Best Free Filter VST Plugins

15 Best Free Filter VST Plugins 2024

Last Updated on January 1, 2024

There are several ways to shape sounds in music production, including EQ, saturation, and sometimes even compression. Another favorite tool, for most, are filters.

Nowadays, there are plenty of VST plugins with built-in filter options, but that isn’t to say standalone filter modules don’t also have their place.

In this guide, we look at the best free filter VST plugins you can use to create sweeps, filter out frequencies, clean up mixes, and more.

TAL-Filter-2 by TAL Software

TAL-Filter-2 by TAL Software

With several quality, free products on the market, TAL Software is a go-to when you’re looking for freebies that don’t suck (although they only offer a few).

That can only mean one thing, that TAL-Filter-2 doesn’t suck, and not surprisingly, it doesn’t. TAL-Filter-2 features multiple modulation types (LP 12 dB, BP 12 dB, HP 12 dB, Pan, Volume), SVF filter with diode clipper in the feedback path (self-oscillation possible), and a spline editor.

It also includes stereo offset for modulation when in filter mode, host sync with multiple options (normal, dotted, etc.), automatable trigger button, legacy mode (for backward compatibility only), file-based presets, and MIDI NoteOn trigger option.

From panorama and volume modulation to tremolo or trance gate style effects, TAL-Filter-2 is a simple but effective filter.

TAL-Filter-2 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can also find the original TAL-Filter if you go looking for it (but not on the TAL Software website).

Download: TAL Software

Filterjam by AudioThing

Filterjam by AudioThing

This multi-band resonant filter offers unique ringmod-like filtered sounds. This is accomplished by dividing the input signal into four bands. These bands are summed or multiplied depending on the mode you’ve selected.

Filterjam can be used subtly, but it can also be pushed to extremes. It can add brightness or even give depth to synths. It can also transform and mangle acoustic sounds if you so desire.

In the demo below, you’ll be able to see what it sounds like when FIlterjam is being used on four separate electronic sounds.

Download: AudioThing

FILTERSTEP by Audiomodern

FILTERSTEP by Audiomodern

Audiomodern calls FILTERSTEP a “creative motion filter,” perfect for creating rhythmic effects (which should make it especially appealing for electronic music styles).

FILTERSTEP syncs to host tempo, and features a wet / dry mix control, infinity mode, quick load presets, instant / tap bypass for live performance, quantization settings, motion selector, customizable sequence range, and it’s MIDI controllable.

With the click of a mouse, the dice button in the middle lets you randomize the filter steps. You can further tweak the parameters to achieve the desired effect (smoothness, resonance, etc.).

FILTERSTEP is available for Windows and Mac as well as iOS (iPad and iPhone).

Download: Audiomodern

FAT Filter by SoundSpot

FAT Filter by SoundSpot

SoundSpot’s FAT Filter takes full advantage of their proprietary analog modeled algorithm. This gives you smooth transitions and it keeps CPU usage light too.

FAT Filter’s control scheme is very straightforward. There are knobs for cut off and resonance, and a high pass switch. That’s it.

But just as SoundSpot says, the filter sounds very smooth and transparent.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Nibiru 3 by B.Serrano

Nibiru 3 by B.Serrano

The Nibiru 3 parallel filter effect comes with four multimode cascaded filters (LP, BP, HP, Peak, bypass), four curves response for each filter, drift effect for each filter, four host syncable LFOs, 16-steps controller, envelope follower, paraphonic graphical mod-envelope with 32 segments (loopable and host syncable), and an 8×8 modulation matrix.

Nibiru has gone through a few iterations, and the latest is more powerful and versatile than ever.

Download: KVR Audio Software

HY-Filter3 by HY-Plugins

HY-Filter3 by HY-Plugins

Available for Windows and Mac, HY-Plugins’ multimode modulation HY-Filter 3 is version three of a freemium filter plugin.

While the premium version features five filter modes, modulation, and two FX units, the free version only comes with two filter modes (SVF and Reso) with no modulation or FX.

It is still a nicely designed plugin though, and the free version leaves you with enough controls to keep things interesting.

In the video below, you can hear what HY-Filter3 can do for percussion, strings, Rhodes, synth, filter sweeps, and more.

Download: HY-Plugins

Naive LPF by Admiral Quality

Naive LPF by Admiral Quality

Admiral Quality’s Naive LPF is a resonant low / high-pass filter offering up a classic sound. It comes with an envelope follower for each of the six channels, automation, MIDI CC, as well as joystick control for all parameters.

As you can tell from the interface, Naive LPF comes with controls for mode, stages, input trim, output saturation, cutoff frequency, resonance, envelope amount, attack lag, and release lag.

Fair warning – Naive LPF is still available to download and use as a free VST plugin, but it is no longer supported or updated by the developer.

To be fair, that is probably true of most legacy plugins you find on sites like PLUGINS 4 FREE.

Download: Admiral Quality

PA FREE bx_cleansweep V2 by Plugin Alliance

PA FREE bx_cleansweep V2 by Plugin Alliance

bx_cleansweep V2 was designed to be the first plugin to be added to your mix channel to filter out low-end mud and rumble, and piercing, unruly, gritty highs that clutter up your mix.

Even though it’s free, the developer swears they used quality technology, including Brainworx filters with “Anti Crush Technology,” which uses analog style filter curves. This technology was originally used in their pro mastering EQ, bx_digital V2.

Overall, this filter comes with continuously variable high and low pass filters, separate controls for high and low frequencies, joystick control, Brainworx filters, bypass switch, shortcuts for control over the X- and Y-axis of the joystick, EQ knobs with precision mode, mouse over feature, and direct access. The plugin is also fully automatable.

bx_cleansweep V2 becomes available to you for free the moment you register an account with Plugin Alliance.

Download: Plugin Alliance

BPB FilterCrusher by Audio Assault

BPB FilterCrusher by Audio Assault

The “pay what you want” BPB FilterCrusher features a tube circuit originally found in Audio Assault’s GrindMachine tube amplifier plugin.

BPB FIlterCrusher comes with two independent resonant filters (high pass, low pass). The effect is perfect for cleaning up high and low frequencies cluttering up a mix. These filters can also be used for filter sweep effects, boosting certain frequency regions, emulating analog circuit response, and so on.

The tube circuitry is subtle by default. But you can keep increasing the input gain and adjust the output volume, as necessary, to “warm up” the audio signal while adding light compression. Great for drums and synths!

If you want to distort the signal further, you can take advantage of the CRUSH button, because that’s what it’s there for.

BPB FilterCrusher is available for Windows and Mac.

Download: Gumroad

sTiltV2 by TBProAudio

sTiltV2 by TBProAudio

TBProAudio’s sTiltV2 is a linear phase filter with a distortion free processing engine. This filter will tilt your audio spectrum around an adjustable center frequency.

sTiltV2 also features a scalable GUI, five quality modes (low, eco, medium, high, max), unit autogain, switchable clip protection, filter limit, channel selection and monitoring (stereo, left, right, mid, side), and bypass.

As you’ll see in the video below, you can do some cool things with this plugin.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Mad Filter by Rast Sound

Mad Filter by Rast Sound

Rast Sound’s Mad Filter is an analog filter / drive plugin with warm, analog like circuits. It includes multiple filter types (lpass, hpass, bpass, notch), and you can trigger natural and complex LFO movements using the small circles above each knob.

If you want to add some randomness to the effect, you can take advantage of the “Go Mad” button.

Part filter, part saturation, this highly rated free plugin is sure to become a fast favorite among producers of all ilk.

Mad Filter is available for Windows and Mac.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

SVF2 by BetaBugsAudio

SVF2 by BetaBugsAudio

This two-pole state variable filter (12 dB / oct) lets you choose from low pass, band pass, band reject, high pass, and peak filter output modes for each stereo channel.

You can also morph between filter types and even configure the order in which filter types morph from one into the other.

While it might not be much to look at, you can do some interesting things with SVF2.

BetaBugsAudio’s SVF2 is available for Windows on PLUGINS 4 FREE.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Lawnmower by Shuttleplug

Lawnmower by Shuttleplug

Shuttleplug’s Lawnmower was built with drive in mind, and its features reflect this fact. But it does come with an entire filter section as well, so in that sense it might not be too far a departure from something like Mad Filter.

Whether you’re looking for a bit of grit and crunch, or you want to drench your tracks in fuzz, Lawnmower is versatile enough to give you just about anything you ask of it.

The developer says it’s great for synths, drums, and even vocals, but you can probably try it on just about anything you want (in the demo below, you can hear what it sounds like on a guitar track).

Lawnmower comes with controls for in, out, drive I (emulating an overdriven tube amp), drive II (with a harsher, more saturated sound), threshold drive II, filter, cut, rez, mix, clipper, high limit, and low limit.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Brandulator by Stone Voices

Brandulator by Stone Voices

This three-comb-filter effect is controlled by the built-in arpeggiator. Capable of producing an effect like a flanger, vocoder, or harmonizer, it takes the input signal and branches them out into three channels.

You can set tonal setting for each channel manually or by using a harmonic law from the list. Tones can also be randomized at the beginning of each bar.

For a lack of a better way of putting it, Brandulator basically sounds like you would expect it to. It adds a bit of a rhythmic flavor to your signal, which can add excitement to an otherwise boring synth track, as an example.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Bjorn by Fanan Team

Bjorn by Fanan Team

Fanan Team’s Bjorn is a simple but powerful multimode filter. This baby comes with 14 types of filters you can control via the X/Y pad. The plugin is CPU friendly.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Top Free Filter VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve got your filter VST plugins, it’s time to go and have some fun. There are a variety of filters available, and some are great for mixing and mastering, while others are great as effects. As with anything, it’s well worth spending time exploring and experimenting with the options available. Enjoy!