As a songwriter and producer, I often find myself wanting expensive gear and plugins because I think it will make my music better. Here's the truth: You don't need expensive plugins to make great music. Heck, for that matter, you don't even need paid ones. I have been making and producing music for a few years now, and every now and then I come across a FREE plugin or two to add to my collection that I genuinely enjoy and use.
Before I share that wisdom with you, just a quick disclaimer. Neither NAS nor me (Desai) are sponsored by any of these companies.
Alright, lets get into it!
Most producers have heard of Izotope -- the company that makes mixing and mastering plugins that can cost hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. They also make a few free plugins. Personally, I enjoy their Vinyl plugin. It creates a lo-fi or raw feeling on vocals, drums and other instruments. My main application, however, is on delay throws. It's a little difficult to explain (I'm not a Charles Connolly), but these subtle changes take the track to a whole new level. Here's a before and after with my latest track,"stuck on the inside":
On top of that, the interface for it is simple and easy to learn. You can download Vinyl, and learn more here.
Reverb is probably one of the most important plugins in a vocal mixing chain (besides pitch correction heh heh). Personally, I use TAL-Reverb 2 as a long reverb on my lead vocal. The interface is simple, and the sound is perfect for a pop vocal. Here's how it sounds in the bridge of my single.
You can download TAL-Reverb, and all of the free TAL products here.
Two years ago, the company Kontakt released a starter bundle titled Komplete Start with 18 different synths, effects and thousands of loops and samples to add to your songs. I used a few of their synths on my latest track, here they are soloed in the mix.
You can download the entire bundle and learn more, here.
You thought I was done? Nope. Bedroom Producers Blog, is a website (unaffiliated with NAS) that keeps track of plugin deals on the internet, and then sends a weekly newsletter them. Often, companies will giveaway paid plugins or make them free for a limited time. This website keeps track of these deals and lets you know about them. Sign up here.
That's it and thanks for reading! Be sure to download all of these plugins and check out my latest single, "stuck on the inside", which just released, here.