Figured I'd drop a little sum'n here. Freebies down below the diary. More to be added upon request! Latest updates will be italicized at the top of the list and dated! I will @ users who have reacted or commented with updates.
Last updated: 10/05/21, 6 additions. 36 unique links.
Now, if you don't already know me, I'm your local mod and Mixcraft legacy user. I've been making music almost as long as I've been on Newgrounds. Judging by the anniversary I missed this month, around 15 years.
In that time, I've seen plenty of plugins come and go. Tried about half of them since cracking my DAW turned into a developer gifting me a copy during my sophomore year of college. Since then, I've gone almost completely digital. It's the technological renaissance -- why not?
As you know, the digital era has its pros and cons. Instruments and FX are insanely easy to find if you know where to look, and hardware to run them is as simple as an average gaming computer -- cheap if you have a half decent job and your rent is taken care of. There are tutorials freely available on how to use any product you can imagine, not to mention music theory, and without paying for a masterclass, you can streamline the process to a fault.
Only one problem. Finding a truly inspiring plugin, enough to bother using it properly, is rare as all hell. I have lost, deleted or given away more software than I care to admit, some of it even bought with my hard earned money. It is so, so easy to drop thousands on plugins that end up a complete waste, especially if you're like me and only read manuals when your own user error has you genuinely believing that either you or it is mentally retarded.
I don't know what's worse, 99 dollars for a contrabass cello I only used twice, or sifting through fifty pages of 80's drum emulators and plate reverbs. And how about all the mass produced, themed bundles with pretty graphics -- wonderful quality, ease of use, just a hint of something missing to ruin your day. Never mind how many gigs it'll set you back to install. Cough, Omnisphere, cough.
Needless to say, I became more selective. My workflow is natural, finally. Pieces that I spend the least mental energy get the most hype, which is nice, if only I have the cojones to lay down the finished product.
It'd be nice if I ever felt like doing that. Most of the time I don't, but occasionally an idea strikes me in the middle of work, hanging out with my wife, or doing something else critically important, like taking a shit and watching paint dry.
It's usually finding a free instrument to utterly destroy. I don't have infinite money, but like everyone else, I get tired of the same old crap staring at me all day, so much so I started intentionally using the "worst" VSTs imaginable. Think Meow Synth and Delay Lama, which were perhaps rightfully mocked by more skilled producers like Composerily. Of course, not everything free you find is terrible. That just seems to be my niche.
Anyway, I started digging around, finding freebies here and there, and what do you know -- I got inspired. Some of my work even got frontpaged. I figured I'd share some of that energy, for anyone else out there like me whose eyes glaze over at the thought of using the same plugins day in and day out. And yes, I'm only posting the good shit. The bad is easy enough to find -- and is not necessarily limited to being free. ;)
...... October 5, 21
Just got this hot off the press. FREE MASTERING at Mastering Studio, promo code FREE-MASTER-OCT. I have not sampled the service just yet, but I'm a fan of AI mastering in general as an alternative to hours of work at the master channel, just trying to get a test beat to perfection. Try it and see what happens :)
Plugin Alliance also is sending out loyalty vouchers, worth $25 for purchases of $32. That's $32 of stuff down to the price of $7. Worth a subscribe! New sign-ups get 6 PLUGINS FREE!
Black Octopus Sounds offers 1 GB of free samples!
Modern Producers is now offering Anno Domini kit for free!
...... October 4, 21
Audio Plugin Deals has expanded their collection of freebies to include pianos, delays, chip synths, and more. Tab on over the options and check it out!
For the next 10 days, Aquamarine Lite Kontakt Library is free! As for other sales, the lowest price I've seen today is $8 for a spanking bundle. Worth checking out, keeping in mind that nickle and dime purchases throughout the year translate to cashback you can use on future purchases, effectively making your own sale.
RedSounds is offering their Ramwong drum and stratocaster loops as free Kontakt instruments. Other instruments on the site, such as the Vox and 808 engines, normal value $120 plus dollars, I got on sale for $19.99 (plus 100% cash back). Not free, but 1/6th the price ain't bad.
HornNet offers a page full of free plugins! Rhythm sequence generators, drum fatteners, compressors, chorus -- check it out. They're pretty great, forgoing the frustrating copy protection license fees and barriers to normal installation. Prices aren't in dollars, but there's a nice selection of under $5 FX pedals I saw, which are a score. Everything is 60% off for the next 3 days.
The Highest Producers offers a sweet selection of drum kits and melody loops, free!
"MURDA BEATZ QUARANTINE" drum kit, free with YT channel sub -- lots of free kits on the channel. Check it out, search "kit" on the profile.
...... October 3, 21
Echo Sound Works' MASSIVE freebie collection - from drum samples, 808s, Kontakt instruments, all the way to presets, worth checking out!
So Southern - 14 Free drum kits as of October! Each of these has a promo code for downloads, 001-014
Plugin Alliance has reset their $20 off vouchers AGAIN! And everything is STILL up to 90% off! Go grab your second round of free plugins while they're hot. Offer ends tomorrow! (Oct 4. 2021)
Heavyocity Punish Lite is free with any purchase -- the cheapest plugin I saw is $19 or so; you may use coupons, so long as they don't make the purchase ENTIRELY free
Black Sun amp is still free at Audio Assault. 80's presets, $3.99. This amp comes with some nice cabs already and can be supplemented with more free cabs listed somewhere in this mess. Plenty of other sales going on, $9.99 amps, $5 cab libraries and so on. FREE SEACOW CABS TEASER PACK
Audio Assault Druminator has been around for a while. Check out a review and see if it's for you!
VSTBuzz has a huge and expanding page of freebies, from 808s to live drums, cellos, vocals, and more!
...... September, 2021 (Get 'em while they're hot. Something's gotta still be hanging around!
Hip-hop drum kits, UK Drill, several kits
Kyle Beats - Galaxy One Shots (hip-hop kit)
FreeDrumKits.net -- a whole page of hiphop kits, no bs, just downloads
Free drum machines, 808s, etc at Plugin Boutique
Of course, I would be remiss not to mention BPB's samples
LABS is literally the best free alternative to Kontakt instruments I've ever seen, with tons of instruments. Cinematic Percussion is the best out there. I recommend it for trap and hiphop, actually.
Pocket Blakus cello is a great addition and even alternative to many string synths, making use of Kontakt's pitch shift for layers
Bedroom Producer's blog has done it again with this months list of deals and freebies
WA Production is offering a free de-esser to users :)
Black Sun Amp is free at Audio Assault!
Additionally, there are plenty of great free IRs for Grind Machine (cab off + NadIR), or Grind Machine II and its native IR loader
As far as I know, you can actually use the Plugin Alliance coupon twice -- I got like 4 free plugins, 40$ worth; check the $5-$19 section ;)
Gumroad is offering some free waveshaper plugins
Two Clicks, the folks behind Drip, are offering FX plugin SPAZ for free!
There's a lot more where that came from. This is just what I had the patience to type. Some places I typically look for freebies I'll list here, but a lot of them I found by just continually googling, once a week or so for things I thought I needed, and keeping a separate email for nothing but mailing list offers. When they come with free stuff, I promise, they're not that annoying!
VSTBuzz, AudioPluginDeals, KontaktHub, PluginBoutique are one of a kind hotspots -- Reverb occasionally has freebies too. You can even find kits on Archive.org. Just make sure you don't download a bunch of copyrighted loops. Don't want to get demonetized or your hard fought tracks taken down!
Other sites I like to check are literally ANYTHING that comes up as the top result for free vst in whatever search engine you prefer. Subscribe to mailing lists, rss feeds, and check it every couple days. Honestly, just check whatever developer you come across and see if they have any free stuff. Your patience will be rewarded.
Don't forget to back up your installers, license keys, and samples to a USB, label it, and keep it somewhere safe -- you never know what could happen to your hard drive. Stay away from sketchy sites and be sure to virus scan before running an installer. If you're running out of space, external hard drives and USBs are an option, but be mindful that they are slower to read than normal drives and are dependent on the speed of your USB ports -- and also never unplug them without first ejecting them. Label them so you don't forget like me what's on them for a couple years, lol.
And lastly, never give out your payment information for anything that purports to be free! Happy hunting!
If this helped you, smack that follow button and drop a reaction. Enjoy the freebies, and feel free to leave your own in the comments!