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Free VST Plugins – List w/Search Function, OS Compatibility, & Tags

Whether you're starting in the world of music production, or you're an advanced producer, it can be expensive to get new gear and inspire your latest tracks. Free VST plugins have been getting better and better over the last decade, with some now even competing with the top, paid plugins around (granted there are fewer but they're still fantastic).

That's why we spent 40 hours writing the most extensive article on free VST plugins you'll find anywhere online. Read on to see our picks.

We use a range of free VST plugins in our production and we wanted to share the best of the best. These are plugins we've personally used to design packs like our Purple Slush Lo-Fi pack and the Redd Velvet Hyperpop Pack.

The Free VST Plugins Directory

VST Instruments

  • Synths – Free synthesizer plugins.
  • EXS24 – Best instruments for Logic's EXS24 sampler.
  • 808 – Free emulations of the classic Roland rhythm composer.
  • Rhodes – One of the most popular keyboards in western music.
  • Pianos – A VST plugin collection of the best piano VSTs.
  • Harp – Harp libraries and VST plugins.
  • Flute – Flute libraries and VST plugins.
  • Choir – Choir libraries and VST plugins

VST Effects

  • Autotune – Alternatives to Antares Autotune.
  • Compressor – Best freeware compressor plugins por mixing and mastering.
  • Delay -Make vocals stand out and add dimension to your mixes with free delay plugins.
  • EQs – Fine-tune your home recordings and get the best sound out of them.
  • Guitar Amps – Get massive, powerful, and crystaline guitar tones.
  • Metering – Free tools to monitor level, spectrum balance, stereo width, and more.
  • Reverb – Find the best free reverb to create space, add width and depth to your mixes.
  • Saturation – Add character and color to your tracks and mixes with saturation plugins.
  • Transient Shaper – Make your bass sound rounder and your drums punchier.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

  • Free DAWs – The best DAWs for recording, mixing, and mastering.
  • Alternatives To Garageband – Best free alternatives to GarageBand, FL Studio, and Ableton Live.
  • Open Source – If you know how to code and like to customize your workplace.

Utilities

What Are The Best Free VST Plugins?

Here is the essential list of the best free VST Plugins available:

  1. Valhalla Supermassive
  2. Vital Synth
  3. Auburn Sounds Couture
  4. Softube Saturation Knob
  5. Auburn Sounds Graillon
  6. Slate Digital Fresh Air
  7. TDR Limiter No.6
  8. Melda Production MEqualizer
  9. Audio Damage Rough Rider
  10. Spitfire Audio Labs
  11. Ignite Amps Emissary
  12. Dexed
  13. Versilian Studios Flute & Harp
  14. Overdrive Rack Pro
  15. NI Komplete Start
  16. Kilohearts Essentials

1. Valhalla Supermassive

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.8+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Great for instrument and SFX sound design situations

✅ Includes several mix-ready presets to optimize your workflow

✅ 3 in one effect to create original interesting modulated reverbs

✅ Great to make vocals pop up in the mix

✅ Straightforward GUI that leaves no time to waste

Cons

❌ In the context of a music mix, it can quickly get all over the place and cause your tracks to sound washy

Supermassive is a free reverb, delay, and modulation plugin by Valhalla DSP. It's a great plugin to create huge spaces and ambiences effortlestly, and includes 16 reverb and delay processing modes with a bunch of presets.

This plugin is one of the very best ambient plugins because it's super adaptable for a diverse range of situations, such as mixing songs, sound design, adding dimension to synthesized sounds, and more.

Supermassive is not only offers versatility, but also gives you full control over each aspect of its sound, including a mix/wet control to use it as parallel onboard processing, as well as controls for time, warp, stereo width, and more.

It's fantastic for crazy, huge spaces that sound out of this world. And is additionally incredible to automate, using the warp and time of delay create the wildest, wonkiest, dissonant lofi sounds.

Huge Reverb on Valhalla Supermassive
Automated in places to create wonky sound

2. Vital Synth

Compatibility: Win10+, macOS 10.12+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Great for beginners starting up with synthesizers

✅ GUI is very graphic and lets you see how each parameter changes the sound in real-time

✅ Super simple to use and short learning curve

✅ Fully automatable parameters and effects

✅ Incredibly versatile synthesizer with a highly complex engine

Cons

❌ Limited with waveforms in the free option

❌ There is a lack of presets available

Vital is probably the best free VST synth, it's amazing for beginners and advanced users and has a similar interface to Xfer Serum, which is the most famous synthesizer in the industry.

The thing about Vital that we think is mind-blowing is how it's capable of generating incredibly complex sounds and sequences, but somehow makes it look and feel easy.

You get 3 oscillators, with a separate noise oscillator and a plethora of controls that help you to control the shape and tone of your sound. These include high-quality effects and extremely interesting misc filters that are fantastic to use for sound design purposes.

Vital additionally hosts a vast modulation section, with the ability to drag and drop modulate anything you want.

The layout is almost identical to Serum, which is why much of the community call it the free Serum. However, the sound engine is entirely different. This gives you a lower quality sound than Serum, but it's still incredibly pristine and clear.

Vital is amazing because your level of expertise really doesn't matter. If you're just starting up with synthesis, it'll be very helpful because it's so graphic and lets you visualize each aspect of the sound in a straightforward understandable way.

If you're already an experienced user, you'll find Vital pretty useful because the workflow is nicely optimized and everything is laid out so that you can achieve what you want without a lot of input.

3. Auburn Sounds Couture

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, LV2, 64-bit, 32-bit

free transient shaper couture

Pros

✅ Detection modes are great to process almost any signal

✅ Separate HPF is great to process snappy bass lines cleaner

✅ Simple, but precise transient shaping

✅ Individual wet/dry controls allow a better balance between both signals

✅ Surprisingly good for DeEssing situations

✅ Transparent transient processing

✅ Oscilloscope input and output metering helps you visualize how processing affects the signal

Cons

❌ Couldn't find any

Couture is one of the two plugins we'll see in this list by Auburn Sounds. Interestingly enough, couture means made-to-measure clothes, which alludes to its precision as a transient designer.

Couture is a fantastic alternative to Waves' Smack attack, another transient designer also used for precision and surgical shaping.

It has three detection modes and a bass detection control that's pretty much a sidechained high-pass filter. This is extremely helpful if you use it on a bass or a kick drum to keep these frequencies intact when processing – only affecting the high-range transient sound.

It's one of the cleanest transient shaping plugins we've used and doesn't appear to add much color to your sound or processing. It just makes your transients smack a lot more.

Other free transient plugins don't have as transparent of a sound as Couture, so if you want something precise that doesn't add color, this should be your pick.

It's fantastic to use for mixing drums, editing bass, and controlling dynamics on vocals. On the downside, the saturation module is not available on the free version. However, you could always use Softube's Saturation Knob below!

Transient Shaper off
Couture transient shaper on

4. Saturation Knob by Softube

Compatibility: Win10+, macOS 10.13+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Simple and efficient way to color any signal on the fly

✅ Saturation modes are great to achieve more focused distortion (low, mid and high modes)

✅ Very good to use on vocals, drums, and bass for extra bite

✅ Fantastic, warm analog distortion sound

Cons

❌ Installation and registration process is a pain

❌ Too much can ruin your signal

Saturation Knob is a saturation plugin with modeled output distortion to increase the harmonic information of your tracks and make them sound bigger and more natural.

The plugin has three saturation modes to add analog style saturation exclusively to high or low frequencies, or equally across the full spectrum.

This plugin has an incredibly simple interface and produces particularly complex distortions, which is why it's one of the best free analog-like saturators to have in the music production game.

Its sound is very organic and tasteful, and it can help you achieve professional vocal recordings if you work in a less-than-ideal environment, like your bedroom.

5. Auburn Sounds Graillon

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, LV2, 64-bit, 32-bit

graillon 2 free autotune effect

Pros

✅ Pitch shifter is great to transpose vocals while preserving the formants

✅ Real-time pitch correction

✅ Simple to set up and use

✅ Low CPU impact

✅ Pitch correction controls are great to create cool pitched-vocal effects

Cons

❌ Pitch tracking modulation locked in free version

Antares Autotune is a standard in the industry, but although you can pay a monthly/yearly subscription, it's still not something everyone can afford. Luckily Auburn Sounds have Grallion, which can achieve a similar result for free.

It's much more stripped back than the professional version of Auto Tune, but if you're looking for that T-Pain, hard-tuned sound, you will be able to get it with Graillon.

Differently from Antares' Graillon includes a vocoder, a bit crusher, and a harmonizer, which opens the doors for really cool and unique effects. However, these features are only available in the paid version, whereas the free version can only pitch correct and shift.

You can access the full version for as little as $30, which is not too far from what Antares charges for a monthly payment. If you don't want to buy expensive autotune software, and only need simple tuning, Graillon is one of the best free VST plugins you'll find by far.

Graillon 2 before on seriously bad singing with a stupid voice
Graillon 2 after makes it much more in pitch (will probably work better for you)

6. Slate Digital Fresh Air

Compatibility: Win8+, macOS 10.13+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Great sound quality and character even in extreme settings

✅ Intuitive user interface

✅ Low CPU impact

✅ Great to add clarity to any signal or bus on the fly

✅ Fantastic to add high presence to any signal

Cons

❌ You need an iLok account

❌ It's really easy to overdo

Have you ever had a vocal recording that no matter what you did it felt like it was coming from inside a box and whenever you tried to add some brittle it rapidly became too harsh?

It happens a lot with poor-quality recordings, and that's exactly what Fresh Air is here to fix.

Fresh Air is an easy, two-knob free download by Slate Digital. It's a harmonic exciter that adds high-frequency harmonics without harshness (which for the most part is true).

We've personally used Fresh Air in our Redd Velvet Hyperpop sample pack to add height to the melodies. It's perfect for adding presence and even a little harsh distortion if you do it right.

Be careful though, because you can very easily overdo it!

Additionally, it's a bit annoying to install and run because of the iLok registration, but once you have it's a relief.

We used Fresh Air on pretty much all the synths in our Hyperpop Pack

7. Limiter No. 6

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, 64-bit, 32-bit

TDR limiter no 6 free limiter plugin

Pros

✅ Easy-to-follow workflow that lets you fine-tune the tone of your limiter

✅ Five separate modules and several limiting modes, including M/S

✅ Gives you a pleasant and balanced vintage sound

✅ The clipper limiter can be very subtle and works great to accentuate the tone

✅ Incredibly malleable, so you can use it for multiple mix and master situations

✅ Up to 4x oversampling, and zero-latency monitoring

✅ Two separate signal paths & automatic threshold adjustment

Cons

❌ UI can be a bit too cluttered at first sight

❌ Does not allow dithering

❌ There's little to no audible difference between limiting modes

❌ The high-frequency limiter can be too harsh sometimes 

Limiter No. 6 is one of those free VST plugins that makes you wonder how or why is it free. It is a dynamic processor with 5 processing stages, featuring a RMS compressor, a Peak limiter, a high-frequency limiter, a clipper, and a true peak limiter to close the deal.

This powerful limiter plugin is perfect for mastering, but you can use its modules for mixing as well to control several different aspects of its dynamics. You can also bypass any module, which we'd recommend doing as you process your audio signal.

What makes No.6 limiter so good is the color it can add to your sound. It emulates an analog limiter, giving it all the warmth and character of one too. It's not as good as paid limiters that do this, but for a free plugin to add character, it's great.

8. Melda Production MEqualizer

Compatibility: Win8+, macOS 10.14+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit, 32-bit

Pros

✅ The “Area” view is really helpful as a reference while EQing

✅ You can invert a filter's gain, which is super helpful for surgical work

✅ Includes frequency analyzer and sonogram allowing better decision-making

✅ Linear response possibilities for mastering (or filtering) situations

Cons

❌ GUI is a bit crowded and can become confusing

❌ It's rather complicated for an EQ

MEqualizer is one of many free goodies you can get with Melda Production's free VST plugin bundle. This EQ brings you unique advantages that not many plugins, either free or paid, can offer, like soft distortion, different analysis displays, and highlighting important frequency areas in different instruments like drums and piano.

This free VST plugin has up to six floating fully parametric eq bands and ten filter types for each. Additionally, you can control how each band will affect harmonics, specify which ones are to be processed or whether you want a linear response.

Similar to TDR Nova, you may use this plugin for parallel processing and have the ability to solo each band, the latter being automatic with MEqualizer. There are many other functions and possibilities with these plugins to help you during your EQ operations. It's great for beginners and advanced users looking to optimize their workflow.

9. Rough Rider by Audio Damage

Compatibility: Win8.1+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

rough rider free compression

Pros

✅ Waveform visualizer lets you see what the plugin is doing to your audio

✅ Perfect for adding compression to drums, vocals, basses, and buses

✅ Optional analog-like warmth

✅ Great-sounding presets

✅ Great for edgy distorted vocal sounds

Cons

❌ The effect can be too much with some inputs and cause artifacts

Rough Rider is a free compressor with a handful of controls by Audio Damage. This compressor is a great and easy way to add punch to your tracks and glue them together into your mix.

Besides being such a simple tool, it still adds some unique features that make it stand out, like disabling the initial input warmer to allow more transparency and an external sidechain HPF to avoid low-frequency compression and keep that side of the spectrum clean.

Rough Rider is great for tasks on which you can benefit from non-transparent processing and it's a very handy tool to quickly control dynamics and improve a signal on the fly. The best part of Rough Rider is its warm unique sound because it's not as aggressively colored as other compressors, but rather subtle and enriching for your audio.

Before
After

10. LABS by Spitfire Audio

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit, 32-bit

Pros

✅ It's effortless to use with its interactive interface

✅ Instrument library has several free options and is updated monthly

✅ Extremely little CPU consumption allows you to load several instances without crashing your system

✅ Rare exclusive instrument libraries

✅ Ability to audition libraries before loading

✅ Sound quality of the libraries is very professional

Cons

❌ Allows little to no control over sample libraries, what you get is what you have

❌ Some libraries lack articulations, making them sound somewhat artificial

LABS is an evergrowing series of free virtual instruments with outstanding sound, unique samples, and a wide variety of sounds just waiting to be a part of your songs.

LABS is an incredible free alternative to Kontakt, and contains some amazing professional, recording instrument sounds for your productions. Although Kontakt is better, Labs does a great job at professional sound for free!

As far as sound libraries, you can get anything from vintage synths to acoustic sounds, drum kits, and unconventional percussions, expecting incredibly organic-sounding samples that sound like you're using real instruments.

On the downside, you don't get as much control over the instruments and performance as you'd have with Kontakt, but for a free pick it's a great deal; even more, considering you have over 40 different sampled instruments available for download.

Choir preset on Spitfire Labs

11. Ignite Amps Emissary

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit, 32-bit

Pros

✅ Great for heavy rock and metal guitar tones

✅ Includes NadIR loader with factory preset impulse responses

✅ Ability to load third-party impulse responses

✅ Lets you blend different IRs and add effects

✅ Easy to use and navigate

Cons

❌ Can get a bit stuffy at times, especially with the most mid-range IRs

Emissary is an amp simulator and a free emulation of its analog counterpart. When you download it, you get a free bundle that includes NadIR – an impulse response loader intended to work as Emissary's cabinet.

You can get really cool guitar tones with this plugin, not to mention that the impulse responses are particularly accurate and pretty impressive for re-amping and music production (especially metal music).

Emissary gives you incredible flexibility for your tones by letting you load two different impulse responses at a time, to blend them together. This possibility can be very interesting if you like to design the sound of your guitar amp while producing.

However, it's good to keep in mind that the impulse responses are not mix-ready like other free amp simulators including, Guitar Rig or TH-U. Instead, they're sampled in different ways to focus on varying ranges, so that you can blend them and get the perfect tone.

12. Dexed

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, Linux, VST, AU, AAX, LV2, 64-bit, 32-bit

Pros

✅ Incredibly accurate emulation of the DX7

✅ Includes several presets with SFX, vintage keyboards, percussions, and more

✅ Light on your CPU

✅ It reads actual DX7 custom patches, so you can download them and load them up

✅ It sounds great on its own, all presets are ready-to-go

Cons

❌Although FM synthesis itself is not easy, the GUI is hard to look at and even harder to use

❌ The interface is pretty cluttered

❌ It has quite a learning curve

We already talked about Vital being the best free synthesizer, but the thing is that although Vital is great, an FM synthesizer is more efficient with certain types of sounds.

Dexed is an FM synth based on Yamaha's DX7 synthesizer.

This free virtual instrument has a whole bunch of factory presets and it's great to make 80's style patches. Like Vital, Dexed is incredibly malleable, you can link things together, store your own patches, etc.

The thing about Dexed is that, unlike Vital, its user interface is very complicated. It'll take time to learn how to use it and make sounds, so if you don't know how to use FM synths, you can do as many did before with the original DX7, and just use the factory presets.

13. Versilian Studios Chamber Orchestra

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Low CPU usage

✅ Really good to use as a “sketch library” to define the tones and add creative textures

✅ Great for music beds and background orchestral arrangements

✅ Rare orchestral instruments and timbres exclusive to these libraries

Cons

❌ Instruments' mic positioning options and articulations have inconsistencies that may cause problems with phase correlation

❌ Some sustain patches have audible loops

Chamber Orchestra is a free sample library instrument. And, the first thing you need to know about it is – Versilian Studios' Flute and Harp was discontinued and became “Chamber Orchestra”.

This is an expanded library of the original, with more instruments, and is now compatible with Native Instruments' Kontakt, Omnisphere, Renoise, Sampletank, and more.

For a free orchestral library, it sounds great and organic and being as lightweight as it is on your CPU, we consider VSCO a keeper and a great tool for producers in need of intimate-sounding orchestral sounds.

Besides the typical orchestral instruments, VSCO has some rarities that are exclusive to this library/VSTi plug, such as the Ethnic Xylophone.

14. Overdrive Rack Pro

Compatibility: Win7+, VST, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Easy-to-use interface with a few knobs controls

✅ The 4-band EQ gives it a lot more malleability to create different tones

✅ Allows lots of flexibility to shape the distortion effect

✅ Great to use on guitars, vocals, and bass to add character. Sounds great on drums too

Cons

❌ The GUI is too crowded and can be hard to read

Overdrive rack Pro is an overdrive distortion effect by NSP. As with any other overdrive, you can use it on guitars, vocals, or drums, to fatten the sound and get different tones.

This free plugin is very easy-to-use, as it only has a handful of controls to shape the sound. Overdrive Rack Pro has a built-in 4-channel EQ, two types of algorithms, and a simple set of controls that lets you adapt your overdrive to different contexts and audio signals.

You can really crank it and get some incredibly interesting tones.

Distortion is perfect for sound design purposes and works especially well when designing EDM bass or chord melodies. It adds a harshness to the sound and is often used in many hard genres like bass house, dubstep, and more.

15. Native Instruments Komplete Start

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.12+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

Pros

✅ Includes a selection of synths, basses, and some percussive elements

✅ Great and unorthodox sounds that can bring a more interesting flair to your tracks

✅ Almost every preset is usable and mix-ready

✅ Easy install and activation, it's as simple as downloading

✅ Over 2000 sounds to add to your productions

Cons

❌ You'll likely want to buy the full version of Komplete after using this for a while

Komplete Start is a new free bundle to get you started with music production. It covers the basics with a few sound libraries for Reaktor and Kontakt Player, as well as other software like guitar rig, and Komplete Kontrol, for performances.

The featured libraries sound great, with a wide variety of sounds, a few instruments, but most of all, really interesting timbres. This is especially useful for those of you looking to add depth and character to your tracks.

With it you get quite a few libraries, but one that stands out is a library called Analog Dreams. This includes a bunch of synthesizer sounds reminiscent of the 80s, which we absolutely recommend if you like vintage tones.

We must say that compared to what Spitfires offer with Labs this isn't much, but it still sounds great and is worth trying.

16. Kilohearts Essentials

Compatibility: Win7+, macOS 10.11+, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit

kilohearts free snapin plugins

Pros

✅ All-around effect bundle with all kinds of processors

✅ Lightweight on the CPU

✅ Great capability for sound design and mixing, especially when combined

✅ Several presets and randomize button for each effect plugin

Cons

❌ After loading some effects it can be extremely taxing for your CPU

Kilohearts is giving away an entire effect catalog with top-notch quality effect plugins and a host called Snap Heap. These are incredible because they sound great, consume little to no CPU power, and you can load them up and combine them in Snap Heap to create crazy textures and sounds for your tracks.

Snap Heap is a great sound design tool and gives you many different slots to load all the plugins as you want, alongside macro controls to adjust them to taste. All the plugins have a ton of factory presets and a randomizer button included too.

The Kilohearts bundle includes everything from EQ, filters, and compressors, bit crushers, transient shapers, reverbs, and delays.

All of these are very similar to each other, and are very easy to handle, which only adds more to this awesome bundle.

Summary

To recap, here is the complete list of the best VST plugins:

  1. Valhalla Supermassive
  2. Vital Synth
  3. Auburn Sounds Couture
  4. Softube Saturation Knob
  5. Auburn Sounds Graillon
  6. Slate Digital Fresh Air
  7. TDR Limiter No.6
  8. Melda Production MEqualizer
  9. Audio Damage Rough Rider
  10. Spitfire Audio Labs
  11. Ignite Amps Emissary
  12. Dexed
  13. Versilian Studios Flute & Harp
  14. Overdrive Rack Pro
  15. NI Komplete Start
  16. Kilohearts Essentials

Free VST plugins are an amazing resource to achieve professional results without breaking the bank. They open the doors to millions of people around the world who live in countries where it's not as simple to find a hundred dollars for a Kontakt library or spend $20 each month to pay for a subscription with Slate Digital.

Our favorite is Vital. It's super versatile, you can make whatever sound you can come up with, and it's so simple to use than even being an absolute neophyte, you'll still find your way around it nice and easy. The best part? It's pretty cool with your CPU and doesn't take as many resources as it could.

We tried to include as many categories as possible to give you the widest selection, but if you still want more – check out our list of the 250 best free VSTs below!

The Ultimate Free VST Plugins Table With Search & Tags For Ease

Check out our table of free VST plugins:

We added a search function so you can search for different categories. Just type in something like ‘reverb’ or ‘saturation’ and all the best free VSTs of that nature will pop up 🙂

TypeCompatibilityDescription
AnalogWin, Mac, LinuxOBD-Xd is part of a series of free VST plugins that recreates the classic Oberheim OB-X. It has an incredibly rich sound and has random micro detuning, which gives it a unique sound.
AnalogWin, Mac, LinuxSyntronik is a cutting edge synth that includes 17 amazing analog instruments.
AnalogWinCharlatan 2.0 is an easy to use analog synthesizer, with an incredible sound engine that will make your patches sound juicier than a huge slab of filet steak. It’s got a beautiful interface (not usually the case with free VST plugins) and is CPU efficient.
AnalogWin, MacThe VK-1 Viking Synthesiser is one of the greatest free VST plugins on this list. It's an emulation of the legendary monophonic, analog synth: Moog Voyager & has a state of the art DSP processing, that will bring crystal clear audio and all of the classic flavours of the Moog.
AnalogWinThe Minimogue VA is exactly what you’re probably thinking it is… a model of the widely popular Minimoog. Shipped with 3 oscillators, a digital delay, a chorus unit & much more, the Minimogue VA is perfect for creating vintage sounds.
AnalogWin, Mac, LinuxThe June-21 is an emulation of the absolutely legendary Roland Juno! A bonus is that it can read and play Juno presets.
AnalogWinPhutura is one of our favourite virtual instruments. It’s inspired & modelled off the legendary Alpha Juno and has an extremely futuristic feel. It’s one of the coolest free vst plugins for rave music, and makes one hell of a chord stab.
AnalogWin, MacSteinberg’s Model E is part of the Steinberg VST Classics release. It’s a simple 3 oscillator virtual instrument, that's great for getting those phat bass sounds.
AnalogWin, MacPG-8X is an awesome vintage, free VST instrument. It’s modelled off the classic JX-8P by Roland & is one of those virtual instruments that get's the sound pretty close to the original.
AnalogWin, MacTAL-NoiseMaker is a subtractive, virtual analog synth. It has a beautiful interface and tonnes of parameters to play around with. Alongside all that, it also comes with built in intrument effects.
AnalogWinInspired by the sounds of the Stranger Things, the K1Ks, focuses on creating a more analog sound.
AnalogWinSuperWave P8 is a free virtual intrument that models analog synthesis. You can use it in your music production to that create lush pads, leads and strings.
AnalogWin, MacPodolski is another one of those free VST instruments that doesn't kill your CPU. It’s a virtual analog synthesiser that can create some extremely interesting sounds!
AnalogWin, MacThe Stigma is a free plugin that models an old age classic, the Korg Sigma KP-30. It's got some beautifully retro sounding patches you could use in your music production sessions.
AnalogWin, MacTAL-BassLine is another one of those free plugins that emulates classic hardware. It's a free version of the TAL-Bassline-101 & models the SH-101. It's really good for acid basslines & analog sounds.
AnalogWin, MacSynth1 is a software synthesiser that packs a punch. It comes with 2 oscillators and a whole load of built in instruments effects for you to mess around with.
AnalogWin, Mac, LinuxLith is a software synthesiser with built in waveforms that have been sampled from a real analog oscillator. This free synth VST is perfect if you’re looking for an extremely phat sound.
AnalogWinArpee2600va is a semi-modular analog monosynth, that attempts to emulate the legendary Arp2600 and does it well! It has a multitude of FM options available and tonnes of built in instrument effects for you to play around with.
AnalogWin, Mac, LinuxSQL8 is a software model VST of the age old classic SQ80 synthesiser.
AnalogWinThe Prodigious Synth is both a free synth VST that absolutely crushes bass sounds! It’s also got FM capabilities and an intriguing arp.
AnalogWinMonolisa by Omnitaur is a monophonic bass synth VST. It's brilliant for those gritty synth bass sounds.
GranularWin, MacRibs is one of our favourite free vst plugins. It's a Granular FX VST instrument that can make some truly interesting sounds. You can use it as a granular synth, create vocoder like sounds & even scratch audio like vinyl.
FMWin, MacDexed is one of the best free VST plugins for FM synthesis. It's an emulation of the renowned Yamaha DX7, that can be used in conjunction with the original hardware, or on it's own. A wicked feature worth mentioning is: you can load old patches from the actual DX7 & play around with them.
FMWin, MacSNYCLA-X is an FM synthesiser. The sounds you can create in this have incredible depth & the interface is easy to use.
FMWinThe Lizard is an abrasive FM synth. It's not as good as the other free vst plugins on this list, but definitely deserves a mention.
FMWin, Mac, LinuxVOPM is a free VST plugin that's modelled from Yamaha's first ever FM synthesis chip - the Yamaha YM2151. It's brilliant for retro sound, but the interface isn't great.
FMWin, MacCrystal is a semi-modular software synthesiser that is great to learn both subtractive synthesis and FM synthesis. It has over 90 parameters that can be modulated and an array of built in instrument effects.
FMWin, Mac, LinuxDon’t let Oxe FM Synth’s looks deceive you! It’s a free FM synthesiser that comes with 6 oscillators, noise generators, LFOs, filters & more.
ModularWin, MacVCV rack is one of the best free VST plugins that has modular capability. It offers an impressive virtual Eurorack that you could spend hours patching sounds with.
ModularWin, MacModulAir is a modular polyphonic synth. It’s free to download right now, but is a work in progress. There are new updates that keep coming, but it could become paid soon.
ModularWin, MacFathom Synth is a modular VST synth, which is available for free download in mono. It's got a beautiful GUI and sounds absolutely incredible for a free plugin. It's definitely worth adding to your collection of free VST plugins.
ModularWin, Mac, LinuxCaustic 3 is an awesome music creation tool that’s like a DAW. It’s a free modular VST instrument that’s shipped with 14 modules you can build upon.
SuiteWin, MacKomplete Start is an impressive bundle of free VST plugins by Native Instruments. It's got some wicked sounds & is a must have for music producers starting out.
SuiteWin, MacHofa System is a suite of basic, free plugins from the full version. It comes with a load of cool instrument effects including reverb, delay, distortion & more!
SubractiveWin, Mac, LinuxHelm is a fantastic wavetable synth. It’s open source which means you can install it and mess around with the code if you know what you’re doing. It also sounds phenomenal & has a clean interface.
SubtractiveWin, Mac, LinuxEuropa is now playable in your web browser! It's a legendary shapeshifting synth from Reason & can make some incredible sounds.
SubractiveWinSYNISTER is another open source wavetable synth. It can be found over on GitHub, which means you can download it and tinker with the code if you’d like.
SubtractiveWin, MacPush is an interesting take on subtractive synthesis. The idea is that you hit the random button and AI will create you a new patch every time.
SubractiveWin, MacDeducktion is a juicy 32 note-polyphonic, subtractive synthesiser. It includes 2 oscillators, filters, 3 envelopes and a load more for you to play around with. Deduktion also offer a wide variety of other free instruments and effects on their website.
SubractiveWin, MacTyrellN6 is a compact, sporty synth. When there's a free synth from u-he, you should definitely add it to your collection of free plugins.
SubtractiveWin, MacYou could say that The Free Alpha synth by Linplug is Omnisphere for the poor man.
SubtractiveWin, MacAquamarine is an incredibly beautiful synth that gives goosebumps. It has a huge collection of textures, pads & synth sounds for music.
SubtractiveWin, MacThe Zebralette is another plugin from uhe. They make some of the most incredible synths, so it's definitely worth picking this up and adding it to the free VST plugins folder.
SubractiveWin, MacPapu is a free VST instrument that emulates the hardware of a Nintendo Gameboy.
SubtractiveWin, Mac, LinuxJuceOPLVSTi is similar to Papu. It’s an emulation of the classic Yamaha sound cards used in games between the late 80s and 90s.
VocalsWin, MacAlter/Ego is a real-time singing synthesiser which has the capability to create some amazing vocal sounds.
SubtractiveWin, Mac, LinuxTau MK3 Bassline is an emulation of the Roland TB-303. It’s great for those squelchy acid basses we all know and love.
SubractiveWin, MacSinnah is an intriguingly unique synth that’s based on a single oscillator. It includes 5 waveshapes that you can add harmonics to and alter in more ways than was thought possible.
SamplerWinGrace is a lightweight & great VST sampler for Windows.
SubractiveWin, Mac, LinuxTunefish V4 is a wavetable synthesizer that has been designed so you can open as many instances as you want, without sacrificing audio quality. If you’re looking for another one of those free VST plugins that won’t eat your CPU (and still sounds great), then this is it!
SubtractiveWinRainbow is a discontinued plugin by BigTick audio. It’s a 4 oscillator synth that covers FM, AM, additive and subtractive synthesis.
SubractiveWin, MacDigits is one synth that stands out from the crowd. Its unique phase distortion, inspired from the Casio CZ series, will have you creating the warmest pads, dirtiest basses, filthiest sweeps and everything in between.
SubtractiveWinChimera is a unique synthesiser that’s driven by noise. You can use this free VST plugin for airy & watery pads.
SubractiveWin, MacSymptohm PE is an incredible synth if you’re looking for a vast array of presets. This thing comes shipped with 1200 + presets.
VocalsWin, Macfree autotune plugins list
VocalsWin, MacMAutoPitch is a free pitch correction plugin. As with Graillon 2 you're also able to use MAutoPitch to transpose vocals or make them sound robotic. A great addition to your free plugins library.
VocalsWin, Mac, LinuxGSnap is a free autotune plugin that you can use to correct vocals & instrument takes. It's got a MIDI 'snap' functionality & can read MIDI inside your music production sessions.
VocalsWin, Mac, PhoneVOLOCO is a brilliant creative autotune plugin, that's wicked for vocoder & extremely pushed robotic sounds.
VocalsWinAngelina is another free VST plugin by the BigTick corporation. This is a great vocal synth that has 2 oscillators.
VocalsWin, MacVST Speek is a free VST plugin that models the first vocal synthesis machines. If you’re going for a really retro feel, then this is one of the best free vst plugins for that.
VocalsWinOther than being absolutely hilarious, Delay Lama is an awesome plugin that offers vocal synthesis, a real-time 3D interface and a delay all in one.
StringsWin, MacCheeze Machine 2 is what we’d call old skool in the synth world. It’s a free VST plugin that focuses on recreating the original sounds of vintage string machines. It also comes coupled with a vast range of free audio effects!
GuitarWin, MacBrainworx BX_Rockrack V3 Player is definitely one of our favourite free VST plugins for guitar. Most VSTs try to simulate hundreds of amps with different microphones. Brainworx have taken a different approach, focussing on a few models and making their emulations sound exactly like the original.
GuitarWin, MacAmple Guitar M Lite is one of the best free VST plugins for acoustic guitar. It's lite version is available for free and it sounds great!
GuitarWin, MacAmple Bass P Lite 2 is another plugin from the Ample Sound family. This free bass guitar VST instrument sounds incredibly realistic.
GuitarWin, MacAmpliTubeV4 is a great piece of free software if you're looking to grow your virtual guitar gear collection for nothing.
GuitarWin, MacBlack Rooster Audio's Cypress TT-15 takes a no-nonsense approach to guitar amps and is a fantastic guitar head amp emulation.
GuitarWin, MacLibra is a zero latency Impulse Response unit that's designed to be used as a cabinet simulator for guitar & bass.
GuitarWin, MacEmissary is a digital emulation of a tube amplifier for guitar. It's been created to model the real hardware built for Ryan Huthnance
GuitarWin, MacNad1R says it in the name... it's an impulse response unit designed specifically for guitars.
GuitarWin, MacProF.E.T. is a gut wrenching preamp/stomp-box for guitar. It accurately remodels its real hardware counterpart.
GuitarWin, MacNRR-1 is another plugin by Ignite Amps that emulates a tube pre-amp for guitar. It's an emulation of its real hardware counterpart built for Fleshgod Apocalypse.
GuitarWin, MacThe Anvil is another digital emulation of a tube amplifier for guitar. It has more of a clean tone to the NRR-1.
GuitarWin, MacThe TPA-1 is an incredible emulation of a class AB tube power amplifier for guitar. It has been designed with versatility in mind and it shows. It can work with any kind of guitar and sound.
GuitarWin, MacThe SHB-1 is an extreme bass head and has been designed for simple use in studio sessions, playing live and jamming.
GuitarWin, MacTSB-1 Tyrant Screamer is what you need if you're looking to add some grit to clean guitar tones. It's an overdrive pedal inspired by the 808 overdrive pedal.
GuitarWin, MacTS-999 SubScreamer is a digital emulation of an overdrive specifically crafted for guitar.
GuitarWin, MacMercuriall MT-A is a virtual emulation of the classic Boss Metal Zone MT-2. It's perfect for the genre of metal.
GuitarWin, MacMercuriall Chorus WS-1 is a chorus pedal effect for guitar.
GuitarWin, MacMercuriall Greed Smasher is a perfect emulation of the Mesa/Boogie Grid Slammer. It's perfect if you're looking to add some grit to your guitar tracking. A great addition to your collection of free VST plugins.
GuitarWin, MacThe TSC-808 is another incredible emulation of the real-life hardware unit by Ibanez: TS-808.
GuitarWin, MacMercuriall Cab 2.1 is an awesome emulation of the Marshall 1x12 cabinets for guitar.
GuitarWin, MacGuitar Rig Player 5 is a free effects processor for guitar. It's really good if you're looking to build chains or adding warmth to your signal.
GuitarWin, MacTubeDriver is a free guitar VST that emulates a tube amplifier for your guitar.
GuitarWin, MacNick Crow's 8505 is another free guitar VST that has been built to model a guitar head amplifier.
GuitarWin, Mac7170 is a lead guitar amp that's available for free download over on Nick Crow's website!
GuitarWin, MacWagnerSharp is a great VST plugin that emulates a tube guitar pre-amp.
GuitarWin, MacJAMP is an emulation of the M-45 type amp head in a box. No matter the style you want to play in, this amp is perfect to put on any channel.
GuitarWin, MacDSK Dynamic Guitars is a versatile acoustic guitar instrument. Offering three styles of guitars including: Nylon, Steel Guitar & Acoustic.
GuitarWin, MacAce is a jaw dropping emulation of the legendary 1950s, Tweed, American tube amp. It's also got a large variety of controls for you to tinker with.
GuitarWin, MacBoogex is a free guitar VST which acts as an amplifier. It's also available in different colour variants!
GuitarWin, MacBlue Cat's free amp for guitar is a simulation of three different models. It's inspired by legendary guitar amplifiers from the real world that include: classic drive, modern drive and clean drive.
GuitarWin, MacThe HyBrit guitar amp is a hybrid amp that has been developed based on famous British gear.
GuitarWin, MacHyBrit Series by Le Poulin is another guitar amp simulation that focusses on re-creating that famous British amplifier sound.
GuitarWin, MacLe456 is another free VST instrument from the Le Poulin series of plugins. It's a pre-amp simulation for guitar that's modelled on famous German gear.
GuitarWin, MacLeCab 2 is an impulse response unit that has been specifically designed for guitar and bass.
GuitarWin, MacLecto is a guitar amp simulation that is designed from a modern American head.
GuitarWin, MacLeGion is another guitar VST from the Le Poulin collection of plugins. It's a pre-amp simulation for guitar.
GuitarWin, MacLeXTAC is a discontinued free VST plugin for guitar.
GuitarWinSoloC from Le Poulin is a tube preamp emulation for guitar. It has 3 channels to choose from: Clean, Overdrive, Crunch.
PianoWin, MacTicky Clav is a newly remastered free VST synth from Big Tick Audio that was reintroduced due to popular demand. It’s an incredible emulation of the popular Hohner Clavinet, made famous in Stevie Wonder’s hit song Superstition.
PianoWin, MacCreated by some of the best curators of free audio plugins - Bitsonic Audio, Keyzone Classic delivers incredible piano sound. It’s a very simple to use plugin in which you can change settings such as the ADSR, Volume, Velocity and LFO settings.
PianoWin, Mac Spitfire Labs Piano includes amazing piano sounds, but also has a load of orchestral sounds too. It's an amazing plugin
PianoWin, MacSkerratt London Piano: If you’re into more of a wide, detuned & chorused sound, this Piano is perfect for you.
PianoWin, MacIntroducing Versilian Upright Piano. This is one of our favourite Piano VSTs, purely because of the sound. It’s one of the closest to out of the 5 to a real sounding Piano, but lacks the option to alter the sound (like ADSR etc).
PianoWin, MacCreated by Ivy Audio, who specialise in free orchestra VSTs, this sample bank is an absolute staple for any producer looking to ‘polish’ their sound and is a beautiful sample library of a Steinway Model B grand piano. To use this library, make sure to download Sforzando so you’re able to load the pack and get playing!
EchoWin, MacValhallaFreqEcho is a beautifully crafted frequency shifter coupled with an analog echo. It’s perfect for dub and creating crazy sci-fi esque sounds. Add this to your lineup of VSTs… you won’t be disappointed!
EchoWinEcho Master is a free VST by Meesha that focusses on giving a cheap, worn out sound.
EchoWinET-200 is a free VST echo plugin developed by Noise Industries which includes sound bending flutter effects and bandpass.
EchoWinShuttle Echo is a device crafted to bring out the imperfections found in echos and delays. It's great for slapback echos and general echo wildness.
DelayWin, MacSpaceship Delay is a free delay audio effect that features both classic modern and vintage sounds. A great addition to your collection of free VST plugins.
DelayWinDelazi is an incredible host sync delay.
DelayWin, MacDriftmaker delay is a disintegration device. It has exceptional character and can create amazing textures.
DelayWinTapeDelay is exactly what it says it is: it's an emulation of a vintage tape delay.
DelayWin, MacHY-Delay is a free delay tool that also has the function of ducking built in.
DelayWinDVS Ping Pong by Dream Vortex Studios is a free delay VST that is great for those stereo bouncing echoes.
DelayWin, MacVoxegeno Tempo Delay is an incredible stereo delay that has a high audio quality engine.
ReverbWin, MacValhalla Supermassive is easily the best free vst reverb on this list. Valhalla make the most incredible reverb plugins on the market, & the supermassive is no different. It's a weird mix between a delay & reverb and we use this plugin in almost every track for sound design.
ReverbWin, MacTal Reverb 4 is an incredibly easy to use free VST plugin that emulates high quality plate reverbs.
ReverbWinEpicVerb is another free VST plugin that aims to conquer both small room and ambience effect simulation. It’s extremely well suited from everything to modern drum sounds & vocals, all the way to epic hall simulations.
ReverbWinKarmaFX is a brilliant solution to a digital stereo reverb & features a whopping 10 different reverb algorithms.
ReverbWin, MacHotto's Spring Reverb is an absolute must. It emulates the behaviour of a real spring reverb based on some really clever algorithms
ReverbWin, MacMConvolutionEZ is a free to use convolution reverb. It reads impulse responses to recreate real room reverbs digitally. This is a must have
ReverbWin, MacTal-Reverb-2 is a free VST plugin by Tal. It's a super lush and diffuse reverb with a fast build-up time (great for ambience).
ReverbWin, Mac, LinuxPrototype Reverb is a natural sound reverb which uses a room simulator to get its unique sound.
ReverbWin, MacVoxegeno OldSkoolVerb is a free VST which focuses on bringing that old skool sound.
GateWinA1 Trigger Gate is probably one of the coolest free VST plugins on this list. It allows you to drag any piece of audio in and chop it up using the in-house sequencer. Absolutely perfect for any electronic music producer looking to get that gated effect.
GateWin, MacBob Perry's Gate is a gating plugin that's useful for cleaning recorded signals up. If you've got some messy overhead recordings this could be perfect.
GateWin, MacEareckon's FR-GATE 87 is an analog take on a gate. It uses the same engine as their very own ANALOG87.
EQWin, MacSlate Digital's Fresh Air EQ/Exciter free VST plugin, is available for a short period of time. It's wicked for brightening up a master. You use the 'mid air' & 'high air' knobs to inject a bit of floaty top end into anything.
EQWin, MacTDR NOVA reminds us of a free FabFilter Pro Q3. It’s a parallel dynamic, parametric EQ that offers a huge range of options.
EQWinSlickEQ is an incredible tool that’s used primarily for mixing and mastering. SlickEQ offers some really interesting saturation models that add subtle textures to your sound.
EQWin, MacLuftikus is an amazing adaptation of the widely known Maag EQ4. Its impressive air bands are able to boost frequencies above the audible range 20 - 40khz.
EQWin, MacLinearPhaseGraphicEQ 2 is a great solution to a free linear phase EQ.
EQWinThe SN04-G is a hybrid character 3-band EQ. It comes with the usual surgical capabilities you'd expect from an EQ & also comes with the option for analog modelling.
EQWin, MacPTEq-X is a plugin by Ignite Amps. It's a digital emulation of the incredible Pultec EQP-1A tube EQ. Use this EQ to add colour to your sound.
EQWinBEE-HAPPY 550 is a free VST plugin that has an API-style look and feel to it.
EQWin, MacBlue Cat's Triple EQ is a 3 band parametric EQ that doubles up as a single filter.
EQWin, MacPart of the free series from Eareckon comes the FR-EQUA 87. This is a high quality analog EQ that uses the same engine as the award winning ANALOG87 series.
EQWin, MacMEqualizer is an extremely precise easy to use, 6 band EQ.
EQWin, MacSGA1556 is a single channel vintage tub mic preamplifier. It's great for warming up those vocals.
EQWin, MacCode Red Free by Shattered glass is an emulation of the EMI REDD EQ used at Abbey Road Studios. Another great plugin to add to your free VST plugins collection.
EQWin, MacSPL Free Ranger by Plugin Alliance is an analog modelled EQ.
ModulationWin, MacMultiply is an impressive digital chorus that includes a wide range of presets.
ModulationWin, MacBlue Cat's Chorus is an adaptive chorus that can be used for subtle effects or sound shifting effects.
ModulationWin, MacAdam Monroe's Tremolo is a panning modulation effect. If you're looking for something to pan your sound left and right automatically, use this.
ModulationWin, MacBlue Cat's Phaser is a phasing plugin modelled after the vintage, warm phaser circuits.
ModulationWin, MacBlue Cat's Flanger is a a simple to use flanger that can be used to take your sounds back to the 70s & 80s.
ModulationWin, MacPancake 2 by Cable Guys is a capable auto-panner that is able to sync to your DAW. You can easily construct your own modulation curves using automation or its built in LFO curves.
ModulationWin, MacMFlanger is a versatile flanger with sound that is higher tier than any we've experienced.
ModulationWin, MacMPhaser is an interesting take on phasing VSTs. It's advanced, easy to use interface provides a large array of dials & knobs to interact with.
ModulationWin, MacMRingModulator is a classic ring-modulation effect which uses two oscillators to get its unique sound.
ModulationWin, MacMTremolo is great for panning effects of amplitude modulation. It has adjustable waveforms and harmonics that can really shape your sound.
ModulationWin, MacMFreqShifter is an amazing frequency shifter plugin that doesn't keep harmonic relationships like a pitch shifter does.
ModulationWin, MacMVibrato is a Vibrato plugin that ships with an incredibly high quality audio engine that can handle up to 8 channels of surround sound.
ModulationWin, MacTal-Chorus LX is a fantastic chorus plugin. You can use it to stereo widen your sounds or detune them.
ModulationWin, MacTal-Vocoder is a vintage emulation with 11 bands. If you're looking for a retro 80s feel, then this is it.
FilterWin, MacMComb is a powerful comb filtering plugin which is made extremely versatile with modulation.
FilterWin, MacMBandPass is a filter plugin for your DAW. It contains high pass and low pass filters with slopes of up to 120dB/octave. It also has a load of modulators you can make use of.
FilterWin, MacHY-Filter3 is another free vst from the HY-Plugins gang. It's a multimode filter plugin that sounds awesome.
FilterWin, MacVHL-3C is a vintage high/low pass filter which is perfect for taming high and low frequencies that are out of hand.
FilterWin, MacBX Cleansweep V2 is a free VST filter by Plugin Alliance. It's a great filter for removing any unwanted high end or low end.
FilterWin, MacBX Subfilter is great for dealing with low end frequencies. It has a simple interface and gets the job done.
FilterWin, MacNiveau Filter by Plugin Alliance is a great filter for balancing your EQ's
FilterWin, MacTal-Filter-2 is a host synced filter with tonnes of options for modulation.
PanningWin, MacDoppler Dome is a stereo effect that we love. It's extremely similar to the waves doppler and is amazing for creating realistic stereo pan effects that sound spatial.
PanningWin, MacMAutoPan is a classic autopanner with an adjustable shape oscillator design. It also links up with your DAW to get the right timing.
Transient ShaperWin, MacCouture Free by Auburn is an incredible transient shaper plugin. Transient shaping is perfect for getting your drums to cut through through a mix more.
Frequency AnalyserWin, MacSpan is probably one of our favourite plugins. It's an incredible frequency analyser that can help you find the fundamental frequency of any sound. It also gives you a good overview of where your sounds are sitting. You can use this to help tune drums, find the frequency range of your instrument and loads more.
CompressorWin, MacRough Rider 3 has to be our favourite compressor on the list. It's a modern compressor with a vintage twist and a uniquely warm sound.
CompressorWin, MacAdd Xfer's OTT compressor to anything and it'll sound better. It's an aggressive multiband compressor and a must have for your free VST plugin collection.
CompressorWin, MacMCompressor is an extremely precise & clean compressor plugin.
CompressorWin, MacADHD Leveling is a tube leveling amplifier that is ideal for vocals.
CompressorWin, MacDC1A is a compressor crafted by the Klanghelm team. This is great if you're looking for a warm vintage sound.
CompressorWin, MacMJUC jr. is a no-nonsense compressor, with only 2 dials. It's modelled on the classic variable-mu tube compression which compresses and subtly adds harmonic enhancement.
CompressorWin, MacBitter Sweet is a free compressor that’s main use is for mastering. It’s easy to use interface and great sound make it a must have for every producer.
CompressorWin, MacMAX1 is a free audio plugin by Beatskillz. If you don't understand compression this tool provides aid in the form of AI.
CompressorWin, MacFR-Comp 87 is a part of the free87 series of VST plugins.
CompressorWin, MacTDR Kotelnikov is a high quality dynamic processor which belongs to the compressor family.
CompressorWin, MacVladg Molot Compressor is an analog compressor that is great for adding colour to your sound.
SaturationWinFerricTDS is an all in one solution to tape saturation. It’s inspired by some of the smoothest dynamic shaping capabilities shown in high-end reel-to-reel tape recorders and can simulate 3 sonic effects such as:
DYNAMICS
SATURATION
LIMITING
SaturationWin, MacSoftube has the knob to rule them all. It's a harmonic distortion that can be used to fatten up any bass or anywhere you need some grit.
SaturationWin, MacIVGI is a very warm, soft & subtle saturator. It's capable of both heavy and subtle harmonic enhancement.
SaturationWin, MacXPressor is primarily a dynamics processor with the ability to add harmonic enhancement in the form of saturation.
SaturationWin, MacMSaturator is a light tube-saturator that has excellent sound quality. A great addition to your collection of free VST plugins.
DistortionWin, MacTritik Krush Review
DistortionWin, MacDr Drive is an amazing free vst plugin by, Audiority that models pedal overdrive.
DistortionWin, MacDelta Modulator by Xfer Records is a bitcrushing plugin that sounds like the old Nintendo games.
DistortionWin, MacMBitFun is a unique take on distortion that works by crushing the audio. If you're looking for an amazing bitcrusher then grab this tool.
DistortionWin, MacCamelCrusher is one of our favourite distortion plugins. If you’re looking to add a bit of colour to your track then this is your guy. You can make use of its two distortion tones, by effortlessly blending them to create an array of different textures.
DistortionWin, MacXfer Records 8 Bit Shaper is waveshaping plugin that works by using bit reduction. It's perfect for smashing any signal up.
DistortionWin, MacHysteresis by Glitchmachines is an audio plugin for the modern electronic musician. It’s primarily a delay unit that has an incredible 100 factory presets for you to choose from.
DistortionWin, MacFracture is a free buffer effect that is made for those robotic, musical malfunctions. Use it on anything from drums to synth lines.
DistortionWin, MacGlitch from DBlue is a fantastic piece of kit if you’re looking to warp and distort your sound electronically. It has built in delays, crushers, modulators, tape stops and so much more for you to play with.
DistortionWin, MacTemper is a modern take on distortion. It features a unique phase distortion algorithm as well as a rich saturation stage.
DistortionWin, MacMWaveFolder is an analog distortion module that has a unique sound. You can use this to completely destruct your sound or for mild enhancement.
LimiterWin, MacGClip is a digital clipper. It's an incredible tool for harsh, digital sounding distortion.
LimiterWin, MacThe FR-LIMIT 87 is an analog style limiter which uses the same engine as Eareckon's ANALOG87.
LimiterWin, MacClipShifter is another limiter that is used for clipping audio. It's clipping capabilities range from hard brickwall to softer saturation and compression.
LimiterWin, MacThe W1 limiter is a god send if you’re looking to save some cash. It’s an identical clone of the Waves L1 limiter with a different interface.
LimiterWin, MacLoudMax is a limiter that is used for the purpose of bringing your masters to commercial volume.
MasteringWin, MacXfer Records Dimension Expander is the perfect solution to giving your sound a spatial effect.
MasteringWin, MacYouLean Loudness meter helps you find the true perceived loudness of your track. It's great for checking your final masters.
MasteringWin, MacLa Petite Excite is a free VST plugin that is great for brightening mixes, hats & more. Check it out!
PitchWin, MacThe MAutoPitch plugin is great if you’re looking to get samples or vocals in the right key of your track. It’s a pitch correction plugin that works on making your audio more in-tune.
Drum VSTWin, MacAcid Machine Beta is predominantly used to create acid basses and drums. If you’re into your acid house then this is the all in one solution to your drums and acid basses.
Drum VSTWin, MacThe ESL-110 by Electronik Sound Lab is an incredible emulation of the classic Boss DR-110. If you don't feel like shelling out for hardware, then check this bad boy out.
Drum VSTMacMiniSpillage is AudioSpillage's solution to a compact drum synthesiser. It uses a subtractive synthesis model to create its huge drum sounds.
Drum VSTWindowsSitla by Decomposer is a free drum plugin that has a beautiful interface and takes simplicity to the next level. It has 16 assignable pads and only 6 controls to ensure that you can dial your groove in as fast as possible.
Drum VSTWin, MacDrumTroop by Dub Turbo is a 16 pad drum machine that has even bigger sounds. DrumTroop comes shipped with tonnes of sounds and pre-made kits so you can spend more time on the important stuff.

FAQ

What Are Free VST Plugins?

Free VST (virtual studio technology) plugins are no-cost software developed for professional audio processing. You can find them as effects, synths, instruments, and more to be used for the mixing, composition, or mastering of your tracks. The acronyms VST & VSTi are often used to refer to “audio plugins” or “VST instruments” because it's the oldest and most common format.

How Do You Install Free VST Plugins?

There are different ways to install VST plugins that vary according to the manufacturer, but the most common are through an installer app from the company or just like any other software. Most of the time it's as simple as running the installer, clicking “next” and letting your computer take care of the rest.

For Mac you install plugins in:

Go -> Computer -> Macintosh HD -> Library -> Audio -> Plugins

For Windows you install plugins here:

C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Steinberg\VST2

For 32-bit plugins:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins

What Sites Can I Find More Free VST Plugins For Download?

Are Paid Plugins Better Than Free Plugins?

Not necessarily. You can find freeware better than paid software and vice-versa, but it always depends on what you compare it with. However, it's fair to say that free plugins can be just as good as paid software. Most of the time paid software is better though.

Do Free VSTs Have Viruses?

They should not. Sadly, it's possible to sneak a virus inside any type of file, but if you want a safe download always look for the official website of the manufacturer and download from there.

Additionally, always try to move the plugin component or .dll yourself as most viruses come as .exe files.

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2 thoughts on “Free VST Plugins – List w/Search Function, OS Compatibility, & Tags”

  1. This is extremely helpful but I would suggest an operating system sorting option. Since I’m on Mac, easily 1/3 of these are not even options for me.

    • Thanks man appreciate the comment. Yeah as time goes on and I have time I’m going to improve it.

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