Regardless of whatever else happened, 2017 was a good year for free music and audio goodies. We covered a lot of free stuff in 2017, so much so that when looking over it all for a “Best of” round-up I decided not to limited it to some arbitrary number of Top 3, 5, 10, etc. but to simply include links to all of the most worthy candidates of synthesizer and effect plug-ins, DJ software, DAWs, Live Packs, loop packs, and whatever else.

I’m starting out with my favorite individual giveaways of the year, followed by an alphabetical list of the most prolific individual givers of 2017. Please enjoy this bounty now, because we’ve got another big year for small spenders coming up in 2018.

Best Individual Freebies of 2017: 

March 2017:

Mixxx 2.0 - full-featured, open-source DJ software


Green Oak Crystal VST Soft Synth


Magix Music Maker DAW free version for Windows


April 2017:

Martin Lüder PG-8x 2.0 - Roland JC8P with PG-800 programmer emulation


Brain Control Tunefish 4.1 Synthesizer


May 2017:

Impact Soundworks Super Audio Boy Kontakt Instrument


June 2017:

Korg Gadget LE for Mac


July 2017:

Output Signal Free


September 2017:

izotope Ozone Imager Stereo Widening Plug-in


October 2017:

Futucraft Kairatune virtual instrument


December 2017:

AudioKit Pro FM Player: Classic DX Synths for iPad (iTunes App Store link)


Most Prolific Givers, 2017:

Ableton’s Blog: Sample-based Ableton Live Packs, Ableton Live Instruments, Drum Racks, and Effect Devices

AfroDJmac: Tons of Ableton Live Packs with Instrument, Drum and Effect Devices

Function Loops - samples and presets

Ghosthack - samples and presets

Isotonik Studios - Highly inventive controller mappings and devices largely for Ableton Live and Max for Live

Sample Science - various plug-ins and sound packs

Wave Alchemy - generous free samplers to their larger commercial sound collections.