When working in Windows I typically use Cockos Reaper, but I’ve also tried Podium Free from Zynewave and it is a good (and free) alternative (although Reaper is not expensive, for a personal / small business licence, I recommend it)
I found a list of free VST plugins that Zynewave suggest, it is interesting to have this compilation available, so here it is for anyone interested (originally posted here):
RECOMMENDED FREEWARE PLUGINS
This page contains download links and installation instructions for a selection of high quality third-party freeware VST plugins known to work well with Zynewave Podium and Podium Free. If you are new to VST plugins then this set of plugins is a good introduction.
- All listed plugins are available as both 32-bit and 64-bit (x64) versions. Use the 64-bit versions with Podium x64. 64-bit Windows is required to run x64 programs.
- Some of the plugins are available as both VST2 and VST3 downloads. Use the VST2 versions with Podium.
- Most of the plugins can be downloaded and installed without requiring registration. The few plugins that require registration are indicated in the list.
Plugin list last updated: January 3, 2014
Click the plugin name to open the download page on the developer website.
Most of the downloads consist of a zip file with the plugin dll inside. Installation is done simply by extracting the zip file contents to a folder on your hard drive. Some of the larger plugins require installation of additional data files. These plugins are installed by running an installer that will ask you where you want the files installed.
You can install the plugins anywhere you like. The recommended installation path has changed over the years, so the plugin installers may suggest different default installation paths. Since the introduction of VST3, the officially recommended installation path for VST2 plugins is: “C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2″.
Here are some recommended practices that will make it easier for you to maintain your plugin library and easier to import the plugins into host applications such as Podium:
- Keep your plugins within one root folder. This makes it easier to move your entire plugin collection, and you need only specify the root folder in the Podium plugin setup.
- Organize plugins in sub folders named by developer name. You may prefer to name sub folders by plugin category, but this makes it more difficult to manage plugin bundles that cover multiple categories. You can reorganize your plugin list in Podium projects independently of the disk folders.
- If you install both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of the plugins, then keep each platform in separate root folders and use a similar sub folder structure. This makes it easier to port your Podium projects if you switch between the 32-bit and 64-bit Podium versions.
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST2