Stereo Shaper Vst Free

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Whatevermusic you make (maybe with the exception of some ambient styles), havingbalanced transients is super important for a good mix. Transient shapers can giveyou more control over the dynamics of your transients by changing their amp envelopeshape. This could be in the form of increasing the transient and adding morelife to a sound or by decreasing it and tucking the sound more into thebackground, for example.

  • Best Transient Shaper VST Plugins The best audio engineers are meticulous, technical editors. They know first-hand that seemingly tiny alterations to the attack or sustain of a sound can make a world of a difference.
  • Best Free Drum VST My mother always told me “march to the beat of your own drum”, but I guess she was wrong, because I found a bunch of really good free drum vsts. Amongst them, is the T.REX 606, a classic sound that could have easily cost hundreds of dollars, but for some reason is free.

Unlike compressors, there are only a handful of free transient shapers available. For this article, I tested several different free transient shaper VST, AU and AAX plugins and made a few awesome discoveries. Here’s the list – download links included:

Free Transient Shapers (VST, AU, AAX)

Size 4.74 MB Stereo Enhancer is a simple VST effect plug-in for convertingmono to stereo signals as well as for stereo widening. This is possible due to the several techniques such as multi-band frequency splitting and panning, phasing one of the channel etc. 4 built-in frequency splitter modes.

Flux: BitterSweet v3

Format: VST, AAX, AU; 32 bit + 64 bit
OS: Windows + Mac

Audio Examples


Wet – “Bitter”:

Wet – “Sweet”:

FluxBitterSweet was created with simplicity in mind. This becomes clear from justlooking at the user interface. A big knob in the middle lets you choose ifyou’d like your sound rather “sweet” or “bitter”. Turning the knob towards“sweet” will reduce transients in volume and will put your audio materialfurther into the background, while turning it towards “bitter” will increasetransients and make your material more percussive.

To make thetransient shaper work with any type of material, you can choose how fast theplugin detects transients (fast, medium, slow). With the “period” slider, youcan adjust how fast the transient declines again.

But what ifyou want to only affect the transients in the middle or on the sides of thestereo field? No problem – BitterSweet has a dedicated slider that lets youchoose which signal should be affected: main (everything), center (the middle)or stereo (the sides).

The output levelcan be adjusted manually or linked to the main knob. If you link knob andoutput level, the overall volume will decrease when you’re increasingtransients. This is super convenient because it means you don’t constantly haveto adjust the volume while playing with your transient levels.

Flux BitterSweet is probably the most popular free transient designer out there, and there is a reason for that: It’s very hard to mess up with this one. Getting results with the bitter/sweet knob is easy and doesn’t really lead to extreme results, even if you turn it completely up or down. However, this also means that BitterSweet is a lot more subtle than other free transient shapers. Whether that’s good or bad will depend on your taste and project. However, for general mixing purposes, this plugin is definitely worth a try.

To use Flux BitterSweet v3, you first have to install Flux Center, which you can get here. When you open Flux Center, simply choose BitterSweet for installation.

Auburn Sounds: Couture

Format: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX
OS: Windows + Mac

Audio Examples


Wet – “Sharpened”:

Wet – “Softened”:

Here’s how the developer Auburn Sounds describes its level-independent transient designer Couture: “COUTURE’s goal is to get exquisite control over your dynamics, and particularly attacks. It solves a surprisingly huge range of mixing problems, with very low effort.”

In Couture,the main transient adjustment can be done with a big knob that’s labeled “Sharpen”.Turning this to the right will sharpen (increase) attacks and deemphasizereleases, while turning it to the left does the opposite. This effect can bedramatically heightened by using the x1 / x2 / x3 buttons, which affects howmuch the shaping is applied. To have maximum control over your material, youcan adjust the speed knob, which controls the decay level of your transients andthe front/back knob, which tells Couture where in the transient it should startwith the desired shaping effect.

The choicebetween different detector modes is a useful feature, which allows you toeither treat all transients the same way or depending on harmonic content. “Sybil”targets harsh frequencies and “Human” is supposed to even out the perceivedlevels of the transients, while “Flat” processes all transients the same way. Youcan also decide how much Couture should react to bass frequencies. This can beuseful when you only want to shape your snare sound in a kick and snare loop,for example.

Stereo Shaper Vst Free Download

In this free version of Couture, the built-in saturator does not work. However, even without it, Couture is a very useful tool that makes it easy to get control over your transients quickly. I found it very intuitive and the results sounded very musical to me.

You can get the free version of Couture on the Auburn Sounds website.

Digital Fish Phones: Dominion

Format: VST; 32 bit
OS: Windows + Mac

Audio Examples:


Wet – more attack, less sustain:

Wet – less attack, more sustain:

Dominion, created by Sascha Eversmeier from Digital Fish Phones, is actually quite an old tool as it was released in 2002! Still, I found it very useful and loved how easy it was to shape sounds to my liking.

What’s niceabout Dominion is that you have dedicated sliders for attack and sustain. Aftersetting the level of attack and sustain, you can set each one’s “length”parameter, which controls the decay of each setting. If you need more dramaticresults, you can switch on the x2 button and affect the level even more.

But this isnot Dominion’s only feature. The VST plugin also has a built-in saturator thatcan add harmonics to transients and therefore emulate analog equipment. Thesaturation can be further affected with a filter section (“hf details” in theuser interface). I found the saturation rather subtle (which I’m sure was thegoal), but pleasant and interesting.

If youchoose to download Dominion, make sure to take a look at the included manual. Notonly does it lay out the signal flow of the plugin, it has in-depth descriptionsof how each element works and can teach you quite a bit about transient shapingin general. It’s really cool that the developer put so much effort into makingthis plugin easy to use.

Warning:Trying out the “mono” switch created a very loud glitch signal for a second orso. Avoid switching this on while it’s processing sound.

Since Dominion is an older plugin, only a 32 bit VST version is available (for both Mac and Windows). You can get the plugin here.

Sonic Anomaly: Transpire

Format: VST (Windows) – 32 + 64 bit; JSFX (Windows + Mac)
OS: Windows + Mac

Audio examples:


Wet – more attack, less sustain:

Wet – less attack, more sustain:

Are you looking for a simple transient shaper with transparent sound and easy controls? Then you might want to check out Transpire by Sonic Anomaly. Transpire comes with just four controls: attack, sustain, sensitivity and output. This means that you have less control over your transients than with other plugins, but it also means that Transpire is somewhat easier to use – especially if you’re a beginner.

Thedevelopers from Sonic Anomaly stress that Transpire “does not operate linearly,which means small transients are being affected relatively stronger than largetransients. This is good for bringing up smaller details while not overloadingon large hits. As a result, percussive tracks can sound more steady andcontrolled compared to traditional transient enhancers.”

I foundthat this plugin can change signals in pretty extreme ways. More musicalresults can be achieved with more conservative settings – although this will,of course, 100% depend on your source material.

One feature that should be mentioned is that Transpire’s GUI is scalable – which is very helpful to anyone with a larger screen. A downside is that the VST version only works in Windows (although there is a JSFX version that is compatible with Mac).


  • Transient Shaper Ableton Rack (Ableton Live)
  • ATKTransientShaper (VST2 / VST3/ AU / AUv3 / Windows / Mac / 32 bit + 64 bit)
  • Sleepy Time DSP Transient (VST / Windows / 32 bit + 64 bit)

Over to you…

Did weleave out any free transient shaper plugin that you love? Let us know in thecomments!

Getting a wide stereo sound in mixes or recordings is one of the most desired techniques in music production.

And as there are actual ways you can accomplish this using recording techniques like Blumlein or mid-side techniques, we often find that we need to apply stereo widening to already recorded tracks within our DAW.

One of the best ways to do this is with a dedicated software plugin. Quite likely, your DAW may have something within the lines of a stereo widener, and there are many good quality paid versions out there.

But we decided to take a look at some of the best free stereo widener VST and AU plugins available for download in this guide. Let’s check ’em out!

Find more great gear here:

Free Stereo Width Plugins

Here we go over some of the most effective free stereo widening plug-instructor available, all of which can do a great job of making individual tracks bigger and wider.

With simplified control and undeniably great sound, these free plug-ins are excellent alternatives to costly and impractical hardware solutions and esoteric studio techniques.

The List

Plugin Roundup

iZotope’s Ozone Imager is the free standalone plug-in version of the imaging technology found in the company’s own Ozone mastering suite. Although it has a much simpler set of controls than its more fully-featured counterpart, Ozone Imager is nevertheless capable of narrowing or widening the stereo image of your audio to a remarkably precise degree.


Like most of the components of Ozone, Imager provides immediate visual feedback that enables intuitive setting of the parameters. The plug-in even has a vectorscope and a correlation meter that aid in precision sound-staging during mixing and mastering.

Voxengo’s Stereo Touch employs mid/side coding in transforming the most basic mono sources into rich stereophonic tracks. Best suited to mono sources that don’t have a lot of sharp transients, it is especially effective for widening acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizer pads, and vocals. With the spacious and expansive “surround” produced by this plug-in, you no longer have to devote time and channel space to double tracking.

Stereo Touch also works on multi-channel input signals, processing each one independently as separate mono signals. The stereo streams are then combined to produce a single stereo signal at the output.

Whether you are looking for a quick way to add stereo imaging or you want to widen a mono source, Stereo Touch will deliver like a champ.

A1Audio’s A1StereoControl does exactly what it says on the tin: give you precise control over stereo imaging. Even though it is equipped only with a single knob, you can expand or limit your tracks’ stereo width to a remarkable degree.

One of the best things about A1StereoControl is how easily it helps you sidestep a common issue when “stereoizing” bass sounds. The plug-in has a “Safe Bass” algorithm that centers all the low frequencies below a user definable threshold. This keeps bass and other low-end sounds right at the center of the stereo spread, where they won’t cause any phasing issues.

Even without the dedicated mid/side controls found in other imaging plug-ins, A1StereoControl prevents your low end from causing any issues when collapsed to mono.

MeldaProduction’s MAutopan is more of a panning plug-in than a dedicated stereo imager, but it is quite a capable one at that. The plug-in employs a unique modulation system that consists of continuously adjustable oscillators. Each of these oscillators may combine predefined shapes, custom waveforms, and algorithmic post-processing.

The result is a tremendous degree of control by which you can define the stereo placement of your sounds.

MAutopan actually handles more than just mono and stereo sources. The plug-in is also capable of processing up to eight channels of surround audio, making it a useful tool for game and film audio production.

QuickQuak Audio’s UpStereo is a sort of classic in stereo imaging circles, with a set of simple controls that can make short work of stereoizing any mono source. It employs a fixed frequency EQ, a stereo widening unit, and a loud switch, all of which result in bigger, wider, and louder tracks.

Stereo Shaper Vst Free Plugin

Unlike most other stereo widening plug-ins, UpStereo comes with an option to push the sound into overdrive. Combined with the stereo widening capabilities of the unit, this makes it possible to produce individual sounds that stand out without the need for extensive processing.

Brainworx’s bx_solo is a free stereo imaging plug-in offered for free to everyone who signs up at Plugin Alliance. Employing the infinitely useful m/s processing technique, it gives you a surprising degree of control over the placement of sounds in the stereo spread.

A comprehensive range of solo features are included with the bx_solo, giving you the ability to hear the left, right, middle, and side channels while tweaking. This feature alone adds a lot of functionality to any DAW, very few of which allow for such flexibility.

Xfer Records’ Dimension Expander is a spatial expander modeled after the popular Boss/Roland Dimension D chorus effect. By splitting audio into four parts, flipping the phase of two streams and then delaying them, the plug-in produces rich, lush, and wide textures that retains punch and clarity.

Admittedly, the Dimension Expander is a bit of a one-trick pony. But the trick is a pretty damn impressive one.

And considering the relative rarity and cost of the Dimension D in the vintage market, this free plug-in will make a welcome addition to your suite of stereo imaging plug-ins.

Stereo Shaper Vst Free Plugins

Top Pick

The Ozone Imager is pretty much the one to beat in this roundup. Offering all the flexibility, control, and great sound that iZotope has become known for, it can handle most every stereo widening need you can think of and then some.

That being said, the Voxengo Stereo Touch, the A1StereoControl, and MAutopan all deserve special mention as well. Going well beyond the capabilities offered by most stereo imaging plug-ins, and or all of these three will find a welcome place in any mix engineer’s arsenal.