MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008
I don't even know of a good really expensive one.
"Good" compared to some things? Sure. But I've never heard a NR plug that "really" impressed me. The best ones I've ever used are still far too invasive IMO.
Back to the freeware part - I'm not even aware of a freeware NR plug. If there was a reasonably stable one out there, I'd have probably tried it. Some of the best plugs I've ever used were freeware.
But noise reduction... Most noise-print plugs (again, even the really nice ones) are riddled with artifacts. IRX gives you some control over the crappier ones (like Waves X-Noise, etc.). Some of the "built-in" ones are relatively amazing - Samplitude/Sequoia's V10's are probably the best 'simple' NR I've used - But that's upping the $$$ even more.
If you're just looking to cut down on some broadband noise, you can twist most MBC's around into a frequency conscious expander - Though very few do it really transparently - UAD's MBC is the only one I'm really happy with.
Otherwise, as usual, the best noise reduction available is the noise you stop before hitting the "RECORD" button.