The 10 Best Plugin Bundles for a Pro Sound
Plugin bundles are commercially available collections of Virtual Studio Technology (VST) customarily comprised of several virtual instruments and audio effects. While most VST producers have released one or more bundle offers, some are simply better than others.
There are many reasons why music producers should buy plugin bundles instead of individual VSTs:
- Plugin bundles are much cheaper, allowing producers to save tons of money on virtual instruments and audio effects;
- Plugin bundles tend to be complete music-production solutions, helping producers save time and focus on what truly matters—making quality music;
- Plugin bundles usually have a consistent design, meaning they’re easier to use once you get accustomed to them;
- Plugin bundles are easier to install than individual plugins.
VST bundles also have some drawbacks. Producers may not need all of the plugins included in the bundle, for example. In addition, they may sometimes be unable to afford entire bundles (while bundles are cheaper than the individual plugins contained in them, they do get pricey).
Nevertheless, plugin bundles are an ideal solution for any producer who wants to commit to making music regularly. So, without further ado, let’s see what the 10 best plugin bundles in the world are capable of:
- The 10 Best Plugin Bundles
- 1. FabFilter Pro Bundle
- 2. UAD Ultimate 11
- 3. Waves Platinum Plug-in Bundle
- 4. iZotope Everything Bundle
- 5. Soundtoys 5.4 Plug-in Bundle
- 6. KOMPLETE 14 Standard
- 7. Brainworx bx Bundle
- 8. u-he Everything Bundle
- 9. H9 Plug-in Series Bundle
- 10. MFreeFXBundle
- PluginBoutique Bundles
- Plugin Alliance Mix/Master Bundle
- What Are The Benefits of Plugin Bundles?
- What Are The Drawbacks of Plugin Bundles?
The 10 Best Plugin Bundles
1. FabFilter Pro Bundle
If you have enough money to buy just one plugin bundle, the FabFilter Pro Bundle is my top recommendation. It’s a small VST bundle in terms of the number of available effects, but gigantic when it comes to audio quality, usability, and practicality. All you get is a reverb, a multiband compressor, a limiter, an equalizer, a compressor, a de-esser, and a gate—which is frankly everything you need to mix and master a pro-level track from start to finish.
The best thing about the FabFilter Pro Bundle is that each of the included effects is a world in itself. Pro-Q 3 is perhaps the most complete equalizer VST in the market, Pro-MB is—by far—my all-time favorite multiband compressor, and Pro-R is among the most customizable reverbs ever made, with tons of character-shaping features and room models.
The FabFilter Pro Bundle is pricey, and some producers may feel like it’s not worth the money due to the limited number of included audio effects. However, I can guarantee you that the bundle’s quality tops its quantity, and I recommend any producer (beginner or otherwise) to get their hands on this beauty.
2. UAD Ultimate 11
The UAD Ultimate 11 is the most complete available bundle of the renowned Universal Audio company, one of the oldest and most important VST producers in the world. It’s also one of the best plugin bundles of the hour in terms of audio quality, versatility, and cost-saving.
With more than 100 virtual instruments and audio effects, the UAD Ultimate 11 encompasses the best Universal Audio has to offer and allows producers to save a whopping $10K. The inclusion of virtual UAD instruments such as the trademarked Moog Minimoog, the PolyMAX Synth, and the Ravel Grand Piano is a big plus. While UAD is best known for its pro-level audio effects, its virtual instruments aren’t by any means inferior.
Buying the UAD Ultimate 11 bundle also gives you access to a myriad of music-production solutions, including compressors, tape processing effects, delays, modulators, reverbs, and equalizers. The world-famous UAD preamps and mastering suites are also included in the package.
In short, the UAD Ultimate 11 bundle is a complete collection of VST solutions for pro-level music producers that leaves nothing out of the picture. The only downside is that you can only use UAD plugins if you have access to the Universal Audio Apollo Twin or other of their hardware products.
3. Waves Platinum Plug-in Bundle
For many producers such as myself, Waves Audio has always been the standalone, cheaper alternative to Universal Audio. Waves plugins don’t require any additional hardware to function, and they’re very affordable considering their quality (especially if you get them on sale).
But despite being the bootleg UAD the world so desperately needed, Waves Audio is by no means inferior. The excellent Waves Platinum bundle is not as complete as UAD Ultimate 11, but it’s much cheaper and easier to incorporate into a DAW. It contains 60 high-quality VSTs particularly well-suited for mixing and mastering.
The thing I like the most about Waves Platinum is that it goes well beyond the basics. In addition to standard audio effects such as the C1 Compressor and DeEsser, it features groundbreaking audio-processing software. MaxxBass (a tool for additive low-frequency shaping) and Doppler (an innovative and fairly wacky pitch shifter) are two fine examples of what I’m talking about.
Other notable Waves Platinum VSTs are the famous L2 and L3 limiters, the Waves Tune LT pitch corrector, the widely-used Renaissance Reverb, and the dynamic H-Delay Hybrid Delay—perhaps my personal favorite.
4. iZotope Everything Bundle
The American company iZotope is among the most innovative in their field, and they’ve combined most of their high-quality VSTs in one single package. The iZotope Everything bundle is a must-have for professionals working with audio reparation and mastering, but it’s also great for any run-of-the-mill producer.
While iZotope Everything doesn’t contain everything (the excellent distortion suite Trash 2, for example, is missing), it does boast a fine selection of the best iZotope has to offer. RX 10 and Ozone 10 Advanced are the standouts, but Neutron 4, Nectar 3, and VocalSynth 2 also never fail to miss the mark.
5. Soundtoys 5.4 Plug-in Bundle
Soundtoys plugins are pretty special, and the kind of VSTs producers either ignore or can’t live without. As one of the latter, I recommend the Soundtoys 5 bundle to anyone who’s looking for innovative sound-design tools that go beyond a standard mixing-and-mastering approach.
The Soundtoys 5 bundle features all of the audio effects produced by Soundtoys and is arguably the most entertaining bundle to make it into the list. I know I had a blast exploring the endless possibilities of the EchoBoy delay or carefully shaping the tone of my bass instruments with the one-of-a-kind Decapitator saturator.
Another huge plus of the Soundtoys 5 bundle is the inclusion of a customizable Effect Rack. The Effect Rack allows producers to conveniently combine all of their Soundtoys audio effects in one single chain, unlocking a quasi-modular approach to sound processing.
6. KOMPLETE 14 Standard
It’s impossible to discuss DAW-based music production without mentioning Native Instruments (NI), one of the most groundbreaking companies in the field. NI’s KOMPLETE bundles aren’t anything new, but their most recent installment is once more far from disappointing.
KOMPLETE 14 truly is a world of audio technology solutions that go well beyond the basics, focusing on creative music-making and sound design. The world-famous sampler Kontakt 7 (with more than 50 included libraries) is the MVP, but the bundle also features close to 40 expansions and two brilliant non-NI audio effects: iZotope’s Ozone 10 Standard and Brainworx’s bx_oberhausen softsynth.
7. Brainworx bx Bundle
If you don’t feel like buying NI’s KOMPLETE 14 bundle but you still want to have access to the bx_oberhausen synth, you’re lucky: you can get it—along with many other Brainworx greats—for a very affordable monthly fee.
In addition to being conveniently available on a subscription basis, the Brainworx bx_ Bundle is worth it because of the sheer range of its virtual instruments and audio effects. Brainxworx is particularly good at developing mastering suites such as the bx_masterdesk and SSL console emulations, but there’s really not one bad VST in the whole collection.
The Brainworx plugins are uniquely laid out, so it may take you some time to get accustomed to how they work. However, once you get a handle on how to use them, you will unlock a universe of sound design possibilities capable of transforming your music-production game.
8. u-he Everything Bundle
If there’s one thing the guys at u-he do right, that’s high-quality softsynths. Their All Synths Bundle is available via their official website and contains a mere six plugins. So, why is it one of the top 10 plugin bundles in the world right now?
Pretty much like the FabFilter Pro Bundle, the u-he All Synths Bundle is about quality rather than quantity. I have been a huge fan of the u-he synths almost since they came into the picture, and I cannot begin to count the number of times virtual instruments such as ACE, Diva, and Repro have given new life to one of my tracks.
ACE and Bazille are two limitless modular-based softsynths, Diva and Repro are among the most analog-sounding virtual instruments ever released, Zebra Legacy has one of the most abundant collections of presets in the world, and Hive 2 boasts some of the most hard-hitting bass patches I have ever heard.
9. H9 Plug-in Series Bundle
Being very good at one specific thing can be a double-edged knife. The legendary audio technology company Eventide is so famous for its world-class reverbs that producers sometimes overlook their other products. The release of the Eventide H-9 Series Bundle helped to fix that problem.
The H-9 Series Bundle does contain the renowned reverb effects that have helped to popularize the Eventide brand (such as the irreplaceable Blackhole and the distorted MangledVerb), but there’s plenty more in the offering. The Leslie-cabinet emulator Rotary Mod (truly a unique plugin) is one of my personal favorites, but the pitch shifter MicroPitch and the ’70s-inspired TriceraChorus are also well worth your money.
John Lennon used to sing “A working class hero is something to be,” and the guys at Melda Production have taken that motto to the letter. In case you don’t have any money to spend on pricey VST bundles, you can always visit Melda Production’s official website and download their excellent MFreeFXBundle for the price of nothing.
The MFreeFXBundle is no match to some of the other bundles in the list, nor as good as Melda Production’s paid bundles. However, it’s the only VST bundle I know that combines everything a producer needs without asking for anything in return. When it comes to free plugins, Melda Production is still the best place to look for.If producing music was a public need, the MFreeFXBundle would be a welfare program. Thanks to this praisable free bundle, producers cannot complain about not having enough money to make pro-level music ever again. It encompasses all of the basics, from dynamics and EQ to mixing and mastering, and features seven world-class analysis plugins such as the MOscilloscope and the MLoudnessAnalyzer (one of Melda Production’s specialties).
If you’re looking for bundles in a particular area, you should definitely check out PluginBoutique’s bundles. You can find some great packages that’ll cost you much less than huge bundles that contain plugins you don’t even need.
Do you want to get into the modular world? Take a look at SoftTube’s Mutable Modular collection that includes 4 modular plugins: Modular, Modular Instruments Rings, Modular Instruments Braids, and Modular Instruments Clouds.
Are you more of a vintage fan? Check out the Vintage Essentials bundle. This one has some of the most realistic vintage emulations that SoftTube has ever released. You can also opt for the Model Synth Bundle if synth emulations are what you seek.
Plugin Alliance Mix/Master Bundle
Don’t want a one-time fee plugin bundle? Well, you can opt for a subscription-based one like the Plugin Alliance Mix/Master Bundle. There are monthly and annual plans that auto-renew every period, but you can cancel anytime with zero commitment. A subscription plan like this is not for everyone but it’s something to consider.
Plugin Alliance offers 80 plugins in this bundle that cover Dynamics, EQs, mastering, Mix Effects, Drum Replacement & Samples, and TMT consoles.
What Are The Benefits of Plugin Bundles?
Plugin bundles are often cheaper than individual plugins
Getting individual items can usually cost you a lot more. When you bundle up a number of plugins together, their individual costs reduce and become much more economical for the buyer.
They are easier to install
Every brand of plugins has its own method of installation. Individual purchases mean that each time a different installation method is going to be required. This can be quite a hassle. Whereas getting most of your plugins from the same brand will save you a lot of time and energy because they are all similarly installed.
This is incredibly useful for when you are moving to a separate computer. For example, iZotope has a ‘Product Portal’ application that you install onto your computer, which can automatically fetch plugins files and updates.
Less time choosing, more time making music
Whether it is music or any other nature of work, the more time you spend collecting your tools and supplies, the more creative ideas you waste.
If you spend weeks and months deciding which plugins to buy separately, the chances are that you will not be creating any music during this time. Thus, get most of your plugins altogether in a bundle and get back to music production much sooner.
Less information overload
With a wide variety of plugins in the market, it can sometimes be overwhelming to learn about each one individually. Getting a bundle narrows down your source of relevant information and keeps unnecessary stress and anxiety at bay.
Consistent plugin designs
What Are The Drawbacks of Plugin Bundles?
You might not need everything in the bundle
While many people love the idea of getting all of their necessary supplies in a single deal, you might not need everything in the bundle.
They should not be a replacement for good music production and engineering skills
Music plugins can indeed be a major help while creating music. However, it is always important to remember that they are not a replacement for genuine, high-quality music developed by engineering skills and techniques. They are merely a helping aid in the process.
Even though the individual prices tend to become lower in a bundle, the overall upfront cost of a bundle can still be quite large.
Buying plugin bundles is one of the best ways of getting your VST collection up-to-date without spending a fortune. They allow you to save time and money, and they can inspire you to focus less on researching VSTs and more on making music—which is what truly matters!
Choosing the best plugin bundle (or bundles) for you depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. I recommend Waves Platinum and FabFilter Pro Bundle as the top solutions for mixing and mastering, iZotope Everything for audio reparation and other technical purposes, and Soundtoys 5 for creative sound design tasks. If money’s an issue for you, you should be good with the Melda Production MFreeFXBundle plugins!