Spice Up Your Plugin Collection: Free Plugins – Great Sound?



There are thousands of plugins out there. And for the well known versions, you have to dig deep into your wallet. But there is an alternative: some manufacturers offer plugins for free. However, the word ‘free’ says nothing about the quality. I went online to look for free versions, which are worth checking out!

Either you can’t see your eq anymore, or you just want to give something new a try: free plugins are a nice way to discover treasures. I was looking for different categories: EQs, Dynamics/Compressors, Reverbs and Delays.




• TDR Nova (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU/AAX)

I’m sure you know the dynamic eq from Ozone 6. The concept behind TDR Nova works the same way. It is a dynamic eq, which means that it lifts or reduces frequency ranges dependent on a threshold. The free version comes with 4 bands and hi/lo filters. If you need more, you can upgrade the version to two additional bands and filter options.



Sonismus SonEQ (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU/RTAS)

If you like vintage sound, check this one. Remodeled from a Pultec EQ Sonismus created this 3 band eq including a saturation section.





Mellowmuse EQ1A (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU/RTAS)

Another analogue style eq, but with really basic interface and settings. I love the minimalistic style of the plugin which will make it easy to adjust settings.





lkjb Luftikus (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU)luftikus_screenshot

Analogue modelled eq which really reminds me of Maags EQ4. Also has a air band with switchable center frequency up to 40kHz






Audio Damage Rough Rider
(Windows: VST | Mac OS: AU/VST)

This plugin really makes its name! I did not use many plugins yet, which acted so aggressive like this one (ratio lvls up to 1:1000!!). Perfect when used to add a pumping effect to rhythmic tracks.





LVC-Audio Limited-Z (Windows: VST, RTAS, AAX | Mac OS: VST, RTAS, AAX, AU)

Lookahead brickwall limiter for mastering and mixing. Comes with different limiting algorithms, a waveform display! Nice! I love when audio is visualized and you can actually see what its doing. But don’t push it too hard: due to the lack of oversampling, artifacts can occur. Paid version offers this feature.





TDR Feeback Compressor
(Windows, Mac OS | VST)

Modern bus compressor.






Sanford Reverb (Windows | VST)

Algorithmic reverb with a special extra: freeze. Great for sound design and creative settings. Unfortunately it’s just available for Windows.






Magnus Ambience (Windows: VST | Mac OS: VST/AU

I’ve heard a lot good stuff about this plugin, but never tried it. I wanted to mention it, though.






Valhalla FreqEcho
(Windows, Mac OS | VST/RTAS/AU)

Valhalla has some nice reverbs in their catalogue, but also this little delay. Comes with basic settings which allow fast results.





Emulates oldschool digital delay, which automatically adds a sense of distortion to the audio.






Flux Bittersweet (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU/AAX)

Bittersweet is a Transient Designer with simple interface and some extras: choosable stereo/mono options, different transient and detection modes. If’ve used it a lot in the past and it really does its job.





Softube Saturation Knob (Windows, Mac OS | VST/AU/AAX)

A simple but effective tool for controlled distortion. Straight design with a big knob and switchable saturation modes. And maybe one of the most used free saturation tools.






Voxengo SPAN 

(Windows, Mac OS | VST, AU)

A full-fledged analyzer for free! With stereo options and correlation meter and pretty much display options.


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