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Top 11 Free VST Plugins (2021)

Top 11 Free VST Plugins 2021

Welcome 2021, a new year of amazing free VST plugins. To get you ready and groovy for this year's ultra-productive studio sessions, let us introduce our top 11 best free VST plugins of 2021.

With our picks ranging from advanced synthezisers to essential mixing and mastering plugins, we're sure you're going to find them pleasing.

Let's dive in, shall we?

1. Vital Audio: Vital

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Vital

Vital is an extremely anticipated release from Vital Audio. It’s a spectral warping wavetable synth with a focus on both design and extreme customizability.

Let’s take the design and visuals for starters. Everything neatly lights up after what happens in the VST behind the scenes. For example, when you play your sound, you can see it follow your set envelope. This overview gives you the ability to make extremely accurate changes. And best of all – it applies to all Vital’s controls.

If you like to deep dive into wild modulation and experimentation, Vital is your friend. With many interesting features to stretch, warp and transform your sound, only your imagination sets the limit.

You can even create your own wavetables from scratch or samples. There’s even a wavetable generator for text. Meaning, you can write anything, and Vital’s wavetable will sing it out to you.

Super cool free VST plugin. You get so much more by purchasing it, but in its free version, it’s still too good of a download.

Download free here.

2. YouLean: Loudness Meter

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 YouLean Loudness Meter

YouLean Loudness Meter is a free VST plugin and a mixing engineer’s best friend. But it's best if you know the basics of mixing and mastering before downloading.

So, what does it do? Well, if you know what LUFS, True Peak, Loudness Range, and Dynamic Ranges are, you’re in for a treat. YouLean analyzes all these accurately and compares them to standards of modern distribution formats.

Why does this matter? Different distribution services use different standards of loudness. And by knowing how your sound compares, you can make important mastering decisions to make it sound good everywhere.

In essence, this is a free mastering analysis powerhouse plugin that does what it’s supposed to do. And it does it excellently.

Download free here.

3. Valhalla DSP: SuperMassive

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Valhalla Supermassive

Do you feel like your regular reverb just isn’t cutting it anymore? Well, say hello to Valhalla Supermassive. A reverb to satisfy even the greatest of echo-lovers.

With enough settings to make your reverbs ring into eternity, you can create spaces bigger than huge. Throw it on a vocal and let those airy harmonics sing. Put it on drums, close your eyes, and you're suddenly in a dome that sounds bigger than anything you’ve experienced before.

The possibilities of the Valhalla Supermassive are vast. With several settings and modes for both reverb-y delays and the more traditional echo, you can craft the right reverb for any sound you can think of.

However, if you’re looking for a free small room reverb – look away. This VST is a space creator deluxe, and you're going to love it.

Download free here.

4. Vember Audio: Surge

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Surge

Surge is like a free paid synth. Are you confused? Sorry. What I mean is, it’s so good that it should cost money. With a subtractive core and indefinite settings to craft your perfect sounds, including 12 LFO units, there’s also plenty of room for advanced experimentation.

And if you have trouble getting started, select one of the 1010 factory sound patches, or play around with the 183 wavetables. Surge has something for everyone. And the end-resulting sound is incredible.

With three oscillators per voice and eight types to choose from, two incredible filtering units in eight configurations – I dare you to find a sound that you can’t create.

Download free here.

5. Valhalla DSP: FreqEcho

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Valhalla FreqEcho

ValhallaFreqEcho is an interesting one. It’s both a frequency shifter and an analog-style echo, which combined takes you back to the hazy psychedelic memories of 60’s sounds.

If you use it in a minimalistic way, you’ve got a chorus, flanger, and doubler. But if you want to have fun, crank this baby up and discover wonderful weirdness as you've never heard it before.

This plugin is the perfect addition to anyone looking to create experimental or psychedelic music. But it’s also a great addition for producers looking to spice up their creative juices.

Download here.

6. U-He: Tyrell N6

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Tyrell N6

Tyrell N6 describes best in three words: warm, heavy, classic. And as you probably know, the creator U-he rarely disappoints (Diva, I’m looking at you.)

With two oscillators and LFO's, filters, envelopes, a mixer, and more laid out in a classic analog interface, you’ll quickly find the buttons you need to create your perfect sound.

The free VST comes packed with 580 presets to play around it. And the style is like straight out of the eighties. It’s fuzzy and pleasant. Perfect for melodic house, techno, or trap music when you want a ‘fat’ sound.

Download free here.

7. Xfer Records: OTT

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Xfer Records OTT

Say hello to the free OTT of your dreams from Serum’s father (or mother), Xfer Records.

But what on earth is an OTT? Simply put, it’s an aggressive multiband upwards or downwards compressor, sworn by electronic music producers all over the globe.

The difference in sound after applying OTT is tough to explain. But the easiest way is probably ‘in your face.’ This is an effect that takes your sound, smashes, brightens, and toughens it up.

It’s perfect on synth lead sounds you want to put in the forefront of your mix. But also great on things like basses and, in some cases, even drums.

Try it out and hear the difference.

Download free here.

8. iZotope: Vocal Doubler

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 iZotope Vocal Doubler

Mono vocals can sometimes be boring. And when you want that extra spice in your mix, a doubler is a fantastic way to next-level your vocals.

By doubling your vocal track and treating it differently, you get the effect of two vocalists singing simultaneously. Vocal Doubler takes the second audio track and introduces separation and variation to your choice, making it sound like two separate takes.

Vocal layers make bigger tracks, and as a free VST plugin, the Vocal Doubler from iZotope is as good as it gets.

Download free here.

9. Native Instruments: Komplete Start

Best FREE VST Plugins 2021 Native Instruments: Komplete Start

Kontakt Start is what Native Instruments call a “free production suite” – and that’s probably the best way to describe it.

And yeah, the big question is, what is it not? Packed inside this free goodie, you get a powerful sampler, vast sound and loops library, several synths, and effects. And most important of all – you get pure quality.

Producers all over the world swear by Kontakt. With endless paid packs (in all previously mentioned areas), you get professional sounds for all genres you can imagine.

Komplete Start still has a lot to offer. With over 2000 top-quality sounds, effects, and synthesizers, you will never get bored.

The best thing, in our opinion, is the absolute quality of the samples. You play and interact with them just like any other synth, with the ability to change attack, sustain, decay and release.

If you’re looking for top samples that you can play on your keyboard, with the ability to expand into more free libraries and packs – check out Kontakt Start.

Download free here.

10. Spitfire Audio: LABS

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 Spitfire Audio LABS

Spitfire Audio LABS is a new free synth that has taken the producer world by storm. It’s similar to the Kontakt player but is purely a synth focusing on organic, realistic sounds.

As we’re writing this, you get free access to over 30+ free sound packs, ranging from whale song pads to sleigh bells and Wurlitzers.   

And they all play from the minimalistic, slick, and beautiful interface, with few but focused settings on making your sound fit your mix perfectly.

This synth is for all you lovers of organic sounds out there. The sound quality is ultra-high, and the synth is incredibly easy to make music with.

If you are looking for one of the best free VST plugins of 2021, look no further. Spitfire Audio LABS is it.

Download free here.

11. iZotope: Ozone Imager

Best FREE VST Plugin 2021 iZotope Ozone Imager

iZotope is well famous in the music production and engineering field. And thankfully, they have released a free function from their flagship mixing and mastering plugin, called Ozone Imager.

Controlling your stereo field is critical for an excellent mix. According to common mixing practices, you want to keep your bottom-end narrow and high-end airy and wide. And that's what this imager does.

Put this on your sub-bass and make it mono. Throw it on your sparkly lead and stereorize it. With the visualizer, you see how your sound acts in the stereo field, giving you complete control over your mixing choices.

A must-have for producers. Get it now.

Download free here.

Learn How To Make Music With Your VST Plugins

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Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article.

Pelle Sundin
About the author
Pelle Sundin is a Swedish music producer and writer, active with his chillout project PLMTRZ. He also produces psytrance. When he's not producing, he surfs, skates, and chugs coffee.

 



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