Best Free Rompler VST Plugins

23 Best Free Rompler VST Plugins 2024

Last Updated on January 1, 2024

While ROMplers are quickly getting replaced by the Omnispheres and Serums of the world, enthusiasm for the plugin type hasn’t died down yet. If anything, we’re seeing more, better free ROMplers across the web than ever before.

It could be because they generally sound great out of the box, and they are light on CPU usage.

If you’re one of those people that can’t live without ROMplers, you’re in luck, because in this guide, we look at the best free ROMpler VST plugins.

Nils’ K1v – Kawai K1 Emulation Plugin VSTi/AU by nilsschneider.de

Nils’ K1v – Kawai K1 Emulation Plugin VSTi/AU by nilsschneider.de

If you’re a fan of the Kawai K1 digital synthesizer, the very model that was created to compete with the Roland D-50 and Korg M1, then you might want to check out Nils’ K1v.

Now, the K1v was introduced as an entry-level, low-fidelity synth, but it still has a small and enthusiastic fan base. Some even say it’s one of the best synths of all time(?!).

Nils set out to create an accurate emulation of all parameters, and Nis’ K1v comes with 968 single presets, 384 multi presets, the original factory bank, all ROM cards, and all 200 Kawai PHm pop synth module singles, all of which have been organized into banks with search functionality.

Now that’s what you’re looking for in a ROMpler!

K1v also comes with full editing capabilities for singles and multis, import and export of SysEx presets and banks, a resizable user interface, and full automation support.

The synthesizer engine is an 8-bit synthesis engine with four sources per voice, 256 waveforms, 204 additive waveforms, 128 harmonics, 52 PCM waveforms, DADSR envelope, eight velocity curves, coarse & fine, adjustable key tracking, and extensive modulation capabilities.

It also features AM (ring modulation) between source 1&2 and 3&4, auto-bend, five key scaling curves, one LFO (triangle, square, saw, random), and joystick.

If that wasn’t enough there’s a full-fledged MIDI implementation with SysEx support, program changes, bank select, hold pedal, volume, pan, velocity, aftertouch, modulation wheel, and pitch bend.

The K1v works nicely for classic video game-style compositions, synthpop, new wave, and maybe even a bit of synthwave. I’ll leave that to your discretion. Get creative!

K1v is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download: nilsschneider.de

MONSTER BASS by MonsterDAW

MONSTER BASS by MonsterDAW

MonsterDAW’s MONSTER BASS is a bass ROMpler featuring acoustic, electric, and synth bass sounds.

All sounds were programmed and sampled from scratch, so they are completely unique to MONSTER BASS.

MONSTER BASS comes with 25 presets, a B0 to E3 range, and a few simple parameters – gain, reverb, voice mode, velocity curve, glide, DSR, filter and cutoff, LFO rate and depth, waveform, source, and destination.

MONSTER BASS is also light on CPU usage.

Honestly, for some heavy, gritty bass tones, this thing isn’t half bad.

MONSTER BASS is available for Windows and Mac.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

808 Bass Module 5 Lite by Electronik Sound Lab

808 Bass Module 5 Lite by Electronik Sound Lab

808 Bass Module 5 Lite is an 808 bass ROMpler with 15 presets. Being that it’s the demo version of the full 808 Bass Module, its functionality is somewhat limited. That said, besides the fact that you don’t get all the features, this plugin is not limited in any other way.

As its name would suggest, it primarily handles 808 basses. Better still, it gives you the ability to play the sound in key with your projects.

808 Bass Module 5 Lite also comes with glide time control, LFO modulation, lowpass / highpass filter cutoff, ADSR envelope parameters, global tune, as well as built-in chorus and distortion.

It’s no wonder this is one of Electronik Sound Lab’s most popular VST plugins. It can put out some serious bass and even hit those rumbly sub frequencies. I was pleasantly surprised, and I think you will be too.

You can get 808 Bass Module 5 Lite for Mac and Windows.

Download: Elektronik Sound Lab

MONSTER SYNTH by Agus Hardiman

MONSTER SYNTH by Agus Hardiman

MONSTER SYNTH is a free sample playback synthesizer plugin. Given that it’s a ROMpler, it’s also very CPU friendly, especially compared to many of the hyper-powered premium synths of the day.

Its feature set is impressive, especially considering that you can get it for free.

MONSTER SYNTH features 200 presets in 12 categories, preset description (with tips and ideas for creating sounds suited to your projects), level meter, master volume, ADSR envelope, LFO waveform, source and destination, and three-voice modes (mono, poly, legato).

It also comes with a high-pass or low-pass filter cutoff with a frequency knob, as well as four effects (distortion, reverb, chorus, and delay).

This synth has all the sounds you would expect from a synth with the feature set just described – bass, lead, pad, strings, bell, brass, hit, mallet, pluck, riser, vox, and weird FX.

In practically every way, MONSTER SYNTH lives up to its name. It has a gorgeous dark skin interface, a great variety of tones, and impressive sound quality too. Hard to believe all this is available for free.

MONSTER SYNTH is compatible with Windows and Mac.

Download: AgusHardiman.TV

Romplay 2 by Electronik Sound Lab

Romplay 2 by Electronik Sound Lab

We’ve already looked at one rather impressive entry via Electronik Sound Lab. Well, they have several more available on the freebie section of their website. There are no updates and no support for these plugins, but they are still cool creations, and you may find them helpful.

First up is Romplay 2, a sound module with 144 synth-style presets like leads, keys, textures, FX, and more.

Additionally, it features LFO modulation controls, three modes (poly, mono, legato), glide time (for mono and legato modes only), ADSR, and reverb.

Electronik Sound Lab says this module should work nicely for quick sketches and demos, and I agree. That said, the sound quality isn’t half bad.

Romplay 2 is Windows and Mac compatible, for 32- and 64-bit machines.

Download: Electronik Sound Lab

ESL-110 by Electronik Sound Lab

ESL-110 by Electronik Sound Lab

Next up is ESL-110, a drum machine ROMpler featuring an LP filter, reverb, pitch, amplitude, and multi-out support.

This is certainly one of those situations where you get what you get. But for a drum machine, I’ve got to say – ESL-110 sounds genuinely nice. It should prove highly useful for an array of electronic genres.

Get ESL-110 for Windows or Mac.

Download: Electronik Sound Lab

RVK-808 by Electronik Sound Lab

RVK-808 by Electronik Sound Lab

One look at the RVK-808 interface, and you no doubt have a good idea what you’re looking at already. RVK-808 is a drum ROMpler based on the infamous, standard-setting TR-808.

RVK-808 comes with 272 samples, 17 drum kits, and assignable outputs.

You know, it’s a shame that Electronik Sound Lab doesn’t support or update these, because wow, RVK-808 is another winner. The sounds are pristine, clear, and authentic sounding too.

Whether Windows or Mac, RVK-808 is where it’s at.

Download: Electronik Sound Lab

RT-7070 by Electronik Sound Lab

RT-7070 by Electronik Sound Lab

Electronik Sound Lab’s RT-7070 is yet another drum ROMpler. This one, of course, takes after the infamous TR-707.

RT-7070 comes with 20 drum kits (one original 707 kit and 19 others) processed using various vintage and modern effects and dynamic processors.

It also features an LP/HP filter, reverb, main decay, pan controls per channel, volume mixer, and assignable outputs.

While this should not come as a surprise, the RT-7070 is yet another winner. From retro to synthwave, you should be able to squeeze plenty of usage out of this beast.

You guessed it – RT-7070 will work with Windows or Mac machines.

Download: Electronik Sound Lab

Drumart SLD by Electronik Sound Lab

Drumart SLD by Electronik Sound Lab

Drumart SLD is a new and improved version of the discontinued SL Drums 3. This one is specifically for urban music.

Drumart SLD comes with eight pads, 84 kits, DR envelope per channel, gain control per channel, pan per channel, and assignable outputs.

If you’re looking for a solid urban drum machine VST, this one can do a lot, and it sounds great too.

Drumart SLD is available for Windows and Mac too.

Download: Electronik Sound Lab

RetroVibes Lite Free Synth-pop & Retro Pop VST/AU Plugin by audiolatry

RetroVibes Lite Free Synth-pop & Retro Pop VST/AU Plugin by audiolatry

RetroVibes Lite is a ROMpler featuring samples from both hardware and software synthesizers, emulators, and more. As its name might suggest, these sounds were designed to give you a serious 80s vibe.

In total, RetroVibes Lite comes with 21 presets (basses, brasses, leads, keys, synths, percs), ADSR, filter section with cutoff, modulation section, voice mode, glide, lowpass / highpass filter cutoff, tune knob, velocity curve selector, and reverb.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m hearing some great tones in this one too. If you’re planning to tackle a bit of 80s soundtrack music, synthpop, or even synthwave, you might find this a helpful tool.

RetroVibes Lite will work on Windows and Mac machines.

Download: audiolatry

Micro Keys by Meat Beats

Micro Keys by Meat Beats

Micro Keys is yet another “pay what you want” Gumroad download.

It comes with 32 ROMpler patches derived from 90s rackmount samplers. You get 10 synths, eight strings, six bass, two acoustic pianos, two organs, and a tenor sax (as a bonus).

Micro Keys was inspired by the works of Kerri Chandler, Wayne Gardiner, Tommy Musto, Aaron Smith, John Ciafone, and others.

If 90s dance was your thing, then I don’t think you can go wrong with Micro Keys. Kudos to Meat Beats.

Given that it’s easy on the CPU, you can use multiple instances simultaneously without worry.

Download: Gumroad

Orbhits by Meat Beat

Orbhits by Meat Beat

Meat Beat’s Orbhits is available as a “pay what you want” download on Gumroad.

This ROMpler features 170 stabs, pads, basses, and hits sampled from a certain 90s hardware rack unit (the E-MU Orbit 9090, largely considered a relatively average techno / dance entry from the 90s).

With Orbhits, you get 60 chords, 40 bass, 30 pads, 20 hits, 15 FX, and five vox sounds.

It also features a few basic parameters – pan modulation, vintage reverb, attack, and release.

If you liked the original Orbit, there’s no question you will like this VST plugin too. I think it sounds okay, but the sounds seem dry and will probably need to be souped up with some compression, saturation, reverb, delay, etc. for maximum effect.

You can download Orbhits for Windows or Mac.

Download: Gumroad

Afrokeyz Lite by Afroplug

Afrokeyz Lite by Afroplug

If you’re looking to produce African beats, Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall, reggaeton, lo-fi, or anything along those lines, then you might enjoy the Afrokeyz Lite synthesizer / keyboard rompler.

It’s very basic, to be sure, with just six presets, but you’ve also got controls for ADSR, LFO, glide, pitch, filter, pan, and reverb for some basic tone sculpting.

What it does, it does well enough.

Plus, you can get Afrokeyz Lite for Windows and Mac on PLUGINS 4 FREE.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Amurg Lite by audiolatry

Amurg Lite by audiolatry

The Amurg Lite ROMpler is a 33-preset virtual instrument for lo-fi, ambient, retro, hip-hop, R&B, cinematic music, and the like.

Amurg Lite also comes with ADSR, lowpass / high pass filter cutoff, LFO modulation, voice mode and glide, velocity curve, MIDI velocity selectors, effects (distortion, chorus, reverb, delay), global gain, and global pan.

Not all presets are awe-inspiring, at least not to me, but there are a few that make this entry worthwhile, and it seems most users have had a good experience with it too.

You can get Amurg Lite for Windows and Mac.

Download: audiolatry

Zampler // RX by Plugin Boutique

Zampler // RX by Plugin Boutique

Zampler // RX is maybe cheating the definition of ROMpler a little bit. It tends more towards the sampler side of things. That said, it is a reasonably good plugin, especially since you can get it for free.

Zampler // RX comes with multiple tools for shaping the sound of your samplers, including a multi-mode filter (with low, high, band pass, band stop, and several other combinations), three LFOs, three ADSR envelopes, complex modulation matrix, and various effects – two equalizers, tube saturation, chorus, phaser, reverb, and delay.

Plugin Boutique generously included two free banks, including Dance Production Sounds (with 30 multi-samples, one bank file, and 333 multi-samples) and MainRoom and EDM DrumKits (with 30 patches / kits, one bank file, and 457 multi-samples).

If you ever feel limited by the included material, your journey with Zampler doesn’t have to end there. You can find many low-cost expansions for it on Plugin Boutique – Black Hole, Ultimate Synths, Tape Synths, Prophet-12, Supreme, Mantra Pads, Peaktime, Electrical Drones, and much more.

You can get this sampler workstation for Windows and Mac.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Serpo by JD TECH

Serpo by JD TECH

An oddity of a forgotten age? Well, not exactly, but there is no denying Serpo’s status as an oddity.

What makes this ROMpler interesting is that it features sounds from an array of instruments, recorded across the world by different artists.

As you might imagine, that led to some rather uneven results. But I would be lying if I said there weren’t some usable sounds here (some are kind of hilarious though).

Serpo’s sounds include acoustic drum kit, organ, violin, trumpet, harmonica, banjo, dobro, electric guitar, theremin, sub bass, and more.

It’s random but it’s free. So, you may as well give it a whirl and see what it’s all about.

Magically, you can get Serpo for Windows and Mac.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

VSCO2 Rompler by bigcat instruments

VSCO2 Rompler by bigcat instruments

If you’ve been around software recording for any length of time, it’s unlikely you haven’t already come across this number.

This orchestral instrument ROMpler features 2,000+ samples from Versilian Studios for 25 instruments. Some instruments even come with multiple articulations and round-robins.

There are some okay sounds here. Not surprisingly, many of them are not top notch. But for sketching and soundtrack demos, it could work.

Amazingly, you can get VSCO2 Rompler for Windows or Mac.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

ELASTIK 2 Player by Ueberschall

ELASTIK 2 Player by Ueberschall

Ueberschall’s ELASTIK 2 Player is more sampler than ROMpler, and that is the case for all other entries you will find below.

Anyway, ELASTIK 2 Player comes with a browser for speedy access to your sample libraries, the unique Loopeye editor, and sequence mode.

It also comes with pre-listen in sync, random sound replacement, parameter automation, real-time sync to host, bounce of original and modified loops, resizable interface, multiple soundbank management, time stretch, and pitch shift.

While the Loopeye editor might seem a little strange at first, it’s quite intuitive once you’ve gotten the hang of it.

The video below demonstrates what ELASTIK 2 Player can do.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Beat Twist by SonicXTC

Beat Twist by SonicXTC

Beat Twist is a loop manipulator for turning boring loops into something new. It comes with a bit crusher, distortion, overdrive, step sequencer, and LFO for modulating volume, overdrive, panning, and bit crusher pitch.

Beat Twist comes in especially handy when you think you might have the perfect loop, but it’s just not fitting your song. With this tool, you can make loops yours.

Beat Twist also comes with MIDI automation and is a Windows only plugin.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Giada by Giada

Giada by Giada

Created with DJs, electronic musicians, and live performers in mind, Giada is an all-in-one live sampler, loop machine, drum machine, sequencer, and even as a plugin or effect inside your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).

Its feature set includes different playback modes and combinations, bpm and beat sync with sample-accurate loop engine, built-in wave editor, live sampler from external inputs, live quantizer, piano roll, and action recorder.

You can find Giada for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Osiris XT by B.Serrano

Osiris XT by B.Serrano

B.Serrano’s Osiris XT is a stereo sample-based synth featuring six-voice polyphony, chorus, ring-modulator, two stereo 16 / 24 bit wave player, two mod-envelope, four LFOs (host bpm syncable), two multimode parallel filters, 9×15 digital modulation-matrix, stereo mixer with L/R levels, and MIDI learn.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Speedrum Lite by Apisonic Labs

Speedrum Lite by Apisonic Labs

Speedrum Lite is a free drum and percussion MPC style sampler with a fast and easy workflow.

It comes with 16 pads, drag and drop sample loading, copy and swap (for pads) low and high pass filter, mono or poly voice modes, eight “cut” and “cut by” groups, waveform view, adjustable start and end of sample, AHD envelope, saving and loading drumkits, and more.

Download: Plugin Boutique

RF-Drums by Ronan Fed

RF-Drums by Ronan Fed

With modern and vintage kits, RF-Drums is a drum ROMpler with 25 kits, 16 pads, 16 output channels (for each pad), filter (LP and HP), compression, reverb, volume, panning, tune, distortion, saturation, as well as stereo and amplitude ADSR controls (per pad).

With RF-Drums, you can take advantage of your own WAV samples, and you can load and save banks and presets as well.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Final Thoughts

It’s nice to know there’s still a community of ROMpler enthusiasts out there. Hyper-powered premium synthesizers have basically become the name of the game nowadays, but there is still a place for quality free entries to shine, and developers seem to know this too.

With both ROMpler and some competent sampler options to choose from, there’s no need to go without it. We hope you found what you’re looking for. Have fun!