The never-ending quest for the best mixing and mastering plugins is back again, only this time we’re searching through the freebies. We scouted through many polls and forums to look for what the audio engineering community has to say about freeware mixing and mastering plugins. So here is our top 10 list of the best and brightest freeware mixing and mastering plugins in no particular order.
One of the most important aspects of proper mixing and mastering is monitoring. Both audible and visual. This is where Loudness Meter 2 by Youlean comes in to play. This is a freeware loudness metering plugin featuring four metering modes (LUFS, LRA, DR and true peak). It is a must-have visual tool for every producer and mixing engineer on a budget as it will help determine the proper amount of loudness without sacrificing the sound quality and dynamic range of the track. Compared to V1, it has a better-looking GUI which is resizable with reduced CPU usage and is more stable than the previous one.
Some mixes require a bit of balancing the information spread between the channels, and Stereo Tool v3 is prefect for this application. It includes panning controls for the left and right channels, a vector scope display, global stereo width and pan controls, PPM Input and Output meters, a phase correlation meter, and a variety of other useful features.
If the content you’ve been delivered has balance and phase issues, this is an excellent free plugin.