With an absolute sea of plugins available, both free and paid, it can be overwhelming to navigate what is worth your time and worth downloading.
Through years of trialing plugins and seeing how they affected workflow, we believe that these three plugins will help a range of elements in your desired project.
1. Prisma by Unplug Red
Prisma is a fantastic tool for adding a range of modulation and distortion to your sound and it’s free! We have used this plug in a lot to shape percussive sounds, but honestly you can use it on anything. The beauty of this plugin is that you can shape the different sections of the frequency spectrum. This gives you so much control over what the end product sounds like. Honestly there are so many things that you can use it for and we highly recommend it!
The description from Unplug Red:
Multi-band distortion plugin for advanced tone shaping.
Up to four modules can be added to any one of the four bands.
As of writing, there are 16 modules available to choose from.
In the right hands the plugin can produce highly complex and intricate tones.
Common use cases include very harsh distortions being applied on a narrow band to create more subtle effects
Bass recordings being distorted on the higher frequencies without hurting the low end.
If you’d like to check out Prisma, we use it a lot in our streams & videos (so check that out lol) OR head over tohttps://vst.unplug.red/prisma and download it yourself to play around with!
2. OTT by Xfer
My goodness, we gotta be careful with this one! Next up is OTT by Xfer - a powerful Multiband compressor that truly elevates and shapes any sound.
We’ve used this on a range of sounds, much like prisma. We usually use OTT in scenarios where we’re trying to make an element shine a bit more in a certain frequency without it becoming overpowering.
OTT can make your drums sound a lot more live, or give some real sparkle to your ear candies. It’s truly a versatile plugin, but beware, too much OTT can really destroy your mix. If you use this wisely, OTT can be such a powerful tool - and better yet, it’s free!
Head over to https://xferrecords.com/freeware to download OTT and give it a try (responsibly).
3. Supermassive by Valhalla
Boy, oh boy, I have been waiting to rave about how good this plugin is! Once again, it’s made even better that it costs the low, low price of FREE.
Supermassive is a reverb and delay plugin that is used on every single project I have ever worked on. It’s so versatile and the presets that are loaded onto it are fantastic as well.
Once again, a lot like OTT, you’ve got to be careful with this plugin as it has the propensity to really muddy your mix. However, when used in the right environment, this is truly one of the best plugins we’ve used.
Our personal favourite is a preset called “The Void” - be sure to check that one out if you download!
The cool thing about Supermassive is that it can really transform synths or vocals. With an array of parameters to control, you can truly shape and transform anything into a verbed masterpiece.
“ValhallaSupermassive has been designed from the ground up for MASSIVE delays and reverbs.
Get ready for luscious clouds of reverb, otherworldly delays, and swelling waves of feedback unlike any you’ve heard before.”
Try Supermassive over at https://valhalladsp.com/shop/reverb/valhalla-supermassive/
We hope that this serves as a good starting point for some free plugins that will help you elevate your sound whilst saving your precious dollars.
Remember though, third party plugins aren’t an essential part of producing music.
Most DAW’s have everything you could ever need straight out of the box. However, some plugins are fantastic for improving workflow and creating such a specific sound without needing to experiment.
Most importantly though, enjoy your production journey!