“What are the best free VST plugins out there in 2022?”. In 2022, there are hundreds of free VST plugins out there, from fully-featured wavetable synth plugins, to detailed, authentic virtual instruments.
Third-party VST plugins are an essential part of the music production process, so it’s important you know which plugins are worth your time.
If you’re a beginner, or you’re looking for some new free VST plugins to add to your collection, you’re in the right place. Last year we released our rundown of the best VST plugins of 2021, which received a hugely positive response.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this list of the best VST plugins 2022. In last year’s rundown we gave the number 1 spot to the incredible wavetable synth Vital.
So if you haven’t already downloaded Vital, make sure you check it out here. But another free, fully-featured synth plugin you should know about is Surge.
Surge is undoubtedly one of the most underrated synths in 2022, especially given its seemingly endless amount of onboard controls and effects. One of the best things about Surge is its ability to create almost any sound you can think of.
The Surge engine features 3 oscillators, each with 12 unique algorithms to choose from. It also features 2 filter units (with feedback loop capabilities), 12 LFO units and 8 effect units with 24 versatile effect options such as 2 reverbs, a vocoder and a ring modulator.
Ample Sound Ample Guitar M Lite II
You may be wondering: between Vital and Surge which is the better plugin? In all honesty, Vital has way more features than Surge, and its wavetable functionality is better than almost any paid plugin out there.
However, Surge is noticeably lighter on CPU, and many users have reported their older systems struggling when working with Vital.
Plus, Surge has significantly more presets than the free version of Vital, so its often better for instant sonic inspiration. However, they are both completely free, and are absolutely essential tools for any producer in 2022.
Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit. Another example of a highly underrated synth plugin is Pendulate from Eventide Audio.
This plugin is refreshingly unique and is capable of creating some really interesting, electronic sounds.
The interface features a double pendulum oscillator, with controls for adding instabilities, detuning, overtones and sub bass. It also features a unique wavefolder section for editing the tone and harmonics of the sound, as well as a ton of options in the lower section for adding modulation, ADSR, and other useful parameters.
I’d definitely recommend this synth to electronic producers looking for grittier, more intense sounds to add to their tracks. It’s worth mentioning this plugin requires you to sign up before you can download it but it takes less than a minute and it’s definitely worth it.
Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit.
Wider from Polyverse is a free VST plugin that can be used to expand the stereo image of a mono signal, giving it a huge amount of width.
Now you might be thinking: “I already have a stereo widener control built into my DAW, why do I need this plugin?”.
From my experience this free VST plugin is one of the only stereo width plugins that is completely mono-compatible.
For example, many other plugins tend to knock the signal out of phase which can make the result sound strange and unbalanced.
Whereas Wider creates a natural stereo image that will always remain in phase with itself. It’s worth mentioning that this stereo algorithm comes from the insane plugin Manipulator, which Polyverse created with the legendary electronic duo Infected Mushroom.
Manipulator is probably the best plugin out there for warping and manipulating your sounds to create truly unique, inspiring effects. It’s not a free plugin but if you are interested in that one you can check it out here.
Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit. Voltage Modular Nucleus by Cherry Audio is an another absolutely essential download for any producer in 2022.
This plugin contains a free collection of 22 modules with over 130 presets.
It is also the perfect beginners introduction to this style of modular synthesis. The free version of this plugin is meant to act as a “starter kit”, however it really has everything you need to get started (and more!) Not only does it have a gorgeous design and workflow, but it’s also capable of creating some genuinely breathtaking sounds.
Its modular-style workflow can be quite confusing for beginners, which is why it’s best to maybe start experimenting using the presets as a starting point. Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit.
Cloudrum by Ample Sound is a virtual instrument that allows you to perfectly sample a steel tongue drum with a range of 3 octaves.
A common pitfall for modern music production is to consistently use the same sounds as other producers in their genre.
The best producers in 2022 all use sounds in new and creative ways, which instantly sets them apart from everyone else.
Sound Magic Piano One
With that in mind, Cloudrum gives you access to a gorgeous-sounding instrument you may have come across before.
The tone and colour of the sound is extremely pleasant to the ear, and you also get some handy mic parameters and an ADSR control to finetune the sound as well. Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit.
The next free VST plugin on this list is Signal (Free) by Output. Output are an acclaimed audio software development company with a fantastic range of instrument and effect plugins, as well as Kontakt libraries.
Signal Free is the free version of their incredibly popular Signal library: an expansive, rhythm-focused collection of instruments ideal for creating evolving, atmospheric sounds.
Even the free version remains extremely versatile, and can be used to create synth stabs, melodic, spacious piano tones and a huge range of ambient soundscapes.
Signal Free includes 4 sound sources and 25 unique instrument presets, and even boasts LFOs, step, arpeggiator and looper controls. It’s worth noting this is a Kontakt instrument so I use it in the full version of Kontakt.
However it works in the free version of Kontakt Player as well, so I’d definitely recommend trying it out even if you don’t have the full version.
Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit. SuperMassive by Valhalla is a stunning, surprisingly-powerful free reverb plugin. Valhalla are a renowned plugin company best-known for their insanely high-quality reverb and delay tools. Super Massive is no different, and it can be used to create huge, spacious, evolving reverb tails.
The MODE control is probably the most powerful Supermassive control, as each algorithms in this list has very decay characteristics.
Combining these long delays with the unique WARP control, and the results range from echoes that slowly fade in, to cascading harmonic echoes, to lush, evolving reverbs, and more.
The Best Free VST Plugins 2022 (+ download links)
If you’re looking to spice up your reverb effects, Supermassive is an absolute no-brainer. Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit.
If you’re looking for some instant vintage keys, you should definitely check out the free keys plugin Sweetcase from NoiseAsh. Sweetcase is designed and recorded with vintage analog equipment, and has a really authentic, retro sound.
The controls are fairly basic, but you do get a reverb control and a couple of modulation controls as well. Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit. When it comes to free compression plugins, everyone knows about OTT.
Another free alternative for compression is Rough Rider by AudioDamage. Rough Rider is easily one of the most popular free compression plugins of all time, and for good reason. For a free download, the quality is very rounded and professional-sounding.
The interface is also very easy to use and makes compressing your sounds a quick and uncomplicated process.
This new and updated version includes this external sidechain input as well as your standard compression controls.
WHAT CAN YOU USE VST PLUGINS FOR?
Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit. Finally we have an incredible collection of plugins modeled on authentic guitar pedals.
The effects include various types of distortion, drive and a chorus as well. My personal favourite is the Ibanez® TS-808 modeling plugin, which provides a tube-style creamer effect with drive, tone and level controls, as well as a mod switch.
So if you’re looking for some free guitar tones, I’d definitely recommend checking this collection out. Click here to download.Available for both Windows / Mac and 32-bit / 64-bit.
Why spend thousands on fancy instruments if you don’t have to? You can make incredible music without spending a penny.
These 19 FREE VST instruments in 2021 all deserve a place in your DAW.
With sound quality on par with premium offerings, it’s a wonder they’re all free of charge!
NoiseAsh Sweetcase Vintage Electric Piano
You don’t need expensive gear, connections, or god-like knowledge to kickstart your career. This free Masterclass reveals the key steps you ACTUALLY need to make a reliable income doing what you love in 2021.
Catch the full Masterclass here:. But if you just want to learn about VST Instruments specifically, keep reading. The better your recordings sound, the better your final mix will be.
Which is why VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instruments can level up your songs immediately. Let’s take a look at 19 incredible VSTs you might want to grab! So the first thing I want to talk about is Spitfire LABS.
This is one of my all-time favorite instruments, and I use it on 99% of songs. LABS is an entire collection of free sample instruments put out by Spitfire Audio.
Each of these instruments could sell for 50 to 100 dollars and no one would bat an eye, it’s really high quality stuff.
Soft Piano is my personal favorite.
It’s got a beautiful, mellow tone. There are also some free string libraries. There’s also a drum kit that fits a niche that a lot of other drum instruments don’t.
There are a lot of studio drum samples that sound really processed and slot well into a pop or metal track.
But for more intimate stuff, this LABS drum set works nicely because it sounds less produced. There’s a wurlitzer, a charango, tons of amazing sounds that you can do a lot with.
If you make music on your computer, you should get it. It’s really that good. LABS is available for Mac and PC.
Do you want to make money from your music?
Next up is Komplete Start from Native Instruments. Komplete Start is also a collection of instruments rather than just one VST.
But it’s all free and worth checking out. You’ll get 7 synths, 9 sample instruments, and a couple of FX.
The synths and samples alone are reason enough to download this one. There are some drum kits, vintage synths, a digital modular synth, and more.
You’ll also get the KONTAKT 6 and REAKTOR 6 players. KONTAKT is a sampler that’s used by tons of developers to house sample libraries. And REAKTOR 6 is a synth engine. They’re both incredible tools with lots of resources out there.
For example, the REAKTOR Community has tons of different synths and effects you can download for free to experiment with new sounds.
Komplete Start is available on Mac and PC.
Vember Audio Surge
Sound Magic’s Piano One samples a Yamaha C7 grand piano. It’s got a very trebley sound.
So while the Soft Piano from LABS is great for really moody, dark stuff, this one will be great for brighter tones. The velocity settings can be a little finicky. If you want a light and subdued piano sound, you may have some trouble.
But if you’re looking for grandeur, Piano One has that in spades. It’s a beautiful VST for Mac and Windows. I really recommend you check it out! Next up is Dexed. Dexed is a clone of the Yamaha DX7, an FM synthesizer that defined the sound of the ‘80s. In fact, it’s such a faithful recreation you can actually load real DX7 patches into Dexed.
Ever wanted that vintage electric piano sound from Whitney Houston and Prince songs? Or that synth bass from “Take on Me”? With 3,000 presets (wow!), Dexed will keep you busy for a while.
Those presets can be tricky to load though, so watch this video if you can’t find them.
Why spend thousands on fancy instruments if you don’t have to?
Dream Vortex Studio DVS Saxophone
You can make incredible music without spending a penny. These 19 FREE VST instruments in 2021 all deserve a place in your DAW.
With sound quality on par with premium offerings, it’s a wonder they’re all free of charge! But if you just wa.
Dexed is available for Mac and PC. Spitfire is back on the list again with their BBC Symphony Orchestra library. This is a super high-quality orchestra library. And at least for the time being you can get it for free.
All you have to do is take a short survey and they’ll send it your way.
These are some absolutely gorgeous sounds.
Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra
There aren’t as many articulations as a paid library would have, but there’s still plenty to work with.
I’m particularly fond of the strings and woodwinds. They have a rich, full tone that many paid libraries would be jealous of. BBC Symphony Orchestra is available on Mac and PC. Surge by Vember Audio is here for all your synthesizer needs. Surge used to be a premium synth, but not too long ago, Vember made it open source.
The interface looks a little dated, but don’t let that fool you. This is still a really powerful synth with enough features to keep you content for years.
It’s a hybrid synth allowing subtractive synthesis as well as wavetable and FM.
It’s really a sound design powerhouse!
With 1,010 preset patches, 183 wavetables, and tons of effects, it’ll be a long time before you get bored of Surge. Surge is available on Mac, PC, and Linux.
Need a solid electric bass for your track? Ample Bass P Lite II is an incredible electric bass instrument.
The sound quality is top notch. And Ample Bass has realistic details you’d hear in real recordings, like hammer-ons and and slides.
As a bassist myself, it sounds better than a lot of paid bass plugins I’ve heard.
The Best FREE VST Plugins 2022: Similar Articles
Ample Bass P Lite II is available for PC and Mac. If you want some old-school synth sounds, TyrellN6 is here for you.
It was made by u-he and released by an online magazine called Amazona Deutschland. TyrellN6 is an analog synth emulation. It has tons of bass, leads, keys, and effects ready to go, right out of the gate.
It has an intuitive interface and plenty of effects. So TyrellN6 is a great addition to any synth fan’s arsenal.
TyrellN6 is available for Mac, PC, and Linux. Next up is Sennheiser’s DrumMic’a. There are tons of drum VSTs out there.
But DrumMic’a’s extra features set it apart.
Ample Sound Ample Bass P Lite II
DrumMica lets you actually change which microphones you’re using on each part of the kit. This is an incredible amount of control in a free plugin. It also comes with a transient shaper, adjustable snare bleed, and many more in-depth features.
Plus the drums just sound good right out of the gate. What more could you want? DrumMic’a is available for Mac and PC. VCV Rack is an open source modular synth. It’s got tons of modules. Including some popular recent creations.
By default, VCV Rack is a standalone program.
HOW DO VST PLUGINS HELP?
You can’t use it as a plugin in your DAW. But VeeSeeVstRack will let you use VCV in your DAW. If you’re totally new to modular synthesis, you’ll have a big learning curve.
But what if you already understand modular? And maybe you want to experiment with new sounds (without spending a fortune)? VCV Rack is perfect for you! VCV Rack is available for Mac, PC, and Linux.
It’s not easy to make a solo saxophone plugin that sounds real. In fact, I assumed there wouldn’t be any free options good enough for this list.
But DVS Saxophone caught me by surprise. Right out of the gate. DVS Sax sounds lush and realistic. It’s a terrific addition to any musician’s collection. Especially if you’re making jazz, or any music that requires solo saxophone.
DVS Saxophone is available for PC. Ample Sound is on the list again with Ample Guitar M Lite II.
This is a high-quality acoustic guitar sound.
The tone is a little tinny, which makes it perfect for busy mixes. I find it works especially well for pop or pop-adjacent tracks. But if the acoustic is supposed to be a really focal part of your mix, it may not be the best fit.
Ample Guitar M Lite II is available for Mac and PC. Versilian Studio Chamber Orchestra 2 Community Edition is a full orchestral suite that you can get for free.
It has tons of instruments on hand. So VSCO 2 has just about everything you need to add orchestral elements to your songs.
You can mix and match sounds from multiple orchestral libraries.
How to use this guide
That can go a long way in enhancing realism. So try combining VSCO 2 with the sounds from Spitfire to get even more out of both.
VSCO 2 is available for Mac, PC, and Linux. If you’re looking for weird textures and sounds, Sinnah is for you.
It uses a single complex oscillator and three delays to make truly inspiring sounds. From swirling pads to super saturated strings, Sinnah is great at filling in the gaps of your songs.
It’s not the most conventional synth.
It’s really geared towards experimental artists. Sinnah is available for Mac and PC, with a potential Linux build if there’s enough demand.
CollaB3 is a very recent plugin. Created to help musicians who are quarantining, CollaB3 emulates an old-school B3 organ.
From gospel to modern hip hop and indie rock, the B3 has been heard on countless classics. If you want to add some vintage flavor and soul to your songs, grab CollaB3 today!
CollaB3 is available for Mac, PC, and Linux. Sweetcase Vintage Electric Piano is a gorgeous emulation of old electric pianos.
With a beautiful, warm tone, Sweetcase’s free piano is on par with expensive competitors.
Native Instruments Komplete Start
It sounds great out of the box, but there are a handful of settings you can change to shape its tone. You can add tremolo, pitch effects, reverb or boost the bass and the bell tone of the piano. Sweetcase is available for PC and Mac.
Not every song needs a realistic-sounding drum kit. More electronic-inspired artists may want synthetic drums.
MiniSpillage is an easy-to-use drum synth that sounds great. Many DAWs have something similar.
For example, Logic Pro’s Drum Synth works just as well.
But if your DAW doesn’t have one, you may want to grab MiniSpillage. Right now, MiniSpillage is only available for Mac.
PC users will be happy to know that a PC version may be developed if there’s enough demand for it. U-he’s Zebra is one of the most popular synths on the market. Zebralette is their self-described “trojan horse,” to get you hooked on Zebra’s sound.
And it sure works! Zebralette may only have one oscillator, but it sounds amazing. There are 300 presets and tons of effects for more advanced sound design.
Zebralette is a must-have for any synth enthusiast.
Zebralette is available for Mac, PC, and Linux.
What I really love about Synister is its interface. It’s clean, intuitive, and easy to use. Many synths have really complex GUIs, which make them almost impossible to understand. But Synister isn’t one of them.
Despite its ease of use, Synister doesn’t skimp on the features. You can blend 3 oscillators together. And there are tons of envelopes, filters, and effects.
You can easily apply them to different parts of the signal chain. It’s a great synth for beginners and experts alike! Synister is available for Mac and PC.
Even though these plugins won’t cost you a cent, they all boast premium sound quality.
So if you’re making music on your computer in 2021, be sure should grab these free VST instruments:.
Native Instruments Komplete Start.
Sound Magic Piano One. Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra. Vember Audio Surge. Ample Sound Ample Bass P Lite II.
Sennheiser DrumMic’a. Dream Vortex Studio DVS Saxophone. Ample Sound Ample Guitar M Lite II. Versilian Studios VSCO 2 Community Edition.
NuSofting Sinnah. Sampleson CollaB3. NoiseAsh Sweetcase Vintage Electric Piano.
AudioSpillage MiniSpillage. u-he Zebralette. You don’t need expensive gear, connections, or god-like knowledge to kickstart your career. This free Masterclass reveals the key steps you ACTUALLY need to make a reliable income doing what you love in 2021.
Catch the full Masterclass here:. Producer and composer for film and video games. Helping you make music a little more fun and a little less tedious.
Check out my work at Juniper Tapes. Get producing music straight away with free VST plug-ins and samples in KOMPLETE START, taken from our leading production suite, KOMPLETE.
Get REAKTOR PLAYER, KONTAKT PLAYER, KOMPLETE KONTROL, free effects VST plug-ins, free synth plug-ins, and sampled instruments to use in your own productions, as much as you want.
Download over 2,000 sounds and more than 6 GB of content – drums and percussion, basses, acoustic instruments, synths, pads and atmospheres, and more – plus VST plug-in instruments, effects, and other free resources for music production.
A selection of VST synths, complete with 500+ professionally-designed presets for any genre. Nine pro-grade sample-based VST instruments – vintage synths, acoustic instruments, drums, and more.
A tube compressor and 13 versatile effects, great for guitars, drums, vocals, synths, or anything you like. Find, play, and tweak all your sounds, instruments and effects from one powerful plug-in. Almost 1,500 loops and samples from our popular Expansions range, suitable for use in any DAW.
A sample player that runs all NI KONTAKT instruments, and hundreds of instruments from other companies.
A powerful platform that runs all REAKTOR-based synths and effects from NI and other creators.
VST, which stands for Virtual Studio Technology, is an innovative tool for music production and composition. This technology uses audio software plugins to create a range of musical instruments and effects that can be easily integrated into a digital audio workstation (DAW).
Using virtual instruments allows musicians and recording engineers to access sounds that otherwise might be difficult and expensive to obtain.
Versilian Studios VSCO 2 Community Edition
Utilizing free VST plugins can help enhance musical recordings without having to invest in additional instruments or software.
However, knowing how to properly use free VST tools is essential for effectively implementing these sounds into your musical projects. Since VST plugins emulate real-sounding instruments and effects, entire musical creations can be produced without touching a single physical instrument.
This makes VST plugins extremely useful for both amateur and professional recording artists and engineers.
At Native Instruments, we want to make it as simple as possible for you to produce and create music with our easy-to-use free VST plugin package KOMPLETE START.
The KOMPLETE START bundle includes unlimited access to a range of free VST instruments, synths, effects, loops, and samples, as well as REAKTOR PLAYER, KONTAKT PLAYER, and KOMPLETE KONTROL to start you on your music producing journey.
The Best Free VST Instrument Plugins in 2022 (+ Download Links)
DOWNLOAD KOMPLETE START FOR FREE. There are two main categories of free VST plugins: instruments and effects.
VST instrument plugins produce new audio that mimics the sound of real instruments such as a guitar or piano, while VST effect plugins modify existing audio to create unique sounds instead of creating new audio.
There’s no limit to the number of times that you can use these free vst instruments plugins, so you can experiment with different sounds and techniques to find what works best for you.
Chaining multiple VST plugins together is a typical way to start crafting a sound you can call your own.
Feeding a VST plugin instrument into a VST plugin effect will alter them even further.
This method is commonly used in digital productions, since many recording tools come in VST plugin formats.
And you’ll have no issues running multiple VST plugins at once – simply load them in and start playing.
With over 2,000 sounds and 6 GB of content, Native Instruments’ KOMPLETE START offers one of the best free VST plugin bundles on the market.
With our free VST plugin download, you can gain access to some of the best free VST instruments available. Whether you’re looking to add acoustic instruments or electronic sounds to your musical productions, Native Instruments offers a wide range of some of the best VST instruments for free.
With the KOMPLETE START free bundle, you’ll have access to a large selection of drums and percussion, basses, acoustic instruments, synths, pads, and more – plus boutique effects, VST plug-in instruments like our electric piano VST, and other free resources for music production.
Free synth VST plugins make it easy to add unique sounds to your musical masterpiece. The seven different synthesizers included in our free VST plugin bundle will load in KOMPLETE KONTROL or the REAKTOR 6 PLAYER, and each one is designed to produce a unique sound—from deep bass to atmospheric synthesizer sounds.
The KOMPLETE START bundle also includes a range of sampled instruments.
WHAT ARE VST PLUGINS?
Our free VST instrument selection includes streamlined versions of popular VST plugins such as ANALOG DREAMS, ETHEREAL EARTH and HYBRID KEYS.
Our free piano VST plugin includes electric piano, grand piano, vintage organs, and more. From the rich, classical tones of the grand piano to the funkified sounds of an electric keyboard, you can find an excellent range of piano VST plugins using our free download.
Our selection of sampled instruments also includes free VST instruments from around the world, as well as a curated collection of expansions, with over 1000 loops and samples to provide a diverse range of sounds.
All of our sampled instruments run on our free KONTAKT 6 PLAYER software, which also runs pro-grade instruments from other developers. Effects are typically chained after instruments, or applied to existing audio tracks and busses, such as vocals, guitars, and drums.
Our free VST plugin bundle also includes compression and guitar amp simulation. Our free SUPERCHARGER compressor effect is based on our full version and is a tube compressor designed for versatility with a single-knob design for easy control.
GUITAR RIG 6 PLAYER is a free guitar amp VST plugin that includes 13 different effects and 50 unique presets.
Create a Native ID account 2. Add KOMPLETE START to your account 3. Download Native Access 4.
Open Native Access and find all KOMPLETE START contents under the NOT INSTALLED tab.CREATE ACCOUNT Native Access is your one-stop hub for easy product installation, registration, and updates.
Please see the Native Access system requirements. Hit the button below to log in and request your free copy of KOMPLETE START 2.
TAL Filter II
Open Native Access and find all KOMPLETE START contents under the NOT INSTALLED tab.GET KOMPLETE START. We also offer more than 40 VST trial demo versions that can be downloaded for free, and all synthesizers and effects are available in demo versions as well.
So get your free download and start exploring our extensive library of sounds.DOWNLOAD FREE DEMO.
VST is a registered trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH. “What are the best free VST instrument plugins?”. VST plugins can be split into two main categories:.
VST Instruments: These plugins generate audio and act as virtual instruments within the software. They often emulate iconic, classic sounds of famous synthesizers and other instruments.
VST effects: Instead of synthesizing audio, these plugins process and add effects to existing audio or MIDI sequences.
These effects include compression, delay and reverb. Without a doubt, VST instruments are the most effective method you can use to transform the way you create music.
From authentic, vintage keys and other instruments to immensely powerful soft synthesizers, the creative possibilities of these virtual instruments are staggering.
I have been using VST instruments more or less since the first day I began making music 10 years ago.
Using many different plugins over the years has allowed me to not only discover some pretty crazy sounds, but has given me a strong understanding of sound design and manipulation.
E-phonic Tape Delay
So if you’re just starting out in music production, downloading some high quality VST instrument plugins is absolutely essential.
Many of the most popular VST instruments, such as Massive or Omnisphere, come with a fairly high price tag. If you’re a music production beginner, you may not be ready to fork out hundreds of dollars on various production effects and plugins just yet, which is completely understandable.
So you’re probably wondering: are there any actual good quality FREE VST instruments out there? The answer is undoubtedly yes. There is an enormous amount of incredibly powerful, free VST instruments out there, and many of them sound just as good as the commercial plugins.
To save you the hassle of trawling the web for free VST instruments, I’ve put together this list of the best free VST instrument plugins that are a cut above the rest. Click here for our guide to the top 100 FREE VST plugins of all time.
In the video below we go through our top 10 picks for FREE VST plugins as of 2022. You can either watch this video, or keep scrolling to read more!
Native Instruments’ huge collection of virtual instruments and effects is the gold standard when it comes to music production plugins.
Their VST instruments in particular are among the best, most beautifully designed synthesizers I have ever used. Their Komplete collection was one of the first major purchases I made for music production software, and to this day I use their plugins religiously.
Kontakt Start is an enormous free bundle of some of their synths and effects.
It is a fantastic way to get started with Native Instruments’ Kontakt plugins, as it includes a huge FREE collection of synthesizers, instruments, plugin effects and almost 1,500 loops and samples.
Personal highlights for me include the incredible TRK-01 bass synthesizer, and VINTAGE, their superb analog synthesizer. Finally, an easy way to get a Yamaha DX7 for free…. Well, not really, but close enough. Dexed is a highly versatile multi-platform, multi-format plugin synthesizer that is closely modelled on the iconic Yamaha DX7.
This plugin is a patch editor of the DX7, but also has it’s own in-built sound engine so it can be used to play real DX7 patches as well, and believe me, this thing sounds fantastic.
The interface has 144 automatable parameters in the form of various sliders, buttons and knobs on one single panel. This makes it appear a little overwhelming for beginners, but after playing around a little with the software, it’s a very powerful piece of free software.
Dexed can also load any of the classic presets from Yamaha’s hardware synthesizers like the DX7 or the TX81Z, which can then be manipulated to a crazy extent.
There are also a massive amount of patches available online that can easily be inputted into the plugin. Here are the best March deals in 2022. Don’t miss out! (Click here for the full list). Surge is another example of an immensely powerful virtual instrument, available as a free download.
This is a subtractive, hybrid synthesizer plugin features two “scenes”; which can be used to create and edit two entirely separate instances of the synth.
The synth features many unique synthesis techniques, a great selection of filters, a flexible modulation engine, a wide range of on-board effects, and modern features like MPE and microtuning.
6. Output Signal
It also comes packaged with a whopping 2285 patches and 614 wavetables! The interface is relatively beginner friendly, and for a free plugin this thing has an enormous amount of creative flexibility and is capable of creating a huge amount of professional-quality sounds.
To this day, I have absolutely no idea why Surge is free. In late 2020, Tytel released Vital, a freeware spectral warping wavetable synthesizer with a staggering list of features and on-board controls.
This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting audio plugin releases in a long time, especially given the fact there’s a FREE version available. The free edition of Vital includes all the core functionality of Vital, and comes with 75 presets and 25 wavetables.
Vital features 3 powerful, high-quality wavetable oscillators, each with frequency warper and waveshaper controls.
An additional sample slot is also available, which can be used to add noise or other audio textures. Vital also features an on-board wavetable editor, allowing you to warp and manipulate the wavetables to your hearts content.
The 3 oscillators and the sample slot can be individually routed to two filter modules, and you can also assign 3 envelopes, 4 audio-rate LFOs, 2 randomizers, and several other modulation options.
UhhYou Light Pad
There is also an extensive effects rack, featuring phaser, reverb, delay and other audio effects. The one downside is that the CPU-usage is fairly high, so if you’re using a slower system, it may struggle with multiple loadings of the plugin.
However, a single instance should normally be okay. Overall, Vital is definitely the best free synth plugin in 2022, and no other free plugin matches it’s incredible design and creative flexibility.
Here are the best March deals in 2022. Don’t miss out! (Click here for the full list). M Lite II by Ample Guitar is easily the most versatile, gorgeous sounding FREE guitar VST plugins ever made.
With it’s realistic sound and endless customisation options, M Lite II bridges the gap between virtual and real guitar performances like no other plugin.
The sound quality is absolutely stunning, and this free virtual instrument gives a rich, warm tone full of detail and clarity.
There is a noticeable amount of variation and expression in each note played, and these sonic “imperfections” (and I mean that in a good way!) create an effortless, realistic playing experience. The plugin engine is also PACKED with additional features, such as capo logic, doubling (separate samples for L and R), legato, slide, string tuner, and more.
As far as free VST instruments go, this is easily one of the best sounding plugins out there.
U-he Tyrell N6 is somewhat of a hidden gem in the VST instrument plugin world.
Bruce Sutherland JuceOPLVSTi
If I’m being honest, I have absolutely no idea why this plugin is free. This free virtual instrument is a compact, extremely powerful subtractive soft-synth that is capable of producing and manipulating high quality sounds on an unimaginable scale.
Tyrell N6 has 2 oscillators, noise, a ring modulator and 2 LFOs with 8 waveforms, as well as an audio source mixer with authentic overdrive and filter feedback.
It also comes for 580 high quality, fully customizable presets and many more can be found online, so if you’re in need of rapid sonic inspiration, this plugin will have something for you.
This free VST instrument is a no brainer for both beginner and advanced producers.
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(Click here for the full list). VSCO 2 Community Edition is an open-source orchestral plugin that is perfect for composers and producers looking for authentic, professional sounding, FREE orchestral sounds.
This beautifully designed VST instrument plugin gives you endless sonic possibilities to create, explore and experiment with the sampled sounds of real musicians.
The sampled instruments include various woodwind instruments, brass instruments, keys, complete string sections and a huge variety of orchestral percussion sounds.
The free download comes with a staggering 3.2 GB of content and 3,152 sampled sounds, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive free plugins you’ll find.
VK-1 Viking Synthesizer is a powerful plugin capable of creating rich, smooth, and creamy sounds. This free virtual instrument plugin is an authentic emulation of a classic monophonic analog synthesizer.
It has three continuously variable wave oscillators, two ladder filters with a dual lowpass or highpass/lowpass configuration, a multi-wave LFO, and two modulation busses.
VK-1 comes with 228 presets to play around with that will instantly spark your creativity.
Plus, for a plugin with a fairly extensive range of on-board features and controls, this synth remains really low on CPU-usage. TAL – Noisemaker is a great free VST instrument, capable of creating a range of high quality sounds for any genre.
The plugin comes complete with three oscillators, along with several built-in effects such as reverb, delay, various filters, modulators, and a great sounding bit-crusher effect.
The NoiseMaker is capable of creating a huge variety of simple and complex sounds, from long, spacious, evolving pads as well as heavier, fast-envelope sounds. This plugin is an improved, updated version of TAL-Elek7ro, with a completely new synth engine and several improvements in quality and functionality.
This plugin also has 256 factory presets included, designed by award-winning Frank “Xenox” Neumann who has made sounds and presets for Yamaha and Ableton.
Wavosaur VST Speek
Free VST Plugins are one of the most exciting things about mixing. In the past it was impossible to imagine that so many quality tools could be available at no cost.
Today there are more great free plugins than ever before, but the freeware scene is always changing. How can you know which free VSTs are worth installing?
We scoured the internet for the absolute best of the best free VST plugins available.
There are a staggering 247 free plugins listed on this page.
To make sense of it all, we divided them into categories: Synths, Drums, Guitar, Compressors, EQ, Reverb and Delay, Overdrive and Saturation, Vocals, Filters, Effects and Utilities.
Use the table of contents to see the lists of VSTs by category. Brought to you by the team that built LANDR Samples, Chromatic is a loop-based virtual instrument that turns sampled sounds into playable parts at the touch of a key.
Using a MIDI controller, Chromatic lets you go hands-on with exclusive, artist-approved loops and manipulate them with effects in real-time.
Eareckon FR-COMP 87
2getheraudio Cheeze Machine is a free VSTi inspired by vintage string synths like the ARP/Solina String Ensemble. It’s perfect for those phasey, vintage, lo-fi strings.
Applied Acoustics Systems AAS Player is a free player for AAS library instruments. It comes preloaded with some great sound banks to get you started. Ample Sound’s Guitar M LITE II is a realistic sounding acoustic guitar with impressive articulation and strumming options for a free plugin.
Ample Bass P LITE II, is another great instrument from Ample Sound that brings the sound of a studio P-Bass to your DAW.
Ample Sound Cloudrum is a digital version of the extremely sought-after melodic handpans you might have heard on a moody film soundtrack. Audjoo Helix is a full featured, crisp sounding subtractive synthesizer.
It’s huge collection of waveshapes and the ability to use any of them in a “super saw” style makes it amazing for modern electronic sounds.
Blamsoft VK-1 is a digital emulation of the sought after Moog Voyager hardware synth.
All the classic flavour of the original is present in the excellent sounding VK-1.
Analog Obsession LALA
Blaukraut Charlatan 2.0 is an uncomplicated, super fat sounding virtual analog synth. Its easy-to use interface makes it good for dialing up great sounds fast.
Bruce Sutherland JuceOPLVSTi is a VST version of the Yamaha YMF262 FM synthesis chip used to create the soundtracks of classic video games like DOOM. Is a 32-voice subtractive synth with powerful options beneath its simple exterior.
Its comprehensive LFO controls and modulation matrix are perfect for creating evolving soundscapes. Dexed is a fantastic utilitarian FM synth engine that’s capable of loading any of the classic patches from Yamaha’s hardware FM synths like the DX7 and TX81Z.
discoDSP OB-Xd brings the enormous sound of the Oberheim OB-X to your DAW. The OB-Xd convincingly recreates the legendary pads and leads of the original.
DSK Dynamic Guitar is another realistic guitar sample plugin with convincing articulations for strumming.
Analog Obsession SPECOMP
DSK Saxophones offers modes for both alto and soprano saxophone with onboard tone shaping options like ADSR and reverb.
DSK The Grand sounds very convincing for a free plugin. A great option for moody and dramatic grand piano sounds.
Subdvine is a sub-bass synth that’s mainly used for sub heavy 808 sound design. This a great free synth plugin if you’re looking to build a kick, a bass one-shot or subby bassline. Extent of the Jam Digits 2 is a unique phase distortion synthesizer inspired by the Casio CZ series.
Phase Distortion is a variant of FM synthesis that can produce some truly wild sounds.
Full Bucket FB-3300 is an astounding VST reproduction of the rare Korg PS-3300 synthesizer from the late 70s.
Full Bucket Modulair is a capable, fully modular synth plugin available generously for free. HY-Plugins HY-Mono is an easy-to-use, fat sounding free monosynth. Ichiro Toda Synth1 is a well designed VST polysynth that models the Clavia Nord Lead 2 hardware.
IK Multimedia Syntronik FREE comes packed with 50 presents and 38 effects from the enormous library of the powerful paid version.
There’s a huge amount of classic synth tones to choose from. Keyzone Classic gives you great sounding acoustic and electric pianos sounds in your DAW for free.
LANDR Samples now has an accompanying plugin that makes it easy to audition, time stretch and pitch shift any sample on our marketplace. There’s so many possibilities, especially because you can make any sample you find fit any key or tempo.
Get started with a big selection of free samples and free loops to try it out for yourself! Linplug FreeAlpha 3 is based on the same powerful synth engine as the paid version.
Its slimmed down feature set is easier to use and sounds great. Matt Tytel’s Helm is an open-source VST synth.
That means you’re free to install it anywhere on anything and tinker with the source code. ML PG8X is a free emulation of the great sounding Roland JX-8P.
Get all the classic sounds of this affordable vintage synth in your DAW.
The Muon Tau Bassline is modelled after the Roland TB-303. This small but powerful VST synth gives you that sweet sweet 303 bass we all know and love.
NUSofting Sinnah is a unique VST synth based on a simple oscillator that can create complex waveforms.
It’s modulation and effects routing options are extremely extensive. Ohm Force SymptOhm PE is the free version (“Performer’s Edition”) of Symptohm:Melohman.
It contains all the presets of the paid version with a slimmed down control scheme. If you’re interested in getting into the stranger realms of FM synthesis, here’s an interesting synth from open-source synth maker OctaSine.
It comes with four operators with a flexible routing feature that makes it easy to build your own synth path. OctaSine also features four assignable LFOs and an ADSR section for each operator.
One Small Clue Grace is a handy and lightweight VST sampler. Everyone needs a sampler! If OctaSine isn’t weird and crazy enough for you, Pendulate should do the trick.
Its waveforms are literally called “Chaos Shapes”. The routable synth can send audio signals through a wave folder, a pitch mod section, ADSR and LFO. It comes with a clearly laid out mod matrix to bend your oscillator signal into any chaotic sound you desire.
Eareckon FR-GATE 87
Plogue Alter/Ego is a realtime voice synthesizer capable of creating incredibly interesting vocal sounds.
It’s “voice banks” have colourful personalities brought to life with art and design. Plogue Sforzando is a simple standalone player for the non-proprietary SoundFont format of sampled instruments. Here’s a super warm and cozy sample-based synth that re-creates the nostalgic and vibey sound of the Fender Rhodes.
Sample Science did a great job of recording the instrument onto cassette to create this lo-fi inspiration machine. Definitely try this one out if you’re looking to add Rhodes keys to your track. Fathom is a modular VST synth that excels at crafting original waveforms with advanced modulation.