Best Free Glitch VST Plugins

21 Best Free Glitch VST Plugins 2024

Are your synth lines getting a little stale? Do you feel like your drums and percussion tracks need to be spiced up a bit?

While there are many ways to accomplish these ends, many producers are turning to the power of glitch VST plugins to add interest, randomness, and even chaos to their tracks.

In this guide, we look at the best free glitch VST plugins. These plugins ought to keep you busy for a while.

Fracture by Glitchmachines

Fracture by Glitchmachines

Whenever you find something from Glitchmachines that’s free, our recommendation is to pay close attention. Given that their reputation is creating “glitch machines,” it’s fair to say they do good work in this realm.

Fracture is a combination buffer, delay, and multimode filter FX plugin that will take your tracks from sane and calm to insane, robotic, and of course, glitchy.

With a wide range of possible applications, Fracture is sure to come in handy for sound design and electronic music producers alike. And to me, it sounds like pure chaos on drums and percussion.

Best of all, Fracture is easy to use. Look at its four-section interface. There’s a section for buffer, delay, and filter (as expected) with multiple tweakable parameters, along with an output section where you get a dry / wet mix control.

Fracture even lets you reconfigure the order of the effects to taste.

Adding to the disorder of the effect is a “randomize” function, which will set the parameters to random values – an excellent feature for getting those creative juices flowing and kick-starting your inspiration. You can also automate the parameters within your host.

To round things out, Fracture also comes with three LFOs, a scalable user interface, and a generous 100 factory presets.

Fracture is ready for Windows and Mac systems.

Download: Glitchmachines

Hysteresis by Glitchmachines

Hysteresis by Glitchmachines

Here’s yet another free Glitchmachines VST plugin that’s bound to pull you into their ecosystem of malfunction. And like the last, Hysteresis is right at home in electronic productions and sound design alike.

In some ways, Hysteresis takes after Fracture in that it produces robotic (and metallic Sci-Fi) artifacts and musical chaos. But instead of being a combination effect, it’s a dedicated glitch delay.

Add it to your vocals, guitars, synths, drums, sound effects, and more, to make your tracks hiccup. Alternatively, you can use the effect subtly for more of a classic delay sound.

Of course, it isn’t exactly an “ordinary” delay. Hysteresis comes with a stutter effect, a lowpass filter, and modulation effects. The signal flow is delay, stutter, filter, delay (the second line of delay lets you create chorusing style effects). The second delay is routed back to the first.

I don’t know about you, but to me, stutter is an essential effect regardless of genre. Not that I would use it in every track, but I love it on guitar riffs and solos (in smaller doses).

All in all, the lowpass filter also comes with modulation FX, and Hysteresis also features 60 factory presets and a scalable user interface.

You can grab Hysteresis for Windows and Mac.

Download: Glitchmachines

EXD-80 by Third Harmonic Studios

EXD-80 by Third Harmonic Studios

The EXD-80 virtual analog drum and percussion synthesizer is a versatile plugin that can produce everything from classic drum machine sounds over to glitched-out mania.

EXD-80 is the perfect addition to your VST toolkit for EDM, dubstep, drum and bass, electro, glitch, industrial, hip-hop, and even ambient styles.

The drum synthesizer consists of eight modules (kick, snare, hats, and five percussions), four stereo output pairs (each with its own stereo effects section including a Granulator and Waveshaper), user-definable MIDI note mappings, and 16 preset drum kits (along with 128 user drum kit patches).

EXD-80 also supports MIDI continuous controllers and VST host automation.

As you’ll discover in the video below, EXD-80 is delightfully weird, and depending on what you’re creating, it could work just right. If I were you, I’d experiment plenty to find the sweet spot.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Azurite by Distorque Audio

Azurite by Distorque Audio

Distorque Audio’s Windows-only Azurite is a free, flexible, easy-to-use multi-voice chorus VST plugin. From synths to guitars, this baby is sure to find its way into your workflow.

Azurite allows for multiple simultaneous voices, and it also comes with a delay line which is modulated with a bespoke LFO.

Naturally, more voices mean a thicker tone, with added smoothness and less wobble. It can take a mono signal and spread it across the stereo spectrum too.

You can choose from one, two, four, or eight voices, depending on what works best for your processing needs.

Overall, Azurite features a two-band EQ, LFO tempo sync, feedback control, seven LFO shapes (sine, sawtooth, triangle, ramp, exponential, inverse exponential, random), spread control, control randomizer, and other fine-tuning parameters. Azurite also comes with 27 presets.

Azurite is a versatile effect that can flange, chorus, and delay. It may not be the most otherworldly of “glitch” effects, but so far as chorus effects go, you’ll probably be hard-pressed to find one as multi-faceted as this.

See what it can do in the video below.

Download: Distorque Audio

Lisc Delay by Saltline

Lisc Delay by Saltline

Saltline’s Lisc Delay comes with a unique three-delay system that can go from subtle to the extreme with the turn of a dial.

You’ve got a delay on the left, center, and right, each with its own filters and controls. There are also configurable input filter and input filter LFO sections.

Lisc Delay is for Windows only.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Ovalizer by Elcobit

Ovalizer by Elcobit

Elcobit’s Ovalizer is a digital glitch emulator for WAV files and live audio sources. It emulates the sound of damaged CDs and resulting digital errors. That ought to save you from having to scratch a few CDs to produce the same effect.

The virtual scratching can be controlled using the onboard parameters. It has up to four separate voices, which can be layered, tuned, deformed, and randomly rescoped.

As you’ll see in the video below, this plugin is a purveyor of glitchy madness.

You can only get Ovalizer for Mac systems. Sorry Windows users.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Distrubance by Ugo Audio

Distrubance by Ugo Audio

If mangling and glitching your drum loops is high on your list of priorities, you should investigate Ugo Audio’s Disturbance. Besides malfunctioning drum sounds, however, the effect can also be applied to vocals, synths, guitars, and more.

Disturbance works somewhat like a slicer, and it will chop up your loop into 64 equal sections.

In addition to playback order options, Disturbance comes with some other effects and tools to bring disorder to your tracks – distortion, sequenced filtering, pitch shifting, slice length adjustment, dual delays, playback randomizations, and non-sequenced pitch-shifting.

From adding interest to your existing tracks to transforming them beyond recognition, Disturbance comes with an array of tools that might just be too good to be free.

While the video below shows the plugin in action, it should not be considered anything more than a broad overview. To get a better sense of what it can do, download it and check it out for yourself.

You can only get Disturbance for Windows.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Krush by tritik

Krush by tritik

tritik’s Krush is a classic bit-crusher with a few added features. It comes with a crunchy drive stage, analog-modeled resonant filters (low-pass, high-pass), and four modulation waveforms.

For being a bit of an older plugin, Krush has had quite a bit of staying power, and that probably has something to do with it being a quality effect.

Whenever you need to degrade and distort a sound, Krush is sure to provide the downgrading bit-crushing power you need.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

therapy by de la Mancha

therapy by de la Mancha

Some call this oddly designed plugin – therapy – one of the best glitch VST plugins out there.

As you can tell from its user interface, this plugin is not about logic. It’s about turning your emotions and incoherent thoughts into granulized stereo effects.

To that end, you don’t tweak knobs, dials, or sliders as you normally would with most mortal plugins… No, this one lets you type your algorithms. Choose your words carefully, as the effect will mimic your deranged thoughts.

At its core, therapy is a three-band granulizer effect with word-driven controls (no traditional parameters). You’re welcome to get it for Windows.

I don’t know whether it’s the best glitch effect out there, but it may well be one of the strongest.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Codec by Lese

Codec by Lese

Ready to destroy your sounds? Lese’s Codec is here to make all your dreams come true.

Where most plugins rely on classic modes of degradation like tape, vinyl, or cassette, Codec leverages internet compression algorithms.

With Codec, you can reproduce a “poor internet connection” style effect, utilize the crunch section to add gain to your chosen frequency section and switch between multiple modes by clicking on the Lese logo (voice, music, and low latency).

Altogether, you get a bitrate adjustment for real-time packet size constraint effect with a bandwidth selector, coloration (crunch), packet loss simulation, visualizer, and a resizable interface.

If you want to be trendy with your glitch effects, then Codec is a must.

The short demo below should give a good feel for how it works.

Download: Plugin Boutique

PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit by Inphonik

PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit by Inphonik

PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit may not be a glitch effect in the strictest sense. But it is simple, very nicely designed, and compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. And I think the concept is quite cool too.

Patterned after the bit-crushing technology found in Inphonik’s RYM2612 Iconic FM Synthesizer (emulating the Sega Genesis sound chip), PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit offers 8-bit decimation utilizing quantization and aliasing.

Overall, PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit comes with 32-steps scalable 8-bit decimation, dry / wet control, stereo/mono, switchable output filtering (Legacy, Crystal Clear), scalable graphical user interface, and a switchable interface (vertical box, horizontal rack).

This is a lovely option for adding classic video-game-style sounds to your productions.

Download: Plugin Boutique

BitCrusher by Stagecraft Software

BitCrusher by Stagecraft Software

Along with standard bit-crushing functionality, Stagecraft Software’s BitCrusher also features a filter section for adding additional noise (white noise, pink noise, and everything in between). There’s also a filter LFO for sweeping the noise as you see fit.

The onboard parameters (dry / wet mix, noise, rate reduction, bit depth) are fully automatable.

You can save your presets as you see fit and share them with other BitCrusher users if you wish.

BitCrusher is available for Windows and Mac, but users are required to register after 30 days of use (we assume that means you need to create an account with Stagecraft Software, not necessarily that you have to pay for the software – but we could be wrong).

Download: Stagecraft Software

Emergence by Daniel Gergely

Emergence by Daniel Gergely

Emergence is a real-time granulator that takes the input signal and feeds it through a buffer. Then, the contents of the buffer are played back as grains. Emergence can generate up to 600 grains in four streams, each with its own set of parameters.

Emergence also comes with a modulation system (LFOs, macros, and parameter randomization), grain pitch transposition (+/- 24 semitones), Freeze, built-in help, and a resizable UI.

Using this plugin, a single guitar chord can be turned into a lush, moving pad. Imagine the possibilities…

Download: Plugin Boutique

Ribs by hyova audio

Ribs by hyova audio

hyova audio’s Ribs is both a granular effect and an instrument.

Ribs can be played as a poly or mono synth. It also features a SIMPLE mode for scratching audio like a vinyl record, BEAT mode for creating complex polyrhythmic beats, morph (for morphing between harmonic and rhythmic structures), polyphonic granular FX, formant filter, and vocoder-like sounds.

Ribs’ controls are MIDI automatable. Plus, you can get it for Windows and Mac.

See it in action in the video below.

Download: hyova audio

Argotlunar by Argotlunar

Argotlunar by Argotlunar

Argotlunar takes the incoming audio and turns it into grains. The grains produced can be effected by panning, amplitude, duration, pitch, delay, glissando, filter, and envelope settings. Then the grains are mixed and sent to the output.

This real-time delay line granulator also comes this tempo sync, quantization, and feedback.

Argotlunar is Windows- and Mac-ready.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Fragmental by ndc plugs

Fragmental by ndc plugs

Fragmental combines the power of a granulator, delay, three-phase vocoder effects, three types of modulation sources, and a reversinator.

With this effect, you’ve got flexible routing options, which makes serial and parallel routings possible. There’s even a pie chart representation routing scheme.

Fragmental is conveniently available for Windows and Mac.

Download: ndc plugs

n0t0miz0r by Sys Audioresearch

n0t0miz0r by Sys Audioresearch

n0t0miz0r is a MIDI pitch randomizer that acts a bit like a sequencer. It will randomize the pitch of notes using MIDI data and process them according to how the parameters are set.

For creating bouncing basslines and complex melodies, this tool could certainly come in handy.

n0t0miz0r works only for Windows.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Cyclotron X2 by ArcDev Industries

Cyclotron X2 by ArcDev Industries

Cyclotron X2 is a real-time pitch-shifting granular sampling effect with sample hold, grainer, resonant multi-mode filter, resampling bit-crusher, and feedback.

You can modulate the effect using two LFOs, an envelope follower (which can be assigned to any function), and an XY-pad.

Download: Best Free Plugins

TugGlicento by 2Rule

TugGlicento by 2Rule

Ready to enter the “sales bin diving” portion of the guide? Beyond this point, you just never know what you’re going to get. The plugins that follow are either old, low-quality, or poorly rated compared to the others. But they might still be good for a laugh or two…

Up first is 2Rule’s TugGlicento glitch effect, which honestly doesn’t look horrible. At the very least, the concept is solid.

Like the popular, premium multi-effect plugin Effectrix, TugGlicento allows for the use of multiple effects simultaneously. It takes your audio signal and divides it into five bands with filter settings (high pass, low pass, band pass). You can finish off the bands with an effect of your choosing.

TugGlicento allows for variable speeds of each line, and it comes with a five-band independent Moog filter, five-band ADSR and LFO, effects, variable beats, and variable duration for each line, matrix, randomization, and presets.

In terms of effects, you get reverb, delay, distortion, decimator, chorus, phaser, pitch shifter, comb filter, repeater, tremolo, vibrato, and ring modulator, each with its own parameters.

In theory, this is a great plugin. In practice, you’ll just have to try it for yourself.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Glitch by Klanglabs

Glitch by Klanglabs

Klanglabs’ Glitch is a Windows-only MIDI-triggered random delay with a MIDI activity LED, and seven basic controls – Fbk, time, T/R, LFO, Fq, and mix.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Daft Funk by Klanglabs

Daft Funk by Klanglabs

The cleverly named Daft Funk is Klanglab’s Windows-only glitch accelerator.

The following features and controls are included in Daft Funk – X-Y panel, mode, sync mode, note subdivision selector, Y value to Volume button, Zero-X, X and Y spring buttons, smooth knob, and grain size knob.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Final Thoughts

Having creative glitch effects at the ready ensures that you don’t run out of ideas at the worst possible moments. These effects can help your productions move forward and provide the juice and sizzle you need to give your tracks and mixes a unique flavor.

Even if you don’t think you’re much of a glitch VST plugin user, you should consider downloading the top two or three plugins, just so you can experiment in your free time. You never know what you might come up with.

We hope you enjoyed this guide. See you again soon.

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