Favorite plug ins, worth buying

I’m on a 2019 fully spec’d macbook pro and I can run several instances fine, apart from the fans going mad (which they’re always doing anyway – I should start incorporating that sound into my music).

One question: You can drop your own samples in, which is lovely, but is there a way to also map individual own sounds across keys on just one channel, like they’ve done with their drum samples? Would be amazing if so. Can’t find a manual – I suppose the ’Engine overview’ video is kind of a manual, but –

(Edit: someone associated with Slate + Ash used to be on here I think, as @veil_s but they seem to have taken their things and left. Maybe had better things to do – things with which we’re now making sounds)

I took the plunge and bought Choreographs, as well - very excited to use it. Another question for those here, in the absence of a manual - is it possible to send MIDI out of this and use it with hardware or other softsynths? The intro video shows it being used next to a modular system, as well as other hardware, but maybe this was just to show some of the things that were being sampled?

Any help would be appreciated!

1 Like

Yes, I second this question. Saw it asked on the S+A instagram as well, with no reply so far.

I’m 99% certain that you can’t send midi out of Choreographs. Perhaps if you’re a Kontakt wizard there’s something that could be done under the hood but not on the surface. There’s a video on the product page that walks through all of it’s functionality that’s quite helpful, I think it’s intended as a sort of video manual.

Frankly I think their stuff is way too unbalanced, CPU-wise. Sure it sounds great, but to me, it’s not worth the hassle. Unrelated, but I just got Plasmonic and I’m gonna check its MPE features with the good old Sensel controller. I hope it works.

I think I just found the answer to this question, and it is very simple:

I just tried it quickly, and didn’t try any complex routings, but was able to send the data from some Choreographs presets to other VSTs on other tracks in Ableton :slight_smile: .


I’ll give this a try later, thank you. Does it send midi note information or just random midi data?

Note information, I believe (I’m not in front of the computer at the moment). I muted the built-in sounds in Choreographs, and heard the same patterns playing in the other vst.

1 Like

You can’t map your samples across keys: one sample gets the full range. The built in sounds are multisampled, sounds like, but you can’t do it with your own.

M1Pro here and I couldn’t get Choreographs to choke even with lots of instances. Kontakt timestretch performs very, very badly on intel macs, I can confirm. Not just S+A, but also NI’s Straylight and the Spitfire Audio stuff that uses it too. It sucks. It works far better on an M1 running Rosetta, even, and even better on the Apple Silicon native versions of Kontakt.

So yes, intel mac folks: be mindful. I was sorely disappointed using Cycles with a 2016 top-spec macbook pro and I can run 10-15x as many instances on the M1Pro.


i’ve been enjoying stepic as a midi sequencer, and don’t see it in this thread. lovely take on a 16 step sequencer, maybe not unlike an 0-ctrl? randomization is nice, and i especially like that each parameter track (pitch, octave, velocity/duration/swing/divider/repeat) have their own track lengths. pairs well with my polys thanks to chord mode.


CYCLES has a mode that does that. You pick one note on the left hand, and then the right hand dynamically determines the sample(s) that play that note, with all the looping/granular/effects goodness that CYCLES does.

I think this mode was mainly intended for previewing sounds to use, but I think it’s magic for creating textural movement for a note. My generative music app Sound Palace is really just layering improvs I did in that mode, and I love the results.


Nothing fancy, but you can hear it running in the background of this track. Those cool string articulations are Landforms being sequenced by Grid+Terms Step in Max for Live. Using the same sequencer to trigger that percussive harpsichord sound (which is the free Pluck plugin by @ess with some convolution reverb)


The whole cycles note/loop system starts to make a lot of sense when you sequence it and use it polyphionically. Jam around a bit and get a chord progression going and some on/offs for the loops that overlap and then trim it down and fix it to a 4 bar or 16 bar length clip — it’s just so good.

I am going to make a critical observation of Choreographs, though – not velocity sensitivity? Am I missing a way to make something like that happen?

1 Like

VCV Rack pro just got a nice update with Clap and AU support, and a beta of rack for M1/apple arm chip. There’s a black Friday sale too for a few more days. VCV Rack 2 - Virtual Eurorack Studio

Since getting a machine that can run it properly it’s hard to overstate how much joy I get from patching with it directly into the daw. I get fresh ideas every time even when I’m reusing bits of older patches. The ecosystem of modules feel more mature than ever, too. (E.g. the mindmeld folks have been consistently raising the bar on packages that bring modern workflows to rack.)


Anyone checked out the clap interface and how it handles polyphony?

The vcv mpe interface is still (imo, at least) super broken when it comes ot polyphony… as is the internal vst host. I reported it all several times and was met with the acid typing of mr vortico and gave up.

have had the demos of these going for years, finally bought the classic bundle last year. now I can use the automation which is a little lose as I think someone else mentioned but it’s awesome. love the freeze plug-in. kinda works like a looper in a sense or a giant buffer freezer, you can modulate start and end points(always fun) plus it kinda has granular capabilities too. if it had a larger buffer it would be the best looper, love it. the delay is also great, definitely different beast that your average delay plug. gonna grab the spaces bundle, the demos of those are so cool sounding and it will be nice to have the modulation working with those as well

I say tho they are a bit expensive, even with the sale, if you like em, grab th. not really a lot else out there like these plugs, I think :slight_smile:

Talking about being able to run plugins on older machines.
For context: I’m still using a mid 2010 Mac Pro, not the newest machine, but still plenty for what I need.
Anyway, bought Waves CR8 since it was on sale. I was looking for a sampler I can use in Reaper, so I don’t have to rely on Ableton for everything.
Turns out, Waves v14 plugins want Metal 2 or above on MacOS, plus you need to have MacOS 10.15 or newer.

It’s the first time a plugin has any kind of OS requirements, so this came to a surprise to me. I mean standalone applications do have these minimum requirements, but plug-ins? I didn’t even check the specs because of that (I should have, yes!).
Anyway, lesson learned, next time I’ll check.


I think 10.14 (Mojave) supports Metal. I had to update my 2012 Mac Pro’s graphics card, but then I could install Mojave which supports 32 and 64 bit apps and Metal. No problems with anything I tried it with, but I upgraded to a newer 2019 Mac Pro for the extra horsepower before Waves v14 was released. Not sure if you can update a 2010 Mac Pro to 10.14, though.

No you can’t and it’s ok.
I mean, a longer discussion could be had about making older computers obsolete. But this is not the place for it.

My point is mostly about the realization that plug-ins can potentially have strict OS requirements, which is something I wasn’t expecting. Also a heads up to check these.


Yes, I agree that OS requirements for plug-ins is an under inspected area!

Also, I agree that planned obsolescence is a PITA and an expensive attribute of capitalism. Good to avoid unnecessary upgrades and even to avoid seemingly useful upgrades sometimes.