Don’t worry. Making trap music doesn’t mean you have to go and spend hundreds of dollars on top-of-the-line plugins. There are SO many great free VST plugins out there that you can add to your arsenal without paying a dime.
From stereo wideners to VST synths and beyond, here’s our list of the top 10 free trap VSTs on the market today!
#1 Iota Mini
Iota Mini is a VST plugin made for trap producers by trap producers. Don’t let the “Mini” portion of the name sway you. There are SO many possibilities with this plugin that it’s surprising it’s free. In our eyes, it’s a Swiss Army Knife that allows you to choose the perfect instrumentation for your trap beats. If you’ve ever used Omnisphere, it’s almost as if the Angelic Vibes team got together and compiled all of the best trap sounds from the VST instrument to give you a taste of high-fidelity goodness.
You’ll find 50 instruments packed into Iota Mini, including pads, bells, keys, basses, and plucks.
There are also ten drum kits, with 60 percussion samples in total. What’s truly incredible about this plugin is that it is super easy to use, which is surprising when you consider how versatile it is. There are only two windows to choose from, one of which gives you an envelope generator, a low-pass filter, and a ton of reverb controls. The other provides you with pan positions and volume faders for each of the drum samples.
Iota Mini is one of the few plugins on the market that was made specifically for trap music, which is why it’s a must-have for any trap music producer’s arsenal.
#2 u-He TyrellN6
No matter what kinds of trap beats you have in your head, there’s nothing like having a versatile synth that can get the job done while tackling any kind of sound. u-He’s TuyrellN6 is a classic VST synth. You can find it in just about every major producer’s arsenal.
The classic interface is super easy to get the hang of, especially if you’re new to the world of music production. Plus, the hardware-style design is inspiring, giving you something interesting to look at while you conjure up heavy trap melodies.
The interface features two LFOs, two oscillators, envelopes, filters, and a mixer. You get all the knobs and sliders to create any sound you hear in your head. Of course, if synthesis and sound design aren’t your things, there are over 580 factory presets for you to choose from, sparking your creativity in a matter of moments.
u-He’s TyrellN6 delivers a warm yet heavy sound, very reminiscent of 80s hardware. From keys to pads to basses to leads, you get everything you need to make a trap beat. Seriously, you could use nothing but this plugin and create thousands of unique trap beats.
Even better, it’s very light on the CPU, allowing you to load up multiple instances of the plugin while keeping your session running smoothly.
#3 iZotope Ozone Imager
iZotope Ozone Imager is one of the best stereo widening plugins on the market right now. Best of all? It’s free! As you can probably discern from the name, this plugin is made to control the stereo width of your track.
If you want your track to sound as professional as possible (and who wouldn’t?), then having control over your stereo width is crucial. More often than not, you’ll want your low frequencies as narrow as possible (typically in mono), while you’ll want your higher frequencies sitting wider. Put some of the elements in your mix even wider than that and you have a dynamic mix that covers the entire range of the stereo field.
The free version of Ozone Imager gives you control over the level of stereo image control. Essentially, you can control the width of your stereo field and get real-time feedback from the visualizer, taking your widening game to the next level.
#4 Glitchmachines Fracture
Having a plugin that gives you something unexpected is great when you hit a creative wall. For strategically placed stutters and skips, Glitchmachines’ Fracture is one of the best plugins around. There’s no better way to add ear candy to your songs or shake the groove of your song up than with these kinds of effects, especially if you’re working with repetitive loops and rhythms. With Fracture, you can take your trap beats from the streets to outer space.
On the interface, you’ll find three LFOs, an effects chain, a buffer, a delay, and tons of filter effects. Don’t worry. You don’t have to know a thing about sound design to use it either, as the plugin comes complete with 110 presets for you to dip your toes in.
#5 BPB Cassette Drums
BPB Cassette Drums is a necessary plugin for anyone that wants to add the classic sounds of analog drums to their productions. Within the BPB Cassette Drums bundle, you’ll find emulation of the iconic Roland 606, 808, and 808 hardware drum machines. To add some sizzle to your cymbals and some oomph to your bass drums, this is the kind of plugin you need. Plus, there’s nothing like vintage characteristics to spice up modern production.
Withing BPB Cassette Drums, you’ll find the crème de la crème of Roland’s drum machine arsenal. There are three modes to choose from including clean, warm, and hot. Clean gives you pristine, unprocessed sounds to work with, while warm and hot run the sounds through cassette-player-style saturation, giving you the dirt you desire!
We love how intuitive the interface is, giving you volume and release controls to manipulate your drums to help them fit in your mix.
#6 Spitfire LABS
It’s hard to boil Spitfire LABS down to a single category, as it has so many high-quality sounds built into it. From live instruments to textures and atmospheres, it may be one of the coolest and most innovative free VSTs in years.
This free VST instrument comes packed with tons of unique sounds. As of right now, there are almost 30 packs that you can download from the Spitfire website to load up in this VST. You can choose one or choose them all. It’s totally up to you! From drums to strings to guitars to atmospheric pads, the range is quite large!
For making trap beats, however, we highly recommend going with the pads and leads. The handbells are great to create a melodic and atmospheric backing, while the modular piano works really well for a lead! Drench the “Amplified Cello Quarter” in a bath of reverb to fill out any empty space, and you have yourself a trap beat like none other!
The cool thing about Spitfire LABS is that it features sounds that were recorded live. So yes, if you’re looking for a purely digital sound from your VST, this might not be the right choice for you. However, if you’re feeling experimental and want to make trap beats from a huge selection of high-fidelity, live sampled instruments, then Spitfire LABS is one of the best free VSTs we could recommend.
#7 Studiolinked Drum Pro
If you don’t already have enough punch from your percussion section, then Studiolinked Drum Pro can provide. This rompler contains samples from some of the most iconic hardware drum machines of all time, including the Roland TR-808 and 909 hardware units. There are some kits in Drum Pro that are much better for boom-bap beats, though if you’re looking to activate the trap god inside of you, you’ll find plenty of great samples.
There are 20 drum kit presets to start you off, which come in a wide range of styles, perfect for just about any kind of trap beat. The interface looks a lot like a classic MPC, giving you virtual pads to punch in your beats as you would back in the day. You’ll also find an ADSR envelope, volume controls, panning controls, and a built-in reverb, which surprisingly sounds pretty good.
Learn how to make your drums hit even HARDER with our free tutorial.
#8 D16 Frontier
There’s no question that modern trap music needs to be LOUD. With D16 Frontier in your arsenal, you can crank the volume while keeping your mix intact. This plugin has a charming design, giving you the look and feel of a true hardware limiter (something D16 Group is really good at). For a free VST, it feels unusually luxurious.
You’ll find a variety of simple limiting features, allowing you to pump your master to its limits or keep individual tracks and busses under control. With an intelligent algorithm, the plugin adjusts its makeup gain automatically. One less step of adjusting volume means a smoother and faster workflow for you.
The true beauty of D16 comes from those times when you need to add a slight bit more color to your sound. For example, your 808 bass might be lacking that saturation it needs to cut through on smaller speakers. With the D16 Frontier, you can push your 808s to the limit while adding that warm, buzzy goodness that they need.
With a fantastic limiting algorithm and excellent dynamics, the D16 Frontier is one of our favorite limiters on the market right now and one you should absolutely add to your collection!
#9 Softube Saturation Knob
Adding saturation to your mix is necessary, especially if you’re working in the often-sterile digital realm. Don’t let the free price tag of Softube Saturation Knob fool you. This plugin is used by Grammy Award-winning producers and engineers to bring life to otherwise cold and lifeless mixes. It’s a must-have for making trap music.
While the design is pretty straightforward, you can pull a lot from this VST. Softube did an excellent job arranging the interface, giving you the look and feel of an expensive hardware saturation unit and the sound to match.
You’ll find a single, large saturation knob and three “types” of saturation, including “Keep High,” “Keep Low,” and “Neutral.”
“Keep High” is a great setting when you want to add a bit of grit to the lower frequencies while maintaining the clean integrity of your high frequencies. As you probably guessed, the “Keep Low” setting works the other way around, saturating your high frequencies while keeping your low frequencies clean.
No matter what you throw this plugin on, it sounds excellent. From giving synth leads a hard edge to adding character to vocals to fattening up your 808 basslines, Softube Saturation Knob is a crucial tool for trap producers.
#10 Auburn Sounds Graillon 2
Modern trap production calls for autotuned vocals, so having a quality autotune plugin in your arsenal is crucial. Graillon 2 is a live pitch correction plugin that can give your vocalist the spice they need to rise above the millions of other trap beat vocalists out there. If you’re going for that Travis Scott or Future style of trap, then this plugin is ideal. Of course, it can be just as helpful for that “singer” that comes into your studio and sounds half-asleep on the track.
What Plugins Do I Need To Make Beats?
To make beats, you’ll need to have some instrument VSTs. Drum sampler plugins, synth plugins, or sampled live instrument plugins are great to start with. We also recommend getting some EQ, compression, and time-based plugins (reverb and delay) to mix the elements of your beats together and create a cohesive mix.
What VSTs Do Trap Producers Use?
The types of plugins trap producers use varies from one producer to the next, though some of the top plugins we see in trap producer arsenals include:
- Xfer Serum
- Output Exhale
- Native Instruments Kontakt
- reFX Nexus
- Loopmasters Bass Master
- Spectrasonics Omnisphere
The great thing about all of these trap plugins being free is that you can try all of them without any risk! Make sure to download some of them and experiment to find which ones work for your trap productions! Make sure to also check out our FL Studio Courses to learn how to put some of these free plugins to use!