10 Best Flanger VST Plugins (Free and Paid)

10 Best Flanger VST Plugins (Free and Paid) 10 Best Flanger VST Plugins (Free and Paid)

Distortion comes in many shapes and forms. As aesthetic evolves, there isn't a sound which is by all means "unusable".

Audio effects are often used to bring forward a sudden change in character, even of the same musical sample.

Take a simple flute solo for example, record it and apply a flanger to it... depending on your experience and taste, you might "meet" anyone... from The Terminator all the way to Master Yoda. :)

But, What Is a Flanger..?

A flanger is a digital audio effect used to create a sweeping or "whooshing" sound. It is based on the analog flanging effect , achieved by manipulating the phase of an audio signal.

In a flanger plugin, this effect is emulated digitally. This offers greater control and flexibility.

The flanger effect is typically created by duplicating an audio signal, delaying one of the copies and then modulating the delay time.

This results in interference between the two signals, producing the characteristic "whooshing".

The Control (For Reference)

A flanger plugin typically comes with several controls that allow users to shape and manipulate the effect. Here are the typical control knobs/slides/buttons, along with their functions:

Rate/Speed: Controls the speed at which the delayed signal (the copy) modulates. It determines how quickly the sweeping or oscillating effect occurs.

Depth: The depth knob adjusts the intensity or depth of the effect. Increasing the depth creates a more pronounced and dramatic flanging.

Feedback/Regeneration: Controls the amount of feedback or regeneration in the flanger. Higher feedback settings result in a more pronounced and sustained effect.

Manual/Time Delay: The time delay knob controls the base delay time applied to the duplicated signal. It essentially sets the starting point for the modulation, affecting the overall character.

Width/Manual Offset: Some flangers feature a width or manual offset control, adjusting the stereo spread of the effect.

Mix/Blend: The mix or blend slider controls the balance between the dry (original) signal and the wet (flanged) signal.

LFO Shape/Modulation Shape: Lets users choose the shape of the modulation waveform. Common shapes include sine, triangle, square, and random.

Filter: Some advanced flangers include a filter control, allowing users to shape the frequency response. This enables for certain frequencies do be emphasized or de-emphasized.

The Criteria

Apart from the features available, we'll also take the UI and the price into account (the latter for paid flangers, of course).

We'll do a top 5 on both free and paid flanger plugins, which should suffice and address the appetites of both beginners and advanced producers.

Free Flanger Plugins

Yeah, the flanger plugin is a must-have tool even for sound designers seeking cutting-edge controls.

If searching for free flanger VST plugins, consider exploring ones developed by teams or individuals known for their commitment to quality audio tools.

Whether simple, such as the single oscillator flanger, or more complex, what matters is the levels. In other words: are the options developed and reliable (rather than their number).

64-bit compatibility and a touch of analog emulation of the audio source, if handled correctly often will suffice. Even simple plugins open up new possibilities for shaping your soundscapes without "breaking the bank".

1. TAL-Flanger

This is a different Tal, compared to the one chess fans are fond of.

Very popular, and for a good reason! Its users appreciate its versatility, with variable depth control that allows for nuanced manipulation of the flanger effect.

Simple and easy-to-use, lightweight on CPU, great for beginners. The controls offered by the TAL Flanger make it an indispensable and effective asset.

You'll appreciate the control it offers over the flanger's rate and the distinctive sonic character that defines TAL Flanger's sound.

Cons: Its modulation effect capabilities are somewhat limited still, compared to more advanced flanger plugins.

2. Blue Cat's Flanger

A powerful plugin known for its ability to impart a dramatic effect on the audio. Considered the best flanger (well, in the free flanger category) by some.

Offers both mono and stereo modes, precise control over parameters. Sound enthusiasts appreciate its versatility and the precision offered by the independent stereo controls.

Moreover, the inclusion of an envelope follower in Blue Cat's Flanger adds an extra layer of creativity. The envelope follower alone makes it a valuable tool for both amateur and professional producers.

Cons: UI might be less intuitive for some users.

3. Dead Duck Flanger (From The Free Effects Bundle)

If you're just diving into the world of audio modulation, the flanger VST plugin by Dead Duck Software is a standout choice.

Its innovative features include the distinctive "bounce knob" and precise manual control over the parameters (the next best thing to an actual bounce knob, that is).

Instant flanger capabilities (here in the context of an instant response) which provide producers with a creative edge. This allows for dynamic sound shaping within the convenience of a 64-bit environment.

Cons: UI design might appear overly and unnecessarily basic, compared to premium plugins.

4. Valhalla Space Modulator

A powerful tool in the realm of modulation effects, especially for beginners. Stands out as a good flanger plugin that provides a unique and distinctive sound.

Provides the classic flanging sound, easy to operate, and CPU-friendly. Straightforward in every sense.

Used even by seasoned professionals, who are in love with its distinctive sound.

Cons: Limited features. Lacks some of the options available on other plugins in the free flanger category.

5. The Kilohearts Flanger

An exceptionally notable option; a standout flanger VST plugin! The Kilohearts Flanger offers a unique take on flanging effects. Looking to enhance a specific element? Add an experimental flair to your overall mix, maybe?

Its distinctive features, such as the ability to achieve through-zero flanging, set the Kilohearts Flanger apart in terms of sound quality and creative control.

Kilohearts Flanger provides a versatile and intuitive solution. Whether you're seeking a subtle touch or an instant effect, this flanger provides the tools for creative exploration.

Yeah...the flanger VST plugin by Kilohearts is indeed a remarkable addition to the digital world of music production.

Cons: The UI is almost indistinguishable from other Kilohearts plugins. One might find this confusing, especially when using other plugins from Kilohearts in parallel.

6. Chorus-Flanger (HY-Plugins)

Versatile modulation capabilities, user-friendly interface.

No one will consider this one as one of the best flanger VST plugins, designed to elevate your experience. And that's fair.

Yet, this flanger brings a dimension of style to your sound, along with compatibility in AAX formats. And this isn't only in the context of (flanger) effects.

Cons: Limited presets make it less beginner-friendly (though the friendly UI compensates).

Paid Flanger Plugins

With support for AAX formats and delivering digital modes in 64-bit precision, these plugins provide the modern producer with versatile and high-quality modulation effects.

Compared to the free flanger options, paid ones will typically include:

  • A presets manager feature, enabling you to organize, save and update presets;
  • The option to shape the stereo image with precision, allowing for subtle flanging or more pronounced effects;
  • A method/mode through which you can create your own control patterns and achieve instant flanger effects (be it more dry or otherwise).
  • A feedback loop, as one of the key features of advanced flangers, allowing for nuanced and evolving tones.


Understanding the essentials for adding dynamic modulation to your audio, and understanding the control rate is key to achieving the desired effect.

Additionally, exploring various control patterns in a stereo flanger opens up possibilities for spatial enhancement and creative soundscapes.

It is certainly expected that paid flanger plugins will offer more refined options, compared to the free plugins. The question is: are they good enough for the money, or are they just "white noise"...

1. Instant Flanger MK II

Among the reputable free options, we've noted the prolific solutions, as offered by Dead Duck Software or Kilohearts, for example. Yet, the this one is on a completely other level! The way depth controls and the delay time are managed and controlled is beyond comparison to the noted thus far!

When seeking to add movement and bring your audio to life, the Instant Flanger MK II stands out as an indispensable tool, allowing for unique sonic textures.

Widely used for its unique pitch-shifting; an extremely versatile tool. In need of an immediate and impactful modulation? Check the versatility offered by the Instant Flanger MK II!

Whether you're exploring the capabilities of the free version or utilizing the full range of features, rest assured you won't be disappointed. This Flanger VST plugin plays a crucial role in shaping the sonic landscape of modern music production.

Cons: Relatively expensive compared to some other options.

2. MetaFlanger

Hailed as the best flanger by many, especially in terms of price vs. features.

It offers two processing modes for a diverse range of sonic manipulations. Step into the world of expertly crafted flanging effects, and experience the excellence of this renowned flanger by Waves.

On the menu is also a Rate parameter expressed in Hz, chained with the depth, making this flanger sound like a multisource flanger effect.

The accent seems to be on the classic 60's flanging ideas, which seems surprising, taking what we've already mentioned into account.

Cons: The UI isn't very intuitive and differs vastly from that of the competition.

3. Flanger BL-20

Ah, the Arturia Flanger BL-20. Also hailed as (one of) the best flanger plugins, though in the pricier category/scope. The Arturia Flanger stands out as an essential choice for those seeking a reliable and powerful flanger plugin in their toolkit.

It offers a range of flanging modes and a distinctive flanging effect "dish".

For example, if working on vintage sound design, the Arturia Flanger plugin stands out as an exceptional flanger effect provider, with its direct control and the vast array of options.

What also sets it apart are the independent stereo controls, providing users with precise command over the spatial parameters of their sound.

Having access to more flanger VST plugins becomes redundant for many use cases, with this flanger and its sound at hand.

Cons: May require more system resources.

4. MFlangerMB

The versatility of this flanger plugin surpasses many other flangers, providing a unique touch to the sound that sets it apart.

Unlike some other plugins, it offers a distinctive touch to the audio, particularly with the ability to manipulate the wet signal with unparalleled precision.

With features like automatic gain compensation and complete LFO control, this modulation effect became a truly indispensable tool for sound designers of various levels.

Also, producers seeking the perfect flanger effect sound in their mixes tend to opt for it. This flanger is indeed the jack of all trades in the eyes of many.

Cons: A bit of a confusing UI. Vintage-looking knobs, yet overly hi-tech inspired display and menu.

5. Antresol

"A legendary flanger resurrected" says the first line. D16 Group seems to have had a decent marketing team then.

D16 Group did their best here it seems, especially in the context of easing of:

  • Incorporating a filtered sample and utilizing the corresponding key features, thus creating a distinctive sonic palette;
  • Experimenting with a slightly delayed version adding depth and complexity to the audio;

As one of the pioneers in the 64-bit environment, D16 Group continues to to deliver high-quality tools for producers. This flanger is offered as a part of the D16 Group bundle also.

Additional bonus, though not related to the flanger sound as such, might be precisely in the bundle itself. Many of the D16 Group plugins are with a clearly defined use case and might prove useful later. This, however, would only make sense if the prices are affordable to you.

Cons: The display is quite rudimentary, not doing justice to the processes occurring in the back.

Things to Also Consider

The skilled sound designer applies the unique nuances of the flanging effect to create the sonic landscape in the track.

By this point however, I hope we've made it clear that flanger plugins are essential in music production as well.

A Couple of Notes & Advises

Master the modulation frequency knob and seek an innovative LFO shaper for shaping your sound precisely. Thank me later.

Ensure compatibility with your setup by choosing a plugin available in 64-bit and supporting various formats (including AAX formats).

The envelope follower is a crucial component in shaping the dynamic response of audio signals. When applied to a stereo flanger, it enhances the spatial dimension, providing a more immersive listening experience.

Many forget the frequency spectrum... don't be one of those please!

Bundles & Combos

Free flanger VST plugins have become indispensable tools. Combining the effects of free flanger VST plugins enables their respective cons to be less prominent.

If/when investing, look for bundles and discounts based on them. You won't need only a flanger in the long run anyway.

At any given time, most companies will advertise a bundle that is aimed at achieving complete control over the soundscape. The example we've noted with D16 Group is not exclusive by any means.

The modulation sources might be in your focus now, but even if you currently can not afford it - always look at the wider picture and perspective in the long run.

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