AES 2019: Best software of the show

Six of the best plug-ins, DAWs and other bytes of software from AES 2019.

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From plug-ins that promise fuss-free acoustic-drum gating to a free, fully featured DAW, these are the best pieces of software from AES 2019.

Apogee Clearmountain’s Domain

Mix engineer and living legend Bob Clearmountain has partnered Apogee to release the Clearmountain’s Domain plug-in (pictured above), which reproduces his personalised FX signal chain he used on iconic records by the likes of David Bowie and and Roxy Music.

The plug-in features delays, reverbs, de-essers, harmonisers and loads more. It’s perhaps fitting, too, that Apogee should be one of the forces behind Clearmountain’s Domain as it is also best known for its hardware.

Sonnox Oxford Drum Gate

Touted as a solution to common frustrations when processing acoustic drums, the Sonnox Oxford Drum Gate packs in four time-saving features. These include Drum-Hit Detection, which analyses drum hits and transients in real-time and allows the user to manually select which hits on which drums they want to keep.

iZotope Ozone 9

After rolling out free copies of Ozone 8 Elements, iZotope has fulfilled its promise of releasing Ozone 9, the next version of its mastering suite. One of the highlights of the new release is Master Rebalance. It allows users to tweak levels to bass, drums and vocals in real-time – without having to jump into the original mix.

Nugen Audio SigMod VST 2 Update

The improved SigMod can now host multiple instances of the insert module, and includes hosting support for third-party VST2 and AU plug-ins. Additionally, the updated software  features a wet/dry parameter control for the insert module, giving users the convenience of blending their affected audio signal with the original without the use of an AUX send.

Cakewalk by BandLab

As a value proposition alone, Cakewalk by BandLab is a strong one. It’s a free, fully-featured DAW for Windows – with over 20 years of heritage – that’s under constant development. The latest updates to the software include ARA2 support for deep Melodyne integration, improved take management for speeding up your vocal comps, and the implementation of highly regarded pitch and time algorithm Elastique.


Launched in 2016, this cloud-based DAW has received a significant update: users can now load up their projects – along with VST/AU synths – from any DAW right into their SkyTracks browser.

Click here for more from AES 2019.

[Ed’s note: Cakewalk by BandLab is owned by BandLab Technologies, which also owns]


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