most producers probably already know this, but KVR is a great site for free (and some paid) VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. I’ve downloaded several for Ableton Live, and they’ve been very helpful for creating techno and trance music (yes I’ve still been working on that song – it’s a progressive (dark) trance track called Phantom and it’s almost done! I mean it)! On the plugin search page you can search for all sorts of different VSTs – drum kits, samples, effects, and so on – for Mac, Windows or Linux, and you can specify how much you want to pay to download them (some cost, some are free).
I’m especially fond of this side chain compressor plugin that you can download from some random site in Japan for Windows and Mac. The site looks totally dodgy when you get there, but I haven’t had any issues with the plugin (of course you’ll want to run virus scans on anything you download, just in case). It’s probably not as necessary as it used to be due to the fact that Ableton Live 8 now includes a side chain compressor, but this one is pretty simple to use once you download it (Ableton’s is not), and effective. Perhaps I’ll make a short tutorial about how to use it in a future post.