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Are Free Audio Plugins As Good As Paid For Plugins?

With so many excellent free plugins out there, what are the reasons, if any, to go out and buy the software tools we need? We look at the reasons to spend or not to spend…

Being able to create, produce, and mix music in the digital age as easy as opening your laptop, but the process can also be entirely free. This is fantastic news for new creators with near zero budget who are trying to get heard in a crowded landscape.

False Economies

Most of us know what it’s like to work with a limited budget to buy our own gear and software; the hope is that as our careers grow, so does our ability to get our hands on the next shiny new thing that promises to make our work even better. While it’s true that every now and then we buy something that does make a tangible improvement to our music, it’s possible that some people reading this will also have experienced the dreaded ‘buyer’s remorse’, where the new thing quickly turns into a dusty, unused thing.

Often the most significant changes in any mix (ie, the ones that make the listener’s experience a better one) happen in the first minutes of working on it. As we chip away, the changes can become increasingly less significant in the familiar ‘diminishing returns’ scenario. If this is the case, could it be that the plethora of free tools available have afforded us everything we could ever need all along?

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