Looking for the best free Reason plugins? In this article I'll show you my 10 favorite plugins that are free for Reason 9+ users. These free plugins are a combination of Reason Rack Extensions and VST plugins, so there's a wider universe of plugins than in my other article on the 10best free Reason Rack Extensions.
One more note before we jump into it.
This list is focused on effects, utilities, and tools that expand Reason's core features. These will all allow you to use Reason in more powerful ways than you currently can. But this list doesn't include any free synthesizers. Not because there aren't some amazing free synth VSTs (like these and these), but because Reason has a ton of synths already, so any particular free synth isn't totally necessary!
Note: this article may contain affiliate links, which mean that I receive a commission for any purchases you make, at no added cost to you.
1. Best Free EQ Plugin for Reason - Tokyo Dawn Nova and Blue Cat Triple EQ
Blue Cat's Triple EQ is a decent enough EQ - not that there is anything particularly wrong with the EQ in Reason's mixer. But where the Triple EQ really shines as a free EQ plugin is its ability to allow you to quickly enter mid/side EQ mode. By default, Reason doesn't easily allow you for mid/side EQ processing, so this free EQ VST makes it really easy to start exploring the powerful, advanced EQ strategy.
The free version of Nova by Tokyo Dawn is also worthy free edition to your VST collection. It can work as a dynamic EQ, dynamic compressor and multi-band EQ, looks great, and is totally free!
2. Best Sample Management Tool for Reason - LoopMasters Loopcloud
LoopCloud is an essential plugin for Reason in my opinion, because Reason's sample management tools are so weak. With LoopCloud, you can manage all of your samples from a single place (including the stock samples that come with Reason)!
You can instantly sort by type of instrument, genre, and mood. You can tag favorites.
Even more powerfully, LoopCloud synchs to your song's play head and BPM, so you can audition samples and loops in a way that is totally locked into your song.
But wait, there's more! LoopCloud automatically detects the key of each sample, and you can have it automatically transpose samples to be in the key of your song so you can quickly audition lots of samples and see what fits best.
And actually, there's a ton more you can do with LoopCloud, too. Because it is also a powerful tool for chopping up and remixing samples. You can find my full review of LoopCloud here.
The only downside is that LoopCloud requires a credit card to sign up for the free trial. But if you cancel the free trial, you still get to keep the software totally for free.
3. Best Free Transient Shaper for Reason - Transperc
If you've never used a transient shopper before, you are mixing with one hand tied behind your back. Transient shapers allow you to easily control the attack and sustain of your sounds to bring out more punch - or less, to soften the tail or enhance it. And Transperc is the best free transient shaper VST plugin around. I literally never mix a song with out two or three transient shapers active on my drums, pads, and even bass.
While you can use some basic transient shaping by routing through Kong, Reason really lacks a full fledged transient shaper. Which is why I have to give Transperc a big recommendation.
4. Best Free De-esser for Reason - T-De-Esser
Are you unhappy with your vocal takes? Are they too sibilant? Is your acoustic guitar too bright and shiny? Or maybe there's too much finger noise? A de-esser makes it super easy to solve all of these problems. And T-De-Esser is the best free version that I'd recommend for Reason. While you can jerry-rig a de-esser in Reason a couple of different ways, nothing compares to the smooth workflow and better visual feedback and control that comes with having a dedicate de-esser plugin.
5. Best Free Note Taking Plugin for Reason - Remark
Remark by Selig is one of the most essential Reason plugins out there. It's a super simple concept - a note taking rack strip. And it's incredibly useful. You can use it to leave notes to yourself for later, like: "the song is in D min" or "be sure to adjust the filter on the bass." Or you could even write lyrics on it.
6. Best Free A/B Plugin for Reason - Pongasoft A/B
The ability to quickly flip between two different sounds is super helpful for choosing which one sounds better. And there's no better free Reason plugin for quickly auditioning two different sound sources than Pongasoft's A/B. Simple, straightforward, and powerful, and A/B switch is great not only for sound selection, but for mixing and mastering to make sure you're sounding like your reference track.
7. Best Free Saturation Plugin for Reason - SofTube Saturation Knob
Reason includes all sorts of great distortion tools, but it doesn't include as much flexibility for simple, subtle saturation. Enter SofTube, masters of emulating vintage hardware. The SofTube saturation knob is a simple to use free rack extension tool to subtly warm up your tracks with a touch of harmonic saturation. Can't recommend this one enough.
8. Best Free Upward Compressor for Reason - Xfer OTT
As far as I know, there's no easy way to create upward compression in Reason. And there's definitely know easy way to create multi-band upward compression. But this is where the free VST OTT totally excels. It is a wonderful plugin for bringing out subtle detail in a tracks - at the expense of the major details. It is a must have tool when used judiciously to bring out detail. But when over-used on the main tracks of your mix, it will destroy your dynamics and balance.
9. Best Volume Meter for Reason - TBPro Audio mvMeter 2
Gain staging is what separates amateur producers from the pros. and there's no better free plugin for gain staging than TBPro Audio's mvMeter 2. I literally use it on every song I make. While Reason does include some nice meters, there not visible when you're deep in the rack, which makes a tool like the mvMeter a must. Not only that, but it's much easier to read than any of the stock Reason meters.
10. Best Free Mid/Side tool for Reason - RedRocks RE181 Mid Side
If you're ready to take the plunge into complex mid/side processing, than RedRocks' RE181 is the free Rack Extension tool for you! It lets you encode audio into its mid and side portions, so that you can process each separately. Whether you want to do mid/side compression, distortion, or EQ, this is a handy free Rack Extension to increase Reason's power.
Concluding thoughts on the 10 Best Free Reason Plugins
These are my favorite 10 free plugins for Reason, but they're not the only ones out there. Please be sure to let us know your favorite free Reason plugins in the comments below so that we can share them with the world1
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