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Top 10 Free VST Effects For Creative Mixing

In this article you’ll find our list of top 10 absolutely free VST plugin effects for creative mixing. Combine these with your stock plugins and you’ll really improve your arsenal of mixing tools!

1. Ujam Finisher Micro

This effect is really simple but incredibly fun. It’s a one-knob multi effect. It combines a lot of effect chains in a super simple interface.

“Finisher stands for instant inspiration and endless creative sonic variety, a little bit like a magic spray finish for audio tracks“

2. Tal Filter 2

TAL-Filter-2 is an LFO-Tool type effect. It has volume and panorama modulation possibilities, as well as a filter module with different filter types. It can be used for sidechain, tremolo or trance gate effects. It does what the Auto Pan effect can do in Live, but has much more functionality thanks to its flexible curve editor.

See also: Top 100+ Free VST Effects List [2021]

3. CHOW Tape Model

Chow Tape Model is a digital emulation of a reel-to-reel analog tape machine. 

It was developed at Stanford University’s CCRMA. It’s a great RC-20 alternative. It adds analog tape saturation and wobble, and can make anything sound lo-fi.

“The original algorithm was developed to emulate the Sony TC-260, but has since been expanded to be able to model a wide variety of tape machines.”

4. Varispeed Delay

It’s a delay with a vintage character - a simulation of the WEM Copycat IC-400 Belt Drive VariSpeed, which is a tape echo machine. VariSpeed replicates the hardware instrument as it is, with all its pros and cons.

“It’s the first tape echo machine made by WEM with a DC capstan motor capable of changing speed, thus varying the delay time.”

5. Wider by Polyverse

Wider creates the illusion of an expanded stereo image of a mono signal. It is completely “mono-compatible”. This widener is really great at making any signal stereo without sacrificing the mono output.

Wider takes the massively popular stereo section from its sibling, Manipulator, and creates the illusion of an expanded stereo image of a mono signal to an awe-inspiring amount of width. However, Wider is a unique stereo plugin in the sense that it is completely “mono-compatible”, meaning that any signal that has been extended will always remain in phase with itself, even if summed to mono.”

5. Halftime (demo) by Cableguys

The free demo version of the popular plugin Halftime is completely usable if you’re using only one instance of it.

HalfTime transforms any audio into a dark, downtempo version of itself, giving your tracks huge mood and atmosphere. It is great for stretching loops because it can chop up the pitched sample to fit with your track harmonically. It includes a very useful filter section - achieving something like it in the DAW would be possible, but complicated.

“Enter a world of spaced-out, slowed-down sound with HalfTime, the only plugin 100% dedicated to half-speed effects, in use by Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, members of 808 Mafia, The Chemical Brothers and more.”

See also: Top 100+ Free VST Instruments List [2021]

7. Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch

This is a program for stretching the audio. It is suitable only for extreme sound stretching of the audio (It can even stretch a sound 1000 times.) and for applying special effects to it. It transforms any sound to a texture and is great for creating pads and drones.

8. Multiply by Acon Digital

It’s a free and versatile chorus effect with a unique twist. Each simulated voice is processed with a phase randomizing filter so that unpleasant comb filter effects are avoided. The effect can be used to simulate the effect of several performers playing the same tones simultaneously. It has up to 6 voices and can be used to widen the stereo image or to create special sound design effects. 

9. Saturation Knob by Softube

It's a super simple saturation plugin with three modes for three kinds of distortion character​. It's great for fattening up drums and bass, adding harmonics to vocals, and more.

“The free plug-in Saturation Knob is a modeled output distortion that can be used anywhere you need some grit.”

10. Fresh Air by Slate Digital

Fresh Air is a dynamic high frequency processor that breathes new life into your mix with just two knobs. Add smooth high end without harshness.  It’s great on vocals but can be used on anything.

“Fresh Air combines serious audio processing behind a gorgeous facade. Based on vintage exciter circuits and advanced dynamics processing, Fresh Air lets you add just the right amount of brilliance & shine to your mix in simple interface you can start using right away. Put it on individual tracks or your entire mixbus— whatever you choose, the results will blow you away.”

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