Just installed your sequencer and looking to install plugins without breaking the bank? Here are some suggestions of sites listing or offering free VSTs.
KVR Audio, Plugins4Free, Plugin Boutique, HipHop Makers, Landr, Splice are sites where you can find lists of free VST plugins. It is also possible to download free instrument plugins, effects and samples directly from sample bank editor sites such as Native Instruments, Spitfire Audio or PianoBook
Let’s have a look at the sites offering lists of free plugins
Considered as the bible of plugins. KVR lists all the plugins that exist (or have existed) on the market. You will also find a list of plugins available for free download.
You will have to create an account to access all the pages, but it’s free!
Most of the description sheets contain at least one video demonstration of the plugin, which will allow you to quickly make an opinion on the quality of the instruments or effects proposed.
Plugins4Free is a site that gathers all the VST plugins available for free on the web, but also sequencers and other free HOST VST. Ratings and user reviews will help you decide before downloading a plugin.
Their YouTube channel will give you an overview of the latest news.
Here is another site that, apart from offering commercial plugins, also offers a listing of free plugins, with reviews and ratings a bit more detailed like sound quality, value for money, ease of use, features, presets.
In the category of sites listing free plugins, there is also HipHop Makers which lists about 500 free instruments on their site listed by genre. Enough to spend a few hours exploring the pages of the site! 😰
On the site’s blog, you’ll find a list of over 250 instruments and effects of all kinds. Often updated, you won’t miss the latest releases. The site includes audio previews (SoundCloud) as well as videos demonstrating the plugins.
Even if the site benefits from a good presentation, we would have liked something else than a single page with all the plugins. 😕
Landr proposes, among other things, to do the mastering of your tracks online, but also paid plugins, for a subscription fee. An interesting idea if you want to test expensive plugins before buying them or just for temporary use. Their distribution service will also be able to market and broadcast your tracks on popular platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music.
Finally, here is one last free plugin listing site. The site is neat and fairly well stocked with instruments and effects, but we would have liked to see notes or reviews as well as a sound preview of the instruments.
Users can share their creations using the proposed plugins, giving you an overview of the available VSTs.
Well, now that we’ve done an overview of the sites offering lists of plugins to download for free, let’s see the sites of sample editors that offer their free plugins directly.
Native Instrument is a leader in the field of commercial plugins, but they also offer completely free plugins to familiarize yourself with their products and test their qualities.
In the free“Komplete Start” collection, you will find 15 synths, nearly 6 GB of samples and effects plugins.
Here is another excellent sample bank editor that offers us here more than fifty instruments completely free of charge and of all kinds with bass, brass, drums, orchestra, percussion, pianos and keyboard, synth, strings, wind instruments and others.
You will need to create an account and install the Spitfire Audio sample manager before you can download the instruments (in the LABS tab). Please note that you will have to go to the website page in order to listen to the previews of the instruments, as these are not available on the manager, there is not even a description 🤨 !
Here’s a site that should appeal to many of you.
Pianobook (launched by Spitfire Audio) is a community of musicians sharing their own sample bank creations. You will find instruments for Kontakt, EXS24, SFZ. 👍🏻
To download them, you just need to create an account on the site.
DSK Music is a musician programmer sharing his musical creations, but also plugins on his website. You will be able to download more than fifty instruments, most of them being synths, but also with orchestral instruments.
As we have just seen, there are a lot of sites listing VST plugins or free sample banks. But it remains interesting to visit from time to time the sites of the sample editors, because they often produce free sound libraries of quality, mostly to attract new consumers in their nets and we thank them 😊.