17 Best Glitch VST Plugins (Free & Paid Options)

17 Best Glitch VST Plugins (Free & Paid Options) 17 Best Glitch VST Plugins (Free & Paid Options)

Looking to get a bit glitchy with your music? If so, I've got some cool tools for you! Whether you want to add a bit of extra flair to your music production or make your otherwise stagnant sounds a bit more rhythmic and exciting, using a glitch VST plugin could be that extra bit of creative sauce you need.

In this guide, we'll explore 17 of the top glitch VST plugins out there, both paid and free plugins. Let's dig in.

What Is a Glitch VST?

I like to think of a glitch VST plugin as any plugin with multiple effects that allows you to destroy your music, whether that means it can trigger unique scenes, make robotic sounds, or create glitch effects with incoming audio.

Some of the most common glitch VSTs including the following effects:

  • Tape Stop
  • Pitch Shifter or Pitch Effects
  • Time-Stretching
  • Bitcrushing
  • Gating
  • Reversing

Some of them even come with automation features, allowing you to modulate these specific effects even further or play multiple effects simultaneously.

Best Glitch VST Plugins

Now that you have an understanding of what your typical glitch VST is capable of, let's dive in and explore some of the best options.

Glitch 2 by Illformed

For me, Glitch 2 by Illformed is the best glitch VST plugin on the market. Period. With its rainbow piano roll-like interface, it's capable of just about anything your mind could dream up. There are ten separate glitch effects built-in, each of which is easy to spot, thanks to the color coding. You'll even find an 'Amount' knob for each of the effects, which can be helpful when dialing them in with one another.

The best thing about this glitch VST, however, is that you can switch between effects or combine them using the included grid and the new and improved sequencer, which uses 'scenes' to trigger effects like a MIDI keyboard would.

I Wish by Polyverse

One of the things I love most about the I Wish plugin from Polyverse is its ability to ‘pitch-freeze’ any incoming audio, which creates unique robot and stutter effects. You can instantaneously transform any sound you want into a playable synth using the Pitch and Formant controls at the top of the plugin. 

There are also Envelope and LFO modules that allow for movement, and you can even set it to Random for a more experimental sound. All in all, it’s one of the easiest glitch plugins to get the hang of, perfect for beginner electronic music producers.

Digitalis by Aberrant DSP

Digitalis might be one of the weirdest plugins on this list, as the interface looks like it was stripped from a 90s Macintosh. However, it gives you several unique controls in three sections, including the Data Section, the Time Section, and the Corruption Section.

The Data Section allows for pitch and formant-shifting, the Corruption section allows you to degrade your sound using bitcrushing and ‘decimation,’ and the Time Section delivers funky time-based effects, including Rhythm Glitch and Pitch Glitch. As the cherry on top, you get a built-in step sequencer. 

The possibilities with this plugin are truly endless.

Buffeater by Twisted Tools

This NI Reaktor instrument is a granular multi-effect that processes incoming audio in real time using six distinct effects that include futuristic stutters, glitches, repeats, and the iconic “chopped and screwed” effect.

Playable via MIDI, it offers an advanced automation system for dynamic live performances and intricate studio production work. Although the interface can feel slightly challenging at first, the plugin compensates with over 100 presets.

It's an excellent plugin if you're looking to push the boundaries of sound manipulation.

Effectrix by Sugar Bytes

Effectrix might just be my favorite audio effect plugin when I want to do something crazy, yet I'm not exactly what that is. It sports 14 high-quality effect modules and a 16-step step sequencer that uses a tempo divider, as well as a swing feature that adds a human touch to otherwise robotic rhythms.

The Tonal Delay allows you to make melodies out of incoming audio, and there are several-hundred presets and two mod tracks, giving you plenty to experiment with. All of this is supported by an intuitive grid that make it easy to time and sync your effects with the track.

Tantra by Dmitry Sches

This ultra-innovative plugin has the ability to breathe rhythmic life into sounds, thanks to its eight multi-stage modulators, which cover an array of effects, including lo-fi, glitch, distortion, and delay. You can easily create complex, arpeggiated rhythmic sequences with a level of depth and intricacy that is hard to find elsewhere.

Tantra allows you to manually adjust the shapes of the envelopes, offering precise control over the modulation. As the cherry on top, you get a master equalizer and reverb for fine-tuning, and a fun randomizer button for each modulator.

Lotus by Cymatics

Lotus is a plugin from Cymatics, which is arguably most famous for its trap and hip-hop sample packs However, this combination pitch shifter and analog delay plugin has the ability to deliver unique BBD delays like I've never heard, perfect for when you need to add a glitchy and melodic effect to your mix.

The sequencer controls the steps in which the delay activates, allowing you to create uniquely spacious rhythmic elements. Plus, you get the sweet sound of analog delay, harkening back to the days of old, dusty tape machines and hardware units.

Specops by Unfiltered Audio

SpecOps is one of. Unfiltered Audio's latest plugins, which integrates the functionality of a dozen plugins into one, offering 36 spectral effects that span from pitch shifters and frequency shifters to audio freezers and glitchy processors.

Even with the breadth of tools at your disposal, it maintains a user-friendly operation. You can apply up to three effects simultaneously, which, when combined with a 16-step sequencer and analog-style filters, opens up an endless world of creativity.

What truly sets SpecOps apart is its flexibility to assign each processor to different frequency bands, which I personally love for breathing new life into monotonous synth sounds.

Gross Beat by Image Line

Gross Beat is an FL Studio exclusive, though even as a stock plugin, it's surprisingly powerful. With an array of preset banks at your disposal, it allows you to dive deep into an array of effects, including gating, glitching, scratching, and repeating.

You can easily link your presets directly to a MIDI keyboard or controller for dynamic real-time automation, and when combined with 36 envelopes for volume and gating, and an audio buffer, you get extensive control over how you want to shape your sound.

It also doubles as an efficient side-chain tool, eliminating the cumbersome process of linking audio to an external source.

Turnado by Sugar Bytes

Turnado has 24 diverse effects assignable to eight slots, inviting a level of real-time manipulation that's both deep and intuitive. At the heart of its user-friendly design lies eight knobs, which you can effortlessly map to any MIDI controller, allowing for on-the-fly adjustments when playing live.

The genius of Turnado, however, can be found in the "Expert Mode," which offers granular control over each effect, and "Dictator Mode," which enables the control of all eight effects simultaneously with just one fader.

Sandman Pro by Unfiltered Audio

Sandman Pro takes the concept of delay effects to new heights, using seven new delay modules, each of which takes a unique approach to time-based processing. Paired with an advanced modulation system, you can dial in just about any delay effect with Sandman Pro, from subtle echoes to complex rhythmic patterns.

What sets it apart is its innovative "sleep mode," which is capable of freezing the delay buffer to create atmospheric loops and textures. Combined with controls for re-pitching, down-sampling, reversing, and saturating, you can radically alter your source material.

Artillery 2 by Sugar Bytes

Artillery 2 is another ultra-versatile plugin from Sugar Bytes, giving you 28 unique effect algorithms and a unique layout that is centered around a keyboard configuration, allowing for effects to be triggered via customizable zones on a MIDI controller.

The plugin incorporates a vocoder function, which separates it from the rest of the plugins on this list, and each effect module comes equipped with individual envelope, modulation, and parallel dry/wet controls, allowing for a granular level of customization. It's truly one of the most engaging glitch plugin options out there.

Glitch Bitch by Vengeance

Vengeance's "Glitch Bitch" has an endless array of features for creative music production, like advanced buffer modulations, high-pass and low-pass filters, and an internal sequencer. There are endless possibilities for electronic music producers.

However, with this plugin, the real fun begins when you start drawing custom envelopes to control buffer modes and filters. It gives you a personalized touch with the glitches and stutters. Plus, with 140 quality presets at your disposal, you have a good jumping-off point to explore, reverse engineer, and truly understand what makes it tick.

Stutter Edit 2 by iZotope

The Stutter Edit 2 plugin by iZotope is the second iteration of the original 2011 release from iZotope, offering two main controls that buffer and stutter audio. There are some additional unique features in this plugin as well, including filters, tape stop, lo-fi, chorusing, flanging, and more.

There is also a new Time Variant Modifiers plugin that allows you to draw your own automation in the effect plugin and create LFO shapes for moving and grooving effects.

I also love this plugin for live use, as it offers a "Gesture" feature that lets you trigger several effects at once using a MIDI controller.

Best Free Glitch VST Plugins

Fracture by Glitchmachines

One of the first free plugins on the list is Fracture by Glitchmachines, which is one of the most comprehensive free plugins I've ever come across. There are three main processing effects built into thing, including Delay, Filter, and Buffer.

However, the most prominent part of Fracture is the modulation capabilities, as each of the effects has an individual LFO envelope with wave, sync, and rate controls. It can be a bit daunting for beginners who aren't used to using these kinds of plugins, but once you get the hand

of it, you'll see that it can deliver pretty astronomical results.

dBlue Stretch Glitch VST

One of our other favorite free plugins is the dBlue Stretch Glitch VST, which was made by the same developers as Glitch 2. Just note that it is a Windows-only plugin. There are numerous parameters on this thing, allowing you to manipulate the speed and length of time-stretching, as well as the grain size.

There's also a nice Hold parameter, which acts kind of like a "freeze" button, which is great for using on reverbs to create atmospheric effects.

Hysteresis by Glitchmachines

Glitchmachines' Hysteresis is the last free glitch plugin on our list, yet even with the zero-dollar price tag, it offers an advanced feedback glitch delay effect and an array of features to get creative with. From creating reverse delays and pitch-shifting elements to inducing granular malfunctions, this plugin pushes the boundaries of traditional sound design.

It also includes a stutter effect, a handy lowpass filter, and a modulation FX section for those who wan to tinker more with their sound. With over 100 presets, you have a rich source of inspiration to explore when you dive in.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of unique glitch VST plugins to pick from, and the best part is that they each have a unique set of features and characteristics, so even if you choose to get a bundle of them, you'll have a versatile arsenal of tools to play with.

Hopefully, giving some of these plugins the spotlight has inspired you to get glitchy with your next mix!

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