SoundBytes Freebies of the Month – May 2014
What’s better than free? How about free and really cool? Tomislav Zlatic presents four notable freebies in an ongoing series of such coverage.
by Tomislav Zlatic, Mar. 2014
Introducing a new series of articles about freeware tools for musicians, my name is Tomislav from Bedroom Producers Blog. I keep track of the latest freeware releases on the audio software scene and I’m looking forward to sharing my opinion about some of the latest releases from this category with SoundBytes readers. With so many freeware releases happening almost daily, it’s easier than ever to build a powerful software studio on a budget. Hopefully, this series of articles will help you, dear readers, add some great new tools to your plugin arsenal without spending a dime.
Nabla (Full Bucket Music)
Nabla by Full Bucket Music is an interesting emulation of the Korg Delta analogue string machine. The plugin really nails the vintage string sound of the original instrument and adds a couple of unique features which weren’t included in the hardware version of Delta. Same as with the original instrument, the sound engine of Nabla is split into the synthesizer and string machine sections which can be mixed independently.
The synthesizer section of Nabla lacks a bit of mojo in the bass department, however the rest of the sound is modeled with great precision. The addition of delay and phaser effects adds a new dimension to the sound of this instrument and expands the sound palette. The instrument is 64-note polyphonic and comes with an optional “God Mode” which enables true polyphony.
Nabla is released as a 32-bit and 64-bit VSTi plugin for Windows hosts.
M-Phasewave by TubeOhm
If you’re interested in adding some variety to your synthesizer plugin arsenal, the brand new M-Phasewave by Tubeohm is certainly worth a look. Based on the commercial Phasewave instrument by the same developer, this freeware synthesizer comes with the exact same set of features except for the polyphony.
M-Phasewave is a monophonic phase distortion synthesizer which will remind you of the famous Casio CZ product line in terms of sound. The factory preset library containing 64 preset sounds offers a nice kick start when playing this instrument for the first time. However users who have experience with subtractive synthesis won’t find it difficult to program their own patches. Phase distortion synthesis may sound similar to FM synthesis, but it is easier in terms of programming by a large margin.
Other features of M-Phasewave include a set of two powerful arpeggiators and a handy effects section with chorus, delay and reverb modules. Being a monophonic synthesizer, this great sounding freeware instrument works great for programming bass and lead patches.
M-Phasewave is available as a 32-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows hosts and was developed with SynthEdit.
PhreePhuzz by LVC-Audio
Having a large set of features on disposal is often desired, however on certain occasions a simple and easy to use tool is exactly what we need. PhreePhuzz is such a tool, a streamlined and great sounding saturation effect designed with ultimate ease of use in mind.
The streamlined design doesn’t mean that PhreePhuzz lacks in the sound department. The plugin was developed by LVC-Audio, the acclaimed software developer behind the highly praised ClipShifter clipper plugin. PhreePhuz borrows its saturation algorithms from PreAMPed, which is another well regarded commercial product by the same developer.
PhreePhuzz features four different saturation mode. Each of the four saturation modes uses a different multiband saturation algorithm. The integration of 4x oversampling reduces the aliasing effects of saturation. Ranging from subtle analog saturation to aggressive overdrive distortion, this is a great plugin to have as an option in your software studio.
PhreePhuzz is released as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin for Windows and Mac hosts.
SynthMaster Player Free by KV331 Audio
If you’re more of a preset user than a knob tweaker, then SynthMaster Player Free will be right up your alley. This freeware instrument packs an impressive set of 150 presets hand-picked from the SynthMaster factory library. The presets were provided by a group of top of the line sound designers like Rob Lee, Aiyn Zahev, and others.
Each of the 150 included presets features eight editable parameters which can be tweaked on the go. These editable parameters have been assigned by the sound designers who have worked on each individual patch. SynthMaster Player Free is also capable of loading patches from any commercial SynthMaster sound bank released by KV331 Audio. This means that the factory library included with the free version of the instrument can be expanded with dozens of economically-priced sound libraries which are available for purchase at the developer’s website.
The interface looks clean and it’s easy to browse through the presets quickly. The right side of the interface features an effects section which offers an arsenal of handy built-in tools like chorus, delay, reverb, etc. The effects can be bypassed with a single click, in case the user prefers using 3rd party tools to fatten up the sound of the instrument.
SynthMaster Player Free is released as a 32-bit and 64-bit VSTi/AUi plugin for Windows and Mac hosts.
Tomislav Zlatic: http://bedroomproducersblog.com/