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9 Best Dubstep VST

Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London, England. It mixes the basslines of American house and Jamaican dub and reggae with syncopated rhythms and synth-based melodies. The result is a deep sound that has skittering, distorted bass lines, and sparse beats. The sound is pioneered by producers like Rusko, Skream, Benga, and Burial.

There are several ways to create dubstep, with popular techniques including distortion, FM synthesis, and wobbly sounds. But to achieve the perfect sound, you need to choose the right music production tools.

On our list for the best plugins for Dubstep, we included everything: from synths to compressors, multi-effect units, and distortion. If you want to add some fresh dubstep flavor to your tracks but don’t know where to start, look no further than this list of 9 Best Dubstep VSTs for your DAW!

Related: Best VST Plugins 

The Best Dubstep VSTs in Our Tests

Table of Contents

  1. Xfer Records Serum
  2. Vital Audio Vital
  3. LennarDigital Sylenth1
  4. reFX Nexus 4
  5. Xfer OTT
  6. iZotope Ozone Imager
  7. Native Instruments Massive X
  8. iZotope Neutron 3
  9. Camel Audio CamelCrusher

9 Best Dubstep VST – Reviewed in Detail

1. Xfer Records Serum

Xfer Records Serum

For dubstep producers, one of the most important aspects of production is the synth sounds. If you’re looking for a bassline or lead to get your track started, look no further than Serum by Xfer Records. This software synthesizer offers a variety of sound waves and wavetables for classic analog sounds and complex digital modulation. With Serum, you can make everything from wobble basses to ambient pads.

Product Specifications

  • Wavetable Synth
  • 2 Oscillators and Sub OSC
  • Noise Oscillators
  • Filter Section
  • 3 Envelopes
  • 4 LFOs
  • Built-In Effects
  • Price: $189
  • Rent to Own Available Via Splice

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Xfer Records Serum synth is extremely versatile. There are tons of synth patches built-in and lots to choose from on the internet. There are also infinite customization and routing possibilities.
  • The Xfer Records Serum is extremely good for bass sounds, especially wobble style basses.
  • As the plugin is based on wavetable synthesis, the sound possibilities are practically endless. You can even load your own wavetables.
  • There are 3 envelopes and 4 LFOs to further shape your sound.
  • The innovative interface is easy to use and there are tons of tutorials on YouTube about this plugin.
  • There are tons of built-in effects such as modulations and distortion.
  • Each parameter can be routed to the 4 macros.
  • The plugin is also available as a rent-to-own via Splice. You can use the plugin and pay $10 per month. Once the payment is completed, your copy of Xfer Records Serum is yours.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Conclusion

Definitely one of the best synths available, the Xfer Records Serum is extremely versatile. This wavetable synthesizer can do anything: from wobble basses to ambient pads. Plus, there are tons of presets and tutorials on the internet to help you get started with this product.

While the price is quite expensive ($189), the plugin is also available as rent-to-own via Splice so you can pay it as you go and own your copy of the Xfer Records Serum when the payment is completed.

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2. Vital Audio Vital

Vital Audio Vital

The Vital synth, by Vital Audio, is a wavetable synthesizer that can produce interesting sounds and is extremely versatile. It is widely known as a free alternative to the Xfer Records Serum due to their similarities and design. The Vital is available for free download so it is a great addition to your plugin collection for cheap.

Product Specifications

  • Wavetable Synth
  • 3 Oscillators
  • Noise Oscillator
  • 2 Filters
  • 3 Envelopes
  • 4 LFOs
  • 2 Randomizers
  • Built-In Effects
  • Price: Free

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Vital synth is available for free and is extremely similar to the Xfer Records Serum, so it could be a great free alternative to the paid synth.
  • There are several sections on this synth such as the 3 envelopes and 4 LFOs.
  • There are 2 randomizers for quickly randomizing your sound and finding new possibilities.
  • Apart from all of the wavetables that come built-in on the Vital synth, you can also load your own.
  • Lots of built-in effects.
  • Extremely good looking design, with an easy-to-use interface.
  • Packed with tons of presets.

Cons

  • None

Conclusion

The Vital Audio Vital is an excellent VST plugin and the perfect alternative to Xfer Records Serum if you’re producing music on a budget. This synth is versatile and can produce several dubstep sounds, from basses to pads. We recommend everyone to try out this plugin since it is available for free download.

We also like the fact that the Vital is pretty simple to use and has a good looking design, with most of the parameters concentrated in one tab.

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3. LennarDigital Sylenth1

LennarDigital Sylenth1

Sylenth1 is a popular synthesizer in the music industry. It is a powerful virtual analog synth that is capable of producing many different types of electronic music and features lots of factory presets. Furthermore, 2 oscillators and several built-in effects are also present for all your sound design needs.

Product Specifications

  • Virtual Analog Synthesizer
  • Built-In Arpeggiator
  • 2 Oscillators
  • 1 Envelope
  • 2 Mod Envelopes
  • 1 Filter
  • 2 LFOs
  • Built-In Effects
  • Price: €139
  • Rent to Own Available

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Sylenth1 comes with more than 2500 presets. There are also several presets available on the internet.
  • The synthesizer is pretty simple to use and it is based on subtractive synthesis.
  • There are 8 built-in effects including distortion, phaser, chorus and EQ.
  • There is a built-in arpeggiator.
  • The routing possibilities with the Sylenth1 are endless and, unlike with a lot of VST plugins, they are very easy to understand.
  • There is a rent to own option available where you pay a monthly price to own the plugin.
  • Sylenth1 will work with most digital audio workstations that supports VST, AU or AAX plugins.

Cons

  • Less versatile than wavetable synthesizers.

Conclusion

The Sylenth1 is popular for a reason: It is one of the most used VST plugins on electronic music, simply because it is easy to use and has a straightforward interface. We like the fact that the routing on the plugin is easy to understand, even by beginners.

While a subtractive style synth is less versatile than its wavetable counterparts, the Sylenth1 is still capable of creating a wide range of sounds.

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4. reFX Nexus 4

reFX Nexus 4

Nexus is a legendary sample-based synth that’s loved in the electronic music community due to its mix-ready tones. Anything you run through the plugin sounds good right out the bat so you don’t have to spend countless hours tweaking knobs to find the perfect sound.

Product Specifications

  • Sample-Based Synthesizer
  • Multiple Sample Layers
  • 2 Filters
  • Built-In 16 Layer Arppegiator
  • Built-In Effects
  • Several Expansions Available
  • Price: $249, $499 and $4,529

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Nexus is known for its ability to produce mix-ready sounds meaning this synth won’t need much tweaking and post processing to sound great.
  • The 16 layer arppegiator is very versatile and capable of doing pretty much anything.
  • There are 3,811 presets divided into 26 categories and 4,861 samples that can be mixed and matched to create your sound.
  • Nexus routing is easy to understand even by beginners and the process is very intuitive.
  • There are several expansions available for purchase that cover a wide range of musical styles.
  • While Nexus is expensive, there are 3 licenses available: Starter ($249), Value 10 ($499) and Complete ($4,529).

Cons

  • Expensive. The Complete version of this plugin can get up to $4,529.

Conclusion

reFX Nexus 4 is no doubt one of the most sought-after plugins by any music producer in the EDM community. As we discussed, the greatest thing about this synth is that it is able to produce mix-ready unique sounds with ease. However, it is quite expensive.

While it is one of the best VST plugins in the market, there are cheaper options that can do just great if you’re on a budget.

Related: Best Garageband Plugins 

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5. Xfer OTT

Xfer OTT

The OTT is a well-known plugin by many EDM producers. The unique multiband compressor can do both downwards and upwards compression and is widely known to bring punchiness to your sound. It can be used on pretty much anything: drums, synths, bass, vocals. And the best part: it is 100% free for download.

Product Specifications

  • Multiband Compressor
  • 4 Parameters: Depth, Time, In Gain and Out Gain
  • Visual Display of the Low, Mid and High Bands
  • Price: Free

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • As stated by Xfer, the OTT is a recreation of an agressive multiband upwards/downwards compressor technique that’s widely used by dubstep and EDM producers.
  • The Xfer OTT is pretty easy to use since it only features 4 knobs. Basically, you control the amount of compressor with the depth parameter and set the attack and release with the time knob.
  • The plugin gives you visual feedback on how the low, mid and high bands are being affected by the compressor.
  • This is a great plugin to help your drums cut through the mix. Try sending all your drum pieces to a bus and applying the Xfer OTT on it, for example.
  • Similarly, it works very well on bass sounds too.
  • It is free for download.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

There’s no need not to include the Xfer OTT on your plugin collection since it’s free for download. This plugin will help you a lot when mixing your tracks and help you achieve the desired punchiness on your music. Like we said, the OTT will work for pretty much any element on your song.

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6. iZotope Ozone Imager

iZotope Ozone Imager

The Imager is a free plugin that’s taken from a paid one, the famous iZotope Ozone 9. This processor is very simple to use and can be load into a mono track to make it stereo, or used to expand already-stereo tracks to the side so that they cover more sonic space. This is an excellent free tool.

Product Specifications

  • Imager
  • Width Parameter
  • Stereoize Mode
  • Goniometer Visualization
  • Price: Free

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The iZotope Ozone Imager will work pretty much for anything. For creating a subtle stereo effect on vocals to pushing the width of synth pads.
  • The stereoize mode will create a delay on one of the sides of your signal to create a false stereo sound that sounds very convincing.
  • There is a goniometer built-in inside the plugin that can help you during the mixing and mastering process. There are 3 visualization options as well.
  • Keep an eye open for promotions regarding the iZotope Ozone Elements plugin too. iZotope usually offers this and other plugins for free on special occasions.
  • The iZotope Ozone Imager is free for download.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

The iZotope Ozone Imager is an incredible VST plugin to spice up your productions. It is, without a doubt, the best free imager plugin out there. We recommend, however, that you use it with caution since it can fill up the sonic space of your track quite fast. Experiment applying it on your vocals and synth pads, for example.

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7. Native Instruments Massive X

Native Instruments Massive X

The Native Instruments Massive X is a beast. This VST plugin has been around for a long time and has been present on countless dubstep productions. Direct competitor of the Xfer Records Serum, many producers swear by it to achieve the perfect wobble bass. Let’s see in detail what it has to offer.

Product Specifications

  • Wavetable Synthesizer
  • 2 Oscillators
  • 2 Noise Modules
  • 3 Envelopes
  • 3 LFOs
  • 3 Filters
  • Insert FX
  • Stereo FX
  • Modulation
  • Compatible with NI Maschine
  • Price: $199 ($9.99 a Month on Komplete Now)

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • There are over 170 wavetables and 10 different oscillator modes built-in inside this great synth so it is capable of doing pretty much anything.
  • You can also load-in your own wavetables.
  • The 2 noise modules has sources ranging from rain, choirs, voices to machines.
  • The routing on this synth is pretty simplified and easy to understand. Also, Massive X is widely known in the EDM community so there are a lot of YouTube tutorials to help you out.
  • There are 3 filter sections that can be used simultaneously.
  • It features an performer that acts as a “more-complex arpeggiator”.
  • The envelopes and LFOs are one of the most complete between all synths reviewed in this list.
  • Even though the price is kind expensive ($199), you can get Massive X for $9.99 a month with the Komplete Now subscription.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Conclusion

A flagship synth in the EDM community, the Native Instruments Massive X is one of the best when it comes to creating wobble basses and sharp leads. This plugin is extremely complete and you probably won’t need anything else to create your tracks.

It is worth noting that the Massive X is also available on a subscription-basis model along with other plugins from Native Instruments via their Komplete Now program, for $9.99 a month.

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8. iZotope Neutron 3

iZotope Neutron 3

The iZotope Neutron 3 is an artificial intelligence based plugin that will help you achieve a better music mix faster. There are lots of different modules and the software is a complete solution, but perhaps the most interesting feature is the Mix Assistant, which can automatically unmask elements on your mix for you.

Product Specifications

  • Multi-Effect Plugin
  • 6 Different Modules (Sculptor, Transient Shaper, Exciter, Gate, Compressor and Equalizer)
  • Visual Mixer Plugin Included
  • Mix Assistant
  • Price: $129, $249 and $399

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The iZotope Neutron 3 is a complete solution that covers a wide range of effects so it is great for EDM producers on a budget.
  • The Mix Assistant feature will help you to automatically unmask elements in your mix such as vocals and synths, as well as balance them.
  • You can also use the included Visual Mixer plugin to position the elements on your mix visually.
  • The Neutron 3 has an excellent CPU performance.
  • The plugin is available in 3 different packages: Elements ($129), Standard ($249) and Advanced ($399).

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

An excellent all-in-one option, the iZotope Neutron 3 features 6 different modules to bring your tracks to life. Be aware, however, that the Elements and Standard packages have limitations compared to the Advanced version of the plugin.

We recommend you keep an eye for promotions regarding the iZotope Neutron 3 since the company usually offers it for free on some special occasions.

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9. Camel Audio CamelCrusher

Camel Audio CamelCrusher

The CamelCrusher is a classic in the EDM music production world. One of the best free third party plugins there is, the CamelCrusher offers 3 different modules to bring your tracks to life and will work in most DAWs, such as FL Studio and Ableton. A must have for your collection.

Product Specifications

  • Multi-Effect Plugin
  • 3 Different Modules (Distortion, Filter, Compressor)
  • Built-In Presets
  • Price: Free

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Distortion module can do everything. From subtle saturation to in-your-face distortion when you turn up the Mech knob, so it’s very versatile.
  • The Filter section is easy to use and it is excellent when you need a simple low-pass.
  • The compressor is minimalist: only one knob. However, it can give punch to pretty much any element, from vocals to basses, with one touch. Also experiment applying the Phat Mode and putting it on a drum bus.
  • You can blend between the processed and unprocessed signal with the Mix knob.
  • This plugin is available for free download.

Cons

  • Won’t work with AU 64bit systems (Logic Pro).

Conclusion

One of the most famous VST plugins on the internet, you should download the Camel Audio CamelCrusher as soon as possible. This plugin will certainly help you put that much needed punchiness into your mix with its 3 different sections and, the best part, for free.

Related: ​​Best Rhodes VST 

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Conclusion

As we covered so many different plugins on this list, each with their different features and type, there is no way to choose the best of all, since each one of them will contribute to your music in a different way.

We recommend that you try and test all of the reviewed plugins before you buy, as most of them offers a demo version, as well as add the free ones to your collection (they don’t cost nothing, after all).

Keep in mind that music production is a highly creative process and what works for someone may work in a different way for you. There is no way to find the perfect match for your songs other than getting to work and trying different things.

For beginners, it may be tempting to go out and spend all your money on new plugins with the promisse that they will finally bring your tracks to perfection, but there’s no need to. There are plenty of free and budget options out there that work just as good as those expensive ones if you put the necessary craft into it.We hope you liked our article. Make sure to check all of the related guides about EDM production our website and share this post with your friends. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need any further assistance!