Having trouble getting rid of noise in your audio, but don’t have the cash to spare for a payware noise reduction plug-in?
You might find what you need in this selection of the best free noise reduction plug-ins available. You’d be surprised that they’re capable of what they can do, with a variety of functions that can deliver performance that is at least equal to that of their paid counterparts.
Floorfish noise-gate VST: If you're looking for a free noise gate VST plugin, you must first try floorfish. This gate / expander does the job perfectly. Useful for removing background noise, and can be used for more radical gating effects. Comments(3) - download. Drum kit rompler. Win32 Win64 OSX VST AU Developed. Electronik Sound Lab. Electronic piano patch. Win32 Win64 OSX VST AU Developed. KORG PS-3200 emulation. Win32 Win64 OSX VST AU Developed. KeroVee is a Pitch Correction plug-in that works as a VST effect. KeroVee can mix two independent Transposed / Formant tweaked outputs of pitch-corrector and bypassed output. Features / controls: Scale Buttons 'C' to 'B' Specify the 'Allowed' note. TuneSpeed: Tuning Speed. May be robotic if set to max. Nuance: Keep or ignore subtle pitch changes like vibrato. Download the best VST plugins, effects, virtual instruments, Kontakt instruments, Reaktor and more for Windows and Mac. Updated with new plugins weekly. Instant download.
Let’s take a closer look!
Free Noise Reduction Plugins
Also check out our Top VST Plugin Roundup
ReaFIR by Cockos
Cockos is known primarily for Reaper, an excellent shareware–practically freeware–DAW that can stand toe-to-toe with the best fully-fledged DAWs costing hundreds of dollars more. The company also has a line of very capable plug-ins, one of which is the ReaFir dynamics processor.
Specs and useful features
An FFT-based plug-in, ReaFIR is a dynamics processor that pulls off some need tricks. The “FIR” in the name stands for “Finite Impulse Response”, which refers to a variety of functions revolving around FFT spectrum analysis.
Most of these functions have to do with EQing and dynamics processing, both of which are typically employed in noise reduction circuitry. But ReaFIR can do more than clean up hissy signals. It also serves as a gate, a compressor, and a dedicated EQ. It is especially capable of precise EQing and compression, so you could expect to get much more use out of it than from most any noise reduction plug-in on the market.
Unsurprisingly, many users found ReaFIR to be more effective at removing noise than many other dedicated noise reduction plug-ins. The onboard features makes it a very capable and versatile EQ that can be used for ultra-precise sound shaping and even for mastering. In fact, many users have found it to be useful at various stages of the production and mixing processes.
ReaFIR stands apart from most other noise reduction plug-ins with its wealth of pro features and flexible capabilities. Even if this were a paid plug-in, we would still recommend adding it to your arsenal of sonic enhancement tools.
Redunoise by Voxengo
Voxengo Redunoise is a high-resolution noise reduction plug-in that provides a wide range of controls for reducing and eliminating noise. A comprehensive noise reduction system that goes beyond the capabilities of your average noise-ridding plug-in, it is a versatile solution that should find many uses in your productions.
Redunoise is especially effective at dealing with noisy single tracks, although it will work on full mixes as well. Results are always musically pleasant, which is rarely the case with broadband noise reduction solutions.
Specs and useful features
High-resolution spectrum analysis is the key to the effectiveness of Redunoise. This feature precisely identifies the offending area of audio material, enabling the plug-in to eliminate it without affecting the rest of the signal.
Redunoise comes with two flavors of filtering: analog-prototype and linear-phase. Between these two, you can handle pretty much any flavor of noise, from fairly simple hisses to more complex noises that cover different bands of the audio spectrum. There is even a noise learn function for quick and easy cleanup of audio material.
Redunoise has found plenty of avid fans among those that routinely work with outdoor recordings. Useful for reducing many types of background noise, the plug-in is also effective at separating sounds according to frequency range.
Surprisingly, some users found Redunoise to be quite an effective EQ unit. With its many controls suited for creative EQing, Redunoise is way more than just your run-of-the-mill noise reduction plug-in.
Redunoise is a versatile noise reduction plug-in that has some surprising tricks up its sleeve, particularly in the realm of creative EQing. Although it is free, it definitely measures up to even some of the best payware offerings available.
Sound Recovery by Bitsonic
If you have ever had to struggle with restoring signals from poorly recorded or severely degraded audio, Bitsonic Sound Recovery might be exactly what you need, and for free. It’s designed specifically for repairing extremely low-quality audio.
Sound Recovery fills a gap in the audio editing world that most EQs and noise reduction systems simply cannot fill. With a unique set of features onboard, this plug-in should find value among audio restorers and even forensic professionals.
Specs and useful features
Sound Recovery essentially recreates mid-frequency content from low-frequency harmonics. By adding subtle levels of harmonic distortion, this process makes audio clearer and more understandable, even with most of the mid-frequency content missing.
Sound Recovery also has a multiband denoiser feature that makes it a very capable noise reduction solution. Effective at reducing the noise from the low-mid and mid-high frequencies, this provides a much more subtle alternative to heavy-handed EQing that often thrashes the entire audio signal.
Other features let you further restore audio with depth and precision. The “split freq” feature lets you define the most troublesome frequency range, while the dedicated “recovery” feature adds even more distortion for enhanced clarity.
Sound Recovery is a fairly capable noise reduction plug-in. The low pass filter and the denoiser feature effectively reduce noise in a broad range of frequencies. But most users seem to use the plug-in for restoring lost audio content, which is hardly surprising given its capabilities in that area.
Sound Recovery might not be your first choice if you need a comprehensive range of noise reduction features. But if your focus is on restoring the intelligibility of recorded audio, this plug-in is a must-have.
Noise Reduction by Christian Budde
Christian Budde Noise Reduction is a spectral noise gate designed for removing unwanted noise from a variety of audio sources. By targeting specific frequency ranges, its spectral gate effectively filters out noise with a fair degree of customizability over attack and release times.
Specs and useful features
Noise Reduction goes beyond the capabilities of most spectral noise gate plug-ins by offering a good range of customization options. The soft knee control is fully adjustable over a very wide range, so you can avoid many of the sonic anomalies that other spectral noise gates impart to audio material.
The plug-in comes with a few different options for FFT sizes, and you could even choose from many window functions.
Noise Reduction sets itself apart from other plug-ins of its kind with its continuous and consistent characteristic. The plug-in’s various features let you clean up only the offending bands of noise without introducing artifacts that are often more bothersome than hissing and crackling.
Noise elimination plug-ins generally have low CPU requirements, but Noise Reduction places especially low demands on computer resources. You could easily strap on as many instances as you need for your various tracks, and still have enough CPU power for your other plug-ins.
Users found Noise Reduction to be effective at getting rid of noise from problematic soundboard recordings and audio transferred from tape. For many users, the ability to identify the noise from a quiet section of audio is useful for treating the rest of the material.
Like all plug-ins of its kind, Noise Reduction is most effective when used sparingly at moderate settings. It won’t win any awards for precision and total control, but it will be enough to get the job done in most cases.
FFT Tools by Smart Electronix
Smart Electronix FFT Tools turns to the graphics world for inspiration in dealing with unwanted noise in audio material. Based on the image-processing technique employed in graphics programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop, it utilizes spectral-based processing along with a slew of intriguing features.
FFT Tools makes it possible to clear out the hash from specific audio frequency ranges while leaving the surrounding frequencies unscathed. The plug-in can also be used to warp sound in numerous interesting ways, many of which go beyond the capabilities of even dedicated sound-mangling plug-ins.
Specs and useful features
One of the most intriguing features of FFT Tools is “Warp”, which swaps high and low frequencies with each according to a defined frequency band. The results can be pretty wild, to say the least, although moderate settings can produce more musical results.
Noise reduction functions are mostly handled by the “Levels” feature, which gives you a good degree of control over the spectral dynamics. This feature lets you liven up dull audio or remove background noise equally well.
FFT Tools also comes with a “Kontrast” control for saturating specific bands of the frequency range. If more robotic sounds are your thing, the aptly-named “Robotizer” should find plenty of use in your productions.
Most people seem to use FFT Tools for generating weird textures and alien-sounding sonic landscapes. Although it does a decent enough job at noise reduction, it seems better suited for creative sound design than cleaning up noisy material.
FFT Tools probably won’t be the first thing that comes to mind if you need to clean up noisy audio. Although it will work as a noise reducer in a pinch, this plug-in is more useful as a tool for generating unusual sounds and textures.
It’s been a while since I surveyed the market for free software synths, so I thought I’d give it go and see what’s new and what has stood the test of time. Some of these instruments were released as prototypes or were the early experiments of developers just entering the market.
Free stuff is not always actually free. Often you will follow a link only to find out that it’s a free “demo”. Aren’t all demos supposed to be free?? In other cases, free software is dangled like a carrot in order to get your email address or to entice you into buying other products, preset libraries, add-ons, etc.
Well, business is business, and I suppose everyone needs to make a buck. I really don’t mind spending a few dollars for some shareware now and again to support a budding developer. But it behooves even the most experienced consumer to proceed with caution when the word free is thrown around.
What follows are some awesome sounding instruments in no particular order that are indeed free with very few strings attached. And if you can stomach a little extra spam, some of these may prove valuable additions to your stockpile of synths.
1. TyrellN6 by u-he
- Virtual analog with classic architecture, plus extras.
- Two oscillators, noise, ring modulator.
- Two LFOs with eight waveforms that are host-syncable.
- Audio source mixer with authentic overdrive and filter feedback.
- Twin filter related to Diva (early model).
- Unison with up to eight voices.
- Analog-type ADSR envelopes, loopable or LFO-triggered.
- Small modulation matrix with depth modulation from a second source.
- Chorus effect with three modes.
- MIDI learn / unlearn for hardware control.
- Resizable UI from 70% to 200%.
- Skinnable UI.
- Over 580 factory presets.
This thing is responsive as hell and sounds sweet! I love the stained and grungy aesthetic of the interface. It’s really hard to believe it’s free. But it serves its purpose I suppose because it truly whets the appetite for more stuff from u-he.
Dexed is an emulation of the classic FM synth: Yamaha DX7.
From the Github page:
“Dexed is a multi-platform, multi-format plugin synth that is closely modeled on the Yamaha DX7. Dexed is also a midi cartridge librarian/manager for the DX7. Do not expect this to be a perfect clone of a DX7 since this will take years in the open source world and multiple collaborators before getting there … Since Dexed is modeled on the DX7, the Yamaha DX7 Operating Manual can be used as a reference documentation.”
The interface is a little cluttered and is more functional than it is aesthetically pleasing, but there are a ton of sonic possibilities with this for those willing to dig in.
“MiniSpillage is a free professional quality drum synthesizer plugin featuring high-resolution 64-bit DSP processing.
MiniSpillage includes three exclusive drum synthesis algorithms along with distortion effects and resonant filters.”
- Bass Drum – Single oscillator bass drum synth with pitch sweep, internal FM and harmonic controls.
- Wood Drum – Flexible wooden drum model synthesizes natural and synthetic timbres from log drums to toms.
- Hi-Hat – Six oscillators closed and open hi-hat generator with a noise source and dual resonant filters.
This is a great free option for those that want to create their own drum sounds with modulation, filtering and distortion effects.
4. Crystal Synth by Green Oak
This is one is a bit frustrating and takes a while to get anything remotely usable. The interface is on the clunky side. But a little patience can be rewarding.
Lokomotiv is an analog retro synthesizer that is impressive from the first launch. Its austere interface is surprisingly responsive and sounds immediately great.
- Mathematically generated high definition Oscillator without using wavetable or interpolation.
- Silky smooth 9X detuned sawtooth wave.
- Pulse wave with self PWM.
- Shape morphing sub-oscillator.
- MG ladder modeling multimode filter featuring Zero Delay Feedback technology.
- Routable filter Drive (Pre/Post).
- Natural Curved ADSR Envelope generator.
- One-shot LFO which can be used as envelope.
- 1X OSC (Saw+ Pulse) + One Sub OSC, Noise Generator.
- 1X multimode Filter with Drive.
- 1X LFO, 1X Envelope Generator.
- Eight polyphonic voices, Mono and Legato mode supported.
- 64 Factory presets included.
- Native 64-bit, Mac and Windows OS supported.
6. Digits from Extent of the Jam
This one sports a subdued color palette with beefy growls, preset chords and brass sounds. A bit of crackling when parameters are modified, but worth the time to download for sure.
7. Spitfire Audio – LABS
Not long ago, Spitfire Audio released an ongoing series of completely free instruments called LABS. These are very, very simple sampled instruments with just a handful of controls and they sound really, really good. So far the collection includes:
- Electric Piano
- Amplified Electric Cello Quartet
- Soft Piano
If you’ve used any of the Spitfire Sample Libraries before, you know how well they’re recorded, and these instruments are no exception. While you won’t get the flexibility or deep sampled variety of a full-scale library, you will get a great sound that can be slightly varied to taste. While these are sampled instruments as opposed to synths, they’re free and so good that I felt they warranted inclusion.
8. TAL NoiseMaker
This is one my of favorite choices. The interface is accessible, clean and to the point and thick, beefy sounds are possible from the get-go. Really nice!
From the developer: “TAL NoiseMaker is an improved version of TAL-Elek7ro and has a completely new synth engine and a lot of improvements in sound and usability. The synth also includes a small effect section with a reverb, chorus and a simple bit crusher effect. A display shows the knob and slider values. This allows more control over the synth. A ring modulator and a syncable triangle are also part of this synth.”
TAL NoiseMaker includes new filter types and the self-resonating 6 dB low pass and notch filter. Its improved amplitude ADSR is very suitable for slow pads and for really fast envelopes. 128 factory presets included, 80 made by Frank “Xenox” Neumann.
- Three Oscillators. Osc 1, +/- 24 semitones, fine tune, phase control (saw, pulse, noise). Osc 2, +/- 24 semitones, fine tune, phase control (saw, rectangle, triangle, sine). Sub Osc (rectangle).
- Osc 1 PM for pulse waveform.
- Osc 2 FM controlled by Osc 1.
- Osc 1 & Osc 2 sync to sub osc (saw, pulse, rectangle, triangle (bipolar sync)).
- Adjustable master tune and transpose.
- Up to six voices.
- Portamento in mono and poly mode (off, auto, on).
- Ringmod modulates Osc 1 with Osc 2.
- Self resonating 4x oversampled filters (24 dB LP, 18 dB LP, 12 dB LP, 6 dB LP, 12 dB HP, 12 dB BP, Notch).
- Filter ADSR (negative and positive).
- Volume ADSR
- Routable ADSR, modulates Filter, Osc 1, Osc 2, PW, FM (negative and positive)
- Two LFO’s with different running modes: free, sync to host, triggered by note. Modulates filter, Osc 1, Osc 2, FM, PW, LFO rate, Panorama and Volume. Sine, Triangle, Saw Square, S&H, Noise. Positive and Negative modulation. Phase control.
- Adjustable Velocity-dependent control over volume filter contour and cutoff.
- Adjustable Pitch Wheel control over Cutoff and Pitch.
- One pole HP filter.
- Detune, detunes notes randomly.
- Juno chorus with different modes.
- A built-in reverb and delay.
- Adjustable filter drive.
- Bitcrusher affects Osc 1 and Osc 2. It’s a pre-filter stage effect.
- MIDI Learn for all knobs.
- Panic button.
- Easy to use, no hidden panels.
- 256 great presets (Presets by Frank “Xenox” Neumann, The Unshushable Coktor, Alexandra Sendy, TAL, Patrick Kunz).
X Noise Vst Download
9. Thump by Metric Halo
Thump is a unique audio processor that allows you to synthesize low-frequency audio to add low end to a track or generate another sound entirely. Thump looks at the pitch and dynamics of its audio input and uses this information to control its oscillators. You can add low end to drums, augment a bass or even create synthetic drones.
Thump is ideal for beefing up a kick drum, adding low end to percussive tracks, recreating classic drum synth sounds and more. You can use Thump’s envelope driven, percussive sub-harmonic synth for the following things (among others):
- Build low-octave support for bass drum, tom, snare and other percussive tracks.
- Create kettle drum sounds from regular drum tracks.
- Recreate the sounds of classic drum synths like the TR-808.
The effect of Thump is similar to generating a sine wave or other waveform on a gated track that is side-chained to a transient on another track such as a kick. But Thump allows more control, two oscillators that can be changed on the fly and more pitch specific envelope control. If you like kicks that are thick as hell and challenge the range of human hearing, you will like Thump a lot.
NOTE: the instrument requires a transient input to be activated so you would use it like an insert rather than a standalone synth.
10. Synth 1 by Daichi Laboratory
X-noise Stereo Vst Download
While the interface is a bit nasty and pixelated, Synth 1 by Ichiro Toda is modeled after the Nord Lead 2 Red Synth and sounds decent. It doesn’t take long to get a few usable sounds and the onboard arpeggiator is great for experimenting. (Manual)
11. PG-8X by Martin Lüder
“The PG-8X is a virtual synthesizer, inspired by the Roland JX-8P with the PG-800 programmer. The synth architecture is a standard 2-oscillator -> Filter -> VCA design. These elements can be modulated by a common LFO and one of two envelopes. The PG-8X is patch compatible with the JX-8P and can read and write JX-8P Sysex data”. (Manual)
While these instruments may not be the best things in life — they are free. And it has been my experience that there is something to be learned from every piece of software, as there is from all types of music. Experimentation and exploration yield untold rewards for the adventurous, and freeware is a great place to start your journey or a means to unshackle yourself, at least temporarily, from the financial constraints that plague us all.
Check out my other articles, reviews, interviews and my video tutorial series, Synthesis 101 available exclusively on The Pro Audio Files.
X Noise Vst Free Download
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