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.


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 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 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 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 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 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
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
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
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
Puremagnetik Driftmaker 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
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
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Bee-Happy 550 EQ DOWNLOAD
Black Rooster VHL-3C EQ DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Triple EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps PTeq-X EQ DOWNLOAD
Melda MEqualizer EQ DOWNLOAD
N6 Paragraphic Equalizer EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Elysia Niveau Filter EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance SPL Free Ranger 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
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

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
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 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:


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
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
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
bx_solo DOWNLOAD
bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
Clip Shifter DOWNLOAD
Correlometer DOWNLOAD
dominion DOWNLOAD
Doppler Dome DOWNLOAD
dpMeter 4 DOWNLOAD
Fine Cut Bodies La Petite Excite DOWNLOAD
Flux Stereo Tool v3 DOWNLOAD
Free Ranger DOWNLOAD
Grind Machine 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
iZotope Vinyl DOWNLOAD
iZotope Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series DOWNLOAD
LePou LeCab 2.0 DOWNLOAD
Leveling Tool DOWNLOAD
lkjb Luftikus DOWNLOAD
LMC-1 Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
MDSP Smart Elecontronix Livecut Beat Chopper DOWNLOAD
Melda MChannelMatrix 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
Midside Matrix DOWNLOAD
MS Controller DOWNLOAD
MultiInspectorFree DOWNLOAD
niveau filter DOWNLOAD
Ohm Force SymptOhm PE DOWNLOAD
One Small Clue Grace DOWNLOAD
Ozone Imager DOWNLOAD
Panipulator DOWNLOAD
PitchedDelay DOWNLOAD
Pitchproof DOWNLOAD
Plogue Sforzando DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx Bx_solo DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
Proximity DOWNLOAD
Puremagnetik Expanse DOWNLOAD
Retro Delay DOWNLOAD
Rough Rider & FuzzPlus DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Scratch it! DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Audio SGA1566 DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Code Red Free DOWNLOAD
Sound Delay DOWNLOAD
Spitfire Audio LABS DOWNLOAD
SSL X-Orcism Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
Stereo Touch DOWNLOAD
Supercharger DOWNLOAD
SuperSpread DOWNLOAD
T-RackS 5 Custom Shop DOWNLOAD
The deputy Mark II DOWNLOAD
the fish fillets DOWNLOAD
Thomas Mundt Loudmax DOWNLOAD
Thrillseeker XTC DOWNLOAD
Transpire DOWNLOAD
Tunefish 4 DOWNLOAD
u-he Tyrell N6 DOWNLOAD
u-he Zebralette DOWNLOAD
UVI Workstation DOWNLOAD
Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Correlometer DOWNLOAD
Wind Chimes 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.

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.
Arturia Pigments 2
  • Very intuitive and extensive modulation matrix,
  • Granular synthesis,
  • Built-in sequencer,
  • Best VST right now for learning synthesis
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
WA Production Babylon
  • Over 2300 presets,
  • 257 waveforms,
  • multi-voice oscillation,
  • FM, RM & AM modulation,
  • modulation matrix, and much more.
    Xfer Serum
    • Wavetable editor,
    • over 450 presets,
    • 10 effects modules,
    • stack a single oscillator to up to 16 voices, and much more.
      U-he Diva
      • Authentic, unrivaled analogue sound,
      • Built-in oscilloscope,
      • Sweet-sounding filters,
      • Multithreading support for modern CPUs.
        • 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
        Native Instruments Massive
        • 1 300 presets,
        • 85 wavetables,
        • advanced loop mode,
        • stepper mode,
        • performer mode, and much more.
        Nexus 3
        • 20 modulation slots,
        • 2 799 presets,
        • 95 effect presets, and much more.
          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.
          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:


          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.
          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.
          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
          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.


          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 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
          Starts at under 50$
          – Over 20 000 hours of video,
          – Over 20 books.
          – Workflow,
          – Plug-Ins + DAWs,
          – Recording,
          – Production,
          – Mixing + Mastering.
          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.
          Hans Zimmer Masterclass
          Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
          – 4.5 hours of video – Film Scoring,
          – Soundscapes,
          – Composing,
          – Industry, and More.
          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.
          Point Blank Music School Online
          Under 150$
          CHECK PRICE
          – Huge subject diversity
          – Mixing/Mastering
          – Dj
          – Music Business
          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
          EQ Fundamentals
          Under 50$
          CHECK PRICE
          – 2.5 hours of video,
          – PDRs,
          – Assignments
          – EQ,
          – Mixing + Mastering,
          – All Musical Genres
          Berklee Online- Electronic Music Production
          Under 150$
          CHECK PRICE
          – 16 weeks – Electronic Music Production,
          – Vocal Recording,
          – Ableton Live.

          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


          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


          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


          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.


          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.

          LEARN MORE

          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.

          LEARN MORE

          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.

          LEARN MORE

          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!

          Best Free Kontakt Libraries for 2021

          Surely everyone that uses Native Instruments’ industry standard Kontakt sampler has at least 1 favorite free library or instrument.

          What I’ve compiled here is a list of my personal favorites.

          These are among what I find to be some of the most usable high quality libraries available.

          This is not a complete list of free kontakt libraries or kontakt instruments, its simply a curated list of my favorites.

          There are hundreds and hundreds of free kontakt libraries, but to be honest, a lot of them simply aren’t that good.

          They get plenty of burn in my production projects at least, some may even be slept on. So here they are, in table form for your viewing pleasure:

          Ivy Audio Pianos, Vocals, Drums, Trombones DOWNLOAD
          AURORROR by Fluffy Audio More than 25 sound sources DOWNLOAD
          The Free Orchestra Cinematic, Orchestra DOWNLOAD
          Sketching Chamber Orchestra Orchestra DOWNLOAD
          Jerry’s Pianos Piano DOWNLOAD
          Precisionsound Amore Grand Piano Piano DOWNLOAD
          16PAD by HelloSample Drums DOWNLOAD
          Cinematique Instruments Chimes Percussion DOWNLOAD
          Free HD Orchestra Chords & Sustained String Chords by Sonuscore Strings DOWNLOAD
          Free Fall by Soundethers Synth DOWNLOAD
          NS Drums J13 Drums DOWNLOAD
          Alpine Project Strings, Woodwind, Brass DOWNLOAD
          Ivy Audio Pianos, trombones, vocals and drums DOWNLOAD
          Bicat Instruments Guitar, Bass, Organ, Pianos, and much more DOWNLOAD
          Impact Soundworks Shreddage 3 Stratus Guitar DOWNLOAD
          Waves Factory Whispers Creepy Voices DOWNLOAD
          Cinematique Instruments Landscape Drone Generator DOWNLOAD
          Cinematique Instruments Esemblia Chamber Orchestra DOWNLOAD
          Producer’s Store- Angel’s Harp Harp DOWNLOAD
          Retrosampling- Electric Piano, Breaks and Beats, and More Piano, Drums, and More DOWNLOAD
          Sonic Bloom- Mellotron Samples Woodwinds, Strings, Brass, Flute and Choir DOWNLOAD
          Cymatics Free Kontakt Libraries Strings, Guitar, Keys, and Much More DOWNLOAD
          Red Room Audio- Pallette Primary Colors Orchestral DOWNLOAD
          Detuned Upright Upright Piano DOWNLOAD

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

          AURORROR by Fluffy Audio free Kontakt library

          This excellent free Kontakt library is definitely the one I use the most.

          Although it is a limited version of their fantastic AURORA library in terms of NKI presets, it still delivers on usability and sound quality.

          AURORROR is advertised as a “horror cinematic and hybrid library” on Fluffy Audio’s website, but it’s a surprisingly versatile and flexible synth. 

          With more than 25 unique sound sources, 13 different modulators, an arpeggiator and polystep modes, there’s a lot to work with.

          The idea is to layer up to 3 sounds and adjust the plethora of parameters to create your own sound. Your new custom preset can then be saved. Check out this review by Saint Joe of Sounds And Gear.

          16PAD by HelloSamples free Kontakt library

          This developer has been around for quite some time and continues to offer a generous amount of extraordinary free and premium kontakt libraries.

          Recently they stepped their game up even further by designing their own Kontakt instrument, 16PAD. Here’s a word about it courtesy of the included pdf manual:

          To put it simply, it’s a 16 Pad instrument, each Pad has Volume, Panorama, Tune, ADSR, Filter + LFO, Distortion (Lo-Fi, Distortion, Skreamer, Tube) and Modulation (Chorus & Flanger) controls, plus 4

          Send controls for 2 global Delay, Reverb and a Convolution Reverb (IR) effects.

          There is also a simple on board step sequencer with controls for Volume, Tune and an Assignable Parameter per pad.

          The pads can be selected via MIDI and can be colorized individually. The 16-channel mixer can be viewed by clicking the MIXER button to the bottom left of the step sequencer. 

          I would have liked to have had the ability to load my own samples and have darker more pronounced colors on the pads, but this is a very nice instrument nonetheless. Big up to HS!

          Amore Grand Piano free Kontakt library

          This is a new addition to the list and honestly, we don’t have much to say about it.

          It’s a great piano. And it sounds great. And it’s free.

          Download it here.

          Free HD Orchestra Chords & Sustained String Chords by Sonuscore free Kontakt library

          Both of these Kontakt instruments have an awesome sound and are dead easy to control.

          There is only 1 knob on each interface, low velocity triggers major chords, and high velocity triggers minor chords. On Sustained String Chords, you can control the dynamics with the mod wheel and mix sustain and tremolo chords.

          On both libraries, you can play low, mid, and high strings separately or play huge chords altogether. The interface is simple and the design straight forward.

          It’s a great library for generating or enhancing your compositions.

          Check them out below:

          Free Fall by Soundethers free Kontakt library

          Free Fall is another library that has been out for a while, but I think it’s one of the most underrated free Kontakt libraries.

          It’s dedicated to ambient textures and evolving type sounds which are useful in many musical genres.

          It comes with 18 otherwordly patches and you are free to create and save your own custom patches.

          This library just begs to be experimented with and you will have 4 pages of parameters to play with:  Main Engine, Effects Engine, Rhythm Engine and Output Engine.

          There’s really a lot to go through with this library, once you download it, no doubt you’ll feel the same.

          Also, remember to check our own list of best VST Synths here.

          And now, for some honourable mentions:

          NS Drums J-311 by NS Drums

          Just released a few days ago, NS Drum kicks (pun intended) in with a well-crafted and high quality sounding acoustic kit.

          Not only does the library sound great, but it offers the ability to really customize your drum sound with a nice set of sensible parameters: Pan, Tune, Room (mic), Attack, Hold and Decay.

          There are a good number of presets for each of the 6 drum sounds represented in the intuitive interface: Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Tom, Ride and Crash.

          NS Drums J-311 also boasts I very high level of detail as there are no less than 27 layers per instrument, so you will be able to dial in just about any acoustic kit sound you like. 

          In addition, the FX page provides an EQ and Compressor for each instrument, while the MASTER page has an EQ and Compressor for the entire kit as well as a number of presets to choose from. Can’t wait to play around with this one.

          It’s a great drum machine, and, you guessed it, it’s absolutely free.

          The Alpine Project

          If you’re looking for free orchestral kontakt instruments, look no further.

          The alpine project is one of the most complete orchestral libraries we’ve seem- and it’s totally free!

          There’s strings, woodwind, brass, and more.

          Ivy Audio

          Ivy Audio is a donation based sample/library producer known for its piano library.

          It also offers trombones, vocals and drums, as well custom made libraries, which are of course, not for free.

          If you’re looking for some classical piano, check out piano in 162.

          If you’re on the hunt for some usable libraries, go check these 5 out. They are sure to inspire. Tell me what you think.

          Also, if you’re looking for a cloud based solution to manage all these free libraries + search for buyable options, check out loopcloud.

          *These libraries require the Full version of Kontakt

          Mutable Instruments modules ported to iOS as free AUv3 plugins

          I can’t say how happy I am with these news. 

          Mutable Instruments is known for its Eurorack modules that always had open source code. Before Today it was ported to VCV rack, Softube Modular and partially to Reaktor Blocks (you can find MU inspired modules in Euroreakt). And now it is available as AUv3 for iOS

          [appstore id=1467384251]

          [asa_item id=”1467384251″]

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Battle of the Synths

          Omnisphere and Serum: Two giants of the software synth world. We’ve all wondered how they compare to each other, and today, after thorough analysis of both, we will come up with a winner.

          It is, however, important to note that this article isn’t an attempt to determine which one of these beastly VSTs is ‘the OVERALL BEST’. This a far too subjective decision for one humble reviewer to ascertain, so please note that this is based on our personal experience and preferences.

          What you are about to read is merely a comparison of 2 industry leading virtual instruments in order to help you understand the differences and similarities between them. If you’re on the fence about purchasing either one, or if you own both and struggle with which one to use for a particular task, you will benefit from the information in this article.

          If you’re not familiar with either of these, we strongly recommend checking them out. We’ll start with the most obvious differences, then we will break things down into various sections:

          You should also check out Splice, where you can try out both Omnisphere and Serum and other plugins for free for 3 days then rent to own them.

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Obvious differences

          Omnisphere 2 is an 8-part multitimbral VSTi, meaning you can play up to 8 different sounds at once with one instantiation. Serum can only play one sound at a time, so if you want to play more than that, you’ll have to have to use a different instantiation for each different sound you use from it. Spectrasonics hasn’t provided a demo of Omnisphere 2 yet, so there is no way to test it out unless you buy it. A demo version of Serum is available with Splice.

          To get more acquainted with each synth, please check out the links below:

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Oscillators

          Omnisphere 2 comes with over 400 new waveforms each of which is a morphing wavetable. Ethnic instruments and unusual sound sources like a burning piano are also included and can be used as oscillators. Additionally, you can add your own sounds and use those as oscillators or mangle them in the granular synthesis section.

          However, when compared to other dedicated granular synths like Mangle or PadShop, Omnisphere 2 falls a bit short in terms of editing features.

          Serum on the other hand, comes with 144 wavetables and also gives you the ability to draw waveforms or load your own sounds and use them as oscillators.

          Aside from being an “advanced wavetable synth”, Serum is also capable of performing additive and VA synthesis with classic waveforms (saw, square etc.) + a sub oscillator + noise oscillator.

          Because of the array of waveforms and synthesis techniques that can be applied in both synths, they both could very well be referred to as modern hybrid synthesisers.

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Filters

          Serum has a variety of filter types. All the filters from Xfer’s LFOTool are included in addition to some new ones like Flangers, Phasers and the dirty sounding French LPF. There are also Dual Filter types allowing you to morph between filter types.

          Omnisphere 2 boasts a more flexible filter engine and 8 new filters giving you the ability to create your own filter sound with stereo control, drive and a host of other parameters to further customize your filters. Also, it now includes all of the filters from GForce Software’s virtual synth, “impOSCar”.

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Modulators

          Personally, my favorite thing about Serum’s modulators is how easy it is to drag and drop a modulation source to a destination.

          This makes for a much faster workflow when creating or editing complex a patch. Then there are the drawable LFOs, Envelopes and Macros which, depending on your preference, are more fun to play with than mousing around with percentages or virtual knobs.

          Omnisphere’s Modulation Matrix is unbelievably massive and flexible!

          Almost every parameter can be modulated and there are a plethora of modulation sources and targets.

          All 4 Effect Racks’ parameters, all the granular parameters, all the FM parameters, numerous parameters in the arpeggiator and envelopes can all be modulated by a multitude of sources.

          But with all this modulation power, there is no drag and drop ability in Omnisphere 2

          Omnisphere 2 vs Serum: Effects

          In addition to Serum’s classic synth effects and advanced effects such as a multiband compressor, Serum can be used as a dedicated FX processor as well. Off the top of my head, the only other synths I can think of that have this feature are Native Instruments Absynth 5, FM8 and Reaktor 6.

          The results of running an audio source through an effect with synthesizer parameters can be extremely inspiring and a lot of fun!

          Omnisphere 2 has a wider variety of effects. Vintage effects like echoes, choruses and compressors as well as various reverb types are included.

          And remember, all of the parameters in each effect can be modulated. This does come at the cost of higher CPU usage, however. I’d be curious to see what kinds of sounds could be generated if Omnisphere 2 was able to be used as a dedicated FX processor, but that feature isn’t available.

          Overall Winner

          I think Omnisphere 2 has a better sound library and is well-rounded as far as sound selection thanks to some of the best sound designers of our time, Eric Persing and Diego Stocco. Therefore, it takes the prize.

          Serum may have a more flexible wavetable engine and deeper sound design capabilities with the wavetable editor, formulas and additive engine.

          Roli brings back Seaboard keyboard from original Noise app

          Roli has released a new app called Seaboard 5d. After release of recent update of Noise app original touch-keyboard (emulation of Seabord keyboard) has disappeared and replaced by new Blocks interface. Also old soundbanks (that sound amazing) also were lost. Of course many old users were unhappy by loosing soundbanks they have purchased and by loosing old Seabord-style keyboard.

          And we all know that Roli is amazing company that would brings lots of new great products on the market and their Seabord Rise keyboard is becoming modern classic – so they reacted very fast on all the user complains – today they have released Seabord 5d – new app with old functionality. And what’s even better all the great Soundbanks (sounds extracted from their exclusive Equator software synthesizer) are FREE. So grab the app and get some great sounds while is free!

          [appstore id=1173937855]

          [asa_item id=”1173937855″]