Sampleson is a relatively new company specializing in fantastic sounding Rhodes based instruments and effects. Their latest offering is a very interesting spectral modeled Rhodes Piano Bass called Fire. And best of all, it is free for the next 60 days.
Recently, Reverb added 2 new segments: LP and software. Reverb Software is of course, very much in harmony with our world of Logic Pro X and I would encourage you to go take a look at the offerings. Reverb’s software section does have a slew of freebie offerings much like several other sites that curate links or downloads with an additional major bonus that is of particular interest.
Do you use an audio interface with a talkback button? Save your button pushing energy for more important tasks with this free plug-in. Muteomatic from SoundRadix does the Talkback button pressing for you!
Here’s something that is 100% transparent, uses almost 0 CPU and in certain cases, can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, downtime and even worse, hearing damage. Cerberus Audio Ice9 Automute is instanciated on one’s master bus and acts as if one had fuses installed in one’s studio monitors.
A nice find by Pro Tools Expert: Isol8 by TB ProAudio is a free multiband mix monitoring plugin that lets you quickly isolate five custom frequency bands, either by using its mute or solo buttons.
- Five adjustable frequency bands
- Solo/mute buttons for each frequency band
- Solo/Mute Buttons: shift-click deactivates all other buttons
- Linkwitz-Riley crossover filters, a "parallel combination of a low-pass and a high-pass L-R filter." Click the link to the Wikipedia article for reference.
- 24/48dB/Octave filter slope
- Multiple filter channel modes (Stereo/Left/Right/Mid/Side)
- Multiple monitor modes (Stereo/Left/Right/Mid/Side)
- In-place or centered monitoring
- Adjustable output level
- Volume dim button for mixing at lower levels
- 64-bit internal processing
See Isol8 at work in this short demo:
OS X: 32/64 Bit VST, 32/64 Bit VST3, 32/64 Bit AU, 32 Bit RTAS, 32/64 Bit AAX. You'll need Mac OS X 10.5 or newer.
Download Isol8 here. No signup or email address required.
AmpleSound, renowned for their fantastic guitar and bass virtual instruments, is expanding into percussion instruments. And to kick things off, they are offering Ample Percussion Cloudrum for free.
Cloudrum is a three-octave Steel Tongue drum instrument. The flexible amp envelope allows for everything from sustained tones to percussive hits, and everything in between; making it suitable for a variety of musical styles. In addition to a full sound set, including round robin samples, different mic options for body and ambiance are easily blended. A synth sine wave is included, to beef up the tones when necessary. Separate pop up panels for EQ, compression, stereo delay, and reverb round things out nicely.
1 GB of free hard disk space. Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, Intel-based Mac with 2 GB RAM. Windows Vista or newer, Pentium 4 or Athlon processor with 2 GB RAM. AU, VST, AAX host application and professional sound card recommended. Stand-alone version included. AAX Windows version is not available in current version.
Download it for free:
And check out their Winter sale while you’re there. Up to 61% off until January 1, 2018.
In case this hasn't reached your inbox: to celebrate the holiday season, Native Instruments has released a free phaser plugin with capabilities that "go way beyond the scope of traditional phasers".
From the manual:
PHASIS is a new take on the concept with additional features that have been carefully chosen to allow for more sophisticated and extreme sounds than possible with common phasers, while staying true to the ease of use and clarity associated with these devices.
PHASIS features a scalable amount of all-pass filters, allowing for anything from one to twelve pairs of peaks and notches in the frequency spectrum. The input signal’s stereo image is preserved, however, the peaks and notches can also be panned to widen the sound. The internal modulation system lets you not only affect the relative center frequency of all peaks and notches at the same time (Center parameter) but also their spacing to each other (Spread parameter). With features like ULTRA mode or the Spread parameter, PHASIS’ sonic capabilities go way beyond the scope of traditional phasers, allowing you to also create sounds reminiscent of FM synthesis or vowel filters, respectively.
Download & System Requirements
Download Phasis here:
The download links will be sent to your email address.
Mac requirements: OS X 10.11, 10.12, or 10.13, i5, 4 GB RAM
It's that time of the year again (already, huh) when Soundtoys releases Little things that go a long way.
Available for free until November 22th is Little Plate, a plate reverb plugin based on the hefty EMT 140 plate reverb unit introduced in 1957 by Wilhelm Franz at Germany’s Elektro-Mess-Technik.
Best Plate Reverb ever Made
Even in 2017, the EMT 140 is still regarded as the best plate reverb ever made.
A few fun facts I came across today while digging for more information about this mythical verb machine:
- The real thing still costs thousands (dollars, euros) today, if you manage to find one in reasonable condition.
- There was an EMT 140 Plate Reverb for sale on reverb.com a few years ago for around 5000 Euros. I'm not sure whether it was actually sold or not.
- The EMT 140 weighs hundreds of pounds, it's about the size of an upright piano without the keys.
- It takes at least three people to carry and at least one chiropractor to realign their joints afterwards.
- The EMT 140 was virtually the only reverb that was used on Pink Floyd’s "Dark Side of the Moon." Speaking of vibrating plates… In 1957, the year the EMT 140 plate was introduced, San Francisco got all shook up by an earthquake also known as the Daly City earthquake, on March 22nd. That's the same day Elvis’ “All Shook Up” was released as a single. Coincidence? I think not! ;)
Tons of Plates
Double hat tip to Soundtoys for making such a tasteful 32-second teaser for a new product.
You'd almost think wish something bigger is coming up. "Revenge of the Plate Verbs" on Netflix, anyone?
The sounds are headphone-worthy:
To develop this plugin, Soundtoys obsessively collected five real EMT 140 units from around the United States, put them in the labs in Burlington, a city in northwestern Vermont, USA (best known for ski resorts, IBM employees, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.)
After potentially breaking the bank, dislocating a few vertebrae, cleaning, tuning, testing, and coding, they ultimately ported the classic EMT 140 sound over to the digital realm.
In other words: tons of plate reverb (a single EMT 140 weighs 600 pounds) are now available in a Soundtoys plugin that weighs and costs nothing.
Little Plate will set you back $99 after November 22nd though.
Plugin Interface & Features
Meeting the needs of those of us tinkering daily with today's DAW's, Soundtoys too added a few useful features to the plugin that were not available on the original EMT 140 hardware unit:
Infinite Decay Time
Compared to the EMT 140's limited reverb decay time of around 6 seconds or so, Little Plate offers a broader range of reverb decay times, from half a second up to infinity - so that you can use it both for short ambience reverb effects and frozen reverbs. Check out the product page for audio examples.
Use the Modulation switch to subtly modulate the reverb's tail for a thicker sound on vocals, keys, guitars, and other instruments. Check out the product page for some examples.
Use the Low-Cut Filter to remove the build-up of low frequencies in the reverb to keep your mix clean and modern. The filter goes all the way to 20 kHz. That should be useful if you're into using plate verb on percussion.
Plate Reverb Tips & Tricks
In all fairness, you can't say 'EMT 140 plugin' without mentioning other third-party plugin developers, two of them being Universal Audio and Waves.
UA published an excellent page covering how and when to use plate reverb back in the summer of 2011.
The tips are still valid today.
To get you going, this quote:
Another cool option would be to use DAW automation to gradually increase the reverb level on the strings — often called a “reverb build” — in order to create a heightened sense of drama as the piece develops. This would be impossible to do with the hardware because of the mechanical noise, but with the plug-in version, continuous automation of decay time works perfectly.
More tips to be found in the full article, here:
The Abbey Road Reverb Technique
You can't say 'EMT 140' without mentioning the Abbey Road Reverb Technique either.
As plate reverbs are still widely used today, mostly on vocals I presume, you may want to learn more about this mix engineering trick if you haven't already.
Put simply, the Abbey Road Reverb trick involves rolling off everything below 600Hz and above 10kHz by using high- and low-pass filters placed before the reverb.
As demonstrated by mix engineer Dave Pensado in this video (there's a big bonus tip about 9 minutes in: watch Dave use a little tube saturation for extra plate lushness, it's subtle but brilliant):
Download & Plugin Formats
Be patient, Soundtoys' servers have been awfully busy as of this morning.
To use Little Plate, you'll need a free iLok account, which you can get here.
If you're already an owner of the Soundtoys 5 bundle like me, note that a license for Little Plate has already been deposited in your iLok account.
If the new version 4 of the iLok License Manager software is giving you major BS, don't panic, take a few minutes to read this:
Little Plate comes in the AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, VST, and Audio Units plugin formats, both 32 and 64-bit.
Have fun with your new soundtoy!
I never heard of this one. Thanks to Björn Arlt at Full Bucket Music, you can pick up a free copy of the FB-3300, a soft synth based on the rare KORG PS-3300 polyphonic analog synthesizer from the late seventies.
About the Korg PS-3300
Here's a little history about the vintage synth, taken from the manual that comes with the download:
In 1977, KORG released two new synthesizers, the PS-3100, and the PS-3300, where “PS” is short for Polyphonic Synthesizer.
By that time not many polyphonic synthesizers were around, and being even fully polyphonic the PS brothers (in close approximation the PS-3300 consists of three PS-3100) were propelled into the noble company of a Polymoog.
While the PS-3100 is a rather modest instrument, the PS-3300 features no less than 3 independent synthesizer blocks (comparable to almost a full PS-3100).
Each block has 48 voices with 48 filters and 48 envelopes, but only 12 oscillators generate the top octave frequencies for the twelve keys C to B. The remaining 36 signals are derived by frequency division, but the PS-3300 is not just a sophisticated organ.
The PS-3300 is huge.
Back to the seventies we go...
The user manual provides more information about the synth's architecture, its signal generators, filter section, envelope modifiers, and more.
How to Install the FB-3300
Just copy the FB3300.component and fb3300.ini files from the ZIP archive you have downloaded to your standard macOS Audio Unit plug-in folder:
Logic Pro should automatically register the FB-3300 AU plug-in the next time you launch it.
If it is not showing up in Logic Pro, try restarting your Mac.
That did the trick for me (I'm running macOS High Sierra on my 2015 Macbook Pro).
Both 32 and 64-bit versions are available.
Should work for Logic Pro 9 geezers too then, I suppose.
We all should hit the pub more often! Russ Hughes, the founder of Pro Tools Expert, sat in one the other day and wondered "wouldn't it be great if you could keep the settings of your (audio) hardware in the sessions of your DAW?".
A few weeks later: say hello to Snapshot, a free plugin for Mac developed by Non-Lethal Applications that makes it easy to store and manually recall settings of your favorite outboard gear.
The idea behind Snapshot is simple but ingenious: you take a picture of the outboard audio hardware you're using in your recording session, and use Snapshot to store that picture in your DAW.
You'd like to reuse the compression settings you used for a particular vocal session?
Just take a picture of the hardware compressor with your smartphone, send it to your Mac and save it in your DAW session using the Snapshot plug-in.
Easy Peasy Japanesey.
Forgot what voiceover artist you're working with?
Just take a picture of...
You get the idea.
- Store images of outboard gear in any DAW
- Resizable GUI (100% or 200%)
- Add text notes
- Very easy on the CPU
- Load images from local disks or Dropbox
- Developed by Non-Lethal Applications
- Supports AAX, AU or VST plug-in formats
To download Snapshot, head on over to Pro Tools Expert, and hit the big red "buy now" button (it's free, only your name and address are required):
Boutique plugin developer Sinevibes is giving away Drift, a multi-effect plugin with dual chaos modulators, for free.
Drift is a multi-effects processor based on two independent Lorenz chaos oscillators. These systems are used by scientists to model convection in liquids and gases: they produce chaotically fluctuating, never-repeating signals that are mutually correlated. Drift uses one Lorenz oscillator to apply two-dimensional modulation onto an effect unit with filters and phasers – and another such oscillator is applied onto output level and stereo pan. With this, Drift is able to give any sound the dynamic characteristics of wind gusts, air turbulence, ocean waves or water bubbles.
Drift works on OS X 10.6 or later, and with any application that supports the Audio Unit plugin format.
Which means us!
Download the installer and the manual here:
Today's good news: iZotope has set free Ozone Imager, a free stereo imaging plugin that enables you to add width to mono mixes for a wider sound without sacrificing mono compatibility.
Ozone Imager Highlights
- simple Width and Amount sliders to adjust stereo width
- no matter how wide you'll go, you won't be sacrificing mono compatibility (I like that)
- funky looking Vectorscope and Correlation Meter to please the eyes
You can use iZotope Ozone Imager to:
- Make vocals sound wider
- Make guitars sound wider
- Make your drums sound bigger
- Make instruments sound wider
- Make choruses thicker by putting the plugin on your master bus
You get the picture...
See Ozone Imager at work in about two minutes:
Get Ozone Imager here
(requires your email address, and some basic registration info if you don't yet have an account at iZotope.)
Even though Logic Pro X offers a shredload of plugins that can make great guitar tones (or can be used creatively for distorted vocals for example), there's a whole other world of third-party guitar amp simulator plugins to explore. Here's an overview of some of the best free guitar amp plugins for Mac to get you started.
Nice find by Pro Tools Expert: mvMeter is a free multivariable meter including RMS, EBUR128, VU and PPM measurement. The metering plugin comes with three themes.
Free Multi-Channel Metering Plugin Features
- behavior of classic analog VU and PPM meters
- multiple measurement modes: PEAK, RMS, EBU R128, VU and PPM
- multi channel metering: stereo, left, right, mid, side channel
- large and accurate live meters
- adjustable pre-gain, automatic gain staging
- 64-bit internal processing
- 3 different meter themes
- GUI resizing up 400%, ready for 4k displays
- free of charge
Requires Mac OS X 10.5 or newer
OS X: 32/64 Bit VST, 32/64 Bit VST3, 32/64 Bit AU, 32 Bit RTAS, 32/64 Bit AAX
The manual is available for download on the same page.
Audiothing has released Filterjam, a free multi-band resonant filter plugin that you can use to add brightness or depth to synths, completely mangle audio sources, and make ring modulation-type sounds and effects.
Free Filter Plugin - Filterjam
What Is Ring Modulation?
With Filterjam you can create ring modulation-type sounds and effects.
Basic ring modulation multiplies two incoming audio signals (the carrier and modulator). It creates frequencies that are the sum and difference of the frequencies that are present in both audio signals. When the frequencies of the audio signals are harmonically related, ring modulation will create harmonics that conform to the harmonic partials of the carrier and modulator. When the frequencies of the audio signals are not harmonically related, ring modulation will produce inharmonics. Bells, gongs or otherwise percussive metallic sounds, in particular, have overtones which are inharmonic.
Can't I Do This with Logic Pro X's Ringshifter Plugin?
Well, almost. In both frequency shifter mode and ring modulator mode, Logic Pro X's Ringshifter plugin uses its internal sine wave oscillator to modulate the amplitude of the wideband input signal.
The major difference between Ringshifter and Filterjam is that Audiothing's plugin is multiband: it first splits the incoming audio signal into four separate bands. These bands are then summed or multiplied together, based on the mode you choose in the plugin's GUI. You can use Filterjam to add brightness or depth to synthesizer sounds, or to completely destroy acoustic sources, bringing out grit and rhythm that weren't there on the surface.
Filterjam is easy on your system's resources, and comes with a preset system and a cool randomize button.
Unfortunately, the use of this randomize button cannot be automated. Hopefully the plugin developers at Audiothing will introduce this feature in a future update.
Watch Filterjam at work on some ambient sounds and synths in Logic Pro X. Notice that at 0:54 into the video, multiple instances of the filter plugin are used on multiple tracks to quickly create interesting rhythms.
Skip through these audio examples to hear what Filterjam sounds like:
Filterjam comes in both 32- and 64bit versions, in VST, AU, and the AAX plugin format.
Your name and email address are required to receive your download links.
DiscoDSP released OB-Xd – a free emulation synth of the Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-8 synthesizers.
Oberheim OB-X Emulation Synth
The OB-Xd is based on the Oberheim OB-X. It attempts to recreate its sound and behaviours, but as the original was very limited in some important ways a number of things were added or altered to the original design. The OB-Xd was designed to sound as good and as rich as the original. It implements micro random detuning which is a big part of that sound. ... Like many synths of the OB-X’s generation, the OB-Xd has no internal effects so its sounds and textures can be greatly enhanced by the use of additional processing like chorus, reverb, delay, etc.
From the manual:
A mixer was introduced to blend the two oscillators and noise source which is much more flexible than the fixed levels of the original design. In the OB-X cross modulation (Frequency Modulation), OSC2 modulated OSC1. On the OB-Xd this is reversed: OSC1 modulates OSC2. Sounds created by sync and x-mod this way were judged more useful than the inharmonic results of the original modulation path. The Step switch allows for precise tuning by semi-tone steps. Note that disengaging this doesn't keep the pitch at the precise semi-tone step but resumes gradual pitch adjustment. The Bright control adjusts the clarity of higher harmonics. Detune of OSC2 only adjusts up from the basic pitch (the original was bilateral).
From the manual:
The original OB-X had a single 12dB/octave low-pass filter. The OB-Xd significantly improves on this design: it implements a Multimode 12dB/ octave filter like the Oberheim SEM module. Using the MULTI rotary control, you can crossfade between low-pass behavior on the complete left, to either notch (by default) or bandpass (using the BP switch) behavior at 12 o'clock, and high- pass behavior on the far right. There is also a 24dB mode which is activated by the 24dB switch. This mode is only low-pass, but the MULTI control now allows you to smoothly change the depth of the filter slope from 24dB/octave on the complete left, down to 6 dB/octave on the complete right.
How to Install
You can run the .pkg installer or:
- Drag Obxd.component into Library / Audio / Plug-Ins / Components.
- Drag Obxd.vst into Library / Audio / Plug-Ins / VST.
To install the presets, drag the 'Datsounds' folder into ~/Library/Audio/Presets/.
Download OB-Xd here.
Vintage tones, man!
Soundtoys' first-ever equalizer plugin, the Sie-Q, is free through October 13th (reg. $129).
From the Soundtoys Sie-Q Manual:
Sie-Q is Soundtoys’ take on a classic German EQ from the 60s, the Siemens w295b. This EQ module from the Siemens Sitral consoles features a discrete silicon transistor design and beautifully simple controls and frequency response characteristics .... The star of the show is definitely the High band. It’s perfectly contoured for adding silky high end to vocals and instruments. We’ve also carefully modeled its saturation character so you can hit it hard and get the real analog vibe of the hardware.
- High Band for airy top end on vocals & instruments.
- Mid Band for accentuating or taming mid-range.
- Low Band for carving out or adding bass oomph.
- Drive Control for recreating the colors of the original hardware unit.
- Gain Control is smoother than the original EQ.
You'll need an account at Soundtoys and iLok. A physical iLok USB dongle is not required.
iZotope has released Neutrino, a free plug-in that lets you add clarity to your mix in just a few steps. It can subtly refine vocals, instruments, bass and drums.
Add Clarity To Your Mix with Neutrino
You can use Neutrino on individual audio tracks, aux buses, and stem tracks. The plug-in is not meant to be used on your master output.
Say hello to Neutrino, our free spectral shaping plug-in. Use it to reveal subtle amounts of detail that can elevate great mixes to a new level of refinement. Add clarity to your mixes by applying it to every track or the major mix buses (just like analog summing or console emulations).
The plug-in has 4 modes:
Voice: Adds clarity to vocals.
Instrument: Smoothes out resonant frequencies.
Bass: Adds punch to bass (electric, acoustic, synth).
Drums: Emphasizes transient detail. Minimizes frequency buildup (mud).
Inserting the Plug-in on Multiple Tracks
To insert the plug-in on multiple tracks in Logic Pro X in one go, select multiple tracks in the Mixer, then insert the plug-in.
Neutrino Audio Examples
In the video below, Neutrino has been applied to every audio track individually.
Best heard on headphones or studio monitors. The effects are subtle!
More examples can be found on iZotope's Youtube Channel.
What is Spectral Shaping?
If you're interested to read more about the plug-in's 4 modes, how to use Neutrino, proper gain-staging and how spectral shaping was developed, see iZotope's article about Spectral Shaping.
You can download Neutrino here.
Requires your email address.
Boz Digital Labs have recently released a free plugin: Width Knob.
Control Stereo Width with Width Knob
With the plugin you can quickly and easily adjust the stereo width of an aux bus or track.
The plugin does so by panning alone.
Note that it doesn't enhance the stereo image or anything like that, that's something you may achieve through M/S Processing.
Dan Cooper at Pro Tool Expert took it through its paces:
You can download Width Knob here.
Just add it to your shopping cart and checkout. You'll need an account at Boz.
Slate Digital have introduced a free plugin. It's called The Monster Extreme Dynamic Processor, and it emulates the classic "all buttons in" extreme compression sound of vintage FET limiter hardware.
Slate Digital The Monster Extreme Dynamic Processor
The Monster emulates the classic "all buttons in" extreme compression sound of the vintage FET limiter hardware. The "all buttons in" effect can be pretty extreme, so we added a few very cool additional features that make this processor more versatile, more creative, and more useful.
Watch the video in which Steven demonstrates The Monster on multiple audio sources and shares pro tips and techniques on its features.
You can download the Virtual Mix Rack which includes The Monster by clicking the orange "Download For Free" button on the top right of the page.
Note that you'll need an iLok 2, and perhaps some patience as the iLok servers may be quite busy.
The Monster comes in 32bit and 64bit versions for AAX, VST2, VST3, and AU formats.
Have fun with this one!