Here’s our list of excellent Free VST Plugins – real alternatives to commercial VST plugins.
Free VST Effects
Brainworx bx_subfilter. Free.
With the bx_subfilter you can achieve more clarity and definition of the bass range in just a few steps. This useful effect makes it obsolete to manually correct bass tones using an equalizer.
d16 Frontier. Free.
The Adaptive Limiter d16 Frontier is one of our favourite free VST plugins makes individual tracks, groups or complete mixes sounds larger than life. Threshold, release time and the output gain can be individually adjusted. Best thing: The automatic make-up gain reliably protects against clipping and hard limiting!
Valhalla Freq Echo. Free.
Frequency shifters and their metallic sound character are a guarantee for fresh sounds. The Valhalla Freq Echo combines a frequency shifter and a characterful emulation of an analog delay capable of turning vanilla piano sounds into vibrant drones, simple synth sounds into warbling textures and the human voice into extraterrestrial sounds.
Melda Production MAutoPitch. Free.
MAutoPitch is a great free alternative to Auto-Tune & Co. It is part of the MFreeEffectsBundle, a 27-pack plug-in collection of studio and creative effects, providing flexible intonation correction in real time.
Tokyo Dawn Records NOVA. Free.
TDR NOVA can be used not only as a parametric or dynamic EQ, but also as a multi-band, wideband or frequency-selective compressor. With its musical sound and flexible configuration options, it is a real secret weapon for mix and mastering!
Audio Damage Rough Rider 2. Free.
Pumping effect compression is the specialty of Rough Rider. Exactly the right thing to give drums and other rhythmic signals as well as basses more assertiveness. Drastic settings provide a striking as well as musical saturation.
Slate Digital The Monster. Free.
The supercharger for massive drums and basslines. With strong effect compression, the transients of a signal are mercilessly smoothed out. Activate Punch to bring it back – ideal for drums and other rhythmic audio. The Monster also replicates the iconic all-button mode of the cult compressor / limiter Urei 1176.
Free VST Plugin – Synths
It’s not hard to guess that the synth emulated here is Korg’s classic Mono/Poly. This emulation delivers crisp basses, screaming leads, and sparkling arpeggios – just like the original hardware unit.
Togu Audio Line TAL-NoiseMaker Free.
TAL-NoiseMaker is a great virtual-analog synth with intuitive interface. Be sure to try the different filter modes of the powerful multimode filter. Another highlight is the Envelope Editor, where you can draw your own waveform. This can be used to control various parameters such as the filter frequency, making it a modulation monster.
Futurcraft Kairatune. Free.
Bass and lead synthesizer geared to fast workflow, all functions are directly accessible. The sound generator consists only of an oscillator with sub-oscillator, but thanks to MASS and SPREAD, it can easily be turned into a supersaw or -square and stretched out in width.
discoDSP OB-Xd. Free.
The polyphonic Oberheim OB-X is known for its warm, wide and very lively sound. OBXD captures the charismatic sound character of the analog classic from 1979 and also offers useful additional functions such as a multimode filter.
u-he Tyrell Nexus 6. Free.
The Tyrell was inspired by Roland’s Juno 60, but its tonal possibilities go far beyond the hardware model. Analogue standards are provided by the synth in excellent audio quality, and thanks to Osc sync and cross and ring modulation, even aggressive and metallic sounds are child’s play.
Martin Lüders PG-8X. Free.
The PG-8X emulates Roland’s 6-voice analog synth JX-8P from 1985. A great sound, which captures the typical Roland sound character very well – PG-8X is easily placed in our top ten best freeware synthesizers.
E-PHONIC DRUMATIC 3. Free.
Drumsynths usually sound thinner than drumsamplers, but they offer the much more dynamic sound. With Drumatic you get a complete synthetic kit with six drums, which is not only suitable for electro, but can enrich any electronic music style with a very own touch.
Free VST Plugin – Instruments
Ample Sound AGM Lite 2. Free.
Here’s a virtual guitar VST which brings the rich sound of the Martin D-41 guitar with numerous articulations into your virtual studio. You can adjust sound parameters such as the microphone levels, pan position, and stereo width, as well as activate the artificial doubling function. The strummer page, where you can program your own rhythm patterns and chord progressions, is particularly exciting!
PLOGUE ALTER EGO. Free.
Although virtual singers have been around for quite some time, dealing with the tools is usually cryptic. Not so with alter ego: Simply enter text and play MIDI notes and the synth starts singing.
That’s it for our roundup of the best free VST plugins. Do you have any other ones we might have missed?