We’d like to see these 10 plugins discounted this Black Friday - here’s why

Range of music plugin screen grabs
(Image credit: Various)

It's been quite a year for software instruments and effects. There have been fantastic emulations of classic synths and other instruments, plus many cutting-edge software mixing effects. We have rounded the best of them up right here - along with a big helping of 'hope' - to list the 10 Black Friday plugin deals we’re hoping to see this year.

These are some of the best plugins of 2023, and even though many have a fair price tag already, if you see them discounted over the next few weeks, they could well be the plugin buys of the year. We don’t have any solid intel that these plugins will actually be reduced in price come Black Friday, though - they are simply on our 'most wanted' list. That said, a small handful of them are currently available with a discount, but there are no guarantee these are Black Friday-level prices.

We've picked something for everyone with these top plugins: classic and new synths, vintage keys, a fabulous drum machine and effects of all shapes and sizes. So here's hoping for some discount action so you can grab these great plugins for less this Black Friday.

Sound Particles SkyDust 3D

(Image credit: Sound Particles)

1. Sound Particles SkyDust 3D

Usual price: $149/£165 or $299/£333)
Buy from Plugin Boutique

SkyDust is the first ever 3D synth and supports most surround-sound formats. You can therefore hear its powerful sounds move around you with a good quality playback system, although you should also be able to enjoy a binaural experience through headphones. The best part is that you can modulate all of the movement so control it over time, so you effectively have total control over both time and space! But its biggest secret is that SkyDust is a very powerful and great sounding synth even without tapping into that 3D potential. Both the stereo and binaural versions are decently priced but some kind of surround discount would be just, well, sound.

D16 Drumazon 2

(Image credit: D16)

2. D16 Drumazon 2

Usual price: $99/£99
Currently $74.19/£59.95 at Plugin Boutique

Drumazon has taken 16 years to reach v2, almost a record, but was worth the wait. It's a TR-909 emulator - one of the mightiest dance drum machines - but adds a whole load of 21st century features and is one of the most inspirational beat creators out there. You get big numbers of drum sounds, kits and patterns, plus a great sequencer. But the finest inclusion is the Strips effect processing where you can route drum sounds into two chains of up to five effects. All of these can be reordered and this sonic flexibility means that this is way more than just a 909, and it will have you creating all-new beats - and be inspired to create even more - in no time at all.

Arturia FX Collection 4

(Image credit: Arturia)

3. Arturia FX Collection 4

Usual price: $535.73/£432.91
Buy from Plugin Boutique

Arturia's V-Collection lets you get your hands on amazing instrument emulations for not a lot of money (each) and FX Collection 4 does exactly the same for software effects. Among the 30 in the bundle are five each of compressors and spatial effects; four filters; three delays, distortions and preamps; plus the odd modulation, filter and EQ. A lot then. There are famous Roland chorus effects, Leslie speaker emulations, classic Space Echo style delays and 1176 compressors. It's all here basically, and even at its full asking price, you're only looking at less than €20 an effect, but we're greedy so want to pay even less this Black Friday! Any chance Arturia?

GForce Software Oddity3

(Image credit: GForce)

4. GForce Software Oddity3

Usual price: $129.99/£117.50
Buy from G Force Software

Like Drumazon above, G-Force's Oddity is an emulation of a classic - this time the ARP Odyssey synth - but has been around for so long that it too does way more than the original hardware could ever muster. You get plenty of presets and polyphony for a start, but there is way more modulation on offer, extensive velocity and aftertouch assignments, plus you can turn the synth into all three of the original hardware variations. Oh, and did we mention that it sounds incredible? At £100, it's a steal anyway, but if you don't ask for a discount you don't get one.

Polyverse Supermodal

(Image credit: Polyverse)

5. Polyverse Supermodal

Usual price: $99/£79.96
Buy from Plugin Boutique

Supermodal could well be the most inspiring filter ever. You can use it as a simple hi-lo-band pass filter for some extreme EQ-ing, but its USP is its range of modelled filters which give Supermodal a sonic character of its own - several in fact.  Some models are based on real objects - a bell or piano, for example - while others are unreal, like the band-limited noise filter. Others still focus on vocal effects with formant-type models. The danger is that several of these could end up sounding gimmicky but they all deliver great results and, most importantly, usable ones. It's simply one of the most creative filters you can buy.

Rhodes V8

(Image credit: Rhodes)

6. Rhodes V8/V8 Pro

Usual price: (V8) $179.95/£149.95; (V8 Pro) $239.9/£199.95
Rhodes V8 currently $92.75/£74.95 at Plugin Boutique
Rhodes V8 Pro currently $154.64/£124.96 at Plugin Boutique

The Rhodes electric piano has made something of a comeback over the last couple of years in the form of the critically-acclaimed Mk8. It's a full-on hardware beast that will set you back a few thousand of whatever currency you use, but this software version gives you much of its sound and glamour for a lot less cash. There are two versions, standard and Pro, the latter giving you more sound controls and effects. Both sound amazing, though. V8 does a superb job at reproducing a classic sound with the capacity to go much further.

United Plugins Pluralis

(Image credit: United Plugins)

7. United Plugins Pluralis

Usual price: $86.56/£69.95
Buy from Plugin Boutique

Pluralis does things other delays don't do. It has two effects engines that can, should you wish, be used in a standard fashion. Or their signals can be combined and processed in four different ways: Mid/Side, Left/Right, Quiet/Loud, and Low/High. Each engine processes one part of the audio - so in Quiet/Loud mode this means the left engine processes the signal when it’s below a certain level and the right engine processes it above this level. What this means is a completely new way of producing delays, and with a Sync option engaged, you don't get messy results. Great for delays with a difference.

Fabfilter Twin 3

(Image credit: FabFilter)

8. Fabfilter Twin 3

Usual price: From $68.06/£55
Buy from Plugin Boutique

Twin 3 is another plugin update that has taken a long time in coming, but another well worth the wait. The original had huge, often dance-friendly presets, an easy workflow and a very high quality sound. The new version is a complete overhaul but retains all of those qualities. Twin 3 has extras like the Filter Frequency Peak and Offset controls which introduce a lot of extra sonic flexibility and muscle into an already big sound. These help Twin 3 not just be a source of fantastic, mix-wielding sounds, but a great tool for creating new ones.

Tracktion/Dawesome Kult

(Image credit: Tracktion)

9. Tracktion/Dawesome Kult

Usual price: $131.11/£130
Currently on sale for $65.55/£52.97 at Plugin Boutique

Produced by Dawesome (aka Peter V and in conjunction with Tracktion), Kult is a completely off-the-wall synth with oscillators called 'Strange Attractors' which provide evolving, almost living textures. There's enough modulation within these for some moving sounds but Kult goes further with more layers of modulation, and adds fabulous FM character via the AM section. You also get a fully-featured Filter section, plus Comb and Distortion sub sections. It won't be a synth for everyone, but if you want something different from your typical VA (Virtual Analogue) synth, they don't come more 'out there' than this.

Cherry Audio GX-80

(Image credit: Cherry Audio)

10. Cherry Audio GX-80

Usual price: $81.61/£65.95
Currently on sale for $61.83/£49.96 at Plugin Boutique

But if you do want a classic VA synth rather than the other worldliness of Kult, why not get the best synth ever made - or at least an emulation of it? Cherry Audio has had quite a couple of years developing some of the best soft synths on the market, and in GX-80 has emulated one of, if not the best synths, the Yamaha CS-80. You also get elements of another Yamaha classic, the GX-1, included, so not only do you get a great emulation of the CS, but Cherry Audio has extended the concept to create the most impressive visual and sonic spectacle available in software. This is about as good as it gets with software synthesis.

Explore the latest early Black Friday sales on plugins 

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.