Discover 10 amazing free mastering plugins

Free mastering plugins

In this post I want to show you some of the best free mastering plugins that sometimes use in my mastering projects. There are many free plugins in the market, but here I describe the ones that I have tried and use in many jobs. Not all plugins are suitable for mastering.

Obviously, a professional master made with mastering hardware will always have more impact and quality than using only plugins, but a very decent result can be achieved.

On the other hand, if they are combined with mastering hardware for slight corrections or to give the last touch to the master, it is almost perfect. Sometimes you can retouch before going out to the mastering rack and sometimes after recording the master to give the final brushstroke. It always depends on the production or track.

These are my best free plugins for mastering:

FerricDTS free mastering plugin

VST

Very musical tape emulator. I love this plugin to put the finishing touch on many masters. I only apply a subtle touch after making the hardware masters, 0.1% dynamics, and sometimes some distortion to leave the track very powerful. The sidechain filter can also work positively. It is often the icing on the cake. On the negative side, it is only for PC.

This is one of my favorite free mastering plugins.

TDR Kotelnikov free mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

Excellent mastering compressor for both mix and master. It works very well in electronic music by tightening the frequencies and giving punch to the mix, it also has a subtle EQ that works to add or subtract a bit the tone of the final master. The compressor can be aggressive or subtle by means of parallel compression. I usually insert it with soft compression.

Elysia niveau filter mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

This plugin is great for giving a slight finishing touch after hardware mastering, I usually just use a very subtle touch and it gives that final point of finished professional production. It works like a band with a medium Q, you select the area to be treated to add or subtract. This plugin adds musicality.

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

Excellent plugin to give harmonics and fatten the sound. Personally, I think that at the mastering level you have to use it very subtly.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, it depends on the track and musical style. Still, it is a free plugin to take it into account. For mixes, it works very well.

Slate Digital Revival free mastering tool
Slate Digital Fresh Air mastering tool

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

With this plugin you can add “air” to a track, enhancing the high and mid frequencies, the plugin is quite clean. Sometimes it works very well depending on the track. You have to be careful and check how it affects the mid area. Ideal to give a clean shine to the master track.

TDRNova free mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

Dynamic equalizer which is ideal for acting only on specific frequencies, in a specific range. Imagine that you have a track and at minute 1:00 a Hit Hat begins to sound with a lot of volume in the mix, or perhaps with a somewhat annoying frequency, then with NOVA we could adjust it so that from a specific frequency and a number of db´s the equalizer starts to act cutting for example, in the 9Khz zone, 2db´s. To soften sibilance it is also a good option . I use it whenever need dynamic equalization.

Klanghelm MJUC JR variable-mu free plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

Variable-mu mastering compressor to add color and weight. It can act smoothly or print a big punch. With this type of compressor, you can add a lot of thickness, sometimes it works, it depends on the track. I normally leave the compressor in bypass since it is slow and personally it does not work for me, the effect of compression is noticeable, simply by adding a little gain the plugin already provides that Vari Mu effect. I use it on specific occasions. It can be a very good tool for mixing.

Youlean Loudness Meter free mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

An essential tool for mastering work and not crossing the red line. This Loudness meter includes several metric scales: LUFS, LKFS, and several preset adapted according to the product: music, film, TV. The premium version offers you all kinds of streaming settings. Loudness for Youtube, Spotify, etc. TBProAudio dpMeter5 is another very good free option to control loudness.

Voxengo msed free mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

This plugin can be used for Middle and Side techniques. The plugin works quite well, you can enlarge the “Sides”, lower or raise the volume in Mid or Sides. Very useful in mastering when it is needed and imprive the stereo image. You also have to be careful because if you use it in a bad way it can affect the balance of the mixture.

Voxengo OldSkoolVerb free mastering plugin

AU, AAX, VST2, VST3

The Voxengo reverb works quite well for mastering, it is quite transparent and applied correctly it can enhance a song without losing definition. Remember to be careful when putting reverb on a master. Less is more.

Conclusion

With these free mastering plugins, you will be able to make quite decent results if the mixed track has a good quality. You can also combine them with your favorite plugins and test what happens.

I hope they serve you and remember that if you need a professional mastering do not hesitate to contact me.

By the way, if you are using a free plugin and you consider that it has mastering quality, I encourage you to leave it in the comments.

Maybe this post may interest you in, how to master a song professionally.

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