FL Studio is currently one of the most popular DAWS for music producers to use and it is only gaining steam. I remember when I was a lot younger, FL Studio was nowhere near as big and it didn’t seem to be on the level it is now.
If you’re new to music production, we are going to go over some of the best FL Studio VST plugins to elevate your game.
I am going to go over 1 free option and 1 paid option for multiple categories of VSTS that you can use for FL Studio. The reason I’m going to include both options is that they both have their purpose.
Before we dive deep, I want to say that my opinion is to get some free plugins and then also get a couple of huge VST libraries that you purchase. They can be expensive, so the best option is to bundle and get a couple that cover a lot of the bases, rather than spend a bunch on each instrument.
I urge you to check out these other guides before you leave this article today as I think you’ll enjoy them!
- 1 The Best Plugins For FL Studio At A Glance
- 2 What Makes A Good VST For FL Studio?
- 3 Best FL Studio VST Plugins
- 4 FL Studio Synth VSTS
- 5 FL Studio Compressor VSTS
- 6 Voxengos Tempo Delay – Free
- 7 FL Studio Distortion VSTS
- 8 Best Basses For FL Studio
- 9 Why Use Additional Plugins For FL Studio
- 10 Conclusion
The Best Plugins For FL Studio At A Glance
Editor's Choice - Signal is one of the worlds most popular plugins. Because it works well for every genre, it's used by a lot of FL Studio users.
This is a virtual analog synth that is perhaps the most warm-sounding plugin I've used. The low-end is incredible.
What Makes A Good VST For FL Studio?
Sound Quality: If you choose to go the free route, that is totally cool, however, you will definitely run into some abysmal options. That’s just the way it goes. With that being said, try and find the highest quality sounds in each VST that you for FL Studio.
Presets: I love to have VST libraries that have a ton of presets. They inspire me when I’m writing parts or songs. While it is great to just write at a piano, introducing crazy plugins can really change the integrity of an entire song.
How Much Use: If you’re installing a massive sample library for Fl Studio that you rarely end up using, you’re better off uninstalling as they can be CPU intensive.
You don’t want to bog down your computer as there’s nothing more frustrating than having your computer shutdown mid-session. I’ve been in sessions where we had over an hour of work just get lost and it totally sucks.
Price: You will find that a lot of people are using paid sample libraries or paid VSTS. Make sure you do your research before purchasing as you can find great options that are actually moderately inexpensive.
Compatibility: Make sure that the VSTS you’re using are compatible with FL Studio, your PC or Macbook, and your MIDI controller.
Let’s jump into the top VSTS for FL Studio below.
Best FL Studio VST Plugins
FL Studio Synth VSTS
I honestly can’t say any more good things about this VST. For my band’s second album, we used this on probably 6-7 songs. It was one of those, “oh let’s try Signal here” types of things.
- Amazingly high-quality samples
- Rhythmic Loops
- Over 500 instruments
- 40 GB of analog, digital, and organic synths
- Tons of expansions available for download
- Good customer service
- Very CPU Intensive
Output is great company for producers of all levels. This is used at the very high-end of pop productions and pretty much every other genre. It’s a fantastic VST that is perfect for FL Studio.
I would describe Output kind of as the new school version of Nexus or Sylenth, for those who have been around for a while. These were two VSTS that were all over everything.
CS-80 V By Arturia – Paid Plugin
The CS-80 VST is absolutely amazing. This is another plugin that my band used religiously as the arpeggiators and synths are just incredible. This is modeled after the famous Yamaha CS-80 synth.
This is your chance to get some fantastic synth sounds for a moderate price and believe me, you will use these for the rest of your production days.
- Get a $6900 synthesizer for about $75
- Amazing arpeggiations
- Ripping Basslines
- Beautiful pads
- Perfect for synth-wave productions
- CPU Intensive
I can 100% tell you that I attempt to use this on most songs that I am a part of. The Bassline synth in this song below is from my band and we used the CS 80 plugin for it.
Dexed – Free Plugin
This is a modular synth that is perfect for your productions. Dexed is modeled after the famous Yamaha DX7.
This will look intimidating at first, so be sure to take your time with it and head over to Youtube. Youtube should be your best friend when learning these VSTS with FL Studio.
- Sounds are actually pretty good
- Good presets
- Allows you to test the waters
- Can be a little limiting
This is a great plugin for FL Studio. It’s free and it’s an easy download. Give it a try and continue to expand your library and knowledge.
FL Studio Compressor VSTS
This compressor sounds very analog. The FET Compressor is modeled after one of the most famous compressors of all time. What makes this special is that it can be used for deeper gain reduction than you would use with other compressors.
- For Analog Lovers
- Input and output stage distortion
- CPU friendly
- External sidechain
- Sounds fantastic on pianos and drums
This is a great compressor that you can use for FL Studio. Like all of these VSTS I’m mentioning, you can use these with all major DAWS. Overall, this is a great option for professionals.
New York Compressor is a nice option that sounds great on drums. If you’re looking for an affordable option that can quickly give you a nice and punchy drum tone, this is a great choice.
This is definitely one of the higher-rated compressor VSTS that is often used.
- Delivers punchy sounding drums
- Great sound quality
- Easy To Use
- Inexpensive for the quality
I personally enjoy the sound of this compressor. I would suggest checking it out on Youtube as there are some great videos that show what it can do.
MJCUjr By Klanghelm – Free compressor
The MJCUjr is a free option that you can use with FL Studio and other major DAWS. If you’re looking to save money, I suggest giving this a try. It’s a simple interface that offers some colorful saturation.
This compressor plugin can provide you with some rather surprising results from a free VST.
- Easy to use
- Low CPU
With free compressor VSTS, you can’t really go wrong. If it’s not the desired sound, simply try another option. That being said, this is worth a try for your mixes.
Imperial Delay by Digital Labs allows you to completely guide your delay in every possible way that you would want to. This is an easy to use plugin and it works great with FL Studio. Another reason I like this is that it’s moderately cheap.
You can throw this delay on anything from vocals to drums and you will most likely enjoy the results.
I want to note that when this came out, it was extremely expensive. Since then, the price tag has come down dramatically, but the product is still great.
- Great sound quality
- Easy to use
- Allows you to dive deep into effects
For such a small price, I think this is worth giving a try. You will get some great results on all different instruments and you will be surprised at how easy it is to use.
Voxengos Tempo Delay – Free
Voxengos Tempo Delay offers you an easy interface to navigate. I think this is a great free option. If you’re looking for a free option for FL Studio, it’s easy to use and it should spice up your tunes.
- A lot of different controls and features
- Low CPU
- Easy to use
- Not the greatest sounds
If you’re looking for something to throw on some of your songs for free, this is a great option. I personally don’t think it’s going to blow you away, however, it gets the job done and it isn’t super buggy.
FL Studio Distortion VSTS
Decapitator is a distortion I can’t get enough of. When making our last record, we all fell in love with this plugin and threw it on pretty much every synth track.
I love how it sounds on synths and it also can sound amazing on vox and drums.
- Easily one of the most used distortion VSTS today
- So many options, it’s like performing surgery
- Heavy grit and smooth distortion
- Easy to use
- Rather expensive
- For serious producers as it is expensive
The Decapitator will be your friend on many different songs as you really can throw it on most things, resulting in them sounding better. This sounds funny, but I do this, our drummer does this, and pretty much every producer I’ve met is obsessed with it.
The way that this distortion VST works is a little bit different than most. Phase Distortion lets the signal modulate the phase of itself.
This results in some fat and dirty sounding basses and it can also result in a nice 80s crunch.
The interface is quite simple to navigate and you can get your desired effects quite quickly.
- Great for dubstep and metal grit
- High-quality sound
- Relatively inexpensive considering you can use for most songs
I like this option as it can be used professionally, yet it is still affordable for what you get.
FuzzPlus 3 By Audio Damage – Free
Fuzzplus 3 is great for punk and pop-punk bands. This is overall my favorite free option and I believe a lot of other producers dig this one as well.
- Free download at pluginboutique
- Great quality
- Works well on guitars
When it comes to distortion, I love the decapitator, but if you can’t afford it and you’re looking for a free option, this is perfect. Test the waters and figure out what you like to use with FL Studio.
Best Basses For FL Studio
I first found out about the VST about 3 years ago and I have to say, its sub-bass sounds are out of this world. It’s a very warm analog sound that is sure to please even the biggest analog lovers there are.
The place that Diva shines is in its filters. They are some of the most authentic filters you can find in a plugin.
- Extremely warm
- Great Bass sounds
- Huge library
- CPU Intensive
I have a ton of experience with this plugin and I often use it for sub. It has one of the warmest and inviting analog sounds that you can find a VST. I found out about this plugin from Alex Aldi, who is a great producer in the alternative rock world. Overall, highly recommend checking out Diva.
Steinberg Model E – Free Bass VST
Model E is a bass VST that is capable of pumping out some fat riffs of your liking. I’ve personally never used this plugin, but I know that a lot of producers have talked about this.
- Rich & Warm
- Low CPU
I am quite fond of Steinberg as my good friend and drummer, Nick Cesarz often recommends and uses Steinberg products. If you’re looking for a free option, check out the Model E.
Why Use Additional Plugins For FL Studio
It is my opinion that if you want to elevate your game, you should have a wide array of VSTS. Expanding your knowledge will only help when it comes to writing or producing your music.
Take your time and experiment with all VSTS that you come across. You might find that you actually prefer a free plugin for FL Studio, rather than a paid. With that being said, I do think there is usually a BIG difference in quality and I am not just saying that.
Free VSTS should be your gateway to the next level and allow you to get your feet wet. Once you have found sounds you really dig, you can start to replace them with better quality VSTS. If your budget just doesn’t allow, find a way to make the cheaper or free options work.
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