Favorite Plugins – Free or Cheap?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Mc_GTR 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #22229 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    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
    Keymaster

    Bump :-))

    #22234 Reply

    woodsdenis
    Participant

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

    #22235 Reply

    Edouardo
    Participant

    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

    woodsdenis
    Participant

    Melda have a free bundle.

    #22237 Reply

    GM
    Participant

    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
    Keymaster

    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
    Keymaster

    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

    GM
    Participant

    Art, that’s just great … 🙂

    #22244 Reply

    Vlad
    Participant

    Sonalksis Free G

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

    #22245 Reply

    GM
    Participant

    Another small developer with excellent plugins and very cheap prices is ToneBoosters, I forgot about them. I own only 1 plugin, but I tried some others that came free with some magazines (2 or 3, you can find info on the website). Really good plugins, some quite innovative. A lot of people absolutely love them, at Gearslutz. Prices are about 19$ per plugin.

    #22246 Reply

    Edouardo
    Participant

    GM, I want to hug you !!!

    It’s been a week that I have been torturing myself looking everywhere for a plug that would do some Sidechain controlled EQ ducking and that would work on DP8 (MOTU actually didn’t know of the issue and then confirmed to me that there was a bug when using Alloy2 in Windows – the sidechain input not appearing in the plugin window – it will be solved in a future update of DP9 – glad I could contribute in getting this great DAW better :-))

    Toneboosters got just what I needed with their Dynamic EQ, the TB_FIX4, and for 20$, stopped my nightmare with a very versatile plugin that does the job and passes DP’s scan. I demoed it, and then it became an Instabuy! The visual feedback is informative but a little slow to refresh, however combined with the ears, it works out. The plug in has all that is needed and more (6 bands all controlled by a Sidechain can become quite creative!). I’ll probably check their other products too in the future.

    Enjoy a musical summer and thanks again!

    #22247 Reply

    Edouardo
    Participant

    Oh, and my first set up was also an
    Atari 1040 STE with Cubase 1.0 , I bought second hand,
    + a Korg M1 + a Fostex DMT7 digital 8 track HD recorder + A SONY DAT tape machine for backups.
    Souvenir.. souvenir… 🙂

    #22248 Reply

    Greg

    A unique effect, but I like Tal-dub delay.

    http://tal-software.com/products/tal-dub

    #22252 Reply

    GM
    Participant

    Edouardo
    i’m glad to help … by the way I also had a Korg M1 long time ago and … well, I still have it! A beloved, good old friend! 🙂

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