VST plugins are virtual instruments and audio effects that you can add to your digital audio workstation. There are literally hundreds of VST plugins you can download for free nowadays, and finding good ones takes time. To help you spend time on being creative instead of testing VSTs, we listed the best free VST plugins for your music studio.
Scroll down to browse the VST plugins based on their category. Each category page features the best free virtual instruments and effects for a specific music production task. Welcome to the internet’s most up-to-date directory of freeware VST plugins.
Each category is updated with new VST plugins multiple times per year. Be sure to check back from time to time and keep your free VST collection up to date!
Free VST Plugins Directory
Free VST Effects
Freeware effects in VST plugin format:
- Autotune – Free alternatives to Antares Auto-Tune.
- Bitcrusher – An extensive collection of freeware bitcrushers.
- Chorus – A selection of the best free chorus effects.
- Compressor – Dynamic range compressor VST plugins.
- Compressor (Multiband) – A collection of multi-band compressor effects.
- Compressor (Sidechain) – A collection of compressor effects with sidechain input.
- Delay/Echo – Add depth to your mix with these excellent freeware delay effects.
- Distortion – Distort and saturate your audio with these freeware plugins.
- EQ (Graphic) – Free graphic equalizers in VST format.
- EQ (Linear-Phase) – Linear-phase equalizers in the VST plugin format.
- EQ (Parametric) – Standard parametric equalizers for mixing and mastering purposes.
- Filter – A collection of filtering effects.
- Flanger – Free flanger VST effects.
- Gate (Noise Gate) – Freeware VST plugins for removing noise from recordings.
- Granulator – A collection of granular effects to really mess up your audio.
- Guitar Amp – Large collection of virtual guitar amplifier VST plugins.
- Guitar Cab (coming soon)
- Limiter – Free limiter effects for mastering and mixing.
- Phaser – The best free phaser plugins.
- Reverb – Algorithmic reverb VST plugins.
- Reverb (Convolution) – Convolution reverb VSTs.
- Saturation (Console/Tape/Tube) – Get a warmer sound using free saturation tools.
- Stereo Enhancer – Enhance the stereo separation in your mix with these freeware effects.
- Transient Shaper – Make the drums more prominent in a mix with these free transient shapers.
- Vocoder – Become the next Daft Punk with these vocoder free VST plugins.
Free VST Instruments
A selection of free virtual instruments in VST plugin format:
- Drum Machine/Synth – Instruments for synthesizing and sequencing drum sounds.
- Organ – A collection of free organ instruments in VSTi plugin format.
- Piano (Acoustic) – Free VST plugins that emulate acoustic pianos.
- Piano (Electric) – Virtual instruments that emulate electric keyboards.
- Sampler – The best freeware VST plugins for audio samples.
- Sound Module/Workstation – A round-up of virtual instruments that function as romplers.
- SoundFont Player – If you’re feeling old school, load your old SF2 files with these free plugins.
- String Machine – A collection of string ensemble instruments. Jean Michel Jarre will love these!
- Synthesizer – Best free synthesizer VST plugins.
Free VST Utilities
Other useful freeware VST plugins:
- Arpeggiator – A collection of freeware arpeggiator VST plugins.
- Oscilloscope – Free oscilloscope tools.
- Spectrum Analyzer – Visualize your mix with these freeware spectrum analyzers.
- Step Sequencer – Sequence your virtual instruments with these freeware step sequencers.
VST Host Applications
A selection of free audio editors, digital audio workstations, and other applications that host VST plugins:
Free VST Plugins From Each Year
For quick access to the best VST plugins from each year, check out the articles listed below:
Find more music production tools in the Free Software Archive. The archive includes VST plugins, mobile apps, DAW software, audio editing software, and more. Browse our articles all the way back to 2009 when BPB was launched.
An archive of free VST plugins that are not supported anymore. These freeware plugins are hosted on BPB with the permission of their developers.
If you’re a software developer interested in hosting your VST plugins on Bedroom Producers Blog’s servers, feel free to get in touch!
What Is A VST Plugin?
In case you’ve never used free VST plugins before, here’s a brief introduction. The acronym VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology. The technology allows music producers to load third-party audio effects and virtual instruments in their digital audio workstation. Virtual Studio Technology was introduced by Steinberg in 1996 and has made a massive impact on the way we produce music today.
A VST plugin is a software effect or a virtual instrument intended for use in a host program that supports Virtual Studio Technology. VST plugins are used to expand a digital music studio, in the same way that hardware effects and instruments are utilized in a real studio. There are literally thousands of VST plugins available for free download on the internet. As a result, we have created this free VST directory to help music producers find the right tools.
Using VST Plugins
Choosing the right audio software and learning to use it properly will ensure an efficient workflow when producing music. Therefore, make sure to familiarize yourself with the software available in your VST plugin folder. No one wants to use a complex plugin for the first time during a critical mixing session.
Step 1: The DAW
First of all, you need to choose the right digital audio workstation. The decision to use freeware or commercial music production software is up to you and your budget. The first thing to keep in mind when choosing your DAW is the workflow. Is the interface intuitive? Does the control layout seem logical to you? Does the application provide all the recording and mixing features you’ll require? And most importantly, can it host VST plugins?
The best free digital audio workstations right now are Tracktion 7 and Cakewalk by BandLab. Both applications can load VST plugins.
Step 2: Downloading Free VST plugins
Now that you’ve picked your DAW, you’re all set to start building your collection of free VST plugins. Always go for quality instead of quantity. The biggest mistake people make when discovering the world of free VST plugins is to download hundreds of VSTs and to hoard them on the hard drive. This is bad for your workflow, and it will slow down your productivity. Imagine that your DAW is a real-world studio. Would you be able to make music in a room cluttered with hundreds of dusty instruments, effects, broken tapes, disconnected audio cables, and other gear that no one will ever use? You don’t want such a mess in your virtual studio, either.
Stay organized when choosing your virtual instruments and effects. This page is a great place to start because we listed only the best freeware VST plugins in each category.
What you need is a small but versatile collection of audio software that will cover all of your music production needs. Take the time to examine the plugins on offer and keep only the ones that you really need. Keep your mixing toolbox lightweight and efficient. Limit yourself to no more than three virtual compressors, equalizers, synthesizers, etc. Install only the tools that best suit your workflow and learn how to use them. Read the manuals, watch the video tutorials, and spend some time experimenting with your free VST plugins.
Step 3: Staying up to date
Finally, keep your plugins up to date. Developers often release updated versions of their freeware plugins, which include essential bug fixes and additional features. Keep an eye on our news section to stay informed about the latest updates of popular VST plugins. Also, consider subscribing to our email newsletter to receive the latest freeware news straight to your email inbox.
If you’re looking for even more freeware plugins for your DAW, check out the massive database over at KVR Audio.
Updated on June 29th, 2020.