| Freeware VST FX guide
||Written on 03 June 2004 by RAVE-n
Developer: Kjaerhus Audio
These plugins spot perhaps the best freeware interface among effects. "Classic" hardware interface is dead easy to use, gives immediate results and is in overall the best you can get for free.
High praised among users, these effects have a certain sound that makes result warm and nice. It is hard to describe with words, but a track that has been processed with those effects sound really pleasant for the ears. Wired ( EQ, compressor and limiter ) is a great free alternative for T-Racks, and I dare to say that these sound even better. Reverb, chorus and flanger sound nice, but I didn't quite use them much. I can tell that reverb sound nice, though I think it lacks a bit features to form a nice great hall like FX for blasting strings and that it sound a bit harsh, maybe for vocals or subtile roomverbs, but I think that are the mastering features these plugins offer to do best anyway.
Definitely a gem of freeware FX, and a must download for everyone who wants to add a certain quality to the track.
Developer: Maxim Digital Audio
Rather spartan and dull freeware plugin pack (no interface). Pack consists of almost every less exotic effect around there for producing more or less non-experimental music
Main advantage is that it is free and that it really consists of every possible effect you can think of. And after some tweaking, I can confess that those plugins work pretty nice.
A set of basic FX. Fairly useful and good looking. Sound lefts little to be desired, and is generally much better than any synthedit stuff. Again, this is stuff that doesn't eat your CPU and you might want to use it on more subtle elements of the track. The filter particularly is a great thing when you only want a filter and not some fully LFOable thing. Delay and LFO FX however have a major disadvantage. They are not host syncable on temp, and that seriously cripple them as a foreground FX. Too bad really.
Developer: Slim Slow slider
A nice and simple nonsynthedit delay, not syncable to hosts tempo, but you set the delay time in BPM, so it works just as fine with a little handwork.
Developer: Big Tick
A very nice free delay, capable of playing ping pong style echoes that are panned oppositely in the pan space. Other functions are common, filter damp, positive and negative feedback (for tape delay simulation) and a tempo sync.... nothing groundbreaking really apart from ping pong function, that work somehow better than on bionicle delay, where it is panned to extremely.
A nice freeware delay with lots of function and even inbuilt reverb. It spots two LFOs for funky delaying that can be assigned to delay time and filter, and a distortion unit.
Developer: Kiesel Software
A basic temp sync delay, but with an interesting phase delay function that creates false reverb like stereo feel over taps and can fill quite some pan space that way.
Developer: Karma FX
A perfect little 0 CPU consuming delay. Beat-synced, separated tap lenghts for left-right, low and highpass filter for taps.... everything a good usefull delay should have. Great really!
Developer: Chamel Audio
A simple distortion unit with a compressor that does exactly what a distortion unit should do. Distort and nothing more.
Pretty nice distortion unit with a twist. It is basically a triband distortion with 7 algorithms. That means you can distort low, mid and hi freqs separately and differently. Of course, controls aren't abundant, but it works pretty nice, and can definitely spice whatever you put it through.
An interesting one trick pony freeware effect from makers of izotope ozone mastering tool. This little plugin simulates vinyl sound to a stunning detail. Can be nicely used for that breaks that seemed to be played from an old record.
LINEAR PHASE GRAPHIC EQ 2
Developer: Slim Slow slider
A freedraw (almost though) EQ. Nothing more to say except it has many bands.
No fancy stuff, but it is capable of surgical EQ work when you feel there is a tiny bit of frequency missing/too much and all those 4 band EQs feel too clumsy.
ELOGOXA X-CITE & BAXXPANDER
Those two exciter tools do create some nice effect, but are somewhat clumsy to control. They got a really nice GUI, pretty to the eye, but hard to tweak on details. Not really that there would be many knobs to turn, but at times you can't really see where the knob points.
However, they are worth a try if you need this type of effect, also because they are about the only free one that do so straightforward.
MIDI GATE V1.1
Developer: Hybridalien software
A nice(without GUI though but actually working in cubase) MIDI gate. You set it as an insert FX slot, create a midi channel and assign a midi out of that channel to it (it pops out in the list here synths are usually). Then.... put any note into that channel... when it is played, the gate opens, otherwise it is closed. Simple. Particularly useful if you want to do different gate patterns throughout the song.
Looks, feels, uses just like Vanguards gate.... for free
Among most phrased VST gates, mainly because it does the same thing as the Vanguards gate...for free, and to any synth. Good for constant gate patterns, as I can't quite recall it can be easily changed throughout the song. It also spots delay and LFO assignable to cutoff and pan.
Of course it is temp syncable. Try it out, and don’t mind the GUI.
C3 MULTI BAND COMPRESSOR
Developer: Slim Slow slider
The only of its kind in freeware world I believe. So there is not really any room to be picky. Got three customizable range bands each with classic controls.
Very interesting freeware compressor, since you can actually see what you are doing to an actual waveform in the VST effect itself. I think that the waveform window must be the most helpfull thing i ever saw on a compressor. No more will you compress everything, you now can visualy adjust the threeshold to cut ONLY the peaks. Great work trully!
Developer: Smart Electron:x
A "freeware" (It displays a nag screen every time you open it) VST reverb that do stand out. Albeit it can get a bit ringy sometimes, it does its job pretty phenomenal mainly because you got lots of buttons to tweak your sound, so you can easily compensate or hide a bit less HI-Q sound it makes. So it is really up to you what actually suits you better.
DX REVERB LIGHT
Developer: Anwida Soft
One word... beautiful. This, however, is not really a true freeware effect. It is a striped
down version of their full reverb that has 1 reverb algorithm instead of 11 that are in the full version.
Nevertheless, this one exceeds in smoothness and gives VERY convincing results on synths while last but not least important, eats considerably less CPU than any other freeware reverb.
Otherwise, it is fairly simple effect with 4 controls, therefore a bit limited tweaking options for those who find it amusing to switch buttons. However for me, those 4 controls are more than enough.
An impulse-responses freeware reverb. You can read technical specifications about this technology elsewhere, so I'll be short. This useses prerecorded "audio-stamps" called "impulses" that are modeled with a signal puted throught anything that changes sound, in this particular case, it is chamber/ambient(church, forest, bathtub...) or hardware unit(lexicon ). The data on how sound changes is then used to form a reverb tail of any sound puted throught SIR. So, this hasn't got any sound at all on its own, so the quality of reverb is completely dependant on impulse you use.
Anyway, because you haven't got any impusles(which are wav files), and you don't want to record an impusle of your living room , you can get some top notch here: