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Old 10-31-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
insub
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Default Essential 64bit FREE Effects to Supplement Reaper

I'm looking for a handful of quality FREE effects to supplement the included Rea & JS Effects in Reaper. I say a handful because I've been searching KVR and elsewhere and there is a plethora of free effects available. A lot of them very good quality. But I need to get mixing and don't have time to try out every one. I just want to get one or two of each type. And I don't want to bother with extras that are already covered by the ReaFX.

So my criteria are:
1. Can't live without.
2. Better or at least adds some quality/character not obtainable via ReaPlug.
3. 64 bit only please.
4. Free

My band is a 6 piece and we play funk, rock, folk, motown, americana type music. Drums, Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Banjo, Ukelele, Bass Guitar, Synth/Piano, Saxophone, Trumpet, Vocals (Lead and backing).

Categories: Reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, distortion/amp sim, EQ, Compression/de-esser, etc, etc.

So, please, your favorite ONE (or two of each) only!
Thanks so much for your advice!

Also, I'd like to stay away from effects requiring Impulse files like convolution reverb or amp sims. I know I'm likely to receive some backlash for this, but I don't want to go on an endless hunt to find the right impulses. The same reason I'm asking for your help. One can get lost in the options that are out there. Besides, a lot of the music we're emulating didn't have convolution reverbs available (I know they had the actual rooms) when they were recorded. But come on... we're recording in a bedroom (untreated).

**EDIT 10/27/2015:
I'll try to put my current finds here at the top. This may change periodically as I test more of your suggestions. Below, will be free effects I've selected, but I want to mention these paid effects that have helped me tremendously.
Melda FreeEffects Bundle (paid version) is capable of resizing, but the sonogram feature alone is worth the price of admission for me.
Melda's MMultiAnalyzer has taught me a lot! Try placing an instance at the beginning and end of your FX chain to learn more about what your compression is doing. Plus, during the 50% off sale that comes up periodically puts this in a competitive price with Voxengo SPAN Plus which I believe is not capable of overlaying the wavforms like MMultiAnalyzer.
Valhalla VintageVerb is so many times better than the free algo-verbs that if you only buy one VST effect ever, it should be this one.

EQ: **EDIT 12/18/2015: I wanted to update and elaborate on EQs**
Melda's MEqualizer if you have the paid version, but ReaEQ covers unlimited parametric EQ well enough. Now that I have the paid version, this is my go-to EQ for corrective work. The paid version allows resizing the plugin window and activates the sonogram. Both of which are indispensable to my workflow. I love MEqualizer. In my tests MEqualizer does not appreciatively use any more CPU than ReaEQ. Also, is M/S capable and has optional saturation.
Luftikus by lkjb is my favorite limited-band EQ. Analog style filtering, but clean (no saturation). I really like Luftikus for fast and dirty (not sonically) EQ. No frequency sweeping, just pick a knob and boost or cut. Really fast.
TDR SlickEQ for characterful EQ. SlickEQ is best for adding frequency emphasis to a track because it only applies the saturation to boosted frequencies. That is pretty much all I use this for.
SplineEQ for linear phase. I typically only use linear phase EQ for multi-mic recordings like drums or acoustic guitar. You could use ReaFIR, but SplineEQ has a much better GUI which makes it easier to use.
TDR Nova for dynamic EQ. This is great for ducking bass with kick or guitars from the vocals.
Voxengo Overtone GEQ is a graphic EQ. I only use this to do the sudo-stereo EQ trick. You can copy one side's settings to the other and then there's an option to invert the settings. Also works in M/S. I don't really see any other reason someone would want to use a virtual graphic EQ.

Dynamics:
Klanghelm's MJUC jr. is an amazing simple control compressor. I like it better than DC1A2 which is also nice and can even be an expander.
TDR Kotelnikov works great anywhere especially the bus.
Limiter No.6 for bus compression with limiting.
Loudmax when I don't want to use Limiter No.6.
Lisp for deessing. Or, you can just use ReaXComp.

Saturation:
Klanghelm's IVGI dynamic console saturation which is transformer (not tube) saturation, I like this one so much I'll probably buy SDRR.
I really love VOS Ferric TDS which is tape saturation with compression. Even though it's only 32bit.

Modulation:
Blue Cat bundle and
Melda bundle. Between these two bundles pretty much covers it for me.

Delay:
TAL Dub-3 is a versatile stereo delay. TAL Dub and TAL Dub-2 are good too.

Reverb:
TAL Reverb III for plate. I like VOS EpicVerb, but it's 32bit and has given me some trouble.
SignalDust's Abstract Chamber and Tila2 have a cleaner sound than TAL.
I have abandoned all free 3rd-party reverbs since purchasing Valhalla VintageVerb.

Amp Sim:
LePou or Ignite both work for me. Any of their amps.

I really like all of the Variety of Sound plugins, but they are all 32 bit only, which has caused some problems for me later in the mix when plug-in counts increase. I did however get a tip which I have not fully taken advantage of which is to activate "run as separate process" for these plug-ins. Mostly, I have just abandoned 32 bit-only VST effects.
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Last edited by insub; 12-18-2015 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:51 AM   #2
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Hit the freeware link in my signature, it's a topic here on the forum
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:59 AM   #3
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MeldaProductions free bundle.
Not technically free but the Computer Music Magazine stuff is essential IMO
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:55 AM   #4
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Ahhh a topic near to my heart.

First go to this curated list of freewware. Its the most comprehensive list of GOOD freebies on the web. Its divided into FX categories and theres Not a clunker in the bunch.

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/free-vst-plugins/

A few personal favorites that are either not available in reaper or are better than reaper FX IMO.

ping pong delay: Twin delay
modulated delay: NastyDLA
Plate Reverb: Poor plate and Tal reverb II
Convolution verb: Reverberate LE (its better than reapers convo)
Reverb impulses: Samplicity Bricasti M7
Parametic EQ: Melda EQ
Console/analog EQ: SonEQ and SlickEQ
Linear phase EQ: Spline EQ
Compressor: ThrillseekerLA, Audiocation AC-1, DC1a2, Delamancha SixtyFive
Buss compressor: Molot, TDR feedback comp II, density MKIII
Limiter: Loudmax, limiter No. 6
De-esser: Spitfish
Analyser: SPAN, Melda Manalyser
Headphone monitoring: Breebart Isone Pro (formerly commercial ware)
Audio editor: Acon acoustica, Wavosaur, audacity
Auto gain rider: Terry west steady Pro
Sample browser: Resonic (this thing is great!)

Well that should get you started.

Last edited by Magicbuss; 10-31-2014 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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http://varietyofsound.wordpress.com/
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
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Thanks all!

@Techno: I think I read that thread, but I thought it was kind of old. Do your selections back then still hold true for today?

@Patton: What do you mean? Do you have a link?

@ALL: Thanks for the links and advice!

I have tried the Variety of Sound stuff and I like them. It seems they're in a lot of people's favorite list. I dl'd the Melda stuff a long time ago, but haven't used it much.

@Magic: Do you really find an external editor to be necessary? I used Cubase for 10+ years and I guess that's how I'm used to doing things, but I'm trying to learn Reaper's way now. Also, do you use the Gain Rider much? Sometimes I wonder if my guys' dynamics are musically intentional or just poor attention to detail.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigopigo View Post
VOS plugins are good but not x64. In fact I have had numerous problems with them running bridged in REAPER so I wouldn't really recommend these. YMMV of course.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insub View Post
@Techno: I think I read that thread, but I thought it was kind of old. Do your selections back then still hold true for today?
They mostly do, although there are some very good new free plugins that I need to add to the list. Pretty bussy right now, but I'll be back at maintaining the list soon
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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Old is not necessarily bad.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #10
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A few more.

BX solo for stereo widening (only one click to the right)
http://www.brainworx-music.de/en/plugins/bx_solo

BX cleansweep, Hi and low pass filter on bus
http://www.brainworx-music.de/en/plu..._cleansweep_v2

Ferric, tape saturator on bus or drums
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/ferr...riety-of-sound

Waves type brick wall limiter
http://www.yohng.com/software/w1limit.html

Also vouch for TDR feedback comp II for bus compression. Brilliant compressor

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Old 10-31-2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insub View Post
Thanks all!

@Techno: I think I read that thread, but I thought it was kind of old. Do your selections back then still hold true for today?

@Patton: What do you mean? Do you have a link?

@ALL: Thanks for the links and advice!

I have tried the Variety of Sound stuff and I like them. It seems they're in a lot of people's favorite list. I dl'd the Melda stuff a long time ago, but haven't used it much.

@Magic: Do you really find an external editor to be necessary? I used Cubase for 10+ years and I guess that's how I'm used to doing things, but I'm trying to learn Reaper's way now. Also, do you use the Gain Rider much? Sometimes I wonder if my guys' dynamics are musically intentional or just poor attention to detail.
I dont have them (but am now thinking of stopping by the store adn picking up a mag), but I think you just have to get a latest copy of computer music magazine to have access to their plugins.



http://www.musicradar.com/us/compute...plugins-571802
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:01 PM   #12
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these bundles are great: usable & free.

Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series FX VST Bundle

MFreeEffectsBundle

the fish fillets channel insert package
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insub View Post
Thanks all!

@Techno: I think I read that thread, but I thought it was kind of old. Do your selections back then still hold true for today?

@Patton: What do you mean? Do you have a link?

@ALL: Thanks for the links and advice!

I have tried the Variety of Sound stuff and I like them. It seems they're in a lot of people's favorite list. I dl'd the Melda stuff a long time ago, but haven't used it much.

@Magic: Do you really find an external editor to be necessary? I used Cubase for 10+ years and I guess that's how I'm used to doing things, but I'm trying to learn Reaper's way now. Also, do you use the Gain Rider much? Sometimes I wonder if my guys' dynamics are musically intentional or just poor attention to detail.
Actually no. Since migrating from Sonar + Sony Soundforge, I do 99% of my editing within reaper. The only thing I've used an editor for recently is de-clicking some audio.

The gain rider can be useful for smoothing vocal dynamics transparently. I use it sometimes instead of volume automation if I need quick results. This is almost always in conjunction with compression or parallel compression or both.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerendir View Post
VOS plugins are good but not x64. In fact I have had numerous problems with them running bridged in REAPER so I wouldn't really recommend these. YMMV of course.
Hmmm... what problems have you seen? I use a bunch of bridged 32 bit plugs including some VOS and have yet to have an issue.

Maybe I've been lucky?
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
Hmmm... what problems have you seen? I use a bunch of bridged 32 bit plugs including some VOS and have yet to have an issue.

Maybe I've been lucky?
It's been a long time now since I used any of them, but IIRC both Density Mk II and NastyDLA used to simply stop processing audio and go silent, completely at random. All this has been covered on this forum somewhere; some people had the same experience, others never ever encountered these issues. Like I said, YMMV. The VOS plugins are good but hardly irreplaceable.

Also, 64 bit is the future and developers who refuse to wake up and smell the coffee aren't worth my time, no matter how "good" their plugins are...
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
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....but IIRC both Density Mk II and NastyDLA used to simply stop processing audio and go silent, completely at random. All this has been covered on this forum somewhere; some people had the same experience, others never ever encountered these issues.
yes sad to report I stopped using VoS for this reason
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:03 PM   #17
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Good VOS replacements:

NastyDLA -- TAL Dub II & III
Density Mk II -- TDR Feedback Compressor II, Molot
Epicverb -- Freeverb3 Hibiki
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
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@Patton: What do you mean? Do you have a link?
http://www.meldaproduction.com/plugi...eEffectsBundle
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:33 PM   #19
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I bought a digital copy of computer music mag for 2 bucks and am downloading their stuff now

that's pretty close to free.

there is a couple in their that I have seriously considered buying the commercial version of

tonebooster barricade and the ddmf eq's


Am I missing something? if these are full versions thats $100 worth of plugs right there

edit: I see that is some differences from the full paid versions but they certainly are not crippled

Last edited by thequietroom; 10-31-2014 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:43 PM   #20
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I notice you mentioned flanging in your first post. I recently created an FX chain using one freeware plugin and some REAPER stock plugins that creates an authentic sounding emulation of open reel tape flanging. I made a detailed post about it here (post includes downloads for the FX chain, setup instructions and freeware plugin needed): http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1397236
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
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So, please, your favorite ONE (or two of each) only!
http://www.camelaudio.com/camelcrusher.php

A very, very tasty distortion/overdrive.

Also good for crushing camels.
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:50 PM   #22
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http://vladgsound.wordpress.com/plugins/
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Old is not necessarily bad.


Phew!
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #24
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I've used the most recent VoS stuff on 64-bit Reaper with no problems. Density mkIII and Ferric TDS are the ones I like best so far.

Limiter no. 6 is my fave for DIY mastering--lots of presets to get you started.

TAL-Reverb does a great plate reverb, IMO.

Pushtec is pretty interesting and definitely has some character.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:34 PM   #25
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1) Blockfish (digitalfishphones) in limiter mode, as a thickener when transients are too edgy. It adds thickness but doesn't add mud.

2) Spline EQ. It sounds good used gently or aggressively. It makes my tracks sound better just being in the chain.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Old is not necessarily bad.
i regularly use stuff that was programmed when i was in my early/mid teens.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nym View Post
i regularly use stuff that was programmed when i was in my early/mid teens.
I can't use the stuff that worked in my teens anymore...
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:42 AM   #28
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in my early teens there was no stuff that worked in any way ... at least not for non-superstars. that times were pre-cassette tape decks ... and it was all analog (shudder). :-(
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
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good call.
i hadn't downloaded or used them before.
downloaded them & checked them out.
pretty good stuff - & can't beat the price.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:40 AM   #30
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I also wanna add the stuff signaldust created: aside from the Clipper & Limiter everything is x64 (for those who need it because of memory or bridging issues).

http://www.signaldust.com/plugins.html

Especially his BBD Delay (DustBucket), both his Reverbs (AbstractChamber & TILA2) and his EQ (DustEQ) are top notch. His EQ has such a smooth Highend (LP Filter max 28kHz).

VOS TDR Slick EQ and TDR Feedback Compressor II are state of the art as well. My goto Plug Ins.

TAL Reverb II & III for Plate Reverbs.

Vladgs Molot & Limiter NO6 belongs in every plug in folder.

Freeverb3 Hikibi is more or less a pretty good Lexicon clone.

Meldas stuff is pretty good as well. Discovered them recently. Dope modulation concept.

Cheers
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:20 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerendir View Post
Good VOS replacements:

NastyDLA -- TAL Dub II & III
Density Mk II -- TDR Feedback Compressor II, Molot
Epicverb -- Freeverb3 Hibiki
Thanks for the alternatives! I thought the VOS stuff was only x86 and I've been using the NastyVCS and EpicVerb without issue, but haven't tried much else of their stuff.

Also, a lot of people seem to recommend Magnus's Ambience reverb which also seems to be x86 only for Windows users.

@TechnoGremlin: I didn't mean to imply that old selections were bad, but was curious if you had found newer x64 plugins that you liked better.

@ALL: Thanks again! And especially for the explanations as why you choose them. And, for links as well. That really helps!
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:11 AM   #32
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@TechnoGremlin: I didn't mean to imply that old selections were bad, but was curious if you had found newer x64 plugins that you liked better.
I didn't think you where implying that (old stuff being bad)

Well, I'm still on a 32bit system, even running on a single core CPU. I'm still amazed how much you can do with Reaper on such a fairly limited system. But it's stable so I'm still very hesitant to the move to a new system. So I'm not looking specifically for 64bit stuff myself.

The more important issue for me is the fact that a lot of 'old' stuff does actually do great sound and pretty high-end results. Moving to 'newer' stuff mainly brings a learning curve where you have to adjust to 'another' piece of gear, and not really much more then that. So I basically like a very stable setup where I know everything inside out. Back in the days when everybody was switching to HD-recording, I kept working with my Tascam 488 SMPTE-synced to an Atari running Cubase (that was only a sequencer then, no audio recording), simply because I knew my setup inside out and I could do anything I wanted with it, without the need to 'go back to the manual'.

I like my studio to be a place where everything works as expected so I can do my thing, instead of it being a test-site for every plugin developer's next new thing (not that I'm already there yet, but getting there).
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #33
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Funny - I find that plugins that give me aggravation sort of self select for being ignored pretty quickly. What I need now is a plugin assassin that will look in my plug folders and turf out any that have not been used in say for example 6 months!

One thing I DO do a lot is skim through the plugin names even in my 64bit folder & if I don't recognise the name and remember straight away what it is for..... boot in rear.
Since I went all 64bit and started the hand weeding programme I find I am spending a lit more time making music or spouting drivel on here.



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Old 11-03-2014, 10:17 AM   #34
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I know exactly what you mean! Many years ago when I first started dabbling in electronic music (no recording back then) I only had a Yamaha RM1x. I knew that machine like the back of my hand! Every sound and effect and other manipulations on that device were second nature to me. I wrote so much stuff! Not all worthwhile, but in great quantity nonetheless. Then the gearlust started to take over and I obtained more and more complicated tools with greater learning curves and creation seemed to take a back seat to learning all the new and wonderful things I'd acquired.

I've used Cubase SX2 for over 10 years, and while only an enthusiast, I was quite adept at making strides in that DAW. So, it seemed a natural evolution for me to move into Cubase 7. Only these days the money is a little tighter than back then so my band purchased the Elements version and I quickly decided its limitations weren't for me.

Then I truly gave Reaper an honest try.

So, here I am having given up Cubase for good (wishing I hadn't spent the money on 7 Elements) and trying to get a stable x64 setup in Reaper (not Reaper itself, but rather the free plugins I plan to use) going on a "new" used quad core PC with Windows 7. All the while attempting to reduce my learning curve (less VSTs=less to learn) to a manageable level to keep some productivity alive.

While having the best tools money can buy is great, I've found that being able to use the tools at hand to the utmost efficiency produces far greater results than having the top pro tools with no idea how to use them. And, staying in a state of gearlust just keeps you inside a constant learning curve and outside of a finished production. Someone told me once to just K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid). Though I consider myself far from stupid I find no disadvantage to keeping it simple.

Hence this thread which has probably been asked here a hundred times over in as many different ways of wording the same question.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #35
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I see a lot of thumbs up for the Melda plugins. A lot in that bundle seem mainly analysis based and some just unnecessary for general purpose. Also, the free version doesn't let you create your own presets.

Which of the Melda plugins in the bundle do you actually find useful?
Have you run into any problems by the free version restrictions?

Also, no one has mentioned BlueCat, but I've used their chorus effect and it sounds pretty good to me. Do you think some other is that much better?
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:07 PM   #36
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I see a lot of thumbs up for the Melda plugins. A lot in that bundle seem mainly analysis based and some just unnecessary for general purpose. Also, the free version doesn't let you create your own presets.

Which of the Melda plugins in the bundle do you actually find useful?
Have you run into any problems by the free version restrictions?

Also, no one has mentioned BlueCat, but I've used their chorus effect and it sounds pretty good to me. Do you think some other is that much better?

As I said above I feel that Melda Meq is the best free parametric EQ by a mile.

Manalyser, MLoudness analyser and mstereoscope are all very useful.

Mtuner is great for tuning guitar and bass. I prefer it to Reatune.

The modulation FX are fantastic if a bit deep. I like Mtremolo alot.

Blue cat modulation and their anaylers/meters are also excellent.

TAL also makes excellent modulation plugins.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:14 AM   #37
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VOS plugins are good but not x64. In fact I have had numerous problems with them running bridged in REAPER so I wouldn't really recommend these. YMMV of course.
I've been using these and have started to run into problems later in the mix... especially with the EpicVerb which I really like. As more tracks get processing I'm getting a lot of noise and popping. If I just remove the VOS plugs I can keep going and adding more, so it doesn't seem to be a hardware issue.

I know I said no Impulses, but I'm thinking of trying to use ReaVerb more now since I'm having problems with EpicVerb and Ambience seems kind of like a one trick pony to me. I have trouble dialing in the sound I want with Ambience.

With the advent of convo reverb and free impulses is there still a reason to have dedicated plugins for algorithm reverbs? Lots of people seem to LOVE Valhalla reverbs and the $50 price is not so bad. It seems like reverb is where the free plugins are really lacking in terms of quality.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #38
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I've been using these and have started to run into problems later in the mix... especially with the EpicVerb which I really like. As more tracks get processing I'm getting a lot of noise and popping. If I just remove the VOS plugs I can keep going and adding more, so it doesn't seem to be a hardware issue.

I know I said no Impulses, but I'm thinking of trying to use ReaVerb more now since I'm having problems with EpicVerb and Ambience seems kind of like a one trick pony to me. I have trouble dialing in the sound I want with Ambience.

With the advent of convo reverb and free impulses is there still a reason to have dedicated plugins for algorithm reverbs? Lots of people seem to LOVE Valhalla reverbs and the $50 price is not so bad. It seems like reverb is where the free plugins are really lacking in terms of quality.
Convo verbs are great for real spaces like rooms and chambers. Also I like them for Plate reverb. the downside is that they are static. There is no motion to the sound something that Lexicon algos are known for.

Valhalla verbs are very reminiscent of the lexicon sound and they do it well for dirt cheap.

IMO you need both convo and algo verbs
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #39
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@Magic: Thanks for that. I had not thought about the movement and variations that algo reverbs would add. I used to use a bootleg of Waves RVerb and TrueVerb and I really liked those. I liked everything about them. The sound and the interface. They had the graphic which really helped me to conceptualize what the reverb settings were doing. They were DX plugins and worked fine on old PCs.

I don't see why the newer VST plugins are such CPU hogs. I mean I just dl'd impulses from a Lexicon unit that is circa 1980 something. What kind of processing power do you think that unit had?

@SMM: Thanks for the links!
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #40
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@Magic: Thanks for that. I had not thought about the movement and variations that algo reverbs would add. I used to use a bootleg of Waves RVerb and TrueVerb and I really liked those. I liked everything about them. The sound and the interface. They had the graphic which really helped me to conceptualize what the reverb settings were doing. They were DX plugins and worked fine on old PCs.

I don't see why the newer VST plugins are such CPU hogs. I mean I just dl'd impulses from a Lexicon unit that is circa 1980 something. What kind of processing power do you think that unit had?

@SMM: Thanks for the links!
Convolution reverbs are known resource hogs.

Algo verbs are typically much lighter on resources which is another reason they are popular.
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