How To

The Best Free Plugins From Sleepy Time DSP

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson


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Producing music is all about being able to make decisions, which is also the most difficult part. It is what sets aside the top producers from the amateurs. When working on your music, you need to figure out which direction you want to go in first… and this is where having various tools comes in! Sleepy Time Records previously had a legacy bundle which included seven DSP plugins: Crosstalk, Dual Panner, Polarity, Lisp, Mono Channel, Stereo Channel and Transient. So, just for you, we have free downloads for them! Although these effects aren’t designed to make your voice sound like Beyoncé, they are still useful for modifying problem tracks and experimenting as you develop your sound. With a clean and easy-to-navigate interface, these plugins are simple to use. Let’s find out more…

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What Is Sleepy Time Plugin DSP?

sleepy time DSP plugin

Digital Signal Processing or DSP refers to the mathematical manipulation of an information signal. It is basically various techniques which improve the precision and consistency of digital communications. As a theory, DSP can be quite complicated. However, DSP essentially works by clarifying or standardising the levels or states of a digital signal.

Sleepy Time DSP is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin, with the aim to provide affordable audio software for bedroom musicians, producers and engineers. Sleepy Time was founded by Duluth (Minnesota’s very own Dustin Ralston) and was a labour of love created in 2006 as Sleepy Time Records. Ralston created the Sleepy Time DSP after he announced he had stopped further developing Sleepy Time VST plugins. These VST plugins were virtual instruments and audio effects that as a producer, you could add to your DAW

Nowadays, there are still hundreds of VST plugins you can download for free, but finding good ones can be time-consuming. Therefore, when Ralston stopped Sleepy Time VST, it was disappointing news for the music production community. This is because the freeware VST plugins were among the best ones out there, leaving music producers disappointed again when Sleepy Time Records ceased business.

DSP plugins are beautifully designed and optimised for fast performance. Which is why we don’t want you to miss out! So we have put together all the information you need for previously released plugins by Sleepy Time Records. This includes MonoChannel, StereoChannel, Transient, DualPanner, Polarity, Lisp and Crosstalk v2.

Although the company is no longer in operation, you are in luck, as you can still access all their plugins through us! We have created an archive of Sleepy Time DSP plugins below. These effects are handy for quickly and effectively doctoring problem tracks!

Sleepy Time Plugins Overview

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When originally released in 2012, Sleepy Time DSP had several simple yet effective freeware plugins. Created by an incredibly talented and responsive developer, Sleepy Time DSP quickly gained a great reputation!

Keep reading to find out more about each of the plugins and download them individually, or download the full pack here:


Sleepy Time’s Lisp was released in 2013. It was a great, high accuracy freeware de-esser plugin, which instantly became many producer’s go-to freeware tool for tidying up sibilant, hissing sounds within vocal tracks. This free de-esser stands out from others because it uses a different method in order to tame those ear-piercing, irksome sounds.

Lisp uses fast frequency detection paired up with a transient detection algorithm to identify sibilant sounds efficiently and reduce the amplitude of such noises. Check out the advanced transient detection algorithm from Sleepy Time DSP’s Transient plugin featured below.

This effect means less time is required to tweak the plugin for optimal setting, as it is already pre-tuned to human vocal range. The vocal tracks are processed for a natural sound free of the drowned upon lithp effect. This effect is usually the result of forcing a de-esser too hard.

In order to make things even better, Lisp is impressively optimised to reduce the CPU load, therefore allowing many instances per project without impacting the general performance. It is also possible to work in M/S mode, as well as to process specific stereo channels. If you like the sound of Lisp then you can download it below.


As the name implies, Sleepy Time’s Transient handles transient signals such as drums and percussion. However, it is not just a compressor or expander. There are attack and sustain controls to allow independent and variable adjustments to the volume of both the sounds’ initial attack as well as the amount of decay which follows. Plus, both stereo and mono sources can be processed. With Transient, there are also detection filters to zone it to precise frequency bands. Furthermore, the left and right channels each can be soloed for more accurate adjustments, as well as the attack and sustain portion of the signal. The plugin was an entry in KVR Developer Challenge 2012.


Crosstalk was designed for producers to be able to insert across the stereo output of your DAW. It produces a variable degree of signal bleed within the left and right channels. This stimulates the crosstalk of traditional analogue circuits, and this effect can be subtle when used carefully.


Polarity is the easiest of all the plug-ins within this bundle. It has only four buttons, Off, Left Only, Right Only and Left+Right. By selecting a button, it overturns the polarity of the equivalent signal of a stereo track. This one is perfect for any surgical corrections needed for phase issues, particularly when working with stereo files.

Dual Panner

Sleepy Time’s Dual Panner is a handy tool when attempting to independently alter the position of each channel of a stereo track, and can be used wherever within the signal chain. Due to this, you are not limited to where the panning happens in your DAW. The Dual Panner also includes an adjustable ‘pan law’ setting, as specific DAWs automatically attenuate a stereo signal by 3 dB when a channel is panned to the centre.

Mono Channel

Mono Channel is basically a VU meter like Stereo Channel, however each has its own twists. As well as a smooth simulation of an analogue VU meter, the Mono Channel also delivers a simple three-band tone control for small corrections and a high-pass filter.

Stereo Channel

Stereo Channels are good quality metering tools with simple console channel controls. The Stereo Channel includes two meters combined with an M/S balance adjustment, stereo and M/S muting, centre crossover control and a phase correlation meter. It also boasts VU meter simulation, LR and MS balancing, ±24 dB gain control and stereo phase correlation metering. You can use both Mono Channel and Stereo Channel freeware tools to quickly achieve the correct gain staging in your audio projects.


music production

Music production is one of the most rewarding, creatively fulfilling and constantly evolving pastimes. Whether you want to go pro, or just want a fun hobby, music production gives so much back. You will wonder what you did before you were a producer. 

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As a producer creating your sound, the best starting point is to figure out which direction you want to go in – taking into consideration style, tempo and even a new chord progression. You will need to make quick decisions so you don’t lose the essence of your original song. This is where you need to ensure you have all the correct tools in place. We all love gear and every producer wants to have the best sound and more gear, which ultimately means more choices.

Free plugins for music producers are a must-have, and we recommend the Sleepy Time DSP Legacy Bundle. This includes Crosstalk, Dual Panner, Polarity, Lisp, Mono Channel, Stereo Channel and Transient. Nowadays, third-party plugins are essential for getting the job done and creating the highest calibre of professional sounding music. It doesn’t matter if you use Ableton, FL Studio, Logic Pro, Cubase, Pro Tools or Reason.

We’re not suggesting that your DAW’s plugins aren’t useful or a powerful tool, they are! However, occasionally, you will require something more. This Sleepy Time music bundle has everything you need for some wonderful selection of freebie tools for your software studio. So, download some of these free plugins above and have fun!

Now you have got access to these brilliant plugins, you will hopefully be utilising them when producing your music! Allow us to help you amplify your musiccollaborate with others, and even get your music in TV, film and more. Why not try Music Gateway for free?

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