 250 is also good, but less natural imho.

The Ampex is another favourite of mine for on my master bus. It can be subtle, but also lofi if you adjust the wow & flutter. I have all the tape plugins and this one is my favourite.

Before I got a hardware SSL channel strip, I used the Neve 1073 on everything. It sounds nice and the EQ has many sweet spots.

I have the LA-2A compressor collection and it’s lovely. The less options, the better.

Plugins I havent tried, but would love to own: AMS RMX16, OTO Biscuit(should have got this when they were still in production), SSL Buss Compressor, the Dyntronics ones, AKG BX20.

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Prob the 480L (although the Relab one was first and equally good) since you get so many algorithms that sound great with synths and percussion, highlights being halls and rooms.

RMX16 if you like the ambience program sounds.
There are EMT style plate alternatives from Soundtoys, Waves, Valhalla, but the BX20 you will not find anywhere else. The Pure Plate is a stripped down version of EMT 140.
The Eventide H910 is one of the best and vibiest delay plugins, but also available native.

For eqs and what not
The newer versions of SSL strip and Bus are ridiculously good emulations (I know the hardware well), but use a lot of DSP. I found these much more accurate at capturing the dry SSL sound than the Brainworx versions and more dimensional than SSL Duende, which is rather old at this point. The Cytomic is also good, but has a little less character than the UAD.

The newer 88rs is more neutral in sound but similar quality.
The Softube for UAD Chandler Curve Bender is a great bus eq, with color and more forward than Massive Passive, which is better for acoustic/more relaxed work
Also like API 550 series for channels, eg 560b for kicks and 550a for guitars.
1176 collection (the newer one, I consider the black 1176LN to be the most like real thing) and Distressor.
The gray LA2A is the best

The 1073 is much better than the Slate one, which is too pointy in mids and the phase interaction is wrong. I do not consider it a must have for electronic music however.

For surgical eq try TDR Labs, cheap and high quality.
Personally I use DMG Equilibrium, also very popular with mastering engineers.

If it were me for electronic, for most mileage I’d get the SSL console bundle and the 480L
Then get the new Valhalla delay
Then BX20 or AMS


2nd the BX20 characters.