Top 5 FREE Plug-Ins of 2017
Autotune + 808 + 909 + Saturator + Maximizer + Sub Bass
Have a new years resolution to start producing music? Or maybe you’re already balls deep in the production game, but looking for new VST’s for inspiration. Either way, this list won’t cost you a kuai, with all following VST’s being FREE.
Start your new year off will some fat bass, tuned vocals, and crisp saturation using the plug-ins I chose below!
BD-808 & BD-909 by Synsonic (Windows, macOS)
BD-808 and BD-909 are freeware kick drum synthesizers in VST and AU plugin formats. But as their names suggest, these aren’t just any kick drum synthesizers. The two plugins were designed to emulate the bass drum sounds of Roland’s legendary TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines which became the staple of electronic music. One very important thing to note is that these plugins are not sample-based. Instead, the sounds are generated internally, emulating the synthesis engine or Roland’s drum machine classics. As stated by Synsonic, the two instruments are based on a “detailed analysis of the original 808 and 909 bass drum circuits”
Synsonic’s bass drum synthesizers are very good at what they do, delivering authentic sounding 808 and 909 kicks. What’s even better is that both instruments can be played chromatically, meaning that one can easily use the 808 kick as a melodic bassline instrument in a track. Using the 808 sample as the sound source for the bassline is a well-known technique, but using an actual 808 synthesizer rather than a sample results in a cleaner sound. Highly recommended for anyone looking for authentic TR-808 and TR-909 sounds.
Download TR-808 FREE HERE
Graillon 2 Free by Auburn Sounds (Windows, macOS)
Graillon 2 Free is an excellent free auto-tune alternative in VST and AU plugin formats for PC and Mac. Essentially a lightweight freeware version of the Graillon 2 ($29 value) plugin by Auburn Sounds, Graillon 2 Free is still a very capable plugin and one that we’d highly recommend as your next go-to pitch correction tool. Despite lacking some of the features found in the paid product, the most important functions, pitch shifter and pitch correction, are included and fully functional.
The thing we loved about Graillon 2 Free is how easy it is to use as an auto-tune alternative. The pitch correction workflow is simple and effective. It can be used for over-the-top auto-tune you hear in modern pop and urban music, or for subtle correction of vocal recordings. The user interface is very intuitive, which is why Graillon 2 Free is the perfect choice for beginners and seasoned producers alike.
Download Grallion FREE HERE
bx_subfilter by Plugin Alliance (Windows, macOS)
If Q3D becomes your secret weapon for boosting the top end of a mix, then bx_subfilter will do the same for the all-important sub bass. Developed by Brainworx and released by Plugin Alliance, is a neat freeware utility for putting the low end of your mix under control and boosting the bass without masking other instruments.
The plugin uses a resonant low-pass filter to boost the specified bass frequency while cleaning up the extreme low end to improve clarity. It is a 2-in-1 tool for handling the sub-bass content, and it is equally effective and easy to use. If you’re looking for something more streamlined, check out the SK10 plugin by Wavesfactory which is another neat tool for processing bass and kick drum sounds.
Download bx_subfilter FREE HERE
MAX1 by BeatSkillz (Windows, macOS)
MAX1 is an automatic compression tool where an auto-release algorithm shapes the compressor’s response according to the characteristics of the processed signal. For an extra simple workflow, MAX1 features only threshold, attack, and output volume knobs, in addition to an optional soft clipper and peak/RMS switches. Simply add the plug-in to a channel that needs compression/limiting, adjust its threshold value to specify the compression amount, and set the attack time depending on how much transient impact you want.
MAX1 adds serious loudness and punch to percussion and bass tracks, in particular. The maximizer can be pushed hard without destroying the signal, and the soft clipper on the output aids in beefing up the sound further without generating digital artifacts. All things considered, MAX1 is a well-made maximizer that belongs in everyone’s plug-in arsenal.
Download MAX1 FREE HERE
ComBear by W.A. Production (Windows, macOS)
Remember the Sausage Fattener Dada Life’s saturation and compression tool? ComBear is a free alternative which relies on parallel compression to obtain a similar effect of fattening up audio.
While Sausage Fattener seems to apply a lot more processing behind the scenes, adding saturation and multi-band compression, ComBear is a simpler tool that gets the job done. The more you push the compression dial, the louder the signal on the output. Asso, the bear on the GUI will look angrier at higher compression settings, which is a fun nod to Sausage Fattener and its animated sausage GUI
Download ComBear FREE HERE
–Chosen from the Top 50 list provided by Bedroom Producer Blog