What are your favo plugins you are using?


Hi guys, I’m wondering,
I’m using mainly

  • Synth1, good all-round basic Synth, CPU friendly, easy to program, quick loaded, but misses modern fx
  • Xpand2, bread and butter rompler with minimal loading time, 1$ lately jeeeejjjjjj
  • reaeq, the low CPU graphical eq from reaper does what I need
  • dmxis with controller for my lights
  • Tx16w sampler
  • GuitarRig, good for guitars fx on a basic xpand guitar sound, pretty realistic
    I just discovered Warmverb multi fx from Tone2, got it for 4 euro with Cm magazine online jeeeejjjjjj!

As you see mainly free stuff.
I’m still looking for a decent all-round low CPU rompler Synth. But they still have to invent that.

I’m so looking forward to Avenger, seems that it will be a great all-round Synth.

What are you using?


Hi Sven,
Nice idea for a thread and cheers for the tip-offs.

Here’s a few of the bargains I use:
Reacomp (great free compressor with sidechain, which is a bit rare in VST2.4 format)
ValhallaDSP reverbs (outstanding and very affordable)
Tx16wx (free sampler. very very useful. sf2 support)


My “go to” plugins are Omnisphere 2 and Halion Sonic 2 but I also use OPX-ProII, Korg Legacy M1, Wavestation, Polysix and Tal-Uno-LX.


For synths it’s Omnisphere and Synth1. If I can’t get it between those two, I’m doing something wrong. I occasionally whip out the orig PPG emulation. I have a real one, sitting in pieces, in a storage facility. The plug in sounds as good, certainly in a live situation. (And MUCH more reliable)

Metaplugin is simply great. It allows hosting of VST3, provides a patch cord modular type GUI and allows me to port setups from my DAW to Cantabile and back again. Until we get rewire, this is my solution. It also solves a lot of connection issues which are not so easy to program in Cantabile, such as wiring one sideo of an amp into speaker sim and the other side somewhere else. You just wire it, done.

The Blue Cat stuff is very useful indeed - especially the volume plugins.

PLZ midi collection. Free and beautiful utilities that just make things happen that would be impossible without.

Of course, that GSI stuff, VB3 and I do like their Rhodes as well. Stick it into the right amp sim and it’s alive.

Scuffham S-Gear and Guitar Rig and ReCabinet along with the other freebie amps. You can pretty much dial in any guitar sound these days.

Sample playback from Kontakt and Halion 4.


I have a ton of synth plugins, but the best $49USD I ever spent was on the Korg Wavestation from the Legacy collection, if you want an amazing ROMpler. (It goes on sale occasionally for 1/2 price.)


Vector synthesis, layers, wave sequencing, motion, motion, motion! I’m sure JeffB63 and others here will concur. I do own the entire Korg Legacy collection, which I’ve bought in pieces during sales over the last two years. The first item (and a no-brainer since I have an original Wavestation keyboard AND a Wavestation SR rack here) was the Wavestation VSTi, which I happily dropped the full $49 for.

I do love the Xpand!2 also - almost a Wavestation, by golly! And for the current $1 price, it cannot be beat for the money. (I became weak and upgraded to the full AIR AIEP 3 set for $74.95 more. Their Loom additive synth is worth that alone.)



Hi, I’m playing in a cover band. Atm I use:

VSTis: DIVA, HIVE, Omnisphere 1, FM8, Serum, Synthogy American D, Kontakt 5, Halion 4, Alicias Keys, Mark I, A200, NI Symphony Series String Ensemble, Session Horns Pro, Acoustic Samples B5

VSTs: Lexicon PCM Native Reverbs, Relayer, L’otary, Gliss EQ, Presswerk, Phazor, Chorus LX, Cthulhu.

Everything organized in Racks and all plugs preloaded

Regards, humphrey


No need to invent - take a look at the Korg M1 Vst Instrument. My universal weapon; a bit dated, but if you don’t need multi-GB samplesets, this is the tool to go for bread-and-butter sounds. still extremely useful for live performance.

Add the Wavestation VSTi for evolving soundscapes and you have a powerful ensemble on your hands!

More on the rest of my favorite plugins later…




I agree, the Korg M1 plugin is very useful to have in your toolbox. None of the sounds will blow you away, but most of them are very usable - particularly great for pads and strings in situations where you don’t need anything super special, you just need a basic sound with the minimum of fuss. Same applies to XPand!2 - a great all-rounder that always provides good options for those common, basic sounds.

My favourites are VB3, Ivory II, Omnisphere, Kontakt 5 (my go-to sample player for home-made samples), Synth1, OP-X Pro II, M-Tron Pro, CS80v, M1 and XPand!2. Plugins I love but haven’t really used much yet include Diva and Serum, which both sound amazing but are quite expensive on CPU.



Have you tried jbridging them and using the ‘performance’ buffer?
OK, it gives you one more buffer of latency, but the CPU consumption will fall and you don’t have to compromise everything in your setup because of one greedy plugin. :sunny:


That’s a great idea - I’m going to try that! My machine is nowhere near CPU-loaded, but Serum definitely strains the Cantabile load. Thanks for the idea! :slight_smile:


Wow Terry! Great catch on Xpand!2. Just purchased it.


Ditto on M1 and Wavestation.

I’ve been very pleased with Pianoteq Stage for acoustic pianos. Very reasonably priced. Modeled, not sampled, but the sounds are very high quality in my opinion. I’ve also been using the Pianoteq Rhodes Mk II module recently and really like the sounds.


Quick question on Diva, Neil;
I’ve looked at it a few times, but found myself wondering if there was anything in there that the synth engine of Omnisphere couldn’t handle. Both are CPU hungry beasts - so is there a secret sauce to Diva that sets it miles apart from Omnisphere?


I would say Diva probably has the edge over Omnisphere for the very analogue-sounding stuff - it just seems to have a bit more balls/richness to me. Omnisphere always sounds a bit “safe” to me. Other opinions may vary…



Thanx, Terry! I actually went on a shopping binge and bought TWO licenses! Now I have a spare one for my backup laptop (AIR only allows you two installations - I need them for my studio PC and for the live laptop).




My beloved ones:

HALion 5
VCollection 5
Sampletank 3
Dune 2
Eventide fx
Waves fx and Element V2



Funny how stuck “in the box” ones thinking can become sometimes - I didn’t even think of doing that even though I have a similar situation!

I just “splurged” also so that I can have Xpand!2 on my third machine as well. (I mean, for a dollar, I could manage to…)

Thanks for the brain-nudge once again, Torsten! :slight_smile:



Thanks for that.
I’ve been really getting into the synth engine of Omnisphere and I’m consistently surprised at the depth of control - and chameleon qualities of the filters and oscillators. Fabulous. I’ll need to revisit Diva and do that inscrutible mojo test :slight_smile:
I’m not sure I’ve heard a really authentic resonant filter from Omnisphere - but I’ve been away from other competition for a while.


How nice, considering we were just talking about the Korg Legacy Collection synths (M1 and Wavestation, plus PolySix, MS-20, Mono/Poly and the MDE-X effects collection) occasionally being on sale:

The 50% off sale began on Nov. 25th! (On through Jan. 5th, 2017)


$24.99 USD for each one of those is a no-brainer deal in my book. (Only $99 for the entire collection.)



Yes, Omnisphere’s synth engine is awesome, but I find there are other plugins, such as Diva or Serum, that can really smack you in the face (in a good way), whereas Omnisphere tends to be a bit more…diplomatic.