Free VST plugins are a great way to get started with music production,
especially if your budget is constrained. You can choose from a huge
amount of free plugins to satisfy almost every music production need you may have.
Pick and choose...
Synths, EQ, Saturation, Spectrum Analyzers, Reverbs, Delays, Compressors. You name it and there's a free VST that does it!
Now, as you would expect, you usually get what you pay for when it comes to music production plugins, so the best plugins come at a price. Commercial music production software behemoth companies will always
have the edge over smaller operations as they have the development
budgets to get things done.
That said, you'll find a few free plugins that are so good that the fact they don't cost anything seems rather absurd!
A few of my personal favorite free VST plugins include...
1. Saturation Plugins from Variety of Sound
fellas have created a range of plugins that add some harmonic density
to your audio. I often use the TesslaSE and the FerricTDS to add some
juicy phatness to individual channels or on the mixbus. They have a
whole list of other plugins you can download and this isn't limited to
2. Synth 1 by Ichiro Toda
tend to use paid-for synths like Sylenth and NI Massive. Synth 1 is
however a great place to start if you're strapped for cash and need a
workhorse synth. It can seem a bit complex to start off with but once
you have it down you can create some monstrous sounds with this plugin.
3. Bionic Delay
mmm, mmm. How I do dig this little beast. Does what it says on the tin with style.
Definitely a delay one comes back to time and time again. Don't
hesitate to download it straight away. Great big fun-time awaits my friend!
Music production plugin directories and rankings...
My intention isn't to make this article a comprehensive list of the most ultimate ever plugins in the history of the Universe, like ever. Luckily for you, that's been done well already, so if you're on the hunt for more free plugins, then I suggest you have a look at the following two sites:
KVR Audio has a great directory of free
VST plugins and they have a ranking system so you can see which plugins other
producers like most.
The Pluginboutique VST and Music Software Store
has a great selection of free VST plugins listed.
may perhaps be tempted to download every plugin out there, just because
you can. I suggest you stick to what you need and what comes highly
recommended because you don't want a list of plugins that you never use. That could just cramp your style! Then again, you may discover a gem when you try out random VSTs. Hmmmm... Choices, choices. I'll leave you to it.
Just one more thing...
You'll notice that some plugins are donation-ware so, if you really like the
plugin, then create some good karma and donate to the plugin developer. Angels will sing you to sleep at night because you've made the world a little bit of a better place! OK, maybe not.
Anyway, I think that's enough information to get you off to a good start. Now, take it and go!