We're currently living in the age of digital audio, and in-the-box mixing within a digital audio workstation is commonplace. Plugins are, therefore, invaluable assets for the modern audio engineer.
What is the tremolo effect in audio? Tremolo is a fast variation in amplitude. Tremolo is similar to vibrato, except that it acts on amplitude/level rather than pitch. The tremolo audio effect utilizes a low-frequency oscillator to modulate the amplitude of the audio signal.
In this article, we'll discuss the top 11 best tremolo plugins.
The Top 11 Best Tremolo Plugins Are:
- Eventide Undulator
- Soundtoys Tremolator
- Goodhertz Trem Control
- MeldaProduction MTremoloMB
- Puremagnetik Clusters
- PechenegFX Tremolo
- HY-Plugins HY-TP2
- NoiseAsh Action Tremolo
- Beijaflor TAS-X
- Adam Monroe Tremolo
- Kuassa Efektor TR3604
It should go without saying that any “top X” article is subject to bias. I would expect the next person's top 11 to be different from mine, but I hope there would be plenty of overlap.
That being said, I believe these plugins to be the best tremolo plugin options today. The criteria I used to judge these plugins include the following:
- Sonic performance: how does the tremolo plugin sound subjectively/objectively?
- Graphic user interface (GUI): how does the tremolo plugin look when loaded in the DAW?
- Ease-of-use: how user-friendly is the tremolo plugin?
- Functionality: how many different functions does it serve, and/or how many parameters are available for the tremolo effect?
- Accessibility/compatibility: how easy is it to acquire the tremolo plugin, and what are the system requirements?
To learn why they made this list, let's discuss each of the top 11 best tremolo plugins in greater detail.
Related article: Top 11 Best Tremolo Pedals For Guitar & Bass
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The Eventide Undulator is a plugin taken from Eventide's legendary hardware H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer effects processor.
Eventide's Undulator plugin is a classic effect that combines two delays, two detuned voices, and an AM or FM-modulated tremolo, which gives it a spot on this list. Run MIDI instruments, samples or real-time playing through ethereal feedback and detuned echos into rhythmic tremolo-style modulation for stunningly musical effects.
Controls of the Eventide Undulator include:
- Mix control for wet/dry mix
- Multiple modulation waveform shapes and sources
- Spread control for detuning the delays
- Feedback control of delays
- Secondary LFO for depth and speed
- Sync functionality to DAW tempo
- Tap tempo control
- Retrig button to retrigger the LFO from the top of the waveform
- Ribbon control for real-time dynamic control over select parameters
- Slow/Fast button toggles on a “Slow LFO” mode
- “Brake” temporarily slows down the LFOs at a constant rate until released
- MIDI control over Ribbon, Active/Bypass, Slow/Fast and Tap parameters
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Eventide Undulator user manual.
The Soundtoys Tremolator is a wonderful analog-style tremolo effect plugin.
Soundtoys' Tremolator emulates the classic tremolo effect, spanning from classic hardware like the Fender Vibrolux guitar amp and Wurlitzer electric piano.
The plugin features dynamic control of speed and depth for full control over the tremolo effect. It offers MIDI sync to lock the tempo to the DAW and an excellent Rhythm Editor that can be programmed to various rhythmic patterns for auto-gating and sequencer-like tremolo effects.
The Tremolator truly combines vintage sound quality with modern control.
Dial in the perfect tremolo style with the custom LFO waveshape editor, or choose from the list of standard LFO waveshapes.
Superb dynamic control allows users to speed up or slow down the tremolo based on how loud or soft they play (or how loud or quiet the program material is).
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Soundtoys Tremolator user manual.
Goodhertz Trem Control
The Goodhertz Trem Control is a powerful tremolo plugin designed to offer everything from classic emulations to futuristic tremolo effects.
Goodhertz's Trem Control is well laid out with distinct Rate, Shape, Vibe (analog colour), Advanced Shape, Advanced Rate, Miscellaneous and Trim modules.
From the naturally subtle to the vintage-inspired wobbles and modern rhythmic gating, this plugin offers it all. With intuitive parameter controls, the Trem Control makes dialling in the perfect tremolo effect easy.
For even faster results, the plugin offers fantastic presets ranging from historical settings to the downright bizarre.
Features worth noting about the Trem Control include:
- Free and Tempo-synced operation
- Speeds range from 0 Hz to 640 Hz
- BPM Sync with musical rate controls
- Tap tempo
- Flexible tremolo shapes
- Variable symmetry
- Variable bias
- Colourful tube section, from 0% to 200%
- Tremolo modes — 9 options, from Normal to Harmonic to Deep Harmonic
- Phase Offset
- Stereo phase
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Goodhertz Trem Control user manual.
The MeldaProduction MTremoloMB is a super powerful multiband tremolo effect plugin.
Arguably the most powerful tremolo tool in the world, MeldaProduction's MTremoloMB presents 6 independent frequency bands, each with its own series of parameters. From subtle vibes to novel movement, the MTremoloMB does it all.
This plugin can be a bit overwhelming at first, and understandably so, with so much functionality. Thankfully, Melda has assembled an awesome set of presets to get users started.
The dual-user interface offers an “easy screen” for a simplified view of the plugin (and a few controls) and an “edit screen” where users have access to the deep control panels and multiband settings.
In addition to a fully customizable series of multiband crossovers/filters, the MTremoloMB features more tremolo parameters than any other tremolo effect on the market.
Control the effect with customizable LFOs, audio-level followers, envelope generators, pitch detectors, and a randomizer—Morph between 4 of the 8 individual “A/B-style” instances of the plugin for unprecedented sonic possibilities.
This plugin can also handle several audio formats, spanning from mono and stereo (left and right) to mid-side and even ambisonic processing.
To list out all the incredible functions of this top-end plugin would require an entire article. I suggest checking out the manual linked below.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the MeldaProduction MTremoloMB user manual.
The Puremagnetik Clusters is a creative modulation tool featuring superb tremolo, among other effects.
Puremagnetik's Clusters is an easy-to-use plugin with instructions directly on the interface. It can dynamically apply tremolo for musical fluctuations in level and offers even more sonic goodies with ring modulation, frequency band shifting and animation controls.
The Flux control is used to alter the dynamically changing waveforms and effectively moves the tremolo from soft and subtle (when turned down) to complex and syncopated (when turned up).
Overclock multiplies the speed of the tremolo by 10, effectively producing a kind of ring modulation effect.
Use the crossover to access two different frequency bands that modulate ever so slightly out-of-phase. This provides nuance and interest unavailable in single-band processors.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out Clusters at Puremagnetik.
The PechenegFX Tremolo is a straightforward yet highly effective tremolo plugin.
PechenegFX's Tremolo gives us everything we need in a lightweight, easy-to-use tremolo plugin.
The LFO shape is customizable via the Shape, Phase and Symmetry controls, and the speed of the effect can be adjusted manually or synced up to the host DAW (with note types of regular, dotted or triplet).
Alternatively, the plugin can be set to modulate the panning of the signal with the same controls.
Sure, it's not nearly as functional as the aforementioned MTremoloMB, but as a plug-and-play tremolo tool, the PechenegFX Tremolo is a joy to use and sounds great, too.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Tremolo at PechenegFX.
The HY-Plugins HY-TP2 is a notable free tremolo and auto-pan plugin.
The super-simple resizable interface and free price tag are the allures of this tremolo plugin. When you choose tremolo or auto-pan, this plugin will get you simple results without any headaches.
The HY-TP2 offers 8 different LGO shapes with phase shift and smoothing adjustments. Quickly adjust the Rate, Depth and Width knobs to dial in the desired effect (engage the Sync button to synchronize to the host DAW).
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the HY-TP2 at Bedroom Producers Blog.
NoiseAsh Action Tremolo
The NoiseAsh Action Tremolo is an advanced pan and volume modulation (tremolo) unit.
NoiseAsh's Action Tremolo offers an impressive feature set for auto-pan and tremolo effects. Additionally, this digital plugin includes a superb analog saturation engine for easy analog-sounding output.
This plugin has 3 modulation sources, each of which can be synced to the DAW or adjusted manually:
- Custom shape envelope follower
- LFO (with 5 waveforms)
- 32-step sequencer
The Action Tremolo has 2 independent pan and volume controls, allowing for unique textured results, ranging from stereo enhancement and smooth warbles to sidechain pumping and novel sound effects.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Action Tremolo user manual at NoiseAsh.
The Beijaflor TAS-X is a free stereo tremolo and slicer plugin worthy of mention on this list.
Beijaflor's TAS-X is straightforward. What you see is what you get.
Visualize the stereo effect of the level-controlling/tremolo parameters to see exactly how the plugin is working. The display section gives immediate visual feedback on how each of the 11 parameters will affect the track.
Choose from 4 waveforms with extra limits and smoothing parameters. Offset the left and right channels for stereo functionality and choose whether to sync the effect to the host DAW.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the TAS-X at Beijaflor.
Adam Monroe Tremolo
Adam Monroe's Tremolo offers both amplitude tremolo and stereo panning. The interface offers immediate access to the wide-ranging and independent speed and depth controls of the tremolo and panning effects. Both effects are routed to a simple mixer, controlled via the virtual Mix knob.
The switchable sample rates are of particular interest. They effectively slow down or speed up the tremolo effect based on the project sample rate.
Check out Adam Monroe's Tremolo at Adam Monroe Music for more information on system requirements and authorization instructions.
Kuassa Efektor TR3604
The Kuassa Efektor TR3604 is a super simple plugin that recreates classic volume modulation with greater control over tremolo speed and wave shape.
This user-friendly plugin gives us a superb tremolo effect with uncomplicated controls.
Choose from three types of wave oscillations:
- Sine wave
- Square wave
- Triangle/Sawtooth wave
Adjust the effect rate (synced or manually), the depth, and whether the effect is mono or stereo. A/B between two settings to find the best tremolo effect suited to your application.
For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Efektor TH3604 at Kuassa.
Choosing the best audio plugins for your DAW can be a challenging task. For this reason, I've created My New Microphone's Comprehensive Audio Plugins Buyer's Guide. Check it out for help in determining your next audio plugin purchases.
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