8 Best VST Plugins For Worship Music 2024


Best VST Plugins For Worship Music

Whether you’re working on your own worship music, or you’ve been tasked with producing worship, you need the right tools to get the job done. From the studio to the stage, the right tools make all the difference.

If you’re trying to find the best VST plugins for worship music, look no further. In this guide, we’ve covered your bases – pianos, keys, synthesizers, guitar processors, drums, and more.

Essential Keyboard Collection by SONiVOX – Best Overall

Essential Keyboard Collection by SONiVOX – Best Overall

Let’s face it – you can’t really have enough keyboard sounds as a worship leader, especially good ones.

SONiVOX’ Essential Keyboard Collection is one of the best in its category, and even better, it’s quite affordable.

Along with a powerful sound engine, a simple but beautiful user interface, and compatibility across all popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), Essential Keyboard Collection sets an array of authentic-sounding keyboard instruments at your fingertips.

The 13 instruments all come with their respective presets, along with essential effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and vibrato.

The instrument selection includes toy piano, upright piano, Steinway grand piano, Yamaha grand piano, pianet, Rhodes Mark I, Rhodes Mark II, electric organ, tonewheel organs, church organ, harpsichord, clavichord, and harmonium.

If you search hard, you might be able to find each instrument as a standalone VST plugin, but why? Essential Keyboard Collection has got everything in one place, and as I said, it’s quite affordable too.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

V Collection 9 by Arturia – Best Premium Option

V Collection 9 by Arturia – Best Premium Option

For those who don’t want to buy synthesizers, virtual pianos, and other keyboard sounds piecemeal… For those who want to cut to the chase… There’s Arturia’s V Collection 9.

Arturia is well known for their huge collection of virtual synths and keyboards, and V Collection 9, of course, puts them all at your fingertips.

Sure, the collection comes at a premium price tag. But it’s still cheaper than buying 32 virtual instruments individually.

With V Collection 9, you get access to Jun-6 V, Jup-8 V, Prophet-VS V, OBXa-V, Mellotron V, DX7 V, B-3 V, Matrix-12V, Piano V, So ZcvbHsx6KFIlina V, Wurli V, and plenty of others, with 14,000 presets.

And the great thing about Arturia is that when they don’t get it right on the first go around, they come out with updates to improve upon the original.

Arturia’s V Collection 9 is our best premium option, and it is highly recommended to anyone who needs to cover all their keyboard bases.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Lakeside Pipe Organ by Soundiron – Best Budget Option

Lakeside Pipe Organ by Soundiron – Best Budget Option

The beautiful and haunting sound of the organ has a long tradition in the church, and even congregations that take issue with modern music still usually have an organ in their building.

Soundiron’s Lakeside Pipe Organ refers to the pipe organ located in Oakland, California, at the Lakeside Temple of Practical Christianity. The plugin weighs a hefty 1.85 GB installed, and that might have something to do with the 1,584 WAV samples this baby runs on.

The Kontakt instrument includes five settings (PP, P, MP, MF, FF), multiple mic positions for all settings (close and far), FX, and much more.

I find the organ sounds quite pristine. With Lakeside Pipe Organ, you can do some fun sound design style things to the sound as well, which you might not be able to do with your average patch-loaded keyboard. This could come in very handy for recording.

Lakeside Pipe organ requires the full version of Kontakt 3.5 or above to work. So, you may not save any money here if you don’t already have Kontakt, but all told, Lakeside Pipe Organ is quite reasonable.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Velvet 2 by AIR Music Technology

Velvet 2 by AIR Music Technology

The electric piano is capable of so much. It can provide a nice “bark” for funky, upbeat tunes, and a mellower, warm tone for those quieter moments of reflection and worship.

AIR Music Technology’s Velvet 2 covers all the bases. It comes with five classic electric piano models, including the Wurlitzer 200A, Hohner Pianet-T, Fender Rhodes MK I Stage Piano, Fender Rhodes Mk II Stage Piano, and Fender Rhodes Suitcase.

Velvet 2 is highly tweakable, with a three-band EQ, various effects, essential parameters, and 350 presets too.

AIR Music Technology went to great lengths to capture the nuances of each piano to ensure an authentic experience. I think Velvet 2 sounds amazing, and I can’t find a producer or keyboardist that disagrees.

If electric piano is what you need, electric piano you shall have.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Diva by u-he

Diva by u-he

Amazing pad sounds are a common requirement in creating the right atmosphere for worship music, and when it comes to pads, u-he’s Diva easily outclasses most.

Despite its status as an “older” synth, Diva doesn’t show its age. It is still widely regarded as one of the best VST plugins you can buy, and it lives up to its reputation besides.

This virtual analog synth will give you access to a mix of classic synth sounds you know and love, from a time when synthesizers sounded their best. It doesn’t sound like any one synth, rather it sounds a bit like all of them (in u-he’s words, Diva is the essence of seven to eight synths).

If the 1,200 included presets don’t get you off to a running start, I don’t know what to tell you… You might not be trying hard enough.

Of course, it comes with all the configurable parameters you could want, and probably a few more.

Sure, there are other options available, but Diva sits at the top of its class.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

BIAS FX2 Standard by Positive Grid

BIAS FX2 Standard by Positive Grid

Guitar tends to play a key role in modern worship. At its core, worship guitar is usually very simple, but it often provides a needed rhythmic punch, or an atmospheric riff to fill out the space.

Positive Grid’s BIAS FX2 Standard can be used to create just about any tone you want. Besides the fact that it comes with amps, effects, and racks, almost everything you could possibly think to change, swap, or configure can be configured, like tubes.

In addition to a multitude of built-in presets and access to cutting-edge presets on ToneCloud, you’ve even got Guitar Match capability to access a limitless tonal palette. After all, we all know that all guitars sound different, and play a major role in the tone.

Just 10 to 15 years ago, finding the perfect tone was little more than a dream for the average guitarist, who had to wade through countless amps, effects pedals, speakers, tubes, and other combinations to find their sound.

Not anymore. BIAS FX2 sounds great out of the box, and all you need to do is flip through the presets to get into the ballpark and perform a small amount of fine-tuning to arrive at the perfect tone for your next worship number.

We’ve looked at BIAS FX2 Standard here, but the software is available in two other version – Elite and Professional – depending on what you need.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Pigments 4 by Arturia

Pigments 4 by Arturia

For those seeking out beautiful pad sounds, Arturia’s Pigments 4 is well worth a look. This synth is huge, and it’s not hard to see why when you peek beneath the hood.

Pigments 4 comes with two engines in parallel, a third utility engine, two filters, 18 FX algorithms, an advanced modulation system, a sequencer and arpeggiator, as well as 1,400 presets.

Along with a virtual analog triple osc engine, Pigments 4 also comes with a complex wavetable engine, sample & granular engine, and harmonic oscillator additive engine for maximum customizability.

We could go on about its features, but it wouldn’t do this synthesizer any justice. If you’re curious, we suggest checking out the video below, or listening to some sound samples.

Built with sound designing in mind, Pigments 4 is an excellent option for crafting unique sounds.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

BFD3 by BFD

BFD3 by BFD

Nothing beats the sound of live drums in worship music. But the second-best thing to live drums is, without a doubt, BFD3.

When you don’t have access to a great drumkit, great drummer, and a great room to record in, or any combination thereof, BFD3 comes to the rescue. This drum studio sounds great out of the box, and if that wasn’t enough, it puts all the power in your hands to tweak and customize to your heart’s content.

BFD3 features multiple kits for different styles and genres, effects, presets, groove engine, extendable interface, and more, to help you craft the perfect beat for your recordings while sounding exceptional.

This kit comes with plenty of power out of the box, but if you can’t quite nail the sound you’re looking for, you may want to check out BFD expansions for an array of sounds – jazz, funk, marching, metal, orchestral, and more.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A VST Plugin For Worship Music?

There are plenty of VST plugins capable of producing breathtaking, beautiful sounds. It’s mostly a matter of how you dial them in and in what context they’re being used.

So, the biggest factor of all in choosing VST plugins for worship music will likely be what you want to be able to accomplish in the studio or on the stage.

Aside from that, here are the main criteria to consider:

  • Intended outcome
  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Let’s consider each.

Intended Outcome

In considering multiple plugins, we always urge you to consider intended outcomes.

If you already have a great sounding piano, you may not necessarily need a virtual piano. If your guitarist is self-sufficient, you may not need additional workstations or effects.

Where is the greatest need on your team? Where is there still room for improvement?

If you’re clear on what you need as well as how it will enhance a spirit of worship, you’re on the right track.

Sound Quality

We don’t think you can make any mistakes with the above recommendations, but just in case…

We still recommend listening to every plugin. There are videos and audio samples available, so you may as well take advantage.

Even the best organ solution, for instance, may not work for your house of worship. It’s unlikely, but since impulsive decisions are avoidable, you may as well take your time, do your research, and find instruments or effects that will work for you.

Sound quality isn’t everything. But if you take it from the perspective that all your instruments should blend, you can see how important it is to choose the right tools for the job.

Features

Every VST plugin comes with features. Some are limited. Some are more expansive. You don’t always need the most sophisticated options to get the job done. Conversely, there are situations where having access to more parameters, effects, and presets can complement your workflow.

Again, it all depends on what you hope to achieve with your worship music – recorded or live.

If you have budgetary concerns, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing more affordable VST solutions, especially if you have a good ear and the needed effects to create a processing chain that will enhance your sounds.

Which brings us to…

Budget

From independent producers to houses of worship, we urge you to consider your budget before any purchase. It’s worth spending to get the right tools, but we don’t recommend going into debt for VST plugins, even if they are tax write-offs (and we aren’t suggesting you will be able to write them off!).

Top VST Plugins For Worship Music, Final Thoughts

We hope you found all the tools you need to make worship music that pleases the good Lord. Enjoy the shopping process, do your research, and before you know it, you will have found the right fit!

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