Audio Plugin List

elysianiveau filter from Plugin Alliance

elysianiveau filter

Plugin Alliance is responsible for four of the free downloads on this list. The first, elysia’sniveau filter, may be one of the simplest and most powerful free plugins around.

This EQ, which is culled from the innovative elysiampressor, is essentially a semi-parametric Baxandall filter. In other words: a high-octane take on the classic hi-fi “tone” control.

The niveau filter is excellent for making broad, sweeping changes of EQ that still sound entirely natural. This unique filter allows you to select a center frequency, and then simultaneously raise bass and lower treble above and below that point – or vice-versa. In practice, this EQ can lead to subtly or radically new frequency curves, without some of the artifacts of a traditional parametric. It may be free, but the niveau filter can be extremely useful.

Brainworxbx_cleansweep v2 from Plugin Alliance

Another entry from Plugin Alliance, the brainworxbx_cleansweep v2 is a simple hi-pass and lo-pass filter combo. Technically, it doesn’t do anything to the sound that Pro Tools’ built-in equalizer plugin can’t do. Instead, what makes this free tool so useful is its unique joystick control that encourages creative and decisive strokes.

This simple and straightforward GUI also allows easy automation for time-based filter effects. Like the niveau filter, cleansweep is a simple, straightforward tool that’s surprisingly useful for reshaping sounds with elegance and ease.

Frohmage by Ohm Force

Ohm Force Frohmage

Frohmage is a filter of a different variety. This free plugin from Ohm Force has less to do with the fairly transparent EQ plugins already built in to Pro Tools, and  a whole lot more in common with the dramatic resonance filters you might find on a classic analog synthesizer.

This is a full-featured resonant low-pass filter that allows you to select your cutoff points by frequency or by musical note, and that offers detailed MIDI control. It can even add distortion and delay to each band, making the Frohmage an efficient and inspiring one-stop sound mangler.

Ohm Force warns that some users have reported issues with Pro Tools 10, but on my PT10 system, so far, so good.


The DDMF ColourEQ is a pretty straightforward parametric EQ. At first glance, it’s hard to tell why it would be worth a download, what with the flexibility of Pro Tools own EQIII, but DDMF has found reason to brag:

“Not just another EQ,” the company’s marketing materials relay, “With its custom-made 4th order IIR filter, ColourEQ sounds unlike any other EQ you have ever come across. It comes with five bands of  “super parametric” peaking filters, which means that there is one more parameter in addition to the traditional gain/width/frequency set that can influence the curve shape. These shapes cannot be reproduced by ordinary IIR equalizers.”

Sounds fancy, but I have not been able to try ColourEQmyself as it is not yet compatible with Pro Tools 10. If you have an older system, give it a shot and let us know what you think.

North Pole by Prosoniq

Prosoniq’s North Pole is a free 4-band resonance filter with a built-in delay. It hasn’t been updated since 2011 and may not work for PT 10 users, but for those with older versions of the program, it’s worth a try.

SPL Free Ranger from Plugin Alliance

The third entry from Plugin Alliance is a great sounding, easy-to-use 8-band graphic EQ. The catch? Only 4 of those bands are enabled: 40 Hz, 150 Hz, 1.8 kHz and 16 kHz.

It may not be as powerful as the first two PA plugins on this list, but the two low frequency bands on the FreeRanger can be very helpful in sorting out issues among competing bass instruments, and the upper bands sound about as good when boosting as any EQ can.


Saturation Knob by Softube

Softube’s Saturation Knob is easily one of the coolest saturators I’ve tried, and it’s free. Like all of Softube’s tools, Saturation Knob has a distinctive, convincingly analog character, a beautiful GUI, and is endlessly fun to use.

This simple and straightforward free plugin sounds full, rich and real at subtle settings. When it’s cranked up loud, Saturation Knob distorts like a real electrical circuit does – with squishy, ugly, satisfying grit. In addition to the eponymous knob, a single switch changes between three flavors of saturation. I’m a big fan of the “Keep Low” setting.

This is one of the newest freebies for PT, and it is AAX only. Pro Tools 10 users rejoice.

Bitter Sweet II by Flux

Flux’s Bitter Sweet II is a transient-designer type of plugin, controlled by a single all-purpose knob. At its best on percussion instruments, Bitter Sweet allows you to enhance transients, or to soften them, helping you to shape the attack characteristics of drums and other instruments without the artifacts or dynamic-range squeeze of a compressor.

Vinyl by iZotope

iZotope Vinyl

iZotope’s Vinyl is a classic freebie that has been around for years. To iZotope’s credit, they have continuously updated it, and I’m happy to report that it works flawlessly for me on  Pro Tools 10.

This plugin models the natural degradation and quirky EQ curves of real records, and you might liken it to an audio version of Instagram.

In the “1990s” settings, the affects are subtle yet meaningful, but crank that dial down to the “1970s” or below, and you can reshape your sounds and make your tracks lo-fi in a natural and organic-sounding way. You can even add mechanical noise, dust and record scratches if you’re so inclined.

Professional sound mixer

Life can be good and life can be very stressful. As long as you are in the drivers’ seat you are in control. Try to upgrade that drivers’ seat and try getting a bigger car. That’s what I’m doing because I’m passionate about what I do and have set my goals big and high.

I travel around from one country to another. I work in one and hope I can hop on to the next one in a short amount of time. I have arranged everything myself, as I want to be the driver and don’t want to be dependent on others, that would make you stupid. Try to do research and get the most important things to do first. For example you have to be insured. Especially as an expat and need to find a good international health insurance if you want to travel to other countries. Second, you are now driving this car but in most cases people started riding a bike or better yet, just walking.

Walk around, and learn how it goes, what are you lacking and what are you good at. Don’t take no for an answer. What you are lacking, you need to get this filled up with something else. For example find the right people around you to help you with this.

Good luck.

Moving around

This is my calling card. I am in and I am going professional. It’s just been new year and the good news has entered my ears. I’m going to become a world traveling sound mixer. This is great news.

Don’t worry, I’m still doing my research on the best audio plugins which I will be posting soon. This will be a short one, as I need to prepare a lot.

Next post: Driver’s seat! You are in control.