bpb Freeware Studio: Best Free Transient Shaper VST/AU Plugins


bpb Freeware Studio: Best Free Transient Shaper VST/AU Plugins

In the first BPB Freeware Studio article of 2012, let’s take a look at the best free transient shaper VST/AU plugins for Windows and Mac.

Follow the links for screenshots & download info:

My favorite freeware transient shaper plugin at the moment is Transient by Sleepy-Time Records (pictured below). It is a fantastic tool with a clean and simple user interface, featuring all of the controls needed for highly detailed tweaking of transients. Highly recommended! Another great one is Transient by Audio Assault, also recommended by our reader bmovie in the comments section below. Mac users will appreciate the fact that Audio Assault’s effect is also available as an AU plugin.

Transient by Sleepy-Time DSP.

Transient by Sleepy-Time DSP.

BitterSweet v3 by Flux has been around for quite a while (although it was recently updated to v3) and it is yet another great choice for a free transient shaper plugin. It was obviously designed with extreme ease of use in mind and lets the user control the transients using a single knob. Finally, dominion by digitalfishphones is a very old plugin (32-bit only), but still a really good tool if you can get it working in your DAW. Its developer is currently working for U-He, which is saying quite a lot about the quality of his DSP code.

We should also mention the legendary Transient Monster virtual effect by Stillwell. The evaluation copy is fully functional and completely free to download from the developer’s website, but keep in mind that the full licence will cost you $49.

Finally, for those unfamiliar with how transient shapers actually work, here’s a nice video tutorial by ourmixtape. The rule of thumb is to keep your settings subtle and listen to the processed track in context of the full mix. Rules are there to be broken though, so always feel free to experiment and use the rules only as a guideline.

So that’s all for the latest addition to our free VST plugins directory! Enjoy using the plugins, support BPB (by sharing links on Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, your favorite forums, websites, etc.) and have fun mixing music!

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About Author

Tomislav is a musician and a blogger. He writes about free and affordable music production tools on a daily basis here at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. Dominion still my fav.
    I even tested it against SPL ones and it killed them ;)

    As you can set the attack and sustain length, not only the level, you can be more in control than most others :D

  2. Not sure I should be telling you this… it’s my secret weapon… but there’s an awesome plugin that you probably already have installed that has several transient designers available for it (along with tons of other goodies): ReaJS, the JS scripting plugin available as part of the free Cockos Reeaplugs Suite.

    It includes a lot of “scripts” to start you off and there’s lots more on the Reaper forum; Filters, EQs, Compressors, Limiters, hell just about every sort of effect you could want!

    • bedroom producers blog on

      good point, i keep ReaJS installed but i’ve never really explored all the available scripts. i know that Stillwell Audio did quite a bit of work in that format – even some of their VSTs are available for ReaJS as freeware. will have to give it a test sometime soon. :]

  3. the bittersweet is muy go-to since i’m using pro tools. It’s great, and really musical. can’t believe it’s free!

  4. Very impressed, I never use a transient designer, I do that with compressors, but now I know how do it better with my synth lines!!

    Everyday we can learn something new!!!


    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      oh i’ve tested Transient and it’s simply brilliant. i’m waiting for KVR DC12 voting stage to finish and i’ll update the Free VST Plugins section on BPB with my favorites, including Transient.

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