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Top 12 Free Guitar Mixing Plugins


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One Plugin to Avoid

So I usually don’t speak negatively about a plugin, but at least for the time being I’d avoid this Amped plugin by ML Sound Lab - not because it sounded bad in any way, but a few times it spiked the volume 20dB above clipping . My ears are still hurting from it, so I wouldn’t want the same happening to you all. Hopefully, it can get patched, since it sounded really cool otherwise.

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Minotaur - Nembrini Audio

Minotaur is an emulation of the Centaur plugin, known for its transparent overdrive that retains the original timbre of the guitar. The controls are simple, we have a gain dial, a treble dial to increase high frequencies, and our output while the bypass switch is at the bottom.

Let’s take a listen, and if you have the original pedal, let me know if this has a similar sound.

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BlackVibe - Analog Obsession

Vibrato is pitch modulation, but like a lot of mislabeled dials on guitar amps, BlackVibe uses the term to mean amplitude modulation, also known as tremolo. With the plugin, we can alter the frequency response of the guitar before amplitude modulation, then control the speed and depth or amplitude range.

I like pairing this plugin with another free Analog obsession plugin called Kabin, which emulates guitar cabinets and mic placement on those cabinets.

Let’s take a listen to both plugins being enabled.

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PEDALz - Analog Obsession

Last one for Analog Obsession, Pedalz basically offers 5 plugins in one, since it combines their earlier free guitar effects into 1 plugin. With it, we can change the frequency response of the guitar and then cycle between 5 very different harmonic formations and distortion timbres.

Let’s listen to the first 4 since the last one is really aggressive.

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Emissary - Ignite Amps

If you’re making metal music this is a great guitar head emulation - you can switch between a clean and distorted channel, and then EQ the guitar before controlling the master output and EQ. In the bottom right we’ll notice an arrow, which gives us access to the back.

The power tube option really changes the sound and lets us change both the tube type and the bias, which I thought was a cool addition.

Let’s take a listen to it.

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Greed Smasher - Mercuriall

This plugin emulates a MESA Boogie Grid Slammer pedal, and offers a simple interface - the level is the effect amount or drive, the Gain dial is your output, and the tone dial lets you add or reduce high frequencies. We can also change the input, and introduce 2x or 4x oversampling.

Let’s take a listen, and like chapter 1, if you have the actual pedal, let me know if this has a similar sound.

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TSC 808 Core - Mercuriall

Another emulation by Mercuriall, this one mimics the Ibanez TS-808 guitar pedal. This one is pretty similar to the last one in terms of functionality; however the sounds vary greatly - the drive controls the amount of the effect, and level is the amount of distorted signal in the output.

Like before tone controls the high frequencies, and we have oversampling, stereo or mono, and the input up top.

This one also introduces a Mod option, which has a slightly cleaner sound with more bass.

Let’s take a listen.

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BYOD - ChowDSP

I’m honestly really impressed by this plugin and the developer; it offers so many different modules that it’s like getting 40 plugins for free - all housed within this routing matrix. We can introduce various guitar pedals and amp head emulations, as well as impulse responses from different devices.

In the other tab, we’ll find a chorus effect, delay, tremolo, reverb, and more. That said, you could find every effect you need to fully mix a guitar within this one free plugin.

If we zoom out, we can keep an eye on all effects at once, and at the bottom, we can introduce up to 16x oversampling, and a linear phase mode.

Let’s take a listen.

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Boogex - Voxengo

Boogex is a great free plugin that’s been around for a while - it starts with an EQ before any processing to emphasize or de-emphasize frequencies. Then we get a gate, amp distortion with multiple distortion types, and a cabinet simulator that offers multiple impulse responses.

In the Dynacab section, we can dynamically switch the signal between 2 different impulse responses, creating a really cool combo between the 2.

Lastly, we get this spring-style reverb which sounds great for guitar. Let’s take a listen to some of the presets.

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Analog Rack - Nembrini

Analog rack offers a great sounding delay effect that reminds me a lot of a guitar delay pedal or unit - especially when the analog function is enabled. We can sync the delay to our BPM, switch between a wide array of times, and offset the left and right channels.

I’m going to pair it with this other Nembrini plugin from chapter 1, Minotaur, and let’s listen and notice how they work well together.

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Cypress TT-15 - Black Rooster Audio

Cypress TT-15 seems to emulate an Orange Rocker-15 amplifier and cabinet and has an unusually bright sound. I was able to retain some of the lows by using the low output setting and reducing the tone, but even then the sound is bright.

That said, I could see this working well on a lead guitar that you want to cut through a mix.

Let’s take a listen to it.

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Pro F.E.T. - Ignite Amps

Last up we have a pedal great for metal music - I couldn’t find out what it’s emulating so if you know, let me know in the comments. We can control the frequency response via the bass, lo mids, hi mids, and treble dials, as well as the gain and overall volume.

At the bottom, we can introduce oversampling, which helps retain the intended sound of the distortion, as well as alter the input and output.

Let’s take a listen.

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