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HOFA Plug-ins: A Complete Guide To The Best Of HOFA + Download Links

Photograph of the blog post author, Joelle Banton

Joelle Banton

15.5.2020

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There is a range of virtual studio technology (VST) audio plug-ins available to producers to download and use in digital audio workstations (DAWs). Companies such as HOFA offer VST audio plug-ins that help to perform various tasks including mixing, mastering, and premastering. 

HOFA audio plugins

Based in Germany, HOFA is a top audio software company who produces high-quality tools for music production. But what exactly are VST plug-ins and how do they enhance music production? 

VST Plug-ins 

Producing music has never been so accessible as before. Virtual studio technology allows musicians to create smash hits from pretty much anywhere with just the use of a computer. All that’s really needed is a DAW and VST instruments, utilities and effects – many VST plug-ins are also free. Find out more about and download a bunch in our guide to the best FREE VST plug-ins

Without further ado, let’s have a look at and review of some of HOFA’s audio plug-ins…

HOFA 4U+ DynamicTiltEQ

HOFA 4U +DynamicTiltEQ

This is one of the best freeware Tilt EQ plug-ins out there. This audio plugin allows you to optimise the balance between bass and treble with one simple control at the highest audio level. With an analogue feel of handling and sound, the 4U+ DynamicTiltEQ also has an intuitive workflow and many new creative expressions. 

The freeware version includes the following:

  • Boost/attenuation of up to 24 dB
  • Variable tilt width for transparent adjustments as well as musical sound shaping
  • Process bass and treble separately
  • Low cut and high cut filter (6 & 12 dB/octave)
  • Individual routing for stereo, mid, side, left and right processing
  • Up to 32x oversampling
  • Support for Mac and PC, 32- and 64-bit DAWs

HOFA System Basic 

HOFA System basic

One of HOFA’s most popular freeware DAW plug-ins, HOFA Systems offers producers 29 high-quality plug-ins in 5 suites and includes more than 150 HOFA presets, that can be edited to a limited extent. In addition to plug-in presets, HOFA System can save entire processing chains. These chains can be used and edited, as long as the presets use parameters that are available in the freeware version.

Top features include the following:

  • 29 plug-ins with flexible routing and processing options
  • 150+ presets of the full version can be loaded
  • AlgoVerb Plate algorithm for more spatial depth in your productions
  • All plugins are usable in your DAW or in HOFA SYSTEM

HOFA 4U+ BlindTest

HOFa 4U + BlindTest

This plugin is great for helping you decide which tools work best inside your DAW.  We sometimes unconsciously often compare the expectations we have of a product (based on how it looks or the brand image), rather than the actual sound character. The 4U+ BlindTest allows you to compare objectively equipment such as plugins through a reliable blind test. You will be able to concentrate on what matters most, the sound, thus ensuring you end up with great sounding music. 

HOFA IQ-Series DeEsser

HOFA IQ-series DeEsser

Looking for a tool for editing harsh sibilance in vocals or in an entire mix? The HOFA IQ-Series DeEsser is the best tool for processing high-frequency content allowing you to receive great results with simple operation. HOFA IQ-Series DeEsser, which is fuelled by voice recognition, also has very natural vocal sound, even with heavy gain reduction, ensuring your mixes turn out great!

Top features include the following

  • Custom-made voice recognition by HOFA for precise attenuation of unpleasant sibilance
  • 4 Modes for different applications: 
  • WIDE – the standard for successful vocal de-essing
  • DARK – perfect for bright vocals
  • PEAK – hissing and resonating sibilance are history
  • BUS – ideal for mix groups, mastering, stems and unbalanced vocal- & instrument sounds
  • support for Mac and PC, 32- and 64-bit DAWs

IQ-Series Analyser V2

IQ-series Analyser V2

If you are having trouble finding overlaps or similar problems in audio tracks, the HOFA IQ-Series Analyser is the perfect plug-in. It’s a great tool to compare the frequency ranges of different audio tracks. This analyser shows the frequency spectrum as peak, hold, RMS and energy curve to give producers a more sophisticated sound analysis process. 

Top features (V2.0.19) include the following:

  • Network functionality to connect to the new IQ-Series Analyser (Standalone)
  • Automatic highlighting of peaks and dips
  • Track name import from host DAW (works with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo)
  • ISP switch directly in the meter display
  • Optional font size scaling for very large displays

HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master

Do you have a vinyl record you need to remaster or want to transfer the format of older music? The CD-Burn.DDP.Master makes it super easy to prepare your music for vinyl distribution.

Designed to make mastering and pre-mastering a breeze, the HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master enables musicians to Import audio files to edit them, set fade-ins and fade-outs and apply crossfades. The plug-in also includes a Tag Editor to add track titles, artist, and album information. Professional ISRC and EAN codes are supported. 

HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master Features:

  • The popular solution for mastering and DDP images
  • All HOFA plug-ins are included free of charge
  • This version is also available as a plugin for your DAW

HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master PRO Features:

  • All features of the standard version and additional pro features
  • Use the tools you’re used to: now with support for VST3 plug-ins
  • Advanced dithering options and presets for plug-in chains

IQ-Series Comp V2

IQ-series comp V2

The HOFA IQ-Series Comp is the world’s only compressor that can link the gain reduction to the integrated tone control. Whether you’re processing vocals, drums or other instruments, the HOFA IQ-Series Comp continuously adjusts relevant settings automatically according to the material. Based on your initial settings, you’ll get the best sounding compression ever.

This intelligent colour compressor will help you achieve “warm”, “colourful” or new and experimental compression sounds easily.

Top features (V2.5.8) include the following:

  • Groundbreaking link between gain reduction and ColourEQs
  • Precise EQing depending on the compressor’s gain reduction
  • Colour presets for fast results in the most common applications
  • EQ look ahead for maximum transient punch
  • Intelligent / adaptive attack, release and ratio
  • Adaptive AUTO mode
  • Two compression types: CALM & ROUGH
  • Easy to use, clear interface

IQ-Series EQ V3

IQ-series EQ V3

“I know quite a lot of great EQ plugins but the HOFA IQ-Series EQ is the best for me because of the precision and accurate sound…”

– Multiple Grammy Award Winner Norberto Islas

This plug-in has the potential to replace all of your EQs and compressors. The HOFA IQ-Series EQ V3 is a powerful equalizer with dynamics and analyser. This plugin will let you produce top-level mixes and enables innovative sound-shaping due to simultaneous dynamics and frequency editing.

Top features (V3.7.18) include the following:

  • Extended frequency range 1 Hz – 40 kHz for each of the 6 bands
  • 16 different filter types (6 shelves, 4 high cuts, 4 low cuts, peak, flat)
  • Up to 32x oversampling
  • Channelstrip mode 
  • Stereo, left, right, mid or side processing per band
  • IQ dynamics per band (compression & expansion)
  • Look ahead & live mode

IQ-Series Limiter

Hofa Plugins IQ-series Limiter

Looking for the (mastering) limiter, that makes your productions as loud as possible? Look no further. With a clear design, the IQ-Series Limiter plugin is reminiscent of an exclamation mark. This plug-in will give you excellent sounding results with very simple operation. If you need any more convincing about the sound intensity of this tool, this plugin has also received “Best of Equipment”, “Editor’s Choice” and “Reader Awards”. 

Top features (V 1.0.11) include the following: 

  • Highly adaptive limiting for maximum loudness with minimum artefacts
  • 16 and 24 bit dithering for highest demands
  • Three intelligent algorithms
  • Precise intersample peak metering
  • Scalable plug-in window size
  • Interactive tooltips & manual

IQ-Series Reverb

HOFA IQ-series Reverb

The IQ-Series Reverb VST plug-in includes excellent sounding reverbs and clever editing tools like positioner, modulation and vintage gate that make depth processing in the mix easier than ever before. The included impulse response (IR) library contains hardware reverb devices, real rooms and new, layered reverb combinations.

The IQ-Series Reverb’s centrepiece is the intuitive 3D display. All reverb processing steps are displayed here. You can change the length of the IRs, adjust the envelope curve and even process the different frequency ranges of the reverb differently

Top features include the following: 

  • Convolution reverb with ground-breaking editing capabilities
  • Easy to use, clear interface
  • Intuitive 3D GUI
  • Reverb time can be adjusted for 3 frequency ranges
  • Cut- & vintage gated reverb
  • Reverse reverb
  • Modulation for vibrant reverb textures
  • Positioning of sound sources in a virtual space (positioner)
  • True stereo capabilities
  • Extensive IR and preset library (vintage & high-end studio gear, “real” spaces, layered reverb combinations)

Compatibility with DAWs

All of these plug-ins can easily be downloaded from PlugIn Boutique or HOFA-plugins. (You can find links to each of these HOFA downloads above). Most plug-ins created by HOFA can be integrated into most DAWs or be used on their own. HOFA continually carry out tests on their audio Plug-ins using a range of DAWs to ensure their software is compatible with most programmes. 

The plug-ins work great with the following DAWs; Ableton Live, Logic (Pro) X, Avid Pro Tools, Bitwig, Cocko’s Reaper, Image Line’s FL Studio, Magix Samplitude/Sequoia, Presonus Studio One, Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo/Wavelab. To find out more about the best DAWs, read our guide on what a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is and how to choose the right one for you.

Conclusion and advice

man wearing headphones music producer using HOFA

Downloading the plug-ins mentioned throughout this blog will give you unique features that will no doubt make mixing and mastering much easier. 

Although having a range of plug-ins allows you to get really creative and even produce an entire new sound of music, some plug-ins are more geared towards certain types of music. Ensure what you download is relevant to your sound. For example, plug-ins that are used to optimise bass and treble suit pop and hip-hop productions more. 

If you have downloaded multiple plug-ins that ultimately perform the same task, you should also consider keeping the one that works best. No need to have plug-ins you won’t use in your DAW. Thankfully HOFA has designed a product that helps you do just that!

Finally, remember these plug-ins have been designed to help the creative process not hinder it. Don’t get bogged down with numerous plug-ins that will make your DAW more complex than it needs to be. There are many VST plugins out there that are overly complicated. Luckily, HOFAs plug-ins are very straightforward. However, if you do find yourself running into difficulties after downloading these plug-ins, HOFA offers many demos and virtual help on their website to get you back to music in no time!

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