Freebies - Best Free VST Effects

Hi there.
I’m a big fan of freebies, not only because of the unbeatable price but also because that proves to me that people are willing to give, help and share.

I’m aware that is also another thread Free Music Software : new resource, but that thread put links to whatever free resources. Here I try to be more specific, just VST effects (sometimes those have as well AU or RTAS versions) and also I put effects that I tried and I tested under at least two VST hosts.

So here we go:

Variety Of Sounds - Free VST plugins

BootEQmkII - EQ + pre-amp simulator - seems to me like a channel strip with a wicked tube preamp. The GUI is amazingly nice and the tube is animated.

Density - a very useful compressor, mostly for drums (as I see it).

Nasty Series - Contains:

NastyLF - low frequency enhancer

NastyHF - high frequency enhancer

NastyCS - character channel strip

NastyVSD - virtual summing device

NASTYtableTop - low-mid booster and colouring

Rescue - analog style modeled signal designer

TesslaSE - tube saturator

epicVerb - it’s a reverb and it’s epic…

All Plug-Ins are PC only and a VST compatible host and SSE compatible CPU is required.

The current version of BootEQ supports only 44.1 and 48kHz samplerate.

Antress Modern Plugins - Free VST plugins

Version 3.xx

38 free VST plugins in just one shot.

Just too much to say about, come on 38 plugins…

Anyway, some great compressors, EQ’s and several classic NEVE channel stripes emulators plus some mastering tools.

Now there is an update to version 4.00 but from that only few of them are ready. However, if you go to the download page, you’ll find all the version 3 plugins in a huge .rar file.

Version 3 Effects list:

Modern VU Meter

Modern Compressor

Modern Equalizer

Modern Expander

Modern De-Esser - very useful for voice, especially if you use a condenser microphone

Modern Spacer - reverb

Modern Limiter

Modern Amplifier - classic LA-2A® compressor coloring

Modern Deep Purple - classic master EQ coloring

Modern Analoger Turbo

Modern Exciter

Modern Black Dragon - classic Pultec® EQ coloring

Modern Booster - classic SSL® EQ coloring

Modern Dynakiller

Modern Monster - channel strip

Modern Painter - classic API® EQ coloring

Modern Painkiller - amplifier

Modern Proper - EQ

Modern VR-ME - classic Manley Vari-MU® compressor emulator

Modern VH-ME - classic Empirical Labs Distressor® emulator

Modern VF-ME - classic Fairchild® compressor emulator

Modern VC-ME - classic Tube-Tech CL1B® compressor emulator

Modern V66-ME - classic Neve 1066® EQ emulator

Modern V73-ME - classic Neve 1073® EQ emulator

Modern V81-ME - classic Neve 1081® EQ emulator

Modern V84-ME - classic Neve 1084® EQ emulator

Modern VG-ME - classic GML® Parametric EQ emulator

I personally used those on my album, mostly on drums (EQ and compressor) and brass (EQ and spacer whitch is a reverb actually) and I got some very nice results.

Version 4 Effects list:

Modern Premier - mic preamp simulator

Modern Seventh Sign - classic 1176LN® compressor clone

Modern Flash Verb - reverb

Melda Production - Free VST plugins

Another colection of free and amazingly nice VST.

*MCompressor- provides standard compression with volume maximization and has adjustable compression shape

MEqualizer - 6 band parametric equaliser

MRingModulator - performs standard ring-modulation effect using two oscillators with continously adjustable waveform shapes

MAnalyzer - FFT based analyzer for audio

MPhaser - a traditional phaser with adjustable shape

MLimiter - a traditional way to enhace recording sound power and finish the mix

MWaveShaper - a traditional wave-shaping plugin with adjustable shape

MAutopan - a traditional automatical panner

MVibrato - a traditional vibrato with adjustable shape

MTremolo - a traditional tremolo with adjustable shape

MStereoExpander - provides stereo field modification to improve or smaller clarity of differences between channels

Also, as you can see on the screenshot, those shapes there are looking nice, those you can adjust and draw yourself and customize the effect in a very original way.

Free Soundfonts / Virtual Instruments

thanks Mihai

Thanx for sharing. I’m happy to help people finding good things :wink:

I’m trying to keep things organized here, for soundfonts I’ll make probably another thread, this one have a specific topic, free VST effects.

Things posted here should be:

  • Free
  • Effects
  • in VST plugin format (for Windows or Mac)

    I’m no moderator, so I can’t stop you posting whatever you want, but then things will get harder to find and the thread will loose the very point of it.

    Ok, enough chit-chat. Here we go with some more stuff:

    <a href=">Dasample -Glaceverb

    This is one of my favorite reverbs, definitely one of the best, since I discovered it I use almost on everything that needs reverb.

    Works like magic on drums, voice, keys, guitars (electric but mostly acoustic) and trumpet.

    From the official description:

    “GlaceVerb is Dasample’s first attempt to implement its works on Residual Vector Modulation (RVM) in a VST plugin. RVM is a proprietary algorithm developed to calculate the deformations, the vibrations and the acoustic response of surfaces and materials.”

I personally find it better than many (well, kind of all) commercial products.


T-sledge is an efficient and free multiband compressor VST plugin. The VST let you visualize the overall signal so you can "see" the result of the compression while you hear it.
This is a multi-band compressor for mastering, equipped with peak limiter, level maximizer and 4 compressors/expanders/limiters. And it is equipped with 2 kinds of dividing filter IIR/FIR. So, it also operates as a dynamics EQ

This is a great post Mihai, let’s make it a sticky for a little while :smiley:

Thanks for sharing!

Thanx. I’m glad that you find it useful.

Now it’s time for a new post here :wink: with some more stuff, free and good :smiley:

<a href=">Kjaerhus Audio is a page that should be checked.

Not all of the plugins are free, but there are a lot of free plugins, suitable for everything, in fact all of the “Classic” series are free.

<a href=">Classic Chorus is a great sounding and easy to use classical Chorus VST plugin. Nice Plugin for adding Depth, Fatness and Stereo perspective to almost any Electrical Instruments or Vocal.

Classic Compressor is a classic analog style VST Compressor Plugin with a lot of warmth and punch. Special designed to use on individual Instruments and Vocal, but also useable on your final mixes.

Classic Delay emulates three of the most commonly used delays / echo sounds types: Tape, Analog, and Digital, but without the introduction of noise. A quality control is included where the sound of the echo machine can be adjusted to give the preferred amount of “imperfection”. The delay can be synchronised to the host, and the feedback can be reversed to give a ping-pong effect.

Classic EQ is a 7 Band Stereo Equaliser with a warm analog sound, well suited to make non-surgical tonal corrections on all instruments, vocals and final mixes. The passive and additive structure, together with unique “Warm” and “Saturation” algorithms, produces warm and pleasant sound, just like some of the most expensive vintage gear. The left and right channels can be adjusted individually or linked together.

Classic Flanger takes you to a trip back to the mid 80’s. It will give you that subtle or massive swirling effect that is used mainly for guitar, but can be used for many other instruments as well. Due to a tightly controlled feedback path, it is possible to boost the flanging effect to maximum without getting unwanted side effects.

Classic Master Limiter VST plugin is specially designed to boost the overall level of your final mixes, but is also highly useable on very dynamic instruments. With just one control on the front panel operation is as simple as it gets; just turn the Threshold down and hear how your mixes gets louder and louder. Very high compression ratios can be obtained without changing the balance of the mix.

Classic Phaser emulates analog phasers from the 70’s and 80’s. These vintage phasers got their characteristic sound from the analog phase shifting filters used, unlike the delay lines used in most modern digital phasers. To get a deeper and fatter phasing effect, more filter stages were cascaded. The Classic Phaser works just like an analog phaser, and with selectable filter stages from 4 to 12, it can resemble anything from phaser pedals to expensive studio phasers from that time period.

<a href="’Classic Reverb is a nice and smooth reverb that does a good job on almost any instrument. It can be adjusted to sound like most any acoustic space, ranging from a small shower to a large concert hall. With the “Hi-Damping” control, it is possible to change the sound from bright and sibilant to a more natural / warmer sound.

Classic Auto-Filter is an analog modeled four-pole filter with resonance control. It can be used for creative effects like auto-wah-wah and filter sweeps, as well as a fixed filter for equalizing purposes. The filter is selectable between low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and band-reject (notch). The filter cut-off frequency can be modulated from the envelope follower and the LFO.

Here I go on with listing some of the top quality VST effects that you can get for free.

Digitalfishphones are some of the best plugins (as a proof, they are listed here, isn’t it?), developed by Sascha Eversmeier who is currently working for “Magix” company.

Plugins were developed between 2001 and 2004, now all plugins at this site have been discontinued. Users will have to live with the state each plugin is currently in.

As the developer says:

"the code might be enhanced, debugged and developed further in some way, but not as freeware for the public domain."

Still, there are some awesome plugins to discover there:

Endorphin - One of the best compressors, designed mostly for last stage of music processing, mastering.

Reading the explanations on it’s page could help to understand more about mastering generally.

The Fish Fillets - channel insert package - contains:

BLOCKFISH - a versatile compressor with countless ways to shape the incoming audio.

SPITFISH - a dead-easy to use de-esser, aimed mainly at mono or stereo vocal tracks.

THIS IS THE BEST DE-ESSER I EVER TRIED !!! and I tried Waves plugins that also have 2 de-essers and several compressors that can make the job, but SPITFISH is much better than all plugins I’ve tried.

FLOORFISH - is a simple expander / gate device.

Dominion - signal modelling device that contains: envelope shaper, tube saturation emulator, exciter and at the end of audio chain is a compressor/ limiter for avoiding clipping.

Normalizer - denormals eleminator.
Denormalisation is an issue with some audio hosts that don’t switch off the plugin’s audio task when the song is stopped or a track contains silence (or with instruments: no key is pressed while a sound decays).

All plugins have on their pages very complex and useful explanations, I strongly suggest to read those, might help understanding mixing and mastering better.

Also all plugins comes with a very complex manual in PDF format.

All are available as Windows and Mac plugins.

The MacOS version has been compiled by Urs Heckmann (

I think it’s time for another post in this thread. I see that a lot of authors are playing guitar, so this post is dedicated to them.

A little help for guitarists

There is a nice article on Audiotuts+ that give up some tricks (a free amp simulator and the technique of making guitars stereo). Here it is: Thick and Crunchy Guitar Distortion Without Using an Amplifier or Effects Pedals.

Well, it’s a very nice article that you should read, but it’s not covering all posibilities (well, wasn’t supposed to anyway…).

So, anyway… Want to record guitar easy ? to just plug it into your computer and play ? not to deal with too many cables, pedals, loud amp, microphone positioning…etc… etc… ?

There are the commercial solutions:

Revalver - $299.99

Moved from Alien Connections to Peavey and it’s already at 3rd version. Had the demo, totally hated it.

Amplitube - Live vs. $99.99 , other vs $229.99.

Now that’s a cool one, really sounding GREAT !!! just plug your guitar and it’s instant good sound.

  • Can you get it for FREE ? Legally ?
  • YES, you can !!! :slight_smile:

    Well, it’s not the complete version, it’s stripped by some amp impulses and some effects but it’s enough to work and anyway, you can put the rest of the effects from other VST’s.

    How to ?

    Go HERE and get the Sonoma RiffWorks T4, it’s FREE and comes together with bundled effects AmpliTube® Duo LE and Studio Devil BVC.

    AmpliTube® Duo LE which is not available anymore on IK Multimedia website, is fully functional, no time restricted, no expiring and works as VST plugin under most of the hosts. I’m using it under Mu.Lab Free and works like charm.

    NI Guitar Rig 4 - $199

    Another amazing plugin and standalone piece of software. Also a plug and play with instant great sound.
  • Can you get it for FREE ? Legally ?
  • YES, you can !!! :slight_smile:

    Well, the demo is free, no expiring, complete function range with all presets but time restricted to 30 minutes and Save and Total Recall functions disabled. Still, 30 minutes is quite enough time to record your guitar part if you’re making a 3 minute track.

    Now comes the Free FREE ones, real freeware, intended as freeware and offered for free.

    Fretted Synth puts for free some of the best and most complete guitar targeted solutions, Free Amp 3 and Free Amp 2.5. Those are not different versions of the same thing, those are separate software pieces, as the author says “Complete different amp from FA3, Much more color”.

    Download FreeAmp 2.5

    Download FreeAmp3 Full

    Download FreeAmp3 Amp Only

    If you like those plugins you can donate via PayPal.

    Studio Devil BVC (British Valve Custom) made by Studio Devil it’s offered for FREE !!!

    They offer several AWESOME plugins targeted for guitar usage, some commercial,but this one is free.

    British Valve Custom is based on the gain structure of popular British Valve (Tube) Rock amplifiers (like the infamous Marshall tube heads) with some subtle modifications to give it slightly more gain. This amplifier model has considerable bite and attack making it perfect for classic rock and hard rock sounds. It also works great with neck pickups for blues, rock, and even metal guitar solos.

    An interesting use might be on drums also :wink:


    <a href=">AuraPlug also offer several AWESOME plugins targeted for guitar usage, some commercial, some free.

    All “Freetortion Series” is FREE !!!
  • Red Skull Distortion - The Red Skull plug-in is an aggressive high-gain distortion pedal simulator with unbelievably chunky metal tones for playing Nu Metal, Grind Core, Hard Core, Trash Metal or any genre that requires crushing sound.

  • Fuzz-Stone Distortion - Fuzz-Stone is the second plugin in Freetortion Series. The Fuzz-Stone is a ‘60’s styled guitar fuzz tone pedal which simulates the Legendary Stones’ Satisfaction guitar tone.

  • Fuzz-Stone[Ge] Distortion - Fuzz-Stone[Ge] is the 3rd plugin in Freetortion Series. The Fuzz-Stone[Ge] is a great Fuzz style Germanium transistor distortion simulator.

  • Whamdrive Distortion/Pitch Shifter - This looks exactly like Digitech Whammy pedal… and sounds and reacts quite similar.

    Whamdrive is a VST plug-in to shift the pitch of an incoming audio signal. It allows you to pitch an incoming audio stream in realtime with an external MIDI foot controller or with the GUI controls.

    Offers a cabinet simulator, like Digitech pedals… I wonder if that was intended or… :stuck_out_tongue:

    Here comes my favorite, the plugin that I use on most of my guitars, rhythm and solo.
  • California Sun - The California Sun is a classic guitar combo amplifier simulator with two channels (Clean and Dirty).

    All for FREE download and usage HERE

hey Mihai, I advice you to write less text… this thread gets tooo long, you have to scroll too much

what about showing just the picture, the name & download link?

just my opinion :slight_smile:

That will not really inform what is that and what is doing… you know, not every plugin it’s “self explaining” and not every computer user is familiar with some tools.

If I post a guitar amp, some people might not have any clue what a (beep) is that and what is supposed to make, at the same time they might search for a plugin that give a bit of “grittiness” to the sound…

ok I understand… its just so HUGE :smiley:

what I do is always I just download all plug-ins… specially when someone said they’re good, then I have no reason not to get them!!

Looking for a ping-pong delay ?

Tom Pong is a cute, useful one.
Made by Tom Gersic.

A ping pong delay is a delay which alternates from one speaker to another. If the balance is set to 0.5, a stereo signal will invert itself each time the delay buffer is played back. If the balance is set to either side of 0.5, the signal bounces back and forth between the speakers. Tom Pong can be synced to the host sequencer, or delay times can be set by sample count. Feedback and output level are also adjustable.

Windows only

Great post!
Does anyone knows about any free mac plugins for logic?

Great post! Does anyone knows about any free mac plugins for logic?

looks like VST plug-ins are rare for Mac, aren’t they? :expressionless:

what about soundfonts on a Mac, aren’t they .sf2 files?

Well, VSTs are not very common for Mac, more usual for Mac are RTAS or AU, but there are several versions of plugins that have Mac VST or RTAS or AU formats.

thanks Mihai, very well described :slight_smile:

Great thread, I’m a massive fan of freeware vsts too, here is one of my favourite delay effects, which I use on the majority of electronic tracks:

Analogic delay

For a specialized little audio tool, the ADT (automatic double tracking) plug-in from Vacuumsound manages a unique sound that is difficult to duplicate using most big name plug ins. Haven’t tried the other two from them, but really like the organic feel of the ADT.

For a specialized little audio tool, the ADT (automatic double tracking) plug-in from Vacuumsound manages a unique sound that is difficult to duplicate using most big name plug ins. Haven't tried the other two from them, but really like the organic feel of the ADT.

Thanks Baritone, I’ll try the ADT.

For a specialized little audio tool, the ADT (automatic double tracking) plug-in from Vacuumsound manages a unique sound that is difficult to duplicate using most big name plug ins. Haven't tried the other two from them, but really like the organic feel of the ADT.

Downloaded it and tried on clean guitars, quite impressive, thanx for the link.

God Mihai, you have way too much free time on your hands! ;D

Great posts! I’ve already experimented with some you’ve mentioned before but I will def. check out some more! :slight_smile: