The rundown (Free Vst Plugins) is sorted out into three segments: Top 5 freeware impacts, Top 5 freeware instruments and Top 5 freeware utilities and MIDI devices in VST module group. Much obliged to you ahead of time and make some incredible music. Here at MusicRadar, we’ve been reviewing plugin synths for well over a decade, so we like to think we know a bit about them, and which are the best. However, this round-up is based on your votes: we put together a list of what we consider to be the best VST/AU plugin synths right now, and asked you to choose your favourite. Here at MusicRadar, we’ve been reviewing plugin synths for well over a decade, so we like to think we know a bit about them, and which are the best. However, this round-up is based on your votes: we put together a list of what we consider to be the best VST/AU plugin synths right now, and asked you to choose your favourite. The 50 best VST/AU plugin synths, as voted for by the users of MusicRadar. 2016's must-have soft synths rated and ranked. Best VST Plugins - Vocal Production Melodyne by Celemony 99-849 USD, Price varies depending on version Melodyne is the one of the industry standards for vocal tuning, but Melodyne’s algorithms allow you to make anything from the subtlest to the most far-reaching enhancements to your audio material regarding pitch, timing and tempo, with.
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However, finding the Chiptune VST best suited for you and your needs can sometimes be a tough task...
The internet is full of information, and, while that’s a good thing, it can also be a little overwhelming when you try to find an amazing chiptune VST.
What you’ll soon realize in this search is that there are many factors to consider.
What starts off as a simple task can turn into one that stretches for days or even weeks.
So, to save you from sorting through them all, we’ve crafted a list of the top 10 Chiptune VST plugins to help you find the perfect one for you.
But before we get into it, what exactly makes a VST ‘the right’ one?
Features To Consider
In this modern day and age, computers are much faster than ever before, but processing power continues to be an issue.
One important thing to consider before purchasing or committing to any VST is what the processing power needs are. Can your computer handle the software that you’re using?
If yes, great! But if it can’t, no worries! You may instead want to look for a more lightweight VST that can do as good of a job as a heavier one.
Aside from processing power requirements, simplicity is another important factor when choosing a great VST to suit your needs.
Do you want to hit the ground running and make chiptune music right away? Or do you prefer to get neck deep in the settings and customize each and every last detail of your sound design process?
Some VSTs will be simple enough to allow you to ‘plug n play,’ whereas others will require a lot more education on your part in order to master chiptune sound design.
When factoring in simplicity, it’s also important to consider the user interface (known as UI). Simple VSTs often have an easy-to-use interface, while the more complex VSTs might be a lot harder to grasp.
This is crucial to keep in mind, because UI can affect creativity, which is extremely important to music production. This is because creativity is influenced by everything you hear, feel, do, or see (UI). So, if you don’t like how your VST looks, it could slow down your efficiency when producing chiptune music.
Lastly, emulation specificity is another big feature to consider. Chiptune music originally was created from gaming systems, such as the NES or Gameboy, with each of those systems producing different types of sounds.
With that in mind, chiptune VST plugins have been created with the capacity to emulate sounds created by certain systems. Knowing what type of sound you want to create will greatly speed up the VST selection process and ensure you use something that you’re happy with.
With these features in mind, let’s get started.
Option 01: Magical 8Bit Chiptune VST
- 5 waveforms - square, 2x pulse, pseudo-triangle, low-res noise
- ASDR envelope settings
- Pitch bend
- Velocity control
- Frequency sweeping
- 32 Voices
Note: For full specifications and download, visit YMCK.
Are you a fan of old, primitive 8 bit game consoles?
If you are, then the Magical 8bit Plug may be the perfect VST for you to make some old school electronic music!
This is because this VST allows for use of the pseudo-triangle or low-resolution noise, which are key when creating 8 bit or chiptune music.
Another important feature about the Magical 8bit Plug is that it focuses on simplicity, which makes creating great chiptune sounds quick and easy.
To top it off, the Magical 8bit Plug is lightweight and will work on both macOS as an audio unit and on Windows as a VSTi.
If you want to see what this VST can do for yourself, check out this awesome animated Youtube video featuring music made by Magical 8bit Plug. It’s set to what appears to be an old school video game.
Option 02: Chipsounds
- Hybrid synth/sampling synthesizer
- Control/Modulation/Effects/Mixer tabs
- Wave Sequencer
- Pitch and Amplitude Modulation
- Emulates 15 vintage 8-bit era sound chips
Note: For full specifications and download, visit Plogue.
Looking for something a little more robust than Magical 8bit Plug? Then Chipsounds may be the VST for you.
Chipsounds is one of the more popular chiptune VST plugins this year, and we can definitely see why.
The first reason is because it gives you a lot of control over your sound design process, which is huge when trying to set yourself apart from other producers.
Another cool feature is that Chipsounds can run on both Windows and macOS as a standalone application.
Additionally, it can also run as a VST, AU, RTAS, or AAX plug-in allowing for flexible usage with different systems.
To see this VST in action, check out Plogue’s introductory Chipsounds video.
Option 03: ymVST
- Polyphony support
- 3 step arpeggiated chords
- Knobless UI
- Angel sync-buzzer effects
- SID effect
Note: For full specifications and download, visit preromanbritain.
If you’re a fan of the authentic Atari sound, then ymVST is a blast to the past…almost.
To the casual observer, the UI may look complicated. But it was actually made to replicate a traditional non-software music production setting with a more ‘authentic interface.’
This means there’s no knobs or sliders. Yet it also comes with all of the great chiptune quality sounds that can be made by the other more complex VSTs available on the internet today.
So, if you’re used to a more traditional method of chiptune production, ymVST may be right up your alley.
Unfortunately for Mac owners, ymVST is only available for PC users.
Option 04: basic 65
- Monophonic synth
- Double arpeggiator
- Mod envelope
- (2) LFOs
- (3) Oscillators
Note: For full specifications and download, visit vst4free.
Inspired by the Commodore 64, basic 65 is a monophonic synth which takes the legendary SID chip from its hardware predecessor and adds more features to ‘take a step further’.
With a clean interface, this VST should be relatively quick to pick up and allow you to get started programming in your favorite chiptune sounds with ease.
Making it even simpler, there are over 128 presets available for you to choose from.
And with the basic 65 being an update to the already popular basic 64, you’ll know that you’re using a VST that has had a lot of prior problems solved.
However, similar to ymVST, the basic 65 is only available for use on Windows which makes that one key detraction in a production world heavily Mac reliant.
Option 05: Super Audio Cart
- 5,500+ samples
- 1,200+ factory snapshots
- ‘Hold’ arp steps
- Modulate cutoff & pan with each step
- Use arp steps to modulate other parameters
- Free SNESVerb plugin
Note: For full specifications and download, visit impactsoundworks.
Super Audio Cart provides a revitalized take on an old-school chiptune production scene.
The interface looks modern which makes it similar to other software on the market today such as Omnisphere or iZotope Ozone. In other words, it’s easy to plug n play!
When purchasing, you’ll be capable of replicating sounds from the NES, FC, SNES, GB, 2600, C64, SMS, and GEN console systems. Add in the fact that you’ll receive over 6,000 samples and 630 unique sound sources and that makes purchasing the Super Audio Cart even more appealing.
However, it’s currently priced at $149 through impactsoundworksand also requires Kontakt to run, which can be a problem if you’re on a budget.
Not sure if this is right for you? Take a listen to some chiptune created by Super Audio Cart here to get an understanding of its capabilities.
Option 06: Retro Boy
- Subtractive emulator
- Single oscillator
- Vibrato & decimation effects
- Polyphony: 1-4
Note: For full specifications and download, visit sbaud.
As you may be able to tell from the specs, Retro Boy brings you back to the past. For example, it’s extremely lightweight on the processor with only a single oscillator.
It’s a classic, subtractive chiptune VST synth with seven waveforms - 12.5% pulse, 25% pulse, square, saw, triangle, sine, and noise.
Because of its simplicity, most computers should be able to run Retro Boy easily enough making that one of the key highlights of this VST.
And although you could probably figure out Retro Boy’s capabilities quickly enough yourself…
You can also check out a demo before downloading by clicking here!
Option 07: ICECREAM
- Dual oscillators
- 4 Octaves per oscillator
- Amp/Filter ASDR
- Harmonics switch
- Glide and glide rate
Note: For full specifications and download, visit vstplanet.
Are you thinking what we’re thinking? If you are, you’ll understand how cool (pun intended) this VST looks.
It comes with a pretty standard set of features: two oscillators with volume and octave controls, filters, a sequencer, and EQ.
However, what makes this VST stand out is the colorful interface.The playfulness of this interface and color scheme will definitely take you back to the days of playing Super Nintendo as a child.
And even if you haven’t touched a Super Nintendo, you’ll still feel like a kid playing the newest gaming system.
This might jumpstart your creativity and bring your chiptune music to the next level.
To take a listen to all of the creative possibilities that can come about from using the ICECREAM VST, check out this Youtube video.
Option 08: Nintendo VST
- Simple UI
- Nintendo emulation
- Pitch bend
Note: For full specifications and download, visit mattmontag
If you want to create chiptune music in the vein of Nintendo using something simple, Nintendo VST may be what’s right for you.
Created by Matthew Montag, the Nintendo VST is lightweight and can quickly be picked up by anyone.
That’s because the volume, duty cycle, pitch, and fine pitch adjustments are easily made with a max of three knobs for each setting (LFO steps, loop point, step time, and tempo sync).
And if you want to understand how the Nintendo VST works, Matthew has you covered! He’s meticulously detailed much of his VST development process on his website.
To see how the Nintendo VST was created, click here.
Option 09: AdLibXRom
- Replicates Adlib Music Synthesizer Card
- Two oscillators
- 40 Multi-sampled sounds
Have you ever heard of the AdLib soundcard? If you have, you may find yourself in love with this VST.
The AdLibXRom replicates the sound of the AdLib Music Synthesizer Card which was famous in the early nineties.
Featured within the soundcard was the YM3812 synthesizer chip which utilized FM and additive synthesis.
Today, the AdLibXRom brings things back with the option of using the main or noise oscillator.
Additionally, it features over 40 multi-sampled sounds making usage even more interesting.
Note: For full specifications and download, visit samplescience.
Option 10: 38911 Bytes
- Single oscillator
- 4 Waveforms
- 3 LFOs
- 4x16 Step sequencers
To any producer not familiar with Chiptune production, this VST may look a little confusing.
However, if you’ve been around the Chiptune production scene, this may just make you feel at home.
The interface was designed to provide an old-school feel.
There is only a single oscillator, but it does come with multiple waveforms such as Saw, Triangle, Pulse, and Pitched Noise.
Another highlight is the 4x16 step sequencers which also come with 11 different BPM rates.
Top Vst Plug-ins DownloadsHas the visual design of 38911 Bytes caught your attention? If so, we’d recommend that you learn more here!
Finding the best chiptune VST to suit your needs depends on your situation and what you’re looking for.
We’ve highlighted some of the best chiptune VST plugins that we think you’ll find particularly useful, each with its own unique characteristics and features.
To reiterate, here are some of the most important features to be aware of when choosing the best chiptune VST for your music production needs:
- Processing power requirements
- UI (User Interface)
- Emulation specificity
We’ve compiled some amazing VSTs for you to try out and now we want to hear your thoughts!
Have you had any experience using any of these chiptune VST plugins?
Are there any others that we should have mentioned or replaced?
Let us know in the comment section below!
How’s it going, everyone?
It’s been almost three years since we published this article detailing our favorite violin plugins back in 2015. Well, it’s 2018, and it is time to improve this article with our updated recommendations.
VIrtual instruments have advanced dramatically over the years. People used to laugh at the idea of a computer producing sound the resembled that of a real instrument. Now, there are plugins that will blow you away with how realistic they sound.
For that reason, having an arsenal of VST plugins is very powerful for the electronic musician.
Plus, it’s like having an entire orchestra with you all the time! Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Today I am going to focus on the best virtual violin plugins.
We’ll cover both paid and free options and there will even be a bonus section at the end of this article!
Let’s begin, shall we?
For Most People: Orchestral Companion – Strings
Here’s why we recommend this plugin: It only costs $60 and it sounds great! You don’t have to give up a months rent to pay for this plugin and it gives you a lot of configuration with its stringed instruments.
Top Vst Plugins 2018 Musicradar Version
Many of us like that rich strings sound – Soft and gentle, and in the next moment hard and brutal.
Of course, we all have different tastes, but, whatever you like, I can assure you that Orchestral Companion Strings can satisfy your taste.
The SONiVOX design team made over 90 outstanding string programs, which can give you best and the most accurate experience as possible.
Orchestral Companion Strings is compatible for Windows and Mac. You can download either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of it. It takes around 15GB of hard drive space.
If you have all of that or more this plugin will run very smoothly!
For the Professional: NOVO Modern Strings by Heavyocity
The kind of sound you can get out of NOVO Modern Strings is insane! The violin samples used to create this plugin were meticulously recorded at Warner Brothers Studios.
This plugin has a very justifiable price tag ($550) based on the quality of it and the amount of work they put into it. In total, this plugin is 40GB. That’s larger than most big-budget PC games!
What really seals the deal with the plugin is the immense control you have over your sound. For example, there is this one section of the plugin called CYCLE. Its interface looks almost like a sequencer and you can very easily tweak it to create rhythmic little pulses and glitch style sounds.
Whether you’re looking for a solo vieolin or a powerful string ensemble for use in an intense movie trailer, NOVO is a wonderful choice.
Best Vst Plug-ins Steinberg
For Those Who Want an Entire Orchestra: Personal Orchestra 5
This awesome product from Garritan can give you not only a nice sounding violin but also an entire orchestra at your fingertips.
Personal Orchestra costs $150 which is a steal for all of the instruments (Including multiple violin variations) you get.
With so many different stringed instruments, you can be that one-man orchestra, creating a sound nobody can listen to without getting goosebumps!
Personal Orchestra is 64-bit compatible, with not very high system requirements (surprisingly).
It’s pretty easy to use yet very powerful. A new user can get really creative right out of the box.
Some of the included violins are:
- Solo Stradivari Violin
- Solo Gagliano Violin
- Solo Guarneri Violin
And besides violins, there are lots of other instruments such as trumpets, trombones, French horns, keyboards, harps, violas, flutes, and clarinets!
With the current price of Personal Orchestra, it’s worth it alone for the violins. With all the added instruments, you can’t go wrong with this plugin!
And in case you’re worried about buying software that won’t get updated, keep in mind Personal Orchestra has been going since 2010 and are still chugging forward. Personal Orchestra has even been awarded by MusicRadar and MusicTech in 2010.
Other Noteworthy Choices
Next on the list, Orchestral Suite, which with over 60 classical instruments and 15,000 samples in its library, is a pleasure to work with.
With additional instruments like the clarinet, flute, harp, guitar, and even different types of choirs, you can be a music virtuoso with only a small effort.
It features instrument-specific controls, as well as key switching and a pretty easy to use interface.
And it all comes in a small package, 4.6GB of an entire orchestra.
Most importantly, you get plenty of great violins!
It’s always great to have multiple choices. Different types of violins are ideal for different situations and different genres of music.
This high quality and sophisticated plugin is a joy to work with, which is exactly why a lot of today’s top producers use it.
Orchestral Suite is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It will work in every major DAW.
Session Strings by Native Instruments
Sessions Strings is another popular choice among producers. It’s especially a good choice if you are already invested heavily into the Native Instruments ecosystem.
It weighs in at 2.5GB and costs $100. It’s a great plugin, but personally I would go with Personal Orchestra instead (mentioned earlier in this article).
Give it a listen and let your ears be the judge.
Free Violin Plugins
I am super appreciative of the free instruments DSK Instruments has been able to provide the music production community.
DSK Strings is an awesome little instrument!
It sounds pretty good for a freebie and will be a newbie producer’s best friend.
Sonatina is a solo-violin that can be a great help to you. It’s a little rough around the edges so might have to help it along with some effect plugin processing.
Bonus: The Non-VST Option
Before we conclude this article, I just wanted to open your mind to one more technique that could help you out with your string productions.
Good ol’ sampling!
Sampling has been shaping music since the 80s. We can use this technique to get realistic sounding violin pieces by…well…using violin samples!
There are many different ways we could go about this. It could be as simple as throwing a sustained violin note into a pitched sampler (Although it wouldn’t sound that realistic). We could even take little licks created by others and implement those.
I should also mention that as a musician who participates in sampling, it’s worth your time to educate yourself on the legal stuff. In our How to Get Permission to Remix Songs article, we talked about fair use and derivative work.
Getting royalty-free samples
There are many different places to get royalty-free samples. You could go on Audioblocks and be able to get really high quality samples, but it isn’t cheap – especially if you’re only a hobbyist.
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A site I like is freesound.org. As the name suggests, everything they provide is free.
Here are some cool violin samples I found after a bit of searching:
Another idea you could try out is to find some violin playing sessions on Soundcloud and use those to sample. Of course, if you decide to publish the work it would be advised to get permission from the original musician.
You’ll find a lot of small artists who just love playing the violin and uploading different compositions they make. Its a great opportunity for sampling.
If you enjoyed this article, I’d appreciate it more than ever if you could share it on social media!
In conclusion, each and every one of these plugins has something that makes them a unique and amazing product. They all have their own purposes and different producers can find different ones the most useful.
No matter what plugin you purchase, you can expect to have a great time spending hours enjoying some of the best quality violin sounds that exist.
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