How to Use Virtual Instruments (50+ Free VST Plugins)

Virtual instruments allow you to make complicated synth parts with NO external gear.

They require a very simple setup and make editing or
altering your parts very easy.

(Links to over 50 FREE Virtual Instruments are at the bottom of the article. Also get a free samplepack here)

With virtual instruments, you use midi to program in your notes.

By using midi to program your parts, you can transpose or quantize the notes with one button press.

To do this, go to ‘Event Operations‘, under the Event tab. You can easily see what a melody will sound like up or down an octave by transposing the notes.

I started working with VSTs in the past six months and i love it. I have a Korg Triton, but my keyboard skills are kind of weak and its much easier to program in my parts with Midi.

What is a Virtual Instrument?

A virtual instrument is a sound module that can emulate many types of synthesizers like classic analog or modular synths, or even acoustic instruments like violin or piano.

A virtual instrument allows you to program notes in with midi, or play them in with a midi controller, like a keyboard or a midi guitar.

You add a virtual instrument module to your DAW session, the same way you would add an effects plugin.

VSTs allow you to create complicated parts even if you dont play an instrument.

How to set up a Virtual Instrument

To create a virtual instrument track, click “new”, under the track tab. Then choose instrument track.

Next, add your virtual instrument as a plugin on the mix window. Next, program some parts, or play them with your midi controller. That’s it.

I like using midi to program my parts because you can do everything ‘in the box’, without any cables of outboard gear to worry about.

You can take your laptop to a coffee shop and make music if you want.

Types of Virtual Instruments

I’ve only used one type of virtual instrument so far, which is called Xpand2 (which comes stock with pro tools).

There are many types of sound modules that you can buy, so, i wouldn’t say  that i’m an expert in all the types. But i plan on testing more out soon.

I would say that Xpand2 is decent, so far.  But, it definitely works well enough and will give you some good sounding parts if you process everything correctly with effects.

Free Virtual Instruments

Here are some links to free virtual instruments i found that you might wanna check out: (Also get a free samplepack here)


Togu Audio



About 50 more

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