Are your productions in need of some decent after-effects that don’t come with a price tag? Try out these 7 freeware effects. (Click each title to download).
Type Mac, PC, VST
VladG is a Russian developer with an extensive blog about audio plug-in development, loads of detail and lots to learn. And you’ll need to know your compression to get the best from this beauty, but there’s an extensive manual available. It’s not transparent in sound but once you get it, you’ll be using it on an extensive range of tasks, as it can sound easily as good as it looks.
Type Mac, PC, VST/AU/AAX
Effects can be divided into ‘subtle mix’ type or more creative and in-your-face, and FuzzPus definitely falls into the latter. It’s a vintage distortion plug-in, but with a very modern GUI with plenty of control – including Frequency, Feedback, Resonance, Distortion and Level – to rough up a beat, add menace to a bassline or properly distort a guitar.
Type Mac, PC, VST/AU/AAX/RTAS
Stereo-widening plug-ins tend to be used at the end mastering side of music production. They do have an inherent problem, in that bass frequencies need to sit central and not be widened. A1 StereoControl, however, has a Safe Bass feature that allows a predetermined set of frequencies to remain unwidened. We’ve made that sound simpler than it is, but this plug-in has the algorithms and width you need.
Type Mac, PC, VST/AU/RTAS
There are so many freeware effect plug-ins available, we’ve tried to keep this list as varied as possible, with something of every type. And everyone needs a good EQ, right? ColourEQ is a simple workhorse – one with five bands allowing you to pinpoint and shape your sound with ease. You get Frequency, Gain, Q and Mix dials per band, which certainly come in handy for our Produce A Track For Free mixing tutorials in our feature.
Type Mac, PC, VST/AU
You’ll also need a decent reverb in your collection too and this is as simple as one gets. We love TAL, the small Swiss developer behind Reverb-4, and they have some other excellent and more complex plugs. But despite its simplicity, Reverb-4 has a great and varied sound thanks to Wet, Dry, Delay, and Size parameters plus Hi- and Lo-cut dials for a vintage vibe. Never judge a plug-in by its size.
Type Mac, PC, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX
When it comes to compressors we’ve included more than one as they are suited to a variety of tasks from adding vintage colour to more subtle limiting. As it goes this is capable of a bit of everything and can be used to distort basses at the mixing stage or more gentle limiting at the mastering stage. There is plenty of free functionality and options to pay for even more.
Type Mac, PC, VST
We’ve got a good workhorse EQ so how about a decent vintage one to go with it? And actually PTEQ-X is not just a Pultec EQ clone – which is cool enough in itself – but has three types of EQ and four valve types, so offers your productions a lot of sonic variety. And as with so many freeware effects, the GUI is damn fine too. The Ignite Amps website is down as we write this but head on over to KVR for the download.