Dubstep is one of the most famous subgenres of Electronic dance music, not just among music lovers, but producers as well. With Growl Bass, hard-hitting drums, and powerful dynamics, dubstep is one of the most interesting genres to produce.
In this article, we will look at the 10 best VST plugins that will help you produce the best dubstep song of all time.
Xfer Records Serum
If you want to produce dubstep music, you got to have Serum in your DAW. This synth plugin is the reason behind some of the best dubstep music of all time. Thanks to its clear oscillators, complex wavetables with unlimited editing possibilities, powerful effects and an unparallel filter, designing dubstep sounds is a walk in the park. With the help of its LFO, Envelope
Even if you don't want to design your own sounds in Serum, there are tons of free and paid dubstep preset packs available on the market.
Check out our free bass packs that have some of the best free dubstep sounds - Shutdown Serum Basses and Graveyard Serum Basses
Thickify by Rocket Powered Sound
Saturation and distortion are one of the most used effects in dubstep music. Thickify by Rocket Powered Sound is the multipurpose saturation, distortion and tone enhancer plugin for your project.
It enhances the tonal properties and adds analog waveshape and harmonic richness to your dubstep bass leads and drum while keeping the gain constant. It enhances the overall dynamics and power of your sound.
Vocalsynth 2 by iZotope
Another essential element of dubstep music is vocoded bass and vocals. That is why you need a plugin that can perform all vocoding tasks with utmost perfection.
Incoming Vocalsynth 2 by iZotope. This is arguably the best vocoder plugin for not just dubstep, but any other genre. This plugin features Vocoder, Compuvox, Polyvox, Talkbox, and the all-new Biovox with seven stomp-box style effects(Distort, Filter, Transform, Shred, Delay, Ring Mod, Chorus). Using these effects is really easy and provides an outstanding output.
Vocalsynth 2 by iZotope can be used on Bass, vocals, synths and pretty much everything in your project. The plugin has lots of cool presets for Dubstep, vocoder and complex effects.
You can buy Vocalsynth 2 from the official website of iZotope.
Nexus by reFX
Nexus 3 and 4 are a huge update from their predecessors, reFX Nexus, the ROM player plugin which has been at the front face of countless EDM hits. reFX is famous for its outstanding EDM presets. The new update comes with tons of groundbreaking dubstep bass, leads, growls, synth shots, sequence FX, atmosphere and more.
Although the plugin can be a bit heavy on your pocket, the sounds it comes with are totally worth it. There are five insert effects, four equalizers, filter, reverb, delay, and impulse.
There is also a glitch effect and OTT compressor built-in within the plugin, which are considered one of the most used effects in modern dubstep and trap music.
You can buy Nexus 4 along with additional banks from reFX's official website.
LFO Tools by Xfer Records
One thing that makes Serum one of the best plugins for sound design is its filter and modulations. LFO Tool brings that powerful unit out of the synth and put it on your mixer channel.
The result? A series of serious dirty and powerful sounds.
With LFO Tool, you can use 12 LFOs to modulate Filter cut-off, resonance, volume and panning and more. The filter features all the filter types of the Xfer Serum VST plugin. There are additional options like swing, phase, PWM and key tracking.
LFO Tool also gives you the option to send midi CC to external synths, effects or hardware that supports midi messages. This is one of the best plugins for adding outstanding patterns and dynamic filtering to your sounds.
Stutter Edit 2 by iZotope
Stutter Edit 2 by iZotope is a multi-FX plugin capable of adding rhythms, swing, creative effects, dynamics, and more. This is without a doubt a must-have plugin for Dubstep songwriting.
The biggest problem a dubstep producer face is flipping the samples and applying ear candy to the sounds. It takes a lot of processing with individual plugins and then automating countless parameters. It is a long and tedious job.
with Stutter edit 2, you can perform all these tasks from a single user interface. The plugin has a series of awesome effects like Distortion, lofi, Chorus, Comb, Flanger, Tapestop etc. You can modulate these effects however you want. The plugin also features an amazing stutter and rhythm engine which makes creating complex patterns easily.
The best part, you can save multiple effect settings as snapshots and play them using a midi or your piano roll, live or in your DAW.
You can buy Stutter Edit 2 from iZotope's official website. It is also available with a special discount on plugin boutique.
Virtual Buss Compressors; FG-MU by Slate Digital
Dubstep is a genre which is filled with unpredicted waveshapes and harmonics. The sound can change in an instant. That is why we need something that can glue them all together.
The FG MU, a member of Slate Digital's Virtual Buss Compressor series is one of the best glue compressors ever made to this day.
The plugin simulates classic tube compressors like Fairchild 670(which costs around more than $30,000 by the way, if you are lucky to find one) and Manley Variable Mu. Ask any mixing or mastering engineer and they will say Fairchild is the holy grail of compressors.
FG MU brings the character of both the mu compressor in a single interface. When used on your drum, bass or other mix buses, it reduces the harshness of high frequencies, makes low-end round and controls the harmonics while adding the character of a tube. This is a great plugin to mix your dubstep elements together.
ShaperBox 2 by Cableguys
ShaperBox 2 is a powerful multi-FX plugin that can be used for rhythm, time effects, and audio effects. The plugin is made up of several independent effect units which can be used to add interesting twists to your sounds and patterns. The plugin is used by many big giants of the music industry.
You can use inbuilt Time variation, Drive, Noise, Filter, Bitcrush, Panning, Volume and stereo width units to add a unique expression and motion to your song elements. You can also modulate the parameters internally. The plugin also comes with a collection of great presets made by the best sound designers and producers in the industry.
FabFilter Saturn 2
FabFilter Saturn 2 is the best distortion plugin for dubstep music. I am focusing on the term Dubstep here. The reason is control of Saturn 2 on tone, timbre and harmonics of the sound. With its multi-band saturation and distortion, it can control the sound's dynamics and tonal balance.
Dubstep sounds can take unexpected turns at any point. This can make the tonal balance and dynamics of sound uneven. Saturn 2 can not only fill the harmonics, but also distort the signal, add analog character, and most importantly, can control the tone of each band individually. This makes the different bass tones sound together.
Another great feature of Saturn 2 is the internal modulation of perameters. You can get an amazing dynamic sound by modulating the parameters. This can enhance your growl bass, leads and overall dynamics.
You can buy Saturn 2 from the official website of Fabfilter.
Vital by Matt Tytel
If you are looking for a synth VST that is not only free but also designs great dubstep sounds, then Vital is the perfect choice for you. This synth has some of the best features among any synthesizer. Some of these features even outscore its rivals like Serum and Massive.
For example, you can convert text to wavetables and then create bass sounds from it, it gives way more creative freedom than your regular formant filters in Serum. The plugin also has more modulation sources, wavetable oscillators, Filters, and Mods than serum or massive.
Vital is available in both free and paid versions.
These are some other plugins which are not included in the list but are actually great for dubstep sounds.
Nightlife by Acoustica - A free additive synth that can produce awesome bass sounds. You can draw your waveshapes and use Formant Pad for creating great growl effects.
Sytrus by image-line - An FM synth with a modern twist. This plugin can generate some of the craziest dubstep growl basses. Check out Seemless music for a demo.
HY Filter 4 - The best multi-FX filter ever made. This plugin can add some very interesting filter grooves to your project.
Fabfilter Pro-MB - Great for mixing the dubstep bass with different dynamic ranges together.
Camel crusher - A free multi-FX plugin with an in-built distortion, filter, and compressor.
Thanks for reading! These were our top 10 picks for dubstep VST, Synth and Effects. Hope you will find our recommendations helpful and use it to make great dubstep projects in future.