VSTs are a great way to add some fun to your tracks. They’re easy to integrate, versatile, and can be manipulated to perfection. If you’re a music production junkie, you’ve probably already heard of them. If you’re wondering what’s up with the name, VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology.
With so many amazing VST plugins available, it can be overwhelming trying to choose which ones you should start with. In this article, we will walk you through all the best free VST instruments, effects, and virtual synths for music production, and we will point out which of them are best for which type of music.
Here are some of the best free options out there:
- Camel Audio CamelCrusher – Camel Audio CamelCrusher is a multi-chain, real-time VST effect plugin. It analyzes the instrument tracks and adjusts the tracking curve of the effect chain to make things sound more realistic as a real studio recording. It is a free VST plugin from Camel Audio and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. It is a 24-bit plugin that can be used to add a low-frequency distortion to any audio signal.
- FabFilter Pro-C 2 – FabFilter Pro-C 2 is a comprehensive collection of digital effects for your DAW. It’s a cross-platform VST plugin, and as such, it can be used as a VST plug-in, AU plug-in, or stand-alone AU instrument for Mac and Windows. It comes with over 50 effects built in. The included Virtual Studio Technology effects can be used with any host that supports VST3 or VST2, including Maschine, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools.
- Waves H-Delay – Waves H-Delay plug-in is a very nice reverb and delay plug-in. It comes with four different types of reverb, different types of delays, and some other effects to add extra texture and color to the sounds that you’re making. And it’s very easy to use, you just plug it in, turn on the insert and send knobs, and it’s ready to go.
- ValhallaDSP ValhallaPlate – this new plugin is a feature-rich VST instrument that adds a whole slew of new features and functionality to the ValhallaDSP ecosystem of products. It includes a comprehensive set of controls for the various channels within a plate or bus, 2-way or 4-way connectivity, and the ability to switch the input and output on the fly.
- FabFilter Pro-Q 3 – The FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is a versatile mastering tool that lets you EQ, multiband, and process your audio in a number of creative ways. It’s available in VST plugin format for Windows and Mac OS X. It is the new version and successor of the fantastic Pro-Q 2 VST Instrument, which was released in 2014. Pro-Q 3 uses the same filter designs as Pro-Q 2 but has a new look, new features, and a fresh new sound.
- Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 – Spectrasonics have released a new version of their amazing VST Plugin Omnisphere 2. So if you are a musician, you need this to get started with your musical journey. It is a complete and powerful VST plugin that is easy to learn, and you can develop your own sound and music with your own style. The best thing is that it is free so that you can try it, but you will need a good computer to run it.
- Universal Audio Lexicon 224 – Almost three decades after its creation, the Lexicon 224 remains a cornerstone of the UAD platform. Lexicon 224 is a Universal Audio VST3 Plugin that allows you to get the most out of your live stems. It’s a multifunctional tool that provides a wide range of high-quality fixes and processing that can transform your tracks into anything you want.
One of the most popular questions on music production forums is what the best free VST plugins are? There is a mix of opinions about this. Some people say that you should invest in a professional sound card and good monitors rather than wasting your money on free VST plug-ins. I think it’s not so simple as that.
Firstly, when you have invested in your equipment, it can be tough to justify spending more money on plug-ins. Secondly, there are some killer plug-ins out there that will make your life easier without costing a penny. And thirdly, some musicians just like to spend time searching through different options and tweaking them until they find something they like.