They say that a DAW, a compressor, an EQ, and a reverb are everything you’ll need to make a great-sounding mix. But sometimes, extra precision is required when mixing, and that’s where the multiband compressor steps in.
We created a list of the best free multiband compressor VST plugins to help you get your mixing and mastering game to the next level.
If you’re new to multiband compression, try a beginner-friendly plugin like Nova Dynamics or OTT. And if you’re a seasoned multiband compressor user, we highly recommend TDR Nova, ReaXComp, and GMulti.
Best FREE Multiband Compressors
- HY-MBMFX2 Free
- Nano Dynamics
- Convergence Free
- TDR Nova
HY-MBMFX2 Free is a multiband audio processing powerhouse, offering 22 different effects you can mix and match to create your custom multiband FX combo.
However, nothing prevents you from using HY-MBMFX2 Free as a regular multiband compressor. Load the compressor module in each FX slot, and you’ll get a powerful 3-band compressor with unique modulation options.
Modulation? In a multiband compressor? Oh, yes.
HY-MBMFX2 lets you modulate the compression parameters using LFOs, envelope followers, and macro controls. You can also randomize the parameters and save your favorite settings as presets for later use.
If that’s not enough features, check out the full version of HY-MBMFX2. It lets you load multiple FX modules per band to combine multiband compression with saturation, distortion, chorus, and various other effects.
More info: HY-MBMFX2 Free
ReaXComp is a free multiband compressor developed by Cockos, the company behind the popular REAPER digital audio workstation. It’s part of the ReaPlugs VST FX Suite, a bundle of native REAPER effects that can be used as plugins in any DAW.
If you’re looking for a highly configurable yet surgically precise multiband compressor, look no further than ReaXComp. The plugin offers unlimited bands, intuitive controls, accurate metering, and transparent filtering.
On top of that, ReaXComp is extremely CPU-efficient and snappy. You can run multiple instances in your DAW without any performance issues.
Some users might find the interface design a bit too surgical or dull, but ReaXComp is a no-nonsense multiband compressor that lets you focus on the task at hand.
More info: ReaXComp
GMulti is a free multiband comp by GVST. Like ReaXComp, this is an old plugin, but it still gets the job done.
The plugin offers three compression bands with compression, stereo width, and level controls for each band. GMulti also features a real-time waveform display that shows the difference between the dry and compressed signals.
Each band has a separate GUI panel, making the interface less cluttered but also a bit slower to navigate.
More info: GMulti
If you want to use a multiband compressor to “beef up” your audio as quickly as possible, OTT by Xfer Records is the best tool available right now. It is an entirely automatic multiband compression tool that is free and easy to use.
You can use OTT to highlight the finer details in a recording or add some heavy glue to a drum bus. OTT stands for “over the top,” which perfectly explains what this little plugin can do to your recorded audio tracks.
But mixing isn’t the only area in which OTT is useful. Watch any cinematic sound design tutorial on YouTube, and you’ll probably notice OTT somewhere in the signal chain. It can bring out the necessary harmonics and sub-bass nuances to turn a dull “thud” sound into a hard-hitting cinematic impact.
OTT recently received an update, including a GUI overhaul and compatibility with the latest plugin formats. So, if you don’t own it already, hurry up and expand your multiband compression arsenal with this little gem from Xfer Records.
More info: OTT
Cramit is another “over-the-top” free multiband compressor. It offers the same basic functionality as OTT by Xfer Records, with the added bonus of applying saturation to the signal.
The plugin includes seven different saturation algorithms, providing plenty of options for signal coloration. The saturation can be applied pre or post-compression.
Cramit works particularly well as a tool for making aggressive and larger-than-life sounds. It’s a versatile and well-made multiband compressor that probably deserves a place in your sound design toolkit.
More info: Cramit
Uraleq is a multiband compressor plugin for Windows. It has advanced features like mid-side processing, two crossover filter modes (Linkwitz-Riley and linear-phase), amplitude modulation, and other valuable tools you probably won’t find in other multiband compressors.
The interface is intuitive and straightforward, despite the advanced feature set. Each of the four frequency bands offers attack, release, threshold, ratio, and knee controls. The channel strip for each band comes with dual delay and balance controls.
The less-used controls like modulation and oversampling are conveniently placed along the sides. This way, they’re easy to reach but don’t get in the way of using the more crucial multiband compression parameters.
Uraleq’s obvious flaw is the lack of compatibility with macOS (it’s only available as a VST3 plugin for Windows). However, if you’re a Windows-based user looking for a quality free multiband compressor, Uraleq is well-worth downloading.
More info: Uraleq
Nano Dynamics is a free multiband compressor plugin developed by OneCluckChords. While sporting a deceivingly simple GUI design, the plugin packs some advanced functionality under the hood.
Users who don’t like manually adjusting a compressor’s timing settings will appreciate NanoDynamics’ ability to set the attack and release times automatically. The plugin analyzes the audio signal on the input and applies the correct timing settings before hitting the maximizer.
The user can apply different compression amounts to different bands. The compression can also be applied globally using the Power knob.
Nano Dynamics is a user-friendly multiband compressor that does some heavy lifting on its own while letting the user focus on applying the right amount of compression to the desired frequency region.
More info: Nano Dynamics
Convergence Free is a free multiband compressor with four bands, 2X oversampling, and a real-time spectrum display. The spectrum analyzer isn’t there just for looks. It lets you select the range for each compression band.
The plugin is based on the full edition of Convergence ($45) and comes with some limitations compared to the paid version. That said, it is fully functional and has no time limit.
We like the functionality on offer, but Convergence Free has a somewhat laggy interface which could annoy some users. Also, the GUI has a dark color scheme that makes some controls hard to identify.
More info: Convergence Free
TDR Nova is a free dynamic equalizer plugin by Tokyo Dawn Labs. But, by bypassing the EQ functionality, you can use TDR Nova as a regular multiband compressor. Likewise, you can bypass the compressor and use TDR Nova as a parametric equalizer.
TDR Nova is a must-have if you’re looking for a versatile mixing and mastering tool that will help you solve issues in the frequency domain while taming the dynamic range.
We highly recommend reading the TDR Nova manual. It contains a lot of valuable information about multiband compression and dynamic equalization concepts.
More info: TDR Nova
For more freeware plugins and instruments, return to our Free VST Plugins page.