There’s no gift we love better than a unique VST plugin to add to our music library. We’ve collected 5 of the greatest free plugins filled with festive cheer just for you.
What could be more in the spirit of Christmas than your very own Father Christmas singing carols to you. This plugin gives you a singing Santa that you can program to sing any melody you like and layer it on top of itself to create your very own group of carollers for harmonies.
What would festive music be without the iconic sound of Sleigh Bells jingling, ring ting tingling? This LABS pack is packed with luscious sleigh bell sounds in high quality that you can download for free and add to any of your tracks. You’ll need to download Spitfire’s free software to get it, and with the wealth of free content they have available on their beyond Sleigh Bells I can highly recommend it.
Now, if you’re writing a Christmas jingle then the number one instrument you are going to want is a piano. A deep, warm chord from a piano with sleigh bells singing on top of it is the definition of Christmas music. There are so many piano plugins to choose from that whittling this down to one is futile – you’ll likely have at least one that comes standard with your DAW. If not, try this to get you started.
Check out this great video from Vox below on the chord that makes a Christmas song sound so Christmassy for inspiration on what to write.
Think of many of the Christmas classics and you’ll have an iconic synth sound come to mind. Like Wham!’s Last Christmas which has a bouncy synth line that is instantly recognisable. A good synth plugin will set you on your way to creating warm chords that fill the air with Christmas cheer. We recommend TAL-U-No-62 as a great free option with plenty of customisation – play with the presets or customise a sound entirely yourself, Synth Heaven feels nice and festive.
Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime is another song with a truly iconic festive sound. That pulsing bass brightly starting the song off is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s lips. He used a Yamaha CS-80 synth. Thanks to the internet, you can get a plugin that is modelled off of that synth for free with Krakli’s Arminator. There is loads of possibility with your sound here, even more than the TAL, so you can create all sorts of sounds, Christmassy or not. I recommend the Basso Vango preset with some delay as a good starting point to get that McCartney Christmas pulse.