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Jeff Alford’s Top 10 Plugins

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2006 was the year that saw DJ and Producer Jeff Alford break out into the international dance music scene with his album “Heart of Trance” and his award-winning video to the album’s first single “Visions in Space”. However, his story started much earlier.

Jeff Alford just might hold the key for igniting another dance floor revolution. He certainly holds the key for exporting electronica that captures the imagination of dance music enthusiasts outside of his adopted French homeland. While dance music was overtaken by superstar trance DJs, drug culture, and glow-stick bearing ravers, the new dance music movement is based on something more intangible, something that might be called artistic integrity. Those who previously came to shut out dance music DJs and clubs from their weekend pursuits now find themselves dancing to the beats of Jeff Alford’s new album, ‘Heart of Trance’, released on the UK record label Aardvark Records.

2019 sees the completion of Alford’s new upcoming artist album entitled D2E : Revisited. The tracks featured on the album would be best described as Melodic Techno & Progressive House.

1) Access : Virus TI2 

The Access Virus TI2 keyboard is a virtual analog synthesizer with total integration plug-in technology. You can design sounds hands-on control over the synth and save them for total recall from the Vst. The additional Virus integrated DSP processor is great for live situations when switching to a different set of multiple sound combinations on your sequencer, saving CPU power during playback of project.

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2) Elektron : Analog Four

The Elektron AF is a 4-voice synthesizer with an analog signal path. The sequencer section has a lot of great features such as locking different values for all parts from one step to the next. Up to 64 step patterns are available for each part with advanced part lengths of your choice. Overbridge lets you connect the Analog Four and control it from the Vst as well as multi record all parts on separate audio channels.

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3) Spectrasonics : Omnisphere

A legendary synth created by top of the line sound designers. I use it to create galactic textures and sound effects in my music. The ORB enables you to get into advanced sound design and create unique fx like ambient atmospheric pads uplifters with epic space modulation on top. Last but not least, the dedicated Orb App for iPad is available for screen touch control.

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4) Audioraiders : Sasha Soundlab

Sasha Sound Lab VST works with Native Instrument’s Kontakt. A great sound library of dance music elements by Sasha himself which i have been using on new tracks already, it has fantastic glitch machine sample loops and amazing instruments of Sasha’s signature sound featured on his legendary Involver albums . Its extremely well organised in order to find specific samples that could translate well and uplift your music productions. You can automate all the parameters for every module to create your own evolving sounds.

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5) Bazzism : Intelligent sounds & music 

You can easily sculpt, shape, create, manipulate and tweak your kicks with Bazzism. It produces the perfect KickBass for your dance tracks. I’ve used it on all my latest music productions. Its functionalities are super precise and you can get instant results in perfect harmony with your track. A real time saver in building your own kicks for sure. 

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6) Spectrasonics : Trillian

If you are looking for quality rumbling subs and screaming basslines, the Spectrasonics sound libraries will definitely last you a lifetime to discover. Specifically designed for bass although you can create any types of sounds you want with it’s arpeggiator, top notch for quick groove makers. I believe that it’s not what you use in the studio, but how you use the tools at the end of the day. Trilian is another one of those ‘how you use’ it type of bass synth and have to say I’ve been using it quite extensively.

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7) Subpac : M2 & S2

The Subpac is a tactile bass system which enables you to feel the frequencies from 5Hz to 130Hz, and control the low end of your tracks with more precision and experience being immersed with the music as if you were mixing in a nightclub or festival, with control over the vibrations with its depth knob. To reference your music before playing it on bigger sound systems to see what it would feel like on massive sound systems.

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8) Sample Magic : Magic AB2

Referencing your music productions with your favorite tracks with Magic AB that has 9 sound placements for listening. Magic AB2 is applied last on a master track, load a few tracks you want to reference your music project to and swap away from A (project) to B (master reference) that you compare as you follow on the final mastering stage of your track.

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9) Cableguys : Shaperbox

An awesome set of 5 effects in one plug-in which includes time, volume, pan, filter and width. Always used on my tracks to really have a perfect blend of all elements in the mix. Shaperbox also acts like a sidechain compressor with advanced parameters. It’s a very practical tool to avoid disasters in the mix. 

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10) Sonic Charge : Microtonic 

First time i tried Microtonic i was getting fast results with the built-in sequencer and it sounded very good. You can drag and drop the parts into midi tracks for further treatment. You also can map each midi channel with your external hardware synths or sequencers. Just like if you would use an external sequencer to playback Vst synths from your DAW. It comes with the Microtonic Patternarium, which generates rhythms through principles of evolution. Sonic Charge ‘s Synplant is another one of a kind synth with very cool animated graphics that also react to the active sound.

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