MAIM | Audio Plugins for Free

“MAIM is the plugin for you if you want the sound of MP3 compression. With heavily hacked real MP3 encoders at its core, MAIM gives you the full gamut of digital distortion, from the realistic to the fantastical. Explore the bubbles and crunches of this unique form of digital distortion.

  • MAIM features two real MP3 encoders, captured in the wild and painstakingly incorporated into a real-time plugin.
  • We’ve woven mad-science circuit bending into MAIM’s MP3 encoders, to give you fine control over a whole palette of spectral distortions and face-melting glitches.
  • All knobs can be smoothly dragged and automated, without pops or gaps in the sound.
  • MAIM works across DAWs, on Mac (AU/VST3), Windows (VST3), and even Linux (VST3).
  • MAIM is, and will always be, 100% free and open-source. If you are so inclined, check out the code, build MAIM yourself, or add the next awesome feature.

If you encounter any issues, or have an idea for something that would improve MAIM, please raise an issue on the GitHub page.

Maim took a long time to make. If you enjoy MAIM and want to see more plugins like it in the future, tips are always welcome.

AU / VST3 (64 bit only)


Meet the Encoders

Why does MAIM have two MP3 encoders? An MP3 is an MP3, right? Not quite. Audio compression is as much an art as a science, and each encoder gives the track a slightly different tone.


LAME (LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder) is a professional and cosmopolitan encoder, with decades of design behind it for the least obtrusive tone. It can handle just about anything you throw at it, even notoriously difficult-to-encode tracks that confuse other encoders. Always the rebellious cool kid, LAME managed to sneak by patent regulations and deliver the best MP3 tone as a free open-source program. As it compresses to lower bitrates, LAME rolls off the high frequencies heavily, resulting in a muffled sound.


Blade is a bit rougher around the edges, but even more endearing than LAME. Designed at the turn of the millenium by Tord Jansson, it has a vibrant, bubbly tone, washing out transients much more heavily than LAME does. Transport your tracks back to 2002, using this real-deal antique MP3 encoder.”

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