Favorite Plugins – Free or Cheap?

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  • #22229 Reply
    Art Munson

    GM made a recent comment about his favorite plugins and I thought it would make a great topic. So, what are your favorite free or inexpensive plugins? I like some of the Voxengo stuff but definitely going to try out some of GM’s. Here are GM’s below.

    Thanks GM!

    From Klanghelm:
    – MJUC compressor, just came out. 24 dollars. Three character compressors in one. The vast majority of guys at Gearslutz claim it’s one the best compressors EVER, if not THE best ever. No kidding. I bought it. I agree.

    – DC8C compressor, probably the most versatile compressor on the market. Superb quality. It takes some serious learning, but with this one you can do ANYTHING. Price? 20 dollars.

    – SDRR superb saturator, I dont use it a lot, but when I need a saturator, you can’t beat it. Extremely flexible, incredible sound. 22 dollars.

    From Tokyo Dawn Labs:
    – Kotelnikov compressor: this is a mastering compressor. Absolutely superb. By far, the best clean, transparent mastering compressor on the market. Very flexible, very innovative, very … everything. And it’s FREE (yes, free) (a gentlemen edition is available for a few dollars, and it doesn’t add anything crucial. The free edition is more than enough for even complex tasks. But, if you’re a gentleman …)
    – SlickEQ equalizer: a masterpiece. Simple as that. Just the auto-gain thing alone changed the way I mix. Superb sound. FREE (again, if you’re a gentlemen … in this case the gentleman edition adds something useful like a VERY nice tilt function).

    From Variety of Sound:
    – All of their plugins are absolutely brilliant and FREE. Use them all the time. Nice variety too. I particularly love the HDR (very innovative concept … very useful for mastering) and Ferric, amazing sound. But you’ll find a very good reverb, SUPERB equalizers (several) etc. And they are all FREE.

    From Sonimus:
    – I have their console emulations (Satson and Britson) and SonEq Pro, a brilliant, brilliant eq. 39 dollars for the consoles, 49 dollars for the eq. I did splurge here 🙂 Great products, small prices.

    From SKNote:
    – brilliant plugins, some very innovative, super cheap. I have no direct experience here, but I’m about to buy a couple. But the good folks at Gearslutz are in love with SKNote products. Prices? Very, very, very cheap.

    These are the ones that I know because I use them (besides SKNote). All FREE or close to free plugins, TOP QUALITY, at least on par (or, more often, much better!!) to those from larger companies that charge hundreds of dollars per plugin.
    Judge with your ears, not with the price tag.

    #22231 Reply
    Art Munson

    Bump :-))

    #22234 Reply

    Free. Voxenengo Span and Audio Damage have a great OTT compressor. Soundtoys have amazing free giveaways.

    #22235 Reply

    What a great post Denis!
    Switching central DAW from Reason to DP, I am currently building up my VST arsenal, so many thanks for sharing this!

    #22236 Reply

    Melda have a free bundle.

    #22237 Reply

    You’re welcome Art. And thank you for emphasizing my post.
    I just want to point out that I am NOT associated with any of these plugin makers that I mentioned 🙂
    I’ve been making music with pc for about 30 years now. My first Cubase was running on an Atari machine 🙂
    Geez, I’m old.
    So, even though I am a musician, not a mixing engineer, I’ve been through A LOT of plugins of all kinds all these years, like many of you guys I guess. Expensive ones too.
    Well, I think that NOW things are very different than just a few years ago.
    These small developers (often just one super-talented person) are multiplying, and the best of them have incredible products. They provide super quality and, more often than not, true innovation. Please notice, I don’t really like the “free” idea. I don’t like when good production music is given away free or too cheap, and I feel the same about software. Talent and work should be rewarded fairly. So I encourage everybody to try those free plugins, and if you like them, make a donation or purchase the “gentleman” edition, if you can. Most of them will blow your mind. Judge with your ears.
    So, although I don’t like the free concept, I also don’t like being taken advantage of. I am not so sure why should I pay hundreds of dollars for a single plugin that doesn’t even sound as good as those free ones. There’s something wrong somewhere … in the meanwhile, I try to support those small developers, because it’s a win-win-win situation: my wallet wins, my music wins, and the real talent of these developers wins.

    #22238 Reply
    Art Munson

    Talent and work should be rewarded fairly. So I encourage everybody to try those free plugins, and if you like them, make a donation or purchase the “gentleman” edition, if you can.

    Totally agree GM. Always try to support the developers!

    #22241 Reply
    Art Munson

    I’ve been making music with pc for about 30 years now. My first Cubase was running on an Atari machine 🙂

    Think I may have you beat GM 🙂 My first was the Oberheim system. Synth, sequencer and drum machine. From there went to a Commodore SX64, then to the Atari. Oh, oh this might be the start of a new topic!

    Oberheim System

    Commodore SX64

    #22243 Reply

    Art, that’s just great … 🙂

    #22244 Reply

    Sonalksis Free G

    Not using it anymore but I did for years and loved the plugin.

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