Vocals are an essential part of music production. Knowing how to play with and mix it well requires the right ears, talent, and, most importantly, great-quality plugins.
Great plugins are generally paid and might cost a fortune or a kidney in some cases. But, smart bedroom producers know that a lot can be done without losing a kidney.
Right now, in 2022, you can create the best record without spending a dime. And simply, tour the world when your song with amazing vocals goes viral.
I understand the pain of not knowing about such plugins to mix your vocals. So this is me dropping my secret vocal arsenal. I am sharing a list of 20 free vocal VST mixing plugins that will help you achieve studio-quality professional vocals.
Also, check out some great Tabla vsts after you are done with this article.
Autotune and Pitch Correction VST Plugins [Free Download]
When it comes to mixing, having your vocals in the right key/pitch solves half of the problem. It can even help you sync your vocals right with your production. Can also give a great effect to it and also help you build harmonies for your vocal channel.
If you are looking to do some experimentation with your vocal tracks. Check out these free pitch correction and autotune plugins:
MAutoPitch is one of the best pitch correction tools with a great UI. It is great for monophonic instruments and vocals. The plugin also has different types of features such as formant shifting, stereo width, auto-tuning and more. It also has a premium version which costs €49 and includes some additional features.
GSnap is another great plugin used by bedroom producers across the globe to achieve the robotic or T-pain effect. The UI at first might look a bit complex. But as you learn about the plugin you will achieve the kind of sound that you are looking for.
GSnap also allows pitch bend and modulation through your midis which helps you achieve those specific vocal effects at the right time.
Graillon 2 is a successor to the first version made by Auburn Sounds. It allows you to achieve live vocal tuning without losing the balance and clarity of the vocal piece. It adds a bit crushing sound to the same which adds crisp to your vocals while keeping that robotic sound.
The plugin also has a premium version which costs $29.
Vocal EQ Vst Plugins [Free Download]
Vocal is one of the trickiest things to EQ because sometimes the input single has a problem or maybe the right take has some annoying distortion for no reason and you need to fix that.
This is where a good vocal EQ comes in handy. You can create the best-sounding vocal with free plugins mentioned here:
TDR NOVA is the best eq plugins in the market right now. The drag-and-drop feature on this plugin is better than most paid plugins.
You can do surgical equing of your sounds and achieve the desired results in no time. The UI is so initiative that it enables you to learn everything at a rapid pace.
The four-band eq has everything required for you to make your next big vocal track. It offers a wide range of features to achieve studio-quality vocals easily.
A 6-band equalizer that has a tube tone saturation to it. Each band has a specific tone to it which sounds like an analog eq.
It also provides you with an advanced visualizer, which includes a spectrum analyzer and a sonogram. So you can effectively figure out the frequency response for boosting and cutting the frequency range or specific frequency.
Most paid eq plugins talk about the hardware-style saturation, which adds some harmonics to the sound when added. But in the case of MEqualizer, they are providing it for free, which makes this plugin more exciting and a must-have in your list.
Luftikus is a big baddie here. It is a digital adaptation of an analog EQ. Most producers use it in their mastering channel. But I recommend people to use it on their vocals because of the quality of sound it provides.
The warm sound that this plugin produces is compatible with the best plugins in the market right now. It brilliantly handles the boosting process without adding many digital artifacts.
You can make brilliant analog style adjustments with this plugin and make your vocal shine.
Vocal Compressor Vst Plugins [Free Download]
Vocal compressors help you to balance your vocals in a subtle way. It helps you control the dynamics of your vocal signal and balance it. So that it sounds better in the overall mix.
It also brings a certain character to the sound.
Compression might look like a world on its own. But, if you are able to adjust everything well it will make everything sound better.
Download these amazing vocal compressors for free:
TLS 1295 is a compressor modeled after the classic Teletronix LA-2A unit, which is best known for leveling and giving a more saturated feeling to the sound.
You can treat your mix bus or single instruments and achieve the tube compression texture via this plugin. The plugin provides you with features like a gain reduction meter, a clipping indicator, copy/paste functionality, A/B testing, built-in MIDI learn, and more.
The smooth release time and quick attack time make it one of the best compressors for your vocals.
So the next time you are looking for a free vocal compressor remember TLS 1295 LEA.
Have you ever used a plugin that allows you to enter text and converts it into a preset?
Safe compressor does it for you. You can just enter “warm,” “bright, or any other tone that you want in the text box of this compressor and it will load the setting for you.
As the name suggests, Safe Compressor is a great option for people looking for free vocal compressors. The transparent sound compressor is great for your overall mixes as well.
The ideal compressor for vocals!
Yes, you heard it right. The Leveling tool is an excellent addition for producers who love to add analog characters to their sounds without paying a single dime.
This plugin helps you tame the peaks and also gives a musical saturation to your sound, which makes it a perfect compressor to treat your vocals.
Either add it to your vocal bus or treat a single vocal channel. It will make it sound better.
Vocal Saturation VST Plugins [Free Download]
A saturation plugin provides a musical distortion that helps your vocal to sound better. It adds a layer of distortion which makes your elements sound a bit fat and adds a tone to them.
Here are some saturators available for free download:
SGA1566 is the best saturation plugin for bedroom producers who are looking for musical distortion but without worrying about the price. This plugin competes with top-rated paid plugins which tend to offer the same style of saturation engines.
SGA1566 is based on a vintage tube preamplifier which provides you with the most authentic analog sound. And the best part is that it is CPU friendly.
Headcrusher is another analog-modeled saturation plugin based on 4 different algorithms or pieces of hardware.
There is no limitation on what you can do with this plugin. You can select a few different characters of sound or shape the distortion to your liking. Destroy a particular sound or more.
It can be used with any kind of sound be it drums, synths, or vocals.
The one-knob saturation plugin competes with all the other saturation plugins in the market without the hassle.
Designed by the team at Softube, it is heavily used a lot by Electronic Music Producers around the world.
It has three different modes of harmonics/distortion selection which help you bring those harmonics out of your sounds. You can fatten up any sound with this plugin and make it sound professional.
Vocal Desser VST Plugins [Free Download]
Every producer knows that every vocal recorded has some form of annoying high-end sound that you want to cut. The sound can basically be “S” sounds which are really loud.
So remove such sounds you can use a de-esser. It automatically reduces the sound when it reaches a certain threshold. These plugins are great for producers who are always busy mixing their vocals.
Free download the best vocal de-esser plugins:
Lisp is one of the most intelligent vocal de-esser which has the ability to automatically detect sibilance and process it.
Automatic sibilance detection in LISP is very quick and can detect all the hiss,teh, or more sounds in real-time. It is actually tuned to the human vocal range, which helps the producers to effectively treat their vocals without doing tons of processing.
Pro Tip: You just need to set the reduction level. Lisp will automatically get the job done.
Removing sounds that spit in your face from your vocals is important. This is where Spitfish comes into the picture.
The easy-to-use de-esser plugin is aimed at removing the harsh and annoying sounds from your vocal samples. Just play with the depth and sense setting and you are done.
The plugins mentioned above might have more knobs, which might require some amount of time to figure out. But, that’s not the case with VeeDees.
It is a plugin simply aimed at removing those annoying phonemes. It is programmed at removing everything above 3khz frequency and the attack and release time can be customized according to the vocals.
Vocal Widening VST Plugins [Free Download]
Ever had a problem of getting your vocal right in the face a lot of times and always failed? This is where the vocal widening plugin helps.
You can create a fat vocal sound and make it bigger with vocal wideners. There are multiple experiments you can do with such plugins and achieve your desired sound.
These are some free vocal widening plugins. Check them out:
Vocal doubler is a must-have plugin for bedroom producers who mix and master their records without a professional studio. It helps you create powerful and wide vocals which cover the whole of the stereo field.
It is a free plugin that could fill life to your lifeless mixes.
The interactive GUI shows you the intensity of the effect applied to the channel which helps you to understand how much is required for your mix.
A vocal doubler helps you create an extra manipulatable instance of your vocals which makes it sound wide. Whereas an image helps you to widen up an entire mix or a separate channel like vocals, leads, fx, and more.
You can create wide sounds without losing the quality and also make it mono as and when required.
The ozone imager helps you to open up your sound and create larger-than-life mixes.
It may be a creative effect mostly used on guitars. But the kind of widening effect it gives to the vocals is a beauty on its own.
The slight delays between the right and left channels let you achieve the widening you want. But on a creative level, it also lets you control the frequency range, depth, and shape of the waves/sounds.
Vocal Delay VST Plugins [Free Download]
Those famous echo effects that bring a sense of space and distance in your mixes are called Delays.
There are multiple types of delays in the market but they all have similar functions which is to make your vocals sound spatial and dreamy.
Free download these vocal delay plugins and fill magic to your vocals:
Valhalla super massive is a true champion when it comes to creating big spacious sounds. It is one of the best delay plugins available in the market.
It has 16 different presets which lets you create the sound that you want.
The plugin might require a lot of time but when you get the right preset and setting to use with your vocals. You are going to create award-winning records.
Baby comeback is a free delay plugin with four different types of delay algorithms.
It is one of the simplest delay plugins with a great UI and low CPU usage. You can simple create a cheap-sounding delay and also create a delayed sound that competes with hardware delays.
Delay Modulator is a plugin with a neat and clean UI that produces flanger and delay sounds.
The plugin has 2 processing models. You can choose one according to your taste. And also it has various modulation which helps you choose a wave that perfectly sits with your sounds and pushes it to dimensions.
Vocal Reverb VST Plugins [Free Download]
A perfect mix is one where you can feel it like a land space(Sound coming from different sides). Well, reverb helps you achieve that.
Your vocal can be sent to the back and also can be kept in the front if you want to be. Reverb creates an artificial reflection of sound which makes your brain think that the sound is comes from distant or short range.
Download these free reverb plugins till they are free:
Ro-Gold is a plate reverb with enough fans across the globe.
The name it has achieved in the past couple of years is really huge. RO-Gold is modeled after EMT 140 high-quality analog reverb which proves you with luxurious vintage reverberation experiences.
Up until now only premium/paid plugins were able to provide a plate-like reverb sound. But RO-Gold has made it possible for producers to have a free high-quality reverb which can help producers to achieve that reverb sound which was considered a premium.
OldSkoolVerb is a great plugin for producers who don’t like it complicated.
You can simply add this plugin to your channel and add its spatial touch to it. It follows the classical reverb algorithm and also provides you with a set of parameters that permits you to achieve the reverb sound that is best suited for your vocals.
TAL-Reverb 4 is a high-quality plate reverb with a vintage-style sound.
Because of its great UI, you can never overcomplicate your reverb setting with plugins. The plugin features 5 different sections which help you to dissect the reverb and understand what is happening in real-time.
It is a must-have for producers who love to give their sound some space with certain characters.
Mixing is very subjective and some producers might favor the paid plugins more than the free ones. But the plugins mentioned above are made with the sole idea of helping producers and giving them the tools which are inline in competition with the paid plugins and vsts in the market.
The choice is yours now. You can experiment and figure out yourself if you like these plugins or not.