vst plugins for beginners

Top 10 Music Production VST Plugins for Beginners

Music production can be divided into a musical process and a technical process, at which writing melodic arrangement, vocal lines, and recording instruments are part of the musical process while mixing, mastering, and sound design are part of the technical process. All of these steps to create a full composition can be hard to get under control especially when you are in the beginning stages of your music production career. Having the right production tools are necessary, and to assist you in the early stages of your music production journey we have listed the top 10 music production VST plugins for beginners down below.


Top 10 Music Production VST Plugins for Beginners


  1. Xfer Serum
  2. Plugin Boutique Scaler 2
  3. reFX Nexus 4
  4. Baby Audio Spaced Out
  5. FabFilter Pro Q-3
  6. Spitfire Audio – Labs
  7. Xfer OTT
  8. Slate Digital Fresh Air 
  9. Voxengo SPAN Plus 
  10. DAW Stock Plugins


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1. Xfer Serum

Serum is an advanced wavetable synthesizer developed by Steve Duda, co-partner of Deadmau5 in plugin manufacturing company Xfer. Steve developed this synthesizer to break the boundaries and to create every sound possible. Its ultra-clean oscillators, wavetable manipulators, built-in suite effects, and over 450 presets will create every sound such as dreamy pads, aggressive synths, gritty basses, punchy kicks, groovy percussions, and organic textures. Serum has a very simple GUI and there are endless tutorials on youtube to help you in understanding the synth thus making it the #1 synth plugin for beginners.



2. Plugin Boutique Scaler 2

This music theory workstation by Plugin Boutique will help you creating the perfect melody and chords. No mistakes will be made as Scaler 2 has a built-in key and scale detection program, sequence, and an arpeggiator. Be ready to make chords like Carl Cox, MJ Cole, and The Temper Trap by using over 200 artist chord sets. At the early stages, a majority of the music producers don’t have in depth music theory knowledge and that’s where Scaler 2 steps in. With this plugin you will be able to create melodic arrangements seamlessly.




3. Waves Vocal Rider

Waves Vocal Rider is a software plugin that automatically adjusts the level of a vocal track in real-time. It uses a unique level-riding algorithm to analyze the input signal and adjust the gain accordingly, allowing the vocal to sit consistently in the mix without the need for manual riding of faders. Vocal Rider also features a built-in de-esser and a high-pass filter to further enhance the sound of the vocals. It is a very useful tool for music producers and engineers looking to save time and achieve a polished, professional sound.



4.Baby Audio Spaced Out

A 16-step delay sequencer, echoes, space module to bend space and time, central mixer, and 125 presets are combined while creating this plugin. Every function on Spaced Out can be used for either extreme or subtle settings to create your own space. It has a clear layout to improve your workflow while using it. The plugin glues together 2 of the most important effects namely reverb and delay and also provides you the option to sidechain the wet signal with the dry. Definitely one of the top music production plugins for beginners.



5.FabFilter Pro Q-3

It’s undeniable that a majority of producers out there are using FabFilter Pro Q-3. This EQ contains a large visual spectrum, mixing & mastering features for surgical or broad adjustments, up to 9 filter types and many more features for you to control every detail of the incoming signal. Its unrivalled sound and workflow can’t be found in other EQ’s. At the beginning stages it’s quite useful if you can monitor your sound visually and see how any of the changes you make affects the frequency spectrum. This is where Pro Q-3 stands out making it one of the best music production plugins out there.



6. Spitfire Audio – Labs [Free Plugin] 

Spitfire Labs contains the best free software instruments made by world-class musicians and sampling experts. Get a hold of the most organic, unique, and impressive instruments ranging from strings, guitars, and synths to brasses, drums, and vocals. Instrument plugins usually come at a steep price tag and at the beginning of your music production journey you wouldn’t want to end up spending too much money on tools. The quality of the instruments offered is quite good and even better than some of the paid alternatives in the market.



7. Xfer OTT [Free Plugin] 

This free re-creation of a popular aggressive multiband upwards & downwards compressor has been used by a large number of music producers out there. The included depth, time, in gain, and out gain knobs are perfectly crafted to find the right settings for your sounds. Xfer OTT contains 3 bands to compress the high end, mid, and low end upwards or downwards. Check out the plugin in action down below.



8.Slate Digital Fresh Air [Free Plugin] 

This dynamic high-frequency processor will add presence, air, and clarity to any sound with just 2 knobs. Add harmonics by using the mid and high air buttons separately or by linking them together. Use Fresh air to brighten up your vocals, synths, or drums. Works quite good on pretty much any use case. Being a free plugin, makes it a must have for the beginners.



9. Voxengo SPAN Plus 

Voxengo SPAN is a real-time audio spectrum analyzer, specially developed to analyze either broad or small changes of the incoming signal. Use features like the integrated volume, correlation meter, volume out, and the frequency meter to get full control over your mix and master. You can use this plugin to reference your tracks with others and see what’s lacking in your mix.



10. DAW Stock Plugins

Any of the widely known DAWs such as FL Studio, Ableton, Studio One, Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, etc. have a good number of stock plugins. Beginners often tend to misinterpret the stock plugins as inferior to other premium options available on the market however these stock plugins are as good as any of the premium ones. It’s important for you to figure out your DAW and it’s stock plugins in depth before jumping on spending money on packs and plugins.


Read the next article: List of plugins currently used by Subtronics

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Hemant has been actively involved in the dance music industry with over 3 years of experience. Currently working as a Project Manager and heading the We Rave You Tech division. Get in touch via email.

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