Six best freeware plug-ins for pop production

Get poptastic productions with these six best plug-ins. Oh, did we also mention that they’re all free? 

1. Ample Guitar M Lite II

Ample Guitar M Lite II

Pop pretty much covers everything these days, from guitar-based singer-songwriters to country, so this is a broad category. We’ll start with the guitar, though, and here’s a free Mac and PC acoustic courtesy of Amplesound. Ample Guitar M Lite II is a cut-down version of a Martin D-41 but still offers great acoustic tones for the (no) cash.


2. MAutoPitch


Fancy a bit of that overused Cher-like Auto-Tune action in your pop vocals? Of course you do! Melda has an extraordinary range of Mac and PC freeware and its MAutoPitch features automatic pitch-correction for that effect and a decent formant feature for more creativity. Check out the company’s other titles too.

3. Versilian Upright Piano

Versilian Upright Piano

We’re willing to bet you have a piano instrument already within your (freeware) DAW but it probably doesn’t sound as good as Versilian Upright Piano. This Mac and PC ROMpler features three velocity layers and up to 30 seconds of fade time and sounds brilliantly clean and broad. Just check out the demo at the link below. 


4. DrumZ AkoustiK

DSK DrumZ AcoustiK

’Pop drums?’ you ask. Well, we’re going to hook back to the always reliable DSK Music for some PC-only acoustic beats care of DrumZ AkoustiK. (If you want electronic pop and Mac then try Drum Pro from the Dance section) This features 85 drums samples, four kits and Pan and Levels controls for each of the eight sounds. 

5. Dexed


Our Pop suite of software is looking more band-like so we’ll add some electronic sheen, but we’ll not choose an obvious analogue. Instead, we’ll choose a broader range pop synth in the form of the Mac and PC Dexed which is based on the Yamaha DX7 synth, so features good stabs at pianos and acoustic instruments plus more synthetic fayre.

6. Steinberg VB-1

Steinberg VB-1 Bass19

Our pop band will be able to play everything from acoustic ballads to upbeat country with just one more addition – a bass! We’ll turn to the oldie but goldie Steinberg VB-1, a Mac and PC virtual bass guitar. Simple and effective, you can pretty much see what it does and how it does it from the screen, and it completes our pop freebies.