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Top 20 VST Plugins of 2024: Expert Reviews and In-Depth Analysis

VST Plugins, love them or hate them, are one of the most important tools available to the modern music producer and help speed up the production process.

These days, there’s a VST (virtual studio technology) for pretty much everything. For any sound or music-related tasks, you can guarantee there’s a VST.

How to Make a VST
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10 Best VSTs for Trap Beats
9 Best VSTs for Dubstep

The issue with this is that the VST market is saturated, there are so many plugins that do the same thing, it can be hard to choose the right one for your needs.

Thanks to developments in technology, creating VSTs is relatively easy, and has become a process available to anyone with an interest in music and some computer literacy. 

This is great because it opens up access to the wider community, but it also means that there are some terrible, amateur-quality plugins on the market.

I tested 20 products and found Native Instruments Kontakt to be the best.

This is one of the largest and most powerful plugins and sample libraries around. For any music producer, Kontakt is an essential tool.

Not only is the plugin itself fantastic – a state-of-the-art sampler. But the huge quantity of sample packs makes this an infinite universe of instruments.

It isn’t just a vst sampler, it can be any sound you want it to.

Throughout my time as a music producer, I’ve tried countless plugins. I’ve used some good ones and some bad ones.

I’ve found lots of terrible plugins posing as the next best thing, and I’ve seen lots of underrated hidden gems. The plugins in this guide are diamonds in the rough,

Because of the amount of variation in plugins and their use cases, we have split these into categories. 

We put together this list to separate the diamonds from the dirt.

Even the best Piano instrument VST will be no good as a compressor or reverb plugin. Plugins tend to be specialized to a particular task.

For this reason, VSTs can be split into Instruments, Effects, and Other.

Instruments can include both synthesizers and samplers.

Keep reading

Keep reading for our roundup of 20 of the best plugins available today

Best VST Plugins in our tests

List all the products as a table of content

  1. Native Instruments Kontakt £359
  2. Arturia V Synth Collection $700
  3. Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor $299
  4. East West Composer Cloud PLAY $19.99/mo
  5. Soundtoys Little Plate – $99
  6. Nexus 3 £209
  7. Spitfire Labs – Free
  8. Output Bundle – $599
  9. Antares AutoTune
  10. Fabfilter Pro-Q
  11. Black Rooster Magnetite
  12. Slate All Access Pass $9.99/mo
  13. Celemony Melodyne
  14. Izotope Ozone
  15. Omnisphere – $499
  16. Native Instruments Guitar Rig
  17. Spitfire Audio Labs
  18. Serum
  19. Addictive Drums
  20. Fabfilter Pro R

20 Best VST plugins Reviewed in Detail

#1 Native Instruments Kontakt

Native Instruments Kontakt

Native Instruments Kontakt is a professional sampling VSTs. It is highly developed, and one of the most feature-rich software samplers available. 

This industry-standard tool allows you to drag and drop samples into the interface to quickly create your patches, with sample editing and instrument building tools.

Besides the sampling power, and the tools it gives you to make your own patches, there are thousands of Kontakt Patches available to purchase to expand your sound library. Almost any kind of sound or instrument has been sampled and converted into a high-quality Kontakt pack, ranging from vocals to orchestras to random foley sounds.

Perfect for both live performance or the studio, Kontakt is almost an essential plugin, that is found in all professional studios, and on most producers’ laptops. It opens up new options in creative sampling and sound design that most stock samplers can’t.

Product Specifications

  • Huge Sound Library (Flexible install size: 5gb+ depending on samples included)
  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, AU, and Standalone.
  • 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended for large KONTAKT Instruments)

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • “More than a sampler” this is a sampling platform
  • Huge amount of patches & expansion packs available
  • Super Powered Sampling Engine.
  • Some packs are expensive, some are terrible.


Kontakt is an essential sampling tool that most producers won’t leave home without.
For both studio and live use, there aren’t many better tools. It is incredibly quick and easy to use, with a familiar and simple interface. 

Great for beginners who just need to find cool patches to quickly layer in, and even better for professionals who can go under the hood and make tiny adjustments and tweaks, or even use the scripting functions to manipulate sound with code in new and unique ways.

#2 Arturia V Synth Collection

Arturia V Synth Collection

The V Synth collection is a bundle of analog modeled Synthesizer and Sampler VSTs.
The synths included are faithful recreations of famous and legendary models from history, including the MiniMoog, Juno, EMU, Synclavier, Fairlight, Buchla Easel, ARP Solina, and many more. 

All the plugins use Arturia’s in-house technology to create amazing quality instruments that sound identical to the hardware units. The interface designs are awesome too, taking heavy stylistic inspiration from the original units, but packaging the controls into a 21st century friendly, fluid layout.

The preset browser is very well organized and contains many categories,

These are easily some of the best synthesizer vsts around. If you have an interest in rare analog and vintage gear, this is the perfect bundle. I use this bundle all the time, most songs end up needing some of Arturia’s vintage spice. 

My favorites are Synclavier, Fairlight, and Mellotron. The original units of these are mega rare and expensive, so being able to play with a digital version is an honor and a joy!

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • 13 Classic Analog Synthesizer Models
  • 5 Retro Digital Instruments (synths & Samplers)
  • 9 Famous Pianos, Organs, and String Machines

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Classic Analog Instruments
  • Beautiful Sound and feel
  • Easy Install
  • Payment split options
  • Relatively Expensive


This bundle is ultimately one of the best out there for synthesizers. If you wanted to buy this combination of the original hardware synthesizers, you could easily be paying over $1million! Unbeatable quality and user interface.

Thousands of usable presets made by professionals. Each one of these plugins is worthy of a place on this list due to its stunning quality. They can be purchased individually but the bundle is the best value for money, and trust me, you’ll find yourself using every synth in the pack!

#3 Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

This is one of the best mastering plugins on the market, do any compressors come close to this?
This is an analog emulation plugin that mimics the iconic Shadow Hills Compressor. Brainworx’s talented engineers have meticulously studied and modeled the original hardware unit to capture its rich and smooth tone.

In the world of hardware compressors, the Shadow Hills is known to be one of the top models, which is reflected in their rarity and price. This emulation makes no sacrifices or compromises in bringing you the original tools and tones of the unit.
All the controls of the original model are included, and the emulation works by simulating the circuit at an individual component level for the most accurate and realistic analog sound.

This is a two-stage compressor with separate optical and discrete circuits. The is a choice of three output transformers (Steel/Nickel/Iron) each with a unique character.

This dynamic range plugin also includes some extra useful features which aren’t on the hardware, including a parallel mix control, sidechain filter, and external sidechain, which makes this even more powerful in a digital workflow.

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • 3 Output Transformer Models
  • Separate Optical & Discrete Circuits
  • Stereo and Dual Mono modes
  • Brainworx Plugin-Only Features:
  • Parallel Mix, Sidechain Filter, External Sidechain

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Top Quality Analog Emulation
  • Faithful modeling of an unbeatable compressor design.
  • 2 independent channels, with 2 compressor circuits (optical/discrete)
  • Attack and Release times may not be flexible or fast enough for some uses.


If you need an analog mastering compressor, this is tough to beat. The quality is god-like, and I’m not joking when I say I use this in basically every mastering chain I make. 

The interface is a breeze to use, with some quality presets. It can produce a huge range of compression sounds and works well on individual instrument channels as well as the master buss.

#4  East West Composer Cloud PLAY

East West Composer Cloud PLAY

East-West Play is the interface plugin for the fantastic East-West Composer Cloud Library.
This plugin, provided through a subscription, is the portal for accessing East West’s Hollywood-grade sample libraries.

These libraries are super high-quality recordings of real instruments and performers and have been used in many professional TV, Films, and video games. These are industry-standard orchestral sounds.

The choral packs are insane, with one choir tool having the option to type in words, which are then sung back to you based on merging the individual vowel and consonant recordings into a single vocal line. Super impressive and futuristic. The interface is a little clunky, but worth it for the sheer volume and quality of material contained.

Product Specifications

  • With the Composer Cloud subscription, you get access to most of their libraries with a solid amount of mic position choices and articulations.
  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Huge amount of content & sounds available
  • Cutting edge sample libraries and interfaces
  • Flexible Sampling Tools
  • Libraries have a large Install Size
  • Best to use with EW libraries rather than create your own patches.


For anybody who writes scores for film, TB, video game, or advert soundtracks, this is an ideal plugin.
Any kind of epic instrumental performance, orchestral section, or vocal lines, can be found in this package.

The samples have been recorded with incredible organization and quality, so you can quickly find the sounds you need. 

The sound quality is AAA and will be at home on Cinema screens and theaters. The subscription beats Kontakt if you can afford the monthly payments. 
The actual sampling engine and the interface are geared more towards using the EW Packs than with your own samples, so bear this in mind.

#5 Soundtoys Little Plate

Soundtoys Little Plate

This is probably my favorite reverb plugin ever made. Yes, it’s small, simple, with only a couple of controls, but they are all you need. This creates the perfect, washy plate reverb sound that is a great match for vocals, synths, and drums. 

The beautiful thing about this plugin is that it has an Infinite decay mode that creates stunning ethereal drones and atmospheres. Stick this on an AUX channel and get sending!

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Simple but effective Interface
  • Infinite Decay Mode
  • Limited to “Plate” sounding reverb


If you are looking for a plate reverb VST, this is one of the best value for money in terms of quality and design options. It won’t do much other than a plate sound but is still fairly flexible, and worth buying for the infinite drone setting itself.

#6 Nexus 3

Nexus 3

A sampling plugin that is perfect for trap, EDM, RnB, and Hip-Hop producers. It has a massive bank of quality presets, with pads, arpeggios, and bass sounds. The plugin is easy to use and will feel familiar to anybody who has used Kontakt or similar sampler plugins before.

The presets are sorted so it’s easy to find different types of sound, you start by selecting a broad category and then make narrower more detailed selections. It has some solid effects and filters that can be added to the patch.

Product Specifications

  • AudioUnit, VST, VST3, and AAX
  • Windows 8/10
  • macOS 10.11 and above
  • 14GB+ Hard drive space
  • Pentium class 2.0 GHz processor with SSE3 support
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB or more highly recommended)

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Huge sound library
  • lots of great trap sounds
  • Resource friendly
  • Flexible UI
  • Over featured for DAW users


Nexus is another sample library player with a huge wealth of sounds. The external libraries are themed for all styles of genre and make it easy to find a new bunch of sounds.

#7 Spitfire Labs – Free

Spitfire Labs

This is a free version of Spitfire’s world-class sound library. Packaged in a simple interface, this sample library player is completely free to use. Spitfire Audio adds new instruments to the library every month, the count currently stands at 39.

The soft piano patch is very usable, other favorites include the AutoHarp and Tape Orchestra. For a free plugin, the quality is not compromised, these sound fantastic and have a special vibe to them.
Labs is a huge palette of sounds, so get stuck in!

Product Specifications

  • Over 39 high-quality patches including strings, guitars, pianos, brass, drums, vocals, percussion, synths, and experimental sounds.
  • Download each pack individually to save hard drive space.
  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Free!
  • High-Quality instruments.
  • Wide selection of sounds.
  • Each sound has limited or 1 articulation.


We included Spitfire Labs because it’s one of the best free plugins around. It isn’t as flexible or deep as other sampling plugins, or Spitfire’s paid vst instruments, but for free – what can go wrong? Download Spitfire Labs now.

#8 Output Bundle

Output Bundle

The output bundle is so huge that we had to include it on this list. It includes all of Outputs’ 10 engines, 22 expansions, and effects,  known to be used by artists such as Rihanna, Coldplay, and Diplo, and used on-screen for Black Panther and Stranger Things.

This can kickstart inspiration for a new beat or instantly lock in new sparkly layers and grooves for existing tracks. The presets are sorted into specific categories so producers will be able to find exactly what they need very quickly.

Everything is customizable so presets can be tweaked and adjusted to fit. The vocal samples are particularly great

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • Includes 10 Instruments: Analog Brass & Winds, Analog Strings, Substance, Exhale, Thermal, Portal, Movement, Signal, Rev x-Loops, and rev.
  • Includes 22 Expansion packs: Adrenaline, Airlift, Ambient Vocals, Barely Vocals, Base Bass, Beautiful Pads, Beyond 4/4, Booty Bass, Brass Knuckles, Chaos, CInematic, Classic Analog, current, Desolation, Dystopian Bass, Glow, Indie Vocals, Modern String Beds, Neon Strings Spacetime, Tape Loop, Translucence.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Includes a huge amount of plugins
  • Contains any sound you need
  • The vocal samples are used a lot by other producers so need editing to sound unique.


Each of the plugins included in this package could have been ranked on this list in their own right, so we chose to post this bundle. These are well designed, with brilliant interfaces, the preset browser makes finding the right sound a breeze. 
Each plugin can be brought separately, or the bundle costs £760, at a 65% discount from the individual prices.
Arcade is Output’s subscription product that gives access to their sounds at a more affordable price.

#9 Antares AutoTune

Antares AutoTune

Antares are one of the industry’s biggest names in auto-tuning and vocal music technology. Their Antares plugin is arguably one of the most iconic and powerful autotuning plugins available and has been used on countless number 1 hits.

This is an incredibly flexible and well-engineered plugin that does more than just auto-tune, it is a one-stop powerhouse for vocal sound designers.

Auto-Tune Pro packs in all the features with, Auto and Graph mode, an Auto Key setting which detects the key and scale, Humanizing, even Formant Correction, and Throat modeling. This allows highly detailed vocal editing in pitch and time and gives you all the tools you need to make it an easy process.

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Different versions for everybody’s Budget
  • One of the Best Auto-Tune plugins around
  • Easy to use
  • Dedicated to vocals


The Antares Auto-Tune software is broken down into a few different purchasing options based on budget and needs. The more expensive Pro edition boasts the most features but at the hefty price tag of $349.
For a more wallet-friendly edition, Access is a slimmed-down version of the plugin that provides the bare-bones of the algorithm for $99. We included it on this list because it’s a top-tier auto-tuner that will be a valuable tool in most producers’ pockets.

#10 Fabfilter Pro-Q

Fabfilter Pro-Q

Pro-Q is an industry-standard plugin for filtering and equalization. This is an extensive and intuitive EQ tool that is nearly unmatched in quality and innovation.
It allows effortless sculpting across the frequency spectrum, it has all the filter types you can imagine, including a bandpass filter, comb filters, even an eq match function, and linear phase setting for clean mastering use.

Mid/side band mode, dynamic eq settings,
This is an extremely versatile filtering plugin that has too many features to list here!

Product Specifications

  • Windows 10, 8, 7,
  • VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native and AudioSuite

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • One of the best vst plugins for filtering & EQ.
  • Sounds great
  • Only good for eq tasks.


If you can only buy one plugin for EQ tasks, this should be your first choice. For speed, quality and flexibility it can’t be beaten. It also includes a preset library with eq settings for different instruments and situations, some crafted by renowned audio engineers. This is my favorite vst plugin for dynamic eq tasks.

#11 Black Rooster Magnetite

Black Rooster Magnetite

As far as tape emulations go, this is one of my faves. Trust me, I love a tape emulation and have burnt through many different models until I found the ones I like.

The Magnetite is a saturation and tape emulation plugin that I keep on speed dial.

The simple interface hides a roaring beast of tone. Very realistic tape sound that adds that compressed retro crunchiness that tape machines are used for. The interface and control design make this plugin perfect to use for mixing and includes all the features you need to blend the perfect amount of saturation

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • 3 Tape modes
  • 15 and 7.5 ips tape speed
  • Wow/Flutter controls and analog shaped noise

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Simultaneous Input/Output gain adjustment
  • Low CPU Use
  • Fantastic warm analog sound.


A great sounding and reliable tape emulation plugin. This gives a fantastic analog sound, even better when pushed into its distortion. For the price, this rivals other tape sims and mixing plugins on the market like the softube, and even some UAD models. Something is endearing in its sound quality that I find myself coming back for time and time again. As far as tape sounds go, this comes very close to the real thing and has a similar dynamic response to reel-to-reel machines.

#12 Slate All Access Pass

Slate All Access Pass

Slate Digital produces high-quality audio plugins often with an analog emulating element.
Focusing on sonic quality and familiarity, this broad selection of over 35 plugins gives users fantastic audio tools at a low cost.
Many of the analog-style plugins are faithful to the original hardware units, both in sound and interface. These are pro-grade plugins that are found in many commercial studios.
The collection of preamp simulations and the sheer amount of color they add will prevent you from needing to buy another saturation plugin!
There are 3 tiers of subscription, the higher tiers include bundles of Kilohearts, ANA-2, and TH-U plugins.

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • Includes Educational Videos

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Affordable Subscription
  • Huge catalog of plugins
  • Fantastic & faithful analog emulation
  • Requires iLok


At the low subscription cost, the Slate All Access Pass is a great starting point for producers looking to expand their toolbox. It covers all the stops from EQs, to compressors and most other processors, with solid and easy plugins.
The subscription model means that even on a tiny budget, a producer or sound designer can access a full selection of professional tools.

#13 Celemony Melodyne

Melodyne is an essential tuning tool for any serious engineers and producers.
Boasting one of the cleanest and most transparent pitch correction algorithms, and a well-designed interface that allows the most precise editing, Melodyne is a pitch and vocal editing tool that everyone should try.

The perfect tool for pitch correction and vocal tuning, without a doubt this is found in every serious studio. Melodyne comes as both a vst plugin and a standalone application.

Enabling producers to completely reshape sounds in both pitch, time, and harmonics, Melodyne can be used to correct any performance mistakes, or creatively enhance already good sounds.

Product Specifications

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • Standalone

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Transparent Pitch & Time correction
  • Innovative interface
  • Scale and Key Detection
  • Limited to


Available at 3 price points, Essential $99, Assistant $249, Editor $399, and studio $699 there is a version of Melodyne for everybody. This is a vital tool and has both corrective and creative uses. For anyone working with vocals or live instruments, Melodyne is a must-buy!
Even the simplest version of the vst plugin, Essential, has a solid set of features and can make a huge difference to the professionalism of productions.

#14 Izotope Ozone

Izotope Ozone

Ozone is a mastering suite that provides high-quality mastering tools, including eq, compressor, limiter, analysis tools, saturation, mid/side, and more.

This is a go-to tool for producers looking to quickly master tracks with a competitive and polished sound. Assisted by artificial intelligence, the detection mode helps to automatically identify and correct issues, or match the sound of a track to a reference track.

The plugin is used across the industry, by professional producers and mastering engineers worldwide. The analysis tools help take some of the guesswork out of the mastering process and will help you create clear and solid sounding tracks.

Product Specification

  • Mac and Windows, VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU.
  • A suite of tools including

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Top-Quality mastering tool
  • Great preset selection
  • High CPU Usage
  • Limited to mastering & some mixing tasks.


This is a very powerful mastering tool, it makes tracks sound professionally mastered very quickly. The sonic quality is very high and worth buying for anyone who produces and releases their own music. Being able to match the master sound to a reference track is a powerful tool for beginners. 

#15  Omnisphere


Omnisphere could be one of the greatest vst synths yet! Created by Spectrasonics, a renowned instrument specialist brand, Omnisphere packs in over 500 waveforms and 14,000 sounds to inspire and drive music producers.
The state-of-the-art synthesis engine is easily navigated and can be customized for live performance. The deep customization possibilities unlock an infinite amount of sound, with an additional 58 FX units which are flexibly integrated.
It also connects with hardware synths to allow hands-on control of hemispheres parameters.

The full list of features is nearly longer than this article! Exploring this power synth vst plugin will keep artists busy for a long time and will enhance music from all genres.

Product Specifications

  • Over 14,000 sounds
  • up to 20 oscillators per patch
  • Over 500 wavetables + import custom wavetables.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Endless sonic potential
  • great for studio and live settings
  • Huge collection of presets for instant inspiration
  • CPU Intense
  • Takes over 64GB hard drive space


Omnisphere is doubtlessly a top contender in the battle of virtual instruments.
The enormous quantity of incredible sounds makes this superpowered wavetable synthesizer a superb tool for electronic musicians.  

#16 Native Instruments Guitar Rig Pro 6

Guitar Rig Pro 6

For guitarists, this is a dream plugin. You may find yourself never needing to buy an effects pedal or guitar amplifier ever again! Honest. 

Native Instruments Guitar rig is a flexible effects processing environment for guitar and bass. Its modular design allows virtual amps and pedals to be arranged in any way. It opens up a huge amount of creative options for guitarists. Even the simple delay and reverb effects sound great on their own.

It includes multiple delay modes and even the classic sound of a space echo type effect which I love to use on dub guitar tracks. It’s even more flexible than the original unit, with a dual-echo to provide bouncing stereo signals.

Product Specifications

  • Mac Intel Core Duo OS X 10.5 or 10.6
  • Windows 7/8/10
  • VST, AU, AAX.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Guitar tone power house
  • Modular design creates endless choices
  • Expandable
  • Stand alone version
  • You need a guitar.


Easily in the top 5 best plugins for guitarists – from indies to psychedelics to the heaviest of metalheads.
Native instruments guitar rig processes your guitar’s audio signal in a very realistic way. Many of the presets are indistinguishable from recording through real guitar amplifiers. But you have the bonus of a digital workflow.
This helps you find and refine your own unique sound for guitar.

#17 Spitfire Audio Labs – Free

Spitfire Audio Labs

Spitfire Audio produces some of the best vst plugins on the market. For anyone serious about music production, their vst plugins are a must-buy. Labs is their free sampler and is my favorite free vst plugin.
It has a huge library of sounds, from standards like drums, bass, and piano, to quirky and unusual instruments and textures. The interface is simple to navigate so sounds can be found quickly.

Product Specifications

  • Mac Intel Core Duo OS X 10.5 or 10.6 
  • Windows 7/8/10
  • VST, AU, AAX.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Enormous library of free sounds
  • Great quality
  • Easy to use
  • Updated monthly
  • Can’t import own sounds
  • Limited Articulations per instrument


This is one of those plugin instruments that everybody should try. There’s no reason not to. It’s one of the best free sources of sound directly in your DAW.

#18  Serum


Serum is a synthesizer we’ve mentioned before in our best vst for trap beats. It’s a super flexible wavetable synth. It has a polyphonic mode, tonnes of oscillators, envelopes, filters, effects, and racking them in a modern display.

It has internal effects including a bit crusher, ring modulator, two filters, four LFOs, and more making it a beast for sound design. 

Product Specifications

  • Windows 7 SP1, or Mac OS X 10.8 or greater.
  • 64 bit VST2. 4, AU or AAX compatible host software.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Synthesis Powerhouse
  • Huge modulation options
  • Sampling Synthesis mode
  • effects are limited


This synth is a great purchase for anyone interested in electronic sounds, it’s at home in hip hop, trap, techno, EDM, house, and bass music. This is a powerful virtual instrument and a huge synth in plugin form. This is one of the best plugins for synthesis and synth bass. 

#19 Addictive Drums Complete

Addictive Drums Complete

This vst plugin from XLN Audio is the ultimate tool for drum production. Addictive drums feature a huge amount of drum kits and processors for the drum audio signals. 
Addictive drums contain a detailed mixer for handcrafting the microphone balance, convolution reverbs, and effects.

 There is a tonne of expansion packs to find the perfect drum tone.
This plugin sends drum sound straight to your DAW, or speakers when working in standalone mode.

Product Specifications

  • Standalone, VST, AU, AAX
  • Intel Core 2 Duo /+, 4GB RAM minimum
  • Mac: OS X 10.9 or later
  • PC: Win 7/8/10

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • One of the best vst plugins for drums
  • Huge amount of kits and customization
  • Studio Quality drum sounds
  • Limited selection of drums compared to Kontakt


Everybody loves drums, but not everyone has enough room for a drum kit, that’s why we have drum machine vsts like xln addictive drums. This is the next generation of drum machine tools and will help any producer create the perfect drum track for their song with ease. If you need a vst plugin to get those beats pumping, this is a great choice.

#20 Fabfilter Pro-R

Fabfilter Pro-R

This is a tasty reverb plugin from Fabfilter that has a huge amount of entropic potential. The interface allows for both natural and abstract reverb creation. Having good reverb plugins to hand is essential in any production environment.
Pro-R applies a musical approach to the interface, with non-technical descriptions like Character, Brightness, Distance, to help non-experts quickly get to grips with the reverb.

Product Specifications

  • VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native, and AudioSuite formats.
  • Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista
  • macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only)

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Unique Reverb Plugin
  • Quick, easy to understand
  • Spectrum analyzer to help crafting
  • high CPU usage.


This is a cracking vst plugin for reverb. Few reverb plugins come close in terms of flexibility, usability, and value for money. Fabfilter Pro-R is a deep-reverb plugin that any serious producer should consider bagging

Buying Guide

What to look for when buying this type of product

Several sections talking about Features, Problems, Use Cases, etc.


What are the best VST plugins?

The best VST for sampling is probably Kontakt, it has all the tools and features, and the insane amount of expansion packs opens a portal to an infinite dimension of sound creation. The sound design and customization options allow you to shape and layer sounds efficiently and precisely.
For synth vsts with a vintage sound, the Arturia V collection is unbeatable. It’s a time machine into the nostalgic sounds of the past, all the little quirks and nuances of historic synthesizers have been digitized for your musical pleasure. 
For a more modern take on synthesis, Serum or Omnisphere are top contenders. They can produce sounds for many styles of contemporary music and are used by big names in the music production scene. 
For mixing plugins, arguably Universal Audio are the best, they make very high-quality analog emulation, and their DSP hardware can process at the input signal, a unique and powerful feature.
The issue with UAD is that their plugins only run on their DSP chips, so external hardware is required. UAD is the highest quality but highest price.

What VST plugins and VST instruments do professionals use?

Professionals go to many brands for their plugins, there are some “blue-chip” names like SSL, Universal Audio, Waves, Izotope, Native Instruments, whose plugins have been used and loved across the board.
Whilst bigger studios tend to rely on the industry names, many producers (and studios) have been known to use all kinds of plugins, and experiment with any plugin no matter how random or poorly made it is. 
Plugins are just a tool for design, like a paintbrush. Most plugins can achieve similar results, but some are made in a way to save time.

Is Serum The Best VST?

It depends on the use case, in terms of synthesizers, Serum is a serious contender. It’s packed full of features at a good price, making it one of the best synthesizer VSTs around.
However, for other tasks like mixing and mastering, Serum won’t get very far. These tasks usually require specialized plugins.

What makes serum so good?

Several features make Serum such a great synthesizer. One being its simplicity yet flexibility, it has a streamlined interface, but still packs in a huge amount of customization and tweakability. 


We chose Native Instruments Kontakt as our best plugin.

Kontakt can achieve almost anything that other plugins on this can. It can be used to perform any kind of instrument or sound. It is a powerful sound design tool, with endless modulation and transformation possibilities. You will be able to find any sound or instrument or sample themes in the vast amount of expansion packs. If you only own one plugin, this should be it.
You can buy Kontakt from the Native instruments website, alternatively, try out their free version Kontakt Player.

Kontact Player