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ARTICLE: Top 5 Free Audio Manipulation Plugins In Pro Tools

Updated: May 25



As an entry level Sound Designer it costs a lot of money to get your hands on the plugins that top sound designers use. However, Pro Tools offers a handful of unique plugins that are native and effective for high level sound design.


This article highlights five plugins that you can use to manipulate your sounds in unique ways. Not only will we state what plugins are great but what they are also great for designing.


1. Sci-Fi


Sci-Fi is an amazing modulation plugin that invites creative freedom in making out of this world sounds. With ring modulation you can add in-harmonic timbrel additions to the base of your sound to create a broken and jaded feel. Freak-mod is the more alien of the modes available adding a crazy random character to your sound design.



All of the effects have dynamic control with the envelope follow, LFO, sample & hold and the trigger & hold functions. This plugin is very useful for spaceship and alien world design.


2. AIR Multi-Chorus


AIR Multi-Chorus on the face of it, seems like a very basic chorus. This is until you use the voices knob where you can achieve really wide pitch digression either side of the original. With this you can achieve even thicker and wider choruses.



With the low cut and mix knobs, there is a lot of lenience of vocalisation integration with a lot of control. This plugin is great for inhuman and very large sci-fi vocals.


3. Lo-Fi


Lo-Fi is a bit reduction plugin that reduces the sample rate and sample size to introduce interesting artefacts to the original sound. Many people associate these sounds with robotic and electronic sound design elements, and it is so easy to input anything and make it sound robotic.



Additionally you can add noise, saturation and distortion to colour the sound differently. This plugin is most certainly most suitable for circuit, robot and electronic sound design.


4. Recti-Fi


Recti-Fi is an amazing and undermined harmonic plugin available to use amongst native Pro Tools. This plugin allows you to add or subtract harmonic content of the original sound to achieve an array of spectrally different sounds. For example, having a low filter in alternate mode gives a very 'thrust-like' sound whereas an all-pass in negative has an adverse effect.



When used in conjunction with with the original sound, the effected sound acts as so much weight sub-fundamental frequency. This plugin is more suited to messy sustained sounds rather than intricate, transient rich sources where this can be quite destructive.


5. Vari-fi


Vari-Fi is an amazing pitch shift plugin that hides away in Audio-Suite. This is because it requires and audio selection to render a new audio file and cannot do real-time slow down or speed up renderings. Vari-Fi allows whatever audio you have selected to be sped up or slowed sown within or beyond the edit-window selection.



Whereas the functions of this plugin stops here, it is beautifully effective at what it is does. This is useful on music for simulating a tape-stop or for a machine powering up or down.


"It's not the tools that you have faith in - tools are just tools. They work, or they don't work." -Steve Jobs

If you enjoyed this article please check out our ultimate guide to audio post- production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design


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