Got HEAT. Do I need Soundtoys? [Answer: Yes!]

TL/DR : Does anyone have AH and Soundtoys 5? I’ve got an AH…tell me why I should also get Soundtoys.

Long story :

I recently bought an Analog Heat (from a fellow Elektronaut) and love it. I tend towards subtle use and it has a massive effect on making a mix alive, more vibrant and a little crunchy. The EQ, filter and LFO effects are also very cool.

Before I jumped on this though I was waiting for the Soundtoys sale to get the complete collection at a good price. Their summer sale just started and I can get ST5 for $205 as I already own Echoboy Jr.

Now I’ve got AH though I’m thinking that covers (and in a much nicer way) the Decapitator, Devil-loc, Filterfreak, Sie-Q and Radiator. And even to some extent the Phaser and Tremolator with LFO routing on the AH. I’m not really interested in the crystalizer or any vocal effects.

So really that just leaves the full Echoboy which I’ve trialled and it’s very nice. That’s $99 in the sale so should I just get the full suite for $205 or not waste my money and use the AH for all of those effects (excl. delay)? I’ve got 2 weeks to decide :smiley:


I’d still get soundtoys. You get multiple plugin instances, and the other plugins are very good too - PrimalTap is probably my favourite delay plugin.


Just get a couple more Heats, that should do the trick :wink:


Good point about multiple instances but the AH does something to the mix even if used once on the master bus that I never got using my 30 day trial of Soundtoys. But I think Soundtoys is the best fx plugin collection and my worry is missing out on this sale deal that doesn’t come around very often. Just not sure I need it now.

Certainly would do the trick!

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If you’re not sure you need it now, I’d sit on the fence just a lil longer if I were you. Black friday and xmas sales will be here eventually too.

I can only speak for myself, but buying plugins to me nowadays is more like a “want, not need” thing… Once you have a good collection of plugins (and there are some great free ones coming up all the time!), the additions are not really that must-have, more important is to squeeze all the mileage out of your existing ones. This leaves mo cash to invest in hardware “plugins” as well! :loopy: (which seem to hold their value better in the long run)


I think that’s good advice. I’ve still got features to learn on the AH so I’ll know by the next soundtoys sale if I need it or not. Plus I’ve got an A4 MK2 to save up for :smiley:

Edit : Just read your additional paragraph - so true. And now I’m 100% hardware synths (mostly analogue) using software fx plugins feels a bit nasty but I’ve bought and returned loads of pedals that didn’t do it for me. The AH is the only hardware effect I really like. Think I should get to know it better before I buy soundtoys or other. Decision made…for now!

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What’s your main DAW? Have you spent a good lazy Sunday using the main DAW’s native effects?

Ableton may not look the best in terms of GUI but practice young Jedi and you will understand


Was actually thinking of getting rid of AH and just go with ST Bundle.


If you are working in the box then yes Soundtoys is a great option.
The question would then be more ‘do I need the Heat now I have Soundtoys?’ :wink:


I use Ableton Live Standard. I do like and use the included effects. I don’t want clever tricks when it comes to plugins or effects just great sounding essentials - I use Valhalla vintageverb and shimmer. for reverb and I need a really good delay (hence possibly upgrading from Echoboy Jr to the full version or the complete suite) and then some sound colouring effects - filter, eq, distortion etc. and I’m blown away by the AH for this. It’s so warm and of course analogue. More below to reply to psyclone …

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Haha :slight_smile: I had a trial of Soundtoys before I got the AH and to be honest the decapitator, radiator and Sie-Q never got me the effect the AH does. Maybe down to my settings but I tested them a lot, got some nice effects but not the AH quality. There so much in the complete Soundtoys 5 though which is why I’m tempted to get it as well.

Just wondered if anyone uses AH and Soundtoys and could explain overlap and uniqueness of each.

I’ll probably get it at some point but will stick with AH and built-in Ableton effects for now.

I was watching one of those F9 videos where he says after 9.5 many of the effects got revamped. That’s why he’s also selling the parallel effects kit through F9 audio. Then one Sunday I started writing drum patterns and synth lines. Then I started micro adjusting the native effects in live. Wow it’s gotten better. Even Glue sounds better. Glue itself is as good as the Native Instruments Solid State SSL Clone compressor without the extra money spent. You will just need to practice with your threshold and do a low 1.5 or 2:1 ratio.

I also don’t like live’s gui so sometimes i go inside battery 4 and build kits in there instead of drum racks.

Also make sure your live session is in 96khz so you can take advantage of the the HQ effects.

For example I have a rodec restyler as my outboard analog filter and I will constantly run my loops I did on my EPS sampler into it and as I gradually filter down the analog LPF I get these unique artifacts and tones. I plug the same ensoniq loop into simpler and use the MS20 and Moog PRD filter clones and I get a similar effect. On a totally digital filter system the aliasing and undertones of an ES sample are harder to bring up. With the MS20 and PRD filter on LPF you get a lot of sweet spots. The other filter which is the Oscar (OSR) can get some interesting BPF effects too.

I need to spend more time with the regular compressor in Live in see where the sweet spots are.

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This is was the kicker for me. I use many instances of Sound Toys plugs on every mixdown.

I got the AH and purchased a couple Strymon pedals. They sound amazing… but damn I wish I had 8 of each.


Soundtoys has plenty of good stuff beyond Decapitator. You won’t have any regrets


The racks that come with the suite are amazing! If you mix in a DAW regularly, I find soundtoys to be the best set of plugins. Not saying anything new here… :wink:

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I was actually considering the Restyler because my music tends to use more and more filtering to create moving basslines etc, I like the one on the heat but I was looking for something with more character. How do you like it ? Are you saying it’s very similar to the Auto Filter in ableton ?

OK so Soundtoys just sent me a FLASH SALE email for PanMan 5 for just $29 which I grabbed and now my upgrade price to the full Soundtoys 5 is only $150. Means I can get the complete bundle for $179 today which is even better than the $205 I was looking at yesterday.

In conclusion - I’m getting it :smiley:

It has too much to offer and with the rack and multiple instances will be great to use per track and have the Analog Heat at the end. Thanks for the advice along the way :wink:


Leyy if you leave the transient, FM, AM, Inout boost, and overdrive alone then You have the smoothest -12db and -24db filter box with the ability to chain a primary filter to secondary.

If you start messing with transient knobs you have a cool transient designer. If you have a drum break record you want to sample you can calm down the transients or excite them. You also get a beat repeat effect when you chain the filter to the transient. The manual doesn’t describe a lot of these features in depth but this is from my experience during long sampling sessions.

If you start messing with FM and AM knobs you get some filterbank goodies.

Watch out for the resonance knob because it can scream like a filterbank.

You can also make the filter scream with the overdrive without raising input gain so you get the filterbank’ harmonic distortion without hitting the red on your mixer. Let me repeat that resonance knob is agressive and will hit red on your mixer before you can count to two.

Abletons cytomic filters sound analog in their own right. Even if I bring in an EPS drum loop at 44.3khz and frequency cutoff of 9.09khz the stepping down of live’s filters bring character to an EPS loop that sounds plain otherwise.

The restyler is a DJ filterbox with filterbank AM, FM, resonance, transients, and overdrive hooked up to it. It got a bad rap probably because most people didn’t take the time to learn it. I’ve put 60 hours of practice on it and think it’s a great box to get. It took me three months in elektronauts for sale section before I can buy one. Good luck


Thanks for the detailed answer, helps a lot :slight_smile: Cheers.

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