Looking for the best free VST plugin of 2020? Many months have passed since we launched into the new year. But what has changed? Well, on the bright side of the COVID-19 pandemic, new free VST releases and discoveries have been made. In this article, we will outline seven of the ones we’ve found that sound exceptional.
So which is the best free VST of 2020 so far? Let’s dive in.
1. Sampleson Push
If you're using free VST synths to find new fresh sounds, look no further than Sampleson Push, the subtractive synth that creates unique, quality sounds on random.
The scalable 4K interface is simple with a keyboard at the bottom, and a blue glowing "randomize" button – click it to generate a new sound instantly.
You then have an edit panel where you can edit your generated sounds fast. And if you find or create something you like, you can save it as a preset to build your ultimate experimental sound library.
Push is small and easy on your CPU and features two oscillators, five waveforms, six unison voices, four filter types, and two LFO's. You also have an effect rack included with reverb and delay.
2. Valhalla SuperMassive
Do you want to create massive reverbs but feel that your standard reverb effects just don’t cut it? Then you need to check out Valhalla Super Massive.
I’m sure you’ve listened to ambient tracks where the reverbed sounds just keep on giving. They seemingly go on forever, slowly morphing and surrounding your senses in a cloud of calm. That’s the sound of Super Massive.
With an effect bank of massive Echoes, Reverbs, and SFX, it also features a MOD section, including fantastic sounding flangers and choruses. The VST shines in the long, grand reverbs, though.
If you want genuinely massive reverbs, you need to download this right now.
3. Vember Audio Surge
Surge is another one of those synths you can’t believe is free. The synth is a subtractive hybrid powerhouse that has more customizability than many of the top paid synths. And it sounds killer.
With 1010 factory sound patches and 183 wavetables, there’s enough to get anyone started.
Surge features three oscillators per voice, including the classics like Classic, Sine, Wavetable, Window, FM2, Fm3, S/H Noise, and Audio input. And with a wide variety of settings, the ways you can shape your sound is limitless.
It also has two filtering units in 8 configurations, featuring multiple variations of all the most popular filters. And with a total of 12 LFO units available, you can change any parameter – fast and to your desire.
4. Spitfire Audio LABS
This synth and sound packs from Spitfire are a must-have.
LABS is a collection of ultra-high-quality sounds, ranging from mandolins and moon guitars to granular whale song. And it's not just a pack or two. They currently feature 27 different sound packs on their website, completely free.
Choosing a favorite sound is difficult since they're all brilliant. With LABS, you can think more like "what sound do I need?" and download the sound pack you want. Or heck, download them all.
If you want to play real instruments on your keyboard, rather than slicing and dicing samples, get this now.
For the best free VST plugin of 2020, this might take the lead.
5. iZotope Vocal Doubler
Do you want your vocals to shine? Then you must try the free VST iZotope Vocal Doubler, from the creators of the famous professional mixing plugin Ozone.
The effect plugin is simple. Drag the center control parameter up and down to get more stereo separation or drag it right or left to add a touch of human variation.
iZotope Vocal Doubler instantly adds depth and stereo width – while still retaining vocal details, making it sit perfectly in your mix.
Even though it's advertised to use with vocals (it's also in the name), you can use it on any sound where you want extra stereo width.
For example, add the effect on a pad and hear it gently settle down in the mix.
iZotope Vocal Doubler is a must-have for your studio right now.
6. U-He Tyrell N6
Looking for a straightforward and compact synth with an analog sound? The free Tyrell N6 synth by U-He is your answer.
With inspiration from the sounds of the 80s, it does everything from deep, fluffy basses to futuristic leads beautifully. And with 580 included presets, you won’t have a problem finding your sound.
And with all customization you could ask for, including two oscillators with noise, ring, and modulator, two LFO’s with eight waveforms to choose from, you can craft any electronic sound with ease.
Can you only use the plugin to create synthwave sounds? Not at all. But with its analog quality, that's where it shines.
Try it out.
7. Baby Audio Magic Switch
Baby Audio’s Magic Switch is a free one-click 80s style chorus plugin that opens and breathes life to anything you put it on.
Inspired by the warm, detuned analog synth soundscapes of the 80s, it works wonders on sounds that require more space. A lead sound or pad, for example.
The plugin also sounds great on guitars and can also be used on drums for a more spacey feel.
Activate the plugin by clicking on the triangle “magic switch,” adjust the mix levels and voila. Bypass and turn on the effect again to get blown away by the massive difference.
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And, let's get real.
If you're downloading free synth after synth searching for the perfect synth sound, I've got news for you...
You don't need "one more synth."
There, I said it.
The truth is, with only a few VST’s, you can create any synth sound you want.
For example, do you have the SERUM synth?
When you understand the core of sound synthesis, you can create any type of sound, with any characteristic, suiting any music style you want.
In Serum especially, you have unlimited sonic possibilities.
Instead of looking for the perfect sound – CREATE the perfect sound!
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Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article.
About the author
Pelle Sundin is a Swedish producer and copywriter, active with his chillout project PLMTRZ. He also produces psytrance. When he's not producing music, he surfs, skates, and chugs coffee.