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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Loopcloud Drum – New Free Drum Plugin by Loopmasters

Loopcloud Drum is a new free plugin that features 16 pads for drum/samples, built in sequencer and effects.

We’ve written about loopcloud before- It’s a great piece of software to store all your samples and organize your library and production workflow in the cloud.

It comes with ready to use kits from some very popular producers including Audiojack, Evil Needle, Maribou State, Justice, Timo Maas, Phaeleh, and many more.

The coolest feature of a new plugin is of course integration with Loopmasters sample libraries/Loopcloud.

Here’s a quick look at what the interface and main features look like:

It also comes with loads of preset patterns, making it possible to get some very high quality drums with just a few clicks. If you’re looking for a simple solution to adding high quality drums to your instrumentals, look no further.

There is a focus on electronic / EDM beats, but you can really find most styles present in their sound bank.

The best part? It’s absolutely free.

Have you tried this piece of software? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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:

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Library
Instruments
Website
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

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.

Best FREE VST Compressors

Compressors are one of the most used audio processors you will ever use in your mix (the other one being EQ).

Despite the fact that they are used almost religiously on virtually every song you hear nowadays, they have historically proven to be enigmatic to the general music production community.

With this article, I will not only list what I believe to be the “Best 5 Free VST Compressors”, but will also describe a few different compressor types and suggested uses for them. We’ll start with the different compressor types and end with the “best of” list.

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PS: We’ve just published an article containing over 400 free vst plugins, including loads of compressors, check it out for more free vst compressors.

 

Types of Compressors

VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier)

The VCA compressor offers several advantages that the others on this list don’t. For starters, hardware VCA compressors don’t require the pricey discrete components needed by other compressors and are normally more affordable as a result. They are quite flexible and able to adapt to various kinds of use case scenarios such as gluing a mix bus together or suppressing transients. The best use for them is with percussive elements because of their fast attack and release.

In addition, VCA compressors are transparent and won’t add color to the sound of the audio signal, but can tend to sound thin. Adjust the release time to smooth out the signal a bit. So for those times when you need to compress, but want to retain the integrity of your audio, this is the compressor you reach for.

Use a VCA compressor to tame peaks on your drum bus and other percussive elements on individual tracks in your mix. Use a longer release time to smooth out the signal if it becomes too harsh. Notable compressors in this category are the SSL G-Series Console Bus Compressor and the DBX 160.

FET (Field Effect Transistor)

FET compressors are well known for adding a distinct character to the sound. If you’re looking for subtlety, this isn’t the compressor you want to use. Because they don’t have a dedicated threshold knob, the compression amount is controlled by the input level. You can then adjust the output knob until the desired sound is achieved. This compressor loves to be driven and will add a rich and warm type of distortion to louder signals passing through it. For this reason, it’s not ideal for use on your mix bus, for mastering or when a transparent signal is desired.

 It also boasts lightning-fast attack and release times which make it ideal for parallel compression, adding punch, or pushing a lead vocal track right to the front of the mix.

Use FET compressor to add punch to drums, vocals and just about any other track that needs a little extra snap to it. Try turning the compressor off by deselecting all of the ratio buttons and insert it on a bus (or even the master chain) to add only the character of it. The most famous FET compressor is most definitely the iconic UREI 1176 Limiting Amplifier.

We haven’t been able to find a good free 1176 compressor plugin, though Minimal System Groups’ Punch Compressor is a pretty good 1176 emulator and will only set you back the price of a cappuccino (well depending on where you live). Check it out below:

Punch Compressor is only available for Windows 32-bit VST. For a more complete solution compatible with mac and windows 32 and 64 bit, check out Comp FET 76 by Arturia, though this will set you back more than a coffee.

Opto (Optical Compressor)

The Opto compressor is slow acting and smooth in contrast to the two previous compressors and offers a more musical type of gain reduction. It is slow, 10 milliseconds attack and seemingly 2-stage release makes it more suitable for use on signals without sudden transient spikes such as strings, guitar and bass. If you want to compress anything naturally and musically, this is the compressor for the task. Newer emulations of optical compressors may have faster response times and with careful adjustments can even be used on drums.

Although optical compressors are very transparent, they do add pumping to low end signals. However, you could use a high pass side chain filter to control this. Optical compressors are more “RMS” style as they work throughout a mix to even out the average levels in a track or complete song.

Use an optical compressor on the mix bus and/or instrument bus to even out the dynamics of an entire song without affecting transients. The most notable compressor in this category is the legendary Teletronix LA-2A.

Now for the best 5 compressor freebies:

Molot by Vladg Sound

Want some serious character to your mix?

Look no further than the Molot compressor. This offers a tube powered type of compression that adds a lot of color to everything and has a massive sound with lots of very useful controls for getting your signal just right.

If you’re a beginner then this isn’t the plugin for you as it can be difficult to dial in the sound you want.

I love the GUI and it comes in 2 flavors: English and Russian. Only the names display differently in the 2 versions, besides that, everything else is exactly the same.

Here is a video from Point Blank showing how to tame this beast:

Molot Compressor is available for Windows 32/64-bit VST & Mac OS X 32/64-bit VST/AU.

TDR Kotelnikov by Tokyo Dawn

This is a fantastic digital wideband dynamics compressor with loads of useful ground-breaking features.

Tokyo Dawn has stated that this model is the original and is not an emulation of any classic hardware design. Kotelnikov uses 64-bit floating point internal processing gives it a transparent high quality sound.

It has individual release control for peak and RMS signals as well as a unique “DELTA” button which allows you to hear the difference between the input and output.

The ultra-fast, compression makes Kotelnikov quite suitable for mastering but can be equally as usable on the mix bus. Check out the demonstration video below: 

TDR Kotelnikov is available for Windows 32/64-bit VST and Mac OS X 32/64-bit VST/AU/AAX.

Density MK III by Variety Of Sound

Density MK III is a character compressor with a VCA color knob on the GUI that allows you to dial in the desired amount of saturation.

It has been out for some time now and has gained lots of recognition for its flexibility and feature set. Different compression settings can be set for both of its 2 channels or the channels can be linked together.

There is an internal/external SC filter option which is optimized to better decouple the subsonic frequencies below 90Hz, a limiter mode, M/S, stereo and mono compression. Turning the “TIMING” knob to P5 or P6 introduces low-end program dependent release time behavior.

The only drawback I could find is that it’s only available in 32-bit for Windows users and doesn’t have support for Mac OS. If you are skeptical about using 32-bit plugins on your system (assuming you’re running a 64-bit system), this is definitely one you might want to reconsider.

Download Density MK III

MJUC jr. by Klanghelm

MJUC jr. is a variable-tube compressor capable of smooth leveling, but also heavy pumping effects.

It has a three-position timing switch to control not only the attack and release times but also the timing of other parts of the circuitry that affect the saturation of the resulting signal.

The GUI is very simple with only 2 knobs, 1 for the amount of compression and the other to adjust the make-up gain.

MJUC jr. is available for Windows 32/64-bit VST and Mac OS X 32/64-bit VST/RTAS/AAX/AU.

Rough Rider 2 by Audio Damage

Described by Audio Damage as a “modern compressor with a bit of ‘vintage’ style bite and a uniquely warm sound”, Rough Rider is not a subtle compressor.

Its suggested use is on your drum bus, synth bass, clean guitar and backing vocals. But honestly, I think it’s best served being used to add punch to drums, but that’s not to say that it’s unusable in any other scenario, it’s just personal preference.

At any rate, when you instantiate Rough Rider on any channel in your mix, you will immediately hear a difference.

Rough Rider is available for Windows 32/64-bit VST and Mac OS X 32/64-bit VST/AU.

And that’s it folks! The plugins listed here are great if you’re not looking to break the bank, but if you do have some extra change, we highly recommend heading over to plugin boutique and checking some of the alternatives.

Evolution of movie soundtrack composition

A brilliant video on movie soundtracks composition. Raising questions of soundtrack music originality and showing how it is evolved from recording back-tracks with orchestra to the complete digital studios.

We definitely don’t see soundtracks like Ennio Morricone expcept in Quentin Tarantino’s movies. But just to remind you – in 70s and 80 soundtrack could sound like this:

And the evolution of music technology, electronic music genres that are focused on sound and rhythm rather than melody changed soundtrack purpose into textures and rhythms that support picture (which is not a bad thing of course).

Cubasis updated to 2.0 with time-stretch, pitch shift, new FX and more

Steinberg has updated Cubasis to 2.0 bringing lots of new features for both professional musicians and beginners.

First of all time-stretch – long waited feature requested by many users. There’s manual and auto mode.

Pitch shift is another requested feature.

New channel strip makes Cubasis more suitable for professional use. Great to have saturator on each channel.

Though it is great update and great intro price for new users there are still some important features missing: Ableton Link support and 12″ iPad Pro interface – it is still scaled version of 9″ ipad.

Cubasis 2 special price valid from September 22 to October 06, 2016: € ($) 24.99 (regular price: € ($) 49.99).
Special price for FX Pack 1 and FX Pack 2 (exclusively available through in-app purchase) valid until October 06, 2016: € ($) 3.99 (regular price: € ($) 6.99).

[appstore id=583976519]

What’s new in Cubasis 2

• A Refreshed User Interface – Enjoy profound usability by straightforward workflows
• Real-time Time-Stretch – Tempo match audio loops to your song’s tempo in a snap
• Pitch shift with formant correction – Easily change keys of any tracks and tune them to perfection
• A studio-grade channel strip – Reach true sound perfection for all channels
• Spin FX – Tweak and mash-up your tracks with DJ-like breaks, stops and stutters
• MicroSonic TAPE instruments – Perfectly recreate trademark sounds from the ’60s era
• 76 new Micrologue presets – Lay down your tracks with cutting-edge modern synth sounds
• Factory loops tempo match – Enjoy the freedom to use included audio loops at any tempo
• MIDI Auto Quantize – Sync MIDI tracks with the beat while recording
• Ready for iOS 10 – Cubasis 2.0 is fully tested and proven iOS 10 compatible

Cubasis 2 Improvements & Fixes
CB-335 Zooming behaviour in arrange window and editors has been reworked to provide enhanced precision and accuracy.
CB-3282 Response time has drastically been improved for menu bar and tool bar buttons.
CB-3081 Record mode tools have been added to tempo pop-up for improved usability.
CB-3145 Factory audio loop library has been converted to lossless FLAC format for improved quality.
CB-3273 Background color option has been added to the setup for the Arrange window.
CB-3209 Order of fixed insert slots can be swapped via corresponding icon.
CB-3289 Improves the cosmetic issue of iOS keyboard and text pop-ups overlapping.
CB-392 Overlapping events no longer flicker when zooming or scrolling.
CB-2947 Loading audio unit instances during playback no longer results in muted audio playback.
CB-3298 Releasing the pitch-bend wheel now correctly resets its value.
CB-3314 Fixes the graphical issue of overlaying event names and event lengths.
CB-3321 Fixes the problem of unreliable rendering of Cubasis when transferring a file via Air Drop.
CB-3341 Fixes the problem of unreliable rendering of Cubasis when deleting user files via WiFi.
CB-3063 Fixes a rare phenomenon where audio files can get lost after recording, renaming and reloading a project.
CB-3028 Solves a rare problem where undoing a track recording could lead to losing corresponding I/O track settings.
CB-3045 Fixes a rare issue where undoing a recording can lead to renaming of the corresponding track.
CB-3129 Fixes a problem where the user interface of Blamsoft Viking appears broken after being assigned as AU instrument.
CB-3127 Freezing an AU track that contains Moog Model 15 now leads to expected results.
CB-2919 Fixes a problem where loading a project that contains a NS1 AU instrument instance could lead to unreliable behaviour of Cubasis.
CB-2205 Swing quantize settings are now properly saved with the project.
CB-3046 Fixes a problem where activating cycle mode during pre-count can lead to loosing recordings.
CB-3062 Activating cycle mode during count-in no longer leads to unwanted results.
CB-3110 Fixes defective samples of Microsonic’s Mellow EP instrument.
CB-3159 Type parameter of filter effect plug-in can now be automated as expected.
CB-3145 Importing loops from the factory library no longer results in wrong audio event lengths.
CB-3170 Return to stop in record mode now works as expected when having roll/count enabled.
CB-3175 Solves a problem where importing 96 kHz samples could lead to broken MiniSampler instruments.
CB-3210 Deleting an effect no longer interacts with other effect or track automations.
CB-3162 Fixes a graphical issue where importing .wav files could lead to overlapping between waveform and event size.