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Top 30 Best VST Audio Plugins in 2024 for Music Production

Top 30 Plugins 2022

In this article you’ll find VST plugins which are most widely used in 2024 by music industry professionals - producers, mixers and mastering engineers. We’ll start with the best free plugins available, and then go through all the categories of paid plugins. It's a complete overview of the plugins which are definitely worth getting in 2024. 

Let’s get started!


1. Free plugins
2. Synthesizers
3. Processing plugin bundles
4. Reverb plugins
5. Vocal processing
6. Distortion & saturation
7. Drums plugins
8. Sampled instruments
9. Other processing plugins


I. Free plugins

1. Vital

This wavetable synth VST continues to be incredibly popular because of the fact that not only is it absolutely free, but also features no less features than Xfer Serum itself. There’s a growing number of preset packs being developed for Vital and the plugin is expected to become the most popular synth among EDM producers. See our selection of Vital preset packs here.

Check out Vital


2. Momentum Sampler by Big Fish Audio

Momentum is a great free sampler VST with slicing, stretching, key changes, rearranging, and composition tools. Users can apply 18 slice-specific effects, employ smart BPM and key stretching features, and access Big Fish Audio's extensive loop libraries - all within this subscription-free plugin. It's incredibly popular among hip-hop producers, and is a great alternative to Serato Sample.

Check out Momentum

Momentum Sampler by Big Fish Audio

3. Xfer OTT

Xfer Records OTT is a free plugin re-creation of an Ableton Live preset in the Multiband Compressor effect. It's an upwards/downwards compressor set-up used by many dubstep and electro producers. The sound of OTT is incredibly popular, and using the effect is one of the top techniques for making powerful sounding synth sounds.

Check out Xfer OTT

Xfer OTT

4. Polyverse Wider 2

Polyverse Wider 2 is a unique stereo widener plug-in is able to expand a fully mono signal to full stereo. It maintains mono compatibility, ensuring the widened signal remains in phase even when summed back to mono. The new version introduces features like the ability to exclude low frequencies from the widening effect and a mono button to check compatibility.

Check out Polyverse Wider 2

Polyverse Wider 2

5. Slate Digital Fresh Air

Fresh Air is a dynamic high-frequency processor that effortlessly adds the smoothest high end to your mix, eliminating any hint of harshness. The plugin combines vintage exciter circuits and advanced dynamics processing. With only two knobs it’s also incredibly simple to use.

Check out Fresh Air

Fresh Air

II. Synthesizers

6. Xfer Serum

Serum has been the go-to plugin of EDM producers over the recent years for a reason. It features an incredible set of functions and doesn’t fail to deliver bright, punchy sounds. Despite the built-in library of presets being quite small, multiple preset packs have been made for Serum, allowing you to make every genre possible. Check our Serum preset packs here.


7. Omnisphere

Spectrasonics Omnisphere is a hybrid synth that continues to be amongst the top VSTs. It has a massive library of built in sounds, giving you access to both incredibly powerful synth-only sounds as well as cinematic sounding layered patches. It is especially popular among hip hop producers.


8. Diva

U-he Diva is an analog modelling synth which excels at sounding incredibly fat and realistic. Giving you both Roland and Moog-esque modules, it allows great amounts of customization without losing its authentic feel. Diva is a popular choice especially among melodic house and techno producersGet our preset packs for Diva here.


Check out Diva on PluginBoutique

9. Nexus 4

Nexus is a rompler which has incredibly solid sounds, perfect for mainstream EDM and Dance productions. It gives you very quick access to plenty of very useful patches which need almost no customization. It has been used by many professionals and after many years its popularity continues.


10. Arturia Analog Lab

Arturia is known for developing the best emulations of classic vintage synthesizers. Their plugin “Analog Lab” combines all the huge libraries of each of their emulation plugins and brings them together in one easy-to-use interface. You have 8 initial controls to quickly tweak any preset - and you’re able to dive in and change the sound as far as you want as well. See Arturia preset packs here.

Analog Lab

Check out Arturia Analog Lab on PluginBoutique

11. u-He Repro 5

Repro is an amazing emulation of the classic Prophet 5 synthesizer with plenty of modern improvements, which is gaining a lot of popularity. Check out our preset pack for Repro here.

Repro 5

Check out Repro-5 on PluginBoutique


See Also: Top 30 Synthesizer VST Plugins in 2024 


III. Processing plugin bundles

12. FabFilter Total Bundle

FabFilter's Total Bundle for desktop is a comprehensive set of professional-grade audio plug-ins, including EQ, reverb, compressor, and more. The plugins are acclaimed for their sonic capabilities and sleek user interfaces. Especially worth mentioning are the Pro-Q (Equalizer), Pro-L (Limiter), Pro-R (Reverb) and Pro-C (Compression), which made their way into countless music studios worldwide.

Check out Fabfilter Total Bundle on PluginBoutique

FabFilter Total Bundle

13. Soundtoys Bundle

The Soundtoys 5 Bundle enables you to create luscious reverberation (SuperPlate), amazing distortion (Decapitator, Radiator, Devil-Loc), singature echo (EchoBoy, PrimalTap), great vocal effects (Little AlterBoy), and reverse shimmer delay (Crystallizer). It also takes modulation to new heights with beat-synced rhythmic effects from PanMan, Tremolator, FilterFreak, and PhaseMistress.

Check out Soundtoys Bundle on PluginBoutique

Soundtoys Bundle

14. UAD Producer Edition

Among many other bundles Universal Audio offers, the Producer Edition stands out. It offers a curated collection of instrument plug-ins, such as Electra 88 Vintage Keyboard Studio, Moog Minimoog, and effect plug-ins like the 1176 Classic Limiter Collection and Galaxy Tape Echo. It’s a great choice for anyone in need of vintage-inspired synths, in-the-box grand pianos, analog warmth for vocals and instruments, as well as iconic tube compressors and EQs for professional mixing purposes.

Check out UAD Producer Edition on PluginBoutique

UAD Producer Edition

15. Waves Diamond Bundle

The Waves Diamond Bundle includes 76 audio mixing and mastering plugins, covering dynamics, EQ, reverb, pitch correction, spatial imaging, and much more. It's great for various studio applications, including tracking, mixing, mastering, sound design, and audio restoration. It encompasses the huge selection of plugins from Waves Platinum, Restoration, and Transform bundles, as well as additional tools like V-Comp, L3 Multimaximizer, NLS Non-Linear Summer.



IV. Reverb plugins

16. Blackhole

Blackhole gives you plenty of control, with the possibility to create your own signature sounds. Includes a set of 50 presets which can be a starting point for explorations - from rooms to huge spaces.

Blackhole Reverb

Check out Eventide Blackhole on PluginBoutique

17. Valhalla Plate

ValhallaPlate is an algorithmic plate reverb plugin with 12 original algorithms which imitates the sounds of hardware plate reverbs - and pushes the boundaries of what a plate reverb can do.

Valhalla Plate

18. Lexicon PCM Native Reverb

Lexicon’s Native Reverb provides a big set of algorithms and patches to put vocals, synths and recorded instruments in stunning spaces from small to large.

Lexicon Reverb


V. Vocal Processing plugins

19. Antares AutoTune Pro X

Auto-Tune Pro X stands out as the industry's most sophisticated pitch correction effect, boasting innovative Throat Modeling and Formant Correction controls for unparalleled vocal optimization. Its redesigned Graph Mode, Auto Mode for real-time correction, an exclusive collection of artist presets, as well as the new Presets Manager fast-track your creative process when recording and mixing vocals.

Antares AutoTune Pro X

Check out Antares AutoTune on PluginBoutique


20. Melodyne

Melodyne gives you the ability to bring out all the musical details in your recordings and edit them note by note - something you cannot do in any other software. It analyses the audio in a sophisticated manner and goes deep into your samples to recognize the scales, notes and chords that are played, as well as the tempo and tonal character.


Check out Melodyne on PluginBoutique


21. Izotope Nectar

iZotope Nectar 3's exceptional sound quality and user-friendly design make it a highly recommended tool for enhancing vocals in various genres. It encompasses plenty of advanced tools designed for vocal processing (EQ, Pitch, Dimension, Compressor, Reverb, De-esser and much more). The recent update also includes an innovative AI Vocal Assistant for automatic processing. 

Check out Izotope Nectar on PluginBoutique

Izotope Nectar


VI. Distortion & Saturation

22. Fabfilter Saturn 2

FabFilter Saturn 2 is a powerful distortion and saturation plugin inspired by vintage sounds of tubes, tape, transformers, and guitar amps. With 28 distortion styles, Saturn 2 allows users to achieve everything from subtle warmth to wild multiband guitar amp effects. The multiband design with per-band controls for dynamics, drive, mix, feedback, tone, and level provides a huge amount of control over the sound.

Check out Fabfilter Saturn 2 on PluginBoutique

Fabfilter Saturn 2


23. RC-20

RC-20 is the lo-fi plugin everyone keeps talking about. It gives you very warm tones by emulating classic vintage recording equipment. In that way, it’s able to breathe life into any recording and is perfect for modern production studios. 

RC-20 Retro Color

Check out RC-20 on PluginBoutique

VII. Drums plugins

24. Addictive Drums

Addictive Drums 2 provides incredibly high quality studio recorded drum samples with an easy to use and program interface - allowing you to write very realistic drum patterns.

Addictive Drums 2

25. SSD5

SSD5 is a plugin from Steven Slate which gives you plenty of well-recorded drumkits which you can easily program in piano roll or map to your MIDI controller or drumkit.


VIII. Sampled instruments

26. Kontakt 7

Native Instruments Kontakt is the go-to plugin for sampled instruments - it’s a sampler for which there’s an incredible selection of third party recorded instrument libraries. The included factory selection gives you access to plenty of well-recorded instruments as well - pianos, guitars, orchestral instruments, as well as synths and drum machines.

Tip: There's a free version called Kontakt Player 7, as well as a free soundset called Kontakt Factory Selection, part of the free Komplete Start bundle.

27. Keyscape

Keyscape is a keyboard plugin which samples some of the greatest pianosrhodes and digital keyboards. It gives you easy access to all the sounds and features some rare keyboards as well, which you can combine with other sounds to create “combo” patches.


28. Arcade

Arcade uses loops and gives you the ability to customize them in a super easy-to-use interface. It’s a subscription service with monthly payments - very useful in genres like hip hop.

Output Arcade


IX. Other processing plugins

29. Izotope Ozone 11

Ozone gives you all the tools you need to master a track in one VST. It combines compressors, EQs, stereo effects as well as AI-based algorithms to give you exactly what you’re looking for - warm analog feel or ideal loudness for music streaming platforms.


Check out Ozone 11 on PluginBoutique

30. Soothe2

Soothe removes harshness, reduces sibilance in vocals, as well as treats uneven tonal balance in recordings. It removes mud, boominess as well as treats the proximity effect.


See Also:


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