SoundBytes Freebies Of The Month
It’s synth power month this time around as we take a close look at three fantastic freeware virtual synthesizers along with an awesome free percussion sample pack.
by Tomislav Zlatic, Mar. 2015
It’s synth power month this time around in the SoundBytes Freebies section, as we take a look at three fantastic freeware virtual synthesizers, along with a free percussion sample pack which is there to help you add a rhythmic foundation to your new synth-based masterpiece.
SUPER-7 by CFA-Sound
Although CFA-Sound describes SUPER-7 as a “little side project for fun and learning”, they’ve actually done a surprisingly good job with this one. SUPER-7 closely emulates the famous supersaw oscillator which originally appeared in the Roland JP-8000 hardware synthesizer and quickly became the foundation of many classic lead and pad patches from the nineties.
The SUPER-7 supersaw comes very close to the sound of the original Roland JP-8000 supersaw oscillator, arguably more so than some commercial virtual instruments on the current plugin market. The rest of SUPER-7’s synthesis engine is quite rudimentary to say the least, but this free virtual instrument was never meant to be a versatile workhorse synthesizer in the first place.
Apart from the oscillator section, SUPER-7 features a simple ADSR envelope module for the volume, a resonant 4-pole low pass filter with an AD envelope and a handy envelope shape control for the filter envelope. The plugin also features a built-in preset manager with a small set of 20 factory presets. The preset manager probably wasn’t a necessary addition to the plugin’s feature set, considering the fact that the synthesis engine is rather minimal.
The great thing about SUPER-7, apart from the fact that it emulates the original supersaw oscillator so closely, is the fact that it’s quite easy on the CPU. You can layer several instances of this virtual instrument and use them to create some insanely huge supersaw pads and fat leads, without much impact on the overall CPU hit of your project.
SUPER-7 is released as a 32-bit VSTi plugin for Windows based host applications. The plugin was developed with SynthEdit.
Cybermath by Ricardo F. Gomes
In contrast to the minimal and streamlined design of the aforementioned SUPER-7 synthesizer, Cybermath by Ricardo F. Gomes features a complex and versatile synthesis engine which is set to become a powerful sonic weapon in the hands of talented sound designers. Cybermath comes with a pair of wavetable oscillators, offering two wavetables and a dedicated envelope per oscillator. The oscillators also support phase modulation, which is a quick route to unusual and exciting sounds.
Other highlights of Cybermath’s synthesis engine include eight modulation envelopes, an arpeggiator and a set of eight effects, all of which can be combined in a powerful and flexible modulation matrix. It’s worth noting that the eight modulation envelopes are fully customizable – it’s possible to draw almost any shape and use it to modulate various parameters of the synthesis engine.
Cybermath is still a work in progress, which is the main reason why the CPU hit is a bit too high at the moment. The developer is continuously releasing new versions of this great freeware instrument and we’re more than excited to see what the final product will be like. For now, Cybermath is certainly worth a look if you’re a sound designer in search of a flexible and powerful tool for creating new and unique sounds.
Cybermath is available as a 32-bit VSTi plugin for Windows hosts. The plugin was developed with SynthMaker.
4 Tune by Noizefield
4 Tune is an interesting modern virtual analogue synthesizer which was designed for creating EDM style sounds with ease. It is optimized for creating contemporary bass and lead patches, although it can also be used to make some of those classic subtractive synthesis sounds such as analogue style strings and pads.
This freeware instrument provides a solid mixture of classic subtractive synthesis elements, packed in a nice looking and easy to use interface. It doesn’t really stand out in comparison to most freeware virtual analogue synthesizers out there, apart from the fact that the workflow is really well optimized for creating modern lead and bass sounds with just a few mouse clicks.
The highlight of this instrument is probably the factory sound bank which includes a large amount of useful presets, offering a great starting point for beginner sound designers and EDM music producers.
4 Tune is released as a 32-bit VSTi plugin for Windows hosts. The plugin was made with FlowStone.
Percussa Toolbox by Richard Gould
Percussa Toolbox is an interesting collection of percussive sounds which were recorded and edited by Richard Gould and published as a free download on 99Sounds. The sample pack provides a wide variety of percussive hits, ranging from standard percussive instruments like shakers and rain sticks to some rare and unusual ones such as the thunder tube and ocean drums.
The sounds are provided in 24-bit WAV format (96 kHz stereo) and are certainly a worthy addition to any music producer’s arsenal of percussive hits. It’s worth noting that the library also includes a NKI patch for Native Instruments Kontakt 4.
Percussa Toolbox is available for free download via 99Sounds.
Tomislav Zlatic: http://bedroomproducersblog.com/