Recommended Freeware Vst-plugins

Thanks guys, I’ll update the original post as soon as I’ve got time! Especially like the small comments next to the link.

I was thinking yesterday after going to bed that this thread might be better off in a wiki-page, where people can update/edit as they see fit.

Foo: that’s an impressive list of VSTs you have there! Is there any of them you feel are extra special, or are they all top notch? I’d love to have a short comment about what they do, if possible.

Thanks to everyone for your contribution :)

Top thread guys! Great info here, and some plugs I’m gonna check out!

I will edit my post for comments…





any chance we could do the exact same thing for mac os x UB plugins?

Here is a hand picked list of the most interesting/useful plugins from a special issue of Computer Music. Ive omitted quite a few for time sake, but the ones listed below i assure you were the standout plugins from the magazine. Ive tried all the mac plugins listed, they are awesome.


PC. Beat Burner - sample mangler -


Foorius -
Oxe FM synth -
SQ8L -
Mutant KOTO -
Richman CM -
Wavesim -

Sonic Birth - Modular Plug in development enviroment





Reverb. Reverbering
Reverb. Omniverb
Freaky chorus/delay, Charsiesis
A special effect, Tapestop
Bizarre multi-effects, Fragmental


Delay/filter, TAL-DUB
Powerful Filter, Crayon Filter
Circuit-bent signal path, Berrtill
Mastering compressor, C3 Multiband Compressor
Transient shaper, Bitter Sweet II


String machine emulator, S3,
String synth and emulator, String Z2

Both OS.
Sound module/ROMpler Independence Free


Both OS.
Wii controlller MIDI generator, The Wiinstrument

Music organiser and two deck player, Beatport Sync
DJ mixing application Mixxx,

Audio toolkit FreeG,

Spectrum analyser and level monitor, Inspector,

VERY INTERESTING check out the his other plugins too.

cool stuff, thanks.

there is a better place you should post it.


I’d so love to be a moderator to clean these forums up entirely.

Im just trying to help the community, guess I’ll keep good finds to myself in the future.

please don’t, i appreciate your time and effort!

Here are some free plug-ins that I often use in my songs:

  • Crystal: an old beauty…

  • Synth1: I like its sound and its ability to remap nearly all its parameters to MIDI CC’s (1)

  • Oatmeal: those little knobs could be a pain to set A PRECISE VALUE, but it does so much for you. Hey, it even suggests a name for your preset!

  • AlphaCM: Actually I have purchased the full version, but I still use this plug-in offered by COMPUTER MUSIC(2). Great sound, easy on the CPU (esp. on a single-core CPU) and the choice to use the modulation matrix or MIDI learn.

  • FabFilter One CM Edition: I’ve also purchased the full version because I wanted polyphony. Long before that, I’ve used the CM Edition in many songs. For many of the same reasons I like the plug-ins listed above, I like this one, although it has just one oscillator and one envelope generator.

  • Dominator: Another great one from COMPUTER MUSIC. I don’t think there’s another free synth I encountered which could brutally synch oscillators like it can! I also like the chord mode, esp. when using pulse-modulated waves.

  • Helix: I fear when the developer would turn it into a commercial offering…I’m turned off by the GUI, but few synths, whether you pay for them or not, have so many options and sound as good. (3)

  • Lizard2: I like its sound. It was one of the handful of plugs I had with some FM capability until I got an Internet connection.

  • StringZ2: Perhaps the best plug-in out of KRAKLI, in my humble opinion. Once in RENOISE I automated the hey out of it! I like the option to use the modulation wheel to affect filter cutoff.

  • Anvilia CM: Lately, lately, this one is getting my attention. I’ve used Protoplasm Free by H.G. Fortune some time before but I think Anvilia is better. It gives out textures that are often surprising and convey emotion. (Sorry if I sound conceited :rolleyes: )

  • DSK Minidrumz: Only if it had multiple outputs! Many of those drums I wish I could have composed with in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In other words, PHAT…

  • Kjaerhus Classic Series: Originally I overused the Compressor and Master Limiter. The Classic Reverb sounds good to me; I could get good results from it quickly. Many times I’ve used the Classic Phaser to slightly liven up a mono audio file which happens to be in stereo format. The Classic EQ is my equalizer of preference. Usually I don’t have much patience using EQ’s and compressors.

  • ephonic TapeDelay: It does the job, and it’s simple to use.

  • crazyator (by Matthias Becker): I liked to think of flangers as fussy to use until I encountered this one.

  • CM-101: This little plug-in is in many of my songs. :) The filter could be brutal if the cutoff is modulated by the LFO and a shape for the LFO other than sine or triangle is used.

(1) I checked the usual link provided to see if there was an update, but it takes me to the Japanese Yahoo website log-in screen. Is it just me?

(2) Well, actually this plug-in (and some others listed) aren’t free because you have to buy COMPUTER MUSIC to get them…

(3) Actually I haven’t used Helix that much, but I checked out most of the factory presets, and I downloaded a few more from KVRAUDIO.

There are some more plug-ins, but when I wrote this I couldn’t think of them. Peace to all. :D

I’m sorry if I’ve mislead anybody about this plug-in. This variation of Anvilia could only be had, as far as I know, purchasing COMPUTER MUSIC Special Issue No. 30. If you visit H.G. Fortune’s website, there’s a free version of Anvilia but with 3 voices of polyphony. ;)

Just want to thank for all plugin advices.

I am creating my own plugins that I hand out for free:

I suppose those are for windows?
I couldn’t find it on the site.

Everything by this guy

This guy his filter algoritms are used in commercioal filters like basement arts frantic …


Freeware compressor with editable compression curve.

1 Like

I often use Reaplugs from Reaper.
VERY usefully things


Intro & VS1 -

All from - especially - Analog Warfare

polyIblit (something like 3xOSC but it’s semi-modular!) & LazySnake (good electric piano!)

best amongst best …also by antti he’s a real master of coding those zero’s and one’s

A HUGE post. I only listed the freeware synths I actually like and use.

Sound Bytes Hurdy Gurdy LE
A Hurdy Gurdy rompler, which isn’t just couple of samples recorded, but actually simulates the way hurdy gurdy plays. Freeware version has limited tuning options for drone strings and lacks a special reverb unit.
Definitely not for everyone.

In case someone doesn’t know what hurdy gurdy is check this Youtube link.

Angular Momentum Wavedraw Free
Two oscillators, two filters, chorus and reverb - sounds basic, but the fancy part is ability to draw waveforms and looping filter envelopes, not to mention the amount of modulation options for filters in general.
Could be more cpu friendly.
Great for evolving pads.…tails&id=27

Antti@Smartelectronix Augur
A Prophet VS clone.
Four oscillators with huge amount of waveforms and ability to morph between osc’s. Two lowpass filters, two lfo’s and a flexible modulation matrix. Really nice for long leads and pads.

Arguru Voyager
Four oscillators, two filters, couple of internal effects and huge amount of modulation options. The bad stuff - interface is horrible, it’s hard to program and it’s going to stay unfinished forever. RIP Arguru

Big Tick Cheeze Machine
Single oscillator vintage string synth. Very basic and easy to use, but sounds absolutely cheesy.…pcode=110〈=EN

Ugo String Theory
Plucked string synth with arpeggiator. I don’t like the arp, I don’t like the gui and I don’t think it’s even fun to program, but there is just something in the sound that keeps me using it. It’s been a long love/hate relationship, but it’s worth it :)

Fuzzpilz Oatmeal
Freeware supersynth. Everyone should know this one already.
Warning: Default skin is horrible and unusable. Change it. Skin in the screenshot is Yeagerwhite.
I suggest you get it from here:
All in one bundle contains huge amount of presets and skins.

Linplug Free Alpha
Basic two oscillator synth with great modulation matrix. Very easy to program, but very flexible. Recommended if you want flexibility, but are afraid of huge megasynths.

Odo 38911bytes

Very flexible C-64/chip synth. You just have to love the tracker style envelopes. It’s capable of much more than it seems, so don’t let the vintage approach fool you.
Old version (better in my opinion)…/

Oxe FM Synth

My favourite freeware FM synth thanks to amazing modulatin matrix. Very straightforward to use.

Krakli StringZ2

String synth with very unique sound. Supposed to be capable of simulating real string instruments, but much more fun when used for making “impossible” string sounds. Absolutely fantastic.…st/stringz2.png

Krakli Gargoyle…st/gargoyle.png

Other synths:

Antti@Smartelectronix Asynth - Two osc vintage synth with great filters.

Native Instruments Kore Player - Rompler/synth combination with limited programming capabilities, but includes some great sounds like standing jazz bass.

E-phonic Drumatic 3 - Easy to use, but great sounding drum synth.

Krakli S3 series - Synthetic string sounds and much more.

Majken Chimera - Noise-based synthesis. Great for pads and windlike effects.,en/

Rick Jelliffe Neumixturtrautonium - Virtual trautonium. Very hard to program and one of the ugliest interfaces ever, but sounds amazing.

Simple-media Spook Keys - Another virtual theremin. Volume and pitch can be controlled with midi CC’s.

Vember Audio Shortcircuit - Sampler. Loads REX2 files.

DSK romplers - Strings, guitars, rhodes, keys, saxophone and so on. The synths are not worth your time in my opinion, but there isn’t that much choice when it comes to freeware orchestral romplers.

Ugo Rez - Harsh sounding single oscillator synth.

Xoxos sounds of nature - Nature-themed effect synths.

Electri-Q - posihfopit edition is a simple, intuitive, but powerful minimum phase EQ, which makes it very easy to adjust the magnitude of any audio material. Due to its flexibility, it can be used on every track or even as a mastering equalizer.

The plugin offers two different algorithms. The ‘Analog’ algorithm was modelled on a transistor based circuit of a real analog EQ. On the other hand ‘Digital’ is a pure and neutral digital EQ without any coloration.

‘Electri-Q - posihfopit edition’ has up to 64 bands and offers several filter types.


  • Intuitive GUI.
  • Up to 64 bands.
  • Two basic algorithms (‘Digital’ and ‘Analog’).
  • 64-bit Assembler optimized.
  • Economy Mode for less CPU Usage.
  • All basic filter types (Peak, HighShelf, LowShelf, Highpass, Lowpass, Bandpass, Notch).
  • 30+ special filters.
  • Mono/Stereo (linked).
  • Exact edit of frequency, gain, bandwidth.
  • Add/Delete of a band.
  • Customizable Default.
  • A|B compare.
  • Import/export posihfopit presets.
  • 50 Presets.

IT has also a few nice skins

Sauli: Thanx for the hint with Oatmeal, now I see why I never grew fond of that plugin, the default skin is UGLY. And that MCompressor: It looks nice and may be nice too, but it comes with an installer that tries to phone home and additionally tried to create directories on my PC instead of just dumping the DLL File in the VST-Folder. I don’t want stuff like that on my PC.

Something no one posted yet: - mainly a pack of very basic, nice and easy-on-the-cpu plugins. Alot of this is covered by renoises internal effects, but some effects are still very useful. Might also be worth checking out if you are using another host beside renoise.