1 Bitwig Studio 3
Bitwig continues to polish its reputation as the most forward-thinking DAW. Made by some of the team from the early days of Ableton Live, it’s added game-changing functionality once again. The latest update includes The Grid, a modular environment that allows you to patch cables between controls.
2 Arturia Pigments
While much of Arturia’s output has been emulations of classic hardware, Pigments is their first all-new soft synth. It combines a virtual analogue engine with a wavetable engine and features some of their best-loved filters and lots of modulation possibilities.
3 Korg Gadget 2
Korg has updated its ecosystem of virtual synths and drum machines with six new Gadgets, improved compatibility with Windows and an updated UI. They include Memphis, a semi-modular synth, Durban, a bass effects processor, and Pompei, a six-voice analogue modelling synth.
4 VCV Rack
Pioneered by classic software like NI’s Reaktor, the world of software modular has picked up in recent years. VCV Rack, one of the best-loved systems, recently announced four new free modules: the XFX Distortion pack, XFX F-35 filter, XFX Reverb and XFX Wave wavetable oscillator.
5 FabFilter Pro-Q-3
Holland’s FabFilter is one of the hottest names in mixing/mastering plug-ins. Its EQ is loved by mix and mastering engineers for its exceptional GUI and visual display. Now, frequency band soloing (so you can hear what an isolated frequency area is doing), Dynamic EQ mode and Surround Support raise the bar again.