The Big List of Free Pro Tools Plugins

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Try it on vocals, guitar amps, drums and all manner of stringed instruments. It may not suitable for every track, but rest assured, this free plugin provides an odd and memorable sound that’s occasionally the perfect touch. PianoVerb is another one of those classic freebies that has stood the test of time, and is still working seamlessly right up to Pro Tools version

Valhalla FreqEcho by Valhalla DSP

FreqEcho Free

Valhalla’s FreqEcho is a simple, clean sounding delay with one big bonus feature: An oversized “Shift” knob sits smack in the middle of the plugin’s 8-bit inspired GUI, which allows FreqEcho to deliver sounds that would be impossible with other delays.

The unusual “Shift” knob allows you to detune the pitch of the delay. This leads to fascinating sounds in and of itself, but things really get interesting when you let the FreqEcho feedback into itself, so that the pitch of each repeat gets further and further from your starting point.

I’ve enjoyed this plugin in past versions of Pro Tools, but at the current moment, I’ve had no luck getting it to run on PT10.

Delay Trio by Soundhack

Three bare-bones GUIs. 3 inspiring, surprising, sometimes bewildering delays. Definitely worth a download. The possibilities are boundless.

DUY Z-Room

Z-Room seems to be a friendly and effective little reverb. But you’ll have to let me know how it sounds, as it is not yet compatible with Pro Tools 10.

AMP SIMULATORS

Amplitube Custom Shop by IK Multimedia

The free version of Amplitube 3 comes with two amp models: one that has a retro Fender vibe, and one that’s significantly more modern and high-gain.

AmpLion effects pedals

The free version is not a full-featured amp simulator by any stretch, but it’s handy to have around, and both models sound fairly good. It even has a built-in tremolo. Not bad at all for $0. And if you like it, individual add-ons are available for purchase that promise to make this free and simple plugin an inexpensive and flexible one.

AmpLion by Audiffex

The light version of ampLion is free for RTAS users. It’s a bit limited and the GUI isn’t the most elegant I’ve ever used, but hey – Free.

Studio Devil British Valve Custom

Want a simple Marshall stack emulator for Pro Tools and want it to be free? Bam. Done.

SAMPLERS & INSTRUMENTS

Sample Tank Free by IK Multimedia

Hey look, a free sampler! For Pro Tools! Load in your own sounds and enjoy. If you need some samples, the people at IK Multimedia may know where you can purchase a few good libraries…

SymptohmPE by Ohm Force

THIS LOOKS COOL. I have not really tried it much yet. Let me know how it works for you. If it turns out to be half as charming as Frohmage, it’s certainly worth a whirl.

Drum Core Free from Sonoma Wireworks

The drum sampler is free, the extra samples aren’t. Still, a valuable product for the right type of person.

METERING & MASTER FADER TOOLS

brainworx bx_solo by Plugin Alliance

Brainworx’s bx_solo does a very interesting thing: It allows you to solo just the sides or just the center of your stereo image. You can also solo left and right individually, fold mixes down to mono with the turn of a knob, or even expand the width of your stereo field by up to 400%. You may not use it every day, but I can’t think of a good reason not to download this compact and compelling little tool.

Stereo Tool by Flux

A free, full-featured stereo metering and manipulation tool. Definitely worth a download, even if you only need it for the phase vector scope.

PSP VintageMeter

VintageMeter by PSP

Want vintage-style VU meters for Pro Tools? Well here they are. PSP’s VintageMeter may seem a little redundant at first glance (what with Pro Tools’ built-in BF Meter and all) but it’s certainly more flexible than the stock tool.

Free G by Sonalksis

I’m not exactly certain that I’ve discovered the value of this freebie yet, but who am I to judge? You want a big honkin’ master fader GUI? You got one.

FREE BUNDLES

Freeware Plug-ins Pack II by Blue Cat

A free chorus, flanger, phaser, EQ, “gain suite” and – perhaps most importantly – a simple and effective frequency analyzer. Worth a download even for that plugin alone. And if you want something more robust, Blue Cat makes some of the most full-featured frequency analyzers known to man.

SoundHack’s +compand GUI

Freesound Bundle by Soundhack

Delay Trio, which we mentioned earlier in this list, isn’t the only complementary set of plugins from Soundhack.

The Freesound Bundle offers another suite of surprisingly useful no-cost tools. +compand is a compressor/expander plugin, +decimate reduces bit depth and sample rate to creative effect,  +matrix is a free mid-side encoder/decoder, and +phasescope is a exactly what it sounds like.

Hofa 4U

Hofa offers three unconventional metering tools including ProjectTime, “a simple plugin that shows you the time which has passed during a DAW project.” They mean that in the largest sense: you can use ProjectTime to track how long – in cumulative hours, minutes or days – you’ve had your project open.

ODDS & ENDS

MuteTone for Mac by Tritone Digital

Here’s one that may or may not be useful to you. According to the company:

“MuteTone is a freeware utility plugin designed to work around the inability to shut off input monitoring in Pro Tools. It has no sound on its own. It just cuts the input signal whenever Pro Tools is recording, allowing you to use your external console, or soundcard mixer for live monitoring.”

That’s all we’ve got for today. If you hear of any new ones (or want to share your own compatibility hiccups or victories) the comments section lies below.

Justin Colletti is a Brooklyn recording engineer and studio journalist. He is a regular contributor to SonicScoop and edits the music blog Trust Me, I’m A Scientist.

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22 Comments on The Big List of Free Pro Tools Plugins

  1. samth3man
    September 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm (5 years ago)

    This is a pretty complete list! Some of them I already had and some I didn’t. Another GREAT one that isn’t on the list is Native Instruments Komplete 8 Players!

    ProTools users needed a list like this!

  2. piero
    January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm (5 years ago)

    great , thanks

  3. Will
    February 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to compile and share this list!

  4. Scottie Walker
    August 27, 2013 at 7:42 am (4 years ago)

    As for meters, I cannot recommend the SPAN by Voxengo highly enough. I haven’t even used the new version with multichannel support, but the older version is my favorite meter that I have used. The way the frequencies are plotted is, for me, the most intuitive relationship to the sound. http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/

    And the Schwa Schope http://www.stillwellaudio.com/plugins/schwa-plugins/schope/ is not truly free, but well worth it, as with all the Stillwell and Scwa plugins.

  5. SFCaliSwagBayArea415
    July 17, 2014 at 11:04 pm (4 years ago)

    can somebody help me!!! im trying to get 808s in protools 8

  6. Loss Control Radio
    February 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm (3 years ago)

    The hardest turntable mix show on the goddamn planet…
    Losscontrolradio.com

  7. Musistic
    October 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Great list even a few years later! We will definitely add this to our social media rotation to share with our users. Thanks for sharing.
    Musistic Team
    musistic.com