When the year 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the incredible free VSTs that the year has provided. Join us as we look back and select our top freeware audio plug-ins for 2021.

FKFX Obvious Filter

This year, FKFX, a new developer, caught the plug-in market by storm with two fantastic plug-ins: Influx and Obvious Filter. The latter is a one-of-a-kind creative filtering plug-in with 10 filter types and an envelope follower. Its most impressive feature, though, is the sick morph sequencer, which allows you to generate and manipulate modulation forms. A deep modulation matrix guarantees that items do not stop moving. If you enjoy innovative filter effects, this should be on the top of your list.

Obvious Filter is available in VST3 and AU formats for macOS and Windows. The plug-in is free, however, you can help the creator by supporting him on Patreon.

You can get it right here.

Full Bucket Music WhispAir

Full Bucket Music won this year’s KVR Developer Challenge with WhispAir, a free three-oscillator wavetable synth that outperforms many commercial options. WhispAir offers all the components for creative, powerful, and “expensive-sounding” wavetable patches, including FM, AM, a stereo multi-mode filter, four envelopes, and three LFOs. The synth also has a chorus effect and a unison mode with detune and spread for lush and expansive tones.

WhispAir is available in VST and AU formats for macOS and Windows.

You can get it right here.

Audiomodern Gatelab

Gatelab is without a doubt one of the greatest gate sequencers available, and it’s entirely free. The plug-in allows you to go wild with a plethora of ready-made and configurable rhythmic patterns, volume automation, ratcheting, innovative randomization choices, and more. It’s also MIDI-controllable, so you can use it live. Any electronic producer should have this.

Gatelab is available in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and stand-alone formats for macOS and Windows. There is also an iOS version available.

You can get it right here.

Zeek STFU

According to Zeek, the STFU is “the greatest free volume shaper accessible.” It may perhaps be the finest volume shaper in the world. STFU is a flexible and impressively fast, sample-accurate volume envelope that can accomplish a wide range of tasks for you. It syncs to the host pace and allows you to design your shapes to be triggered through MIDI. STFU may be used for ducking, mix cleaning, creative sound creation, and a variety of other tasks. It also has a CV output so you can use it to control other devices.

STFU is available in VST3 and AU formats for macOS and Windows.

You can get it right here.

Phuturetone GR-8

Phuturetone GR-8, like many of this year’s top free plug-ins, emerged from the KVR Developer Challenge. The GR-8 is a fantastic virtual-analog synth with 8 sounds (duh). It has two oscillators with PWM, FM, and sync and may be used in mono, poly, chord, and unison modes. GR-8 has a high pass filter, two envelopes, and an LFO in addition to a low pass filter with an adjustable slope. There is also a slew of inbuilt effects including distortion, phaser, chorus, delay, and reverb.

GR-8 is available in VST3 and AU formats for macOS and Windows.

You can get it right here.

Don’t see your favorite free VSTs in this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Isaac Elejalde

Author Isaac Elejalde

Born in Maracaibo and based in Berlin, Isaac Elejalde established himself as one of the most prolific producers on the Venezuelan scene today.

More posts by Isaac Elejalde
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