With this review, I start taking a closer look at the Ignite VST expansions packs for its highly acclaimed Heat Up 2 virtual workstation plugin.
I was very impressed by Heat Up 2. What I thought at first is a hip-hop oriented Nexus clone, turned out to be an impressive engine with lots of sound shaping options and loaded with a huge and useful arsenal of sound patches.
When you purchase Heat Up 2, you also get a massive 16GB library containing everything you can imagine, from basses to pads, arpeggios to leads, drums to organs, and so on. Personally, I don’t think there is the need for more, maybe because due to my work here on the website, I am a part-time producer, if I am allowed to say this. But if you’re into a specific urban genre, you might want new sounds to work with, at least there is room for new presets anytime. Just don’t forget to tell your wife/girlfriend they’re just to boost the creativity.
Today I will point my antennas to three of Ignite VST’s expansions for Heat Up 2, all of them are specifically designed for trap music productions: 808 Massacre, 808 Massacre V2 and Trap Empire. I am not wrong if I say these add huge weight to Heat Up, offering some serious authenticity. Let’s start!
808 Massacre XP is a phat set of 49 808 basses ready to shake you from the ground up. Any preset is accordingly named to express its sonic characteristics. What I like is that you won’t have to add any effects such as eq or compression, the sounds come prepared just to be dropped in the mix. Of course, some adjustments will be made, but they will happen within Heat Up 2, its powerful interface allows for sculpting the bass sound to suit your track. For example, set the attack, the length, make some filter cutoff and resonance adjustments, add some wobble, make it mono and much much more.
808 Massacre V2 XP is the fantastic follow-up – this time you get 50 of the hardest 808 bass shots. What’s new in this expansion is the combo between deep 808’s with screams, various filters, or unusual sound design including gun shots percussions and more. Although this expansion is mainly made for trap, you can successfully use it in similar genres such as hip-hop, RnB or even EDM. Same as the previous volume, all of these 808’s are in key and have been perfectly mixed to sit well in a track.
Trap Empire XP comes with a massive 5GB library to expand your Heat Up2 with additional content such as instruments, presets and drum kits. Trap Empire is inspired by modern music and producers and comes loaded 11 preset categories: basses, brass, bells, drums, guitars, keys, leads, pads, plucks, strings and pads. The bass category has some inspiring bass plucks and deep drops, as well as pure sawtooths and clean subs. You get 19 trap brasses and 11 bells, perfect for hits and melodies, but also 2 complete drum kits to build the percussion part. The guitars category contains mainly distorted and “synthetic” guitars to create riffs and background rhythms. For the mellow part, you have some sweet keys, pads and strings, while the melodic side gets bombarded with some nasty leads, synths and plucks to obtain the most memorable hook.
To properly install these expansions into Heat Up 2, during the installation process, be sure to point it to the folder where you have the factory sounds installed. And double check to see if in the Heat Up 2 settings, that folder is selected. That’s all you have to do, Heat Up 2 will automatically scan the sounds and you will see them into the expansions tab.
In conclusion, I recommend the trap expansions to all Heat Up 2 owners looking to expand their library, but especially for all the trap and hip hop producers in search of high-quality sounds for their niche. These expansions are available starting at $24.95, I think is a great price for what they offer.