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My List Of Best Free Compressor VST Plugins (2024)

My Best Free Compressor VST Plugins Software

After all these years of mixing, mastering, and spending countless hours testing and tweaking numerous plugins to perfect my sound, I thought of putting together a list of the best and most useful free compressor plugins I used and still use these days.

Each of these has proven to be a valuable asset in my workflow, providing excellent performance without costing a dime. So if you are looking for some free compressor plugins, check my list:

1. TDR Molotok Free Compressor

TDR Molotok Free Compressor VST Plugin

Molotok, meaning “Small Hammer” in Russian, is a characterful dynamics processor inspired by vintage musical peculiarities. It provides a wide range of exciting compression colors and features high-quality signal processing. Molotok is a go-to for adding character to vocals, drums, and guitar tracks. Its musically intriguing compression flavors and intuitive interface make it a pleasure to use. The zero-latency operation and optional stepped controls are a bonus, ensuring consistent results every time.

Free Download Link: TDR Molotok

2. BPB Dirty LA Free Compressor

BPB Dirty LA Free Compressor VST3 Plugin by Bed Room Producers Blog

BPB Dirty LA is a vintage-inspired compressor designed to deliver musical compression with a streamlined workflow. It includes a Dirt algorithm for signal saturation and parallel compression capabilities. BPB Dirty LA excels at adding warmth and presence, especially on drums and bass. The Dirt mode is a fantastic feature for adding smooth saturation, making it perfect for tracks that need to stand out. Its fast attack and moderate compression ratio make it versatile for various audio sources.

Free Download Link: BPB Dirty LA

3. TBT TLS 1295 LEA Free Compressor

TBT TLS 1295 LEA Free Compressor VST Plugin

Inspired by the LA-2A, the TLS 1295 LEA offers numerous enhancements and fine-tuning options. Available for Windows and Linux, it includes features like gain reduction metering, clipping indicators, and MIDI learn capabilities. TLS 1295 LEA is a fantastic LA-2A inspired compressor that brings a vintage vibe with modern functionality. Its comprehensive parameter control and A/B testing capabilities make it highly customizable and user-friendly.

FreeDownload Link: TBT TLS 1295 LEA

4. RoughRider3 Free Compressor

Rough Rider 3 Free Compressor VST Plugin

RoughRider3 is a vintage-style compressor known for its warm sound and unique front panel layout. It features a range of controls including Ratio, Attack, Release, and Sensitivity. RoughRider3 adds a distinct character to any track, with its vintage bite and warmth. It’s particularly effective for aggressive compression needs, thanks to its unique sensitivity control and makeup gain.

Free Download Link: RoughRider3

5. AdHd Leveling Tool Free Compressor

AdHd Leveling Tool Free LA-2A Compressor Plugin

Inspired by the LA-2A, AdHd Leveling Tool is ideal for vocals and peak taming. It doesn’t emulate any specific hardware but brings a similar character and gain reduction traits. AdHd Leveling Tool is my top choice for vocal tracks. Its characterful compression and ease of use make it indispensable for achieving smooth, controlled vocal performances. The tube-like warmth adds a pleasing quality to the sound.

Free Download Link: AdHd Leveling Tool

6. MCompressor Free Compressor

MCompressor by MeldaProduction Free Dynamic Compressor Plugin

MCompressor offers refined compression with adjustable compression shapes and a range of up-sampling options. It includes standard compression knee modes, sidechain input, and comprehensive gain and time controls. MCompressor’s standout feature is its adjustable compression shape, allowing for dynamic sound sculpting. The oversampling ensures crystal-clear output, making it a versatile tool for various compression needs.

Free Download Link: MCompressor

7. KOLIN Free Compressor

Analog Obsession KOLIN Free Compressor Plugin

KOLIN is a colorful multi-band compressor with individual band controls and external sidechain options. It features adjustable attack, release, and crossover frequencies. KOLIN excels in multi-band compression, providing precise control over each frequency band. It’s particularly useful for mastering and detailed mixing tasks where frequency-specific compression is needed.

Free Download Link: KOLIN

8. LALA Free Compressor

LALA Free LA-2A Compressor VST Plugin

LALA is an emulation of the LA-2A tube compressor, featuring additional controls for sidechain input and dry/wet mixing. It aims to replicate the classic LA-2A sound with some modern enhancements. LALA brings the legendary LA-2A sound to your DAW with added functionality. Its smooth, natural compression is perfect for vocals and instruments that require gentle yet effective dynamic control. The extra features like sidechain input and mix control add versatility.

Free Download Link: LALA

9. Sonicrusher Free Compressor

Sonicrusher Free Compressor VST3 Plugin

Sonicrusher offers versatile compression with modern and vintage-level detector modes. It includes features like adjustable compression knee control, sidechain filters, and a unique Crush mode for added character. Sonicrusher is a powerhouse for extreme compression needs. Its ability to switch between modern and vintage modes makes it highly adaptable. The Crush mode is excellent for adding life and character to compressed signals.

Free Download Link: Sonicrusher

10. ThrillseekerLA mkII Free Compressor

ThrillseekerLA mkII Best Free Compressor VST Plugin

ThrillseekerLA mkII is an optical stereo compressor known for its smooth, vibrant coloration. Designed initially in 2012, this plugin is optimized for mix bus applications, offering gentle mix bus coloring and an authentic opto-electric control behavior. ThrillseekerLA mkII stands out with its ability to glue elements together while enhancing the stereo image with depth and dimension. The advanced opto cell emulation and streamlined coloring options make it a versatile choice. It’s particularly effective on mix buses, adding a unique box tone with thrilling bass and an elegant top end devoid of any harshness in the mids.

Free Download Link: ThrillseekerLA mkII

11. Xfer OTT Free Compressor

Xfer OTT Free Multiband Compressor VST Plugin

Let’s not forget for our sake OTT compressor. I use it, especially for the ability of upward and downward compression, things that many of the other compressors, free or commercial, do not know how to do so easily. OTT stands for “Over The Top,” and true to its name, this compressor can beef up your drums, add presence to vocals, or tight up your mix. It works by applying upward and downward compression simultaneously across three frequency bands (low, mid, high), resulting in a highly polished and professional sound.

Read my full article about How To Use Xfer OTT Compressor (you will find the download link there).

12. The Lost Angel OPTO Compressor

Modern Lost Angel Free Compressor VST Plugin

The Modern Lost Angel is another meticulously crafted clone of the iconic Universal Audio LA-2A opto compressor, designed to deliver the legendary smooth and musical compression that the original is renowned for. This plugin features a convenient power on/off switch and includes a gain reduction meter for real-time monitoring of compression levels. The peak control, adjustable from 0 to -48 dB, allows precise threshold setting, while the gain control, ranging from 0 to 48 dB, compensates for any gain loss due to compression. With a variable attack time from 0.1 to 10 ms and a release time adjustable from 0.05 to 3 seconds, it offers flexibility in both the attack and release phases of compression.

Free Download Link: The Lost Angel

13. BUSTERse Free Compressor

Analog Obsession BUSTERse SSL Free Compressor Plugin

BUSTERse offers standard compressor controls along with a Turbo mode for full-range frequency compression. It also includes sidechain input with high-pass filtering. BUSTERse delivers a big, open sound that rivals commercial SSL plugins. The Turbo mode adds versatility, making it suitable for both subtle and aggressive compression tasks. It’s a staple on my master bus for its clarity and impact.

Free Download Link: BUSTERse

14. Fircomp Free Compressor Plugin

fircomp free vst compressor plugin

The Fircomp Free Compressor Plugin offers ultra-clean peak compression with punchy attack times, a musical release, and optional lookahead smoothing. Designed for both tracks and busses, it provides low CPU usage and zero/low latency, making it perfect for any mixing scenario. With innovative digital envelope detection and dual parallel release stages, Fircomp ensures minimal distortion and maximum musicality, even at extreme settings. This versatile plugin is a must-have for achieving precise, warm, and dynamic compression in your mixes.

Free Download Link: Fircomp

Each of these free compressor plugins offers unique features and sonic characteristics, making them invaluable tools in any music producer or audio engineer’s plugin collection.

Whether you’re looking for vintage warmth, modern precision, or creative dynamic shaping, these free compressor plugins deliver top-notch performance without breaking the bank.

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