Hi everyone, this is a thread about our favorite organic sounding plug-ins. It might be a little bit newbie of me but I'll ask anyways. The reason I'm asking is because I am processing a clap to sound like a hit and with the plug-ins that I have, I am not getting a very organic sound.


"Organic" is a hard word to qualify. I happen to think Native Instruments' Absynth has some nice organic sounds, subjectively speaking, but that's relative to other methods of creating electronic sounds or music. Not a diss, it's great for many things other synths can't do. And talk about a crazy modulation matrix...

If you want really organic, I still adore (although not a plug-in) convolution and other techniques in Tom Erbe's SoundHack. I've been using it for nearly 15 years, and while sometimes a bit trial and error, with two interesting source sounds, it can do wonders.

Many folks enjoy Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch for just a different way of extreme pitch shifting or sample lengthening. Some, including myself, still keep an OS 9 Mac around just to use the epic th0nk application, which had similar astral wackiness. DAWs are starting to have much more sophisticated time stretch tools built in as well.

Oh, oh, and one more trick: If you use Metasynth and use its built in waveforms, it'll sound like Autechre. If you use Metasynth with actual organic samples, that's when that app opens up and really gives up the goods.

This post makes me sound, and feel, really old. :-)

  • Absynth. I do have Absynth and it has a sampler option that I have yet to fully harness. I'm still working on my synth game. SoundHack, I have heard about many times but really have never got past the installation. I'm going to have to try it again. Some of their plugins are pretty sweet though. Pauls Time Stretch, I havn't tried that yet either but have heard all about it. The Great Metasynth. Downloaded the demo and didn't learn it. Its a tricky program at first. I wish i had the cash for that one, everyones talking about metasynth.
    – Chris
    Nov 17 '10 at 6:01
  • One other thought, @Chris: If you go for an app or plugin that manipulates audio samples, as opposed to synthesis, it's really garbage in, garbage out: You must start with frequency-rich, naturally or stochastically modulated sound in order to get organic results. Feeding in a pretty digital-sounding sample won't magically become organic as a result of most processing. More food for thought! Nov 17 '10 at 15:17
  • Very true, garbage in garbage out except it comes out polished
    – Chris
    Nov 17 '10 at 16:52

One of my new favorite plugins, Varisaturator, is made by Voxengo and can produce a very natural sounding distortion, saturation or overdrive, depending on the settings. In conjunction with some heavy limiting and low end boost, you may come into some good results.

  • Cool. I remember a demonstration of the Varisaturator at AES during a game workshop. Good pick.
    – Chris
    Nov 17 '10 at 5:55

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