It takes a lot of work to sound this cheap!

I love the digital age yet I have to put a lot of effort into stopping pristine sound from rendering my tracks sterile. One plug-in manufacturer who has assisted in my quest for hi-fi lo-fi is de la mancha. Though they offer over 20 VST/VSTi plug-ins on their site I am going to focus on four de la mancha instrument plug-ins I have been using a lot lately.

Bassbomb’s dynamic envelops and subsonic oscillator make it ideal for modulating, wobbly bass, though I also end up using it for quirky lead sounds. I use “electro house2_bb” in the example below. (All three examples use Reaper as the VST host)

Dirty Harry has naughty, warped sampled sounds that can be readily tweaked. The best part is its imaginative preset names, such as “bipolar bear” and “wommamomma” that aren’t obviously descriptive and thus demand a listen! In the excerpt below, I use Dirty Harry for an arpeggiated line using the “bass arp” preset.

Basic64 has lo fi chip sounds that are reminiscent of playing pac man in a demented arcade after an evening of too much Robitussin.

Plastique has two very expressive knob-controlled oscillating filters that lead to exciting forays out of the preset universe. And who can resist a plug-in with “lofi” and “dirt” buttons? Both basic64 and plastique are freeware, dirty harry and bassbomb are $15 and $24 respectively and worth much more.

The track excerpt below uses basic64’s “classic” and plastique’s “Hands in the Where-O” presets for the lead sounds.

But don’t take my word for it! Visit de la mancha here.