Best Free Third-Party Plug-ins for Studio
Producing music is something that you’re never done with. There’s always more to add, whether that be knowledge or the tools you’re using to get there.
Serato Studio comes with a standard set of plug-ins that are perfectly suited for getting the job done. Sometimes, you might want to go a little further. Seek a specific instrument sound or a certain FX style – this is where third-party plug-ins come in.
There’s a thousand and one things to spend copious amounts of money on in production, but there are also tons of fantastic free tools that you can use to expand your setup. All of which you can go and download right now.
Here are our favorites to use with Serato Studio.
Spitfire Audio produced the LABS series: a copious amount of free software instruments packaged into one plug-in, made by musicians and sampling experts in London.
Influenced by a lot of jazz instruments and vintage sounds, this is a perfect tool for creating that rich, retro soundscape in your beats.
Created in 2005, Podolski is a free virtual analogue synthesizer. One oscillator, one filter, one envelope and an arpeggiator / sequencer. It’s straightforward and perfect for getting ideas down.
It’s also CPU-efficient, so you won’t run into issues with computer speed when cooking up beats.
Synth1 is one of the most downloaded VST plug-ins of all time. This is a virtual synthesiser designed as an emulation of the Nord Lead 2 – a beloved analogue synth that was used widely throughout early 2000s music.
They don’t even charge you for it – take this as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
OTT is a free re-creation of a popular, aggressive multiband compressor used by many dubstep and electro producers. You have up and down for compression direction, and it’s especially great for making your drums pop.
A cult-favorite, Camelcrusher is what’s known as a coloring multi-effect plug-in. If you want to add distortion, filters and crush your sounds with speed and ease, Camelcrusher is king.
It’s really simple to use, with only a few knobs and switches to use. The genius behind Camelcrusher is the lengths that these simple tools can take you to with designing your sounds.
Bonus: Ozone Elements by iZotope
This isn’t exactly free. It’s USD $129 to purchase, but you can download the entire plugin set for free if you have a Serato Studio license.
The Ozone Elements pack is a set of industry-standard mastering tools, for making your beats sound primed and polished for others to hear. It helps balance the levels across your track to make sure nothing sounds out of place and will change the way others hear your track for the first time.
iZotope are leaders in sound design – find out why. If you’re a Serato Studio license holder, you can get it now. Otherwise, it might be time to become one. Get your license now.