Producers of all kinds are lucky to be living at a time when there’s so many delicious free plugins available to download, ripe for stuffing any DAW fill to the brim. Falling into a rabbit hole hunting out free VSTs can get overwhelming, fast.
It’s sometimes hard to separate the good from the bad and the ugly – while there’s thousands of free music software plugins out there for producers and musicians, they need to be stable and from a reliable source.
As a taster, here are six of the best free VST plugins available now, from great virtual instruments to stunning effect plugins. Let’s dive in.
Lo-fi hip-hop and bedroom pop sounds are still all the rage. Luckily you can get the perfect vintage dreaminess and add a warm classic sound with the Tape Cassette 2 free plugin.
An update on Tape Cassette 1, Caelum Audio’s free VST can be used on your entire track or on individual channels for a hit of nostalgia. Mess around with your synths for added experimental textures and create cosmic soundscapes.
Get the Tape Cassette 2 free plugin and find out more here.
Get every exquisite sound of the BBC Symphony Orchestra within a simple free plugin from Spitfire Audio that’s compatible with all major DAWs.
No more tinny, fake-sounding virtual orchestral instruments. Get a huge 33-strong orchestral instrument library completely for free. The sounds work as individual instruments in your DAW.
Ever wondered how to be a classical music producer? Now’s your chance.
Get the BBC Symphony Orchestral library free from Spitfire Audio here.
Whack your headphones on to experience the 3D capabilities of the DearVR Micro free plugin. A collaboration between Sennheiser and DearVR, the Micro is the redesigned successor to the previous AMBEO Orbit plugin.
The updated plugin has got full 360° panning, immersing you directly in the middle of your track. Put your sounds anywhere in the stereo field – not just left and right but above your head and behind you. Freaky and completely free.
Download DearVR Micro VST free here.
Cymatic’s Diablo Lite free plugin beefs up your 808s, enhancing drums to cut through your mix. The Punch transient shaper and clipper features make the loudness of sounds hit so much harder, making your kicks smack just as powerfully as you dreamt they would, without affecting the .dB. Get your teeth into that.
Find out more and get the Diablo Lite plugin free here.
This collaboration plugin lets you work with anyone in any DAW at any time, so you can work together without bouncing tracks. The audio or MIDI recorded into the Satellite Plugins 2.0 plugin automatically syncs between producers working within major DAWs. You can work together in real time and easily export audio.
Especially valuable at the moment, when remote working is the norm for so many musicians.
Satellite Plugins 2.0 is free for a limited time so grab it quick here – apologies if you’ve missed the boat!
A cheeky little free VST. Small, simple but effective – turn the stereo width and wet/dry knobs and press the two buttons to recreate the chorus from the classic Roland Juno-60 synth. Two settings, one to add a subtler texture and the other a richer sound, together faithfully recreating the much-loved synth.
Get the TAL-Chorus-LX plugin free here.
Hungry for more free plugins? Of course you are. Check out these great free synth plugins, top free guitar and bass VSTs, best free mixing and mastering plugins and best free effects plugins.
And there’s far more besides… what’s your favourite free plugin? Show off your knowledge in the comments.
Want everyone to hear how incredible those VSTs sound in your finished tracks? RouteNote can get your songs onto all the major streaming services and stores. Before you know it you’ll be earning money from your music – and the best part is, it’s free. Find out more here.
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