FL Studio has been around for quite some time now. Previously known as “Fruity Loops,” FL Studio is probably the most popular DAWs for creating music, beats, and everything else in between. The use of VST plugins is not new for FL Studio, and it has been hosting for some of the best VST plugins you can find.
Initially, FL studio will already have some useful plugins built-in. However, purchasing or downloading additional plugins could get you on top of your music production game.
In this article, I will show you different categories, such as synths, compressors, effects, and many more. Some are paid and worth the money, while some are free and totally worth the download and hard drive space.
Once you have purchased the FL Studio license, it does not hurt to try out some free and paid plugins. Getting additional sounds for your VST arsenal could help you with your creativity and get you excited to create more songs.
Having a lot of choices could either overwhelm you or get your creative juices flowing, so make sure you dedicate time just to go through each sound in your library. Getting a virtual instrument and effect bundles could save you time and money. Plus, you would get everything you need all in one package.
At first glance, here are some of my top picks for the Best FL Studio VST plugins:
Rough Rider 3 (Best Free FL Studio Plugin)
This compressor plugin works great for fine-tuning your drums, making them sound more explosive to get a significant impact on the mix. For a free plugin, the Rough Rider 3 exceeds all expectations.
Output Bundle by SIGNAL (Top Pick)
This bundle is my top pick for a lot of reasons. Output bundle is the only sound collection you are ever going to need. For a very reasonable price, you can cover all the bases of music production with this massive bundle.
Diva by U-HE (Best Bass/Synth Plugin)
The Diva is probably the best analog synth on a digital platform that I have ever used. It has the warmest sounds that could be a fantastic addition to your sound library.
Decapitator Analog Saturator by Soundtoys (Notable Mention)
Most beginner music producers commonly overlook the importance of saturator plugins. It may sound subtle, but these types of plugins play an integral role in creating high-quality tracks. This saturator combines analog and digital recording in one incredible VST.
Now, let's dive into the list!
Best FL Studio Synth Bass Plugins
Here are some of the best FL Studio Synth Bass VST Plugins:
Steinberg Model E
(Free Synth Bass VST Plugin For FL Studio)
This free VST is capable of creating cutting edge synth bass riffs. It is a good option if you are looking for a synth bass you could use for adding a little pumping bass to your tracks.
The Model E is a limited bass plugin that you could definitely tweak to get the right sound. Because it is free, I wouldn’t expect it to have a lot of presets. Still, it is worth the mention because of its sound quality.
- Warm and rich bass tones
- Low CPU usage
- Very Limited
Steinberg VSTs are almost always great, and the Model E is one of their best free products you can download and try out right away.
Diva by U-HE
If you want sub-bass with mind-blowing tones, you should definitely try the Diva. For a digital virtual instrument, the Diva showcases a warm analog synth vibe that you wouldn't find in most digital products.
The sounds you get from the Diva are awe-inspiring. Everything sounds very organic. The Diva also did a great job with its filters, oscillators, and envelopes. The developers stayed true to the mechanics of modular synthesis, where you can mix and match each filter to create the sound you prefer.
- Authentic analog sounds
- Warm and ambient tones
- Massive library
- Great for cutting-edge bass
- Uses a large amount of memory
The Diva has great sub-bass sounds that you can use for almost any genre. If you want a virtual instrument that stays true to the mechanics of modular synthesis, the Diva is worth checking.
Best FL Studio Compressor VST Plugins
Here are some of the best FL Studio compressor VST Plugins:
FET Compressor by Softube
Being modeled from one of the best hardware compressors, the FET compressor could be an excellent addition to your plugin library.
This compressor sounds very good for squeezing piano and bass tracks. The FET compressor could be one of the most reliable assets in your library.
- Great for analog users
- CPU friendly
- Great for acoustic instruments
The FET compressor is great for adding a little kick of gain and sustain to your low-gain acoustic instruments such as acoustic piano, bass, and drums. It can warp sounds that are not found in a hardware compressor. Basically, the FET compressor is a great combination of hardware and software compression.
New York Compressor
This next compressor is one of the most affordable compressors that feature extravagant qualities.
It sounds great for adding a punchy tone to your drum tracks. It is very straightforward and easy to use.
- Great tone quality
- Great for adding punchy drum rhythms
- Affordable price
- Limited features
If you are looking for a go-to compressor for your drum tracks, the New York compressor is the one. It may have limited features, but it works very well at doing what it does best.
Rough Rider 3
(Free Compressor VST Plugin For FL Studio)
For a free compressor, the Rough Rider 3 does an incredible job in processing the dynamics of your tracks. The Rough Rider 3 is probably the most popular free compressor on the planet.
This compressor works well for adding dynamics to your incoherent tracks. It has a simple interface that you can navigate easily.
- Includes an external sidechain input
- Built-in warming filter
- Can have limited features
In my opinion, the Rough Rider 3 is probably the best free plugin, not just on this list, but in general. No matter what DAW you are using, you should definitely download this fantastic compressor plugin.
Best FL Studio Distortion VST Plugins
Here are some of the best FL Studio Distortion VST Plugins:
Phase Distortion by Kilohearts
The Phase Distortion Snapin has a unique way of creating distorting tracks. instead of adding overdrive to the signal. The Phase Distortion lets the signal modulate the phase of itself. This method creates static or feedbacks, similar to changing radio stations.
Because of the way Phase Distortion modulates the signal, it creates a nostalgic 80s vibe. It also includes a good number of parameters you can adjust to get the sound you want.
- Great for creating gritty noise
- High-quality sounds
- Affordable price
- Easy to use
- High data usage
Phase Distortion is an all-around plugin you can use for most of your tracks. It is a useful plugin that you can get for a low price.
Decapitator by Soundtoys
The Decapitator is an analog saturation modeler. It may be a subtle effect that you may not notice at first, but adding saturation is what makes the raw tracks sound better and more musical.
This saturator has five different analog models to choose from. Each of which adds a different kind of kick to your tracks and instruments in your mix. It makes your tracks sound less digitized and more authentic. Because nowadays, almost every producer relies on virtual studio technology, it is nice to have a VST that can retain the genuine essence of analog sound.
- One of the best VSTs for shaping your sound
- Equipped with a lot of parameters to customize your sound
- Easy to use
- Not suitable for beginners
The Decapitator is aimed for the more serious producers who want to get better at mastering and shaping the tone of their songs. It may be too expensive for some producers with little experience.
Best FL Studio Synth Plugins
Here are some of the best FL Studio Synth VST Plugins:
Signal Bundle by Output
This massive bundle truly deserves a spot on the list. It is easily one of the best synth bundles you can download for a very affordable price.
The Signal bundle is packed with high-quality samples and instruments. I cannot express how much I love this bundle in words.
- Over 40GB of quality loops and samples
- Over 500 instruments
- Good customer service
- Tons of expansion packs and downloadable content
- Requires a lot of hard drive space (which can be pro or con)
- High data usage (get the required computer specs)
I can’t really think of more cons for this VST pack. It can be expensive, but if you think about it, you get a ton for the price of one.
CS-80 V by Arturia
Modeled after the infamous Yamaha CS-80 synth, Arturia did a wonderful job emulating its iconic sound.
Aside from its fantastic sound quality, this synth plugin shines with its excellent arpeggiators and rhythmic patterns. It is an all-around synth you can use for creating cool keyboards, pads, and bass sounds.
- Enjoy the sound of a $7,000 for a fraction of the price
- Excellent arpeggiation and rhythmic patterns
- The best for producing synth-pop tracks
- High data usage
If you are into creating synth-wave records, this CS-80 emulator plugin is for you.
(Free Synth VST Plugin For FL Studio)
Dexed is an excellent representation of a classic modular synthesizer. Taking its form from the famous Yamaha DX7, this plugin stays true to the mechanics of modular synthesis.
This VST plugin turns your computer into a powerful synth engine. You can create some of the most high-quality synth sounds from a simple wave.
- Excellent sound quality
- Tons of presets
- The free version can be limited
The free version of Dexed is sufficient enough for creating sounds out of scratch. With this plugin, you can experience the true essence of sound design.
Best FL Studio Delay Plugins
Here are some of the best FL Studio delay VST Plugins:
Imperial Delay by Boz Digital Labs
The Imperial Delay features full customization. It is effortless to use, plus it is moderately priced.
You can use this delay for any track from vocals to percussion instruments. It comes with a set of useful parameters for maximum customization. It’s the only delay you will ever need.
- Does not compromise the tone pre-delay
- Easy to navigate
- Deep customization
- You only get one effect
For a meager price, you get to enjoy a delay that you could use for almost any track. It is a handy tool that you should definitely consider adding to your effects quiver.
Voxengo Tempo Delay
(Free Delay VST Plugin For FL Studio)
This free plugin offers an easy-to-use interface that you can learn and master in a matter of minutes. It is an excellent option if you are looking to experiment with a free delay plugin.
There is really nothing special about the delay sound. However, it is a reliable free option that features decent sound quality.
- Features a good set of parameters
- Low CPU usage
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Limited features
This VST is perfect for beginner music producers who want to get their hands on a free delay.
Before You Buy Your Next FL Studio VST
Before we dive into the list of the best FL Studio plugins, I want to explain what makes a plugin great and worth it.
Sound quality is the number one thing you should consider. Before looking at the price tag, always consider the sound first. If you are on a budget, you could go for free options. However, it is possible but difficult to find a free plugin that does not sound mediocre.
The value of a plugin is subjective. You are the only person who could set the value depending on how much you use the plugin you have purchased. Rarely using an expensive plugin could have less value than a free or affordable plugin that you use all the time.
The next thing to consider is the number of presets. Having a ton of presets could help you spend less time designing the sound and more time creating the song.
Another deal-breaker could be data usage. Some VSTs, no matter how great these plugins are, could be too CPU intensive. Not only are you causing wear on your computer, but you can also be wasting a lot of recording session time because it crashes most of the time.
Finally, the last thing you should consider is the price. Some people tend to base their decisions on the price, but I suggest that you shouldn’t compromise sound quality just to get a good deal. If you are on a tight budget, it is better to save money until you can afford the plugin you really want instead of settling for another abysmal VST.
- Can you use these plugins within a different DAW? Yes, as long as the DAW of your choice has the same VST plugin support as FL studio, you can definitely use the plugins listed above. DAWs such as Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and others support the same VST formats.
- Why do I need additional plugins for FL Studio? There are a lot of benefits to expanding your VST library. One of which is to enhance your skills and inspire your creativity. As creative artists, we tend to get stuck in a loop at times. Getting the best FL Studio VST plugins could help us out of the endless loop of writing the same songs over and over again.
Now, you have a better idea of how expanding your VST library could help. You should take your time to master and experiment with each of the sounds you encounter. One of the keys to becoming a better music producer is to know the ins and outs of the software you are using.
FL Studio will take time to master, but once you have that covered, you can focus more on the creative side of things. I hope these VSTs I mentioned will help you with your music production journey.