The Best Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Reviewed and Compared [2021]

best microphone podcast youtube

So you are starting your channel and are in the market for the BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube. Starting your own media outlet feels very nice, but not having the best gear can really ruin your day. Follow us further and we will guide you to get the best tools for your needs, without breaking the bank.

Editor’s note: This list is always updated to always reflect the status of the market, so make sure you bookmark it and come back for your future purchases.

You are going to need a couple of things, a good microphone, a great microphone arm, a sound card and a good computer that allows you to also record video on top of your microphone and voice. You should never overlook the basic stuff, like cables, internet connection and software.

The best thing about microphones for podcasts and youtube is that there are a lot of choices for you in the market right now. This niche is no longer narrow and expensive, and there are even some microphones that run on USB so you don’t need a sound card. We picked a winner for best performance and one for best value. Both our winners only have the USB audio option, so if you want a better sounding piece of hardware, be prepared to also pay for a sound card. If you are on a laptop and prefer to be on the move, then get an USB-only microphone as the value is extremely good.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Product Name Main Features Our Rating Price
Editor’s BEST Choice
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
– USB Only
– Excellent build quality
– Versatile microphone
– Small footprint
– Does not need arm
9.4 100$ – 150$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Editor’s VALUE Choice
Blue Snowball USB Microphone
– Does not need arm
– USB only
– Mini stand included
– Choose your own color
8.9 50$ – 100$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Audio Tehnica AT2020
– Accessible studio quality
– Very correct sound reproduction
– XLR/Audio connection only
– Does NOT come with XLR Cable
9.4 150$ – 200$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Shure MV7
– Built in Headphone Output
– May be too expensive for what you need
– Never needs an upgrade
– A lot of software control for it
9.8 Under 300$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Presonus Dynamic Broadcast/Podcast Microphone
– Made for podcasts
– Interesting design
– XLR/Audio connection only
– Good bang for buck
9.0 100$ – 150$
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – market overview

Over the last few years or so, we’ve seen the rise of famous YouTubers and it seems that many other people are trying their luck in this field. They, or at least the ones that aspire for greatness should be using good microphones in order to sound great, especially on headphones where a bad quality microphone can simply ruin the viewer’s overall experience. Especially true for podcasts and content where only the voice is heard.

We have rounded up our own little Top 5 of aspiring products for the title of BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube. We have a varied selection, ranging in the 50$ to 300$, and all products can be found on amazon.com. Our overall winner is a flexible, trusted solution that sends audio signal straight to the computer via USB. If you want more sound quality though, you will have to go with an XLR connection and a sound card. But if you are travelling for interviews or just don’t have the space, an USB connection only microphone could be more attractive.

Luckily, we have an article on the BEST Sound card for Podcasts and Youtube here.

#1 BEST USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Blue Yeti USB Microphone

After much deliberating, we’ve decided to award the title of BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube to the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Yes, you will say that it is standard but it is there for a reason. We like the Blue Yeti product because it has USB audio, so you get to cut a lot of the costs associated with your podcast or youtube channel, that is has a very small footprint and that you don’t need a stand for it.

The microphone is extremely easy to use and sounds great because of the three condenser capsules it has. The microphone just sits neatly on your desk and captures your voice in good isolation. But if you also want to capture some background sound for any reason, you can have it do this as-well due to the shape selection switch.

The Blue Yeti USB Microphone has a headphone output and volume control on the front.

This microphone has four mic type patterns, depending on the way you want it to capture sound: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8 and Stereo. Cardioid is recommended for just recording your voice, but if you want to delve deeper or require also ambient sound or effects, you can use it to capture more with ease.

#2 BEST Value USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Blue Snowball USB Microphone

This is somewhat of a cheaper product if you don’t feel like investing a lot of capital in great microphone right away, and want to try the waters first and see if you like doing podcasts or Youtube content. The Blue Snowball is the younger, smaller brother of the Yeti microphone as both products are made by same company.

Again, we have an USB-only audio connection. Fitting for simple setups, with limited budgets. Unfortunately, the DAC (the component that translates analog sound vibrating through the air into digital signal for your computer to process) is integrated into this cheap microphone. You don’t have the option to upgrade the DAC like you would a sound card so you are stuck with average sound quality.

The Blue Snowball Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube shines in the value department, you pay a small entry price into the world of content creation and you honestly get a lot for this cost.

Just like the Blue Yeti USB Microphone, the Snowball also has a selection of geometric modes, but sadly the “stere” one is missing. And if lighting is your thing, you can choose from up to six color styles with the brushed aluminium variant. If you don’t want vibrant coloring and are going for a more professional, refrained look, try the “Textured White” or “Gloss Black” finish.

XLR connection vs. USB connection

And now we would like to move to the professional segment. These microphones require a sound card with an XLR socket to function, they also require phantom power (supplied by the sound card). But having these things means actually means that there is more space in the microphone for actual sound components.

XLR connected Microphones for Podcasts and Youtube are always a better choice than USB ones.

This is because instead of having a DAC and a power supply built in (so it can take power and send direct digital messages to USB), they offload this task to the sound card so that they can pack a much better sound quality puch.

The downside is that you also need something to plug them into via XLR connection. This secondary device captures the analog sound signal from the microphone and transforms it into digital data for the computer to read. That is what the sound card does, and this is why you pay for it.

XLR connected Microphones and their soundcards cost way more than the USB option.

Still, these types of content creation microphones are very relevant to those that need sound quality, especially if you also create sound that is not voice based for your content and thus use instruments that you plug into your sound card as-well.

#3 XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Audio Tehnica AT2020

This one is the first XLR product on our list. It represents a mid-range condenser microphone pretty well. We would always recommend this one as an entry level XLR microphone because it will introduce you pretty well to the dynamic nature of voice recordings. You will be able to sound more dramatic or more mellow depending on your content.

For this market segment we decided to award the Audio Tehnica AT2020 the title of BEST Value XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube.

The battle was with another Audio Tehnica product that is a bit more expensive, the AT2035. We have a whole article about the AT2035 vs AT2020 them here. The article also explains the XLR standard to some extent, so you can understand analog sound specifications.

#4 USB+XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Shure MV7

This one marks the entry into the high end market space. If you are here, you know what you want and you can specify it. The Shure MV7 is a mixed connection type microphone, it will take USB or XLR depending on your label.

It is fully advised that you if you can spare the money and don’t have a sound-card yet, get the Shure MV7 and use it on USB until you can afford it.

The specifications of this microphone look very good, and there are also a lot of “handling” features like an integraded headphone output, panel touch controls and the software suite you can use to process the sound on a desktop or laptop further. Imagine that this is three times more expensive that the BEST USB Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube, but believe us, it is worth it. We cannot recommend an upgrade mic to the Shure MV7 that doesn’t cost more than 1000$.

#5 XLR Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube – Presonus Dynamic Vocal Microphone

And we had to have a Dynamic microphone in our top because sometimes you don’t have the best studio out there and you want something that can just work in any conditions.

The Presonus Dynamic Vocal Microphone for Broadcasting and Podcasts is a budget XLR-only option that can deliver. Sure, it will lack mostly all the features that the 300$ option puts on the table, but at least sound quality is good.

We can recommend this microphone for content creators that already have a sound card for other projects, and want to describe their projects with a microphone. Just pay a small fee for this microphone, plug it into your sound card and start creating.

Final Thoughts on Microphone Choice

As you can see, the microphone market is very mature and options abound in 2021. Still, we stick to our internal way of thought, and would recommend an USB option if you want to start your channel pretty fast and don’t know how to operate audio equipment. We have provided two choices here.

If instead you know how to record audio and have a soundcard, we would recommend the high end or the budget option for XLR Connections.

Still, there is a third way, if you know how to record sound, but don’t have a sound card yet, buy the Shure MV7 since it has both XLR and USB.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

Amplitube vs Guitar Rig – a detailed comparison

As any guitar player knows, Guitar Rig and Amplitube are undoubtedly two of the most famous and popular guitar emulators available. They’re the best at what they do, but which one is actually better?

We have updated our article in light of the recent Amplitube 5 release, available on IK Multimedia’s website. Comparing to Amplitube 4, this one has been upgraded user experience department, being by far much more user friendly. It now suports Retina-displays and the GUI is fully-scalable. Also, in the new department you now have the option to do parallel effects, with the addition of the dry/wet control and a lot more devices to play with.

For those interested in an upgrade path from Amplitube 4 to 5, here is a sheet from IK Multimedia, explaining the differences and also listing the contents of the Amplitube 5 package.

And if you are interested in a music production laptop as well, we have an updated comparison article right here for you.

Today we’re going to talk at length about the differences and similarities between Amplitube and Guitar Rig, their pros and cons, features, specs, and ultimately decide which platform offers bigger and better benefits, so let’s begin with the most recent price, avaialble by clicking these buttons:

To be fair, we will compare Amplitube 5 to the “PRO” version of Guitar Rig – because the free version is in a league of it’s own. Sadly there is no free entry point to Amplitube, so we have to have an apples-to-apples comparison.

Guitar Rig 6 Amps

For the lack of better words, the selection of amps, cabinets, and effects stacked into the Guitar rig is absolutely incredible. Of course, its eclecticism and versatility mainly depends on which package you’ve opted for, but even the factory Guitar Rig 6 Player is better-rounded than the vast majority if boutique guitar emulators.

You’ll be able to choose between some of the iconic amps, such as Hot Plex, Citrus, Tweed Delight, Jazz Amp, Hot Solo+, and many others, although the bulk of these presets are reserved for Guitar Rig 6 Pro users.

The newest additions (in comparison to the Guitar Rig 5 Pro) are the Chicago, Bass Invader, and the Fire Breather amps, all of which bring brand-new and highly unique features to the table.

Overall, Guitar Rig offers surprisingly authentic, great-sounding amps.

Amplitube 5 Amps

Amplitube’s selection of amps is perfect for literally all kinds of music styles and subgenres. The Standard Amplitube 5 package has 34 devices while the MAX version has a whopping 107 items.

You’ll be able to use five British Stack amps, including Brit 8000 and Brit 9000, the Red Pig, Brit Valve, the Brit Silver, two American Tube amps, as well as a solid-state Bass preamp. The standard edition of Amplitube 5

If you want the full list of devices available, IK Multimedia has created this sheet, which also compares Amplitube 5 with the previous version.

These amps work wonders regardless of whether you’re looking for a poppy sound, a fuzzed jazzy tone, or a heavily distorted metal timbre. However, Guitar Rig’s selection of amps is just slightly broader.

Guitar Rig 6 Cabinets

Guitar Rig 6 offers matched cabinets for their amps, which is generally pretty great. Furthermore, you’ll be able to make great use of the Control room cabinets & mics features if you’ve upgraded to Guitar Rig 6 Pro.

However, the downside here is that you won’t be able to mix and match ‘unmatched’ cabinets like you would with Amplitube.

Amplitube Cabinets

As far as cabinets go, Amplitube 5 offers 27 models, while the MAX version comes equipped with a HUGE ARRAY of 101, including six 4 by 12s (matching the amps), one 1 by 12 Open Vintage cab, a 2 by 12 Closed Vintage cab, and a 1 by 15 Bass Vintage cabinet.

While Guitar Rig had the upper hand in terms of the amp selection, Amplitube does a bit better job in the realm of cabinets, offering more than twice as many models and presets.

In a nutshell, this is more than you’ll need to capture the sonic essence of the recognizable sounds of guitar heroes with ease.

Guitar Rig 6 Effects

There are almost more guitar effects aboard the Guitar Rig 6 platform than can be counted, starting with five delays (Twin, Delay Man, Psyche Delay, Quad Delay and Tape Echo), 12 Distortions (Fuzz, MeZone, Sledgehammer, Gain & Treble boosters, Cat, Demon, Skreamer and more), 10 Dynamic effects, 5 EQs, 7 filters, 8 modulation effects, 3 Pitch effects, 9 reverbs, and three ‘Special’ effects (Resochord, Ring Modulator and Grain Delay).

Barely a dozen of these effects are available as factory presets, though, which means that more than half of aforementioned guitar effect models are only available with the Guitar Rig 6 Pro package.

Amplitube Effects

The Amplitube simulator offers 10 different stompbox models, including choruses, flangers, delays, wahs, diode overdrives, volume pedals, graphic equalizers, compressors, tremolos, and acoustic simulators. With the new Amplitube 5 version you can run them in paralel with the dry/wet setting.

All of these effects are taken from actual analogue effect pedals and sound as original and authentic as can be. The same list of items contains an inventory of all the stomp effects contained.

The good and the bad of Guitar Rig 6

Basically, Guitar Rig 6 is free to download, which is a massive benefit in itself. However, the factory presets selection is modest, to say the very least, which means that it’s a pretty basic software with relatively poor versatility if you don’t upgrade to the ‘Pro’ version at some point.

Let’s discuss the positives and negatives of Guitar Rig 6 PRO:

Pros:

  • Decently affordable upgrade to Guitar Rig 6 free
  • Exceptional range of guitar amps
  • Quality analogue bass amp
  • Authentic sounding tools, models and presets
  • Unparalleled selection of effects
  • Decently easy to use, even by beginners

Cons:

  • The basic (free) package is not overly versatile
  • Difficult to mix and match cabinets
  • Almost no effect pedals and stompboxes to speak of in the free package

The good and the bad of Amplitube

Amplitube is decently approachable guitar software that packs a hefty selection of stompboxes, amplifiers, cabinets, speakers, microphones, effects, and rack units. With the new update to Amplitube 5, the user interface is extremely well built, scalable and looks great on Apple devices.

Obviously, it’s more expensive than the (free) Guitar Rig 6, but it is well worth the buck considering how beginner-friendly and eclectic it is. Some of the highlighted advantages and disadvantages of Amplitube are:

Pros:

  • Highly intuitive interface
  • Excellent selection of stompbox effects, amplifiers, cabinets and microphones
  • Several rack effects and speakers
  • Onboard tuners
  • Constantly expanding roster of amps and effects
  • Great for beginners and seasoned veterans alike

Cons:

  • Not available for free, although demo can be downloaded free of charge

Conclusion

The specs, features, and UI were some of the most notable parameters we took into consideration when comparing the performance of Amplitube and Guitar Rig.

Even though these guitar simulator programs are completely different, they actually do have a lot in common. Both programs are laden with a myriad of top-quality amps and effects, and both actually sound extraordinarily great.

Be it as it may, Guitar Rig tends to do a bit better only because there is a free version to which Amplitube cannot compete.

Without cutting Amplitube’s worth short, it’s amazing software that has enormous potential to usurp Guitar Rig’s throne in near future.

Best FM Synth VST- All budgets included

Frequency modulators (FM) synths are rapidly gaining popularity among musicians, DJs, and producers alike.

These little software-based gadgets are devices that can be used to bridge various sonic gaps and obstacles, creating analogue-like sounds from scratch.

It’s only natural for aspiring players and performers to search for the best synths to use, and if so, we’ve got you covered.

Today we’re going to discuss some of the best FM synths on the market, starting with:

FM8

Native Instruments are among the biggest names in department of software electronics, so it’s quite obvious why we’ve decided to go with their flagship FM8 as our opener pick.

Although pricey, this FM synth program is by far one of the most versatile all-encompassing plugins that this brand has released so far, casting a long shade over its predecessors.

This is a fully digital VST that offers a total of 960 presets, each boasting crystal clear and remarkably authentic FM sounds. Furthermore, this software also packs a robust matrix platform, a dedicated arpeggiator, and well-rounded envelopes.

Although FM8 has its own patches (and downloadable upgrades), it’s also fully compatible with most external FM hardware devices, allowing you to mix and match different setups into a complete, well-rounded one.

The interface of FM8 is straightforward and plain, characterized by slightly oversized knobs and faders, and a 6-octave configurable keyboard.

While it may appear as a beginner producing program, NI’s FM8 is made by professionals for professionals.

Ableton Operator

The Operator is an integral component of the acclaimed Ableton Suite, and luckily for anyone who’s not using this platform specifically it’s a standalone VST that has only one requirement – Live9 Lite.

It’s substantially cheaper than most VSTs in this category, and it’s also significantly easier to use, mainly because it doesn’t have as many features.

Even though this could be perceived as a con, Operator’s forte is its simplicity.

It features petite, highly customizable sections and is meant as a background plugin that will help you orchestrate different tunes and timbres while working on the tracks simultaneously.

The neat little display takes the centrepiece of the Operator, showing you details regarding the most relevant and important parameters of its performance, such as attack, decay, release, peak, sustain, loop, velocity, waveshape, key, and such.

LFOs and filter sections are modest, to say the very least, but they feature everything you need to come up with unique sonic shapes and tones.

As a matter of fact, these sections can be cut off from the mix in order to preserve some extra CPU and RAM.

Speaking of which, Ableton’s Operator is not as spec-starved as some of its ‘bulkier’ counterparts. It’s not as hard on your computer/laptop’s memory, and you don’t need a fancy, super-strong setup to run it smoothly.

Needless to say, it works best with Ableton’s proprietary gear, but the fact that it’s compatible with external equipment speaks volumes about its versatility.

Bazille

U-He’s Bazille is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the strongest performing modular synthesizer VSTs out there.

Before we delve into its capabilities and specs, it’s important to note that it’s compatible with macOS, Linux, and Windows, which is not something many FM synth tools can boast about.

First things first, the versatility of Bazille is practically unparalleled. It boasts two individual LFOs and four separate oscillators, each boasting their own set of configurable parameters and settings.

The oscillators sport multiple gate and semitone modulation knobs, as well as a dedicated ‘Fractalize’ section that you can use to carve out fresh, new tones and sounds.

You’ll also be able to utilize numerous pink & white noise slots, a simplified (and highly responsive) sequencer, four envelopes, and a huge array of highly customizable filters, including gain, spread, resonance, and many others. On top of everything, it’s actually pretty affordable.

Image-Line Sytrus

If you’re mainly working in Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio), you may want to take a look at Sytrus. This FM synth was developed by Imagine-Line, the same brand that’s ‘responsible’ for one of the finest beginner-friendly DAWs on the market, and it’s actually available for a free preview via your FL software.

Sytrus is an excellent choice even if you’re using other studio tools and platforms.

It’s based on a wonderfully-designed sound engine and sports six user customizable and fully independent operators, frequency modulators, ring modulators, partial-harmonic editors, a massive array of EQ sliders and knobs, and more importantly, a comprehensive Matrix that provides a clear overview of active and passive features.

Furthermore, this VST offers three fully independent filters; speaking of which, there are thirteen types of filters as well as five cutoff-slope features.

Another remarkably interesting feature of the Sytrus is the built-in waveshaper, although most people will probably be more thrilled to utilize the shapes provided by the enormous sample library.

There are a couple of things we didn’t like as much about it, though; namely, it’s slightly harder to use than an average FM synth VST, and some of its features are available exclusively via FL Studio.

Even so, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time to find a better-rounded frequency modulator for the buck.

Nemesis

Nemesis is Tone2’s creation, and its performance is far beyond formidable.

One of the main reasons why we’ve decided to pull down the curtains with this plugin is that it offers a completely unique NeoFM feature that takes frequency modulation to a completely different level.

A huge number of tones, sounds, and timbres that Nemesis can create are literally unattainable via different software.

Apart from its uniqueness, we also liked most of its more traditional features, such as thousands of patches, top-shelf sound quality, a very intuitive interface, and the sheer fact that it’s incredibly easy to use.

In essence, this VST is wild, exquisite, and much different in comparison to similar plugins. Even though it’s beginner-friendly, you’ll still need some time to get accustomed to the features it comes supplied with.

Best Online Mastering Service [2021]

Wellcome to our article on the BEST Online Mastering Service! Mastering and mixing an audio track is a craft that takes years and years to master (no pun intended). However, improvements in artificial intelligence and music production software have made it so that this skill actually isn’t really necessary to learn anymore.

Today’s article will show you exactly how cheap and good some of the available INSTANT online mastering services are.

They obviously aren’t perfect. We are of course talking about on-the-spot instant mastering, and not just going and filing an order on-line for a human to master your tracks later. There is no human interaction with these online mastering service tools, you are the only human hearing them.

At the end of the day, there’s no way for these tools to know what your vision for the track is, and nothing beats the personal touch of an engineer.

Having said that, all of the tools tested in this article improved our track pretty much instantly at a very small cost. Some of the best online mastering service products were truly mind blowing, producing radio-ready tracks in a matter of minutes.

We have no doubt that these platforms will open the doors for hundreds of thousands of home producers and artists, allowing them to have good quality mixes in the time it takes to drink a coffee.

So here they are, our favourite online mastering services, reviewed.

NOTE: If you are on a mobile device, scroll to the right to see all picks and inside the cells to see all their content.

Product Name Main Features Export Formats available Rating / Pricing
Editor’s Choice
Landr
Distribution tool for spotify apple music, google play music, amazon music, pandora and beatport.

Collaboration / Feedback tool

Reference mastering

2 master controls: Style (warm, balanced, or open) and Intensity (low, medium, or high)
LO-RES MP3 (192kbps)

HI-RES MP3

(320kbps)

WAV (16bit)

HD WAV (24bit)
9.1
CHECK PRICING OPTIONS
Cloudbounce
26 different settings for the final mix.

Freebies included: A Crash Course in Mixing (PDF), a bunch of Ableton templates and a Logic Pro template

Manual mastering tool with Abbey Road Studios option
16 bit WAV

24 bit WAV

MP3
8.4
CHECK PRICING OPTIONS
Aimastering.com
Automatic video creation

Automatic Youtube loudness setting

Limiter, ceiling, oversampling, sound quality, sample rate, low and high cut controls

Easy mastering mode

Huge range of statistics on pre and post mastering track

API for developers
16 bit WAV

24 bit WAV

32 bit WAV

MP3.
8.4
CHECK PRICING OPTIONS

BEST Online Mastering Service – Editor’s Choice – Landr Mastering Review

Landr is a household name in the online AI powered mastering industry. Developed by the Canadian company MixGenius, it’s been around for a while and it keeps expanding its tools, now also offering distribution, collaboration, promotion tools, and even rent-to-own plugins.

The BEST service on the list, The LANDR Online Mastering Service has a really simple interface, loads of cool features, and keeps on improving.

We also found it to produce the best masters out of the tools tested. Here are our thoughts.

Landr Pros:

  1. Includes a distribution / release tool for spotify apple music, google play music, amazon music, pandora and beatport.
  2. Really clean and pleasant interface.
  3. Includes a collaboration tool which allows you to share masters and get feedback.
  4. Allows for reference mastering.
  5. 2 controls to customise master: Style (warm, balanced, or open) and Intensity (low, medium, or high)
  6. Different pricing models available (per mix, per month).

Landr Cons:

  1. Less than stellar customer support, according to several reviews.
  2. Distribution tool can take a few days to work.
  3. Limited master customisation options.

Landr: BEST Online Mastering Service – Our Rating: 9.1 out of 10

Speed: 9.2/10

The mix preview took about 5 minutes to prepare, whilst the actual mix took about 10 to 15 minutes. The app works in the background so you can close the browser and check back on it later.

Interface: 9.7/10

As previously mentioned, this was probably the most enjoyable interface to work with. Everything was where we expected it to be, and the layouts simply look good.

Quality of Mix: 9.3/10

We provided a rather low-quality, uncompressed hip hop instrumental track. The result was notably cleaner, louder, and overall quite impressive.

If you’re looking for a simple mix for the online platforms (spotify, beatport, etc), then Landr Online Mastering Service is more than suitable.

Playing around with the customisation controls (style and intensity) yielded slight differences in the mix, though the out-of-the-box mix ended up being our favourite. The reference mastering tool also caught our attention, though again, we didn’t notice a huge difference in the mix after uploading a classic hip hop track from our library.

If you’re looking for a more customisable Online Mastering Service, then you might want to keep on reading our reviews.

But overall, it kind of blew our minds. The final result was pretty much radio ready and was a huge improvement from the track provided. Some nuances, tones, and little tricks might have been added by a professional engineer, but the final result was very good- a no-thrills simple mix that was very pleasant to hear.

Additional tools: 9.4/10

The standout tool is undoubtedly the ability to release your tracks directly to the major streaming platforms.

This saves a ton of work and in our experience, worked relatively well, taking only a couple of days until the tracks were available in all the platforms. Some users have complained of slow release times, so we can’t guarantee that all users will have the same experience as us.

The collaboration tool was interesting, but in our opinion, not that useful, specially because the mix can’t be customised beyond 2 controls. So even if you manage to get great feedback on your track, there’s not much you can do with it.

Here’s a tip, you can actually try Landr, the BEST Online Mastering Service for free, so if you go ahead and sign up, upload your mix, and wait a few minutes, you’ll be able to judge for yourself.

-> TRY LANDR FOR FREE

#2nd Choice BEST Online Mastering Service – Cloudbounce Review

Second on our list is Cloudbounce. Having launched in 2015, they’re also a somewhat familiar name in the industry.

Unlike other Online Mastering Services in the list, Cloudbounce has a more stripped down approach to mastering, offering solely their mastering tool, and no other bells and whistles.

It’s interface also isn’t as shiny and clean as some other tools in this list, though it makes up for it with the additional controls and settings for the master sound that other tools don’t offer.

Cloudbounce Pros:

  1. Relatively cheaper than competitors (mixes start at 9$).
  2. Different pricing plans available (per mix, per month, per year).
  3. 26 different settings for the final mix.
  4. 3 output formats: 16 bit WAV, 24 bit WAV, MP3.
  5. Lightning fast.
  6. A pack of freebies are included with every account: A Crash Course in Mixing (PDF), a bunch of Ableton templates and a Logic Pro template file for your mixes.

Cloudbounce Cons:

  1. Interface was often confusing, with banners and footers obstructing buttons and menus
  2. No additional features besides mastering (ie no distribuiton, feedback, etc)

Cloudbounce: Our Rating: 8.4/10

Speed: 9.3/10

As with most tools in the list, the upload, preview and mastering took only a matter of a few minutes. This was perhaps the fastest service in the list. Throughout this whole experiment, the speed at which these masters are produced was what most surprised us.

Interface: 7.6/10

It seems like a small investment in a web designer could make this tool so much better, but unfortunately, it’s still quite clunky and unfriendly to the user.

Quality of Mix: 9.5/10

The out-of-the box mix (pre-customisation) sounded really good. In our opinion, a bit aggressive and with a lot of loudness and attack, but this was also due to the nature of the track. After correcting this with the many customisation options, the track ended up sounding great.

And here is where Cloudbounce Online Mastering Service really stands out. It has hundreds of different possible combinations between the two controls (musical genre and mastering controls) that allow you to play around until you find the perfect mix. It also sounds extremely well for what it is.

Whilst the first control (musical genre) is pretty straightforward, the mastering controls allows for much more customisation. It allows you to boost low, mid, and high sections of the music, add brightness, warmth, loudness, and more.

Due to this feature alone, we award Cloudbounce the highest grade in the list of BEST Online Mastering Service providers, in terms of mix quality

Additional Tools: 7.5/10

There was only one additional tool we could find, however, it’s one we quite enjoyed. After mastering the track, there is an upgrade available, which allows you to send the track to the abbey road studios for manual mastering by one of their engineers.

We thought this was pretty cool. This will cost you around 100$ and allows you to get a human touch on your AI powered mix.

This service will probably rely heavily on template files and presets, though its still a great way of improving the mix without investing that much.

-> Try CloudBounce for free

#3rd Choice BEST Online Mastering Sercvice – AImastering.com (by Bakuage) Review

Bakuage’s AImastering.com is a pretty unconventional choice for our list. You won’t find them in a lot of lists, and that’s really unfortunate, because we actually loved their AI.

If you have some technical knowledge of how to master a track, you’ll have a lot of fun with AImastering.com Online Mastering Service.

It includes a youtube loudness feature and automatically creates a downloadable video for your song, so if you use youtube as a promotion platform for your work, this is an absolute no-brainer. But our favourite feature was undoubtedly the “statistics” page of the mix.

After the AI finishes the master, it creates some very interesting statistics including “professionally”, which is how close the track sounds to a commercial track. This kind of “gamifies” your production and mixing skills and allows you to benchmark your progression as a musician- very cool!

There’s a bunch of other analytics provided such as loudness and waveform analysis that really allow you to perfect your track and compare pre-master and master versions.

It’s not all roses though. We did face some technical issues, hitting a 502 page when trying to download the master

AImastering.com Pros:

  1. Automatic video creation for youtube.
  2. Youtube loudness setting.
  3. Controls for limiter, ceiling, oversampling, sound quality, sample rate, low and high cut.
  4. 4 output formats: 3 WAVs, 1 MP3
  5. Option to preserve bass. Or not- might result in distorted bass.
  6. Easy mastering mode– focuses on loudness only.
  7. Statistics given: Loudness, RMS Peak, True Peak, True Peak(15kHz lowpass), Loudness Range, YouTube Loudness, Micro Dynamics Space Professionality, Acoustic Entropy, Ear Damage, Dissonance
  8. Loads of graphs and analytics provided.
  9. Relatively affordable– 1 free master, then 9.99$/master, or 29$/month for unlimited masters.
  10. API open for developers.

AImastering.com Cons:

  1. Some bugs were encountered.
  2. Docs could be better written

AImastering.com: Our Rating: 8.4/10

Speed: 9.0/10

AImastering took slightly longer than it’s competitors, though it was still very fast. Within 10 minutes, we had a great sounding mix.

Interface: 8.4/10

The interface, copy, and help docs could be improved. Their homepage simply states “Free Mastering is Available”, which might be a bit confusing for a somebody who stumbles upon the site. However, despite not being very flashy, the interface works well and everything is easy to locate.

Quality of the Mix: 9.3/10

Here, we’re considering the master produced with the standard options. Due to the many controls included in the tool, the range of tracks produced is huge. Therefore, we’re sticking to the “easy” mode of using AImastering.com

Overall, another solid mix. It’s really hard to set it apart from the other tools in the mix, though we find this track to have less loudness and bit more warmth out of the box.

Much like the other tools in the list, the final result was more than ready for distribution on the online platforms, which clip and compress a lot of the nuances of a track anyway.

Additional Tools: 7.0/10

In terms of additional tools we could only the video creator, which was pretty cool, but honestly not that useful if you’re not using youtube. And even if you are, you’d probably want to invest a bit more in a proper video.

MORE INFO

Landr vs Cloudbounce Online Mastering Service Comparison

After reviewing these first two BEST Online Mastering Services, we’ve gathered some thoughts and notes about they compared.

Here’s our rundown:

Landr is a better investment for artists looking to focus only on production and creation of music. There aren’t many ways to customise the mix, and it provides an easy distribution system.

If you want to eliminate the amount of decisions during these stages, then Landr is your tool. Create a track, upload it to Landr, have them distribute it, and go back to the studio.

Cloudbounce is more of a no-thrills solution that requires a bit more work.

You’ll spend more time customising the master, and you won’t be able to distribute or promote the track directly through the platform.

However, Cloudbounce is, in our opinion, the best solution if you’re interested exclusively in the quality of the mix.

It gives you way more style and mixing options, even allowing you to send it to a very reputable studio in case you’re not satisfied with the cloudbounce version.

eMastered vs Landr Online Mastering Service Comparison

Our final comparison is between Landr and eMastered. We got asked by one of our readers to compare the two, so we thought we’d give eMastered a try and see how it stacks up. Here are our thoughts:

eMastered offers more control over the mix, with 6 controls and the option to use a reference for mastering. However, the Landr AI is, in our opinion, superior a producing a clean and loud track.

When it comes to pricing, Landr starts at a way lower price point, almost a third of eMastered. This is for the basic subscription though. The advanced Landr sub is still cheaper, but the Pro will be slightly more expensive.

With that in mind, we choose Landr as the overall winner for BEST Online Mastering Service.

How much should mastering cost?

Mastering budgets live in a spectrum. A master from a top shelf studio will set you back several thousand dollars, whilst there are online mastering tools that are as cheap as 19$. But how should you decided how much to spend?

Like most things in life, you roughly get what you pay for. However, for a very small investment, you can get your track sounding pretty good, even radio quality. By very small investment, we mean under 100$, through an automated service such as one of the ones listed above. This represents the best return on your investment. If you’re uploading your track to youtube, or a social network such as instagram or facebook, a lot of the quality will be lost anyway.

And if you’re a professional musician, who expects to have their songs played on the radio or needs high fidelity masters, you should be ready to spend a few hundred dollars in a studio such as Abbey Road, who now offers an online mastering service.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it folks! Our favourite Online Mastering Services. If you made this far, we’re sure you’re ready to bite the bullet and try out one of the services on this list. At the end of the day, most services offer a free master as a trial, so you don’t have much to loose. And as always, if you have any experience with any of the softwares in the list, post your thoughts below!

The Best Amp Simulator VST – Our Top 8 Choices [2021]

Editor’s Note: In this article, we’ll go into the best amp simulator VST plugins in the market as of 2021. If you’re looking for the summarised version, check out the table below, for a full breakdown, read on. Please keep in mind that this article is constantly updated so make sure you bookmark it for future reference.

If you are on a mobile device, this table might seem broken. Make sure you scroll to the right to see all the products and scroll inside the cells to see all the contents in them.

If you just narrowed it down yourself to Guitar Rig versus Amplitube, we have a very popular article on this here on iDesignSound.

Product
Amps simulated
Price
Editor’s Choice
Positive Grid Bias FX 2
Over 100. Check full list here Under 100$CHECK PRICE
Overloud TH3 Over 200. Check full list here 200$ to 300$CHECK PRICE
IK Multimedia Amplitube 5 145 different amp sims. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 7 amps, 27 cabinets, 54 effects. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Ignite Amps – Emissary Only one FREE
UA FENDER 55 Only one 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Studio Devil Amp Modeler Pro 15 different amp sims, 32 cabinets, distortion, compressor, eq and more. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Line 6 Helix Native 60+ amps, 30+ cabinets, 100+ effects. All in one solution for guitarists. Full list here 300$ to 400$CHECK PRICE

Whatever musical direction you’re taking, there’s a high chance you’ll be using at least some distortion. This effect was popularized back in the old days by blues and rock ‘n’ roll guitar players, who sometimes even damaged their equipment to get this tone.

Luckily for us today, achieving distortion is not that hard, and there are plenty of safe and affordable ways of doing it. Of course, the first association is often the guitar-oriented music, but great-sounding distortion can be found even in electronic music.

Even EDM musicians resort to using Amp Simlator VSTs, actual distortion pedals or guitar-related gear.

But if we’re talking about music production, mixing, and working in any DAW, it’s definitely easier and way more practical to rely on plugins. Sometimes, you can get some pretty great guitar tones, for whatever purposes, by using some great amplifier simulation plugins.

Whether you’re a guitar player, bassist, DJ, instrumentalist, or even a vocalist – here are the best amp sims for you to check out. Although mostly focused on guitar-oriented music, you’re always free to experiment and use them for other purposes as well. Here it goes.

Positive Grid – Bias FX 2 – Our choice for BEST Amp Simulator VST

A new amp simulator by Positive Grid, the Bias FX 2 amp sim brings a whole universe of options in creating one’s tone. On the other hand, the best thing here is the price. Sure, it’s the cheapest offering in the list, but it’s the best because it can do just about everything that the others can do for a fraction of the price.

The Positive Grid Bias FX 2 Amp Simulator VST is not a product focused on limited types of tones and musicians.

The newest in the Bias amp series brings an abundance of different amps, cabinet simulations, pedals, and microphones, all extremely realistically representing the respective models that they’re imitating.

You should know that if you can spare more cash, there is an Elite version and also a Pro one available.

There’s a wide variety of high gain amps for our metalhead readers, as well as a bunch of experimental effects to get your creative juices flowing.

Talking about amps and cabinets, Positive Grid teamed up with Celestion to bring digital replicas of the legendary speakers found in many of the prestigious cabinets. You can check the full list of amps here.

Overall, the Bias FX 2 brings some pretty advanced stuff with a surprisingly simple operation, making our favorite amp sim in the market right now. It comes as a great option for any level of playing and musicianship. Even beginners will find it easy to use, and the Bias amp can be a great way for them to get acquainted with the world of guitar amps and pedals.

It also provides a free demo if you are not sure you want to switch to a paid Amp Simulator VST.

Check out the video review below:

Overloud – TH3 – Simple but Effective Amp Simulator VST

Overloud’s TH3 amp simulator and plugin works in a similar way compared to the Bias, with a bunch of amp, cabinet, pedal, and mic models.

When it comes to guitars, there are 89 different amps, as well as 50 cabinets. Bass players, however, don’t have that many options, since there are only 4 bass amplifier models and 2 bass cabinet models.

Going over to the pedals and other effects, there are 77 different emulations to choose from. The choice of microphones is decent, with 18 different models and the possibility to choose up to 4 mics per one cabinet.

In total, the Overloud TH3 puts 1000 different presets on the table that will help you get great amp simulations right out of the box.

What’s more, Overloud collaborated with some of the famous amp brands, including Randall, to recreate their guitar tones.

Ignite Amps – Emissary – Our Free Choice for Amp Simulator VST

Ignite Amps have a few interesting solutions for amp simulators, all of them giving some really solid tones, both for Clean and Distorted situations. The one we found worth mentioning on this list is the Emissary plugin, a super fun high gain amp.

Although focusing on just one amp model, the Ignite Amps – Emissary still provides a solid amount of possibilities and great tube-oriented modern metal tones.

The physical amp that it replicates is also called Emissary and was made by Ignite for Ryan Huthnance. It may not be as versatile as some of the other plugins here, but its strength lies in a very realistic representation of this tube amp.

It has two channels, Clean and Drive, along with standard controls and some additional switches for additional EQ shaping. And the best part?

It’s free! Make sure you also check out our 400+ Mega List of FREE VST Plugins.

IK Multimedia – AmpliTube 5 – Our Value Choice.

Made by IK Multimedia, AmpliTube has been around for quite some time now. The fifth instalment in the series takes things to a whole new level, with some of the modern guitar heroes expressing their admiration for this plugin. They also did a major overhaul of the user interface, making it scalable now and optimised for Retina displays. Also you can now do parallel processing.

Amplitube 5 Amp Simulator VST brings an abundance of great amps of all the different eras of modern music, stompbox models, cabinet models, mic models, as well as possibilities to create intricate and non-linear signal chains.

Things get pretty interesting with the virtual microphone and cabinet placement, providing some very realistic-sounding amplifier tones. You can place microphones in virtual 3D settings, which is a pretty exciting feature.

We have a very nice article that compares Amplitube to Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig Pro and we recommend you read it here.

Universal Audio – Fender 55 Tweed Deluxe Amp Simulator VST

Now, this plugin is a little different. First off, it focuses on just one amp which, expectedly, limits its versatility and leaves you with not many options. However, this was actually Universal Audio’s intention, to have just one amp and recreate it as realistically as possible.

The piece in question is Fender’s good old vintage gem, the ’55 Tweed Deluxe. This plugin was done in collaboration with Fender, who helped them out in digitally recreating this amp’s legendary circuitry. It may have somewhat of a narrow use, mostly those who are looking for those sparkly vintage-oriented blues tone.

But the recreation is just astoundingly realistic, coming very close to the original. Take the good old Tweed Deluxe and mic it up with different microphone simulations.

Studio Devil – Amp Modeler Pro VST

Although intended for guitars, the Amp Modeler Pro by Studio Devil will also give great amp models, distortions, and other effects for electronic music makers as well.

There are about 15 different preamps that come with it, 32 cabinets, plenty of different pedals and rack-mounted effects, as well as different controls and elaborate EQs.

It’s a somewhat cheaper option compared to the other entries on this list, although it definitely manages to convincingly reproduce classic and modern amplifier tones.

Native Instruments – Guitar Rig 6 Amp Simulator

October 2020 update: Native Instruments just announced the new version of Guitar Rig 6. Guitar Rig 6 comes with a new interface, pictured below, more effects, and new AI tech. It’s been almost 5 years since the latest update to guitar rig, so the expectations were high within the music production community, and in our opinion, the new version lives up to the hype.

The first thing you’ll notice with Guitar Rig 6 is it’s brand new interface. It’s looking way cleaner and simpler to use. In addition, 16 new effects were added, including the following softube amps: RC24, RC48, CV2A, VC2A, VC76, and CC160.

All in all, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 is one of the most diverse guitar amp simulators at the moment, with a great workflow and a very nice sound.

At the same time, it’s very accessible and is one of the best options for beginners who want to learn more about amplifiers, cabinets, pedals, and other effects and units.

Comparable to AmpliTube and Bias products, there’s a fair amount of amp and cabinet simulations with more than 50 effects and an option to use up to 8 different microphone models on one cabinet at the same time.

This is one of the Native Instrument’s most popular products and does well in comparison to Amplitube 5.

Line 6 Helix Native – Our High End Choice

Last but not least, we have the Line 6’s Helix Native.

This is a great model to get that vintage rock sound, perhaps even the best amp simulator on this list. It’s priced on the high-end though and not exactly beginner friendly, so unless you have some experience under your belt, we’d recommend trying out an easier to use guitar amplifier simulator such as the Bias FX 2.

However, if you do know what you’re doing, the Line 6 is a great piece of software. It includes over 100 effects and 60 amps, including some of the legendary amps used by Hendrix et al (Mesa Boogie, etc).

If you’d like to have a go at the Helix Native Amp Simulator VST, Line 6 does offer a 15 day free version.

Final Thoughts and Overall Winner

And there you have it, the very best amp simulator available for purchase right now. Combined, they represent thousands of amps, cabinets, and stompboxes.

So take your time, read about the amps offered by each, and make your decision. If you’re looking for an expert opinion we’d go with the Positive Grid Bias FX 2 because you’re just getting A LOT for what it costs. Still, you are good with any of the Amp Simulator VST products listed in this article.

Rock on!

400+ Best Free VSTs by Category [2021]

Yes, you read that right- 400 VST plugin tools completely free of charge (Audiounit versions for Mac OS are also available).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our list for best FREE VSTs is continually updated, so make sure you bookmark this page for future reference and share it with your friends.

We’ve spent countless days digging through the web to find the very best free plugins – both VST and AU/Audio Unit. We found more than 400 free VSTs of all types, including one VST whose sole purpose is to crash your DAW.

👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

We did our best to group these plugins by category, but some VSTs were simply impossible to classify. This list includes effects too, but if you’re looking for a list of the best vst SYNTHS, you can find it here.

But enough talk, without further ado, here is our list:

Best Free Amp Simulator VST

Traditionally used to emulate that vintage guitar sound that is unique to some old school amps, amp simulators can also be used with other instruments to achieve a unique sound.

Interested in more AMP SIMULATION? Then check out our list of BEST AMP SIMULATORS ON THE MARKET.

Below are our favorite free amp sim vsts. Blue Cat’s and Voxengo’s free amp simulators are some of the highlights.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Black Rooster Cypress TT-15 Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Free Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
LePou Amp Suite Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Nick Crow 8505 Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Boogex Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance  bx_rockrack V3 Player Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Audio Ace Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps Emissary Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
U-he Protoverb Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Boogex Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tube Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
ADHD Audio Tools Levelling Tool Level Amp DOWNLOAD

Best Free Autopanner VST

Manually changing the pan knobs is so last year. These plugins are free and will add some cool effects to your mix effortlessly.

Also you should check our list of BEST Rent-to-own VST plugins here in case you want to get a lot of VSTs but are strapped for cash.

Our favorite?
Well, PanCake is pretty cool.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Cable Guys Pancake 2 Autopanner DOWNLOAD
Melda MAutopan Autopanner DOWNLOAD

Best Free Bass Instrument VST

Bass VSTs nowadays can be anything from 808s to Upright Jazz.

Below, in no particular order, you’ll find a huge variety of bass sounds. Some come with interfaces, others don’t.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Ample Bass P Lite Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ample Sound Ample Bass P LITE II Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Steinberg Model E Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Twin Bass Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD


Best Free Bitcrusher VST

Bitcrushers are all the trend right now. And to be honest, they’re not that hard to program.

If you want to dive straight into world class VST SYNTHS (not free), here is our own list of BEST SYNTH PLUGINS right here.

Also, our list of BEST FM SYNTH Plugins is handy.

The plugins outlined below will give you some really good glitchy lo-fi sounds- for free, of course.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Xfer DeltaModulator Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
Tritik KrushBitcrusher DOWNLOAD
TAL-Bitcrusher Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
MDA Degrade Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
Bittest Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD

Best Free VST Bundle

This section contains no one type of VST. Instead it aggregates all bundles.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat Audio Bundle DOWNLOAD
MFreeFXBundle Bundle DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-ins Pack II Bundle DOWNLOAD
Native Instruments Komplete Start Bundle DOWNLOAD
Snap Heap Bundle DOWNLOAD

Best Free Chorus VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Acon Digital Multiply Chorus DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Chorus Chorus DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Chorus WS-1 Chorus DOWNLOAD
Multiply Chorus DOWNLOAD
TAL-Chorus-LX Chorus DOWNLOAD
Xfer Dimension Expander Chorus DOWNLOAD


Best Free Compressor VST

A compressor is a must have plugin for any producer or engineer.

Fortunately, some of the free plugins we’ve listed below are pretty much at the same level of the state of the art paid plugins made by waves and others.

Our favorites are the Density mkIII and the Klanghelm MJUC Jr.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Acustica Tan Compressor DOWNLOAD
Audio Damage Rough Rider 2 Compressor DOWNLOAD
FXPansion DCAM FREECOMP Compressor DOWNLOAD
Beatskillz MAX1 Compressor DOWNLOAD
DC1A Compressor DOWNLOAD
Density mkIII Compressor DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-COMP 87 Compressor DOWNLOAD
Feedback Compressor II Compressor DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm MJUC Jr. Compressor DOWNLOAD
Melda MCompressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
ReaXcomp Compressor DOWNLOAD
Stereo Bus Compressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
ThrillseekerLA Compressor DOWNLOAD
UltraComp Compressor DOWNLOAD
Vladg Molot Compressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
Xfer OTT Compressor DOWNLOAD

Best Free Delay and Echo VST

Another essential plugin to have in your library.

Once again, the free options are almost as good as the paid ones. Voxengo Tempo Delay 2.0. is the pick of the litter for us.

Voxengo Tempo Delay 2.0.

Maker: Voxengo
Features: Filter section, Tremolo section, Delay signal panning, Stereo processing, 64-bit floating point processing, Preset manager, Undo/redo history, A/B comparisons, Contextual hint messages, All sample rates support, Zero processing latency,
Our Rating: 4.6/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Delay Studio KVR12 Delay DOWNLOAD
E-phonic Tape Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Delay Studio Delay DOWNLOAD
Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Musical Entropy Spaceship Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Delay Studio Delay DOWNLOAD
PPD Echobox Echo DOWNLOAD
Puremagnetik Driftmaker Delay DOWNLOAD
TAL-DUB-III Delay DOWNLOAD
Tempo Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Valhalla Freq Echo Echo DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tempo Delay 2 Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tempo Delay Delay DOWNLOAD

Best Free Distortion VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MBitFun Distortion DOWNLOAD
Melda MWaveFolder Distortion DOWNLOAD
Temper Distortion DOWNLOAD

Best Free Drum VST

My mother always told me “march to the beat of your own drum”, but I guess she was wrong, because I found a bunch of really good free drum vsts.

You should also check out this cool drum plugin by Loopcloud here.

Amongst them, is the T.REX 606, a classic sound that could have easily cost hundreds of dollars, but for some reason is free:

Roland T.REX 606

Maker: Max Project
Features: 7 samples, Master volume, Reverb.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Alan Vista Cymbalistic Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Alan Vista Royotoms Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Alexis D-Four Drum Sampler DOWNLOAD
AREX 2011 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ample Cloudrum Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
AudioSpillage MiniSpillage Drum Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
BeatSkillz Beat Factory Drums Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Decomposer Sitala Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Drumatic 3 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dub Turbo DrumTroop Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Elektronic Sound Lab SL Drums 3 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Melda MDrummer Small Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Mix Project T.Rex 606 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
MT Power Drumkit Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
MT Power Drumkit 2 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Real Drum Samples Line of Legends Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Sean Pandy Drums Multi Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
SimpleRecorder DjinnDrum Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Steven Slate Drums SSD5 Free Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Studio Linked Drum Pro Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Teragon Kick Maker Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Dynamic Processor VST

Are you processing your own voice? Then why not check out this list of BEST MICROPHONE ARMS AND STANDS listed on Amazon.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
The Monster Extreme Dynamic Processor Dynamic Processor DOWNLOAD

Best Free EQ VST

We all need some balance in our lifes. And so do our mixes, that’s why you should definitively download a free EQ plugin.
Our favorite here is TDR Nova by Tokyo Dawn Records.

Tokyo Dawn Records- TDR Nova

Maker: Tokyo Dawn Records
Features: Parametric equalization, Dynamic equalization, Frequency selective compression, Multi-band compression, Wideband compression.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Bee-Happy 550 EQ DOWNLOAD
Black Rooster VHL-3C EQ DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Triple EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-EQUA 87 EQ DOWNLOAD
GEQ Graphic EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps PTeq-X EQ DOWNLOAD
Melda MEqualizer EQ DOWNLOAD
MEQ EQUALIZER EQ DOWNLOAD
N6 Paragraphic Equalizer EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Elysia Niveau Filter EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance SPL Free Ranger EQ DOWNLOAD
TDR Nova EQ DOWNLOAD
TDR Slick EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Overtone GEQ EQ DOWNLOAD

Best Free Filter VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Filter Bank Filter DOWNLOAD
Melda MBandPass Filter DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_cleansweep Filter DOWNLOAD
Bark of Dog filter DOWNLOAD
TAL-Filter Filter DOWNLOAD
TAL-Filter-2 Filter DOWNLOAD
u-he Triple Cheese Filter DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Overtone GEQ EQ DOWNLOAD

Best Free Flanger VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s Flanger Flanger DOWNLOAD
Melda MFlanger Flanger DOWNLOAD

Best Free Frequency Analyzer VST

Voxengo SPAN

Maker: Voxengo
Features: Stereo, mid-side, surround spectrum analyzer, Stereo correlation meter, RMS, true peak level and clipping detector, EBU R128 LUFS/LU metering, Preset manager.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst Frequency Analyser DOWNLOAD
SPAN Frequency Analyser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Fuzz Pedal VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Audio Damage Fuzz Plus 3 Fuzz Pedal DOWNLOAD

Best Free Gate VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Bob Perry Gate Gate DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-GATE 87 Gate DOWNLOAD

Best Free Glitch VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Glitchmachines Fracture Glitch DOWNLOAD
Glitchmachines Hysteresis Glitch DOWNLOAD


Best Free Granular Effect VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Eugene Yakshin Ribs Granular Effect DOWNLOAD

Best Free Guitar VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ample Guitar M Lite II Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD
DSK Dynamic Guitars Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD
Native Instruments Guitar Rig Player Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD


Best Free Instrument Tuner VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Algae Software Tune it! Instrument Tuner DOWNLOAD

Best Free Limiter VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Eareckon FR-LIMIT 87 Limiter DOWNLOAD
Diablo Lite Soft Limiter DOWNLOAD
George Yohng W1 Limiter Limiter DOWNLOAD
Limiter №6 Limiter DOWNLOAD
LVC Audio ClipShifter Limiter DOWNLOAD
Melda MAGC Limiter DOWNLOAD

Best Free Mastering VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
AAMS (Auto Audio Mastering System) Mastering DOWNLOAD
You should also check out our here

You should also check out our article on online mastering services here.

Best Free Orchestral VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Alan Vista Chau Gongs Orchestral Percussion Instrument DOWNLOAD
Versilian Studios Chamber Orchestra 2 Community Edition Orchestral Synth DOWNLOAD

Best Free Oscilloscope VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MOscilloscope Oscilloscope DOWNLOAD
Melda MStereoScope Oscilloscope DOWNLOAD

Best Free Overdrive Pedal VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Mercuriall Greed Smasher Overdrive Pedal DOWNLOAD

Best Free Phase Distortion VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Extent of the Jam Digits 2 Phase Distortion DOWNLOAD

Best Free Phaser VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s Phaser Phaser DOWNLOAD
Melda MFreeformPhase Phaser DOWNLOAD
Melda MPhaser Phaser DOWNLOAD
SupaPhaser Phaser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Piano Instrument VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
DSK The Grand Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Keyzone Classic Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Piano One Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Sound Magic Piano One Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Pitch Correction VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Auburn Graillon Free Pitch Correction DOWNLOAD
Melda MAutoPitch Pitch Correction DOWNLOAD

Best Free Audio Player VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Applied Acoustics Systems AAS Player Player DOWNLOAD

Best Free Reverb VST

Valhalla Supermassive

Maker: Valhalla
Features: Galactic sound, Pitch warping, Modulation, Shelving eq, Presets that sound great out of the box.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ambience Reverb DOWNLOAD
epicVerb Reverb DOWNLOAD
Valhalla Supermassive Reverb DOWNLOAD
Melda MConvolutionEZ Reverb DOWNLOAD
OldSkoolVerb Reverb DOWNLOAD
Smartelectronix Ambience Reverb DOWNLOAD
TAL-Reverb 2 & 3 Reverb DOWNLOAD
TAL-Reverb-4 Reverb DOWNLOAD

Best Free Saturation VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Creative Intent Temper Saturation DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm IVGI Saturation DOWNLOAD
Melda MSaturator Saturation DOWNLOAD
Softube Saturation Knob Saturation DOWNLOAD
Wave Arts Tube Saturator Vintage Saturation DOWNLOAD

Best Free String Synth VST

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
2getheraudio Cheeze Machine String Synth DOWNLOAD

Best Free Saxophone VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
DSK Saxophones Saxophone Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Spectral Analyzer VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MAnalyzer Spectral Analyser DOWNLOAD
Voxengo AnSpec Spectrum Analyser DOWNLOAD
Voxengo SPAN Spectrum Analyser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Stereo Width Control VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
A1StereoControl Stereo Width Control DOWNLOAD
Polyverse Wider Stereo Width Control DOWNLOAD
Aegean Music Doppler Dome Stereo Effect DOWNLOAD

Best Free Stompbox VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ignite Amps ProF.E.T. Stompbox DOWNLOAD

Best FREE Synth Instrument VST

Welcome to the most popular category of this article.

A good synth can make or break a song, and you’d be surprise how far a free synth can go.

A great example is Synth1 by Daichi Labs. Artists such as Noisia have confessed to using it extensively and it sounds just amazing. Check for yourself:

Synth1

Maker: Ichiro Toda
Features: 2 Oscillators, FM modulation, ring modulation, sync, modulation envelope. 4 types of filters, distortion. 2 LFOs (synchronized with host). Arpeggiator (synchronized with host). Tempo delay (synchronized with host), stereo chorus/flanger. Legato mode, portamento. 16 notes polyphony. 128 presets.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
2getheraudio Cheeze Machine String Synth DOWNLOAD
Lyra 8 Organismic Synthesizer Atmospheric Synth DOWNLOAD
Ample Sound Cloudrum Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Charlatan Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Audjoo Helix Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
DCO-6 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
BIGROOMKIXSYNTH Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Blamsoft VK-1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Bruce Sutherland JuceOPLVSTi Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dead Duck Deducktion Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dexed Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Full Bucket FB-3300 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Full Bucket ModulAir Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ichiro Toda Synth1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Matt Tytel Helm Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Metric Halo MH Thump Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
MPT Deep House Synth Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Muon Tau Bassline Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
NUSofting Sinnah Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Plogue Alter/Ego Voice Synth DOWNLOAD
Seaweed Audio Fathom Mono Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Soca Labs PAPU Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Synister SYNISTER Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Synth1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
SynthMaster Player Free Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
TAL Vocoder Vocal Synth Vocoder DOWNLOAD
Tunefish 4 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Tyrell N6 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Vember Audio Surge Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Wavosaur VST Speek Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Text Editor

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MNotepad Text Editor DOWNLOAD

Best Transient Shaper

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Auburn Couture Free Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD
Flux BitterSweet v3 Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD
Diablo Lite Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD

Best Tremolo

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Adam Monroe Tremolo Tremolo DOWNLOAD
PechenegFX Tremolo Tremolo DOWNLOAD

Best Trigger Gate

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
A1TriggerGate Trigger Gate DOWNLOAD

Best FREE Tuner VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MTuner Tuner DOWNLOAD

Best Uncategorized Plugins

These are plugins that we could not categorized or still haven’t had the time to use and assign a category.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
AquesTone 2 DOWNLOAD
Bark of Dog DOWNLOAD
BitterSweet DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-ins Pack II DOWNLOAD
Boogex DOWNLOAD
BuzMaxi3 DOWNLOAD
bx_solo DOWNLOAD
bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
Clip Shifter DOWNLOAD
Correlometer DOWNLOAD
dbVU DOWNLOAD
DC1A DOWNLOAD
Dexed DOWNLOAD
discoDSP OB-Xd DOWNLOAD
dominion DOWNLOAD
Doppler Dome DOWNLOAD
Double MS DOWNLOAD
dpMeter 4 DOWNLOAD
Fine Cut Bodies La Petite Excite DOWNLOAD
Flux Stereo Tool v3 DOWNLOAD
Forbice DOWNLOAD
Free Ranger DOWNLOAD
Grind Machine DOWNLOAD
HOFA SYSTEM Basic DOWNLOAD
http://www.airwindows.com/ DOWNLOAD
https://sonic.supermaailma.net/plugins DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps NadIR DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps SHB-1 DOWNLOAD
IK Multimedia Syntronik FREE DOWNLOAD
ISOL8 DOWNLOAD
IVGI DOWNLOAD
iZotope Vinyl DOWNLOAD
iZotope Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm DC1A DOWNLOAD
KOMPLETE Start DOWNLOAD
Kx-Polym-CSE DOWNLOAD
LePou LeCab 2.0 DOWNLOAD
Leveling Tool DOWNLOAD
Lisp DOWNLOAD
lkjb Luftikus DOWNLOAD
LMC-1 Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
LoudMax DOWNLOAD
Luftikus DOWNLOAD
Marvel GEQ DOWNLOAD
MAX 1 DOWNLOAD
MDSP Smart Elecontronix Livecut Beat Chopper DOWNLOAD
Melda MChannelMatrix DOWNLOAD
Melda MComb DOWNLOAD
Melda MFreqShifter DOWNLOAD
Melda MLoudnessAnalyzer DOWNLOAD
Melda MNoiseGenerator DOWNLOAD
Melda MRing Modulator DOWNLOAD
Melda MTremolo DOWNLOAD
Melda MUtility DOWNLOAD
Melda MVibrato DOWNLOAD
Melda MWaveShaper DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Cab DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Tubes Creamer 808 DOWNLOAD
MHorse DOWNLOAD
Midside Matrix DOWNLOAD
Minimojo DOWNLOAD
MJUC jr. DOWNLOAD
ML PG8X DOWNLOAD
Molot DOWNLOAD
Mono/Fury DOWNLOAD
MrRay73 DOWNLOAD
MrTramp2 DOWNLOAD
MS Controller DOWNLOAD
MSED DOWNLOAD
MultiInspectorFree DOWNLOAD
mvMeter2 DOWNLOAD
Nabla DOWNLOAD
niveau filter DOWNLOAD
Nova-67P DOWNLOAD
OBXD DOWNLOAD
Ohm Force SymptOhm PE DOWNLOAD
One Small Clue Grace DOWNLOAD
OrilRiver DOWNLOAD
Overtone GEQ DOWNLOAD
Ozone Imager DOWNLOAD
PanCake 2 DOWNLOAD
Panipulator DOWNLOAD
Phutura DOWNLOAD
PitchedDelay DOWNLOAD
Pitchproof DOWNLOAD
Plogue Sforzando DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx Bx_solo DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
preFIX DOWNLOAD
Proximity DOWNLOAD
PTEq-1a DOWNLOAD
Puremagnetik Expanse DOWNLOAD
QRange DOWNLOAD
R2R DOWNLOAD
ReFine DOWNLOAD
Retro Boy DOWNLOAD
Retro Delay DOWNLOAD
REVIBER DOWNLOAD
Revival DOWNLOAD
Rough Rider & FuzzPlus DOWNLOAD
S.L.A.X DOWNLOAD
S3O DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Scratch it! DOWNLOAD
SCS Channel DOWNLOAD
SEQ Classic EQ DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Audio SGA1566 DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Code Red Free DOWNLOAD
SIM3X DOWNLOAD
SlickEQ DOWNLOAD
SlickHDR DOWNLOAD
Sound Delay DOWNLOAD
SPAN DOWNLOAD
SPAN DOWNLOAD
Spitfire Audio LABS DOWNLOAD
SQ8L DOWNLOAD
SSD5 DOWNLOAD
SSL X-Orcism Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
Stereo Touch DOWNLOAD
sTilt DOWNLOAD
Supercharger DOWNLOAD
SuperSpread DOWNLOAD
T-RackS 5 Custom Shop DOWNLOAD
TAL-Dub’s DOWNLOAD
TAL-Effects DOWNLOAD
TAL-NoiseMaker DOWNLOAD
TAL-Tube DOWNLOAD
TAL-Vocoder DOWNLOAD
TAN DOWNLOAD
TDR Kotelnikov DOWNLOAD
TDR Nova DOWNLOAD
TDR Proximity DOWNLOAD
TEQ Tilt EQ DOWNLOAD
The deputy Mark II DOWNLOAD
the fish fillets DOWNLOAD
Thomas Mundt Loudmax DOWNLOAD
Thrillseeker XTC DOWNLOAD
TinyQ DOWNLOAD
Transpire DOWNLOAD
Tube Amp DOWNLOAD
Tube Amp DOWNLOAD
Tune DOWNLOAD
Tunefish 4 DOWNLOAD
TX16Wx DOWNLOAD
TX16Wx Sampler DOWNLOAD
u-he Tyrell N6 DOWNLOAD
u-he Zebralette DOWNLOAD
U-NO-60 DOWNLOAD
UVI Workstation DOWNLOAD
VCV rack DOWNLOAD
Venom VB-303 DOWNLOAD
Vinyl DOWNLOAD
Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Correlometer DOWNLOAD
Voxengo MSED DOWNLOAD
VS Upright DOWNLOAD
Width Knob DOWNLOAD
Wind Chimes DOWNLOAD
XaKT DOWNLOAD
Xenakios PaulXStretch DOWNLOAD
Youlean Loudness Meter DOWNLOAD
Zebralette DOWNLOAD

Final Thoughts

And that’s it folks! If you’ve got any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below, or contact us. And remember, stay tuned on this article as there are constant updates!

The Best VST Synth [2021] – Tested and Compared

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our list for best VST synth is continually updated, for a summarised version of the current best plugin money can buy, check the table below. Quickie: The best VST Synth in our oppinion is Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Synth
Features
Rating / Price Range
Omnisphere 2
  • Over 14 000 presets,
  • 57 FX Units,
  • 8 LFOs, 12 Envelopes,
  • compatible with over 30 hardware synths, and much more.
5
$$$
CHECK PRICE
Arturia Pigments 2
  • Very intuitive and extensive modulation matrix,
  • Granular synthesis,
  • Built-in sequencer,
  • Best VST right now for learning synthesis
4.9
$$
CHECK PRICE
Vengeance Sound VPS Avenger
  • 8 OSC Modules, more than 10 OSC transformation parameters,
  • 8 ARP Modules,
  • 8 Step SQ Modules,
  • 8 Mod Envelope Modules,
  • 8 Pitch Envelope Modules,
  • 4 AMP Modules,
  • 4 FILTER Modules,
  • 4 SHAPER Modules,
  • 4 LFO Modules,
  • Master Filter Module,
  • 6 free routable FX busses
4.8
$$
CHECK PRICE
WA Production Babylon
  • Over 2300 presets,
  • 257 waveforms,
  • multi-voice oscillation,
  • FM, RM & AM modulation,
  • modulation matrix, and much more.
    4.6
    $
    CHECK PRICE
    Xfer Serum
    • Wavetable editor,
    • over 450 presets,
    • 10 effects modules,
    • stack a single oscillator to up to 16 voices, and much more.
      4.8
      $$
      CHECK PRICE
      U-he Diva
      • Authentic, unrivaled analogue sound,
      • Built-in oscilloscope,
      • Sweet-sounding filters,
      • Multithreading support for modern CPUs.
        4.9
        $
        CHECK PRICE
        Sylenth1
        • 4 alias-free unison oscillators,
        • 8 unison voices per OSC,
        • up to 512 voices simultaneously,
        • 8 filters,
        • 2 ADSR envelopes and 2 LFO,
        • 2 extra amplitude envelopes,
        • velocity, keyboard track or modulation wheel,
        • 7 professional quality sound effects and an arpeggiator
        4.8
        $$
        CHECK PRICE
        Native Instruments Massive
        • 1 300 presets,
        • 85 wavetables,
        • advanced loop mode,
        • stepper mode,
        • performer mode, and much more.
        4.7
        $$
        CHECK PRICE
        Nexus 3
        • 20 modulation slots,
        • 2 799 presets,
        • 95 effect presets, and much more.
          4.5
          $$
          CHECK PRICE
          Soundspot Union
          • 300 presets,
          • 2 analogue-style oscillators,
          • 9 FX modules,
          • wavetable generator oscillator,
          • up to 32 voices per oscillator, and much more.
          4.7
          $$
          CHECK PRICE

          There’s nothing like making your own music from the comfort of your home studio.

          But whatever your goals are, whether you’re an amateur or a professional, there’s an abundance of ways for you to get some realistic and full-sounding virtual instruments.

          A great deal of attention is directed towards VST plugins, and these can be heard in a variety of genres, either as an addition to instrumental music or as lead virtual instruments on their own.

          They can also be great sound design tools, used to explore new textures and jam with a band or solo.

          #1 Best Overall VST Synth – Specstrasonics Omnisphere 2.0

          Its really hard to choose a best VST synth. At the end of the day, music is very subjective and the best VST will depend upon the musical genre and personal taste.

          However, if somebody pointed a gun at us and made us choose the absolute best overall option, we’d choose Omnisphere 2.

          Here’s why:

          • It’s the most versatile option in the list, with over 500 high quality analogue waveforms and digital wavetables available.
          • It’s compatible with an enormous amount of hardware.
          • Very simple interface
          • Over 14 000 sounds included + simple drag and drop sample loader
          • 58 FX units
          • Medium to high end price range

          But in addition to all that, omnishphere 2 just sounds good. Out of the box, the presets and sounds sound pretty great and can be used for EDM, hip-hop, and even rock.

          If you’re looking for a versatile synth to buy for life, Omnisphere 2 is our recommendation.

          Also, don’t forget to check our updated MEGA-LIST of 400+ FREE VST here.

          Check out the video below for a sample of the Omnishpere 2 sound:

          CHECK PRICE (Omnisphere 2)

          #2 Budget Choice VST Synth – Serum

          While we already mentioned it above as simply the budget choice, Xfer Serum does really come as one of the best VST synths of all time.

          Here’s why:

          • Very easy to use, with a huge focus on simple visual displays
          • Retails at a lower price point compared to competition
          • Industry standout oscillators, which produce cleaner sounds than other VSTs.
          • More than 140 wavetables to choose from. They all sound great!
          • Ability to make your own wavetable
          CHECK PRICE (Xfer Serum)

          The video below should give you a pretty good overview of how Serum works, as well as how it sounds:

          #3 Sylenth1 VST synth

          Then we have Sylenth1, another great soft synth VST that’s also used by some of the industry leading professionals these days.

          It can be heard in a lot of classic EDM hits these days, and we can understand why. It’s presets sound great for the genre.

          It might not be as versatile as Serum, but it still provides some fantastic presets. And just like Serum, it’s reasonably visual-oriented and easy to use. Plus it has THE BEST 303 emulation preset out there, very well fit for it’s plastic sounding oscillators.

          Note: Sylenth1 is also available as a rent-to-own plugin through splice.

          CHECK PRICE (Sylenth1)

          #4 Native Instruments Massive VST synth

          Then we would also like to mention Native Instruments Massive, a VST synth that found its way into the dubstep or bass music world. In fact, some argue that it’s a very foundation of the genre.

          And just like its name would suggest, the tones you can get from this synth are pretty massive. It also comes with great set of specialized high quality preset packs.

          If you are already on the Native Instruments ecosystem, this is a no brainer. Retailing at around 149$, we found this to be a great price/quality ratio as it really is one of the leading synths in the industry.

          CHECK PRICE (Native Instruments Massive)

          #5 Arturia Pigments 2 VST synth

          Oh boy do we love this. I mean, just look at it! Fire up a complex preset and see everything move.

          This is right now the go to learning synth and we highly recommend you to do so, even if you consider yourself to be advanced. Not only subtractive synth, but also granular and wavetable.

          Yes you have the option to load your own samples in it and yes there are effects and a sequencer too. So it is not only packed with features but also sounds extremely profound and intense. It is also MPE compatible so get your controller ready for this monster of a synth.

          CHECK PRICE (Arturia Pigments 2)

          Here is a demo of the patches, notice how playing style is important for this VST:

          VPS Avenger vs Xfer Serum

          If you’ve been making your music for a while now, you’re probably aware of both VPS Avenger and Xfer Serum as some of the most popular synths these days.

          So it’s pretty expected to see people still discussing which one of these is a better choice. Before we get into it, we need to point out that both are great synths. It’s just about what works better for you.

          With this said, some have pointed out that the Avenger runs better and is somewhat more comfortable to use, while the Serum got some lousy rep for glitches.

          On the other hand, Serum has a really great wavetable synthesizer, offering more versatility and possibilities in this regard compared to the Avenger, which has a wavetable size maximum of 256.

          Avenger, on the other hand, also has some more synth sources to choose from.

          But then again, you can do pretty much all of the same sounds in Xfer Serum.

          Overall, it comes down to what works best for you.

          You won’t go wrong with either of these, but it would be best to try them out first and see what fits your style of work.

          Here’s a quick video showing all the features and sounds of VPS Avenger:

          CHECK PRICE (VPS AVENGER)

          And here’s what you can expect from Serum:

          CHECK PRICE (Xfer Serum)

          We couldn’t finish this list without mentioning our #1 choice Omnisphere. Now on its second iteration, omnisphere has stood out due to its compatibility with an incredible amount of hardware. The new version comes with a new and improved Arpeggiator, over 50 FXs, and over 14 000 sounds.

          Omnisphere is often compared do Serum. We’ve down or own analysis of how the two compare in this post.

          CHECK PRICE (Omnispehere)

          Also check our list of favourite FM Synths here.

          Honorable mentions:

          Defiant WT is a fantastic new free VST synth, significantly upgraded in 2020.

          It might come as an excellent solution for those who just got into synths and want to try things out.

          But aside from that, it provides some superb synth tones and presets with its two analog oscillators and eight waveforms. So far, it’s only available for Windows.

          Roland came out with their new synth plugin in 2020, the digital version of the small TB-303 Bass Line produced back in the early 1980s.

          The idea behind the original product was to emulate and replace bass guitars, but it didn’t see much commercial success.

          However, the synth itself was pretty good, and this new synth plugin VST version does the old product some justice and will do wonders for those tight bottom-end tones you need in your music. Perfect for the fans of the vintage ’80s stuff.

          Nexus 3 came out in late November 2019 and was one of the most anticipated VST synths of the year.

          It is essentially an upgrade to Nexus 2, and the prices are lower for those who already own the previous version. Knowing how reFX did great on all the other stuff they did, including Nexus 2, we’re pretty confident that this brand new synth is worth it.

          CHECK PRICE (Nexus 3)

          Best Free Synths

          There is an abundance of great synths that you can get for free today. One of the examples is Dexed, made by Digital Suburban.

          The main idea behind this one was to have a complete digital replica of Yamaha’s legendary DX7 synth, made back in the 1980s.

          Dexed has been praised as one of the best FM-style VST synths of all time, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

          Then we have Togu Audio Line’s TAL-Elek7ro VST, very well-known for its simple layout and a high range of possibilities.

          Playing around with its oscillators and the wide-range LFO will feel like a breeze. It’s interesting how close it is to analog synths, especially because it’s completely free.

          MinimogueVA, made by Voltkitchen, is another excellent example of free synths that you can get your hands on these days. As its name suggests, it was designed to replicate the well-known Minimoog analog synth. If you’re into the 1970s vibe in your music, then this is the perfect solution for you. Just remember the good old tones that you could hear in songs by Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, and Stevie Wonder.

          Also worth mentioning is Ichiro Toda Synth1, which is a replica of the old Nord Lead 2 keyboard which came out in the 1990s.

          Funnily enough, this free plugin is pretty close to the original product, which is not exactly cheap if you stumble upon it these days.

          The plugin features two oscillators along with ring and FM modulation, sync, and modulation envelope. What’s also great is the fact that Toda is optimized Synth1 for slower CPUs.

          Final Thoughts

          We’ve decided to keep this list short and sweet, but there are hundreds of amazing synths on offer.

          We’ve kept our list focused on high end and free synths for electronic and pop music production, but there is a vast array of more niche focused plugins that are cheaper and pretty cool- guess we’ll keep them for another article.

          Thanks for reading and please leave any suggestions in the comment box below.

          Best Rent-to-own VST Plugins [2021]

          EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking for a summarised list of best rent-to-own VST plugins? Check the table below, with our selection of the four best rent-to-own services. Also please note that this list is constantly updated so bookmark it for later reference.

          If you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

          Name Plugins Included Cost per month Our Rating
          Editor’s Value Choice
          Splice Rent-to-Own
          49 plugins on offer. Including: Serum, Ozone 9, Arturia, Studio 1 Professional. Starts at 4.99$ per plugin.
          Option for a free 3 day trial.
          4.7/5
          CHECK OFFER
          Waves Subscription Over 200 waves plugins. to choose from.
          You will NOT OWN them at the end, you have to keep paying to access them.
          6.99$ for 16 plugins.
          9.99$ for 42 plugins.
          19.99$ for 60 plugins.
          4.9/5
          CHECK OFFER
          Reason+ Subscription First month FREE!
          Weekly sound packs
          70+ instruments and effects
          19.99$ 4.6/5
          CHECK OFFER
          Landr Rent-to-Own Lethal Synth
          Auto-tune
          9.99$ 4.1/5
          CHECK OFFER

          It’s really fascinating when you think how easy it is today to make your own home studio and be able to make solid music with it. What’s more, you can even set up a mobile studio with your laptop and an audio interface and take it anywhere with you to either record or just make your music. It’s something that opens up new possibilities and was unimaginable back in the old days.

          What’s also great is that you can even rent different plugins by using some handy services today.

          👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

          In this brief guide, we will be taking a closer look and explaining how so-called “rent-to-own” plugin services work, as well as some great products that you can get on them.

          Rent-to-own VST plugin system

          The whole idea is to have a service and a system that will allow you to rent plugins for a certain monthly price. But, as the name of this concept would suggest, if you rent these plugins long enough to pay for their full price, the product (or, in some cases, a bundle of multiple products) is yours.

          It’s the same principle we see on the housing market when you rent a home for a while, see if it fits your needs, and decide if you want to keep paying for it until you pay off the full price. You can just cancel any time you want.

          What’s really useful here is that you no longer need to deal with demos and all the annoying features that come with such them.

          And you don’t have to buy a full version after 30 days only to realize that you don’t really like this product 3 months after paying the full license price. Is there a plugin you think will help you in your creative endeavors? Try and rent it for a few months and see what the full product with all of its features is like.

          If you think you’ll need the plugin in the longterm, you can keep renting it until you pay off the full price. If you need it for some smaller tweaks and adjustments in a few of your songs, then rent it for a month or two.

          It really is that simple.

          NOTE: Waves had a rent to own service but it has been discontinued. Instead, they made it cheaper but removed the “own” part, so that you perpetually pay for the subscription.

          There are usually no extra charges and you pay around the same price in the end as you would for the plugin on the creator’s website. The plugins you can purchase via these services can be effects, synths, or any other different products, sometimes even entire Digital Audio Workstations.

          It’s especially useful if there’s a pricy plugin that you set your eyes on but can’t afford to pay the full price upfront. All of the best vst plugins, the ones used by the pros, are now available for anyone with a few extra dollars per month.

          With all this in mind, we’ll now go into some of the rent-to-own plugin services that you can find online.

          Splice Rent-to-own VST plugins

          Splice is one of the most famous services of this kind. On there, you can also buy royalty-free samples, get your hands on some of the plugins in the rent-to-own section, or even buy DAWs. Splice can either be used in the browser or via their specialized desktop app.

          This app allows you to open project files of a few different DAWs: Logic Pro, Ableton Live, GarageBand, or FL Studio.

          It also comes as an extremely useful service for collaborative projects, serving as sort of a GitHub for musicians. The rented plugins can be used in individual DAWs or within the app.

          Whether it’s plugins or any other services that they offer, you can purchase them with Splice credits. There are four pricing models for buying these credits, going from $7.99 per month up to $139.99 per year.

          At the moment, there are 49 plugins and DAWs to choose from. The list includes Ozone 9 Advanced compressor and EQ, Serum synth, Punchbox distortion and synth, and others. Some of these made our best vst synth list.

          Here are some of the plugins on offer at Splice rent-to-own VST plugins:

          Plugin NamePlugin Maker
          1. SerumXfer Records
          2. Ozone 9 AdvancediZotope
          3. VocalSynth 2iZotope
          4. Nectar 3iZotope
          5. Neutron 3 AdvancediZotope
          6. V Collection 7Arturia
          7. Studio One ProfessionalPreSonus
          8. Ozone 9 + Neutron 3 AdvancediZotope
          9. Decimort 2D16 Group
          10. MOVEMENTOutput
          11. PigmentsArturia
          12. RX 7 StandardiZotope
          13. PunchboxD16 Group
          14. Neutron 3 StandardiZotope
          15. Toraverb 2D16 Group
          16. Devastor 2D16 Group
          17. Ozone 9 StandardiZotope
          18. Ozone 9 + Neutron 3 StandardiZotope
          19. Circle²FutureAudioWorkshop
          20. ZoneAudiaire
          21. Regroover ProAccusonus
          22. ParallelsSoftube
          23. BeatformerAccusonus
          24. D16 FX BundleD16 Group
          25. NuxxAudiaire
          26. TekturonD16 Group
          27. AntresolD16 Group

          Waves Subscription (NOT OWNED)

          Waves.com is a service that sells an abundance of different plugins. There are over 200 plugins for any kind of studio work that you need: effects, synths, distortions, even specialized professional-level guitar plugins. Waves VST plugins are top class, trusted and recommended by almost everyone in the industry.

          Even if the service does not end with a full ownership of plugins, it is still worth noting on the list.

          These plugins and different software can be bought in bundles. There are three basic subscription models for bundles. Depending on the number of plugins that you want, they offer a Silver, Gold and Platinum package.

          If you feel that first you want to try music production with free products and then move to rent professional VST plugins, we have an extensive list here.

          Of course, you can just cancel any time before the subscription period ends and you’ll be charged for the last payment at the end of the billing cycle. What’s really great is that there are literally hundreds of plugins to choose from.

          You can also buy different product bundles straight away if you don’t feel like taking the subscription.

          Aside from these, Waves offer different educational courses, digital mixers, racks, and even some specialized hardware products.

          Reason+ Subscription (NOT OWNED)

          This one is new and interesting for most old-school producers like myself. Oh, Reason! We loved you, but now we don’t because we all love Ableton now. Reason was the… reason we started. It had all the flexible routing that we need, and the workflow that suited us best until something better appeared.

          We now Reason is back, and with a vengeance. If you already own Reason software, you will get 50% off the first year, which is great. For 19.99 per month you get not only plugins, but also the Reason stand-alone DAW and Reason Rack. Reason Rack is a plugin host (VST/AU/AAX) that you can insert into your own DAW of choice to access the main contents of this pack, which are 70+ plugins plus a lot of sound packs. These sound pack are always new and interesting and are updated weekly.

          The 70+ plugins contain all the stuff that Reason has ever made! Also, you will get access to everything that Reason will make in the future. The Reason+ companion app will automatically give you the recent updates, for both devices and sample libraries. And if you are not sure, you get the first month free of charge!

          Landr Rent-to-own VST Plugins

          With Landr, you can try out plugins and other products for 3 days completely free of charge. But the platform is also very well-known for its different trap beats and samples and also allows collaborative projects, kind of similar to the Splice model.

          Their main plugin offer is a synth called Lethal. This is a very versatile synthesizer plugin with around 50 GB of different sounds (with all expansions included), presets, and samples.

          The monthly rent-to-own price is $9.99 and you can stop it or cancel it at any time. Although it’s aimed for trap sounds, it comes really in handy for other genres as well. With Lethal, you can get any of the 24 different expansions, each specified for a certain style of music. These expansions, however, are charged separately.

          On display is also a very nifty auto-tune effect.

          Final Thoughts

          Investing in a good set of plugins for your music production setup can really have an impact on your sound. It used to be the case that the premium VSTs such as the ones sold by waves were only available for the professional studios, but fortunately along with technical innovation, plugin companies have been investing in business model innovation.

          The results are great for the bedroom producer. You can now go pro for only a few bucks a month. We hope this article has helped you choose a rent-to-own service. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment box below.

          The Best Mic Arms Reviewed and Compared [2021]

          If you’re building your own studio, it is of crucial importance to get good quality auxiliary gear like a nice microphone arm. It will give you the freedom and comfort you need to get your creations to the next level.

          Editor’s note: This list is always updated to always reflect the status of the market, so make sure you bookmark it and come back for your future purchases.

          If you are playing an instrument like guitar or piano/keyboards and want to record your voice, you really can’t skip the microphone arm. The characteristics of this device are very important, in order to get the best recording possible without vibrations and jitter. A good microphone arm is also providing a feel of quality, staying in the position you set it with no complications.

          And it’s not only about the rack-mounted effects, good computers or audio interfaces. You should never overlook the basic stuff, like having the very best mic arm you can.

          For other software tools that complement your instrument and voice, make sure you check our constant updating list of best VST synths to get some more sounds in your music.

          But the thing about boom microphone arms is that there are so many products to choose from these days that it’s getting hard to find the right one for you. We have selected the ones that are appealing for us, from Amazon’s current listings. There are actually three “winners”, one Budget Choice, which is about the cheapest you can get and still work with it fine, one Overall Choice and one Value Choice, the latter being the one you should get if you don’t have any special needs and can afford it.

          And if you are also in the market for a good microphone for podcasts and youtube, you should definitely check our rundown, comparison and reviews for BEST Microphone for Podcasts and Youtube here.

          Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

          Product Name Main Features Our Rating Price
          Editor’s Value Choice
          UPGRADED Neewer NW-35
          – Clamp Mount
          – Built in XLR Cable
          – Shock Mount
          – A lot of accesories
          – Holds up to 53oz / 1.5kg
          9.4 Arround 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Editor’s Budget Choice
          Regular Neewer NW-35
          – Clamp Mount
          – Built in XLR Cable
          – Shock Mount
          – Holds up to 53oz / 1.5kg
          9.2 Under 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Editor’s Overall Choice
          Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series
          – Spring-Loaded Articulating Arm
          – Holds 2. 4lbs/1. 1kg
          – 5/8” threads
          – Surface support 2. 17”/55mm Thickness
          9.5 Under 100$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Professional Choice
          K&M 23860 Professional Microphone Arm
          – Steel construction
          – Extremely good looking for Youtubers
          – 37″ maximul extension
          – Holds 3.2lbs/1.45kg
          9.9 Under 300$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Pyle Suspension Microphone Boom Stand Pro
          – Clamp Mount
          – Perfect for travel and quick setup.
          – 5/8 inch microphone threading and adapter
          – Integrated XLR cable
          – Can hold the Blue Yeti microphone
          8.7 Under 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          InnoGear Microphone Stand
          – Clamp Mount
          – Cable ties included
          – Shock Mount
          – Adapters for Blue Yeti and other models included
          8.7 Arround 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Rode NT1A Mic Stand with Pop Filter
          – Dual suspension springs
          – Clamp Mount
          – Comes with Pop filter
          – Compatible with most microphones
          – Holds up to 56oz / 1.6kg
          9.1 Under 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Heil Sound PL-2T
          – Clamp Mount
          – Holds up to 56oz / 1.6kg
          8.5 100$ to 150$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Blue Compass Tube-Style Arm
          – Clamp Mount
          – Built in cable management
          – Made specifically for the Blue Yeti
          8.9 Under 100$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE
          Knox Gear Microphone Suspension Arm
          – Clamp Mount
          – High weight tolerance, for heavy microphones
          – 5/8 to 3/8-inch thread adapter
          8.4 Under 50$
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE

          Over the last few years or so, we’ve seen the rise of famous YouTubers and it seems that many other people are trying their luck in this field.

          They, or at least the ones that aspire for greatness are using good microphones in order to sound great, especially on headphones where a bad quality microphone can simply ruin the viewer’s overall experience. Especially true for podcasts and content where only the voice is heard.

          But even a good microphone is not so good if it is not placed properly and if it not seated correctly on a firm surface. People use their hands for gestures and to manipulate other tools like the computer, to show the viewer’s their content, so it’s only logical to see the increased number of these products on the market.

          In order to make it easier for everyone, we decided to do some digging and find the best microphone stands out there. Please note that this list is continually updated in order to reflect current market status.

          Whether you’re doing regular studio work or are trying to find a perfect stand for your YouTube videos or podcasts, these will most definitely come in handy.

          So without further ado, here’s a breakdown of our favorite mic stands:

          #1 Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series [Editor’s Overall Choice]

          Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series at a Glance

          Price Range: $$
          Mic Compatibility: Standard 5/8”-27 Mic Threads for Connecting Most Podcast and Vocal Microphones, Including Shure SM7B, Shure MV7 Models
          Built in Cables Included: None, but it has a separate connection at the microphone end to prevent wear and tear on the mic connector.
          Our Score: 9.5
          Max Load Capacity: Spring-Loaded Articulating Arm with 2.4 lbs./1.1 kg Max Weight Capacity & 38.6“/980mm Max Extension
          Mounting Options: Mounts or Clamps to Desks, Tables & Similar-Sized Surfaces 2. 17”/55mm Max in Thickness
          Close Alternative Model:
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE

          After much deliberating, we’ve decided to award the Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series the title of best mic boom arm.

          3 main characteristics made us choose the Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series microphone arm:

          • Firstly and foremost it’s a sturdy and durable arm. The kind of arm that you buy once and own for life
          • Its simple design looks good in any setup. It’s light, but can hold up mics weighing up to 2.4lbs (39oz or 1.1 kg).
          • Its a professional grade mic arm at a relatively affordable price.
          • It does not have an integrated XLR cable, which at first sounds like a con and not a pro, but believe is, integrated XLR cables are ok until they stop working, then replacing them is a nightmare.

          Compared with some of the other models in this list, the ator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 Series microphone arm has more of a classic design, simple and timeless.

          If you want a more modern, robust design, check out the 3000 series from the same company.

          While the fact that there is no integrated cable may feel like an untidy solution to some, we found it provides way more flexibility and ease of use when switching up your setup and cables.

          All in all, it’s a quality boom arm that allows stable operation, full 360 degree rotation, and a solid vertical and horizontal reach.

          The Gator Frameworks Deluxe 2000 microphone arm is also fairly light, somewhere around 3.2 lbs./1.5 kg and it’s size is 22.25”/565mm (L), 7”/177mm (W), 1.63”/40mm (H).

          Overall, it’s a solid choice for mid-range podcast and streaming setups plus of course recording your voice while you play your instrument for tracks, demos, etc.

          The manufacturer’s website can be found here.

          Here’s a video review for this product line (including all three products, 1000 series, 2000 series, 3000 series):

          Also make sure to check our Amplitude versus Guitar Rig comparrison here.

          #2 Neewer NW-35 and Upgraded NW-35 microphone arms [Editor’s Budget and Value Choice]

          Neewer NW-35 at a Glance

          Price Range: $
          Mic Compatibility: Not compatible with Blue Yeti
          Built in Cables: XLR Male to Female.
          Our Score: 9.2
          Max Load Capacity:53oz / 1.5KG
          Mounting Options:
          Clamp
          Close Alternative Model:

          CHECK CURRENT PRICE

          This is somewhat of a cheaper product if you don’t feel like investing a lot of capital in a boom arm stand right away.

          Before we being our analysis, it is important to note that this mic arm is not compatible with the Blue Yeti mic.

          For Blue Yeti compatibility you should check our VALUE CHOICE, from the same company, the Neewer NW-35 UPGRADED. Plus, the UPGRADED version comes with a lot of accesories.

          The NW-35 can come in a few different bundles. One of the versions features an integrated XLR cable which definitely comes in handy.

          Overall, it’s a decently built boom arm that won’t fail on you and that will keep the microphone at the desired height.

          We found it’s swivel mount to be quite smooth when adjusting from side to side, which is great for long and live recordings.

          It comes with a solid table mounting clamp and a shock mount.

          In terms of cables, the Neewer NW-35 comes with a XLR male to female cable built into the tubes of the stand, which is great since it hides all cables, however, please note that if you plan to use your computer to record the audio, you’ll need to plugin in an audio interface to convert the XLR cable to USB.

          For this price, you’ll definitely be satisfied with the quality.

          #3 Pyle Suspension Microphone Boom Stand Pro PMKSH04

          Pyle PMKSH04 at a Glance

          Price Range: $
          Mic Compatibility: RØDE Microphones, Blue Yeti, and others compatible if bought with shock mount.
          Built in Cables Included: XLR Male to Female.
          Our Score: 8.7
          Max Load Capacity: 35oz / 1 kg
          Mounting Options: Clamp
          Close Alternative Model:
          CHECK CURRENT PRICE

          Another cheaper arm, the Pyle PMKSH04 is somewhat of a beginner to intermediate product that is a great solution for those looking for a budget friendly option.

          Nothing too fancy really, as it features that standard classic design with springs on the outside.

          However, it holds up well, the clamp is fairly solid, and it comes with a shock mount and a cable threaded through its construction.

          And even though it’s a light stand, it can hold the famous Blue Yeti microphone, which is not light.

          Those who use this boom arm are pretty satisfied with this Microphone Arm.

          The PMKSH04 has some great features for the price of around $30.

          And here is our post on Amp Simulator pedal comparisons.

          #4 InnoGear Microphone Stand

          Now, the InnoGear Mic Stand is a bit more serious.

          Even though it’s well-built and supports even some heavier microphones, it weighs only 3.6 pounds.

          What’s really great about this InnoGear microphone boom arm is that springs are inside of the square steel tube construction, and not the outside.

          This not only gives it great looks but also makes it very stable. You won’t have any trouble keeping balance with this one. The 5/8-inch thread adapter is also included with the stand. Plus it comes with cable ties.

          Pretty well-built, stable, flexible, and looks great.

          We have one minor complaint: The swivel mount doesn’t really work well.

          You have to loosen the screw of the base boom to adjust from left to right. Once you that it works fine though.

          #5 Heil Sound PL-2T Microphone Arm – Best Home Studio Option

          Heil Sound PL-2T is also another one of those arms with internal springs.

          Although the brand is not well known, this microphone arm is a good bang for the buck.

          One of its great features is that the top and the backplates can be removed for proper cable threading. It also comes with the standard C-clamp mount and can accept both shock mounts or 5/8-inch threaded clips.

          This boom arm can hold microphones of up to 3.5 pounds (slightly below 1.6 kilograms), which is pretty impressive.

          However, putting on just a little extra won’t do any harm either. It’s a fairly solid and stable piece that is relatively affordable.

          #6 Blue Compass Premium – Designer Option

          Up next, we have the Blue Compass Premium. It’s also an arm with both the springs and the cables hidden inside.

          However, this one is a bit more practical since it features simplified construction.

          This also gives it a very sleek design and allows you to keep things tidy.

          The Blue Compass Premium is intended for Yeti or any other professional broadcast microphones and is compatible with standard shock mounts.

          It allows full 360-degree rotation and a maximum horizontal reach of 32 inches. Since it has a very silent operation, it’s a popular boom arm for Twitch streamers and it’s fairly known within the YouTube creator community.

          #7 Knox Gear Microphone Suspension Arm

          Despite the affordable price, Knox Gear Microphone Suspension Arm stand is a pretty solid boom arm. Also it s a bit different than the rest due to its suspension arm design. We find in interesting and depending on your furniture setup, useful.

          It’s considered to be an entry-level product, but it’s proven to be useful thanks to its internal spring construction, and stability.

          The most impressive feature (and its strongest point) is the fact that it can hold microphones that weigh up to 5 pounds.

          If you want to have a decent boom arm for heavier microphones without busting a bank, you should definitely look into this one.

          However, it might be a bit of a downside that you have to attach the cable via velcro strips. On the up-side, it includes 5/8 to 3/8-inch thread adapter

          #8 K&M 23860 Best Professional Microphone Arm

          While significantly more expensive than the other stands on this list, the K&M 23860 is a fully professional microphone arm and represents the highest quality entry in this list.

          It might not be a famous brand, but it’s certainly a high-end piece and some of the biggest YouTubers have been using it for some time.

          It’s an all-tube steel stand with an XLR cable integrated into the construction.

          The reach is pretty impressive, up to 37 inches, and it easily holds up microphones of up to 3.2 pounds with perfect stability. It might get a bit pricy, well over $200, but it’s most definitely worth every penny if you want to go pro.

          #9 ON-STAGE MBS5000 microphone arm

          The on-stage MBS5000 is our go to mic boom for podcasts and broadcasting.

          From the products we tried, it was the best budget boom arm in terms of durability and build quality.

          With two springs, it allows to fix mics and other devices (such as tablets) of up to 3.5lbs.

          A common setup with this model is to buy a couple of them and have a tablet in one arm and a mic in the other.

          It comes with a 10′ XLR cable, so if your mic setup is UBS, beware that you will have to have some interface or digital converter to plug into your laptop.

          In terms of installation, the on-starage MBS500 comes with two options:

          • A C-Style clamp for surfaces up to 2″ thick
          • A flange mount for permanent fixtures

          It’s a pretty durable boom arm with square tubing, and in our opinion, well-worth the 50 bucks it costs.

          Final Thoughts on Microphone Arms

          Microphone stands are a relatively cheap piece of gear that can be a great addition for podcast production, or any kind of voice-over work.

          In our experience, the cheap mic boom arms tend to break easily, and we thus recommend going over the 100$ mark.

          However, this is up to you. If you’re a beginner looking to dip your toes in the podcasting world, the entry level options such as the Newer N35 are still a great option.

          As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

          The BEST Online Music Production Masterclass Course [2021]

          Investing in an online music production “masterclass” course is one of the best decisions you will make this year.

          This might seem like a bold statement, specially for those of you who have previously tried free courses or dabble around some youtube videos on production, but it’s the truth: Knowledge is more important than any piece of gear in your studio. Furthermore, enrolling in one of the below courses is nothing like doing a free course or watching youtube videos.

          These online music production masterclass courses allow you to follow a tried and tested structure devised by top producers and engineers, plus incentivises you to follow through, as you have money invested.

          Anyways, if you’re looking for a summarized version of this article, check out the below table with our favorite online music production courses, including our very own choice for the best online music production course. And if you are also looking for a music production laptop, we have a comparrison and test article with the top models here.

          Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

          Summarizing Table

          Course Name Cost Duration Main Focus Our Rating
          Editor’s Choice – Best Value
          Groove3
          Starts at under 50$
          – Over 20 000 hours of video,
          – Over 20 books.
          – Workflow,
          – Plug-Ins + DAWs,
          – Recording,
          – Production,
          – Mixing + Mastering.
          9.5/10
          Deadmau5 Masterclass
          Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total
          – 6 hours of video,
          – Assignments
          – Electronic Music Production,
          – Synths,
          – Music Business,
          – Mixing and Mastering,
          – Workflow.
          9.3/10
          Hans Zimmer Masterclass
          Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
          – 4.5 hours of video – Film Scoring,
          – Soundscapes,
          – Composing,
          – Industry, and More.
          8.7/10
          Timbaland Masterclass
          Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
          – 3 hours of video – Hip-hop Production,
          – Beat Making,
          – Inspiration and Workflow,
          – Industry and Motivation.
          8.5/10
          Point Blank Music School Online
          Under 150$
          CHECK PRICE
          – Huge subject diversity
          – Mixing/Mastering
          – Dj
          – Music Business
          9.6/10
          Udemy Music Production Courses
          Under 150$
          CHECK PRICE
          – 38 hours of video
          – each DAW has it’s own course
          – other specific topics have dedicated courses
          9/10
          EQ Fundamentals
          Under 50$
          CHECK PRICE
          – 2.5 hours of video,
          – PDRs,
          – Assignments
          – EQ,
          – Mixing + Mastering,
          – All Musical Genres
          9.2/10
          Berklee Online- Electronic Music Production
          Under 150$
          CHECK PRICE
          – 16 weeks – Electronic Music Production,
          – Vocal Recording,
          – Ableton Live.
          9.3/10

          Groove3 Online Music Production Course Review – Editor’s Choice

          • Music style: All
          • Financial Investment: Low
          • Duration: Over 20 000 hours of video + over 20 books. 1 077 Courses 17 979 Individual Tutorials.
          • Main DAW used: All DAWs available.
          • Our Rating: 9.5/10
          • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
          • Certificate upon completion: No

          PROS:

          1. High quality of content
          2. Content available on all formats and platforms: Video, books, Desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku.
          3. Very affordable on a month-to-month basis
          4. High quality instructors
          5. Most comprehensive library of learning resources

          CONS:

          1. Lack of focus
          2. Can be overwhelming

          We’ll start with our favorite online music production course: Groove3. What an absolute gold mine of music production knowledge.

          If you watched all of groove3’s videos back-to-back you’d take over 2 years to finish, probably much more, given that they update the content regularly.

          There’s tutorials on all topics you can image, including all DAWs, Plugins, and musical styles. If you search around the forums, it’s often mentioned as a student favorite, along with some of the masterclass courses we’ll review below.

          When it comes to price, an all-access pass costs only 89$, with b&hphoto. This represents without a doubt the best value of all courses.

          We’ve found this to be a great way to stay focused for idle studio time. Simply browse around their website, find an interesting video, watch it, then apply it to your current project.

          MORE INFO

          Deadmau5 Masterclass Review

          The first course we’ve had a chance to review is Deadmau5’s Masterclass Course.

          • Music style: EDM / Electronic
          • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
          • Duration: 6 hours of video + assignments
          • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
          • Our Rating: 9.3/10
          • Skill Level: Beginner
          • Certificate upon completion: No

          Pros:

          1. Very entertaining, huge production value. Very easy to follow through with the teachings.
          2. Very well-rounded. All major topics are discussed (mastering, mixing, synths, drums, music business, live performance, and more).
          3. Composed of videos, assignments, and discussions.
          4. Great community if you’re willing to engage.

          Cons:

          1. This 6 hour course will set you back 90$. It’s not a cheap course by any means, but we found the cost/quality relation to be quite good.
          2. It’s a short course. It could benefit from going more in-depth into certain topics.

          Course Structure

          The course has 23 lessons, all delivered through video classes. It also has assignments and discussions.

          The classes touch upon the following topics:

          • The Deadmau5 Production Process
          • Building Your Home Studio
          • Melodic Structures
          • Arrangements
          • Synthesized Sounds
          • Modular Synths
          • Digital Vs. Analog Synths
          • Sound Design with Effects And Processing
          • Drums / Beats
          • Song Structure
          • Remixed
          • Mixing
          • Mastering (includes case study)
          • Starting a Career
          • Music Business
          • On Stage Performance

          Our Thoughts

          Overall, this is a solid and very well rounded online music production masterclass course. It won’t hold your hand and automatically offer you a career in audio engineering or music production, but if you follow through with all the tips shared, your chances of making it will increase exponentially.

          Furthermore, if you take your time to network and reach out to the community, you’ll likely make some useful connections out of this online music production masterclass course.

          This is a great course for anyone looking for a well-balanced course on electronic / pop / hip-hop / digital music production, with no specific focus on any are of the music production process, but rather a wholistic approach. It gives you a framework, the one used by deadmau5, to produce a song. It is not a case study, i.e- it won’t show you how deadmau5 produces a song from scratch, but it will show you every single step of the process. We recommend deadmau5’s online music production masterclass course to people that are starting out and want something a bit lighter (shorter) and more fun.

          LEARN MORE

          Hans Zimmer Masterclass Review

          Up next is Hans Zimmer’s online music production masterclass course.

          • Music style: Film Scoring / Soundtrack / Sound Design
          • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
          • Duration: 4.5 hours of video + assignments
          • Main DAW used: N/A.
          • Our Rating: 8.5/10
          • Skill Level: Intermediate

          Course Structure

          • Themes
          • Story
          • Directors
          • Sound Palettes
          • Creating with Synths
          • Scoring to Picture
          • Scoring Under Dialogue
          • Tempo
          • Music Diary
          • Character
          • Case Study: Frost/Nixon
          • Working With Musicians
          • Feedback & Revisions
          • Audience Feedback
          • Writing Tips
          • Hans’ Journey
          • Learning by Listening
          • Life of a Composer
          • Closing

          Our Thoughts

          This is a very interesting course. The simple fact that you get to hear Hans Zimmer talk on the first person about stuff that he has never revealed on interviews is worth the cost of the program.

          However, we found the structure a bit random.

          Unlike deadmau5’s course, this program kind of jumped around topics, with one class being solely about Hans’ career and progression in the industry. To be honest, if we wanted to learn about that, we could just check one of the hundreds of interviews that he’s given.

          Having said that, there are loads of golden nuggets there about his process, inspiration, and process. It is packed loads of synthesiser tips as well as general aesthetic in sound design.

          LEARN MORE

          Timbaland Masterclass Review

          To finish off our selection of Masterclass courses, we’ll have a look at Timbaland’s online music production course.

          • Music style: Hip-Hop / Pop
          • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
          • Duration: 3.5 hours of video + assignments
          • Main DAW used: Ableton
          • Our Rating: 8.5/10
          • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

          Course Structure:

          • Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
          • Building Beats: Tim’s Process
          • Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
          • Song Origins: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
          • Making a Beat: Starting With a Chord Progression
          • Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
          • Song Origins: “Pony”
          • Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples
          • Making a Beat: Creating a Breakdown
          • Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
          • Making a Beat: Adding a Topline
          • Song Origins: “Are You That Somebody?”
          • Tim’s Influences
          • How to Persevere

          Our Thoughts

          We found this masterclass to be the least technical of all online muic production masterclass courses reviewed. Perhaps on purpose, as Timbaland’s production process seems to be based a lot around feeling, leaning on his team to fill in the more technical gaps.

          We still found it very useful and inspiring, with some pretty straight forward but useful tips such as thinking about drums through beatbox.

          His team of “co-producers” also share some gems on drums layering, chord progression and more.

          If you’re a hip hop head, you’ll love this course. You’ll learn about how Timba produced hits for Missy Elliot, Jay-z, and others, as well as some inspiring tips on how to succeed in the industry. If you’re not a hip hop nerd, then you might find it not that inspiring. Though we still recommend purchasing it as part of the masterclass bundle of classes.

          LEARN MORE

          Point Blank Music School Online

          Point Blank is an well established English music school, which has opened it’s expertise to the online sector. The sheer diversity of courses that they offer, including Music Business courses, is practically unmatched. This Online Music Production Masterclass Course set is both formal and fun.

          • Music style: None in Specific
          • Financial Investment: Medium-high
          • Duration: Depends on the subject of choice.
          • Main DAW used: Ableton
          • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
          • Skill Level: Intermediate-High

          The “Online” courses of Point Blank Music School are actual real-time/live lecture by teachers, customised to you as a student. You get to ask questions and interact with your teacher via webcam. Each course thus has it’s own structure.

          Our thoughts:

          So this is clearly something different. Theere are no pre-recorded sessions, like the others. This would also explain the high price point compared to the others. As a drawback, their online music production courses are not instant, you have to enroll like you would to a school. Only that the school location is your home, if you cannot access the offline schools Point Blank Music School has running in London, L.A., Mumbai, Ibiza and China.

          We feel like this product is for the more advanced music production, since asking questions is key here.

          If you feel like you have run out of material to study on your own and feel like it’s time to get 1:1 with a teacher who can guide you further then look no further and click the button below to access the Point Blank Music School website.

          LEARN MORE

          Producertech EQ Fundamentals Review

          Producertech is a well established music course provider. It was founded in 2009 by Rob Jones. Of all their online music production courses, EQ fundamentals is one of our favourites. Here’s why:

          • Music style: None in Specific
          • Financial Investment: Low
          • Duration: 2.5 hours of video + assignments +
          • Main DAW used: Ableton
          • Our Rating: 9/10.
          • Skill Level: Intermediate

          Course Structure:

          • Introduction to Frequencies
          • EQ Controls 
          • EQ in Isolation
          • Frequency Demo #3 – Combining the Piano and Sine Wave 
          • The Frequency Spectrum Explained
          • EQ with respect to other parts
          • EQ’ing Drums 
          • Common EQ Practices
          • EQ’ing Kick and Bass
          • EQ on the Master Channel
          • EQ In The Mix

          Our thoughts:

          This course is, in our opinion, a must do for all aspiring producers. Having a solid grasp of EQ can be the difference between an amateur sounding song and a commercial grade end product.

          Producertech’s EQ Fundamentals online music production masterclass course will give you the foundation you need to make clean sounding mixed, at a very accessible cost (25$).

          It doesn’t have a rock star teacher or cover 10 different topics, but that is, in our opinion, a strength. There is no magic pill that will make you a successful musician. Instead, the path to success is continued investment in small courses on different topics. This laser focused course will give you a very complete foundation on one of the most important skills in the game: EQing.

          It also comes with the EXPOSE software, which allows you to “test” your final mix for any potential issues. We were positively surprised by the production quality of the course. Here’s a sample video from the course:

          There is a special focus on bass and kick mixing, thus making it slightly more relevant to electronic, hip-hop, and pop producers, though it really suits any kind of music style.

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          Berklee Online Review- Electronic Music Production

          Berklee is one of the most famous music schools in the world. This institution is a pioneer in online music production courses, having started in 2002! They still are an industry leader and offer the most formal type of education you’ll find in this list.

          • Music style: Electronic
          • Financial Investment: Moderate
          • Duration: Around 6 months (4 hours / week recommended)
          • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
          • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
          • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
          • Certificate upon completion: Yes

          Course Structure:

          • The Technology of Music Production
          • Introduction to Ableton Live
          • Creating Sounds for Electronic Music
          • The Art of Vocal Production

          Our Thoughts:

          This is a solid course for students looking for a serious commitment and some degree of credibility. It teaches all the theoretic background + gives you a solid foundation in ableton production and recording / mastering vocals.

          If you’re looking for some credibility in the industry, the Beerklee is something to stick in your CV that can also teach you some good theory.

          However, there are more advanced and complete courses in this list in terms of knowledge.

          Finally, one of the main advantages is that coursera offers financial aid to certain students.

          All in all, it is pretty inexpensive, at 39$/month, and if you’re feeling motivated, you can knock it off in a couple of months, getting a “mini” degree for a very affordable price.

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          Udemy Music Production Courses review

          Next up, we have a couple of udemy courses. We’ll start with probably the most popular music course in the platform, “Music Production in Logic Pro X”.

          Udemy has a lot of online music production course programs on it’s website, they mostly have a similar structure to the Logic X one which is our reference.

          This course was developed by Digital Music Masters, a well established music school.

          • Music style: None in Specific
          • Financial Investment: Low
          • Duration: 38 hours of video + articles and resources
          • Main DAW used: Logic Pro X
          • Our Rating: 9/10.
          • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

          Our Thoughts

          This is mostly for those more advanced. What we like is that you can just pay for one “topic” and not buy the whole online music production masterclass course package like with the others. You just get to Udemy, shop for what you want to know and that’s it.

          These courses are mostly focused on daw workflows, with some specific items covering hardware gear like the Maschine and others focusing on specific sub-genres like music for games. All in all we think it is good product if you just want to fill some specific empty spaces in your skill arsenal.

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          Final Thoughts

          We hope that the above suggestions help you kickstart your music production career/hobby.

          This article is in constant update as we try new courses, so if you have any recommendations, please post them below in the comments section!