30 Best FREE 64-bit Plugins For Music Production 2023
1. Matt Tytel Vital
Vital’s synthesizer brings spectral oscillator warping to add new life to your wavetables.
Acting directly on a waveform’s harmonics, this technology can create drastically different tones and shapes from a signal source. Thanks to this simple tool that creates endless possibilities, what was already incredibly customizable became even more so.
If you want to import your samples to create a wavetable, Vital’s pitch-splice and vocode converter are two great and easy add-ons to get even more specific on your sound design.
You can also develop wavetables from scratch via the built-in wavetable generator or even directly from the text!
- Excellent oscillators
These oscillators have a shallow low noise floor and a sharp cut-off at Nyquist for almost no aliasing, creating the cleanest sounds with the best quality possible. “Nyquist” means that each periodic signal should be periodically sampled at a rate twice the size of your audio signal. So, to overcome this, a higher quality sampling is sought after on synths like Vital – and a cut-off might be the simplest tool you’d ever need.
- Microtonality at its best
This synth can load .tun, .scl, and .kbd files – which can alter and configure how the tuning will perform – and play in a microtonal setting without any trouble. A brand new tuning system can unlock new possibilities regarding how the samples perform. This expands how you’ll play notes and frequencies and how to sample and interact with one another via the oscillators.
- Key-tracked LFOs
It’s possible to create key-tracked bass lines with this LFO setting, combining it with an audio-rate modulation and using your LFO as an oscillator modulation source. This enables you to instantly automate certain modulation parameters in relation to whatever notes are being played.
- MPE support
If you have a ROLI keyboard, a Linnstrument, or other MPE-compatible gear, Vital offers full support and control. This way, you can add more expression to your sound and use dynamics as you’re used to.
- Audio-rate modulation
The audio modulator kicks in when you have an audio signal or a parameter being varied and brings much more personality to your tones. The variations can be tracked down and edited in the most creative ways possible. The signal whose waveform is used to trigger is modulated accordingly, with extreme precision and character.
- Excellent oscillators
The plugin is available for mac OS 10.12 or higher, Windows 10 or higher, and Ubuntu Linux 18.04 or higher. All 64-bit only, with OpenGL 3 or higher. It comes in VST, AU, and LV2 plugin formats.
2. Slate Digital FRESH AIR
Slate Digital needs no introduction to the pro audio community, and this breath of Fresh Air is possibly one of the smoothest exciters in existence.
There are only two knobs in this plugin. However, don’t let its simplicity deter you. Under the hood, it utilizes vintage exciter technology, complete with its smooth high-frequency shine. The Mid Air and High Air parameters, as the names suggest, add brightness to said frequency ranges.
We love using it on vocals, drums, synths, and even full mixes. The plugin never fails to add clarity and presence seemingly magically. And being a free plugin, there is truly nothing to lose in giving it a try.
- Easy-to-use Interface
Despite having multiple parallel processings underneath the plugin, Slate Digital nails the interface design by keeping it astonishingly minimal and elegant. If you are just getting into the world of exciters and enhancers, Fresh Air is the best place to start, without a doubt.
- Smooth Sound
The sound of Fresh Air reminds us of expensive, high-end vintage gears that use induction and capacitors to get their filters, resulting in a smooth sound. Similarly, the plugin also manages to keep the excitement process without distortion or brittleness.
Character & Sound:
According to Slate Digital, Fresh Air was modeled to have the Dolby-A NR band splitting for smooth multi-band function. As a result, the sound of this plugin is that of smooth, analog gears. Also, it doesn’t introduce any frequency dips or notches with either of the two parameters.
This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.12 through 10.14, both 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
We highly recommend this free plugin as a universal exciter for adding clarity and shine to your vocals, instruments, and mixes. Even for those with no experience with saturators or exciters, the simple interface of this plugin has zero learning curve.
3. Waves StudioRack
StudioRack, Waves’ plugin chainer, benefits die-hard Waves enthusiasts because it can host plugins from other manufacturers.
StudioRack is a plugin utility originally launched in 2014 by Waves and recently upgraded to allow users to create chains of plugins. The goal is to view them as a unified whole rather than a collection of unrelated plugins.
A processing chain for the vocals or the percussion bus is required. Alternatively, you may build a multi-effects rack to simultaneously process delay, reverb, and pitch shifting. StudioRack is perfect for projects like these.
StudioRack can be used like any other effect plugin in your favorite audio editing software. A plugin, parallel processing split, or multiband split can occupy each of the eight available slots in each instance. Copying and pasting plugins and presets are as simple as dragging and dropping.
If you need to flip the phase of the incoming signal, you can use the phase inversion button and adjust the input gain to keep the gain at unity. It’s convenient to access the volume control, peak reading, and gain attenuation meter immediately after the amplified signal.
- Parallel Processing
Multiband channels can be separated using the plugin, supporting as many as five separate frequency bands per instance. It’s now possible to make your multiband plugins with this method.
In addition, you can use the bands to apply different plugins, such as a distortion effect to the highs and a saturation effect to the midrange. You can fine-tune the crossover point by adjusting the frequency difference between the channels, though there is no graphical representation of this information. In the same way, you may adjust the volume and stereo balance independently for each.
Since StudioRack can store many plugins, it could become unmanageable if too many were to be kept in one area. So, in a pleasant twist, it comes with eight customizable macros that you can use to keep everything under control. The Apply button on the macros panel, the plugin controls, and the macros knob are the three ways to assign plugin features to macros.
Macros transform StudioRack from a simple utility plugin into a flexible multi-effects rack. The possibilities are exciting, ranging from offering quick access to, for example, the amount of compression in a vocal chain to delay, reverb or other effects in a chain applied to a breakdown.
- More Processing Power
You can use as many plugins as you like while mixing intensive sessions without worrying about crashing your computer. StudioRack facilitates the migration of plugin processing from a local PC to a high-powered SoundGrid DSP server whenever you’re ready to switch.
You can offload all of the plugins in a given StudioRack channel’s chain with a single mouse click. StudioRack can be used with only your computer or with DSP offload via SoundGrid, depending on your needs and preferences. Find out how to use StudioRack in a SoundGrid environment.
The OS requirements for this plugin are Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.9 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/RTAS/AU/AAX formats and supports 32 and 64 bit systems.
If you use many digital audio workstations, SudioRack is a good tool for coming up with chain mix ideas that you can easily transfer between them. The plugin’s multi-band capabilities make it even more potent, and its stereo imaging functionality, which works even without loaded plugins, helps the system conserve resources. Thanks to Waves for providing StudioRack at no cost to the public.
4. iZotope Imager 2
Ozone Imager has a pleasant-looking interface with solid stereo information and visual representation. The free plugin by iZotope can easily control the whole stereo image.
The first version of Ozone Imager got many compliments from producers all over the globe. The second version works with even more complex algorithms while remaining just as straightforward.
The plugin allows for width enhancement and stereo conversion from mono recordings. All processings appear in three distinct vectorscope meters, providing you accurate visual information.
The plugin has two sliders in its central panel. Both sliders are for controlling the width and stereo content from the mix. By adjusting the “Width” slider, you can make any track massively profound or gently narrow. The “Stereoize” slider can turn a mono signal into a stereo one without adding reverberation or a doubling process. The two modes in “Stereoize” are for different texture addition.
The whole spatial spectrum is easily monitorable in the plugin’s handy visual display on the main panel. Furthermore, you can choose between three graphic-representation of the stereo image: Polar level, Lissajous, and Polar sample. All modes feature sound movements on a center, left, and right field.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Ozone Imager is reliable at the mastering stage with its three distinct visual monitoring graphs of the stereo image. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the straightforward controls in the plugin’s interface to convert mono signals to stereo sounds and adjust the amount of depth the audio receives.
A free plugin, Ozone Imager is highly optimized for all kinds of productions.
5. Infected Sounds LITTL3-S25 (Moog-Inspired – Great For Bass, Leads & Plucks)
LITTL3-S25 is a free synthesizer with two oscillators and one sub-oscillator.
It is an 8-voice polyphonic synthesizer with sixteen waveforms with modulations/morphing and seven expansive effect modules to enhance your sounds. In addition, you get access to a ladder filter, four LFOs, three envelopes for pitch, filter, and amplitude, and syncable modulations to sculpt your sonics.
- Simple workflow
The plugin has the following windows: Presets, Pitch, Modulation, Oscillators, Mix, Filter, Envelopes, and Output. Each window allows you to go in-depth into your sound sculpting, covering each step in subtractive synthesis.
- Creative filters
The filters are warm, responsive, and smooth, allowing you to add vowel effects to your sound. You can change the slope, adjust the resonance, add harmonics, and change the filter’s envelope mix amount and level.
- Sound sources
There are two oscillators and one sub-oscillator so that you can adjust the exact frequency, octave, and waveform for the main oscillators and just the waveform and amount of the sub-oscillator. You can also mix in noise (white, pink, etc.) as a sound source.
- Expansive modulations
You can add LFO to the pitch and envelope and adjust its rate, source, waveform, and wave amount. You can sync the LFO to the session’s tempo and apply the LFO to just the second oscillator.
The plugin is available only for windows in 32/64bit VST/VST2/VST3 plugin formats and doesn’t work with Logic Pro and Pro Tools, but it is compatible with FL Studio, Abelton, Studio One, Cubase, etc.
Everything from the interface and the workflow in the virtual synthesizer is pretty sorted out, with about a hundred sounds to get you started with the LITTL3-S25. The preset collection is great and the synth also sounds good! It has a warm tone and is great for Moog-type sounds. Too bad it’s not available for macOS.
6. BPB Dirty Filter
Utilize the BPB Dirty Filter to provide subtle color or crush the audio into fragments.
Bedroom Producers Blog’s BPB Dirty Filter is a freeware plugin with two cutoff filters and replicated analog tube circuits. For the creative sound designers, though, as good as the filters themselves are, the dirty distortion it offers is what opens a world of sonic explorations.
It is a great utility for cleaning up your audio, as it combines a high-pass and a low-pass filter. Both filters feature a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz with selectable filter slopes. The plugin also has a Mix knob and an output volume control for easy gain staging in your DAW.
- It Plays Dirty
BPB Dirty Filter is a transparent filter plugin when the Drive knob is set to zero. It’s ideal for reducing high-frequency noise or removing low-frequency hum in this mode. However, when the Drive knob is turned up, BPB Dirty Filter becomes one of the harshest distortion plugins available. This tube distortion is probably what you will want this plugin the most for. Just select a range of frequencies and crank up the drive.
The BPB Dirty Filter barely makes any impact on a moderately powerful CPU, so you will have no problem loading as many of this plugin as you need. We recommend trying its distortion out on multiple frequency ranges and setting the Mix knob to taste.
This plugin is available for Windows and macOS at both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
While any old EQ will let you dial in a couple of cutoff filters, the BPB Dirty Filter offers a slope steepness as high as 48dB/oct, which is difficult to come by in regular stock plugins. Similarly, the tube distortion has its unique character and deserves a try from anyone interested in sound designing.
7. Surge XT (Advanced Synth)
The Surge XT is one of the best and most advanced open-source subtractive synthesizers.
It has a unique interface and signal flow. It operates under two scenes, with three oscillators in each scene, resulting in a total of 6 oscillators, with 64 voices of polyphony. In addition, it’s a modulation-heavy plugin with eight macros, six LFOs, two envelope generators, and other modulators.
- Easily Adjustable signal flow
Under the Filter Configuration windows, you can set how and in order the filters are applied to the sound. There are eight different types of configurations that you can set, with three serial, two dual, a stereo, a ring, and wide types. You can also map it to the controller or key and add automation lanes. By default, it’s set to Wide, as it’s stereo and will allow you to get the best results out of unison voices.
- Scene Modes for layering and splitting the sounds
The Scene modes decide how the scenes can be used together, whether layered or split. Single mode allows you to play only the selected scene simultaneously, whereas Key Split allows you to play different scenes on different keyboard parts. The third mode, Channel Split, will split the scenes to be played by the midi channel. Lastly, the dual mode will allow you to play both scenes together.
- Wide Oscillator Section
Three oscillators per scene can be mixed, soloed, muted, and even multiplied or cross-fed into each other. In addition, the oscillators can be key tracked or retriggered, and we can change their pitch up to three octaves above and blow. Further, their pitch, shape, pitch range, width, sync, unison detune, and unison voices can be changed and edited.
Further, you can choose the oscillator type from an insane number of options, including classic (saw and square), modern (triangle, sine, saw, and square), wavetable, window, FM, String, twist, Noise, and more.
- Huge scope of modulations
The modulation matrix is located right at the bottom of the GUI. Here, we can use the MACROS to control multiple parameters simultaneously with a simple drag-and-drop option. Almost every knob and slider in the interface can be modulated using the macros, and you can also rename the modulators as per your taste. However, the modulators in the plugin have so much depth and options that it could take a while to explore the software completely.
In Windows, the Surge XT is available as a 32 and 64-bit VST and CLAP plugin, which demands Windows 7 (or later versions), at least 4 GBs of RAM, and Pentium 4/Athlon 64 or above CPU. To use the 64-bit version on Windows, you require a CPU supporting the x64 (AMD64/EM64T) instruction set.
For macOS, the plugin is available in 64-bit Audio Unit (AU), VST3, and CLAP versions, which requires a Mac OS X 10.11 or newer, a 64-bit x86 Intel or ARM Apple Silicon CPU, and at least 4GB of RAM. On Linux, Surge is available as a 64-bit VST3 and CLAP in the form of a deb and RPM package.
The developer and management team has done a great job with Surge XT. It gives paid synthesizers a run for their money, given the limitless possibilities of sound design and synthesis that one can explore.
There are absolutely no downsides to having this plugin in your toolkit. It’s also CPU-friendly and extremely versatile.
8. Audiority L12X Solid State Amplifier
If you remember that little but growling transistor head from Marshall called the Lead 12, know that you can get it as an amp sim plugin entirely for free. It is the L12X Solid State Amplifier from Audiority.
Marshall created the Lead 12 Solid State Amplifier in the late 1980s. It was a small head that could surprise with the amount of gain and push cabinets up to 4×12 and could easily sound like a JCM. Now this famous amplifier is available in amp sim plugin form from Italian company Audiority.
The plugin almost wholly replicates the appearance of the actual head. The creators slightly modified the chain by adding a Contour knob to get a more scooped tone and additional Boost overdrive stage.
In addition to that – built-in Marshall cabinet impulse with Celestion V30 speakers.
- Contour control
This knob is present in most guitar amplifiers. It allows you to scoop up the mids and make your tone more biting and aggressive.
- Boost mode
If you don’t have enough power in your guitar tone, the boost button always comes to the rescue. Turn it on, and it will give you more gain.
- Cab sim
The cabinet impulse is built-in here. It sounds pretty good and was designed by Seacow Cabs. But if you want to apply your own IR, that’s not a problem since you can disable the built-in impulse at any time.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2, VST3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.
If you’re new to the world of amp sims or don’t have the budget, the Audiority L12X Solid State Amplifier has you covered. It’s excellent free software from which you can get different guitar tones, both slightly overdriven and heavily distorted.
The plugin exactly replicates the sound of the Marshall Lead 12 head and has a pretty good built-in cabinet impulse.
9. Valhalla Space Modulator
Valhalla Space Modulator can help you create an entire atmosphere in seconds.
Valhalla’s Space Modulator has a lot to offer and is one of the best flangers available in the market. The plugin provides six different modulation modes, 11 different filter types, and an exciting Color control that lets you change the sound of your music in real-time.
The plugin comes with a great preset manager and offers a variety of excellent presets to get you started.
- Easy to use:
Valhalla Space Modulator has a knob-based interface and five different parameters: mix, rate, depth, feedback, and manual. It also includes eleven different flanging algorithms and can create unique and weird flanging sounds worth checking out. The GUI is almost the same as other Valhalla DSP releases, so you already know how it works if you have used any of these great-sounding plugins before.
- Flanging modes:
Space Modulator lets you choose between four different flanging modes. TZF+ mode (Through-Zero Flanging) will give you the sound of several delay signals added together. Doubler mode adds two detuned voices with a wide stereo spread. The Tri-mode is an antiphase triangle wave modulation. Finally, the Up mode emulates a unidirectional barber pole flanging with a slight pitch shift.
Supports Windows 7 and higher, Supports macOS 10.8 or higher, runs on 64 bit, and comes in VST2, VST3, AU, and AAX formats.
The Valhalla Space Modulator is an easy-to-use but powerful plugin that will give your tracks a professional sound. It contains ten different reverbs, delays, modulators, and time effects. All of these can be used together or separately for creating unique effects.
This remarkable, lofi-sounding plugin works incredibly well for creating a wide variety of sounds. It’s incredible for enhancing your production or bringing a track to life.
This plugin is also great for adding extra dimension to your productions, and it works great when paired with other Valhalla plugins.
10. SONICBITS Exakt Lite
Exakt Lite is a flexible and expansive FM synthesizer.
It has four operators: A, B, C, and D. In each of these, you get adjustable Offset, Detune, Phase, Velocity Sensitivity, and Pan parameters. You can select the waveform from a Sinusoidal wave to a sawtooth and everything in between. In addition, there’s a separate waveform editor, four envelopes, one filter, one LFO, and an output volume knob.
- Algorithm window
The algorithm section in the plugin allows you to adjust the signal flow of the operators and the feedback. That gives you complete control over how the operators flow into each other.
You can adjust the attack, decay, sustain, and release times for each of the four envelopes and apply them to different parameters by simple drag-and-drop. In addition, you can also adjust the LFO modulations and the level of LFO in each of the sound sources/operators.
The filter section allows you to adjust the cutoff frequency, resonance, envelope amount, and velocity sensitivity. In addition, you can also adjust the type of filter, which is a low-pass filter by default.
- FM Synthesis
The plugin has eight classic FM algorithms, four aliasing-free operators, and twelve unison voices. The natural FM characteristic in the Exact Lite helps you create punchy bass, snappy plucks, and fat lead sounds.
The plugin is available in VST2, VST3, and AU plugin formats, compatible with 64-bit Windows 8 and higher and macOS 10.11 and later versions.
Exakt Lite has a smooth and easy workflow, along with a straightforward and easy-to-understand signal path. The flexibility you get with the Algorithm window is great, and the collection of presets is expansive. Overall, it’s a versatile synth and sound design tool, which is also light on the CPU.
11. Tritik Krush
When the pro version is too much for you, go with Tritik Krush, a free alternative for producers of any skill level.
Almost everything you want from a Bitcrusher plugin is available in the Tritik Krush. Featuring the same simple knobs and detailed information of the Pro version, this plugin will surely help when you need to alter your sample. It has much-needed simple features such as a resizable interface, sample rate reduction, and more advanced ones like the in-depth wave modulation system.
- Sample Rate Reduction
A simple way to shape your sound, sample rate reduction allows you to crush the audio signal by lowering the sample rate gradually. You can use this excellent feature for lo-fi beats and chill tracks.
- Modulation Depth
The modulation system in the Krush plugin allows you to apply an interesting LFO to the bitcrushing effect. Parameters such as drive, crush, and downsampling gives new changes to your already altered audio signal. Choose the wave type, set the wave’s rate, and see what you can come up with.
- Preset System
Try out different presets if you are out of ideas, or save your custom preset with the fantastic file-based system for later use. You can then later access the custom presets through a menu system or the preset browser.
Krush is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.6 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The plugin is simple, yet it has some great features that get the job done exceptionally well. The tempo-synced modulation and the incredible sounding resonant filters are an excellent addition to the plugin. I recommend this plugin for anyone who loves minimalistic, highly usable programs.
12. Ronan Fed Pneuma (Great For Uplifting & PsyTrance)
Pneuma is a free arpeggiator synth plugin that is great for uplifting and the psytrance genres.
It consists of four oscillators, one noise oscillator, and two sample oscillators. In addition, there’s a filter, amplitude envelope, 2 LFOs, 2 MOD envelopes, a mod matrix, and an effects section. Lastly, you can add distortion, saturation, and bass frequencies in the output window and enable stereophonic output.
- Expansive sound sources
There are seven sound sources: four oscillators, 2 samplers, and one noise oscillator. The oscillators are switchable; for each, you can adjust the note, octave, waveform, voices, fine pitch, pulse width, phase, detune, stereo imaging, pan, and volume.
You can add high-resolution effects like a parametric EQ, phaser, chorus, delay, reverb, and compression. In addition, you can add saturation and distortion and alter the harmonic content of the sound.
The arpeggiator allows you to choose the range, mode/direction, speed, GATE, and swing of the movement of the sound. That means you can make some great creative movements with the synthesizer.
Two envelopes have adjustable destinations, mix amounts, and ADSR sliders. In addition, you can use the MOD matrix with two sources and two destinations for each source.
- Global FX
You can add effects like glide and vibrato, choose the synth mode as Legato, and adjust the output octave. You can keep the synth monophonic, turn on the mono retrigger, and change presets through the preset browser.
- Great sounding filter
You can set the filter to be a state variable filter (low pass, band pass, and high pass) or a Low Pass Moog Filter, both of which have different characteristics, but the low pass Moog type filter sounds warm and has more analog characteristics.
The plugin is only available in the Windows-64-bit VST version.
Pneuma is a “too good to be true” free plugin with great feature-richness, flexibility, and expandability. Your creativity is only limited by your imagination when you use the synthesizer. Whether it’s the Oscilloscope Visualization, the three-band EQ, the 4-voice chorus, or the four multi-voice oscillators, Pneuma is a masterpiece!
13. Integraudio & Sixth Sample Deelay
Deelay is an excellent modern delay plugin with a variety of sound-designing features alongside typical workflows.
The plugin is essentially a stereo delay, but it adds various modes of operation and saturation effects. They offer a world of sound designing possibilities, especially if you’re an experimental producer/engineer. However, even if you are after a simple delay plugin to add some space to your vocals, Deelay is fully up to the task.
Deelay provides most of the traditional features in a stereo delay. These include millisecond and synced modes, ping-pong mode, pitch modulation, stereo spread, dry and wet controls, and input/wet high-pass and low-pass filters. So, you can easily create your favorite type of delay effects without jumping into the more advanced features we’ll dive into next.
- Operation Modes
The plugin has five modes of operation: normal, reverse forward, pure reversed, chaos, and reversed chaos. The reverse forward mode only reverses the delay sound before feedbacking the sound into the engine. On the other hand, the pure reverse mode also reverses the first echo. The final two modes change the pitch interval, resulting in chaotic sound.
Deelay includes a diffusion section, allowing you to essentially turn the delay effect into reverb. It smears or blurs the sound to make the feedback smooth. Furthermore, the plugin allows you to control the diffusion size, speed, and quality to help shape the character of the tail. I find it handy when adding the delay effect to acapella vocals to keep the effect from being too prominent.
The plugin provides eleven types of distortion or saturation effects that you can apply to the delay’s wet signal. These include saturation, asymmetrical, clip, tube, rectify, crackly, lightning, amp, bumpy, razor, and pixelated. However, not all of them are saturation effects. For instance, crackly emulates jittery wires, while pixelated introduces bit-reduction.
- Tape & Ducking
Deelay sports a tape knob that adds a tape machine’s wow and flutter effect. This effect can be useful if you’re after a Lo-Fi vibe. Similarly, turning up the duck knob lowers the volume of the delay effect whenever there is an input signal. The ducking feature is particularly useful for vocalists and guitarists performing live to avoid clashing signals.
This plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The delay effect is practically bread-and-butter when it comes to mixing. So, it’s important for any audio enthusiast or professional to have a good delay plugin in their arsenal. Deelay is a well-thought-out plugin that fits both beginners and experts. It offers the traditional workflow alongside various sound-designing tools appropriate for a modern engineer. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out my full review here.
14. Phuturetone GR-8
GR-8 is a free virtual analog dual-oscillator synthesizer by Phuturetone.
It consists of two oscillators, a filter section, a PWM segment, a Pitch envelope, two envelopes/ADSRs, and Bend, LFO, and Mod windows, all packaged in a slick interface that seems like an inspiration of the vintage Roland synths. GR-8 has a classic warm and punchy analog sound and texture.
- Powerful sound sources
The plugin allows you to select Saw, Triangle, Square, and Pulsewidth waveforms in oscillator-1 and an additional sine wave in oscillator-2. Hence, you get a good range of sound starters. You can use a sawtooth for pluck bass and a sine wave for soothing pads. In addition, you can adjust the pitch in semi-tones and cents and add X-modulation to it.
- Expansive effects.
GR-8’s multi-effects processor page allows you access to high-quality effect plugins like reverb, delay, EQ, distortion, and chorus/flanger. In addition, you can use the filter to shape your sonics.
You get access to an LFO for which you can set the destination as the filter, pitch, or amplitude. Apart from that, there are two envelopes/ADSRs, a pitch bender, and a mod wheel that you can assign to pitch, filter, and amplitude.
- Fat sound
The good thing about the GR-8 is its thick and fat sound that could be used to create punchy bass lines and impactful lead sounds, and you can use the unison or polyphonic features to create lush chords/pads. You can create rich and full sounds across many genres of dance music.
GR-8 is available on Windows and macOS, 64-bit only, in VST and AU formats.
The plugin has a fully functional arpeggiator that you can use to create rhythmic movements, sequences, and melodic patterns in different directions and octaves. Overall, the synth is a compelling virtual analog synth which is too good to be true for a free plugin.
15. Analog Obsession CHANNEV (Channel Strip With Tape Saturation)
A channel-strip plugin that can deliver much more than just saturation, with many features and a great vintage look.
Plugins that try to emulate the glorious equipment of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are widespread, and we all love them. Usually, the genuine gear costs way more than “simple” software, so we’re more than pleased to save money and get a similar result without breaking the bank. Even better than that is to get a freeware option for that.
CHANNEV is Analog Obsession’s second plugin on this list, and they make up their names once again. Featuring a mic preamp, de-esser, line-amp, four-band equalizer, compressor, limiter, and tape saturation, this plugin is one marvelous toolbox loaded with all the basic features of a great vintage console.
The equalizer featured on CHANNEV is very robust. You have variable instead of selectable frequencies, distributed in low, mid, and high sections. While low and high bands have a bell option, mid has a “Hi-Q” option. Aside from that, pre and post-Filters are also included.
- Vintage-inspired modules
This plugin retains a vintage vibe to it, with great inspiration. The compressor and limiter modules were based on the anthological 2264 unit, totally independent and with each own’s external side-chain.
- The perfect vintage sound
Although the sound character may be excellent, the amount of ways you can control your signal is breathtaking. The tape saturation module is the last one in the signal chain, as you can see on the right side of the interface. This means that before shaping the saturation on your track, you can put it through a preamp, compress, EQ, and limit it before finally adding the distortion to your signal. The chances of getting more dynamics are more significant than ever.
This plugin runs in macOS 10.9 to 11.x (32 or 64-bit) and Windows 7 or higher (32 or 64-bit). It comes in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats.
Incredibly, this plugin is free. With excellent modeling and particular attention to the circuit’s nuances, CHANNEV is such a fantastic software that should seriously be considered to be, even if not by the saturation it provides, amongst your most trustworthy plugins.
With all the features present here, you may be using some four or five plugins in one. The overall quality is not supposed to mimic any particular circuit but rather have a good variation on its own.
16. Archetype Instruments Lokomotiv
This retro analog synthesizer can help you get new sounds from the same notes.
Archetype Instruments Lokomotiv was crafted to bring a powerful analog synth sound inspired by different vintage equipment along the process. As a result, the sounds that come out of it are huge and widening, aside from allowing many different tones to be explored effortlessly.
The oscillators included in Lokomotiv are mathematically generated without the help of wavetables or interpolation, helping with the power processing when running this VST inside your project in the DAW. They provide a silk smoothness to different waveform shapes, with detuning options also available.
You can choose between “Low Pass,” “High Pass,” and “Band Pass” modes within the “Filter” module, with “Cutoff,” “Resonance,” “Key Tracking,” and “Envelope” knobs that will make it sound very responsive to each frequency value selected, in a matter of seconds.
A dedicated section called “Drive” boasts a single “Amount” knob that details the input gain value, and switchable modes “Pre” and “Post” will make it sound different, depending on the order it’s affecting the signal chain.
- Clean looks
The beautiful interface is elegant and sober, showcasing every single control and parameter as clearly as possible. The black-in-white color choice can also be helpful when working for long hours in front of a PC screen, with little exhaustion to your eyesight.
This plugin is available for macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It comes in VST and AU plugin formats.
The most significant plugins are the ones helpful to your needs, even more, if they come in packaging that stimulates constant interaction with its controls.
Archetype Instruments Lokomotiv nails that perfectly, with good sonic results coming from a cohesive and comfortable design interface to work with. The sounds are good too, and special effects such as the pre/post drive are nice additions to this virtual instrument.
17. ChowDSP Chow Kick
Create aesthetic vintage kick drum using Chow Kick’s old drum machine circuits modeling.
Chow Kick is a kick drum synthesizer with precise parameters for adjusting the overall body, tone, and harmonics distributed in two simple sections. For those who know how to code and have basic knowledge of DSP, you can take the base code of Chow Kick and modify its circuitry modeling to create a workflow that best adapts to your needs. That way, the plugin doesn’t limit to its default controls and allows more knowledgeable users to expand its capabilities.
- Pulse shaper
At the top left, you’ll find the pulse shaper section, where you generate a synthetic pulse whenever the kick drum is triggered. Here, you can modify the width and maximum amplitude of the generated pulse. Then, you can adjust the sound’s decay and sustain.
- Polyphonic voices
You can set the number of polyphonic voices the kick synthesizer uses with the bottom left “Voices” control, where a high value will increase the voices or layers heard in the synthesized kick drum. This feature can benefit kicks with a bass sound played after its attack that often have long decay.
- Resonant filter
The resonant filter is responsible for generating the kick drum sound. Once created, you can add some character with controls like the “Damping” knob to modify the global feedback or decay time around the filter and the “Tight” knob to lower the filter’s resonance as the amplitude increases. Then, the “Bounce” knob controls the pitch modulation of the kick drum, and lastly, you have the “Tone” knob that either accentuates or dampens the kick drum’s high frequencies.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher, macOS X 10.12 or higher and Linux, 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, LV2 and AU formats.
There are a lot of plugins out there trying to emulate an analog drum machine, but very few offer good results, and usually, they are expensive. ChowDSP achieved this analog kick drum emulation while maintaining its quality and free format. Its fully adjustable parameters and wide range of possibilities make it an excellent pick for sound designers and engineers who want to expand its functionalities, as it’s open-source software.
18. Digital Suburban Dexed
A multi-platform and multi-format synthesizer plugin modeled after the classic DX 7.
The first free option to emulate vintage gear is from Digital Suburban. Their Dexed plugin aims to recreate the intrinsic aspect of this iconic synthesizer with extended possibilities and different plugin formats that can be relevant to almost all kinds of users and producers.
- DX 7 tool
Although this plugin can be used on its own, Dexed is also a great tool to use along a genuine Yamaha DX 7, incrementing its sonority and acting as an expansion of the instrument as a patch editor or SysEx manager. You can even use the original Mark I cartridge in it, but other models are currently not supported.
There are 144 DX 7 parameters in Dexed that can be fully automatable inside your DAW, all distributed in a single panel for easier visualization. These are nice parameters to be included, but the possibility to automate them freely gives unprecedented freedom when creating new sounds.
- VU meter
To ensure an operator is active, you’ve got to check the VU meters. Each operator has dedicated metering that ensures which is active and which isn’t. Even so, this can be a simple feature. When working with multiple controls and knobs, it can be easier to have a nice visualization tool to get by.
Seeing a virtual instrument brought to so many different interfaces is not common. You can run it in multiple operating systems, but the nice thing is that there are different formats to enjoy Dexed, with particular attention to the uncommon LV2 plugin format.
- DX 7 tool
This plugin is available for macOS 10.11 or higher (64-bit only), Ubuntu Linux (64-bit only), and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST3, LV2, and AU plugin formats.
The cool thing about Dexed is that it’s not only a recreation of some vintage synth; you can use it to increment the sound of the original gear it was supposed to recreate. Of course, you can still use it, but the expanded possibilities are awesome. You can edit patches, load and save SysEx programs, and more. The visual integration is nice and sober, perfect for anyone used to dealing with these instruments.
19. u-he Triple Cheese
Apply some cheesy sounds to your track with the Triple Cheese.
U-he wanted to bring a new way of making synths by removing all classic frequency modulations. They achieved that by having you tweak different comb filters to get the sound you want.
The Triple Cheese features exciting options, such as a delay-based effect and a Vibrato that gives your waves a “human-voice” characteristic.
- Comb filters
U-he decided to base their synth production on a new method. The comb filter can create 3 unique sounds, either by having a new wave for each or following the previous output signal. Each oscillator has several knobs to tweak the sound wave to your liking.
- Delay-Based Effect
Choose to apply a delay effect to your synth, and tweak it with the Speed, Mod, Feedback, Damp, and Mix knobs. The damp and mix knobs determine the “wetness” of the signal, while knobs such as the feedback and mod determine the effect’s strength and duration.
The Triple Cheese offers an excellent vibrato effect that typically appears on human vocals to add to your synth. You can choose in what waveform the vibrato applies to the synth and determine the effect rate and the effect’s strength.
- ADSR Envelope Controls
For each envelope you add to the oscillator sounds, you can use sliders to tweak how they change the sound. You have the classic Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release sliders and a Velocity knob to control the strength of the envelope.
Triple Cheese is available for Windows 7 or higher, 32-bit and 64-bit, macOS 10.9 or higher, 64-bit, and Linux. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
For producers looking for a fresh way of making their synths, the Triple Cheese by u-he will offer just that. The plugin provides extensive parameter modulation, so you can ensure that every sound you make will be unique.
20.Voxengo Marvel GEQ
Get the traditional graphic EQing with one of Voxengo’s top-rated plugins.
Marvel GEQ is a linear phase graphic equalizer with 12 different bands with a gain range from -12 dB to 12 dB. The processing of this plugin is very productive and provides a transparent and natural sound. Additionally, it comes with a wide range of mixing modes and presets that help you address your objectives precisely.
- Routing modes
The plugin allows you to work with different routing configurations to access each channel adequately without the fear of modifying the wrong channels. It includes Left/Right, Mid/Side processing, 5.1 Surround, and 7.1 Surround for those who love the immersive sound. Every time you select a different routing mode, the controls below the bands will change.
- EQ groups
At the bottom left, you will find a set of buttons that allow you to change between the different channels of the routing configuration you choose. If you’re working on Mid/Side mode, you can select the channel you want to modify, and the faders will only affect your selection.
If you need to see the faders of two channels at the same time, you can click the channel you want to see in the background with the “Underlay” selectors, and the background channel faders will be in an orange color behind the white faders of the channel that you’re working on. That way, you can see the differences and compare the EQ modifications to help you make better decisions.
This plugin is available for Windows XP or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, 32-bit and 64-bit for Windows, and 64-bit only for macOS. It comes in VST 2/3, AAX, and AU formats.
Astonishingly, a graphic EQ with this potential is out for free. Given that the underlay feature allows two groups to display, it’s very effective for Mid/Side processing since you only have two channels to work with, making it a bearable and pleasant process. Since linear phase graphic EQs require a well-trained ear to get good and natural results, you shouldn’t pick this one if you don’t have much experience using equalizers.
21. Auburns Sounds Graillon 2
The Graillon 2 is one of the market favorites when it comes to free pitch correction plugins.
This isn’t much of a surprise, considering it has a pretty unique interface and level of control. It also has some rather exciting settings than what one might typically expect. Although it’s free, you can also buy it to support the brand.
- Detect Section
The initial section of the plugin handles the detection of audio, quantization, and bit-crushing. This is a somewhat surprising trio of controls but a combination that can achieve some interesting sounds.
- Harmonics and Modulation
Choose between ring modulation and pitch-shift modulation before you explore the various settings that work with it. In this section, there is also a low-cut EQ to tame any unnecessary low frequencies.
- Pitch Correction
The next item in the chain is pitch correction. There are several elements involved here and a fair amount of control over them. These include pitch shifting, formant control, scale, amount of correction, and more. Finally, you can adjust the dry/wet to balance it into the mix after all of this.
This plugin is available for Windows (32/64 bit), macOS (32/64 bit), and Linux (32/64 bit). It comes in ST, AAX, AU, and LV2 formats.
The Graillon 2 is a helpful tool on the free market that can bring about all kinds of results for your vocals and music. It has a unique character and a load of tricks up its sleeve for experimental results.
22. Spitfire Audio – LABS Strings
Add some drama to your beats with free LABS Strings.
Unlike the other LABS instruments recorded with peculiar playing styles, Strings is relatively standard and usable alone or for layering with other string libraries. It sounds like the library was recorded using close mics, but the large knob in the interface allows you to add reverb or tightness.
The reverb gives some much-needed space to the mix if you intend to use the library alone.
- Long and Short
The library features three articulations: Long, Ensemble, and Short. The long and ensemble are both sustains, but I preferred the ensemble one for writing melodies. And as you might have guessed, the short articulation is staccato that you could use to create ostinato patterns or add some embellishment to an arrangement.
The library features multiple dynamic layers, and you can control it using your modulation wheel. Velocity does nothing, so you might as well set your keyboard to fixed velocity, and it’s a good thing – you can use the modulation to create dynamic legato pieces.
- The Big Knob
The knob lets you control reverb and tightness. Here, the reverb implies the rest of the mics, including a vintage special BBC AXB1, used to record the instruments. And tightness is a transient controller that makes the staccato even more biting. I would use it only for layering.
The library is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
We are all aware of the top-notch quality control Spitfire Audio maintains, and their free instruments aren’t lacking in that regard either. If you are looking for ensemble strings that you can use as backing instruments or even for classical composition akin to Barber’s Adagio, you could certainly use these strings.
It may not have the most natural-sounding staccato, but it works for layering.
23. Analog Obsession PREDD
Predd is a free plugin that emulates the legendary EMI REDD.51 console from Abbey Roads Studios.
Analog obsession made their own good-looking version of the REDD.51 with a fully compensated 20sB PAD, a 10dB high boost, pole phase invert, and a rumble filter.
Predd has been carefully modeled after the EMI REDD.51 console to deliver a faithful emulation of this classic console. It has the most straightforward graphic interface, and if you’re on a budget, you should check this out.
As with many other preamps, you get the mic/preamp switch. It has a low cut of 180hz and a high-frequency boost of 12Khz. You can control plugins input gain and distortion with the voltage gain knob. The plugin also has a PAD switch that enhances depth and sense of space along with oversampling capabilities.
- Overall sound:
PREDD uses a combination of warm and rich analog tones and a proprietary distortion algorithm to create a familiar and new sound. It is crunchy and crisp in extreme settings, making it an excellent plugin if you’re working with rock or metal music.
Supports Windows 7 or higher, and macOS 10.14.6 or higher, runs on 64 bit only, and comes in VST2, VST3, and AU formats
PREDD is a fairly decent piece of freeware with a very nice warm tone and color. It does sound a bit fuzzy on the highs and distorts pretty severely when the settings are taken to the extreme. However, if used with care and not exaggerating, it adds an exciting color on the low mids that makes anything it touches feel fuller.
24. Ample Guitar M Lite II
M Lite II is a great addition to your free tool’s arsenal for making Trap beats.
This plugin from the Chinese company Ample Sound is based on the Martin D-41 acoustic guitar, known for its rich sound. Beautiful inlays and the fingerboard make it a dream for many guitarists.
As with their other software, Ample Sound has taken care of deep sampling. The plugin includes Finger Instrument libraries to fit different needs and features rich firing noise, which has become more vivid and realistic. There are Sustain, Hammer-On & Pull-Off, Palm Mute, and Popping five articulations.
The plugin is equipped with Capo Logic technology, which provides intelligent play according to guitar rules. It also has Double Guitar, which means different samples at L & R channel. In addition, Ample Guitar M Lite II has Poly Legato, Slide Smoother, and Alternate Tuner.
This feature will give you unusually realistic strum samples. In total, there are 14 strum notes with 28 different ways to play each chord. In addition, four humanization settings, strum SEQ with customized rhythm, and delicate presets with drag & drop support.
- Tab Player
With the Tab Player, you can download and play several standard guitar tablature file formats. When used in a DAW, the Tab Player also lets you export tablature to an audio file. This feature supports all fingering, loops, chords, articulations, and other markers in the loaded tablature.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.
Ample Sound has made it possible for you to have the Martin D-41 acoustic guitar as a virtual instrument for free. You can use the rich sound of this guitar both in your DAW and as a stand-alone host.
Deep sampling and all possible articulations make this software a gift for beginner producers and experienced ones alike.
Developed by Denis Tihanov, Oril River is a free algorithmic stereo reverb with a high-quality sound.
Unlike a convolution reverb that uses impulse responses of existing spaces or effect units, an algorithmic reverb generates the reverberation effect using digital calculation. This method allows you to simulate lively small rooms or giant spaces difficult to find in real life. However, finding a good algorithmic reverb that doesn’t sound fake or tinny can be pretty tough.
OrilRiver is one of the few free plugins that genuinely rivals the quality of even famous paid reverb plugins. It has a straightforward user interface and plenty of options for sonic customization. Furthermore, it’s compatible with sample rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz and processes signals at 64-bit, making it a perfect choice for any project.
- Reverb Variations
A reverb effect consists of the early reflection and the tail. The early reflection represents the first few reflections of sound on walls or other surfaces, and when they repeat long enough, the sound becomes washed out into a “tail.” Accordingly, OrilRiver offers twelve variations of early reflections and five variations of the reverb tail. The tail or decay can be as long as 20 seconds.
As you might know, the reverb effect is just a series of delay networks. And the variations I mentioned above slightly alter the delay network, changing the reverb’s density. So, you could use these variations to change the “shape” of your simulated space alongside the room size and diffusion parameters.
The plugin features a three-band EQ for the reverb signal, which is handy for keeping your mix clean. The EQ has a low-shelf, a peak, and a high-shelf band. Furthermore, you can change the frequency of each band. Similarly, the damping section features a high-frequency damping filter that helps avoid the accumulation of noisy high frequencies and changes the perception of the environment.
- Two GUIs
OrilRiver features two user interface designs: a classic look and a darker, industrial design. Both offer the same layout of the modules. You’ll find the pre-delay, width, main reverb parameters, modulation, dry, early reflection, reverb, and wet levels.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3 format.
OrilRiver is an excellent free reverb that offers plenty of customization. You can use its built-in EQ and filters to ensure the reverb blends well with your mix. Furthermore, it has a low CPU footprint, allowing you to use as many instances as you need.
26. Melda Production MAutoPitch
As the name suggests, MAutoPitch is an auto-tune plugin with formant shifting.
The plugin allows you to automatically correct the pitch of monophonic audio like vocals, violin, and lead guitar. Furthermore, it allows you to make subtle, natural adjustments as well as extreme, modern effects. Various other features make it a great free alternative to Auto-Tune.
The auto-tune section of the plugin offers the following parameters: depth, speed, detune, and base. Depth controls the efficacy of the effect, while speed alters how fast the auto-tune reacts to pitch changes. Similarly, the base knob changes the tuning frequency. So, while A = 440Hz is the default, you could use another value to fit your project.
The plugin also contains some settings for the pitch detector. These include threshold, stabilization, minimum frequency, and maximum frequency. While the last two are self-explanatory, the threshold parameter alters how loud the input signal has to be for MAutoPitch to detect. Similarly, the stabilization parameter specifies how quickly the pitch detector notices the pitch changes.
The formant is the characteristic of vocal performance, determining the vowel form (a-e-o-u). It’s an important concept in any plugin designed to shift pitch. Hence, MAutoPitch features two parameters dedicated to vocal formants: Keep Formants and Formant Shift.
Keep Formants keeps the formant character intact regardless of the pitch change. It helps a vocal recording avoid sounding like a chipmunk when pitched high. On the other hand, the Formant Shift parameter changes the formant character to alter the vocal completely.
It’s crucial for an auto-tune plugin to know what scale to operate in to work properly. If your song is in a minor scale of a certain key signature, the auto-tune needs to know this information to correct your performance to the proper notes. Hence, MAutoPitch sports a separate Scale section, where you can select in what scale your song is.
The section allows you to select any key in the following scales: chromatic, major, minor, and pentatonic. If you’re an intermediate or advanced musician, you’ll notice that some important scales are missing, like the harmonic minor or the modes of a major scale. However, MAutoPitch also allows you to manually enter the notes of your scale using a piano keyboard on the left side of the scale section.
This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.14 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The auto-tune is one of the most demanded modern effects in a studio. So, while Auto-Tune itself may be out of budget, MAutoPitch offers an outstanding free alternative packed with all the crucial features. You can use this plugin for smooth, natural pitch correction or inject the modern vibes of artists like T-Pain, Daft Punk, and Kesha.
27. TDR Nova
Designed by Tokyo Dawn Records, Nova is an outstanding dynamic, parametric EQ with a polished user interface.
The plugin is perfect for both individual tracks and the master bus. It allows you to shape your sound using dynamic and simple parametric filters. Furthermore, plenty of presets allow you to get started with sound-shaping fast. Let’s check out some of its features:
- Four Bands
Nova features four dynamic filters or bands. You can set each of them as a peak or a shelf filter. Furthermore, you can solo or toggle each band on and off.
The dynamic features on each band include a threshold, ratio, attack, and release parameter. Turning the ratio upwards turns the band into a compressor, whereas turning the ratio into a negative value makes the band function as an upward expander.
Nova sports a high-pass and a low-pass filter. You can alter the slope steepness of each filter from 6 to 72 dB/oct., which is rather impressive and handy for mastering! Furthermore, the Wide Band mode lets you control the spectrum between the high-pass and low-pass. So, if you were only to activate the Wide Band, you’d essentially have a simple compressor with side-chain filters.
- Stereo Modes
Nova allows the following seven stereo modes: Mono, Stereo, Sum, Diff, Left, Right, and Dual Mono. Mono turns any input to mono, while Stereo represents the typical stereo processing. Sum and Diff are the Mid and Side modes. Likewise, the Left and Right modes are self-explanatory, and Dual Mono enables independent processing per stereo channel. Additionally, it has an external side-chain input, which is handy for creating spectral space in your mix. Although, since Audacity doesn’t allow routing yet, this feature isn’t of much use.
This plugin is available for Windows XP SP2 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.9 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Nova has always been a favorite among many music producers and engineers, even over some commercial products. Its outstanding quality and efficacy make it an essential tool for your collection. Furthermore, you can also check out its Gentleman’s Edition, a paid version with six bands and even more features.
28. TDR Kotelnikov
TDR Kotelnikov is an original digital compressor that is recommended for master and bus compression but equally as useful for track dynamics.
The plugin offers one of the most transparent compression and an outstanding user interface with virtually every feature you might need. It uses complex and intelligent algorithms to achieve its transparency, even separating the peak and RMS signals. So, you couldn’t possibly go wrong choosing Kotelnikov for your projects.
- Input Filters
Kotelnikov features a high-pass filter ranging from 25 Hz to 500 Hz to help remove rumble from your input signal. The filter has four steepness slopes, including 0 dB/oct (off), 3 dB/oct., 6 dB/oct., and 12 dB/oct. Likewise, you’ll find a stereo sensitivity section that allows you to alter the stereo link of the input detector. So, if you turn it all the way down, the compressor only detects mono (mid) signals, whereas turning it up fully makes it use the aggregate channel loudness for input.
The plugin features separate threshold controls for the peak and RMS signals. Turning up the Threshold knob controls the RMS threshold amount, whereas the Peak Crest knob sets the peak threshold above or below the RMS threshold. For example, setting a peak threshold above the RMS threshold will make the peak compressor less sensitive. So, if you want to use Kotelnikov as a peak compressor alone, try turning the Peak Crest knob down while leaving the RMS threshold at 0 dB or close to it.
- Stereo Modes
Kotelnikov sports six stereo processing modes. These include Mono, Stereo, Sum, Diff, Left, and Right. While most of these are self-explanatory, Sum and Diff are mid and side signals.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Kotelnikov is an outstanding compressor that offers crystal clear sound. Furthermore, it employs oversampling to avoid aliasing and distortion, although you can reduce the oversampling amount and CPU usage by switching to Eco mode. However, the plugin might be slightly too complicated for beginners.
29. Baby Audio Magic Dice
A great randomizer-based option that can help you get out and have great presets adjusted to your tracks.
We mentioned their Spaced Out plugin earlier on this list, and now we have a “mini-version” of it here. Based on huge-sounding reverbs, this plugin comes in handy because of its straightforward working method: you have to press the “Magic Dice” at the screen to get a random nice-sounding preset.
- As simple as it gets
The Magic Dice is a collection of algorithmic presets from its bigger version, narrowed down to a single button. This can create a new experience while producing: you don’t have to tweak any values at all. Just trust the engine of this plugin.
- Mix control
Aside from the “Magic Dice,” you have a single fader controlling how the blend will come out of the plugin, being able to have a mix of the wet and dry signals instantly.
- As simple as it gets
This plugin runs in macOS 10.7 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It comes in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats.
The combinations are endless on this plugin. You’ll only have control over the randomization of the presets and the mix of both audio signals. This can be creative-inducing, challenging, and the exact formula you’d need to get your creative juices flowing freely.
30. Kilohearts – Phaser
A relatively simple but still modern and strong Phaser Snapin plugin by Kiloheart is Next on our list.
Kilohearts is a company from Sweden that positions itself as a producer of modern software for modern music. It means that they are not chasing after emulation of analog equipment but trying to implement their solutions. You can find many plugins related to distortion, saturators, chorus, flangers, and other effects. They also make host plugins and bundles.
The Phaser Snapin plugin is quite minimalistic in appearance. It is one small window with six knobs. Still – it has all the necessary settings, so you can effectively and, most importantly, quickly apply the phaser effect to your tracks.
- Give Your Order
The plugin has a unique Order knob that helps you turn the effect into a more pronounced one. It will increase the order of the filters and the distance between troughs and peaks.
- Cutoff knob
This knob will give you the ability to move the dips and peaks in the frequency spectrum. It will come in handy to provide you with a better put effect in the mix.
- Spread the Effect
Use the Spread knob to give stereo widening to your effect. It will be possible because of a shift between the right and left channels, which will affect the stereo picture.
- “Snaping” Plugin
The plugin can be used as a separate unit. But if you are a user of Kilohearts hosts such as Snap Heap or Multipass, you will be able to use it in combination with other Kilohearts software.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.7 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
The Phaser Snapin plugin from the Swedish company Kilohearts is minimalistic but practical software that gives you an excellent phaser effect. You won’t have to worry about the settings because you will only have six knobs at your disposal. You can adjust out and listen if it makes your effect fit the context of the mix.
Developed by the ingenious minds behind the REAPER DAW, Reafir is a multi-effects plugin that uses FFT measurement.
Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is a measurement method that converts an audio signal into individual spectral components or frequency bands. The number of bands the signal is divided into determines the quality of the FFT process. Hence, ReaFIR allows you to divide your audio signal from 128 to 32,768 bands, offering extraordinary control over the audio.
What is the use of such an effect, though? ReaFIR offers EQing, compression, gate, and noise reduction. Furthermore, the EQ is linear-phase, making it excellent for mastering and other high-precision tasks.
- EQ & Dynamics
ReaFIR’s EQs do not have bands or filters. Instead, it uses a graphical node-based workflow allowing you to draw the shape and curve of the EQ to your liking. The same workflow transfers over to the compressor, which uses a single ratio but with each node in the GUI acting as a threshold. So, while it’s not quite a dynamic eq, the precision is unsurpassed.
The plugin also has a gate mode, which allows you to set the gate threshold using nodes in the spectral view. ReaFIR turns down each frequency that does not surpass the level of the particular curve acting over it. So, it’s a fantastic tool to eliminate hums or low rumble with virtually no artifact to the audio.
- Noise Reduction
Similar to the previous point, the subtract mode gets rid of any frequency that isn’t louder than the displayed curve. However, the difference is that this mode allows you to generate the curve by allowing ReaFIR to listen to a snippet of your recording. So, if you recorded an empty section containing room and electronic noise but not any voice or instrument, the generated curve or “profile” would be of the noise. And if the noise doesn’t change drastically in volume, ReaFIR can eliminate the noise spectrally without causing artifacts to your audio. This feature is crucial for any aspiring singer, podcaster, or musician without a sound-proofed recording environment. Furthermore, the “Reduce Artifact” checkmark can help improve the sound quality even more, albeit with a slightly reduced efficacy.
This plugin is available for Windows 98 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2 format.
ReaFIR is a multi-effects plugin with a spectral EQ, compressor, gate, and subtractor. The most famous use of this plugin is for noise reduction. However, I highly recommend experimenting with the other effects to learn their uses. Spectral editing can be a highly rewarding subject to learn.
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