The Best Free Plug-ins for Ableton Live 11 2024

February 15, 2024
6 mins read

The world of plug-ins is vast, with various VSTs, effects, and more. Filtering through them can be a headache, especially for those looking for free materials. Plug-ins can be expensive; however, plenty of free plug-ins perform just as well as their paid competitors. Here’s a list of reputable plug-ins compatible with Ableton Live 11.


State Machine BitFlip

There’s nothing more nostalgic and fun than the classic gaming 8-bit sounds. Well, if you are an aspiring game composer who needs these retro sounds, State Machine BitFlip by Cradle is a newly released plug-in that allows you to explore the authentic sounds of retro gaming and vintage computers.

This completely free plug-in packs a lot of punch with great influence from the chiptune and game OSTs, as well as the genres of grime and EDM. The 8-bit sounds can add a retro texture to animate your projects further.

BitFlip includes 40 presets in addition to 20 source sounds to blend that can be configured to your liking, ranging from playful synths to luscious soundscapes. On top of that, BitFlip has an easy-to-use MIDI effects system, including an arpeggiator, various scale and chord configurations, EQ, bit crusher, and more! As a bonus, the plug-in has an 8-bit design to get you into the retro mood.


Valhalla Supermassive

For those who need unique, versatile, and MASSIVE reverbs and delays, Valhalla Supermassive is a staple free plug-in that is capable of producing rich clouds of reverbs and eccentric delays to level up your sound design.

With a straightforward interface to navigate around and highly customizable, Supermassive will escalate the sound field within your compositions and can make anything sound expansive. With 20 reverb and delay modes, from varying attack, decay speeds, and echo densities, each has a distinct character that can be adjusted to your taste. This is also an excellent plug-in for sound design purposes such as resampling audio, making long reverb sweeps to build tension, or adding a sparkling touch to your sounds.

It’s free to download, just as good if not better than the paid reverbs and delays, and is highly regarded by audio and music production experts.


Native Instruments Komplete Start

Native Instruments is known for its extensive collections of high-quality virtual instruments and effects for music producers and film composers. If you don’t fancy splashing the cash or don’t have the available budget to hand, Komplete Start is a completely free set of instruments and effects to kickstart your audio and musical journey.

Included in this set are a bunch of instruments from synths, drum kits, and acoustic instruments from an Irish harp to a traditional Chinese hammered dulcimer instrument. Effects plug-ins include the reputable iZotope Ozone 11 EQ, a great alternative to the higher-end EQs on the market, reverb and delay, compression, guitar amp emulation, and a vinyl effect.

For what it’s worth, you get a lot of tools for zero cost. This is a perfect choice for beginner composers and producers. The interface is easy to navigate, and there are a plethora of presets, ideal for those who are just starting. Furthermore, you can customize the sound by adjusting the parameters. All you need to download Komplete Start is Native Access 2, which is also free.


Spitfire LABS

Spitfire is well-recognised in the plug-in industry with their hyper-realistic orchestral libraries and professional film-scoring VSTs. However, they are known for their hefty price tags. But every cloud has its silver lining, and Spitfire has a brilliant plug-in called LABS, which is completely free with various instrumentations, soundscapes, and sound effects available.

From orchestral strings and choirs to vintage synths and distinctive soundscape textures, Spitfire LABS is not only excellent but also an ideal beginner-friendly plug-in.

LABS is perfect for all kinds of composing – from solo piano to large-scale film score tracks. In addition to acoustic instrumental sounds, LABS has it all if you are into soundscape composition. Its interface is straightforward and minimal, which can be very helpful for beginner producers who don’t want to be hounded with a million buttons and faders. The sounds are of high quality, all made by expert sound designers and composers. Furthermore, the LABS library is still continuously expanding, with new instruments being released.


Orchestral Tools Spindle Piano

Orchestral Tools Spindle Piano is a beautiful, intimate, and soft-sounding piano, and it’s entirely free. Many realistically sounding pianos will likely have a price tag attached to them, but Spindle Piano is undoubtedly just as good.

Known for its dampened sound, Spindle Piano brings realism and emotions to your creations. The piano is a potent instrument widely used in film scoring. It can certainly pull at the heartstrings with its intimate and delicate sound. Finding a good piano sometimes requires paying for high quality. However, Spindle will do just the trick without burning any money.

You only need to download SINE player, which is also free, and you can use Spindle Piano. Furthermore, SINE player comes with other free instruments, from jazz flutes and acoustic guitars to big band horns. Take a look!


Integraudio | Sixth Sample Deelay

For those who like to get creative and experimental with delays, Sixth Sample and Integraudio collaborated to create this fantastic free plug-in called Deelay to add extra character to your sounds.

While it’s primarily a delay, it also can create reverbs from diffusion parameters and 11 types of distortions to craft further your own individual sound with unique effects.

With five modes of delay operation and 100 factory presets, there are plenty of options to explore and customize. Furthermore, it has an A/B switch, allowing you to switch between two delay configurations. You can also randomize the interface, creating unexpected sounds.

This Deelay is hugely underrated and can create some amazing and extraordinary effects, and it’s free!


PaulXStretch

Need a quick and easy time-stretching plug-in? PaulXStretch does just the trick. As it says on the tin, PaulXStretch is an extreme time-stretcher to transform your sounds and is highly favorable to ambient producers and sound designers.

This plug-in has been around for a hot minute, however many still use this plug-in to this day as it has its valuable uses. Time stretching uses granular technology, but it’s really as simple as selecting your sample file and adjusting the parameters to your needs. This plug-in has a variety of parameters, including stretch amount, harmonics, frequency shift, filters, and a compressor. This is a great tool if you want to resample sounds to act as a foundation to your ambient soundscape, or you want to produce a slowed-down version of a track to accompany your project, this free plug-in is a great addition to your effects bank.


Vital Audio – Synthesizer

Vital is a free visual wavetable synthesizer that stretches sound design and music-making boundaries. From spectral waveping to using your own samples to create a synth, Vital is hands down a “vital” piece of gear to have.

Built from three wavetable oscillators and a sample section for added noise texture. It also can create wavetables out of your samples to further grow your sound palette.

From the visual aspect of this VST, you can see how each parameter interacts, assigning modulations across the board to your liking with a fast drag-and-drop workflow. With highly customizable tools like LFO, you can experiment and discover a whole world of sounds. Furthermore, it’s free, and you are guaranteed a high-quality and feature-rich experience.

The free version has 75 presets and 25 wavetables to use and is an easy wavetable to get to grips with. Compared to its paid competitors, it does the job pretty darn well without having to shed any money!


iZotope Ozone Imager

Delving into the mixing and mastering side of audio, a great free plug-in that is a valuable tool is iZotope’s Ozone Imager. With this plug-in, you can reduce or expand the stereo width on individual tracks or the entire master track.

Mixing and mastering are essential parts of audio and music production because tracks need to be suitable for different types of playback. Ensuring sufficient room in your mix allows instruments to stand out and breathe through the combination easily and avoids any muddiness in the overall mix.

Features included in Ozone are turning mono audio to stereo without adding reverb or doubling. Ozone can also control the width of specific frequency bands, which may be helpful in cases of widening higher frequencies and narrowing lower frequencies. Furthermore, Ozone is a visual imager, making the process more immersive. It has three vectorscope meters with resizable windows to help check the stereo width.


Youlean Loudness Meter

Producing music requires a meticulous process, including mastering the track to ensure it’s at a suitable volume to be played among different sound systems such as TV or streaming platforms. Youlean Loudness Meter is a free plug-in that measures the perceived loudness of your audio, allowing the graphs to pinpoint problematic areas within your mix.

This plug-in uses LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) to measure loudness and normalize audio for broadcast systems in cinema, TV, radio, and live streaming. Each has specific standards for such integrated loudness; thus, having this plug-in will enable you to ensure your mix is at a suitable level.

Youlean Loudness Meter has presets configured to what medium you are working in and a custom option. Furthermore, it has A/B states to compare two different measurements.


In conclusion, these free plug-ins make music production more accessible and cost-effective. You can elevate your sound to new heights with high-quality plug-ins without breaking the bank. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned expert, these plug-ins have something to offer. So, try them out and see how they can enhance your music production process.


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Zoe Sones

Zoe Sones, a UK-based composer, specializes in acoustic contemporary classical and ambient electronic music. She explores various textures and timbres from instruments and nature, creating haunting electronic drones and harmonically rich chords.