Artist Focus: David Mash chooses his Top-5 plugins
David Mash is a musician, educator, and futurist. He worked at Berklee College of Music for 41 years; first as a teacher of guitar, core music, jazz composition, arranging, and eventually music technology. In 1984 he started the Berklee's Music Synthesis department, now known as Electronic Production and Design. He became Berklee's Vice President for Technology in 1997, Vice President for Technology and Education Outreach in 2006, and Senior Vice President for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology in 2013.
Currently retired he now focuses on making music, staying close to the latest tech trends, and giving back through board service. He serves as a director for The Record Co, as President of the Bob Moog Foundation Board, and as Chair of the Board for the Alan R. Pearlman (ARP) Foundation. He maintains several sites, including Mashine Music to promote his music that combines machines and humans, a concept he began experimenting with in 1977 playing synthesizers in his band Ictus. He also uses the artist brand Stefan for his more meditative and electronic musical work.
This is my go to synth plug-in because it sounds terrific, has a gazillion presets, and is easy to tweak or program from scratch. And with the hardware control feature, I can use one of my synths as a hardware control surface for tweaking the sounds in real time with physical control usually only experienced with hardware synthesizers - great for parameter automation in the DAW!
Omnisphere is the flagship synthesizer of Spectrasonics - an instrument of extraordinary power and versatility. This award-winning plugin brings many different types of synthesis together into one amazing-sounding instrument that will inspire a lifetime of exploration.
As a guitarist I use this one every day as my real-time performance amplifier/effects rig and for processing/re-amping sounds in my DAW. Also it is one of the few guitar DSP plug-ins that works with two separate inputs to two independent signal chains - I process the outputs of my magnetic pickups through one chain, and the piezo pickup through the second chain, then mix them at the end of the signal chain. Huge sounds!
Guitar Rig 6 Pro delivers meticulously modeled stomp boxes and effects, from legendary foot pedals to complex studio tools. Use them on anything — vocals, synths, drums, organs, or whatever else is in your mix. Whether it's classic guitar tones or avant-garde soundscapes, these effects deliver.
I use this is literally every project in my DAW for genre-based signal processing on my master channel. The sound is killer, and it's so easy to use, its like magic dust on my final mixes!
Building on a 17 year legacy in audio mastering, Ozone 9 brings balance to your music with never-before seen processing for low end, real-time instrument separation, and lightning-fast workflows powered by machine learning. Find the perfect vibe with an expanded Master Assistant that knows exactly what you're going for, whether it's warm analog character or transparent loudness for streaming. Talk to more iZotope plug-ins in your session with Tonal Balance Control and blur the lines between mixing and mastering. Work faster with improved plug-in performance, smoother metering, and resizable windows. No more wondering if your music is ready for primetime—with Ozone 9, the future of mastering is in your hands.
There are so many great libraries for Kontakt and Kontakt's controls allow for great sonic exploration beyond what the libraries offer. It is also a great tool for making your own libraries, and provides a great platform for building tools I can use myself, and share with others using Kontakt Player.
Kontakt is the definitive sampling platform. With Kontakt, you can sound like a snare drum, a symphony orchestra, or anything in between, from a universe of sampled instruments. It's a simple sampler when you want it to be, and a deep sonic scripting laboratory when you need something more. The next generation of the world's favorite sampling platform gives you new instruments and new features under the hood – so you can layer, link, stretch, and shape your sounds any way you can imagine.
It was hard to select just one of the many great synthesizers from U-He, but I have been using Hive a lot on my recent projects because it's sounds are killer. Great sounding oscillators and filters, and powerful and easy to use modulation matrixes - that's right, plural!
Hive 2 is an easy-to-use synthesizer combining u-he's famous sound quality with a low CPU footprint. The extra modulation features guarantee more fun than ever before. Underneath its new face, Hive 2 lets you go deeper: Add life with the unique Shape Sequencer and Function Generators, layer traditional analogue waveforms with 2-dimensional wavetables, or control multiple effect parameters at the same time for the full-on, mindbending experience. With its no-nonsense GUI, flexible signal routing and high quality effects, Hive 2 gives you the sound you want with a minimum of fuss.