Freeware Favourites: The Reader’s Top Free Plugins

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Freeware is a great tool in music technology. Opening doors to new creative adventures without taking a penny, it truly is the best kind of deal. However, we know that there’s a multitude of great tools we’ve completely missed, so we asked for your recommendations. Free up some space on your hard drive…

Audacity


freeware

Download
Mac, PC

They say: ‘Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.’

vladg/sound No.6 Limiter



Download
Mac, PC

5 modules in 1 including: RMS compressor, peak limiter, high-frequency limiter, clipper, true peak limiter.

Tokyo Dawn Records Various Freeware



Nova
Mac, PC

They say: A dynamic equalizer in parallel configuration. Precise tone control paired with powerful dynamics processing.


Kotelnikov
Mac, PC

They say: A state of the art wideband dynamic range controller. Perfectly suited for stereo bus compression and other critical applications.


VOS SlickEQ
Mac, PC

They say: A mixing/mastering equaliser designed for ease of use, musical flexibility and impeccable sound.


Proximity
Mac, PC

They say: A distance pan pot offering intuitive access to psychoacoustic models. Finalist of the KVR Developer Contest ’12.

Voxengo Span



Download
Mac, PC

They say: ‘SPAN is a free real-time “fast Fourier transform” audio spectrum analyzer AU, AAX and VST plugin for professional music and audio production applications.’

Whilst SPAN was a reader-favourite, Voxengo also have 13 other free plug-ins available to download including a Tube Overdrive, FX Delay, Stereo Effect and a Plate Reverb.

Slate Digital Revival



Download
Mac, PC

They say: ‘The result of years of research into what makes things sound ‘better’, Revival is a new type of Sonic Enhancer. Borrowing aspects of tubes, tape, transformers and world-class analog filters, it can be used on individual tracks – for adding air to pop vocals or fatness to drums, for instance – but it is also amazing during the mastering stage to bring out details in full mixes.’

*Requires an iLok 2

Sonic Anomaly Unlimited



Download
Mac, PC

They say: Unlimited is a loudness maximizer and limiter for stereo and 5.1 surround material. It also offers an ITU-R BS.1770 compliant loudness meter in addition to RMS output meters.

Seaweed Audio Fathom Synth Mono



Download
Mac, PC

Fathom Mono is a freeware monophonic version of the Fathom Pro ($35) modular wavetable synthesiser in VST plugin format for Windows and Mac-based digital audio workstations.

Melda Production Various Freeware

Download
Mac, PC

With 32 free plug-ins to choose from you could spend forever trawling through Melda’s freeware finding the perfect combination for you. We can think of worse ways to spend your time.

Blue Cat Various Freeware



Download
Mac, PC

We’ve previously included a couple of Blue Cat freeware plug-ins, but why not go straight to the source and download their 6-pack of free plug-ins?

Audio Assault Headcrusher



Download
Mac, PC

They say: HeadCrusher Free is an analog saturation plugin. Use it on drums, vocals, bass, master track to add power or simply to destroy a track.

Softube Saturation Knob



Download
Mac, PC

They say: The free plug-in Saturation Knob is a modelled output distortion that can be used anywhere you need some grit.

iZotope Ozone Imager



Download
Mac, PC

They say: Ozone Imager is a FREE stereo imaging plug-in for your DAW or NLE. Born from Ozone 8’s legendary Imaging technology, Ozone Imager can narrow or widen your stereo image with simple controls, stunning visuals, and incredible sound.

Venn Audio Free Clip



Download
Mac, PC

They say: An intuitive multi algorithm soft clipper/wave shaper plugin, available as a Windows VST or mac Audio Unit.

Acustica Audio Red EQ



Download
Mac, PC

They say: The Red Eq equalizer provides three fixed bands at 80Hz, 1.8kHz and 8kHz, and though the EQ may look limited compared to a parametric, it actually sounds nicely musical and the frequencies have been chosen with care.

Togu Audio Line Various Freeware

Download
Mac, PC

The TAL-Reverb-4 has long been a favourite at MusicTech, but TAL offer even more free plug-ins that you can sink your teeth into including chorus, filters and synths.

Mercuriall Audio Greed Smasher



Download
Mac, PC

They say: A Mesa/Boogie® Grid Slammer modeling.

The Interruptor Bionic Supa Delay



Download
PC

They say: Bionic Supa Delay is an improved version of the popular tape delay plug-in “Bionic Delay”. The new version has additional sections for filtering, pitch shifting, reverb and auto panning which can be combined in different ways with the delay/echo section. Each section can also be used on its own.

Honourable Mentions


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