The world of Virtual Instruments is tremendously changing everyday with the introduction of new VST Plugins from various sound design companies globally. Hence, as a digital musician and composer, we must know about the various successful and great sounding VST plugins and keep ourselves updated with the ever-changing dynamics of VST instruments in the music industry.
In this short article we are going to discuss about the Top 5 free VST plugins (instruments) based on sound category available for a digital musician to use for producing high quality music from their DAW system in PC/MAC.
Free and Paid VST Plugins for every musician
VST Instrument plugins are available in 2 major categories for music composers and arrangers currently:
- Free VSTs: No license or purchase fees involved for using these VSTs.
- Paid VSTs: These virtual instrument plugins need to be purchased from a sound design retailer website for use. Licenses are usually offered as a recurring payment system or a one-time payment with free upgrades.
Usually, PAID version of VST Instruments have good sound quality and are packed with huge number of samples and sounds of pristine sample rates without any limitations.
A GUI Image of U-He Diva VST Instrument (Cost 179 USD) taken from U-He website
Currently in 2022, many innovative sound design companies have come up with various high quality FREE VST Instruments, which have been very impressive in sound quality, performance and hence have been used by many critically acclaimed music composers for their projects.
A GUI Image of SPITFORE Audio Soft Piano (Free VST Plugin) taken from Spitfire Audio website
What are the differences between Free and Paid VST Plugins ?
There’s a saying – premium content never comes for free. In the world of VST plugins (both instruments and effects) also, the same saying applies as well.
Here are the major differences between Free and Paid VST plugins offered by the plug-in manufacturers:
|Evaluation Parameter||Free VSTs||Paid VSTSs|
|Features||Limited features, some functionality of the plugin engine could be restricted||Full features enabled, plugin efficiency is higher and powerful|
|Sound Quality||Lower sound quality and sample content||High degree of sound quality and samples|
|Sound Content||Sound library may be limited with a smaller number of patches, sounds and articulations||More patches, larger sound library with higher articulations and controls|
|Limitations||Could have a time restriction, noise induced to the engine after a certain time limit||Fully functional without any time or noise limitations|
|Anywhere between 10 USD/EUR – 10000 USD/EUR or even more|
Best 5 Free VST Instruments To Create your Music
At musicdetailed.com we believe that a successful music composer or producer needs to have complete packaging of musical instrument samples and sounds for the music needs. Depending on the style of the composition, musicians need to be ready with multiple VST instruments for use in their projects. Here we are listing out the most convenient set of VST instruments which are a bread-and-butter stuff for most of the music composers / producers.
We have categorized the VST instruments based on the timbre/instrument type for basic needs:
Piano – Spitfire Audio LABS – Soft Piano
SPITFIRE Audio has come up with some of the best sounding free VST instrument available to music producers. The soft, silky and deep sounding Piano timbre from Spitfire Audio is a must for serious musicians who want to make music free.
You can get the latest version of the Spitfire Audio Labs from the download link here.
The main VST interface GUI of Labs – Soft Piano Instrument
Guitar – Ample sound M II Guitar Lite
Ample sound has come up with a highly cool sounding acoustic guitar VST instrument which is doing rounds on music social media due to its nuances, dynamic and authentic samples and closeness to a real acoustic guitar played live. You can download the free version of the Ample sound Guitar M II Lite from their website on this link.
A GUI of the main VST engine of Ample Sound Guitar M II LITE
Strings – Orchestral Tools Layers
A truly innovative layered instrument from Orchestral Tools is the layers VST. Layers has samples of full orchestra including layered group violins in various chords such as Major, Minor, Sustain. Multiple articulations and playing styles such as staccato, unison and many more. The sound quality and the finishes are truly astounding and lure the ears of every composer and musician who have used this product.
You can get the Layers VST instrument from this download page link
An interface of the VST Instrument Layers from Orchestral Tools website
General Tones – Native Instruments Komplete Start Bundle
Native Instruments – the in-house giant and the creator of the most widely used Kontakt VST also provides a free software bundle called the Komplete start bundle. Komplete start houses more than 2000 studio quality sounds and 16 plus instruments and synths with high quality multi-samples. Komplete start bundle is a comprehensive solution or music makers as this bundle has most of the general tones and sounds that one can expect from a full-size synth or keyboard.
NI Komplete Start Bundle can be downloaded using the download link here.
Ni Komplete Start Bundle – Synths and VSTIs GUI from the Native Instruments website
Drums / Percussion – MT Power Drum Kit 2
A sweet, simple yet amazing power packed Acoustic Drum Multi-sample VST instrument is the new MT Power Drum Kit 2. This VST instrument packs in some solid punchy acoustic drum kits and thousand of MIDI grooves that provide a holistic drumming backing track for all your mixes and projects.
This is a must have Drum instrument plugin for your music projects. The pristine audio quality and the tightly coupled MIDI grooves are the show stealers.
VST User Interface of MT Power Drum Kit2 Plugin from Powerdrumkit website
Frequently Asked Questions
Do we need separate licensing fees or permissions for using Free VSTs in commercial projects?
Freeware VSTs usually do not need license fees or permissions from the designer, unless explicitly mentioned in the website for the VST instrument or the source of the download.
Which is the best DAW software to be used with VST plugins?
We recommend using the below Digital Audio Workstation (DAWs) softwares for making music with VST plugins:
1. FL Studio 20
2. Cubase 12
4. Logic Pro
5. Nuendo 12
What are the minimum system requirements for using free VST instruments with DAW software to make music?
Here are the minimum system requirements for making music using VST instruments and DAW software:
1. 4 GB RAM (8 to 16 GB recommended)
2. Core CPU / processor (4-8 cores standard)
3. External sound card with low latency ASIO drivers
4. Windows 10 Home/Professional or MAC OSX 10,x Operating system
Creating and composing music has been easy and hassle-free these days with the introduction of DAW, VST Instruments and effects into the music industry. With the use of our curated list of Free VST plugins, take your musical composing and production experience to new heights. For more details about Top 10 Paid VST Plugins of 2022, please visit our website.
For similar insightful articles on Piano, music keyboards, VST Plugins and much more, please visit our website www.musicdetailed.com