Virtual Studio Technology (VST) are standalone audio instrument and effect plugins that can be integrated into Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like Music Maker and Samplitude. Although this field is generally dominated by commercial software, there are some freeware gems that everyone should check out. Here is a list of our favourite free ones!
CamelCrusher by Camel Audio ‘colours’ and fattens your guitar and drum tracks with two different types of distortion. There are some great presents and also a handy randomize button for when you need some inspiration on the desired effect!
Guitar Suite by SimulAnalog may look quite basic, but underneath it has accurate simulations of famous stompboxes like Boss DS-1 and SD-1 and the Fender Twin 1969 amplifier. Another one for guitarists is Fretted Synth, comprising of an impressive 35 effects.
Magical 8 Bit Plug by YMCK is an instrument emulating 8 bit music from computer game consoles of the 1980s. Perfect for making chiptune tracks!
Span by Voxengo is a spectrum analyser which visualizes a track’s frequency content, thus determining unwanted frequencies or those which need to be boosted. Indispensable for mixing.
Spitfish by Digital Fishphones is a powerful de-esser in which you can reduce or remove sibilant consonants such as “s”, “z” and “sh” from vocal tracks. The Blockfish compressor and Floorfish expander are worth checking out also.
TAL Instruments and Effects is an extensive collection of synths and audio effects like bit-crushing, chorus, dub delay, reverb, tube distortion and vocoder, all of which cannot be recommended enough!
UpStereo by Quik Quak is a simple to use stereo enhancer which makes your mixes bigger in both stereo width and loudness!
UVI Workstation is a sophisticated sampler which you can either purchase sample packs for or use your own WAV files.