While using AI is sometimes considered “cheating” by music producers, using artificial intelligence can actually be incredibly beneficial for creating tracks. In 2023, AI-enabled plugins give you more precision, faster results, and make your workflow much easier overall. These tools are also incredibly inspiring, giving you smart, unexpected MIDI patterns which you can tailor to your needs. In this article you will find which AI plugins and tools lead the way for music producers and which are best for you.
Let’s get started!
Mixing & Mastering AI Tools
1. Izotope Neutron 4 (Mix Assistant)
This VST includes a “Mix Assistant” feature which analyzes audio and automatically applies processing such as EQ, compression, saturation and stereo imaging. It can be used on single tracks, but it’s especially useful for bus processing. The best part about the Mix Assistant is that you can always tweak the parameters after the automatic processing. In this way you get to the end result faster without sacrificing any control over your tracks.
2. Izotope Ozone 10 (Mastering Assistant)
Similarly to Neutron this plugin from Izotope gives you automatic mastering capabilities which you can later fully edit. It can significantly speed up the mastering process and give you useful hints on what could be improved. Try doing your own master and comparing it to the AI version - you’ll be surprised at how well the algorithm works!
3. Focusrite Fast Bundle
This set of plugins from Focusrite uses AI to make the mixing process much easier. Each of the included effects automatically makes smart adjustments according to the received audio. This way, you get a much better starting point than the “default presets” found in most other plugins. Once the automatic processing finishes, you are able to change each setting individually to get exactly the results you’re looking for. Fast Bundle includes a limiter, EQ, compressor, reverb and “Reveal” - a spectral sidechain which automatically removes frequencies that clash between tracks.
4. Sonible Pure Bundle
The Pure Bundle from Sonible includes 3 AI-powered one-knob plugins: Compressor, Limiter and Reverb. The plugins automatically adjust parameters according to the received signal, and the only thing that’s left to do is adjusting the single “amount knob”. These plugins are a great way of speeding up your process for quickly setting up tracks. While they lack more advanced editing options, the one-knob workflow proves incredibly useful.
5. TAIP tape plugin by Baby Audio
TAIP is a tape saturation plugin, which instead of traditional DSP processing uses AI neural networks to mimic the characteristics of tape processing. This results in an incredibly authentic sound which makes it an ideal option for adding warmth to any track.
6. Fazertone Overdrive Essentials
The “Overdrive Essentials” plugin features a set of incredibly realistic AI-modeled emulations of overdrive guitar pedals, including classic models such as the Tube Screamer, RAT, Boss Distortion, Overdrive and Blues Driver, as well as the iconic Big Fuzz.
7. Landr Mastering
Landr is a platform which uses AI to automatically master your tracks. In the app you are able to add reference tracks and choose between different styles and loudness levels, as well as A/B between the original and master track with equal loudness. The platform also does music distribution, gives you access to collaboration tools and serves as a hub of many different music production resources.
Pattern Writing AI Tools
8. Orb Producer Suite 3
Orb Producer Suite is a set of 4 AI MIDI generator plugins: Orb Chords, Orb Melody, Orb Bass and Orb Arpeggio. These tools allow for both quick randomization of patterns and very advanced customization with parameters such as Complexity, Density, Polyphony and much more. Included you will find a full wavetable synthesizer to play the created patterns without having to use another synth plugin. Of course you can still easily drag and drop the created patterns onto a MIDI track for further editing or using your own instrument plugins. A great feature of the suite is that all of these plugins synchronize across the entire DAW project - meaning that the Chords, Melody, Bass and Arpeggio always stay in harmony together.
This plugin is an AI drum sequencer which allows you to load samples and automatically create drum patterns. These can be generated according to specified parameters or based on existing phrases you’ve marked as “smart”. Similarly to Orb Producer Suite, this plugin allows for both quick generation of ideas, as well as very in depth editing of parameters such as Steps and Density. Playbeat also includes 3 types of randomization algorithms, giving you infinite variations of a single rhythmic phrase.
10. Atlas 2
Atlas by Algonaut is an AI-powered sample browser plugin and sequencer. The software creates “sample maps” which are very easy to browse. Instead of having to go through endless folders on your hard drive, Atlas automatically puts similar samples close to one another, so you are able to easily browse for alternative sounds whenever you need one. With a few clicks you are able to build custom drum kits, easily swap samples and edit your sounds. The plugin also includes a full sequencer which is able to automatically generate patterns, making drum pattern creation incredibly easy.
Check out Atlas 2 here
Vocal AI Plugins
11. Synthesizer V - Solaria, Asterian, Saros
Synthesizer V delivers a vocalist inside a VST plugin. The voices are incredibly realistic to the point where it’s very hard to notice they are not actual human recordings. Not only does the plugin flawlessly sing the desired notes, it also perfectly sings lyrics with the desired vibrato and glide notes! Although the plugin used to feature only Japanese and Chinese voices, now it features a female vocalist Solaria and a bass vocalist Asterian. As for July 2023 we also have a beta version of a tenor male vocalist Saros.\
12. Vocaloid 6 by Yamaha
Although this AI-powered voice synthesizer doesn’t sound as flawless as Synth V, it’s definitely a viable alternative from Yamaha. It features a wide range of vocalists to choose from and a “Vocalo Changer” option to automatically transform vocal recordings into one of the synthesizer voices.
Vocal AI Online Tools
This platform gives you the ability to automatically create vocal tracks that sound professional. It transforms an acapella (could be your own voice) into a couple of available models of professional vocalists. It also gives you the ability to train your own models, which can be done using any acapella you desire - so it gives you pretty much limitless possibilities.
Not to be confused with LALAL.AI (the stem separation app). This platform gives you a lot of professional vocal models and works very similarly to Musicfy. You upload your own acapella which then is transformed by the app into a completely different voice. A great feature is the wide selection of popular artist voices - Drake, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Beyonce and many more.