As a music producer or sound engineer, if you’re looking to spice up your mix, there’s nothing quite like choir plugins. For composers, they are essential.
And you might just be amazed by the free VSTs available. Some are a little cheesy, yes, but we’ve also come across quite a few that let you do something amazing things. So, if you’re looking to bolster your VST plugin library, you’ve clearly come to the right place.
Here are the best free VST plugins for a heavenly sound that will wow your fans and listeners.
LABS – Choir By Spitfire Audio
Whoa. That’s about the only word that comes to mind when it comes to LABS – Choir.
It’s honestly kind of surprising that this is available for free. It is the best plugin on this list by a long shot, as this one is clearly in a category all its own. The “instant download” category if you will.
What’s so great about it? Well, it’s sound, of course. The voices are just unbelievable. And they were able to achieve this by sampling the Eric Whitacre Signers a Air Studios, London.
Its graphical user interface is also simple and stellar. Doesn’t feel like anyone cut any corners here.
For those looking for additional quality free VSTs, it’s worth hunting around the Spitfire Audio website. It’s simply astounding how much they have available – pipe organ, guitar harmonics, piano pads, moon guitar, modular piano, dulcimer, and so much more.
I feel like I should have more to say here, but I don’t. Just go and download this. Among the free plugins available, it’s the best and you’re not going to regret it.
Download: Spitfire Audio
Virgin Choir By ANGLE Studios
Virgin Choir was released as ANGLE Studios’ first VST plugin. As the name would suggest, the plugin generates the sound of a female choir. It allows for multiple articulations with easy key switching, velocity sensitivity, sequencer mode, and more. Some of these features you wouldn’t even find in pro VSTs.
The creator mentions that this plugin is not for professional use. That said, we’re not exactly sure what’s stopping someone from using it that way. Further explanation would be helpful.
The plugin’s sound is reasonably good. It’s not top notch so far as free choir VSTs are concerned, but certainly not the worst either. It’s somewhere in between.
It goes nicely in a mix, as do most choir plugins, especially with some nice reverb. The articulations are okay, the transitions between notes/chords seem a little jarring and not as smooth as they could be.
That said, as ANGLE Studios suggests, if you just plan to mess around with it, it’s going to do the trick every time.
The graphical user interface is simple, and nicely designed. The main controls are attack, release, and volume, but you’ve also got pan, volume, pitch, voices, and transpose functions. My suggestion – just hook up your MIDI controller and start messing around with notes and chords. Then, begin playing with the knobs and parameters.
This plugin is compatible with Windows and Mac, and for Windows, there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You must go through a few links to find where these files or stored, so be happy that we went ahead and dug these up for you.
The files are hosted on MediaFire, just so you know.
NST Vocal By bigcat Instruments
If you keep hunting through the bargain bins, occasionally you find something you feel inclined to pick up. To be fair, several of the plugins on this list are kind of like that. But to a larger extent, you get what you pay for, don’t you?
And the free NST Vocal VST isn’t half bad. As you can see from the image (or the video), it’s got basic ADSR controls, along with volume, pan, and reverb. So, the basics.
The best part about it is probably its presets, of which there are more than you’d expect, and they all sound a little different. In that sense, NST Vocal is surprisingly versatile.
Its user interface? Quite simple. Nothing to write home about, but hey, at least there is an interface.
Sounds are okay. I could see them working nicely in a mix, and like I said, there are a lot of sounds onboard approximating male, female, or in some cases both.
You might not expect it, but the plugin is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST for Windows, as well as a VST and AU for Mac. That’s something you might write home about.
The download is available at PLUGINS 4 FREE, which is kind of a online bargain bin all its own.
Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE
Sonatina (Orchestra) Choir By bigcat Instruments
Yep. bigcat has got another offering for us in the form of Sonatina Choir, and this would be another one of those legacy, bargain bin, “hey this isn’t all that bad,” “everyone has this in their plugin library,” kind of deals. And I do mean that.
Its user interface isn’t anything crazy. If anything, it’s kind of basic and a little hard to look at. It has ADSR controls, as well as volume and pan.
Though popular, this one is kind of dated. So, to that extent, we should go a little easier on it.
It has ladies and gentlemen built in, and you can get a mix of the two as well. The sounds are not bad. Certainly not the most authentic choir you’ve ever heard. Some cheap keyboards do just as good a job. That said, you could bury it in a mix, and fool some ears no doubt.
Amazingly, Sonatina Choir is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST for Windows, and as a VST and AU for Mac.
Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE
DSK ChoirZ By DSK Music
If you’ve ever gone hunting for VST plugins online (especially virtual instruments), there’s a good chance you’ve come across DSK Music. That’s paying them a comment, I suppose, but when I see DSK, I usually think “don’t expect too much.”
Which isn’t to say their plugins aren’t great. Because that’s not the case. But you know for sure, in most instances, that you’re not getting the most earth-shattering plugins in the world when you go with DSK.
That said, it really is about how you use them in a mix, and which effects you add. The right effects can always spice things up.
The lowdown on DSK ChoirZ is this – you get three layers with 32 choir and pad sounds, ADSR, finetuning and pan control, three advanced filters, three LFO routing to cut, pan, level, and pitch, chorus and reverb effects, velocity response, and MIDI automation.
Yeah, it’s not too uncommon to see choir plugins with a reverb onboard, but either way it’s nice to have it then and there.
As you can see, its user interface looks slightly convoluted. Once you get used to it, you start to see that it’s logically organized, but be patient with yourself with this one.
Overall, its sound is not bad. The voices sound a little like keyboards and strings (the bass sounds like a bowed cello), but it does okay in some ranges. I would almost think of it as a pad, myself, and I bet you could use it that way (e.g., EQ out some of the clarity).
Anyway, it’s free, it’s neat, and it’s worth a look. It’s DSK ChoirZ.
Download: DSK Music
Serenity By HG Fortune
Okay, so everything from this point on is a little different. If you don’t know what I mean now, you will in a moment.
So, here we have Serenity, which is more a synthesizer than anything. That said, it generates vaguely choral and string pad sort of sounds. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a choir, but more like sounds that sound a bit like voices.
Now, I could see someone digging this plugin if they’re a fan of old school video game (maybe like 16-bit era stuff?) style sounds. Because that’s something it seems to do well. That’s kind of why I like it.
The user interface is cluttered to say the least. To offer an overview, it comes with two PCM wave oscillators with 128 waves in two banks, one filter with three settings (LoPass, HiPass, BandPas), ADSR, four-channel adaptive mixer, VCA EG, pan, three LFOs, S&H, DLFO, pitch LFO with speed up/down, twin Etherify, gator, delay, flanger, reverb, bass enhances, and more.
Yeah, it’s a little overwhelming to try to go over everything. But check out the video to see how this all works.
I’m impressed by how many sounds this thing comes with, and if you’re looking to make a little video game style “mood” music, this one is a must.
You’ll need to grab it at PLUGINS 4 FREE, that’s the only place I could find it, and it’s only available as a 32-bit Windows VST.
Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE
MIDI Choir By MV’s Plugins
There’s the occasional free plugin that catches your eye, and MIDI Choir is one of those. It doesn’t necessarily look fancy, but its overall design and use of color can be a draw. And MIDI Choir kind of has that premium rackmount gear kind of look.
So, that’s my review of its graphical interface, but on it, you will find controls for noise gate (threshold), reverb (room, damp, width, mix), master (volume), tuning (octave, semitone, fine), and compressor (threshold).
From experience I can tell you that it’s not every choir plugin that gives you that much control over reverb and tuning. And a compressor is sort of a rare feature too.
Its feature set includes an ADSR pitch tracker with voiced/unvoiced recognition, pitch tracking indicator, separate processing of voiced vs. unvoiced input, built-in soft knee limiter with color-coded LED indicator, and some of the other things already mentioned.
But how does it sound? That’s the crux of the matter, right?
Well, this is a different kind of plugin. Basically, it’s a vocal re-tuner. So, it’s meant to be applied to voice tracks. It’s not like an autotune exactly, but it does give you the ability to take a melody and turn it into something else. And you can add harmonies to make one voice sound more like a choir, which is neat.
MIDI Choir is available for Windows only.
Download: MV’s Plugins
So… Are Free Choir VSTs Even Worth It?
Okay, so you might have come this far into the list and thought to yourself “none of these are all that great.”
Look, I’ll level with you. There are some decent plugins here, but yeah, I wouldn’t call any of them “professional.” Which isn’t to say they aren’t usable.
When it comes to music production, it isn’t just about the plugins you’re using, so much as how the sound fits in with the mix, why it’s there, the purpose it serves, and so forth.
So, it’s easy to say, “I don’t like this sound – I would never work with it.” But then you don’t give yourself the chance to experiment and discover.
And honestly, I feel like that’s the best part of music production. You get to experiment, try different things, see what works, see what you like.
I’ve had projects where certain effects or plugins ended up becoming fast favorites, and I ended up using some of them repeatedly in certain projects. I’m not necessarily advocating that, but the point is that you never quite know what might end up working, or what could end up becoming one of your favorite VSTs.
The next part is something I’ve already alluded to. Depending on how you place something in the mix, it can sound better. And the effects you apply to it also make a difference.
It seems silly, but a cheap piano can sound amazing with a bit of a delay on it. A free organ can sound great if you double track it. And so on.
The beauty of music production isn’t just hidden in the plugins you use. It’s also hidden in the processes you use.
So, I get that you might not be 100% satisfied with the above. That said, there might not be a whole lot else in the “free” price range. What I would suggest doing, if you don’t have a budget for plugins right now, is to download what’s here, experiment for a while, save up, and when you’re ready, purchase a premium choir plugin, even just a cheap one.
If you do, you’re going to appreciate the difference between the free ones and the paid one so much more. You’ll feel like it’s been worth the effort and the journey.
There’s nothing wrong with free. I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with free plugins, and I continue to use some of them in my music. There’s a lot you can do without spending thousands of dollars on expensive VSTs. So, take your time, experiment, and have fun.
What Would I Use A Choir VST For?
Well, if you’re a composer, then a choir plugin is practically a given, right? You need strings, and you need choir. And maybe a few others like piano. But then you’d basically be set.
You could start creating your epic compositions. Sure, they might not sound like what you hear at the theaters, but you’d be off to a running start. All you’d need to do to upgrade is save up some money for some better plugins.
I think you can use choir for just about any genre where you need a little mood in the background. Except for the LABS – Choir plugin, I can’t imagine using any of the above as the melody or lead instrument, which is why I say “background.”
But for instance, you could “punch up” a chorus with a bit of choral backing on a rock song. You could throw in some choral sounds intermittently in your electronic music track. You could even try it in a full-band blues song.
It doesn’t matter if it hasn’t been done before or doesn’t necessarily “belong” in a genre. Breaking rules is what music is all about, and what’s fun is the experimentation can sometimes pay off.
Best Free Choir VST Plugins, Final Thoughts
Thanks for joining us. We hope you found at least one plugin you could see yourself using on your next mix. And we hope it helps you make some awesome music. We’ll keep our ears open for it!
I know I’m kind of beating a dead horse here but do make sure to experiment lots. It’s worth it.
See you back here for more plugin talk.