Expanding List of Free VST Mastering Plugins

Over the past few months I’ve been updating this site with free vst plugins from all over the net.

And as with anything like this the amount of stuff available is quite simply breath taking.

I’ll be combining a few categories here as well such as EQ, Limiters, Compressors, Sidechain, Metering and of course Mastering Plugins.

So as per usual I’ll still add individual plugins as normal but as with the List of free vst plugins for guitar(updated 02-09-09) I’ll be updating this new list of Free mastering plugins as well.

Welcome to the ‘Expanding List of Free VST Mastering Plugins’

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ElogoXas X- Cita Maximizing Plugin.

X-Cita Mastering Plugin

Analog style exciter for

mastering purposes,
inspired on the BBE Maximizer models. Its warm sound and simplicity of using makes this exciter very suitable to add some subtle brightness in the high frequencies, and also make the lows more dense. Apart from the stage, you’ll find that it can also make a good work on individual tracks.

Go Here

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C3 – Free VST Multiband Compressor

C3 Free Multiband Compressor

C3 is a free three bands compressor VST . Easy t otweak and with good visualisation for the amount of compression in each band.

Features:

  • Three stereo compressors.
  • A master limiter.
  • Flexible dividing filters(ButterWorth Filter or LinearPhaseFIR Filter).
  • Sampling Rate: 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96k support.
  • 32bit float internal precision.

C3 VST Multiband Compressor free download

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TLS Maximiser – Mastering/Limiting Plugin

TLS Maximiser Free VST Limiter Plugin Effect

Very cool freeware VST plugin Maximiser.

Features:

Input, Output, Gain, Drive & Release.

This maximizer / limiter VST works great and is very easy to use.
Squash your mix to death

Download

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Free VST Plugin – Ferox Tape Saturation

Ferox Tape Saturation - Free VST Plugin

Ferox is a free tape

saturation modeller VST plugin.

It has separate controls for

saturation and hysteresis effects.

Feedback with variable tape speed is provided to simulate vintage tape echos.

Download for free here.

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Rough Rider freeware vst compressor from Audio Damage

A classic compressor effect that has a simple and familiar control setup.

Rough Rider free compression vst plugin

Rough Rider is a modern compressor with a bit of “vintage” style bite and a uniquely warm sound. Perfect for adding compression effects to your drum buss, it also sounds great with synth bass, clean guitar, and backing vocals. Definitely not an all-purpose compressor, Rough Rider is at its best when used to add pump to rhythmic tracks. Of course, you can use it however you’d like. The Compressor Police aren’t gonna come to your house and give you a citation. Slap it on a track and crank some knobs.

Download it here

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Free VST Plugin – PreAMP TGR-18

free vst plugin preamp tgr-18 1-2

Stereo Effect Preamp from www.tinbrooketales.com-

Mastering saturation effect to add a bit of colour to your mixes.

Controls: Drive and Shape.

Download for free

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Musiccrow Free VST Pre-Amp Emulator Plugin

‘Preamp Emulator emulates the way tube preamps behave and sound.

It will add the typical saturation and warmth of real tubes to your digital tracks!‘

Controls/Parameters: Input, Drive, Tube A, Tube B, Output and On/Off

‘Preamp emulator is very easy to use, and there are only a few parameters for you to handle:

input level, tube drive amount, tube type selection, output level and a power switch.’

Download for free here

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Voxengo SPAN – free spectrum analysis plugin

Great tool for analyzing your audio, the Voxengo SPAN plugin is offered as a free download.

It can be used like any other VST plugin. Perfect for monitoring your mix/master.

Voxengo free real-time audio spectrum analysis plugin

SPAN is a real-time FFT spectrum analyzer plug-in.  For the most part it was derived from GlissEQ and CurveEQ professional equalizers and it reproduces their spectrum analysis functionality.

Download it for free here

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PushTec Free EQ Vst Effect Plugin

PushTec - Free EQ vst effect plugin

Download/More Info – Pushtec Free EQ Plugin

This is a pretty cool VST plugin form Leftover Lasagne.

Needs a bit of work to understand, works in a similar way to the Pultec.

It is free but please if you find yourself using it please donate to the authors.

Remember they need to eat as well…

Download/More Info – Pushtec Free EQ Plugin

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Free VST Sidechaining Compressor: Martin Eastwood

Free VST Plugin: Martin Eastwood: CompressiveCM
‘CompressiveCM features an RMS compressor with both internal and external sidechains, as well as parallel compression, brickwall limiting and vintage valve emulation to add analogue warmth to your mix.

Both sidechains also feature a three-band EQ and mid/side processing with monitoring to allow you to accurately dial in the exact sounds you want the compressor to respond to. This allows you to set up light sound shaping, devastating ducking effects or even de-ess vocal tracks.’

‘CompressiveCM is available for both Windows and Mac VST exclusively with Computer Music Magazine’

This plugin is worth the price of the magazine alone, ands you have the added bonus of a bloody good read to boot. Not to mention all the other plugins available on the companion DVD.

Alternatively there is the,

Martin Eastwood:Compressive free vst sidechain compression

‘Compressive is made up of two free audio compressors based on the DSP algorithms used in CompressiveCM

Compressive Pro is an external side chain vintage analogue modeled RMS compressor. The external side contains a 3-band EQ and mid/side controls to allow complete control of audio dynamics.

Compressive Lite uses the same algorithms as Compressive Pro but has a reduced feature for minimum CPU usage so is ideal for use as a tracking compressor.’

Download for free here

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Sweetboys Volcano Limiter/MaximizerFee VST Plugin

Get it here

free vst plugin - volcano maximizer and limiter

Volcano combines a peak limiter and a level maximizer.

It’s a pretty simple to use

plugin having only 4 parameters:

Threshold: Controls the level of limiting. If  clipping noise occurs reduce to a smaller setting.

MaxOut: Controls the maximum level of output signal.

It’s recommended that you  leave the MaxOut setting at 0.0 dB

Release: Controls the release time of the limiter.This setting can control the amout of smoothness to the effect. If clipping occurs it’s recommended that you use a higher setting.

ARC: Automatically ARC calculates the release time. If you want use this effect for loudness it’s recommended that you turn this feature off.

What’s a nice addition to this effect is the Knob control. Getting the mouse to get smaller(fine) adjustments is usually a tricky affair. With this VST

plugin though if you hold the ‘Ctrl’ key and the left click to adjust you get smaller increments allowing a fine adjustment to the setting values.

VU Meter: Range:0dB < -> -30dB

Download Volcano Limiter/Maximizer

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Jeroen Breebaarts ‘Broadcast’ – multiband compression style free vst plugin.

Bit of a weird one this, has three bands? Each has Threshold, Ratio, Gain, Side and AMB(ambience?)

It’s been described as ‘a multi-band dynamics processor (comprising automatic gain control, gate, compressor and limiter), combined with sub-band ‘stereo width’ processing.’ – KVR

From the manual it seems to be more of a mastering tool to be used in three stages –

free multiband compression vst plugin - broadcast

Dynamic processing – Three bands the frequencies of these are controlled by the X1 and the X2 controls which are on the right side of the console – these are horizontal sliders that basically split the incoming singnal into three. The three bands of the compressor then work on these split frquencies. – Each band can be disabled via the little white square above each band.

Spatial processing‘Pushing the fader to the right will increase the side signal level. The amb parameter adds a synthetic side signal (on top of the conventional ‘side’ slider that only amplifies the existing side signal).‘ – taken from the manual – I need more time to experiment with this part.

Brickwall limiting – the broadcast vst plugin also hosts a very simple brick wall limiter – this can be turned off if needed. It has a pre-gain feature allowing the user to add to the input level only works if the AGC is turned off. AGC is Auto Gain Compensation – which does what it says on the tin.

All in a really nifty little plugin to add to VST folder.

Download it for free here

free multiband compression vst plugin - broadcast

‘Broadcast combines the dynamics processing from the PC-2 compressor, spatial processing from OmniSone, and brickwall limiting from Barricade in a multi-band fashion.’ – Get it here

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Posihfopit – Free EQ Equalisation vst plugin

Posihfopit - Free EQ Equalisation vst plugin

Posihfopit – Free EQ Equalisation vst plugin – Scroll down to find!

The precursor to the ‘Electric Q’ this is a pretty easy to use equaliser vst plugin.

Just drag and shape your eq.

Although probably best if you understand what your dragging and shaping ahem.

Posihfopit – Free EQ Equalisation vst plugin – Scroll down to find!

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Voxengo Free Tube Amp

Free vst guitar

tube amp effect from Voxengo – excellent on guitars – and works well as harmonic enhancer in your mix.

Voxengo - Free Tube Amp VST Plugin

Tube Amp is an audio effect plug-in that applies asymmetric tube triode overdrive usually found in single-tube microphone pre-amp boxes.  The sound this plug-in produces varies from a mild “warm” overdrive to a fuzzy distortion.  Beside that,

Tube

Amp includes a -6 dB/oct low-pass filter that is built-in into plug-in’s valve modeling equation, and can be used to imitate a lower-quality

tube triode.

Tube Amp also features all standard advanced Voxengo plug-in features like full multi-channel operation and built-in oversampling.

Download for free here

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EQ Killer – Free Equlaization Plugin

‘EQ Killer is a switchable EQ module vst plugin in the style of DJ “Kill Switches”.

There are 3 adjustable bands of EQ (Hi, Mid& Lo).’

Free VST Plugin - EQ Killer

Pretty nifty simple eq form Scuzzphut

Download for free here

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Kjaeehus Free Equaliser Effect – Classic EQ VST Plugin

Classic EQ - Free Equaliser VST Plugin

Download – Classic EQ VST Plugin

Classic EQ is a 7 Band Stereo Equaliser with a warm analog sound, well suited to make non-surgical tonal corrections on all instruments, vocals and final mixes. The passive and additive structure, together with unique “Warm” and “Saturation” algorithms, produces warm and pleasant sound, just like some of the most expensive vintage gear. The left and right channels can be adjusted individually or linked together.

Download – Classic EQ VST Plugin

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Free VST Compression Plugins – BuzComp Free Series

Free VST Compression Plugins – BuzComp Free Series – Download Here

The BuzComp Free Series is a set of compression plugins from buzzroom.

The Set contains the,

BuzComp Free GranComp
- Classic Hard Compressor –

Buzcomp Classic Hard Compressor - Free VST Pluigin

BuzComp Free GranComp3
- Multiband Classic Hard Compressor –

BuzComp Free GranComp3 - Multiband Classic Hard Compressor - Free VST Plugin

BuzComp Free GeneComp
- Generic Digital Linear Compressor –

BuzComp Free GeneComp - Generic Digital Linear Compressor - Free VST Plugin

and finally the BuzComp Free GeneComp3
- Multiband Generic Digital Linear Compressor –

BuzComp Free GeneComp3 - Multiband Generic Digital Linear Compressor - Free VST Plugin

Free VST Compression Plugins – BuzComp Free Series – Free Download Here

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Voxengo EssEQ & Overtone GEQ

Voxengo EssEQ - Free EQ VST Plugin

Voxengo’s EssEQ

“Fast and easy” 7-band digital graphic equalizer.  It uses FIR filtering delivering a very nicely-sounding linear-phase equalization.  EssEQ uses 128 point filter kernel.  This plug-in is very good at quick frequency balance adjustments.

Voxengo Overtone GEQ - Free EQ VST Plugin

Voxengo’s Overtone GEQ

7-band harmonic (overtone) graphic equalizer with multi-channel operation support (supporting up to 8 input/output channels, host setup-dependent).  Overtone GEQ offers extensive internal channel routing capabilities, and supports mid/side channel processing.

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Kjaerhus – Classic Compressor

If you’ve tried any of the other free VSTs available from Kjaerhus then you’ll know what you’re getting here.

Makes you think though, if these are that good and they’re free how good are the ones you pay for.

Classic Compressor - Free Compression VST plugin

Classic Compressor is a classic analog style VST Compressor Plugin with a lot of warmth and punch. Special designed to use on individual Instruments and Vocal, but also useable on your final mixes.

Smooth Compression
Ajustable ratio up to limiting
Ajustable attack and release times
Ajustable knee (hard to soft)
Gain reduction LED
Presets
Ultra low CPU usage
Supports all sampling rates
Full VST automation

Download for free here

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Free VST Plugin – Linear Phase Graphic EQ 2

The Linear Phase Graphic EQ 2 by Slim Slow Slider is  a free VST plugin comes in two different flavours but actually seem to be the same effect, maybe I’m missing something?

Anyway the controls are quite simple the frequency adjustment in the graphic equalizer stage itself are adjusted by a simple drag using the mouse.

I really like the dragging control for some reason,whilst you adjust as you click on the ‘screen’ the freq and gain amount are shown below.

Free VST Plugin – Linear Phase Graphic EQ 2

Linear Phase Graphic EQ 2

Other controls include:

Reset, MasterGain and Bandwidth.

There’s also a Compare button.

Free VST Plugin – Linear Phase Graphic EQ 2(Mastering)

Free VST Plugin - Linear Phase Graphiceq 2(Mastering)

Download for free here

This is a really nifty equalizer vst plugin that seems to have quite a small CPU load.

How it compares with other VST eqs is up to your ears really.

Try it out here

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T-Sledge free vst multi-band compressor

T-Sledge Free Multiband Compressor Vst Plugin

T-SLEDGE is a multi-band compressor for mastering, equipped with peak limiter, level maximizer and 4 compressors/expanders/limiters. And it is equipped with 2 kinds of dividing filter IIR/FIR. So, it also operates as a dynamics EQ.

Download from here

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Endorphin – free dual band compressor limiter vst

Endorphin dual-band stereo compressor free vst

Endorphin – free vst limiting and dualband compression plugin.

Analogue style brickwall limiter

An overview on the features:

Two independent frequency bands (low and high frequency processing)

Switchable stereo or M/S mode operation

Two basic compressor designs:

  • modern vca mode with soft-knee characteristics and manual time constants. This mode provides an instant response behaviour and deep compression, using a feed-forward circuit


  • Vintage-style opto (photo resistor) mode, modelled after ancient opto-electrical compressors. The time constants stay manually set, but they are also affected by the signal’s energy. This mode has the typical opto-style ‘overshoot’ on quick transients, this is one of the most gentle compressors you may find. Classical feed-back detector circuit

Adjustable high-level output stage with analog-style saturation

Global ‘de-comp/sat’ section. It’s you who decides how the unit reacts to large amounts of gain reduction as well as when and how to saturate.
Maximum output: -0.1dBFS. This is very helpful when using the plugin as the last stage before burning the CD.

Download

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KarmaFX Plugin Pack 2.1 – Free VST Effects

KarmaFX Plugin Pack is a collection of quality effect plugins that are small, simple and easy to use. Plugins that simply get the job done without too much knob tweaking.

Free VST KarmaFX Plugin Pack 2.1 - Reverb, Delay and EQ

The pack includes a simple filter plugin, a tempo controlled delay, a 31 band graphic equalizer, a reverb and a User’s manual.

Check out the sound demos and view the full specs below.

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George Yohng’s W1 Limiter VST

W1 Limiter is a clone of Waves L1, with identical output.

Release curve simplified
Release time multiplied 3 times (see notes below)
Softening circuit filter changed

Waves L1 famous limiter (and thus W1 – for compatibility reasons) uses three times longer actual release time than standard RT60 metric. This means that if you set 50ms release in the limiter, it will actually yield with 150ms standard RT60 release time.

Download here…

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NyquistEq – Free EQ Vst Plugin Effect

NyquistEq – Free EQ Vst Plugin Effect is part of Magnus’s plugin range available to download at Smartelectronix

You’ll need to scroll down Marcus’s page there to find it.

NyquistEQ - Free EQ VST plugin download

Parametric graphic equalizer with excellent response all the way up to Nyquist. It never clicks, and it handles deep bass well too. The Nyquist frequency is the highest representable frequency for a given sample rate. The trebliest of the treble. Most other digital eqs have great problems producing a natural sound here.

Download t here…

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Free Sidechain VST Plugin:Slim Slow Slider

If you’re looking for sidechaining plugin effects the compressor plugin from Slim Slow Slider is an excellent addition to your VST plugin folder.

The Sidechain compressor comes in a stereo and a mono version.

Really quite easy to use, just add the effect to the effects bin of the track you want to affect. Then route the track you want to ‘influence’ the compressor via it’s output. Click here for Sonar Sidechain tutorial, principle should work for other DAWs.

Slim Slow Slider: Sidechain Compressor

Slim Slow Slider:Free VST Side Chain Compression effect download here

Also available for free is the Side Chain Gate/Expander.

Slim Slow Slider: Sidechain gate and expander

Slim Slow Slider: Free VST Sidechain gate and expander plugin download here

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TLS Pocket Limter – Free VST Brickwall Effect

TLS Pocket Limiter

Featuring transparent brickwall Limiting with 0 db stop and variable knee from 0% to 100% to keep limiting distortion at a minimum.

“IQ” mode allows users to get a more “intelligent” release from the knee with program emphasis.

Low latency for live performance use (40 samples at 44.1khz = ca 1ms latency).

Stereo link to preserve stereo field.

Supported samplerates: 44.1khz – 192khz.

Download

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Blue Cat – Triple EQ – Free VST Plugin

Blue Cat - Triple EQ - Free VST Plugin

Also can be found as part of the Blue Cat Freeware Plugin Pack

Blue Cat’s Triple EQ is a 3 bands semi-parametric equalizer that can be controlled as a single filter with customizable shape. It includes a low shelf filter, a high shelf filter and a boost/cut peak filter. Its wide range of gain (+/-40 dB per band) and bandwidth (.01 to 5 Octave) makes it very versatile to create any filter shape. The three filters are linked together so that when you change the center frequency or the bandwidth, the parameters of the three filters are modified accordingly: you can control the entire equalizer characteristics with a single mouse click.

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Leveling Amplifier v1.2 by Martin Best – Free VST Plugin

free vst plugin - leveling-amp and limiter

Download from here

Leveling Amplifier was inspired by the famous hardware
limiters of the past, it has a very fast response to
peaks with a slow release for minimum distortion even
when driven hard.

The ‘Gain’ controls the input level from 0dB to +10dB,
the output will never exceed -0.2dB. If the plugin is
inserted on a track, it’s best to leave the gain at 0dB
then use the ‘Reduction’ control to lower the threshold
to the peaks on the track. The level meter can show input
level or gain reduction by using the push button, also
there is an ‘ST link’ button that should be used on
stereo tracks to stop the center image shifting about.’

Download from here

www.dreamvortexstudio.co.uk

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Voxengo – MSED free mid/side vst plugin

Voxengo MSED free mid/side vst plugin

MSED is a professional audio encoder/decoder plug-in for mid/side processing which is able to encode (split) the incoming stereo signal into two components: mid/side pair, and vice versa: decode mid/side signal pair into stereo signal.  MSED is also able to work in the “inline” mode with the ability to adjust mid and side channels’ gain without the need of using two plug-in instances in sequence.

Download Here…

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Free VST Metering Plugin – PSP Vintage Meter

Free Download

Free VST Metering Plugin - PSP Vintage Meter

PSP VintageMeter (free plug-in VST, RTAS, MAS, AudioUnit for MAC and VST, RTAS and DirectX for PC hosts) provides professional VU and PPM metering for mono and stereo tracks. All parameters like integration times and reference levels are widely adjustable to make this free plug-in suitable for any application.

Download For Free…

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Blue Cat’s Digital Peak Meter – Free VST plugin

Blue Cat's Digital Peak Meter free vst plugin

Blue Cat’s Digital Peak Meter is a simple yet powerful signal analysis tool: it measures the peak value of the signal and lets you record it as an automation curve, as well as the fact that your signal clips (‘clipping’ occurs when the signal is higher than the maximum value accepted by your audio system).

Thanks to this unique feature you can use your audio signal to control other effects: just copy and paste the generated automation envelope and assign it to any parameter of any effect on any track of your project. Many customers have successfuly used it for automated video processing: your audio track is now able to control your video effects! And your guitar is now able to influence your drums track…

Download

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Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst – Free VST plugin

“What you cannot hear, Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst shows it to you, for free!”

Blue Cat FreqAnalyst - Free VST Plugin

Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst is a free spectrum analyzer plugin that lets you monitor the spectral content of your audio signal in real time. It has been designed to provide extreme smoothness and high resolution for both time and frequency: unlike most spectrum analyzers, Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst is able to display continuous variations even with a very high frequency resolution, thanks to its unique smooth interpolation algorithms.

  • Mono and stereo real time spectrum analyzer.
  • Total control over the audio to frequencies tranformation.
  • Smart interpolation algorithm for extreme display smoothness.
  • Zoomable display.
  • The user interface can be made transparent.
  • Custom absolute and relative threshold.

Download

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