Only a couple of decades ago, getting the gear required to build a professional quality music studio together necessarily required a room dedicated to the purpose, thousands of pounds, a ton of cabling and a certain amount of regular maintenance.
Today, of course, anyone with the time and inclination to discover their inner music producer can do so in the limitless confines of the virtual studio, running on a Mac or PC in a corner of the spare room, and at a fraction of the cost of the equivalent hardware-based setup.
Indeed, times have never been better for the cash-strapped computer musician. While there’s plenty of expensive high-end software out there for those who want it, the quality gap between that and the cheaper alternatives is now so tight as to be almost imperceptible in many cases.
Don’t believe us? Well, you certainly will in 13 ‘Next’ buttons’ time. For this round-up, we’ve chosen 14 of our favourite effects plugins priced less than $30. Despite their ‘budget’ status - you could snap up the whole lot for just $349 (at the time of writing) - each and every one is a processing powerhouse fully deserving of a space in anyone’s virtual rack.