There are a lot of options to choose from when you want to add virtual instruments to your digital audio workstation (DAW) and I will show you some top VST instruments to choose from. When it comes to adding effects there are also many options and I will help you narrow down the top plugin developers to help you choose the best plugins for your studio.
DAW Plugins Explained
I will start off by telling you a bit about plugins so you know what they are. When you install your DAW it may have been shipped with some basic effects and instruments which can be loaded into the tracks of your recording. These are the plugins supplied but you may deciode they are not right for you or you need different sounds so that is when you need to look into getting extra plugins.
Take a Look at Plugin Types
Instrument Plugin: An instrument plugin will let you use the sounds of that instruments in your recordings and is often used when recording music using MIDI. An example of an instrument plugin would be a drum emulator or piano plugin.
Effects Plugin: An effects plugin will modify the sound of the music and is usually used when mixing. An example of an effects plugin would be reverberation, delay and EQ.
A little about Plugin Formats
There are different types of plugin formats such as VST, AU and AXX which are supported by the major DAW software. I recommend using VST plugins because VST is a well established and popular plugin format for both PC and MAC with every DAW software supporting them making it a lot easier to move from one DAW to another while using the same plugins.
SOME PLUGINS I RECOMMEND
Native Instruments - One of the most popular VST instrument plugin companies and the one on the virtual instruments I often use to make music. Their package called Native Instrument Komplete 10 is what I recommend you start with as it contains all the instruments and synths you need to get your home studio running and making music. With the DAW plugins you can create any type of music you can think of.
Waves - Waves make some top quality effect plugins. These are some of the finest quality VST effect plugins available. Using Waves DAW plugins you can enhance your mixes and add interesting effects to your audio tracks.
ASS - Applied Acoustics Systems make some great sounds and the Lounge Lizard EP-4 is a great sounding electronic piano which is very nice to play.
Nexus - This is an awesome sample bank from reFX. If you are making dance music, beats or electronic sounding tunes then this has all the sampled instruments you will need to make a record.