Best VST Instruments in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Today’s market is now full of different types of plugin instruments, and are now available to the everyday music producer. It can often be difficult when deciding on the right one, so below we review five of the best VST instruments of this year. 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. Xfer – Serum
  • Wavetable synthesis of great power.
  • Can relatively learn with ease.
  • Very visual.
CHECK PRICE
2. NI Massive
  • The interface is well-designed.
  • The modulation system is quite clever.
  • Filters and oscillators are exceptional.
CHECK PRICE
3. Omnisphere 2
  • You can load your own samples.
  • Great new synth oscillator shapes.
  • Very useful Granular mode.
CHECK PRICE
4. Sylenth1
  • Great sound.
  • Incredible effects and great usable presets.
  • Fairly priced.
CHECK PRICE
5. ANA 2
  • Great sound.
  • Tons of presets.
  • Many useful filter types.
CHECK PRICE

1. Xfer – Serum

Specification

Number of Presets450.
Number of Wavetables144.
System RequirementsWindows 7 SP1, or Mac OS X 10.8 or greater.
Available as VST, AU, AAX 64bit?Yes.

The Serum features an ultra, high-precision resampling default playback and yields an impressive, inaudible signal-to-noise ratio. Its wavetable synthesis features a pioneering approach that gives users the power to build, customize and import their own wavetables. You are then able to either apply that to the synth engines or indeed their own audio samples. It gives you the chance to make entirely new, extraordinary sounds. Serum features a wide menu of filter varieties and an intuitive but supercharged modulation system with ten remarkable effects modules. It has a punchy kind of sound with animated bases, searing leads, flashy modulated pads and evocative FX. 

  • True High-Quality Sound: Yes.
  • Visual and Creative Workflow-Oriented Interface: Yes.
  • Ultra-Clean Oscillators: Yes.
  • Smooth Modulation: Yes.
  • Powerful Wavetable Synthesis: Yes.

PROS

  • Wavetable synthesis of great power.
  • Can relatively learn with ease.
  • Very visual.
  • Many quality effects.

CONS

  • Heavy CPU.
  • Sound is brighter than most synths.
  • The built-in presets are weak.

We like that Serum has the amazing potential of loading up sounds, transforming them into wavetables and even has a stunning, easy-to-use UI. Another benefit to users is that their engine cancels undesired artifacts better than the competition. This is great for those who want big, clean sounds. We also enjoy the amusing, easy-to-use method of patching modulation with a drag and pull method that’s a bit like Massive X. You’re able to assign modulation controls to all manner of sources in quick time. The Unison stacking mode is a very appealing aspect of Serum, and you get the ability to add 16 more voices to whatever given note you choose. Serum has quality audio and you get so much freedom and control as well!

2. NI Massive

Specification

Number of Presets1300
Number of Wavetablesover 170.
System RequirementsOS X/Windows.
Available as VST, AU, AAX 64bit?Yes.

Massive is, especially for electronic musicians, a must-have in your production toolkit. It has over 170 wavetable options available with two different oscillators so you’re able to layer your sound within the plugin. Massive features a huge library of sounds but also gives you the ability to make your own presets. You can do this by using the wavetable oscillators, modulation options and even adding in tons of filters and effects such as reverb and drive. 

  • True High-Quality Sound: Yes.
  • Visual and Creative Workflow-Oriented Interface: Yes.
  • Ultra-Clean Oscillators: Yes.
  • Smooth Modulation: Yes.
  • Powerful Wavetable Synthesis: Yes.

PROS

  • The interface is well-designed. 
  • The modulation system is quite clever. 
  • Filters and oscillators are exceptional. 
  • Absolutely full of features.

CONS

  • Some lackluster presets. 
  • Not the most affordable.
  • Very digital sound.
  • Not enough effects.

We like that Massive has plenty of presets, 1300 that is, and if you aren’t satisfied with any of those, there are third-party manufacturers that make presets for Massive. We’re aware that trying to search for the right preset can be a bit overwhelming at times. That’s why we appreciate the fact that with Massive, you can instinctively search through the preset library on a different page of the plugin by the name or even the characteristics of the sounds. We would also like to note that NI Massive includes a useful drag and drop routing portal within the interface. This allows you to seamlessly link Massive to your preferred MIDI device or any other virtual instruments. You’re even able to draw in custom modulation patterns to get the most flexibility. Massive not only provides tons of potential synth sounds but also powerful sub-bass modes for your oscillators. This VST instrument is perfect for performances and even studio uses.

3. Omnisphere 2

Specification

Number of Presets300
Number of Wavetablesover 500
System RequirementsMac/PC
Available as VST, AU, AAX 64bit?Yes.

Omnisphere offers unique power and effortless capabilities of sound design. Because of that, it is an admired and appreciated name in the world of VST Instruments. It incorporates basically every feasible kind of synthesis including granular and additive to subtractive, wavetable and audio sample-based synthesis. It’s nearly impossible to run out of inspiration when you’ve got a ton of wavetables and patching options, over 50 effects, four layers per patch and a ‘doubled’ Modulation Matrix. There’s even an impressive Hardware Integration mode. 

  • True High-Quality Sound: Yes.
  • Visual and Creative Workflow-Oriented Interface: Yes.
  • Ultra-Clean Oscillators: Yes.
  • Smooth Modulation: Yes.
  • Powerful Wavetable Synthesis: Yes.

PROS

  • You can load your own samples.
  • Great new synth oscillator shapes. 
  • Very useful Granular mode. 
  • A ton of great new presets.

CONS

  • Looping user audio requires an external sample editor. 
  • Loud presets so they clip the master.

With over 500 waveforms and 14,000 sounds to inspire and drive music producers, Omnisphere just may be one of the greatest VST synths yet! It’s easily navigated and is able to be customized for live performance. Omnisphere has huge customization possibilities, which unlock endless amounts of sound and has an extra 58, flexibly integrated FX units. It’s even able to connect with hardware synths for hands-on control of hemispheres parameters. Omnisphere offers a ton of features that will enhance all kinds of music and keep artists occupied for long periods of time.

4. Sylenth1

Specification

Number of Presetsover 2500.
Number of Wavetablesn/a.
System RequirementsWindows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10 (32/64bit) or
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Available as VST, AU, AAX 64bit?Yes.

This powerful virtual analog VSTi Synthesizer plugin is developed and owned by LennarDigital. With Sylenth1, you can make a broad range of sounds from leads, organs, drum sounds, evolving pads, plucks and whatever sound you intend on accomplishing. This amazing synthesizer has a pleasant user interface and can be a go-to for tons of projects. 

  • True High-Quality Sound: Yes.
  • Visual and Creative Workflow-Oriented Interface: No.
  • Ultra-Clean Oscillators: Yes.
  • Smooth Modulation: No.
  • Powerful Wavetable Synthesis: No.

PROS

  • Great sound. 
  • Incredible effects and great usable presets. 
  • Fairly priced. 
  • Very simple to use.

CONS

  • No dedicated PWM. 
  • Might be a bit too straightforward for some.

The Sylenth1 is pretty easy to work and has plenty of capabilities from sub-bass to wild SFX, soaring leads and thumping percussion. If we’re being honest, you could literally produce an entire album on this VST instrument. We like the clean interface as it’s simple to read and quite inviting. The voices are clean and precise with multiple stacking oscillators. We appreciate the care put into the analog-sounding engine and the grizzly and biting filters without the digital harshness. The modulation capabilities aren’t so generous, but the sound is absolutely amazing. This virtual analog is such easy customization, and its simple interface, great quality and one-page design make it all worth the buy.

5. ANA 2

Specification

Number of Presets500+.
Number of Wavetables3
System RequirementsWindows 7+, Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, and Mac OS X 10.8+, Intel Core Duo.
Available as VST, AU, AAX 64bit?Yes.

Sonic Academy’s Ana 2 is packed with a ton of cool features like surprising bonuses such as waveform visualization, wavetable and sample import and 64-note polyphonic sequencer/arp. This powerful workstation VST Instrument is an all-in-one synth that’s capable of beefy low-end, creamy leads and enveloping pads, and might be the best value option yet.

  • True High-Quality Sound: Yes.
  • Visual and Creative Workflow-Oriented Interface: Yes.
  • Ultra-Clean Oscillators: Yes.
  • Smooth Modulation: Yes.
  • Powerful Wavetable Synthesis: Yes.

PROS

  • Great sound.
  • Tons of presets. 
  • Many useful filter types.
  • Nice layout.

CONS

  • No modulation drag-and-drop.
  • No oscillator granular functionality.

Overall, ANA 2 sounds really good. It has an envelope shaper that’s simple to use and it even allows you to add your own samples as a synth voice. ANA 2 has a lot of presets that enable vintage sounds and it excels at experimentation and novel sound creation. We love the quality sound, tons of amazing presets and loads of handy filter types. The layout, CMD and arpeggiator are all outstanding! Some simple granular functionality would be nice to see for the sample oscillators and a drag-and-drop would also be nice to add for the modulation. Other than that, this is truly a top-notch synth!

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can use this guide to decide which VST instrument is right for you. For more information, visit our website or contact us today. 

Best Free Choir VST in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Whether you’re a singer or music producer, choir plugins are extremely essential for composers. You’ll be surprised at how many free VSTs are available with top-notch quality as well. So, we’ve pulled some of the best free choir VSTs for 2021. 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. LABS Choir
  • Rich, lush sound quality.
  • Doesn’t require the use of KONTAKT.
  • Simple, stellar user interface.
CHECK PRICE
2. NST Vocal
  • Great arrangement of controls.
  • Amazing design.
  • You can mess around with a lot of patches.
CHECK PRICE
3. Sonatina Choir
  • Popular choice.
  • Features male and female choirs.
  • Able to switch between the two choirs.
CHECK PRICE
4. Virgin Choir By Angle Studios
  • Pro features like multiple articulations, easy key switching, velocity sensitivity, sequencer mode, and more.
  • Appealing user interface.
  • Professional female choir sound.
CHECK PRICE
5. DSK ChoirZ By DSK Music
  • 3 Advanced Filters.
  • Chorus and Reverb Effects.
  • Velocity Response.
CHECK PRICE

1. LABS Choir

Specification

Dynamic and Expression ControlsTogether, these controls set the intensity of the note.
System RequirementsMAC or Windows and Spitfire Audio App.
Plugin FormatsFree plugin that works as VST2, VST3, AAX and AU.

This free choir is a collection of choral samples that are created from the amazing vocal encyclopedia. Eric Whitacre had actually recorded the Eric Whitacre Singers at Air Studios in London. Its textures intertwine in and out of one another while repeatedly evolving whenever you play. This offers you continuous inspiration. 

The interface is very straightforward but you can still add movement and expression into your choir sound. LABS Choir features a very rich and lush sound quality, making it perfect for the classic background choir carpets. It doesn’t need the use of KONTAKT and even has its own free dedicated plugin.

  • Simple and Stellar User Interface: Yes
  • Clean, Modern, and Minimal Look: Yes

PROS

  • Rich, lush sound quality.
  • Doesn’t require the use of KONTAKT.
  • Simple, stellar user interface.
  • Clean, modern and minimal design.

CONS

  • May hear a bit of inauthenticity in the decay. 
  • Lack of phrasing.
  • Limited usability.

The sound is absolutely amazing! The voices are incredible and the reason for this is because they sampled the Eric Whitacre Singers at Air Studios. We appreciate the fact that the graphical user interface is simple and stellar, with an exquisite design that gives a modern, clean and minimal look. 

Even better, the controls aren’t so overwhelming. You should check out their Spitfire Audio websites as well. They have so much available including piano pads, dulcimer, pipe organ, modular piano, guitar harmonics, moon guitar and much much more! This plugin was created to add a lot of mood to your mix and it does just that.

2. NST Vocal

Specification

Dynamic and Expression ControlsAttack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Volume, Pan and Reverb controls.
System RequirementsWindows or MAC
Plugin FormatsIt’s available as a Windows 32- or 64-bit VST, or MAC OSX VST and AU.

This free choir plugin is developed by Bigcat Instruments with a sampled choral library. It features 30 acoustic choral patches for five instruments that are arranged by range, from Full to High and Mid to Low.

  • Simple and Stellar User Interface: No.
  • Clean, Modern, and Minimal Look: Yes. 

PROS

  • Great arrangement of controls.
  • Amazing design. 
  • You can mess around with a lot of patches.

CONS

  • The choir samples may need some tweaking. 
  • Basic user interface. 
  • Basic controls.

The choir samples for the NST Vocal sound pretty good off the bat, but you may need to tweak them in most cases with EQ so that they really fit in a mix. Most people do praise them for their sound but you still might want to load on the reverb and chorus for optimal tone. 

We do like that this plugin offers some sounds that you may not be able to find with others so it’s definitely worth experimenting with. The user interface is pretty basic but the design is absolutely incredible. This plugin has even managed to arrange the controls in a nonintimidating way. 

With the controls, you’ll find your regular Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release controls onboard, as well as with the pan, volume and reverb. You even get the ability to mess around with tons of patches. 

3. Sonatina Choir

Specification

Dynamic and Expression ControlsADSR controls as well as volume and pan.
System RequirementsWindows or MAC
Plugin FormatsAvailable at a 32- and 64-bit VST for Windows, and VST and AU for MAC

This free choir plugin is developed by Bigcat Instruments with a sampled choral library. It features 30

The Sonatina Choir features sampled male and female choirs and gives you the ability to switch between the women’s and men’s choirs. These samples were actually edited from the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra sample library. You’ll find that this plugin also features a building block for more extensive arrangements. 

  • Simple and Stellar User Interface: No
  • Clean, Modern, and Minimal Look: No

PROS

  • Popular choice.
  • Features male and female choirs.
  • Able to switch between the two choirs.

CONS

  • The sound quality isn’t great.
  • Kind of outdated.
  • Basic user interface.
  • Basic controls.

Although this plugin is quite popular, it’s still a little dated. It has all the basics for recreating simple vocal arrangements. You pretty much get more of a strong, punchy sound with this plugin. The sounds definitely aren’t the most realistic sounds ever heard but they’re not too bad either. 

You get pretty basic ADSR controls including volume and pan with this plugin. You can also expect the user interface to be quite basic as well, however, it still works. It’s targeted more towards beginners but middle or experienced composers are still able to use its lightweight processing to complement more difficult performances.

4. Virgin Choir By Angle Studios

Specification

Dynamic and Expression ControlsBasic controls.
System RequirementsWindows or MAC
Plugin Formats32- and 64-bit versions for Windows and VST for MAC.

The Virgin Choir was released as Angle Studios’ first VST plugin. This plugin is claimed to not be for professional use. Although, it generates the sound of a female choir and provides many pro features. It allows for multiple articulations with easy key switching, sequencer mode, velocity sensitivity and so much more. Some of these professional features you can’t even find in professional VSTs. 

  • Simple and Stellar User Interface: Yes.
  • Clean, Modern, and Minimal Look: Yes.

PROS

  • Pro features like multiple articulations, easy key switching, velocity sensitivity, sequencer mode, and more.
  • Appealing user interface. 
  • Professional female choir sound.

CONS

  • Sounds can sometimes seem too unrealistic. 
  • Only one patch.
  • Only includes vowel samples.

The sound for this plugin is fairly well but the vibrato can make it sound a bit unrealistic. It isn’t the greatest sound when it comes to free choir VSTs but it certainly isn’t the worst. It goes great in a mix, especially with some good reverb. They have okay articulations and the transitions between notes are not as smooth as they could be. 

This plugin is perfect, more so for when you just want to mess around with it. It has a simple and well-designed graphical user interface. We love that it provides such low CPU-consuming sound quality that you get the ability to stack a few instances in parallel playing live. Fortunately, the Virgin Choir allows the note attack and release adjustments and is sensible to keyboard velocity. 

We also appreciate the fact that it counts with a sequencer mode and a reverb effects processor. We don’t like that there are only vowel samples, however, they’re still extremely usable, mostly when playing in the human scale range. They sound excellent in the company of external synth pads. 

5. DSK ChoirZ By DSK Music

Specification

Dynamic and Expression ControlsADSR controls.
System RequirementsWindows 7 or higher.
Plugin Formats2-bit for Windows 7 or higher in VST format only.

DSK ChoirZ sets its sounds by combining vocal recordings and pads with a posterior modification of its simple wave parameters. This plugin provides both male and female voices as well as plenty of presets to choose from. 

There are three layers with 32 choir and pad sounds. You can even tweak the layers using ADSR, finetuning and pan control. There are three advanced filters for each layer and feature three LFO routings: cut, pan, level and pitch. It also has chorus and reverb effects, velocity, response and MIDI automation. 

  • Simple and Stellar User Interface: Yes.
  • Clean, Modern, and Minimal Look: Yes.

PROS

  • 3 Advanced Filters.
  • Chorus and Reverb Effects.
  • Velocity Response.
  • MIDI Automation.

CONS

  • Complex looking user interface.
  • The voices can sometimes sound like keyboards and strings. 
  • Not available in many formats.

The user interface for this looks a bit complex especially with the sheer number of controls. However, once you get used to it you begin to realize that it’s reasonably organized, you just have to be patient with it. The choir isn’t too bad, however, the voices do sound just a little bit like keyboards and strings. 

It still does a pretty decent job in some ranges though. You might not enjoy it as a standalone plugin but it could still go great with music that has more layers. We really appreciate the fact that it supports velocity response for devices with sensitive keys. It’s also a perfect start if you’re starting to include vocal choirs in your song. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide was successful in informing and helping to decide on which Choir VST would be best for you. Visit our website for more information or contact us today.

Best Audio Plugins in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Making music has never been easier, and with the advances in technology, it’s never sounded better. There are a lot of plugins out there, and they can make your music sound like it came from a Hollywood sound studio. 

But which plugin should you use? The answer is simple: the best one! What does that mean though? 

Well, the best plugin should have a variety of presets to choose from and be able to create any type of sound you want. It also needs to be easy to understand and have a great interface that doesn’t take up too much screen space. Here are some of the best plugins available on the market today.

Why do our readers trust us? Because they know that we review products daily for them to help with their buying decisions. They value our honest and unbiased opinions and we really appreciate them putting their trust in us.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. FabFilter Pro-Q 3
  • Extremely powerful plugin
  • Massive preset library
CHECK PRICE
2. Audio Ease Altiverb 7
  • Easy to adjust any control you need to
  • The plugin doesn’t tax your system resources too much
CHECK PRICE
3. Abbey Road RS124
  • Fantastic plugin that gives you that 1960s sound
  • Studio and Cutter Filters are really cool
CHECK PRICE
4. Waves CLA-76
  • The live performance effects are stellar
  • The bass is truly deep and satisfying
CHECK PRICE
5. IK Multimedia MixBox
  • Extremely interesting product that seems to handle anything you throw at it.
CHECK PRICE

1. FabFilter Pro-Q 3

Specification

PRICE$999
NUMBER OF BANDSUP TO 24
INTERFACEINTERACTIVE EQ DISPLAY
DB RANGESMASTERING: 3 DB AND 6 DB 
MIXING: 12 DB AND 30 DB
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS
WINDOWS 10, 8, 7 OR VISTA
64-BIT OR 32-BIT
VST 2/3 HOST OR PRO TOOLS

MACOS
MACOS 10.10 OR HIGHER (64-BIT ONLY)
AU OR VST 2/3 HOST OR PRO TOOLS
INTEL OR APPLE SILICON PROCESSOR
PLUGIN FORMATSVST
VST3 
AUDIO UNITS 
AAX NATIVE 
AUDIOSUITE

You probably already know that FabFilter is a well-known name in the music industry, but did you know they also produce a fantastic audio plugin called Pro-Q? It’s one of the best plug-ins available, and if you’re looking for a wide variety of presets, effects, and clean sounds, Pro-Q will be able to provide you with that. 

What’s more, it also has a unique interface, but it takes time to get used to it.

WHAT WE LIKE

Because it can be used to create everything from vintage instruments, to big band sound, to ambient sound, FabFilter Pro-Q 3 can take your music to new heights.

They have a huge library of presets so you can create sounds exactly how you want.

The controls are easy to use and give you quick access to adjustments.

They have a 24/7 support team, which gives you an opportunity to solve any issues you have with the plugin.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

It has a lot of great features that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in other audio plug-ins. The problem is, some of those features can be a little intimidating and may limit you if you’re a new user. Here’s a brief list of the things we don’t like about the plugin:

  • It doesn’t have a mixing console.
  • Some users say they had difficulty creating their own mixdowns.
  • You can’t drag effects from the pan stage to the mixing stage.
  • You have to delete individual modules in order to get the audio out of a module.

One of the biggest critiques about the plugin is that you’ll find a lot of features but not a lot of control. On that note, FabFilter Pro-Q 3 has a lot of controls but is still a very big plugin.

PROS

  • Extremely powerful plugin
  • Massive preset library

CONS

  • The plugin is very complicated and the interface is confusing
  • The controls will take some time to get used to

2. Audio Ease Altiverb 7

Specification

PRICE$580 – $988
NUMBER OF BANDS25+
INTERFACEIMPULSE RESPONSE BROWSER
DB RANGES
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSILOK USB KEY (2ND GENERATION OR NEWER)

WINDOWS 7 OR HIGHER

MAC OS X 10.11 (EL CAPITAN) OR UP
PLUGIN FORMATSWINDOWS:
AAX NATIVE, VST

MAC:
AAX NATIVE,
AUDIO UNIT, MAS, VST, 
RTAS

We’re going to start things off with the foundation of all well-made music, sound. The best plugins out there are able to get the job done in a way that’s easy for even the most inexperienced users.

Here’s why this plugin is the best in the game:

  • It can create endless styles of drums.
  • No matter how obscure your idea is, this plugin has the ability to make it happen.
  • This particular plugin makes music sound just like it was recorded on the radio.
  • Allows you to go as loud as you want.

WHAT WE LIKE

One of the biggest advantages of having a product like this is being able to adjust the EQ or chorus settings to create a good sounding track.

Doing so is a breeze, and the user can easily adjust the settings without having to open up the interface.

Another great feature of this plugin is the great speed it can create sound.

Since it’s supposed to be an “audio mixer” it can even do a lot of different effects.

It’s worth mentioning that this plugin is not the cheapest, but it is absolutely worth every penny. For only $998 you can create professional sounding music!

This plugin can have the option to create smooth music, or it can be very loud and screechy. Of all the plugins on this list, this is probably the best plugin to use for both acoustic and electronic sounds.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

The downsides are few, and all of them relate back to the fact that it doesn’t include every type of effect you could want. For instance, it doesn’t have what we call the “red rim” which gives it a more liquid-y or groovy-sounding effect, but it’s still very easy to find and use as well.

PROS

  • Easy to adjust any control you need to
  • The plugin doesn’t tax your system resources too much

CONS

  • Some effects you would expect simply are not there

3. Abbey Road RS124

Specification

PRICE$249.00
NUMBER OF BANDS6 MAIN BANDS
INTERFACEMIXER INTERFACE
DB RANGES–18 DBFS = +4 DBU (IN OR OUT)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS
WINDOWS 10, 8, 7 OR VISTA
64-BIT OR 32-BIT
VST 2/3 HOST OR PRO TOOLS

MACOS
MACOS 10.10 OR HIGHER (64-BIT ONLY)
AU OR VST 2/3 HOST OR PRO TOOLS
INTEL OR APPLE SILICON PROCESSOR
PLUGIN FORMATSAAX
AUDIOSUITE
AUDIO UNITS
SOUNDGRID
VST

This is one of the most popular audio plug-ins out there. Abbey Road has been used in many of the most popular movies, and it was originally created by a famous band called The Beatles. 

Abbey Road is a 48-bit audio plug-in that gives you a huge selection of sound effects and wub-wub sounds. In fact, it’s been used in tons of major motion pictures.

WHAT WE LIKE

The Abbey Road RS124 is our favorite multi-effect plug-in because it’s versatile, works well in a variety of situations and it’s easy to use. If you’re looking for a multi-effect plug-in, you won’t be disappointed with the RS124.

The RS124 comes with a total of eight different preset effects which include a reverb, delay, distortion, chorus, phaser, flanger, noise, limiter and a vibrato effect. The interface is fairly straightforward, and you can browse through the preset effects by using the preset button.

You can easily switch between effects with the up and down arrows. You can also tap on the main menu button to find different presets.

The sound quality of the RS124 is amazing, and it’s very unique. For an 8-voice compressor, the sound quality is still very good.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

If you want to go for a sound pack for a home studio, it might be a better choice, but to go for a standalone stereo kit, then the RS124 is probably not for you. It’s a huge collection of reverb and delays and a bunch of other useful plugins. 

You get 16 plugins in total and it’ll set you back only $59.99. This is a great price for a unique but powerful audio plugin, It’s also available in black instead of silver.

PROS

  • Fantastic plugin that gives you that 1960s sound
  • Studio and Cutter Filters are really cool

CONS

  • Can lag a bit when taxed to the limit

4. Waves CLA-76

Specification

PRICE$299.99
NUMBER OF BANDS16
INTERFACEMIXER INTERFACE
DB RANGES0 – 48 DB+
(IN OR OUT)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 10 OR LATER
INTEL CORE I5 / AMD QUAD-CORE OR HIGHER, 8GB RAM MINIMUM

MACOS 10.14.6 OR LATER
INTEL CORE I5 OR HIGHER (M1 SUPPORT), 8GB RAM MINIMUM
PLUGIN FORMATSAAX
AUDIOSUITE
AUDIO UNITS
SOUNDGRID
VST

Waves is the leading provider of premium, professional audio plugins, and they’ve come up with a new plugin that is great for making great sounding electronic music. The Waves CLA-76 is a filter capable of making any type of sound, including deep bass and has a high pass filter. 

This plugin is great for many uses, but it’s best for giving tracks a huge and thumping bass sound, even without a subwoofer or a powered one. If you’re trying to make bass sounds using a plugin that doesn’t include one, this is it.

WHAT WE LIKE

With a sound that can be recreated in the most authentic way possible, the Waves CLA-76 is the best plugin on the market. So why exactly is this one the best one out there? 

It’s because it can be customized as well as recreate any type of sound you want. With over 35 effects, sounds and sounds designed specifically for making music, the Waves CLA-76 allows you to create whatever sound you want. If you want something a bit heavier or softer, the Waves CLA-76 can do it and sound incredible doing it.

It’s also a great plug-in for live performances. The automation sounds are great, and you can either take your own sounds and layers or use user-created ones. The waveform editor allows you to create any type of sound you want, and then create your own effects to complete your track.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

There’s very little to complain about with this plugin. It’s stable and does what it says it will.

PROS

  • The live performance effects are stellar
  • The bass is truly deep and satisfying

CONS

  • Some effects such as guitar could use improvement

5. IK Multimedia MixBox

Specification

PRICE$59.99
NUMBER OF BANDS6 MAIN BANDS
INTERFACEMIXER INTERFACE
DB RANGESRANGE (GR): 0 DB TO 30 DB RANGE: (IN OR OUT): -20 DB TO +3 DB
OUTPUT ATTENUATOR: -24 DB TO +24 DB
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 10 AND 11, 64-BIT
16 GB FREE DISK SPACE

MACOS 10.14.6 OR HIGHER (64-BIT ONLY)
INTEL CORE I5 / I7 / I9 / XEON / APPLE M1
16 GB FREE DISK SPACE
PLUGIN FORMATSAUDIO UNITS
VST

This is a great multi-effects plugin that will make you sound like you just stepped out of a recording studio. It has an awesome user interface that offers tons of cool presets and a cool visual walkthrough that shows how each plugin works. 

It features sub-modulation, various filters, plugins for bass, midi-sync, sample playback, etc. It offers 16 different virtual analog controllers to choose from to get different sounds from the individual plugins and even an equalizer. 

It also features a powerful user interface with plenty of filters and an amazing collection of sounds to make your music sound as good as the sound engineers do. You can get IK Multimedia MixBox here.

WHAT WE LIKE

You’ll be blown away with the quality and realism of this plugin. With some other plugin suites, you have to do all of the work yourself, leaving the interface to move slower and slower. The MixBox is different because it integrates so well with the actual hardware of your computer and gives you the ability to record, mix, edit, and even sync the audio all from one place. 

The two combined create an amazingly simple interface that actually makes you want to use it more. The MixBox is amazingly simple to use and only takes a minute to learn. Each preset can be applied with a simple click of the mouse.

It can create whatever type of sound you want, with a few clicks of the mouse. It has a built-in tracker to test and play different frequencies. Plus, it works well with hard and soft sounds.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

The development team behind the MixBox is not one of the best, to say the least. On our testing of the MixBox plugin, we found that a lot of sounds were produced using the built-in delays and reverbs. 

The lag that was present in the interface was also problematic for users. On top of this, some users found the features of the plugin to be quite limited. IK Multimedia has yet to solve this issue.

Overall, while the MixBox is a great product, it has a long way to go before it reaches the potential that it has to offer. There are better and cheaper plugins out there that can accomplish all of these features much easier.

PROS

  • Extremely interesting product that seems to handle anything you throw at it.

CONS

  • The plugin lags at times
  • Lots of potential, but for now we recommend you wait for an upgrade

Conclusion

Thanks so much for sticking with us to the end of this article about the best audio plugins. Any of these plugins will handle any musical task you need them to, whether standalone or combined. With software like this, anything is possible and we think all of them have a certain spot for music lovers and producers. We know you’ll enjoy these plugins.

Best Free Reverb Plugins in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

The number of effects accessible through plugins today is staggering. The longer you practice music production, the more techniques and tools you will discover, allowing for infinite possibilities in creating the sounds you want. But it is also important to remember the basics. There is one effect that everyone knows, and that remains one of the most important tools for any producer: reverb. Reverb exists in pretty much every kind of music, and you should probably have at least a few plugins for it in your toolbox. And the great thing about the current age of music production is that you will always have free options. We are going to be looking at eight great options for free reverb, each with its own features and characteristics. Let’s get into it. 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. Smartelectronix – Ambience
  • Free
  • Good presets
  • Hold button
CHECK PRICE
2. Voxengo OldSkoolVerb
  • Simple interface
  • All the basic controls are here
  • Old-school reverb generation
CHECK PRICE
3. Valhalla Super Massive
  • Reverb and Delay
  • Unique sound and functionality
  • Clean UI
CHECK PRICE
4. TAL-Reverb-4
  • Great sound
  • Clean UI
  • Good presets
CHECK PRICE
5. Denis Tihanov, Orilriver
  • Good presets
  • Nice selection of options
  • Clean UI
CHECK PRICE
6. Michael Willis Dragonfly Reverbs
  • Organized into separate plugins
  • Clean UIs
  • Great EQ options
CHECK PRICE
7. Leslie Sanford Sanford Reverb
  • Outstanding early reflections controls
  • Clean UI
  • “Freeze” mode
CHECK PRICE
8. Cloud Seed
  • Great sound
  • Works well for intended purpose
  • Clean UI
CHECK PRICE

1. Smartelectronix – Ambience

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows XP or higher (VST, 32-bit support)
Mac OS X (AU, 64-bit and 32-bit support)

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Time
  • Width
  • Pre-Delay
  • Quality knob
  • Variation button
  • Damping 
  • EQ 
  • Gating  
  • “Hold” button

Ambience is a great free reverb plugin with a nice sound and some interesting features. Here you will find all the features you would expect from a reverb plugin, such as wet/dry sliders, pre-delay, and decay time, along with some surprises. Ambience allows you to control damping with knobs for both treble and bass, as well as offering a gating section and a “variation” button that randomizes the shape of the reverb.

PROS

  • Free
  • Good presets
  • Hold button

CONS

  • No independent options for standard reverb types
  • No x64 support on Windows

Ambience is definitely worth checking out as an option for free reverb. It will give you everything you need while also going a bit beyond what other free options normally would. Its “hold” function, which will essentially loop the currently playing section of reverbed audio continuously, is a nice touch, as are its gating controls.

2. Voxengo OldSkoolVerb

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows (32- and 64-bit Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and later)  
macOS (10.11 and later) computers (2.5 GHz dual-core or faster processor with at least 4 GB of system RAM)

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Time
  • Width
  • Pre-Delay
  • Damping 
  • EQ

OldSkoolVerb is a simple reverb plugin, but it sounds great and gives you most of the options you would expect. Its simple interface and classic algorithm – hence the name – yield a straightforward user experience for when you don’t need any bells and whistles.

PROS

  • Simple interface
  • All the basic controls are here
  • Old-school reverb generation

CONS

  • Bare-bones
  • Doesn’t sound as good for percussion

This plugin is certainly not flashy, but it is still a good option for some simple reverb, especially if you are chasing a classic reverb sound.

3. Valhalla Super Massive

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows and Mac, 64 and 32-bit versions

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Delay
  • Width
  • EQ 
  • Modulation
  • Warp knob – pitch

Valhalla’s Super Massive isn’t your typical reverb plugin. While it does provide a nice reverb, it is more of a mix between reverb and delay. Given its unique functionality and the types of cool sounds you can get out of this plugin, it is definitely worth downloading even if you already have a standard reverb plugin that you like. 

PROS

  • Reverb and Delay
  • Unique sound and functionality
  • Clean UI

CONS

  • Lacks some traditional reverb options
  • Will make you want to buy Valhalla’s paid plugins

Super Massive is a fantastic plugin to check out, although it might not be the best choice for your only reverb plugin. But if you want to play around with its awesome delay features, definitely give it a try.

4. TAL-Reverb-4

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows: Windows 7 or later (64 bit)
OS X: 10.9 or later (64 bit). Universal Binary 2 with native Apple M1 support.
AAX: Pro Tools 10.3.6 or higher (64 bit).
LINUX: 64 bit / Ubuntu 18 or similar.

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Delay
  • Diffuse knob
  • Modulation
  • EQ

TAL-Reverb-4 is a more focused plugin for when you want a vintage 80s sound. While many plugins include options for different types of reverb (room, hall, etc.), this one is specifically a plate reverb plugin. While it isn’t a jack of all trades, it is a great tool to have.

PROS

  • Great sound
  • Clean UI
  • Good presets

CONS

  • Limited sound
  • Not a ton of options

TAL’s Reverb-4 plugin will give you a great niche sound, and is a great one to have in your pocket for when you need it.

5. Denis Tihanov, Orilriver

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows: Windows 7 and up
Mac OS X: Mac OS X 10.8 and up

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Time
  • Width
  • Pre-Delay
  • Variations for early reflections and reverb tail
  • Damping 
  • EQ

Denis Tihanov’s Orilriver plugin is a popular option for reverb, and for good reason. This is a great all-around workhorse plugin that offers a robust set of options. This is one that can be used in most situations and sound good. 

PROS

  • Good presets
  • Nice selection of options
  • Clean UI

CONS

  • Requires Windows 7 and newer
  • No longer being updated

OrilRiver is one of the best all-around reverb plugins you can get for free. As you can tell from looking at its interface, it lets you tweak your reverb quite extensively to achieve the sound you want. Definitely check this one out for general use.

6. Michael Willis Dragonfly Reverbs

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows – 32 or 64 bit
Mac OS X – 64 bit
Linux – 64 bit

Features

  • Presets
  • Dry/Wet
  • Time
  • Width
  • Pre-Delay
  • Variations for early reflections and reverb tail
  • Damping 
  • EQ

Dragonfly Reverb is actually a set of plugins that offer different reverb effects. Hall, plate, room, and early reflections VSTs are all available, each with their own options and interfaces. Having a plugin for each specific type of reverb, while some may find it tedious, is great when you know the kind of sound you are going for. Having presets designed specifically for each plugin simplifies the experience, and results in some very nice, uncluttered interfaces.

PROS

  • Organized into separate plugins
  • Clean UIs
  • Great EQ options

CONS

  • Switching plugins can be tedious
  • 32 bit not supported on Mac and Linux

The Dragonfly Reverbs are a nice-looking group of plugins that will give you a great sound. They are designed for softer sounds like vocals, but they can be applied to a variety of styles for nice results. 

7. Leslie Sanford Sanford Reverb

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows – 64 bit

Features

  • Six early reflections – three left and three right
  • Filter – tone control
  • Damping 
  • Tail Modulation
  • Freeze Mode
  • Low CPU usage
  • High/low cut knobs

Leslie Sanford’s Sanford Reverb is another solid plugin for generating a great stereo reverb sound in a wide variety of situations. In addition to looking really nice, this plugin’s claim to fame is its in-depth control for early reflections. Three early reflections on each side, making for six total, can be adjusted for level, time, and panning. This functionality makes Sanford Reverb a versatile tool for creating tailored reverb in comparison to many other free options.

PROS

  • Outstanding early reflections controls
  • Clean UI
  • “Freeze” mode

CONS

  • Not available on Mac
  • Requires 64 bit windows
  • EQ settings are sparse

The fleshed-out nature of this plugin’s early reflections settings makes it a rare find among free reverb plugins. While there are many out there that provide nice reverb, very few can boast the same tweakability.

8. Cloud Seed

Specification

PriceFree
Compatiblewith most DAWs
System RequirementsWindows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 or later
64 Bit Processor and operating system
Uses .NET Framework 4.5

Features

  • Dry/Wet
  • Time
  • Width
  • Pre-Delay
  • Damping 
  • EQ

Finally, we have Cloud Seed by Valdemar Erligsson. This is another fairly unique plugin. While it does appear to be a general purpose reverb with many of the familiar options, the creator states that it is intended as a “special effect” rather than an all-purpose reverb. It is meant to create huge, lush sounds for backing tracks. 

PROS

  • Great sound
  • Works well for intended purpose
  • Clean UI

CONS

  • Requires .NET framework
  • Not available for 32 bit systems
  • Intended use is a bit niche

This plugin might not be a go-to for all-purpose reverb, but it can create some really great soundscapes. Its elegant user interface matches up well with its name and function, and while it lacks some options that would make it more versatile, it is still very much worth checking out.

Conclusion

The world of free plugins is incredibly overwhelming, especially at first, but hopefully this list gives you some interesting options to get you started with reverb. Since they are free, we recommend downloading as many of these as you can to try them out. While the basic function of all of these is more or less the same, each one will give you a noticeably different sound and set of features. So go ahead – diversify your kit and start adding great reverb to your tracks. 

Best Free EQ Plug-In in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

If you are someone learning sound design or music engineering in college, high school, or in your free time, invest yourself in an equalizer plug-in. Equalizers are the key to having clean, balanced audio and altering sounds into effects. The reason that stops people from buying one is the expensive price tag.

Thankfully, there are free equalizers online. The question is which one would you choose. We’ll be judging five free equalizer plug-ins on criteria. Is the interface usable for both beginners and professionals?  What PCs can it work on?  And does it carry all the audio filters without needing to buy an upgraded version?

If there is a standstill between two or three plug-ins, we will dive deeper into how they operate on different PCs based on the bit rate, the CPU and RAM usage they can run, and who can work with the most audio programs based on their plug-in file.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. Blue Cat’s Triple EQ
CHECK PRICE
2. TDR Nova EQ
CHECK PRICE
3. Ignite Amps PTEQ X
CHECK PRICE
4. Kiive Audio Warmy EP1A Tube EQ
CHECK PRICE
reaxcomp 5. ReaEQ
CHECK PRICE

1. Blue Cat’s Triple EQ

The Triple is a three-banded equalizer by Blue Cat that operates with a semi-parametric model. This means the filters can be controlled in real-time or paused to help beginner and professional sound engineers to listen and understand the sound’s execution on their recording.

Like Nova, the Triple has an interface that allows users to manipulate the band above the audio recording by clicking on it or entering values on the effect analogs. What makes it unique is semi-parametric model lets you listen to the recording while working in two or multiple audio channels. 

The two main channels are the left and right to listen to the panning of effects from the direction of the left and right ears. These channels can have their volumes be adjusted independently. The last channel is in the middle, which can manipulate both the left and right volumes simultaneously.

When you combine all three, they can create a building and fading effect of the audio recording. And it can automatically detect and correct volume gain when you play it back or in real-time.

Triple also works with Windows and Mac on their modern versions, both in 64 and 32-bit. Unfortunately for Mac users, they will need an Intel processor to operate this plug-in.

2. TDR Nova EQ

The Nova is an audio equalizer made by Tokyo Dawn Records. This plug-in is programmed to parallel dynamic algorithms, meaning it can process and divide the audio into smaller sections while preserving the original recording.

It can handle the process with two different equalizer settings, parametric and dynamic equalization. And three different types of compression types, frequency selective, multi-band, and wideband.

The frequency can be manipulated in real-time or paused. You can mess around with the equalization and compression with the band above the audio recording. The user interface is adjustable and adaptable, from a simplified setup for beginner sound engineers to complex for professionals.

The beginner interface has fewer effect analogs and encourages new Nova users to manipulate the band manually to listen and experiment to achieve different sound results before finalizing the audio. The professional interface has more analogs for experienced Nova users to try out the advanced effects, like low and high filters on their recording. And if you are ready to learn more, the Gentleman version carries Smart Operations preference to teach the plug-in the filters you want to convert the sound of the recording into something new.

What makes Nova great is the accessibility it has for Windows and Mac users. With Windows, it can be used with Windows XP SP2 to the currently new Windows 11. And can be used with Mac OS X 10.9 to its current version, macOS Monterey. However, for Mac owners, Nova can operate on their systems at 64-bit while Windows can work in 64 and 32-bit.

3. Ignite Amps PTEQ X

This next equalizer is a 3-in-1 module set from Ignite Amps. The PTEQ allows you to access three modules, each with its own audio filters to manipulate audio frequencies on one interface from top to bottom.

The first module is the mid-range equalizer that allows PTEQ users to drop the frequency down and cap the peak of the frequency. Below is the bandwidth module, allowing users to control the frequency from high to low, the treble and bass boost, and reduce the force of the effect by attenuating. The last module is the filter cuts that control the low and high frequency to a cleaner sound.

Unlike the Triple and the Nova, PTEQ does not have an audio chart to look at in real-time or pause. This plug-in is more likely to be used with an audio program limited by effects and can operate the plug-ins with their audio chart.

The analogs may have values labeled above them, but it can be hard to read and know which channel of a selected frequency is trying to adjust.

For both Windows and Mac users, this plug-in works with their modern versions. The only thing stopping them is the processor type. Windows will need an Intel Pentium 4 or an AMD Athlon XP processor. And Mac will need an Intel SSE2 processor.

4. Kiive Audio Warmy EP1A Tube EQ

So far, out of all of the equalizer plug-ins, Kiive Audio provides the most simple interface plug-in. The Warmy EP1A Tube has a beginner-friendly analog interface compared to the PTEQ’s. The tube part of the name comes from the two value displays underneath to read the effect value amount you put into the audio.

The interface contains a left and right channel as both sides of the interface each have a boost and cut analog. In the middle is the bandwidth analog, which labels the audio value from sharp to broad. And there’s an input volume dial to adjust microphone gain, output to adjust the playback volume, and mixing to pan the sound from left to right.

While it doesn’t have an audio chart, the beginner-friendly interface is a great learning tool for anyone, especially for students trying out audio engineering for the first time. Professionals might see this plug-in as too simple to use and would find themselves wanting an equalizer with more sound filters.

Warmy also works well with modern versions of Windows with an Intel or AMD processor and Mac with an Intell processor. Both will need to be operated in 64-bit.

5. ReaEQ

reaxcomp

Down to the last equalizer, the Reaper or ReaEQ is the oldest plug-in on the list. It can be used all the way back to Windows 98. And it was last updated in 2016. It may have aged, but a vintage musician and a retro sound designer may find its interface charming and fun.

It’s also a CPU-friendly program if you want an equalizer with low CPU and RAM use. Instead of analogs, Reaper uses filter meters to prevent the difficulty of setting a value. To make it easier, it allows users to type in the box to the meter. Some of these meters come with an option dropbox with preset filters to adjust the frequency on the audio chart.

It can be beginner-friendly at first. However, it can become overwhelming as this equalizer has 9 different interfaces, each with its own audio filter function. One of these interfaces allows Reaper to code value with JavaScript. This is great to use if you are a game programmer creating MIDI music. And speaking of MIDI, it has MIDI control.

It may not be available for Mac users. But for Windows, it is best used for Windows 7 or 8 rather than higher. The reason why is that the coding of JavaScript is more likely to operate better and would not require JavaScript upgrades for those Windows versions.

Conclusion

Now that we have gone over all 5 free equalizer plug-ins, it’s time to choose which free equalizer is the winner. The best free equalizer plug-in you should use on a budget is the Blue Cat’s Triple. TDR’s Nova almost came close, but an upgrade for their Gentleman version cost 68 US dollars to access more features. Triple stays free while updating and adding features over time.

When it comes to free audio plug-ins, the user should ask about three things. What is PC usage and performance, what audio programs can they use it with, and is it easy to learn? The Triple Equalizer has answered all three.

It has no CPU latency or loads while it’s idle and optimizes itself to your audio program’s CPU usage. This plug-in is perfect for most audio programs that can work with VST, VST3, and AAX plug-ins with modern Mac and Windows PCs at 32-bit and 64-bit rates. And last but not least, the interface is beginner-friendly and can be used in a professional environment.

Best Free Orchestral VST in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Are you looking for a good free orchestral VST to use in your productions? Do you want to know the best free orchestral VSTs out there so you can get started now? If so, then this is the perfect article for you.

In this review article, we will cover some of the best free orchestral VSTs that are currently available. We will go over what they offer and how they compare against each other. Read on to find out more about these amazing instruments!

Why trust us? We review products daily for our devoted readers to help them choose the best products for their situation. They value our honest and unbiased opinions and we really appreciate them putting their trust in us.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. DSK Overture
  • 4 layer (40 instruments, 1 drum kit, 10 internal combos
  • Amp Envelope
  • MIDI Channel Selector
CHECK PRICE
2. Chamber Orchestra 2 (VSCO 2)
  • Reverb
  • ADS Control
  • Mod Wheel Xfading
CHECK PRICE
3. DSK Virtuoso
  • 6 Instrument layers
  • Midi channel assignable to each one
  • 40 instruments in 6 categories
CHECK PRICE
4. Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
  • SSO samples are stereo, 16 bit, 44kHz
  • chromatic percussions
  • stage ambience, depending on their front-to-back placement
CHECK PRICE
5. One Track Orchestra
  • VSCO CE Super Quality Samples
  • MIDI Velocity
  • Reverb and Volume Faders
CHECK PRICE
6. Layers by Orchestral Tools
  • Full Orchestra
  • Woodwinds
  • Brass and Strings
CHECK PRICE
7. Total Composure Orchestra
  • Pianos
  • Brass and Strings
  • Percussion
CHECK PRICE
biglabs_final 8. Spitfire LABS
  • Strings and Guitars
  • Pianos, Percussion and Synths
  • Vocals
CHECK PRICE
9. Free Orchestra by Project Sam
  • Basses such as Cellos and many more
  • Drones, strings and brass
  • 8-player french horn section
CHECK PRICE
10. Spitfire Symphony Orchestra Discover
  • 33 instruments
  • 47 techniques
  • NKS Compatibility
CHECK PRICE

1. DSK Overture

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE85 MB (COMPRESSED)
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 (64 BIT) AND ABOVE

Features

  • 4 layer (40 instruments, 1 drum kit, 10 internal combos
  • Amp Envelope
  • MIDI Channel Selector

DSK Overture is a pure piano VST with 635+ sounds available. It also features your basic task management, note monitoring, preset management, tempo matching, plus lots of percussion sounds. 

This instrument works great for synthesizing piano solos. If you are not a piano player, then don’t bother using this one. However, if you are looking to sound more like an actual pianist then give it a try!

DSK Overture is free and there are no strings or samples included in the instrument. It is all you need to hear. 

There are also a number of customizations available. But the key idea with the DSK Overture is to give you the basics of a piano. If you are looking for samples or strings, you are not getting that from the DSK Overture.

2. Chamber Orchestra 2 (VSCO 2)

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE111 MB – 3.2 GB
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 AND ABOVE

Features

  • Reverb
  • ADS Control
  • Mod Wheel Xfading

If you are looking for a VST that has just about every parameter possible, then you can’t go wrong with Chamber Orchestra 2. This amazing instrument comes with an abundance of great features, including:

  • Wider range of sound models: 
  • 18 different sound models are supported, allowing for a wider variety of strings, brass and percussion sounds to be explored.

Improved touch and drag interactions: Users can now easily alter and view the state of all parameters using the mouse or their finger, making it far easier for them to get the settings they want without much hassle.

Advanced parameters support: Thanks to this release’s new DSP engine, each parameter has been updated to support a variety of automation features.

3. DSK Virtuoso

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE400 MB
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 (32 AND 64 BIT) AND ABOVE

Features

  • 6 Instrument layers
  • Midi channel assignable to each one
  • 40 instruments in 6 categories

DSK is a wonderful multi-part, melodic synth that is packed full of orchestral goodness. It is produced by Marius Simionescu, who is known for his dark orchestral work. In this software, you will find such orchestral instruments as strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. You will also find a chording pad, a low-end bass drum, a pitch bend, and a delay.

What is cool about DSK is that it comes with four modules, each of which is dedicated to a different type of sound. For example, there is a chord pad, a pitch bend, a delay, and a parameterizer. One neat thing about this synth is that you can use it to create your own sounds, just as if you were to use a multi-effects plug-in!

Overall, DSK is a very powerful and versatile synth. It is a great addition to any VST collection.

4. Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE654 MB
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Features

  • SSO samples are stereo, 16 bit, 44kHz
  • chromatic percussions
  • stage ambience, depending on their front-to-back placement

Sonatina is a free Symphony Orchestra based VST designed for musicians, sound designers, and audio engineers. The VST is a complex implementation of the Classical Orchestral, written in A3 at tempo 140bpm. It contains a variety of microblocks, each of which contains different sections from the symphony.

Sonatina features over 40 different orchestral microblocks for you to use in your compositions. You can also use different parameters such as dynamics, modulation, and many other different characteristics. MIDI only commands can also be used to control the instrument’s parameters.

5. One Track Orchestra

Specification

PRICEFREE AND PAID
TOTAL SIZE43 MB (COMPRESSED)
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 10 (32 AND 64 BIT)

Features

  • VSCO CE Super Quality Samples
  • MIDI Velocity
  • Reverb and Volume Faders

One Track Orchestra is perhaps the most well-known orchestral VST. Originally created by Steve Roach, a guitarist and drummer from Chicago, it is probably best described as an online experience that combines live performances and custom percussion instruments. 

It is free and has been used in many live shows and film soundtracks.

One Track Orchestra actually requires a subscription, but there is a trial version available that is completely free. You can download the trial version from here and have a listen to the free version in the player below.

6. Layers by Orchestral Tools

Specification

PRICEFREE AND PAID
TOTAL SIZEUP TO 17 GB
COMPATIBILITYPC, MAC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 10, INTEL I5 OR SIMILAR, MAC OS 10.13 AND UP

Features

  • Full Orchestra
  • Woodwinds
  • Brass and Strings

Layers by Orchestral Tools is a complete suite of 9 atmospheric VST instruments. The VST instrument has 7 tones (like piano) and a delay effect. 

The sounds are nice and tight, while still being warm and full. The delay is great and can be further manipulated to create your own effects.

We really like the fact that this plugin is compatible with both the newest versions of Windows and Mac computer operating systems, save for Apple Silicon, which should be supported soon.

7. Total Composure Orchestra

Specification

PRICEFREE AND PAID
TOTAL SIZE413 MB – 1.5 GB
COMPATIBILITYPC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 OR LATER
MAC OS9 OR LATER
FULL VERSION OF KONTAKT 5.8.1 AND UP

Features

  • Pianos
  • Brass and Strings
  • Percussion

Total Composure Orchestra is one of the best free orchestral VSTs you can get at the moment. It comes packed with lots of features that you will not find in any other plugin.

This free orchestral VST is easy to use and is great for beginners. It supports an array of instruments, including trumpets, trombones, trumpets and other types of horns. Each instrument comes with great sounds that sound great.

The developer has also added some unique sound textures to make this free orchestral VST stand out from the crowd. These sound textures include lush guitar and synth parts and great acoustic instruments. You can further fine tune your sound with all sorts of DSP including multi-popery and 8-pole oscillation.

8. Spitfire LABS

biglabs_final

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE17 – 43 MB (COMPRESSED)
COMPATIBILITYPC, MAC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 OR LATER
MAC OS9 OR LATER

Features

  • Strings and Guitars
  • Pianos, Percussion and Synths
  • Vocals

Spitfire LABS have what they call an “infinite series of free software instruments”. They can certainly back up that claim. Now we are talking about high quality samples, not something dragged up from the oldest libraries of the internet. 

These samples are spot on, clear and most of all stable. We like that it’s compatible with any DAW.  The company claims that you will need a copy of their Spitfire Audio App, but for what you get, it’s well worth it. 

9. Free Orchestra by Project Sam

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE1 GB
COMPATIBILITYPC, MAC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 OR LATER
MAC OS 10.12 OR LATER

Features

  • Basses such as Cellos and many more
  • Drones, strings and brass
  • 8-player french horn section

Project Sam is a superb free orchestral VST that contains over 1,600 pre-recorded orchestral samples in multiple categories, all of which are dedicated specifically to orchestras. A range of beautiful instrument skins are available to customize your sessions, including drums, guitars, brass, strings, percussion and vocals.

This free orchestral VST is very simple to use. Just play a MIDI note, a sample, or trigger on your track, and this virtual orchestra will play along. It has a range of presets which you can tweak to fit your mood and style. All you have to do is give it a few seconds and you’ll have some real sounding orchestra to play with.

10. Spitfire Symphony Orchestra Discover

Specification

PRICEFREE AND PAID
TOTAL SIZE200 MB
COMPATIBILITYPC, MAC
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 OR LATER
MAC OS 10.12 OR LATER (64 BIT)

Features

  • 33 instruments
  • 47 techniques
  • NKS Compatibility

In this section of our review, we will discuss the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra library. You may know this as one of the best free orchestral VSTs for Mac. This is a semi-modular free library of approximately 80 instruments. These instruments range from the simplest electronic pad to the most complex. You will find everything from sound effects to numerous instruments.

The tools available for each instrument range from pitch-bends and filters to oscillators and a few common effects.

Though it’s a relatively small range, the library is amazingly large. From it, you will find dozens of different pad instrument sounds, electronic pads, strings, brass, percussion, stringed instruments, strings, and even several other instruments like brass and woodwinds.

Conclusion

Thanks so much for sticking with us to the end of this article about the best free orchestral VST. As you now know, these VSTs offer a unique and varied experience that will keep musicians busy for an extremely long time. Happy Music Making!

Best Free Kontakt Libraries in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Synthesizing the perfect sound has never been easier. With all of these free KONTAKT libraries, you can create the perfect sound in no time. 

As soon as you start exploring these libraries, you will be amazed by how many sounds each one offers to make your music stand out. There are even ones that offer different eras of music like Rockabilly or Motown. 

Here are our reviews of some of the best free KONTAKT libraries on the market today. We’ll talk about features, PROS, CONS and much more.

What Are KONTAKT Libraries?

If you are just starting out with KONTAKT, you will need a KONTAKT library. These are KONTAKT sets, and are stored in your library as presets. 

Each set contains everything you will need for a particular sound. The only limitation is the use of the individual layers, the sounds are not limited to the number of layers you can add to a sound. 

With this many sound samples, you can create extremely realistic sounding kits for sound design.

What do KONTAKT libraries offer?

KONTAKT libraries are extremely versatile, and provide endless options and features to expand your work in a simple and effective way.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. Amore Grand Piano
  • Really simple to use
  • At only 200 MB it doesn’t hog many computer resources at all
CHECK PRICE
2. Cinematique Instruments Klang Series
  • Plenty of genre samples for use
  • Quite easy to use inside of KONTACT
CHECK PRICE
3. Ferrum Modern Trailer Percussion (Free Edition)
  • Very versatile
  • Excellent sound quality
CHECK PRICE
4. Soundethers Free Fall
  • MOD wheel is pretty cool
  • 3 layers to the program allows for plenty of flexibility
CHECK PRICE
5. Gombulator by Fine Cut Bodies
  • Six preset sounds and a set of drums
  • Based on synths from the 1980s
CHECK PRICE
6. Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE by Impact Soundworks
  • An all around great library
  • Allows for complex creation
CHECK PRICE
7. Palette – Primary Colors by Red Room Audio
  • Very realistic sounds
  • Lots of samples available
CHECK PRICE
8. Sonas Ronroco Virtual Instrument by Samplephonics
  • Very good collection of samples
  • Very realistic sounds can be produced
CHECK PRICE
9. The Stroh Violin by Impact Soundworks
  • This is a very light yet powerful plugin
  • The sound is very good, nearly piercing if you want it to be
  • Drop dead easy mixer controls
CHECK PRICE

1. Amore Grand Piano

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZEUNDER 200 MB
COMPATIBILITYNI KONTAKT 3+

Amore Grand Piano is an amazing library that combines the classic piano with the modern sounds. The library offers a good amount of fully playable samples of well known grand piano music. 

You can download this library to build something stunning and unique. The best part is that the samples in this library are fully playable right out of the box. You don’t need to buy an instrument or to learn any new skills in order to make something amazing.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • The recording comes from a Yamaha grand piano
  • The interface is broken down into 3 parts

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

While we liked this plugin we found that it sounded a bit too thin and breezy. We were expecting more power, but we really can’t complain too much about a free product

PROS

  • Really simple to use
  • At only 200 MB it doesn’t hog many computer resources at all

CONS

  • Sound is a bit too light

2. Cinematique Instruments Klang Series

Specification

PRICEFREE (ONE YEAR) AND PAID
TOTAL SIZE150 MB (COMPRESSED)
COMPATIBILITYKONTAKT 5.6.8. OR LATER
FULL VERSION REQUIRED

The Cinematique Instruments Klang Series has almost as many samples as all of the free KONTAKT libraries combined, but this changes from time to time. Some of the tracks include jazz, blues, big band, country and other types of music. 

One of the best features of the Klang series is its interactivity. You can select an instrument, one of the multiple “human sound sources” and layer on various effects. 

The Klang library is completely free for the taking, though some features do require a paid account. 

WHAT WE LIKE

We were shocked by how nice the plugin integrates into the full version of KONTAKT. There were no problems at all.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

The creators of Klang love to change out the samples, so you might not have one of your favorites when you eventually upgrade

PROS

  • Plenty of genre samples for use
  • Quite easy to use inside of KONTACT

CONS

  • Sample can be changed by the craters anytime they want.

3. Ferrum Modern Trailer Percussion (Free Edition)

Specification

PRICEFREE (ONE YEAR) AND PAID
TOTAL SIZE8.44 GB
COMPATIBILITYFREE KONTAKT PLAYER AND NATIVE INSTRUMENTS HARDWARE

This is the best free library out there for a rapid ramping filter called FERRUM MODERN TRAILER PERIMETER and it offers incredible added sounds like scats, pop and more.

 It has a nice signature feel to it, but it has the added “bump” to it that adds to its sound. You should check it out!

WHAT WE LIKE

This is a great little library. It offers very good sound quality. It also provides you with over 500 drum and percussion samples 

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

A lot of the metallic samples sound very similar, which is both off putting and annoying. 

PROS

  • Very versatile
  • Excellent sound quality

CONS

  • Some samples sound the same no matter what you do

4. Soundethers Free Fall

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE173 MB
COMPATIBILITYFREE KONTAKT PLAYER AND FULL KONTAKT PLAYER

This library is called Soundethers because the main thing you do is download it, test it out and then go out and make music with it. The library is unique in that it provides a cool sound that is appealing to a specific age group. 

We say this because this library is for people between the ages of 15 and 30, meaning that it is only for people that are at that point in their lives. It has multiple styles to choose from with its various rhythms and sounds, including different funk, Jazz, Rock, New Jack Swing, Soul and Hip Hop, with a splash of Hip Hop rock in there. 

It has one of the best synths on the market in it, called The Genius Factor, which has all of the sounds you would want to make great beats out of. However, it does not have any percussion.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Very easy to learn and use right out of the gate
  • Plenty of sample genres to choose from

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

  • Not too many effects, but hey, this is a free program after all

PROS

  • MOD wheel is pretty cool
  • 3 layers to the program allows for plenty of flexibility

CONS

  • Limited effects

5. Gombulator by Fine Cut Bodies

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE130 MB
COMPATIBILITYFULL VERSION OF NI KONTAKT 5.6.1

An excellent collection of modern recording tools, featuring an amazing range of sound manipulation methods. This sounds library contains 19 sounds of various sonic qualities, plus a built-in midi sequencer with 8 different skins, allowing you to lay down your beats in a fast and intuitive way.

Originally released in 2016, Fine Cut Bodies have a great looking look and very high quality sound. It is packed with hundreds of solid tracks, providing an array of available sounds. 

Not only the sounds, but also the settings and presets are in good quality. This sounds library is fully multi dynamic, including custom effects and effects processors.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • The built-in MIDI sequencer works quite well

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

  • It can be hard to load the library sometimes

PROS

  • Six preset sounds and a set of drums
  • Based on synths from the 1980s

CONS

  • Loading into KONTACT can be a problem at times

6. Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE by Impact Soundworks

Specification

PRICEFREE
TOTAL SIZE130 MB
COMPATIBILITYFULL VERSION OF NI KONTAKT 5.6.1

One of the best free KONTAKT libraries is Shreddage 3 Stratus. This is a jazz funk heavy synth library with a solid sound quality. It’s a complete library to create drum loops from. 

If you want to use this for a professional sample pack, you can do that too. It also offers the perfect sound for creating specific vocal samples for your music. 

It has 9 unique sounds, and 24 patches that can be used on any setting. You can choose from 2 different drum kits, a 16 key bass, as well as an additional one that’s a TRB triangle wave.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • We like that the Stratus is relatively easy to use. This is great for newcomers and veterans alike. 
  • Depending on your skill level you can create some extremely complex samples

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

  • As far as sound quality goes, the Shreddage is powerful but brash
  • The guitar libraries aren’t the most intuitive

PROS

  • An all around great library
  • Allows for complex creation

CONS

  • Sound can be very brash

7. Palette – Primary Colors by Red Room Audio

Specification

PRICEFREE, DONATIONS ACCEPTED
TOTAL SIZE2 GB
COMPATIBILITYKONTAKT FULL VERSION 5.6.8
MAC 10.9 OR LATER
WINDOWS 7 OR LATER

The Palette by Red Room Audio is a free library of Primary Colors’ by The Beatles, combined with Kontakt’s Sonar and Pad effects to achieve maximum sonic detail, contrast and realism. This free KONTAKT library is an amazing combination of vintage sound with modern orchestral pad processing.

WHAT WE LIKE

This great free KONTAKT library comes with lots of detailed samples that will create an immersive and engaging sound. The beautiful sound can be used for a range of different styles of music, from pop to orchestral.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Palette by Red Room Audio is that the quality of the samples and the sounds it creates can be a bit lacking.

PROS

  • Very realistic sounds
  • Lots of samples available

CONS

  • Although it has plenty of samples, the quality of some of them may not be to your liking

8. Sonas Ronroco Virtual Instrument by Samplephonics

Specification

PRICEFREE, DONATIONS ACCEPTED
TOTAL SIZE2 GB
COMPATIBILITYKONTAKT FULL VERSION 5.6.8
MAC 10.9 OR LATER
WINDOWS 7 OR LATER

The Sonas Ronroco Virtual Instrument is perfect for those that want to experiment with KONTAKT and sample instruments. It allows you to create sounds that are very similar to the ones you would hear in real life instruments. 

Even though it is a virtual instrument, the fact that you can change the tone and even the timbre of a sample gives it a very realistic sound.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Lots of samples on tap
  • Sounds produced are superior to some of the other libraries

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

  • At 1.2 GB, this is a massive program

PROS

  • Very good collection of samples
  • Very realistic sounds can be produced

CONS

  • Make sure you have at least 1 GB of space before loading

9. The Stroh Violin by Impact Soundworks

Specification

PRICEFREE, DONATIONS ACCEPTED
TOTAL SIZE250 MB
COMPATIBILITYKONTAKT FULL VERSION 5.4 OR HIGHER

If you are looking for a great violin sample library, this one by Impact Soundworks is fantastic. It has a ton of different violin sounds, from notes to vibrato. The default sampling rate is 44.1 kHz, which is amazing and sounds good to modern speakers. The library is built on top of Virtual MIDI, meaning you can see the velocity of each note by pressing the velocity slider. The response curve for the sampled violin is also visually explained. It also includes a smooth glide effect that you can apply to your violin sounds.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • We literally like everything about this plugin. It has all the right samples that anyone needing a violin sample might want.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

  • We could find no real issues with this plugin

PROS

  • This is a very light yet powerful plugin
  • The sound is very good, nearly piercing if you want it to be
  • Drop dead easy mixer controls

CONS

  • No real concerns

Conclusion

Thanks so much for sticking with us to the end of this article about the best free KONTAKT libraries. You want the perfect KONTAKT library that will work for your project, and you want one that will stand out in a crowd. 

There are dozens of new free KONTAKT libraries in the market, so which one should you choose? The best one for the job will depend on your music, your goals and your personal preferences. 

Remember that a library doesn’t make your music, it simply adds to it. Try out as many free KONTAKT libraries as you like until you get it right.

Best Free DAW for Windows in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

The industry standard DAW (digital audio workstation) is constantly being created with the intention of helping people make their music creation dreams come true. But with so many different ones to choose from, it is hard to know which one will bring your creativity alive.

This article dives into the best free versions of DAW for Windows. We’ll review the top DAW software and tell you about the features of each. We will also share our likes and dislikes about the programs. 

Why trust us? We review products daily for our devoted readers to help them with their buying decisions. They value our honest and unbiased opinions and we really appreciate them putting their trust in us.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
mpc-beats-laptopK 1. MPC Beats
  • This is a full-featured program
  • The included loops are excellent
  • The included compression is very clean and great for mastering
CHECK PRICE
podium 2. Podium Free
  • It’s easy to use, and has lots of good options to help you make music quickly and easily
  • Has some pretty good tutorials and tutorials that are well written and very detailed
CHECK PRICE
wave 3. Waveform
  • Runs on any platform
  • Lots of tools for beginners and experts
CHECK PRICE
reaper daw 4. Reaper
  • Very powerful
  • Truly lets you make the program anything you want it to be
  • Plenty of plugin support
CHECK PRICE
cakewalk 5. Cakewalk by Bandlab
  • Lightweight but powerful
  • Minimal interface
  • Scratch feature is great!
CHECK PRICE

1. MPC Beats

mpc-beats-laptopK

Specification

PRICEFREE
OSWINDOWS, MAC
COMPATIBILITYVST/AU
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 10, 8 OR WINDOWS 7 SERVICE PACK 1

MPC Beats is a powerful and feature-packed DAW that is available for free. It has a great set of pre-built loops for mastering and to add layers to your project. Also, it comes with a long list of features. It’s one of the more feature-packed tools in this list, but it doesn’t necessarily top them all.

WHAT WE LIKE

The program itself has a big influence on the quality of a recording. MPC is considered one of the best music production DAWs in the world. However, it is quite old and lacks some of the more contemporary features that users want to use in 2016. MPC does not include a mixer. It has basic EQ, although it also has a tool to edit EQs later. There is no MIDI-track, which means that it cannot be used with hardware MIDI-controllers. It’s not a bad thing that it doesn’t have these functions – but it would have made it even better.

However, MPC Beats brings a new MPC-like interface that is almost all customizable. This means you can make some minor changes and it will still look similar to the original version.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

First, the interface is poorly designed, and the program isn’t well organized. Second, the interface has a steep learning curve, especially for beginners.

PROS

  • This is a full-featured program
  • The included loops are excellent
  • The included compression is very clean and great for mastering

CONS

  • The interface is pretty basic and limited
  • There is a limited set of MIDI mapping options
  • Keyboard and mouse input is limited, for a DAW for Windows

2. Podium Free

podium

Specification

PRICEFREE
OSWINDOWS
COMPATIBILITYVST
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS32-BIT AND 64-BIT WINDOWS

Podium Free, (Podium is a Unity company that has been acquired by Sony, a gaming company and now has its own studio) has a large number of features, including live performance, multiple audio and video channels, collaborative features and great effects.

The free version is still in beta but is generally comparable with the pro version. If you do decide to upgrade, you can get additional plugins, a session cap and everything else that you need. It is available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux (for all three).

WHAT WE LIKE

It’s easy to use and has easy to use export plug-ins that help you make great sounding and easy to edit and share your music.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Very little to complain about except there seems to be any VST3 support.

PROS

  • It’s easy to use, and has lots of good options to help you make music quickly and easily
  • Has some pretty good tutorials and tutorials that are well written and very detailed

CONS

  • No VST3 support
  • Free version is limited in scope

3. Waveform

wave

Specification

PRICEFREE
OSWINDOWS, MAC, UBUNTU, RASPBERRY PI
COMPATIBILITYVST/AU
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS, MAC AND  UBUNTU 64-BIT
RASPBERRY PI (32-BIT)

We find that this DAW is one of the most interesting around, due to its cross compatibility. 

Packed with full-featured sound and performance tools, this program has most everything a person can ask for in an audio editing tool.

Waveform is a particularly good option for vocalists. It has a section for editing voice overs and is easy to use.

The program has plenty of virtual instruments, as well.

WHAT WE LIKE

You can make use of a vast selection of instruments, and the pre-programmed sets include sample playback. You can make use of an advanced VST (Virtual Stereo) effect for making your sound richer, and even import your own samples and live instruments.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

In our opinion, Waves’ line of products tend to be a bit old. We found Waves’ previous versions less intuitive to use. However, the latest version of Waveform brings with it many new features that may tempt you to give it a try. Wavetable 4.1 was released in 2014 and in the 4.1 release, a new user interface has been added and a lot of stability improvements have been made.

PROS

  • Runs on any platform
  • Lots of tools for beginners and experts

CONS

  • A bit dated

4. Reaper

reaper daw

Specification

PRICEFREE 60 DAY TRIAL
OSWINDOWS, MAC, LINUX
COMPATIBILITYVST/AU
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS: XP/VISTA/7/8/10 (32 OR 64-BIT)
MACOS: 10.5-11 (BIG SUR)
LINUX: REQUIRES GTK+3 AND ALSA

Reaper is a very interesting DAW that works with Windows and Macs. It lets you import anything you need to make your music such as MIDI and other synths. You can even make your own menus, toolbars and much more. 

Items can be dragged and dropped to make the program what you need it to be for music production. 

WHAT WE LIKE

Lots of options let you expand your musical horizons. We also like the rather extensive (at least 400 pages) manual. Believe us, you will need it.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

This is a complex program that beginners may have difficulty with. 

PROS

  • Very powerful
  • Truly lets you make the program anything you want it to be
  • Plenty of plugin support

CONS

  • Steep learning curve

5. Cakewalk by Bandlab

cakewalk

Specification

PRICEFREE
OSWINDOWS
COMPATIBILITYVST3/AU/ARA
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSWINDOWS 7 OR HIGHER (64-BIT ONLY)

Cakewalk is a brand from a well known maker of live performing instruments called Roland. The software comes with a wealth of great features including MIDI sequencing, audio processing, loops and Instruments for creation and performance.

Cakewalk Pro comes with a great set of features which, apart from music creation, help one produce and edit videos. It also comes with a suite of other video editing tools, including slow motion effects, stabilization, video editing and so on. The software is very versatile, and can be used for a number of different purposes.

Cakewalk Pro (32 bit) – FREE

Cakewalk Pro (64 bit) – $99.95

As usual, cakewalk is the best choice for people who want to learn how to use the most powerful computer software ever invented.

WHAT WE LIKE

Cakewalk Studio Audio Software is very lightweight compared to the big DAWs. The program is focused on producing audio content, not editing it. As a result, it is easier for new musicians to use it with a minimalistic interface.

One of the major attractions is its ease of use. The program is simple and doesn’t require any knowledge of coding to operate. It is also friendly to beginners as it does not have many options or instruments.

One of the best features of Cakewalk Studio Audio is its most famous “Cakewalk Scratch” tool. The Scratch tool allows you to create any kind of scratch to record any music that you like.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Nothing to complain about

PROS

  • Lightweight but powerful
  • Minimal interface
  • Scratch feature is great!

CONS

  • May be too bare bones for some

Conclusion

Thanks so much for sticking with us to the end of this article about the best free DAW for Windows. 

After a lot of research and testing, we have found out that all three programs have their pluses and minuses. They also have some amazing features that separate them from the rest. However, all three of them have their pros and cons, so we decided to choose the top three best free DAW for Windows.

So after thorough research, the three programs have been picked. However, it’s important to know that they do have limitations. Other than that, we feel you will enjoy any of these DAW programs. Happy Music Making!

Best Free Delay VST in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

We know the feeling of wanting a VST that you can count on. But finding a VST that’s worth your time and energy is challenging. There’s a ton of Free Delay VST plugins, and typically speaking, all offer something different. So there’s a lot of information to go through, no doubt. And to be honest, most people don’t have time to sort through it, nor should they have to. 

But to make sure that you can get to creating sooner rather than later, we made this list to introduce you to the best plugins available. We focus on criteria such as sound quality, editing capabilities, ease of use, and many other vital factors. You’ll see where their faults and benefits lie in a pros and cons list for each of the products mentioned below. All this is so you can have the best information to base your decision on.

Remember that needs often vary from person to person, so keep a close eye on these VST plugins’ benefits! 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
tal 1. TAL-J-8
  • Beautifully good sound.
  • Use the calibration section for powerful resonance and filter the overdrive.
  • Easy to use.
CHECK PRICE
reaxcomp 2. ReaDelay
  • Support for Windows 98 (in case that’s your thing).
  • Highly configurable.
  • Portable (copy installed files and run).
CHECK PRICE
3. Valhalla SuperMassive
  • It’s free
  • A bit of reverb and delay.
  • Excellent sound quality with a range of effects.
CHECK PRICE
hysteresis 4. Hysteresis
  • Feedback-based delay effect with tempo sync.
  • Reversible stutter effect in the feedback path.
  • Lowpass filter.
CHECK PRICE
delay_render 5. Kilohearts Delay
  • Controls are nice and basic to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
  • Delay display.
  • Mix knob.
CHECK PRICE

1. TAL-J-8

tal

Available on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

The TAL-J-8 is an emulator of the very popular 80’s hardware synthesizer and calibrated from TAL software’s Jupiter 8 device. The sound is exceptionally faithful to its older brother (which is a great thing). 

Every sound is created in real-time with no use of any samples. At the same time, keeping the endless modulation possibilities like the hardware and valuable additional features like the calibration section can make the filter reverberate beautifully.

PROS

  • Beautifully good sound. 
  • Use the calibration section for powerful resonance and filter the overdrive.
  • VCO-based (Virtual Controlled Oscillator) UNISON with stereo spread option and a full stereo signal path. The single VCO modulator allows the user to modulate specific waveforms (pulse width & frequency).
  • MPE support (allowing digital instrumentation to behave like acoustic instruments).
  • Micro tuning support (tun file import and MTS Client). (micro tuning description here).
  • More than 300 factory presets by Solidtrax, Emptyvessel, Electric Himalaya, and others. (have a listen to some presets here).
  • Easy to use.

CONS

  • Demo restrictions: the plugin produces a rising white noise sound every minute.
  • USD 80.

The overall rating is 10/10, aside from the $80.

2. ReaDelay

reaxcomp

Available on Windows.

ReaDelay is a highly versatile accessible delay and echo VST plugin developed by Cockos. It’s a multi-tap delay with no practical limit on tap count. It’s an excellent plugin for anyone on windows with high accessibility and great reviews across its years on the market. 

As mentioned above, it was developed by Cockos, who have several plugins to take a tour of the website.

PROS

  • Support for Windows 98 (in case that’s your thing).
  • Highly configurable.
  • Portable (copy installed files and run).
  • Multi-tap delay, no practical limit as mentioned. 
  • Stereo width per tap and Volume/pan per tap. 
  • Low CPU and RAM use.
  • It’s free (so why not?).

CONS

  • No compatibility outside of Windows.
  • The UI leaves something to be desired. 
  • No copy protection.

The overall for this one? 9/10. It’s completely free, so if you’re on Windows, then it’s worth the shot, in my opinion.

3. Valhalla SuperMassive

Available on macOS and Windows.

Designed from the ground up for Massive delay and reverbs. Its initial launch in mid-2020. The creators have said that developing the plugin during Covid time has helped them overcome many struggles and that this inspired them to make the plugin free. 

Valhalla SuperMassive is fantastic at creating otherworldly sounds that don’t mimic reality but create a beautifully unique effect. While still producing the sounds you’re accustomed to. 

Sometimes not mimicking reality can be a fun breather, and I imagine it was just what they needed during quarantine times. 

PROS

  • It’s free (again… Why not?)
  • A bit of reverb and delay.
  • Excellent sound quality with a range of effects.
  • Appealingly simple UI.
  • Excellent at every delay effect chorus, flanger, and reverb.

CONS

  • It can be challenging to use.
  • It shouldn’t be used as a go-to but more as creative inspiration.

Overall, it’s super cool and a lot of fun. With a spotless and modern look while being able to create some wild sounds. Why not? 9/10.

4. Hysteresis

hysteresis

Available on macOS and Windows.

Put best by GlitchMachines, the creators of the plugin. “Hysteresis is a free delay geared toward creating artifacts and musical malfunctions.” In other words, you can easily inject your projects with abstract sounds and textures that will bring a new life. Don’t mistake this for SuperMassive; these effects are more glitchy in nature. Now, if this sounds like something up your street, then consider checking them out!

PROS

  • Feedback-based delay effect with tempo sync. 
  • Reversible stutter effect in the feedback path. 
  • Lowpass filter.
  • Over 100 factory presets.
  • Free.

CONS

  • It appears to be aimed at sound designers more than anything else.
  • Tough to tame when trying to achieve classic delay effects.

Overall it’s pretty awesome; I can’t lie. But focusing mainly on sound designers rather than musicians leaves a little to be desired. 8/10

5. Kilohearts Delay

delay_render

Available on macOS and Windows.

This delay works as a stand-alone plugin. It can be free-running and temp-synced with various stereo and feedback options. Notably, the duck feature optionally only allows the echoed sound through when there is no dry input signal.

This plugin is very user-friendly as it offers a manual online and gives tooltips as you hover over controls inside the plugin. It comes with a handful of presets that can be handy and gives you a randomizer switch that can be a lot of fun and an easy way to switch it up. 

PROS

  • Controls are nice and basic to avoid any unnecessary confusion. 
  • Delay display.
  • Mix knob.
  • Ping-pong. Swaps the left and right channels of the delayed sound when it is fed back into the delay.

CONS

  • It can’t handle single/double discrete repeats.
  • Basic UI.
  • Pretty simple overall with some restrictions.

Overall it’s a user-friendly experience, but without too many ways for expansion, it feels lacking in many parts. 7/10.

Conclusion

That’s the list! What do you think? Be honest here; we’re friends. 

Listen, whether you pick one or try multiple plugins on this list. From the highly complex to the surprisingly simple, these can make the difference you’re looking for! I wish you the best of luck finding your voice with these plugins! I know that you’ll have what you need to get started or continue experimenting with your sound.

So focus up, you’ve got this!

Best Macs for Music Production in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

You don’t have to have the fastest computer in the world in order to produce music. But if you are in the market for a new machine, making sure to get one that will optimize your music production capabilities is a great idea. Alternatively, if you feel like your hardware is really slowing you down, a new computer might be the piece you need to speed up your workflow and turn your ideas into songs. Both Mac and Windows computers are optimized wonderfully for producing music from home these days, but Macs do have a few perks that set them apart in the eyes of many users. If you use Garageband or Logic, for example, you will have to produce on a Mac, barring the hassle of finding a PC workaround. Today, we are going to look at some of the best modern Mac computers for producing your own music, comparing them based on their specifications and features. If you are looking for a new Mac, this review should give you some inspiration. 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
2020 Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (27-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) 1. Apple iMac 2020 27″ 3.3GHZ i5
  • Large built-in Retina display
  • SSD Storage
  • Included keyboard, mouse, camera, speakers
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Apple Mac Mini with Apple M1 Chip (16GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - (2020) - Z12N000G0 2. Apple Mac Mini with Apple M1 Chip
  • Affordable
  • Powerful CPU
  • Lots of RAM
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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Intel Processor (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray 3. Apple MacBook Pro 13″
  • Portable
  • Lots of storage
  • Lots of memory
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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray 4. Apple MacBook Pro 16″
  • Portable
  • Lots of storage
  • Fast processor
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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray 5. Apple iMac 2020 27″ i7 3.8 GHZ i7
  • Large built-in Retina display
  • SSD Storage
  • Fast processor
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1. Apple iMac 2020 27″ 3.3GHZ i5

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2020 Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (27-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)

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2020 Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (27-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)

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2020 Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (27-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)

Features

  • 5k, 27-inch Retina Display
  • 6 core intel i5
  • 256/512 GB SSD Storage
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • Camera
  • Speaker
  • Mics
  • Mouse and Keyboard

In terms of desktops, the 2020 iMac is perfectly suited for producing music in a number of ways. One of the most striking and noticeable features of this computer is its built-in display. While the vast majority of desktop computers have traditionally required an external monitor as a display, Apple has wrapped the monitor and computer into one in striking fashion. Their famous Retina display is here and capable of displaying in 5k, and the monitor’s ample 27-inch size will allow you to get a lot done on one screen. When it comes to music production, it is important to have enough space to work, and this display is perfect for the job. On the inside, this computer has a 3.1 GHZ intel core i5 processor, which is enough for smooth performance in the vast majority of home production scenarios. It also has SSD storage, which is crucial for production. Solid state drives, or SSDs, are significantly faster than traditional hard drives, allowing you to load software and other information stored on them very quickly. The iMac comes with either 256 or 512 GB of SSD storage. We recommend using this built in storage for your most-used software and files, and a cheaper external hard drive for everything else if you need more storage. 

PROS

  • Large built-in Retina display
  • SSD Storage
  • Included keyboard, mouse, camera, speakers

CONS

  • Not portable
  • Advanced producers may want more RAM
  • Some may need external storage

Especially if you are a relatively new producer, this iMac has everything you could want. Its 8GB of RAM is more than adequate for most projects, and the integrated, all-in-one design of the machine is beautiful and efficient. For ease of use and built-in features, you can’t go wrong here.

2. Apple Mac Mini with Apple M1 Chip

Apple Mac Mini with Apple M1 Chip (16GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - (2020) - Z12N000G0

Features

  • 256 GB SSD storage
  • Apple M1 processor 
  • 16 GB of RAM

The Mac Mini has long been an affordable and reliable desktop computer, and this newer model packs a lot of power for its small size. While it has nowhere near as much baked in as the iMac – you will need your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse – this computer is perfect for those who do not need the iMac’s complete package. One of the most exciting features of this machine is the inclusion of Apple’s fairly new M1 chip, which can outperform standard intel chips in many scenarios. Processing power is one of the most important specs in terms of music production, so this computer may be right for you if you work with a lot of very large or intensive projects. It also has 16 GB of RAM, which, while it is more than most home producers need, is useful for demanding projects that involve aspects like video editing. Like the iMac, it has 256 GB of solid state storage. 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Powerful CPU
  • Lots of RAM

CONS

  • No included display
  • Only 256 GB of storage available
  • No mouse, keyboard, or camera included

Especially if you have your own external equipment such as monitors and keyboards, the Mac Mini is an incredibly cost-effective option for producing your own music. Its specs are excellent and will provide you with enough memory and processing power to make any kind of music you want. It could include more storage, but this is easily remedied with an external HDD.

3. Apple MacBook Pro 13″

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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Intel Processor (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray

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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Intel Processor (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray

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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Intel Processor (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray

Features

  • 13-inch Retina Display
  • 512 GB/1 TB of SSD storage
  • Quad core intel i5 processor
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • Camera
  • Speaker
  • Mic

If you prefer to take the portable route, you probably want a MacBook Pro. Long the gold standard for laptops, these computers continue to get better and better each year. This 2020 Pro comes packaged with a 13-inch retina display and quad-core intel i5 processor. One of the most impressive features here is the option for either 512 GB or 1 TB of SSD storage. SSD storage is both much faster and much more expensive than HDD storage, so having up to a terabyte of it built in is a huge plus. Of course, since this is a laptop, you have a keyboard, mouse, camera, and microphone built in, along with some nice Mac features like the MacBook Pro touchbar controls.

PROS

  • Portable 
  • Lots of storage
  • Lots of memory

CONS

  • Processor could be more updated
  • Relatively small display size
  • Trackpad is not as precise as a mouse

This is a great basic MacBook Pro for people who like to produce music on a laptop. Using a laptop lets you take your work anywhere, which is a great option to have. The storage and RAM on this machine are its main selling points. While the processor could be a bit stronger, you will be more than set in terms of memory and SSD space. 

4. Apple MacBook Pro 16″

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

Features

  • 16 inch Retina display
  • 1 TB of SSD storage
  • Intel 8-core i9 processor
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • Camera
  • Speaker
  • Mic

If you still want a laptop but aren’t convinced by the 13 inch MacBook Pro, this 16 inch 2019 model is one to consider. This machine has some impressive features that make it a beast for on-the-go music production. Like the 13 inch version, it has a terabyte of SSD storage and 16 GB of RAM. But it also has an impressive 8-core intel i9 processor, a marked improvement over the smaller laptop. If you are worried about having enough processing power with a quad-core processor, then this laptop has you covered. Along with these specs, it has all the great features you expect from a MacBook Pro: a large Retina display, touchbar, and more.

PROS

  • Portable
  • Lots of storage
  • Fast processor

CONS

  • Expensive
  • A bit bulky
  • Trackpad is not as precise as a mouse

This laptop surely has all the power you need for music production. The main downside here is price – all that power comes at a premium. But if you don’t mind spending a bit of extra cash, this is an excellent laptop that will keep you satisfied for years to come for producing music.

5. Apple iMac 2020 27″ i7 3.8 GHZ i7

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

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2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray

Features

  • 5k, 27-inch Retina Display
  • 8 core intel i7
  • 256/512 GB SSD Storage
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • Camera
  • Speaker
  • Mics
  • Mouse and Keyboard

Finally, we have another 2020 iMac. Like the model listed previously, this is a nice all-in-one desktop computer that packs a lot of power. Its beautiful 27 inch Retina display is ideal for creating a clean workflow, and its specs are more than enough for producing professional-sounding music at home. The main difference when it comes to this particular version is its upgraded i7 processor. While the 6-core i5 offers enough power for seamless production in most scenarios, some producers may want to go for the i7. Ultra-complex projects may benefit from this more powerful CPU, resulting in fewer instances of lag and other performance issues. But if you are unsure whether you need the i7, then you will be fine saving the extra money and going with the i5. 

PROS

  • Large built-in Retina display
  • SSD Storage
  • Fast processor

CONS

  • More expensive
  • Advanced producers may want more RAM
  • Some may need external storage

If you like the iMac but require a faster processor, this machine is for you. While this upgrade is not strictly necessary for the majority of producers, especially beginners, it is a good option for those who know they need that extra processing power. 

Conclusion

Macs are great for producing music, but the number of choices available can be daunting. Our top pick for an all-around great machine is the 2020 iMac with intel’s 6 core i5 chip. This computer is the perfect balance of power and functionality, and it is great for producers of all levels who want a reliable, no-hassle machine. Pick one up and get producing!