What are the best VST Plugins in 2020?
VST Plugins can be split into two main categories. VST Instruments and VST Effects. We will cover and list 5 of the best ones for each category.
Some experienced producers and beat makers might recognize few of those plugins, but hopefully we are providing enough value for all musicians alike, no matter their skill level.
Even if you are a beginner or a professional looking for a new sound, we are always here to help.
Many of the most popular VST instruments, such as XFER Serum or Omnisphere, come with a fairly high price tag. If you just started out as a music producer novice, you may not be ready to spend out hundreds of dollars on software plugins, which is quite understandable.
You might probabbly wonder: are there any decent good quality FREE VST instruments out there?
The answer is undoubtedly YES. There is a tremendous amount of incredibly powerful, free VST instruments out there, and many of them sound just as good as the commercial plugins.
The Spitfire Audio LABS is an infinite series of mind warping free software instrument, that is easy to use, and made by musicians and sampling experts in London, for anyone, anywhere.
LABS comes with some of the best sounding soft piano that you will ever hear, and we can't thank them enough for the unique sounds that they put together into this amazing VST plugin.
Other sounds include: Choir, Strings, Synth Pads, Drums, Modular Piano, etc.
This plugin is also made by Spitfire Audio, but it comes with a twist.
You can either pay €49 for it, or participate in a short survey (takes 5-10 minutes to complete), in order to get access for FREE to this tremendous plugin.
Start writing music with the world-famous BBC Symphony Orchestra. 33 instruments brought to life inside this free dope and easy-to-use plugin, compatible with any major music creation software – from Garageband to Pro Tools.
We tested it on FL Studio, Ableton Live and Logic Pro X and it works amazing on all of them.
Kontakt’s huge collection of virtual instruments and effects is the absolute standard when it comes to music production plugins. Their VST instruments lineup in particular are among the best, most beautifully designed synthesizers that every music producer must have.
Kontakt Start is an enormous free bundle of some of their synths and effects.
It comes with more than 2000 studio quality sounds and over 6 GB of content, and it contains 16 pro-grade synths and sampled instruments, plus effects, loops, and samples.
It is a brilliant way to get started with Kontakt plugins. Some of our favorite plugins are TRK-01, Carbon 2 and Lazerbass
This plugin is way too under the radar for a lot of producers, and whenever we mention about this free vst plugin, no one knows about it.
Some of key features of it is that incorporates a virtual analogue with classic architecture, an audio source mixer with authentic overdrive and filter feedback.
This free virtual instrument is a compact, extremely powerful subtractive soft-synth that is capable of producing and manipulating high quality sounds on an unimaginable scale.
Tyrell N6 has 2 oscillators, noise, a ring modulator and 2 LFOs with 8 waveforms, as well as an audio source mixer with authentic overdrive and filter feedback.
It also comes for 580 high quality, fully customizable presets and many more can be found online, so if you’re in need of rapid sonic inspiration, this plugin will have something for you.
This free VST instrument is a no brainer for both beginner and advanced producers.
TAL – Noisemaker is a great free VST instrument, capable of creating a wide range of premium quality sounds for any musical genre. The plugin comes complete with three oscillators, along with several built-in effects such as reverb, delay, various filters, modulators, and a top notch sounding bit-crusher effect.
The NoiseMaker is capable of creating a huge variety of simple and complex sounds, from long, spacious, evolving pads as well as heavier, fast-envelope sounds.
This plugin is an improved, updated version of TAL-Elek7ro, with a completely new synth engine and several improvements in both it's quality and functionality.
This plugin also has 256 factory presets included, designed by award-winning Frank “Xenox” Neumann who has made sounds and presets for Yamaha and Ableton.
For our second part, we are going to talk about VST Effects and some of our top 5 five picks, which you can find absolutely free.
iZotope’s Vinyl uses advanced filtering, modeling, and resampling processes to create an authentic vinyl emulation.
If you’re looking to add those nostalgic scratches, warp, or mechanical noises to your beats, iZotope’s Vinyl will get the job done.
A simple, clean UI helps cut down on learning time so you can get right to crafting believable vintage effects.
"Vinyl has become the ultimate lo-fi tool for adding character to tracks. I’ve used it on projects for The Strokes, The Shins, My Morning Jacket, and Morrissey. I’ve used it on acoustic guitar, strings, and drums. My favorite is the year control — I loved dialing an orchestral string sound back to the 1930s." - Joe Chiccarelli, music producer
If you are not an Ableton Live user, but want that amazing OTT plugin that is built in it's Multiband Compressor plugin, XFER Records made this amazing vst effect that is free.
Just like it's Ableton counterpart, it is very easy to use and it has a simple and sleek interface.
By using only a small dose of this modern plugin, it can help glue tracks together or bring individual sounds forward in the mix and made them stand out more.
NOVA by Tokyo Dawn Records is a parallel dynamic equalizer. Appearing in the familiar layout of a parametric equalizer, each band also includes a full featured dynamics section allowing the processor to cover an impressively wide range of applications. Be it a master lacking density, the drum bus asking for more crispiness.
In action, this sound processor covers a whole load of tasks including:
- Parametric equalization
- Dynamic equalization
- Frequency selective compression
- Multi-band compression
- Wideband compression
Fracture by Glitchmachines is a buffer effect geared toward creating robotic artifacts and musical malfunctions.
This plugins is a versatile effect processor geared toward electronic dance music, film makers and sound designers.
This plugin was designed to add mind-warping glitch articulations and abstract textures to your music. Use it on anything from drums and percussion to synth lines and sound effects. Or even try it on vocals? The world is yours to experiment with this VST.
Fracture’s intuitive interface and diverse features make it simple to give your projects a unique technical edge. Our free downloads feature exclusive releases developed with the same uncompromising production values as our paid products.
Hysteresis by Glitchmachines is a glitch delay geared toward creating robotic artifacts, transformers like noises and musical malfunctions.
It is an effect processor geared toward electronic musicians and sound designers. Process anything from drums to synths, guitars, vocals and sound effects. On top of being able to create contorted signal mutations, it can also be tamed to generate classic delay effects.
This tremendous plugins features a delay effect with stutter, low pass filter and modulation effects thrown into the feedback signal path. The input signal first goes through a delay line on each stereo channel, but instead of sending the output directly back into the delay line, the resulting signal is sent to a stutter processor, then to a low pass filter and finally to another delay line on the opposite channel which is modulated for creating chorus type effects.
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