Plugin Picks: 7 Free Plugins We Loved in 2022
We love free plugins here at LANDR, that’s why we cover all the new free plugin releases regularly.
This year a lot of great free plugins hit the market and we were there to cover them as they came out.
Check out our plugin picks series, in case you missed anything.
Our favorite plugins, every month.
Of course, this year a few free plugins stood out, whether they were impressive multifaceted instruments, creative effects or super useful workflow savers.
No matter what, we think these plugins deserve a spot in your plugins folder, not only because they’re free, but because they’re simply great!
Here’s 7 free plugins we loved in 2022.
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1. Spitfire LABS
If you haven’t downloaded LABS yet, go download it.
This plugins makes this list every year because it’s just that good and Spitfire continues to update the plugin regularly.
LABS is a collection of sample-based instruments that consistently blows us away.
They’re constantly coming out with incredible, often left-field sample-based libraries you didn’t know you needed.
Whether it’s with sample instruments made with Whalesong, its recent lo-fi-ambient inspiring Cassette Synth, cinematic Foghorn or a piano recorded by the legend Philip Glass—LABS delights us every year, all year.
2. Matt Tytel Vital
This year, soft-synth engineer Matt Tytel launched his new free synth Vital.
A follow-up to the already beloved Helm, Vital is a wavetable synth that offers extended sound design options, new control panels and some excellent presets to get you started.
Definitely take a look at this one—and if you want to support Vital while getting additional presets and instructional support, its paid versions certainly seem worth it.
3. Love-fi Light
If making low-key jams with hissing, whirring lo-fi hip-hop stylings, you might want to check out Love-fi Light.
This is another sample-based keyboard and sampler that puts everything you need to make a lo-fi beat in one place.
Its stripped-back drum machine, crunch keyboard and swirling pads are perfect for inspiring your next lo-fi jam.
4. Valhalla Supermassive
Valhalla is a premium plugin manufacturer that makes some of the industry’s most celebrated plugins.
It’s incredible that its legendary delay plugin, Supermassive, is available totally free to download and use.
The plugins has been free for some time, but this year Valhalla added a handful of new modes, so be sure to download the new version, if you already have it.
Whether you’re looking for a simple delay effect, or if you’re on the hunt for tripped-out, swirling echoes and rhythmic delays Supermassive has you covered.
5. HVOYA Audio Ribs
Audio Ribs from HVOYA is a very interesting and creative granular synth and effects tool.
While granular synthesis can be very complicated, Audio Ribs makes it easy to get started with its user-friendly controls and creative interface.
You can use it to go deep into granular synthesis and use it for a variety of more complex sound design techniques—or you can start playing around to see what kind of sounds you can create.
If you’re looking a strange and interesting synth to play around with, definitely try Audio Ribs—you might learn something new about granular synthesis too!
6. LANDR Samples
This year the LANDR Samples plugin got a handful of updates, making it an incredibly useful tool to speed up your workflow whenever you work with samples.
You can download it for free and access a sizable collection of free samples.
And, if you subscribe to LANDR Studio or LANDR Samples, you can use it to quickly find, drag and drop premium, royalty-free samples into your DAW.
7. Baby Audio Pitch Drift
Pitch Drift is a simple but useful plugin from the excellent engineers over at Baby Audio.
It’s simple interface makes it easy to add subtle to extreme pitch drifting to your tracks.
Pitch Drift makes it easy to add subtle fluctuation to instrument recordings or intense drifting to make things clearly sound out of tune.
It comes with a handy visualizer to help hone in the exact amount of drift required to get the effect you want.
Keep up with all the new free plugins in 2023
We know how much you love free plugins, so subscribe to the LANDR newsletter and stay in the loop with all the new free plugin releases this coming year.
Not to mention all the production tips, music theory tutorials and gear guides that we publish.
Thanks for loving free plugins just as much as us this year!
Alex Lavoie works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and writes indie post-punk tunes in his band UTILS while moonlighting as drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters.
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