Free plugins are one of the best things about being a producer in 2021. Quality music production tools have never been more accessible for the average musician. But with more freeware plugins showing up on the scene every day, knowing which ones are worth your time isn’t easy. That’s why we’re bringing you our top picks for the most useful and creative free music software every month.

In this edition—a classic phaser, game-changing DAW video chat, lofi bitcrushing and more.

Free plugins are getting better and better—the level of quality from developers like Blue Audio and Analog Obsession is astounding.

Today we’re covering the basics and unpacking some super user-friendly plugins that’ll make your mixing workflow that much smoother.

Here are the plugins we loved most in November.

Hot tip: Get the best monthly digest of free plugins directly in your inbox with the LANDR Newsletter

It’s no secret that we’re fans of Analog Obsession over here.

We’ve covered many of their free plugins in our past articles and it seems like every time we write this monthly article, they’ve got another brand new free plugin to talk about.

This time around it’s a jack-of-all-trades tool called ReLife that does what it says on the tin—it’ll give some added life to any flat or boring audio.

ReLife comes with five knobs—input, output, mix and then two oddly titled knobs “shape” and “life”.

The “shape” knob will add a boost to some pre-defined EQ bands that Analog Obsession has carefully selected.

The “life” knob seems to add life to whatever’s coming through the input—likely this involves some combination of compression and oversampling.

In any case, if something in your mix is sounding flat, muddy or lifeless—give ReLife a try.

Working over video remotely became super important in 2020—and it clearly will be going forward.

Working over video remotely became super important in 2020.

LANDR Sessions is the video chat designed for musicians—its game-changing DAW-based plugin makes sending audio directly from your DAW to your video conference super easy.

Plus it’s the only video chat that prioritizes audio over video, so everyone can hear the subtleties in your mix or performance.

LANDR Sessions is free to start using, and right now its premium version that comes with unlimited video streaming is on sale as part of LANDR’s Black Friday sale.

Try LANDR Sessions

Here’s a recreation of the classic MXR Phase 90 pedal that is a must-have in your guitar plugin library if you don’t have one already.

Since 1974 the MXR Phase 90 has been used to add swirling effects to so much iconic music.

Since 1974 the MXR Phase 90 has been used to add swirling effects to so much iconic music—including Eddie Van Halen.

This plugin re-creates classic phaser effect and will add a tasteful amount of swirl to your instruments—sounds great on electric piano, synths, keys and of course guitar.

Lofi music always demands a crushed, destroyed and glitchy sound.

That’s why this bitcrusher plugin gets its namesake from the increasingly popular genre.

Lofi music always demands a crushed, destroyed and glitchy sound.

Use this plugin to add distortion and crunch to your instruments, to give them that airy and thin sound that lofi producers love.

It’ll work especially well on keys, guitar and synths!

By the way, Blue Lab’s entire plugin suite is now free, so check out the other plugins they have in their bundle–we’ll certainly cover more in the future here too!

Reverb rocks. It’s probably one of the most important effects out there since it makes things sound huge and will add pleasing ambience to any mix.

Not all reverbs are made equal either—one reverb plugin will sound completely different from another so it’s important to have a handful to choose from in your plugins folder.

Halls of Fame 3 is a great convolution reverb plugin that comes with recreations of 13 legendary hardware reverbs including spring, plate and algorithmic units.

It’s an awesome free offering that ups your reverb arsenal with classic hardware recreations.

Audio LANDR