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Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:39 pm
by mixyguy2
...and how did you like/not like...

I'll start with Ample Guitar. It's respectable, not amazing. Well worth the price. :)

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:51 pm
by Rolling Estonian
Well that's going to be a short list for many of us! lol

I've tried so many over the years but have settled on the ones that fit what I was and am doing, these are mostly paid but not too many. I'm of that opinion to get to know something very well rather than bouncing from one to another has helped me a lot.

Truth be told, the coding of most of the vst you'll find, paid or free, haven't changed in years. You'll find better gui and more multi effect vst but the tech has been pretty much unchanged in years. They'll claim that they've reinvented the wheel but that's not the case, throw in some marketing and they'll make you think it's cutting edge, be wise.

M

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:54 pm
by chibear
Early on I used a lot of free stuff, mostly to my chagrin. In instruments more likely than not 'free' means sloppy coding. Effects are a different story. 5orcery is still my goto compressor for orchestral stuff. Anything by Tokyo Dawn is of a very high quality IMO. Now if you have the full version of Kontakt there is a universe of free libraries available, many very bizarre but useful. For instance one called "Dumpster Percussion" because it is made up of recorded hits on a dumpster (No longer available BTW) served me well when I needed a car crash for a project.

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:07 pm
by mixyguy2
So what I'm about the only stingy person here??

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:21 pm
by Starship Krupa
Meldaproduction's free bundle, just crazy what they give away, one of the best deals in the business
Audio Damage's free stuff, especially Rough Rider, but the Fuzz Plus is pretty cool, too
Dead Duck's FX bundle, pretty much everything anyone would need in the way of FX
Dead Duck's Instrument bundle, several of the old mda VSTi's with nice GUI's added, including my favorite Rhodes
Bitter, a nice utility for monitoring of interstage digital clipping, a real eye-opener
Sonic Anomaly's Unlimited mastering limiter/maximizer, my current go-to for that task. Their HBC bus compressor and Bass Professor are also used on most of my projects
Luftikus knob EQ for character
Sonalksis FreeG Stereo is on my master bus in every project
OrilRiver is my favorite reverb, I use it on pretty much every project
The ReaPlugs package from Cockos has some excellent stuff, especially ReaEQ and ReaFir
Voxengo MSED, SPAN and StereoTouch
PolyGAS granular synthesizer
Sennheiser DrumMic'a drums for Kontakt Player, which also comes with a nice bunch of instruments itself
IK Multimedia Syntronik Free and T-rackS (unfortunately at the moment Mixcraft has some sort of problem where they don't function correctly except in WaveRT mode)
Molot compressor
Limiter6

All of these are, to the best of my knowledge, well-coded, not crashy, and work well with Mixcraft. I have used the FX on many projects without incident. They are all what I would consider "workhorses," and most of them have been around for years. The exceptions are the IK Multimedia ones, but I think Acoustica are coming up with some fixes for whatever is currently ailing them.

How's that for a list?

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:03 pm
by Rolling Estonian
Starship Krupa wrote:How's that for a list?


Well, it's not alphabetical for one...... :mrgreen:

Great list, should really be pinned.

M

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:51 pm
by mixyguy2
Starship Krupa wrote:Meldaproduction's free bundle, just crazy what they give away, one of the best deals in the business
Audio Damage's free stuff, especially Rough Rider, but the Fuzz Plus is pretty cool, too
Dead Duck's FX bundle, pretty much everything anyone would need in the way of FX
Dead Duck's Instrument bundle, several of the old mda VSTi's with nice GUI's added, including my favorite Rhodes
Bitter, a nice utility for monitoring of interstage digital clipping, a real eye-opener
Sonic Anomaly's Unlimited mastering limiter/maximizer, my current go-to for that task. Their HBC bus compressor and Bass Professor are also used on most of my projects
Luftikus knob EQ for character
Sonalksis FreeG Stereo is on my master bus in every project
OrilRiver is my favorite reverb, I use it on pretty much every project
The ReaPlugs package from Cockos has some excellent stuff, especially ReaEQ and ReaFir
Voxengo MSED, SPAN and StereoTouch
PolyGAS granular synthesizer
Sennheiser DrumMic'a drums for Kontakt Player, which also comes with a nice bunch of instruments itself
IK Multimedia Syntronik Free and T-rackS (unfortunately at the moment Mixcraft has some sort of problem where they don't function correctly except in WaveRT mode)
Molot compressor
Limiter6

All of these are, to the best of my knowledge, well-coded, not crashy, and work well with Mixcraft. I have used the FX on many projects without incident. They are all what I would consider "workhorses," and most of them have been around for years. The exceptions are the IK Multimedia ones, but I think Acoustica are coming up with some fixes for whatever is currently ailing them.

How's that for a list?

Nice, thx! I hear good things about Voxengo in general, have to check them. Will check some of these others as well :)

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:04 pm
by Mark Bliss
So what I'm about the only stingy person here??

Nah. IMHO the issue might be that the question is far too broad......
The question is "what have you used"
Well that's a bunch. Too long to list, most of no interest and long ago deleted.

First, lets separate VSTi from VST, or virtual instruments from other plug ins.
For example. The vast majority of free VSTi are virtual synths. I cant really address that because I am not into virtual synths. How do I rate them when I don't really much care for any of them free or not?
I have tried many, run through the sounds and deleted every one. There are NO third party virtual synths installed on my computer. so....
been impressed by none. Its just not my thing. I accept that.

I do think there are some great sampler based instruments, but so far, none of the free ones have really impressed me much. Maybe if I produced EDM or something, I dunno.
Zampler demo was kind of cool for example. Didn't fit into anything I am interested in really. So far anyway. I don't use it so I deleted it.
I had to nudge my "stingy" butt up from free to inexpensive to get satisfactory string pads and such to be honest, and even then.......
I guess I am trying to say the more I demo and test and experience, the more I understand why the better ones aren't free.

And I shy away from much in depth discussion of third party mixing plug ins here, unless the inquiry is pretty specific.

Reason being that I don't want to contribute to the common misconception that people really need third party plug ins to improve their mixes. I've found its usually not the case anyway.

Put another way- Many people who haven't really invested the time and effort to learn about mixing are under the impression different or "better" plug ins are the solution.

I have found that those who have put in the time and effort usually have at least some idea what they are looking for and what to expect.

Often, any difference in sound can be very subtle, and more often than not the desireable traits are interface and workflow related. So it can come down to very individual preferences.

Is there room for improvement on the stock plug ins? Yeah, I think so.
Do I know what you want or need? Nope. Not a clue. 8)

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:49 am
by Mark Bliss
P.S.
That's in no way meant as a commentary on your ability or level (Or anybody specifically), just a general explanation of why I shy away from some of the general discussion on third part plug ins. Etc.

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:02 am
by Starship Krupa
Mark Bliss wrote:Many people who haven't really invested the time and effort to learn about mixing are under the impression different or "better" plug ins are the solution.

I have found that those who have put in the time and effort usually have at least some idea what they are looking for and what to expect.

Often, any difference in sound can be very subtle, and more often than not the desireable traits are interface and workflow related. So it can come down to very individual preferences.

Is there room for improvement on the stock plug ins? Yeah, I think so.
Do I know what you want or need? Nope. Not a clue. 8)


I do believe that there are some mixing plug-in UI styles that are friendlier to the learner than others, that can make the learning process faster.

For a compressor, I think you'd agree that while learning the ropes you are fighting an uphill battle without a gain reduction meter. The compressor that I found easiest to learn on, that really helped me grasp the concepts, was the Meldaproduction MCompressor, with its up-front meter showing the knee, ratio, etc. The Melda compressor that I "graduated" to, while having more sophisticated detector algorithms, doesn't have that meter (although it does have plenty of other typically amazing Melda metering), and I miss it.

For a parametric EQ, the type with a built-in analyzer such as ReaEQ, MEqualizer, or TB Parametric I think is easier to learn on than one with just knobs.

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:27 am
by Mark Bliss
Cannot disagree Erik, I just don't know if that was the question....... :D

And I am fully behind the suggestions that have been previously made for an updated suite. But that wasn't the question either, I don't think. :?:

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:27 pm
by mixyguy2
? The question was what free VSTs and VSTis have people used. I thought it was about as straightforward as possible. :)


Mark Bliss wrote:P.S.
That's in no way meant as a commentary on your ability or level (Or anybody specifically), just a general explanation of why I shy away from some of the general discussion on third part plug ins. Etc.

np! (PS is that why you made such a lengthy reply to this thread) :wink:

There are some great stock plugins around. There are some great (and tons more) third-party ones too. Why anyone would shy away from any just because they're third party I've no idea, but to each their own.

Anyway...

Two more I've just tried are DSK's Guitars and Brass. The brass had a lot of options, but IMO the sounds were rather poor. The guitar was just the opposite; limited options, but a good guitar sound IMO.

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:08 pm
by Mark Bliss
I did not say (or mean) that I shy away from third party plug ins at all. And my lengthy reply was an attempt to explain why I think a more specific question would get more useful replies.

Shorter answer to "what have you used?"
Too many to list.

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:18 pm
by mixyguy2
Again: the question isn't just what have you used, but what FREE ones have you used, and what did you think of them. If you've used so many that you don't want to list them or participate, np, don't. But I see no point in replying to say "I'm not going to reply."

Re: Free VSTs/VSTis: what have you used...

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:29 pm
by mixyguy2
Looking for an Oberheim synth? Look no further than OB-xd: http://www.discodsp.com/obxd/