A banjo VST is rather unusual nowadays. Music producers, especially ones who lean toward pop, rock, and EDM, will hardly ever use such a plugin. However, in music production, especially modern music production, there are no rules.
As a music producer, you get to decide what tracks you want in your mix. A reliable and realistic banjo VST is hard to find. Because not a lot of people use it, some developers don’t bother to create VSTs with low demand. However, after browsing the Internet, I happen to come across a list of pretty solid options.
Best Banjo VST Plugins List
Alright, let's get to the plugins already!
Misfit Banjo by 8dio
This banjo VST is a unique sounding plugin. After trying several VSTs from 8dio, I am becoming very fond of their work. The plugins 8dio create lean into the realistic side of human error. Their samples do not sound perfect, which makes it accurate to the organic sound.
You will need a Kontakt 5.5 player to use this VST, which could be a deal-breaker for people who don't use Kontakt.
This banjo VST does not have a lot of trinkets and effects, but the Misfit Banjo could be one of the best sounding banjo VSTs in my humble opinion. The dynamics and realism are both on-point.
Overall, the Misfit Banjo is a great plugin you can use for a lot of different applications. However, the only downside is that it is expensive for a single virtual instrument.
Jazz and Big Band 3 by Garritan
One notable thing about this plugin is that it has a lot more instruments. The banjo included in this VST pack sounds relatively impressive. This VST is compatible with most DAWs so that you can cross that off your checklist.
All of the instruments in this VST collection sounds very amusing and realistic, especially the banjo. Compared to the Misfit, I would still choose the Misfit in terms of authenticity. However, you get so much more with this VST such as a more extensive selection of instruments.
I will recommend this VST pack if you are looking for a banjo VST that is worth your money. The massive sound library alone makes buying the Jazz and Big Band 3 an excellent deal.
Banjodoline (Free Banjo VST Plugin)
Finally, the last option is the free banjo VST on the list. If you want to try a banjo VST without having to pay a premium, you should check out the Banjodoline.
The Banjodoline does not sound as great as the first two options on the list. However, it still can be a useful choice if you want something that is free. The sound is not actually bad for a free plugin; just don't expect that it would be as mind-blowing as the Misfit Banjo.
For someone looking to test a banjo VST, this can be a great choice. However, if you are looking for sound quality and overall function, you might want to skip this one.
- What makes a good Banjo VST?
The sound is the most vital factor when choosing a banjo VST. To find out if you like the sound, you should watch demos and videos first before you purchase the product. The tone should be realistic and organic instead of sounding too digitized.
Make sure that the plugin is dynamic as well. If you can't tell if it is real or not, that is a sign of an excellent plugin.
It would help if you also looked for a banjo VST that is easy to use and affordable, with all the necessary parameters and options you need.
- When can you use a Banjo VST?
You can use a banjo VST for any type of genre. The banjo is not limited to country music or bluegrass anymore, and most modern producers use unconventional instruments nowadays. The banjo can be used for creating pop songs and electronic dance music as well. Modern folk bands use a banjo for recording their music, as well as EDM producers (more on how to become one here).
If you know this Avicci song, “Wake me up”, it is inspired by country music, and I am sure that there is a banjo VST in there somewhere. The release of that song also gave birth to new genres, such as CDM, which stands for Country Dance Music.
In my experience, using a sound that is not common can stimulate your creativity. If you get bored from writing with the same instrument every single time, it is a good idea to switch it up a little.
Writer’s block is inevitable, and you will experience it at some point. I hope you found the best banjo VST plugin to experiment and create good music with on my list of recommendations.