9 VST Plugin Companies for Premium Mixing, Mastering & Effects

If you’re serious about music and audio production, then you know how important it is to have the right tools at your disposal. And when it comes to mixing, mastering, and effects, there’s no shortage of VST plugins to choose from. 

To help you navigate the sea of options, we’ve put together this list of the best premium VST plugin companies (in no particular order). We’ll give a brief overview of each brand along with some recommended products.

Some of these brands also produce virtual instruments. And if you’d like more recommendations, check out our list of the best sample library companies.

At a Glance: The Best VST Plugin Companies in 2023

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1. Arturia

Arturia is probably best known for their range of hardware and software synthesizers. But as a VST company, they offer a surprising range of mixing and FX plugins. 

Here, you’ll find a mix of modern reverbs, compressors, and filters. Plus, they offer a handful of plugins that emulate retro analog gear.

All in all, Arturia’s FX plugins are super high quality and will help you quickly achieve professional-sounding results. Here are some notable plugins worth checking out:

  • Rev LX-24 — Arturia’s latest FX plugin. Make your mixes bloom with real-feeling space and sparkling texture in seconds with a vintage digital sound that refuses to get old.
  • Filter MINI — Run any sound source through this iconic synth filter based on the classic Minimoog instrument.
  • Dist COLDFIRE — A dual-engine distortion effect that goes from rich tube saturation to unrestrained sonic destruction in a few clicks.

You can also grab all these plugins together in the Arturia FX Collection. The bundle contains all 26 of Arturia’s effects plugins.

Arturia Software Effects

A supreme collection of modern software effects, plus a range of plugins inspired by vintage gear.

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2. iZotope

iZotope is another highly regarded plugin brand known for their premium mixing and mastering plugins. They’re probably best known for their Ozone mastering suite, a comprehensive toolset for achieving pro-sounding mixes. 

They also offer a wide range of other tools for everything from EQ and compression to audio repair and restoration. 

These are the most revered iZotope products:

  • Ozone 10 — Arguably the greatest suite of mastering plugins on the market today. Various modules include compression, limiting, spectral shaping, and AI-powered mastering.
  • Neutron 4 — iZotope’s suite of mixing plugins. It includes powerful tools like a visual mixer, masking meter, and tonal balance control, to help you achieve a balanced and professional-sounding mix.
  • RX 10 — This suite of tools helps with audio editing and restoration. It’s especially useful for cleaning up spoken-word audio like podcasts, YouTube, and more.

iZotope recently joined forces with Native Instruments under the same parent company. As a result, Ozone 10 is now part of Komplete 14.

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iZotope produces some of the absolute best plugins for mixing, mastering, and audio restoration.

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3. Plugin Alliance

A large selection of Plugin Alliance products.

Plugin Alliance is a collective of independent plugin developers that offers a wide range of products at different price points. Some of the developers include SPL, Brainworx, Maag Audio, and many more.

They have a large selection of EQs, compressors, reverbs, delays, and other effects. Plus, you’ll find a collection of virtual instruments and amp simulators.

Here are a few Alliance plugins you should consider checking out: 

  • bx_bluechorus2 — An emulation of the classic Boss CE-2 guitar pedal. This plugin gives you access to the rich, liquid tone used on many hit records over the last four decades.
  • ADA Flanger — This is a virtual recreation of the classic A/DA Flanger from the ’70s. It’s a true master of adding breathtaking bucket-brigade analog flanging sounds.
  • ChannelX — Use this bundle of three amazing Lindell Audio units to add an extra dose of punch and color to your mix.
Plugin Alliance

A collective of 40+ boutique VST plugin brands that offers hundreds of compelling virtual instruments and tools for mixing, mastering, and effects.

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4. Native Instruments

You likely know Native Instruments for their unbeatable collection of software instruments. But they also offer a small range of mixing and FX plugins.

Most of them work as standalone VST plugins. Others are designed specifically for their Reaktor engine. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • Guitar Rig 6 — The ultimate multi-effects rack and amp simulator. Design unique processing chains to customize everything from guitar and bass, to strings, drums, synths, and more.
  • Raum — The “do-it-all creative reverb” by Native Instruments. It has a simple UI and comes loaded with tons of presets from ethereal, ambient spaces to small, tight rooms.
  • The Mouth — The Mouth generates melodies and harmonies out of whatever audio you feed it. Turn your singing into a synth lead, or send something else through it for vocoder effects.

You can pick up NI plugins individually, or get them in a Komplete 14 bundle along with their software instruments. See exactly what you’re getting by comparing versions of Komplete 14 here.

Native Instruments Effects Plugins

Native Instruments offers a host of creative effects plugins for adding character and depth to any audio project.

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5. Universal Audio UAD Plug-Ins

Universal Audio is a highly respected brand known for their audio interfaces, microphones, and guitar pedals. But they also offer a range of high-quality VST plugins. 

Their UAD Plug-Ins are known for their realistic analog emulation of classic gear, including compressors, EQs, and tape machines. They even have a handful of virtual instruments, including emulations of the Minimoog and Hammond B3 organ. 

If you’re looking for authentic vintage sounds, check out some of these UAD plugins:

Be aware that some UAD plugins require an Apollo audio interface to use. If you don’t have one, you might be out of luck.

Universal Audio UAD Plug-Ins

UAD offers some of the most authentic analog-modeled plugins on the market. They give you the sound of classic studio gear, without the need for expensive hardware.

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6. Slate Digital

Slate Digital plugins - one of the top VST plugin companies.

Slate Digital has a slew of plugins modeled after analog gear. Their massive collection features realistic emulations of vintage compressors, preamps, guitar pedals, guitar amps, and even virtual microphones.

In addition to its software products, Slate Digital also offers online courses, tutorials, and master classes.

Here are a few recommended plugins to check out:

  • MetaTune — This incredible autotune plugin offers everything from subtle pitch correction to in-your-face robo-style effects.
  • FG-116 Blue Series FET Compressors — These versatile compressors offer a wide range of vintage and modern tones. It’s perfect for adding punch, clarity, and warmth to your mixes.
  • Virtual Tape Machines — This plugin models the sound of two classic analog tape machines to add warmth and character to your digital recordings.

Just as a heads-up, Slate makes it difficult to buy plugins individually. Instead, they’ll push you to get their All Access Pass. This subscription gives you over $8,000-worth of premium mixing, mastering, and FX plugins. Plus, you’ll get access to all their courses.

It’s a great deal. But understandably, some people (like me) prefer to buy select plugins individually. Thankfully, you can still get perpetual licenses at the bottom of each product page. You can also buy them from resellers like Sweetwater.

Slate Digital

Slate offers one of the absolute largest selections of virtual FX plugins on the market today. They have spot-on emulations of vintage gear, contemporary effects, and the powerful ANA 2 synth. Plus, there's the ever-expanding selection of educational materials.

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7. Waves Audio

Waves Audio logo on a gradient background. Waves is a top VST plugin companies.

Waves is one of the oldest VST plugin companies on this list. In fact, they created the audio industry’s first commercially available audio plugin, the Q10 Equalizer. And over 30 years later, Waves has one of the largest catalogs of music production plugins you’ll ever find.

Their vast selection of products covers just about everything you’d ever need for audio processing. EQ and compression? Yep. Tape saturation and pitch shifting tools? Absolutely.

If you want to know where to start, we’d recommend some of these popular Waves plugins:

  • SSL G-Master Buss Compressor — An analog-modeled compressor renowned for its ability to glue a mix together and give it a cohesive sound.
  • Abbey Road Chambers — A plugin that recreates the acoustic environment of Abbey Road Studios’ legendary echo chamber.
  • NS1 Noise Suppressor — This stupid-simple plugin helps remove background hum and his from any recording. Perfect for audio post-production and restoration.

Waves gives you the option to buy each plugin individually. They also offer a number of bundles and subscriptions that let you get more for less.

Waves Audio

Waves has an endless wealth of mixing, mastering, and effects plugins. If you need any kind of audio work done, Waves has a plugin for it.

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8. Valhalla

Valhalla specializes in developing reverb and delay plugins. They don’t have a huge quantity of products — only nine total. But what they do have is amazing.

Here are three favorites from their collection:

  • Ubermod — A multi-tap delay plugin that can help you create lush dimensional choruses, classic string ensembles, and other effects.
  • Shimmer — One of the all-time best plugins for sparkly, ethereal reverbs. It’s great for mimicking big, open-sounding spaces.
  • Space Modulation — This free flanging plugin lets you create all sorts of unique and bizarre effects.

Valhalla creates some of the absolute best reverb and delay plugins available today. Use them to add more life to your tracks with spacey & ethereal vibes or analog-inspired delays.

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9. FabFilter

A lot of the plugin companies on this list are focused on making VST versions of vintage gear. While it’s great to preserve that history, it’s also critical to move things forward.

Enter FabFilter, a Dutch software company that goes out of its way to reinvent the music production tools you’re already familiar with.

They make some incredible plugins for mixing, mastering, and audio processing. Their product line includes tools for EQ, compression, reverb, distortion, and even a few synths.

Here are some of their most popular plugins:

  • Pro-Q 3 — This is a highly advanced EQ plugin that offers up to 24 bands and a host of other features. It also features a spectrum analyzer for precise editing.
  • Pro-MB — A multiband compressor that allows you to apply compression to different frequency bands separately. It’s simple and intuitive, yet powerful.
  • Saturn 2 — The ultimate multiband distortion and saturation plugin. Saturn 2 offers a wide range of high-quality distortion models and creative effects.

FabFilter doesn’t offer any subscriptions. But you can pick up all their products at once and save with their Total Bundle.


This Dutch software company goes out of its way to invent brand new music production tools that inspire creativity and deliver pro-sounding results. They offer some of the industry's absolute best plugins for EQ, compression, reverb, distortion, and more.

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