Best Free Indian Instrument VST Plugins

16 Best Free Indian Instrument VST Plugins 2024

Last Updated on January 1, 2024

So, you’re looking to incorporate the often beautiful, sometimes mysterious, oftentimes droning, and hypnotic sounds of Indian instruments into your musical productions.

Well, Indian instrument VST plugins aren’t exactly in abundant supply – whether we’re talking free or premium products.

That said, if you’re determined to round out your collection, have no worries, because we’ve looked, and we’ve compiled. Here we explore the best free Indian instrument VST plugins.

Acoustic Dhol Lite by RDGAudio

Acoustic Dhol Lite by RDGAudio

RDGAudio’s Acoustic Dhol Lite is a sample-based percussive virtual instrument utilizing samples from three leather Indian dhols – wooden, steel, and fiber (we’re not sure exactly what this means either, but it’s what the developer shared in their product description, in broken English).

Acoustic Dhol Lite includes 22 presets and over 100 articulations, perfectly suited to Indian, Bollywood, Punjabi, and Bhangra styles.

Break free from the world of generic and restrictive catch-all Indian dhol loops, and instead create your own rhythmic patterns using the crisp-sounding Acoustic Dohl Lite to spice up your tracks.

Download: RDGAudio

DSK Indian DreamZ by DSK Music

DSK Indian DreamZ by DSK Music

When all else fails, you can count on DSK Music to deliver an array of virtual instruments.

DSK Indian DreamZ delivers to you six velocity-responsive Indian instruments you can utilize in your productions – sitar, veena, sarod, tar, tampura, and tambra. And you will not find alternatives to most of these instruments elsewhere!

Also included are a few basic tone shaping controls – amp, envelope, and micro-detuner, as well as HP and LP filters. Additionally, DSK Indian DreamZ is MIDI automation capable.

I’ll be honest – I don’t usually have high hopes for DSK Music’s virtual instruments, but DSK Indian DreamZ honestly doesn’t sound half bad.

Download: DSK Music

DSK World Stringz by DSK Music

DSK World Stringz by DSK Music

DSK World Stringz isn’t exclusively an Indian virtual instrument. That said, in addition to the included sitar sound, you might find some other useful string sounds here.

It includes 13 velocity-responsive string instruments from across the world, including dobro (probably the worst sounding), dulcimer, Celtic harp, cumbus, guzhen, kanum, koto, luam, pipa, pipa tremolo, sitar, tar, and Turkish oud.

It doesn’t come with much by way of tone-shaping parameters, but it does include basic reverb and level knobs. And it does have built-in MIDI automation functionality too.

If you’re looking to round out your collection of world string instruments (some sound better than others), this could be a fun entry to add to your virtual instrument library.

DSK World Stringz is Mac and Windows compatible.

Download: DSK Music

Syntar by Syntar

Syntar by Syntar

When it comes to Indian genres, the sitar is essential. Syntar will deliver the sitar tones required to make your music come alive.

Along with basic sensitivity, sustain, and release controls, Syntar also features customizable delay, distortion, and flanger effects. The effects allow for some truly gritty, bizarre, and cool sounds. You can take your sitar to experimental territory if you so desire!

Overall, Syntar sounds very decent. Check out the video and hear it for yourself.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Sama Harmonium by Samsara Cycle Audio

Sama Harmonium by Samsara Cycle Audio

The harmonium is like an accordion-organ hybrid and is yet another Indian music favorite. Samsara Cycle Audio’s Sama Harmonium is a CPU-friendly virtual harmonium with an envelope section, four drawbars, three tone controls, velocity controls, tune, and MIDI learn.

This is not a sample-based virtual instrument, so I suppose that makes it a “synthesized” harmonium.

To me, real harmoniums generally sound more like accordions than organs, but I find Sama Harmonium leans heavier on the organ side of things. That’s not a bad thing, though, and its sound is quite clear and cutting.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Tabla – Indian Drum Instrument VSTi FREE by Samsara Cycle Audio

Tabla – Indian Drum Instrument VSTi FREE by Samsara Cycle Audio

Samsara Cycle Audios’ Tabla features 16 sample control sections, 120 samples, MIDI / musical note reference selector, envelope (attack, decay, sustain, release), pan, tune, level, bend on / off for all control sections, and output level controls.

While this virtual tabla instrument doesn’t boast the richness and depth of a real tabla, it still has a very authentic sound to it.

Download: Samsara Cycle Audio

MURALI II ETHNIC WIND VSTi by Samsara Cycle Audio

MURALI II ETHNIC WIND VSTi by Samsara Cycle Audio

Murali II Ethnic Wind comes with multiple modes (NAF, quena, sulong, bamboo, bansuri, ocarina, whistle, pipe, chanter, duduk), vibrato, envelope, tone, delay, tune, oscillator, waveform, velocity, auto-bend, level controls, and much more.

For an array of ethnic wind colors, you’re unlikely to find a free solution better than this one.

Download: Samsara Cycle Audio

DEVANAGARI – Virtual Synth FREE VSTi by Samsara Cycle Audio

DEVANAGARI – Virtual Synth FREE VSTi by Samsara Cycle Audio

The DEVANAGARI virtual synth comes with four soundwaves (brass, strings, voice, piano), joystick mix control, four oscillators (each with seven to eight waveforms), amp and filter envelopes, and much more.

Synthesizers are frequently used in Indian music because of their versatility, especially in modern Indian pop music (which shares much in common with North American pop and hip-hop music).

The video below doesn’t necessarily cast Devanagari in the best light. It has some okay tones, but if you’re looking for better free synthesizers, they are out there.

But if you want something from Samsara Cycle Audio, this is it.

Download: Samsara Cycle Audio

Samsara Sitar by Samsara Cycle Audio

Samsara Sitar by Samsara Cycle Audio

Samsara Cycle Audio’s Samsara Sitar serves up sitar and tambura sounds on a platter. The plugin comes with an array of EQ, auto-bend, reverb, velocity, output, and vibrato controls for total tonal flexibility. Samsara Sitar also comes with MIDI learn functionality.

I think you’ll agree the sitar sounds not half bad. It’s not the clearest or most authentic sounding, especially on the bottom end, but the upper end could easily cut through a mix.

Download: Samsara Cycle Audio

Shruti by Samsara Cycle Audio

Shruti by Samsara Cycle Audio

Free virtual shruti box plugins aren’t exactly in plentiful supply. Fortunately, there is Samsara Cycle Audio’s Shruti.

No samples were used in the creation of this virtual instrument, which would, again, make this a synthesized Shruti box.

It comes with two sound sections, three tone controls, classic key switches for reed note selection, octave and tone Q level controls, attack and decay, bellow effect (with speed, strength, and host sync), as well as MIDI learn.

Shruti doesn’t sound exactly like a real Shruti box, but it comes close. It’s part synthesizer, part organ, at least to my ears. Either way, the instrument is meant to be used for drones, so this plugin can fulfill that simple purpose.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Harmonium by Softrave

Harmonium by Softrave

Developer Softrave had the rare opportunity to sample a 19th century harmonium in Moscow in creating the Harmonium virtual instrument.

They also acknowledge that this synth is three semitones lower than standard tuning, so you may want to compensate for this in your sequencer. That might have had something to do with the original instrument’s age, we’re not sure.

This Harmonium sounds like a cross between a flute, organ, harmonica, and maybe a melodica. Overall, a very warm, usable sound.

Harmonium is available for Windows only.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Harmonus by Lostin70s

Harmonus by Lostin70s

Harmonus was inspired by the Magnus Model 300 Harmonium. The samples were captured in stereo and denoised to offer the best sound quality possible.

Harmonus comes with a “one finger chord” mode, extended range (from two octaves to a full 88-key instrument), and a few built-in effects, including EQ, reverb, chorus, and tremolo.

This one has a slight violin like quality to it. It’s very warm and full!

Harmonus is available for Mac and Windows.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Varazuvi Indian Flute by Varazuvi

Varazuvi Indian Flute by Varazuvi

This 24-bit virtual instrument was created using two octaves of multiple velocity layered samples (with short, mid, and long variations) of a real Indian flute originally recorded in 24-bit / 48 kHz fidelity.

It comes with a few basic tone shaping controls including attack, decay, sustain, release, volume, and reverb.

Regardless of how the samples were captured, this instrument only sounds vaguely like a flute, and more like a pipe. That said, you never know when odds and ends might come in handy, and this is an interesting odd and end.

Download: Plugin Boutique

Sonatina Violin by bigcat instruments

Sonatina Violin by bigcat instruments

The violin is another instrument that’s commonly used in Indian music. I wouldn’t say there are any exceedingly thrilling free options out there, but there are some legacy oddities like Sonatina Violin, a sampled violin instrument utilizing samples from the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra library.

In addition to a solo violin mode, you’ve got sustain, tremolo, staccato, and pizzicato modes to explore.

Sonatina Violin is okay. We can’t go too hard on it, but it’s way off from sounding like a real violin. It still has some nice qualities to it, and for sketches and demos, it should more than suffice.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

LABS – Soft Piano by Spitfire Audio

LABS – Soft Piano by Spitfire Audio

The piano is widely used in a variety of musical genres, for scoring and composing, for accompaniment and leads, as a solo instrument, and much more. And in Indian music, the piano plays an important role too.

We’re starting to hear rumblings of free piano VSTs that compete with Spitfire Audio’s LABS – Soft Piano, but this piano VST still stands out as an otherwise superb entry.

This type of “soft” piano effect is achieved using felt, and you don’t need to go looking far and wide to find references to “felt piano” online.

Since it is a soft piano, this selection is somewhat limited in its range. The LABS series of plugins are, after all, mostly one trick ponies (but great sounding one trick ponies). For composing and scoring, though, it’s certainly on point.

You can get Soft Piano for Windows and Mac.

Download: Spitfire Audio

T30-GP by 12bitz

T30-GP by 12bitz

If you’re looking for piano sounds other than Spitfire Audio’s, you might enjoy 12bitz’ T30-GP, a sampled virtual grand piano instrument.

For this entry, a digital piano based on the Steinway Grand was sampled. It’s a little bizarre, but in this case, it seems to work. It helps that the digital piano was known for its sound quality.

While it doesn’t boast the richness and depth of a real grand piano, all the attack and higher end cut are here.

In total, you get 88 keys, three velocity layers, and 264 samples. While it is available for Windows and Mac, the developer warns that T30-GP may not work with recent versions of Mac OS.

Download: PLUGINS 4 FREE

Top Free Indian Instrument VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

There may not be that many free Indian instrument VST plugins out there, especially high-quality ones. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love to see more of them available!

If you can capture samples and put together your own Indian instrument VSTs (even if you require a bit of help in making it happen), do it. There are people waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of great sounding virtual instruments.

Either way, we hope you enjoyed this guide and found what you’re looking for. Have fun!

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