Plugins Picks: 5 Inspiring Free Plugins to Get in January

Free plugins are one of the best things about being a producer. Quality music production tools have never been more accessible for the average musician. 

But with more freeware plugins showing up on the scene every day, knowing which ones are worth your time isn’t easy. That’s why we’re bringing you our top picks for the most useful and creative free music software every month.

This month you’ll find—a chunky three oscillator synth, tape orchestra ambience and a huge reverb.

I picked plugins in this month’s round-up hoping they’d go together.

Knowing how your sonic palette combines is all part of building your own sound—and I think these free plugins are a great entry point for some cool sound design.


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1. 3x Deluxe

First up is the 3x Deluxe from Infected Sounds.

The main feature of 3x is its three oscillators that come with 46 unique waveform options. Put together you have a lot of avenues for creating a huge and unique sound.

The octave and pitch controls mean you can add a fat sub-oscillator and create that classic detuned synth sound.

The synth comes with basic filter, LFO and envelope controls and an additional effects rack for adding basic reverb, distortion, delay and more.

It’s a great synth for diving into the basics of sound design—and it comes with a bank of 32 presets to get you inspired.

Unfortunately, this VST is only available to Windows users.

2. AutoTremWahLight

Auto-wah is a totally underrated audio effect—especially if your tracks like to make their way into psychedelic territory.

Tweaking the effect to find the perfect amount of wah can have some pretty cool results.

Don’t stop at using auto-wah for guitar either—I’ve discovered that auto-wah sounds great on bass and synths too!

Don’t stop at using auto-wah for guitar either—I’ve discovered that auto-wah sounds great on bass and synths too!

This free auto-wah and tremolo is a great plugin to have in your psych-rock arsenal. It has user-friendly controls and a great visualizer so you can perfectly dial in the intensity of your wah.

Definitely give this one a spin if you’re looking to take your tracks to space.

3. Audec Spread Delay Lite

Audec’s Spread Delay is a ping-pong delay plugin that gives you a ton of control over the exact panning of your delay bursts.

The main feature is its visual interface that exactly shows how your delay will pan as it extends.

You can easily play with each ping and precisely control exactly how far left or right each ping-pong will pan.

If you’re used to just setting and forgetting your ping-pong delay, this plugin could help you find a more custom ping-pong delay pattern.

If you’re used to just setting and forgetting your ping-pong delay, this plugin could help you.

There’s also some very cool opportunities for creating interesting sound design here too.

The free version of Spread Delay comes with basic delay settings—but if you choose to upgrade you’ll also get high-pass and low-pass filtering options for the delay effect.

4. LABS Tape Orchestra

If you haven’t downloaded LABS yet, go and download it— this suite of free plugins is definitely one of the best you can get.


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LABS is a software instrument platform that curates sample libraries to create different instruments ranging from a classic Rhodes emulation to strange whalesong based synths.

And they’re constantly coming out with new instruments and sample libraries that are completely free to use.

The newest LABS sample library that caught my attention was Tape Orchestra.

To make the sample library LABS sampled sections of synth and orchestral recordings and then ran them through a Tascam Portastudio tape machine on used cassette tape loops.

The additional step of recording through a tape machine is what gives the sample library that extra bit of warmth and warble.

The result is a delicate yet beautiful instrument that’s primed for building beautiful ambient pads and warm, vintage-sounding textures.

5. Giant Verb

Who doesn’t love adding another reverb effect to the VST folder?

Reverb makes instruments sound larger than life—but it can be finicky to find the perfect reverb for each situation.

If you’re looking for an interesting reverb to add to your arsenal definitely give Giant Verb a try.

Like its name suggests, this reverb is huge. One product video claimed to have a five hour decay time!

I gave it a try and found the reverb tails to be quite nice—haunting, airy and definitely huge.

It’s worth trying out, especially if you’re making reverb-ready ambient pads with Tape Orchestra.

The post Plugins Picks: 5 Inspiring Free Plugins to Get in January appeared first on LANDR Blog.