Junkie XL On His Favorite Plugins & Effects

The latest episode in Tom Holkenborg’s (Junkie XL) Studio Time series takes a look at his favorite software synths and audio effect plugins.

As is immediately apparent from his videos, Holkenborg’s studio is extremely well-appointed, featuring some of the best synths, samplers and effects ever made. Nevertheless, he still uses a lot of software.

In this video, Holkenborg discusses the software he uses, some of the ways he uses soft synths and effects on his film scoring projects and why he may use software when he may have similar hardware.

36 thoughts on “Junkie XL On His Favorite Plugins & Effects

  1. Oh another Junkie XL vid brought to you by Synthtopia! How surprising. You should make a video of him having his coffee in the morning or even better how he makes his coffee.

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      1. per me c’ha messo troppa pancetta. E poi il basilico non ci vuole.!! Quello che chiama cheese, deve essere parmigiano reggiano !! Buon appetito!

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    1. Dick song, what is your problem? It’s a site that plays videos related to synths. If you think junkie xl is making too many videos then drop him an email and let him know your thoughts.

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    2. Well his vids are pretty relevant. And you maybe know that this site is called Synthopia?
      Same reactions when the name deadmau5 appears on Synthopia…..or Roland Boutique.
      Grow a beard, play with your …. , but stay away from here please!

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  2. Great overview. Beautiful studio.

    What computer system can handle so many plugins in his template?
    A lot of the processing is handled by UAD, but still all those native plugins…!

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  3. I think what I find most interesting about the video Tom puts together is that essentially he is just showing off things he owns. He isn’t actually providing any kind of information that you couldn’t find yourself with a quick google search or by reading through a manual. What I would like to see if less of “Hey look at this thing I have” and more of “Hey, here’s some weird shit you can do with this that no one else has ever done”.

    Fuck talking about specs or how great a synthesizer is. Bring something new to the table. I’d much rather see a tutorial on how he creates a song than 45 minutes about what he owns and what his favorite synths are. It just becomes one big commercial for hardware most of us cant afford or software we already have.

    Tom if you’re reading this, no disrespect. I think you’re cool as fuck and definitely a badass for what you’ve accomplished. But brotha, show us how you got there.

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      1. I have. The majority of the videos on his youtube channel are just him talking about gear with maybe the exception of his Mad Max series which has small bits of info but hardly any substance.

        His videos strike me more as the kind where the presenter enjoys just talking for the sake of talking and less concern about whether you’re actually going to get anything out of it.

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    1. Hmm. I don’t think that’s what he was getting at. He does touch on some of the plugins that he’s been using for years like the Ohm stuff which isn’t new or flashy, he says it works for him. He’s talking about using old plugins and new in the context of his work. Yes he has a lot and is showing it, but this vid is more of an overview of his palate of plugins. He’s a composer with tight deadlines for his film scores, so of course he’s got an arsenal of plugins. He also did end up showing how he has his template for scoring set up. I think that was impressive. How much time and effort it would have taken for him to create his own orchestral sample ensembles for each film in Kontakt? He even said he’s multi-sampled all his guitars drums and made custom UIs for each film project. I’ve read a few magazine interviews with Hans Zimmer where he’d talk about his wall of samplers. This was before software sample plugins were around. It was more of a window into his process rather than an add for Akai or Emu. I see that Tom is trying to do the same. His other videos go into more detail of usage. Also, he doesn’t really write “songs” as much as he used to. He’s wearing the film composer hat now. So I think it’s great that he’s sharing this stuff as other film composers don’t always do this. He even speaks to his use of delay plugins for use in surround sound. Tricks of the trade so to speak. If I were to teach a class on film composition, I’d definitely point my students in the direction of these videos. They’re a great free source of insider info. The kind of stuff you’d wait to find in SOS. Sure not everyone can afford Tom’s setup, but he’s showing the tools of the trade and parts of his process. For beginners, it’s a great way to see what kind of stuff is out there. I’d also recommend they watch the films he’s scored and listen to the soundtrack. Try to find the things he’s shown in his videos by listening. I find it’s better to stay constructive and find inspiration in these videos rather than passing quick judgements. The way I see it, I’m getting this info for free now rather than having to subscribe to a magazine or hunt through the library to get it.

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    2. From how he started and his background to where he is today, you’ve got to respect the man and his passion. And if anyone of us had made it the hard way that he has ye damn right we’d show off what we have got too. Well maybe I would 🙂

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  4. Thanks for sharing this, i work on music all day and it is always interesting to hear another professional explain his gear and tastes.

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  5. And when you get get tired of rehashing the past and where you have been, why not go forward and talk about what still excites someone who has damn near done it all? What real risks are you taking moving forward? I take it you are done with dance music right? Or am I dead wrong and you have plans to open a new night club!

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  6. BBD,
    He does NOT have everything! I was very surprised that he didn’t have/use any PSP Audioware plugins. PSP plugs have been right in the middle of everything that I do. If you want to mangle a WAV file you can’t go wrong with N2O. It’s like an Eventide Harmonizer that I can afford. They make the best spring reverb plug anywhere. Same with their tape echo.

    I have purchased everything that they make (still waiting for that big sale for the Vintage Warmer). Excellent stuff.

    P.S. They have a new reverb plug on the way that is becoming my favorite reverb of all time.

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  7. Don’t understand many comments here. Not everyone is at the same level. Some are starters some are pro’s and pro’s know enough and need to make money and (most of them) don’t have the time to make video’s (they will only MAKE videos for a significant monetary return, and even then those videos may include a lot of crap). Do you really think pro’s will share all their ins and outs and give up their competitive advantage ? Keep dreaming. At least Tom is not such a person and shares a lot of experience and information and that is often more that many other musicians do. Whatever you can take from this is a PLUS ! Why not make an educational video yourself if you think this is crap ?

    Tom, I wonder if you could share how you integrate and connect/control all this MIDI/Audio equipment ? What would you recommend, MADI, Dante, AVB, USB or Thunderbolt ?

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