Free VST for all? Wait a minute.

Yes, today we are talking about the little helpers that do nearly everything for you. No, we are not speaking about your personal djinn, in fact we are in the world of music, sounds and effects.

I really do appreciate the altruistic inhibition of all the people out there who program the most awesome musical instruments and fx for free. If you have a look at the usual suspect websites you find tons and tons of all kind of material. And if you follow this for some time you will notice that some of the programmers have been going on for years and years. For example the site KVR does programming contests on a more or less regular annual basis and, yes you guessed, often the same names appear again and again. Respect!

Now,  in that contest the price money is collected. Everybody is asked to donate whatever they think is right. The problem is, not too many people do that. Yes, I know, in the end there is about a thousand bucks or even two – but to me it is more a joke than a real price.

Have you ever thought how many hours of design, thinking, programming, testing and developing go into one single instrument or effect? And how little positive feedback these people get? Many of them even offer support on their websites. Well, my personal opinion is: they ought to get more appreciation.  Because if they don’t they will sooner or later disppear.

Arguably I might see this to one-sided. You might say that any good VST programmer will get a job at one of the majors sooner or later. „If they make in the „free“ vst world, they make it everywhere“ and there have been examples where this happened (like Sascha E. the man behind one of the greatest dual-band stereo compressors, Endorphin), but usually it does not.

I have noticed that some of these people have started to have a free and a commercial version (for a relatively small price compared to „big“ commercial products). Personally I bought for example JB_Barricade Pro by Jeroen Breebaart about two years ago (for, I think,  15 Euros or something) and it is one of the best limiters in our arsenal.  So I can only repeat myself: support the freeware vst programmers and BUY their products, if they offer some. You won’t regret it.

Just in case you wonder, no, I am not paid by them for this article. Neither am I an old frustrated programmer who did not make it. In fact I am just grateful, because they gave me the opportunity to use VST instruments (and tons of fun with them) from the very first Atari and PC days. Thanks guys.

And for those of you who want to try themselves, try these:

Gersic

KVR

Don’t crack

Audiomastermind

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