Take your pick
The filter is one of the staples of the modern studio. At the most basic level, a filter allows some frequencies through but not others. Throw in resonance and you can add edge to filter cutoff points.
LFO, envelope and/or sequence control of the filter’s frequency range and resonance takes things to yet another level, while different filter types can transform the character entirely.
Multiple filters stacked in parallel or placed in series can put dizzying degrees of complex sonic shaping at your control. Finally, clever controls and setup can aid performances and active modulation.
Of course, you don’t need all of these features all of the time, and filters can vary greatly in sound, from warm and natural to edgy and digital.
To help you decide which is right for you, we’ve rounded-up some of the very best filter plug-ins on the market today.
NEXT: Tone2 BiFilter2
While this one doesn’t offer modulation, it does benefit from a ridiculous array of 47 filter types, many of which are quite unusual. It has a distortion section too.
Vengeance-Sound Philta XL
This looks far simpler than it is - get to know it and you’ll find it to be an envelope-driven powerhouse and formidable loop enhancer.
Audio Damage Filterstation
Less bizarre than AD’s usual efforts, this is adept at conventional filtering, loop twisting and, especially, performance.
Sonalksis Creative Filter
Strictly bread and butter, the plug-in formerly known as TBK1 is a workhorse basic filter that has been enhancing tracks for many years.
Ohm Force Quad Frohmage
In plug-in terms, this is a vintage bit of kit, but it’s still used widely. The limited presets don’t really show it off, but it’s a mangler’s delight for those in the know.
Sound Toys FilterFreak 2
Capable of all manner of phasing, bouncing and mangling antics. There’s something really organic and vintage about FilterFreak 2’s tone.
FabFilter Volcano 2
It can do basic filtering, but with this kind of mental power, why would you limit yourself? The massive modulation potential is Volcano 2’s calling card.
Sugar Bytes WOW
A formant filter that is just as comfortable with the basics as it is with oral emulations. Great for livening up anything you care to put into it.