List of best free VST and AU plugins you should try out!

Dec 6, 2016 | Gig Performer Blog

When it comes to selecting audio plugins, there is a myriad of choices and decisions to make. Everyone has their favorites and everyone is trying to find the right combination of plugins to create that great sound on stage. If you are a guitar player or a singer, you will be leaning more towards the effect plugins.  If you are a keyboard player then you are likely to pay more attention to instrument plugins.

A great write-up of what audio plugins a pro keyboards player is using these days comes from our own David Jameson. Read his “Go-to plugin list” here.

Easily combining, inserting and tweaking those plugins is essential for any serious musician. That’s why a great audio plugin host application (hint: Gig Performer😀) is a must. Otherwise, you might very well try a plugin and a few of its presets but then give up on it before you explore all the cool options it might offer.

When it comes to pricing, usually you get what you pay for. Creating a great sampler plugin for example takes a lot of development and studio time, using great instruments and great players to capture a particular instrument faithfully. Then some serious development time to actually allow players to play those samples back properly. 

Having said that, there are some hidden gems that are absolutely free! Typically they are used as promotional tools for other commercial plugins made by the same company.

Anyway, you can never have enough plugins – right?

Most of the plugins listed here will have an installer so all you have to do is install them and restart Gig Performer. Some, however, come only as compressed files so you will have to manually drag the files to the appropriate folders. These will usually have instructions within the archive. Check out this blog article to get you started with plugin installation on Windows.

Without further ado – here is my go-to list for some of those free VST and Audio Unit plugins.

Youlean Loudness Meter – This is one of the best, if not the best, free loudness metering plugins. It earned the top spot in the KVR development challenge for Dec 2016

Download and more information

Melda Production “Free Effects Bundle”. This is one of the most popular collections with more than 30 free plugins. If you don’t have this yet,  you should definitely check out their website.

Download and more information

Acon Digital “Multiply” is a great chorus effect that may just be all you need as far as chorus effects go. Clean user interface and clear sound.

Download and more info

AMAZONA “Tyrell N6” is a synthesizer that looks great, is versatile and comes with plenty of presets. You should give it a try. The site is in German but you can probably find your way around it regardless. There is also a manual in English should you need it.

 Download and more information

Klangehelm Audio Plugins “MJUC jr.” is a variable-tube compressor. Compressors change the character of your sound quite a bit. This one is a vintage style smooth but can also “pump up” quite a bit.

Download and more info

The same company, “Klanghelm”, also has a nice saturation and distortion plugin “IVGI”. Great looking and has the capability to create some nice distortion effects, just tweak the “Drive” knob and experiment

Download and more info

Matt Tytel “Helm” is an interesting open source synth.

 More info and download

Digital Suburban “dexed” is an FM synth plugin modeled on the Yamaha DX7

 More info and download

TAL “Reverb-2” is, as you can guess, a reverb plugin. Reverbs are particularly personal things. Almost like guitar picks so you will have to download this one and try it. I like it. It sounds good and it has a low CPU usage.

More info and download

“Tunefish Synthesizer” is an analog synth worth experimenting with.

More information and download

Tokyo Dawn Records “TDR Nova” is a dynamic EQ and one of the best available. User friendly interface. Somewhat CPU taxing – you should check it out on your system.

More info and download

I hope this list was useful.


Related topics:
Top websites for free audio plugins and how to use them in Gig Performer
My go-to plugin list
What are the best plugins to get?
Never-ending quest for a better reverb/delay (completed)
List of free VSTs