Free plugins are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean that every free tape delay, dub delay, and tempo delay deserves space on your hard drive.
Even if you are just starting to produce music or have been producing music on a budget, you should aim to get the best-sounding delay plugins. Because the best delay VSTs, both free and paid-for VSTs, add a ton of value to your mix and productions. Simple delays add space and rhythm to your mixes. More complex delay and reverb add distortion and coloration to the sound and can affect the timbre and tonality of the sound to which it is applied.
So let’s dive into our list of the best free delay VST plugins 2022 offers. All plugins on this list are proven to bring a whole new level of syncopation and sophistication to your productions.
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Now let’s dive in.
This VST/AU plugin, which comes with many presets, is most likely designed for sound designers and electronic musicians looking to be more creative. While it can still be used to create classic delay effects, it works best when you use the stutter and mod fx to create robotic sounds.
I enjoy automating/manually adjusting the speed parameter under the stutter section. The TH_WobbleFeeder preset is great for creating some growling low-end sounds.
Senderspike Echobox D7
Another delay plugin emulates the classics while still being a very straightforward stompbox. There are no presets or manuals, but the interface is quick and easy to use, so you can get the settings you want.
I realize this is a replica of an actual device. Still, I don’t understand why it would be necessary to have two separate knobs (one for the range of delay times and one labeled 1-10) in the digital world. It seems to me that one knob with actual values would suffice. However, I suppose you could ignore the range set using the note values.
The plugin does not have a built-in modulation but adds very slight saturation. I love the sound of the feedback that is filtered.
AirWindows Tape Delay
The idea behind AirWindows plugins is that they should sound good and be stable rather than worrying about how they look.
This plugin has a distorted element, and where it excels is in a proper design context, to make ‘terrible’ noises. Crank the feedback up to around 0.75 and then play with the delay time. This plugin doesn’t break up in the same fashion that most digital delays do when you do this, so it does have the potential to create some unique sounds.
This is one of the best free plugins because it has great presets and is versatile.
This was created for a KVR developer challenge and simulates the filters found in the Korg MS-20 and MeeBlip’s Anode & Triode synths. It also models a spring reverb from the Dynacord Echocord Super 76 tape delay. Other features include a tube preamp, bit crusher, phaser, freeze switch, and modulation options.
This VST/AU delay plugin allows you to name your price and has a warm, lively sound. The interface is overall clean, and it has many features! It seems to work well without any bugs, but it may be a work in progress. The drive sound is harsh, there are no readouts of values on the knobs, and only a handful of presets exist.
There are only a limited number of controls.
The interface is very straightforward, but sometimes in this world of intricate photorealistic UI’s, you need something simple and uncluttered to concentrate on how things sound rather than how they look! It has a good selection of presets, and they are a great place to start.
Check Out These Free Plugins For Vocal Processing.
As an insert, try the EightVoiceChorus preset instead of the Haas effect if you are looking for a quick way to make a mono track super wide. Just don’t forget to put it before any EQ.
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Valhalla Freq Echo
This plugin is…. fine. It has no modulation, so it’s just a straight delay. I can’t imagine reaching for this free plugin over a stock delay or other delay options in my arsenal.
The feedback control on Freq Echo seems to be more sensitive than on other plugins, depending on the shift value. Around 75% is where you get to a complete loop state! Also, it can create sound just from the noise floor of your DAW…
There are no presets to even put you in the ballpark of what you are after, but try the settings pictured below for my triplet dub tail…
This delay can be used as a stand-alone plugin or as a snap-in module on the Kilohearts Snap Heap, which bundles a few other freebies, including chorus, EQ, and a limiter.
The controls are nice and essential, with delay time at the top shown in note values. If you want a dotted 8th note, this is 3/16, as the display will allow you to select triplets but not dotted notes.
I enjoy the duck control feature of this plugin because it decreases the delay level when there is no input signal. This is extremely helpful when trying to set up a delay without automation.
The Baby Comeback plugin by Baby Audio is a free, retro-sounding delay plugin with four different effects modules. These modules (Analog, Saucy, Cheap, and Wide) can be applied to the audio input individually or simultaneously to create different sounds.
The sleek new interface is designed for a streamlined workflow and easy sound design. The built-in ducker and ‘ping pong’ delay mode makes it simple to create complex stereo delay sounds.
DLYM is a delay modulator created by Imaginando. The sound is based on DRC’s chorus effect. Still, the developers included several additional features to make DLYM more valuable as a delay effect. DLYM has 20 presets for speedy use, a built-in patch manager, an adjustable stereo spread, and six modulation waveforms. The modulation waveforms can be synchronized independently from your DAW’s project tempo.
This delay is a priceless work of art. Unlike other delay plugins, this one will allow you to add multiple delays and echoes to your sound. This can help you create a more complex and exciting soundscape and be especially useful if you want to create a more atmospheric or ambient sound. It has a very unique delay effect because of its tree function.
Rhythm Delay (Free)
The Rhythm Delay is an excellent tool for musicians who make minimal music. It’s great to get more ear-candy in your songs and productions. The delay can be set to a wide range of time values, from a very short delay (which will create a “stutter” effect) to a long delay (which will create an echo effect). You can also set the feedback level, determining how long the delayed signal will be repeated.
8 Multi Taps and Tempo Syncs lets you easily create new rhythms and effects. Use it for Drums, Percussion, or even Vocal Samples. It’s one of the top free-delay VST plugins on the market.
Particle of God by Noizefield
Native Instruments unveiled a free vst that is worth trying out. This regular delay accelerates delay times when needed. Pair this tool with its inbuilt Sync, and you can create fantastic delay effects. This combination can help you create exciting rhythm patterns and textures that add depth and dimension to your music.
An accessible delay VST plugin with Pre and Post delay settings is convenient for left and right delay signal sections. This plugin is great for creating either a very subtle or glitchy delay effect. It’s easy to use and perfect for beginners on a budget.
This plugin is a different delay option and is fantastic for creating an odd and inaccurate result. The timings are off, the colorations are all wrong, and the overall effect is bizarre. But in a good way! If you’re looking to create something weird and ear-catching, this plugin is definitely for you.
You can add saturation, chorus, echo, reverb, and most importantly, delays and shape the sound afterward with filters, mod depth, and drive settings.