FKFX Noise Bleach: multi-band noise gate plug-in

FKFX Noise BleachFKFX is a French developer with interesting output thus far. Its latest release is Noise Bleach – a multi-band (you can also call it 8-channel) noise gate plug-in that lets you apply the filtering per frequency band. This makes it possible to pull off surgical clean-ups and introduce rhythmic gating effects.

FKFX Noise Bleach

FKFX Noise Bleach removes unwanted noise and resonances as good as any gate. It can also be used as a production tool to add chops, glitch and stutter effects. It only takes a bit of imagination.

The plug-in offers 8 channels / bands with a Dynamic Matrix Threshold level parameter available for each band. You can also hear individual bands in isolation to make sense of what you’re doing. There is also the following automated functionality to harness:

  • Noise Gate: automatically set thresholds levels for basic gating
  • Noise Bleach: automatically set thresholds levels for hard noise gating
  • Transients: automatically sets thresholds levels to extract the main transients
  • Gate Invert: reverses the gate opening to let you control the removed parts of the signal

Also available are Bypass and Latency Compensation features. By default, Noise Bleach uses its internal latency compensation system, which can be disabled in the plug-in preferences. This makes it possible to apply the plug-in in a live performance context.

FKFX Noise Bleach 0-15 screenshot

All in all, Noise Bleach is a clever and powerful gate. Adding multi-band functionality and some automated smarts to familiar effects like noise gates can make you rediscover them in new and unexpected ways.

Price and availability

Like all FKFX plugins, Noise Bleach is free to download and use with a nag screen timer which rids itself after purchase. That costs a reasonable EUR 39. The plug-in is available in VST and AU formats for modern Windows and macOS computers.

More information

FKFX Noise Bleach – Video

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Improve your production skills: 5 great tutorial sites and channels

Best Audio Tutorial SitesAiming to improve your production skills? There are a great many resources out there, especially since the creator explosion of the last 2-5 years. So, if you’re trying to increase your audio knowledge or simply become a better producer, it’s hard to know where to begin. With the holiday season upon us, some might be gifted with a little more time on our hands than usual, so we’ve shortlisted our Top 5 online production resources for musicians. There are far too many to mention, so we’ve selected a few with strengths in different areas. Please let us know about your go-to audio resources in the comments!

Dan Worrall

Dan Worrall

Over the years, Dan Worrall has built a reputation for creating uncompromisingly thorough and highly informative videos. The response from his content production for clients like FabFilter, UVI, Camel Audio, Tone2 Audio Software, and Sound on Sound magazine, as well as his own personal YouTube channel, have made Dan a cult figure in the audio tutorials game. Even veteran engineers with 20-30 years behind them in the industry have mentioned learning a thing or two from these well-researched explanatory videos.


  • A diverse range of topics with a high level of detail
  • Content created by an experienced engineer


  • The steep technical learning curve
  • Lack of practical music production tutorials for noobs


Underdog Electronic Music School

Launched pre-pandemic out of Brussels, Belgium by techno artist Oscar Verlinden aka Torc, Underdog Electronic Music School provides engaging content for those seeking to learn about the more electronic side of music production. Aside from the free content on Youtube, there are 2 paid long-form video courses of over 40 lessons each, as well as a tiered Patreon membership plan available. The content is detailed and varied enough, delving into essential aspects of sound design like drum synthesis. Although the course follows electronic music, for the most part, there is a great deal a beginner can pick up from the free content alone and the knowledge and techniques covered are relevant to most modern styles of music.


  • The application-based approach means beginners advance quickly
  • Techniques covered in sound design and synthesis modules are useful in most styles of modern music


  • Ableton Live and electronic music specific content doesn’t cater for all
  • More experienced users may find some of the content a tad rudimentary

In The Mix

In The Mix

YouTube channel In The Mix is the brainchild of UK-based mastering engineer and FL Studio specialist, Michael Wynn. The incredibly transparent style of his videos makes them very digestible regardless of the subject matter, and justifies the over 850,000 subscribers on the channel. From product reviews, comparisons, and deep dives to tutorials and useful home studio tips, this channel is an extremely useful resource for musicians, producers, or engineers of any level. Apart from the video content and his mastering service, Michael also offers his own custom presets and sound packs via the In The Mix store.


  • Highly detailed, honest, and well-edited content
  • Diversity of topics means there is something for almost everyone


  • Those seeking info about songwriting or arrangement might be disappointed, however, there are other recommendations on the In The Mix channels list



If you’re looking for a more analog approach to audio, Puremix is one of the best online resources for musicians and engineers looking to learn more about their craft. A well-curated blog and an extensive collection of videos from the household names in the business means there is no shortage of inspiration and the old-style real-world industry approach adds a useful perspective for learners. The paid content is divided into 3 sections specific to beginners, engineers, and musicians, with different subscription plans to suit your needs. Subscribers also get access to a plugin package with some great tools to get you started.


  • Content from highly acclaimed engineers and producers
  • Plugins pack makes the cost of the subscription a little more worthwhile


  • Pricey subscriber-based service
  • Some might find this approach to content a little outdated



One of the largest sources of online tutorials, MacProVideo offers content from certified trainers of many disciplines. There is a huge selection of courses ranging from simple step-by-step how-to’s to feature explainers and more technical videos. The content library is regularly updated as new DAW versions and updates arrive, so you can ensure your knowledge is current – especially if you are a trainer yourself. A monthly or yearly subscription plan unlocks the entire library, which provides an amazing resource for home users, studios, or media companies.


  • One of the largest online video resources
  • Constantly updated with new content


  • The library might be too broad for some
  • Subscriber plans with content of this nature are more suited to beginners

More Online Resources for Musicians:


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Gearnews December Raffle #5: Four IK Multimedia X-Gear Digital Effects Pedals!

Win a set of four X-Gear digital effects pedals by IK Multimedia worth €1400!It’s Raffle #5 of the Gearnews December Giveaway, and we’re closing out this year’s competition with an amazing prize: Four premium digital effects pedals by IK Multimedia worth €1400!

IK Multimedia X-Gear Digital Effects Pedals

IK Multimedia’s X-Gear pedals are digital modelling effects that bring AmpliTube’s sounds directly to the stage and rehearsal room. Four Amplitube X-Gear models have been released so far: X-Space (Reverb), X-Time (Delay), X-Vibe (modulation) and X-Drive (Overdrive/Distortion). Now you’ve got a chance to win a set of four of these great pedals!

Each is housed in a suitable colour and the correspondingly adapted labelling and knob functions. Many of the functions can be adjusted directly on the pedal, without having to dive into the editor. Each pedal features 16 effects with popular AmpliTube models, plus new reverb and delay algorithms.

The first effect pedals from IK Multimedia - Amplitube X-GEAR

The first effect pedals from IK Multimedia – Amplitube X-GEAR

In addition to input and stereo-out (true or soft bypass), inputs for an expression pedal, MIDI and USB are also available. All the X-Gear pedals can also be synchronized via MIDI. The conversion is accomplishes with 24 bits at 192 kHz with a noise ratio of 123 dB, and utilizing a freqeuncy range of 5 Hz to 24000 Hz.

Each pedal offers a matching ‘virtual version’ for Mac/PC. If you’re not yet an AmpliTube 5 user, an SE version is included to let you use your virtual pedal. A Preset Manager then allows you to move presets between X-Gear pedals and AmpliTube, and organise them on the hardware pedal. With up to 300 presets per pedal, you have plenty of space. By the way, the pedals are built in Italy and not in China, so the pricing is for a European manufactured product.

Terms and Conditions

Participation is, of course, free of charge.

The minimum age for participation is 14 years. Participation is only allowed once – attempted multiple entries per competition automatically lead to disqualification. This raffle is for a package of IK Multimedia X-Gear pedals, consisting of one X-Gear Pedal X-Space, one X-Gear Pedal X-Drive, one X-Gear Pedal X-Time and one X-Gear Pedal X-Vibe.

To enter, participants are asked to leave a comment below this post, or under the Instagram or Facebook post for this raffle. A jury will pick a comment at random and the lucky winner will be notified by the Gearnews team. Employees of, the participating companies and their family members are excluded from participating in the competition.

Your data will only be stored within the framework of this competition and will not be passed on to third parties. Legal recourse is excluded and no cash alternatives to the prizes are offered. The prizes are not transferable. The prize for this raffle encompasses a set of four pedals by IK Multimedia (X-Gear Pedal X-Space, one X-Gear Pedal X-Drive, one X-Gear Pedal X-Time and one X-Gear Pedal X-Vibe) and runs from 26.12.2021 to Friday, 31 December 2021 (23:59:59 hrs CET). All comments received after this date are invalid.

By participating (submitting a comment) you confirm your acceptance of these conditions. Good luck!

X-Gear Videos

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Best free plug-ins of the year: Top 10 free effects and synths of 2021

Best free plug-ins of 2021As 2021 is on its way out, it’s time to look back at the amazing free plug-ins that the year has sent our way. The successful KVR Developer Challenge in the summer sparked the development of countless inspiring synths and effects. But the rest of the year wasn’t too shabby, either, and many useful and innovative free plug-ins came out throughout the year. Join us as we take a look back and name our favorite freeware plug-ins of 2021.

And if you’ve got some time on your hands while you’re waiting for New Year’s Eve, be sure to visit our huge freeware archive, where you’ll find all of our Sunday freeware posts with hundreds of free plug-ins.

It’s time for the list! These are our Top 10 free plug-ins of 2021:

Audiomodern Gatelab

Audiomodern GatelabAudiomodern made last year’s top 10 list with the awesome Filterstep, and they’ve done it again this year with Gatelab. Gatelab is easily one of the best gate sequencers out there, and it’s completely free. The plug-in lets you go berserk with a bunch of ready-made and customizable rhythmic patterns, volume automation, ratcheting, creative randomization options and more. And it’s MIDI controllable, so you can use it live, as well. A must-have for any electronic producer.

Gatelab is available for macOS and Windows in AU, VST, VST3, AAX and stand-alone formats. There’s also an iOS version.

Get Gatelab here

Phuturetone GR-8

Phuturetone GR-8Like many of this year’s best free plug-ins, Phuturetone GR-8 came out of the KVR Developer Challenge. GR-8 is an excellent virtual-analog synth with 8 voices (duh). It can be used in mono, poly, chord and unison modes and features two oscillators with PWM, FM and sync. In addition to a low pass filter with adjustable slope, GR-8 offers a high pass filter, as well as two envelopes and an LFO. There’s also a bunch of onboard FX like distortion, phaser, chorus, delay and reverb.

GR-8 is available for macOS and Windows in VST3 and AU formats.

Get GR-8 here

FKFX Obvious Filter

FKFX Obvious FilterNew developer FKFX took the plug-in world by storm with two excellent plug-ins this year: Influx and Obvious Filter. The latter is a creative filtering plug-in like no other with ten filter types and an envelope follower. Its best feature, however, is the sick morph sequencer that lets you draw and animate modulation shapes. A deep modulation matrix ensures that things stay in motion. If you’re into creative filter effects, this one should be high up on your list.

Obvious Filter is available for macOS and Windows in VST3 and AU formats. The plug-in is free, but you can support the developer on Patreon.

Get Obvious Filter here

Full Bucket Music WhispAir

Full Bucket Music WhispAirFull Bucket Music claimed the top spot in this year’s KVR Developer Challenge with WhispAir, a free three-oscillator wavetable synth that puts many commercial offerings to shame. With FM, AM, a stereo multi-mode filter, four envelopes and three LFOs, WhispAir has all the ingredients for unique, powerful and “expensive-sounding” wavetable patches. For lush and wide sounds, the synth also includes a chorus effect and a unison mode with detune and spread.

WhispAir is available for macOS and Windows in VST and AU formats.

Get WhispAir here

Gearspace / TBProAudio GSat+

Gearspace TBProAudio GSat+One of the most heated discussions of the year erupted when everyone’s favorite audio forum announced that it was changing its name. To thank the community for their support during those turbulent times, Gearspace teamed up with TBProAudio to bring you the free GSat+ saturation plug-in. GSat+ offers three kinds of tube saturation with separate controls for the odd and even harmonics. It also has clip protection and versatile metering options. Excellent!

GSat+ is available for macOS and Windows in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats.

Get GSat+ here

ChowDSP Chow Kick

Chowdhury DSP Chow KickFrom the developer of the excellent Chow Tape Model, Chow Matrix and Chow Centaur effects comes Chow Kick, a powerful and versatile bass drum synthesizer. Based on creative physical modeling of vintage drum machine circuits, Chow Kick delivers a wide variety of custom bass drums for all your low frequency needs. You can tweak the pulse shape and then run it through a resonant filter that can be linked to the keyboard for chromatic, tuned bass drums. Boom!

Chow Kick is available for macOS, Windows, Linux and iOS in VST, VST3, AU and LV2 formats.

Get Chow Kick here

Klive Audio Warmy EP1A Tube EQ

Klive Audio Warmy EP1A Tube EQWhat better way to make a name for yourself as a new developer than with a great free plug-in? Klive Audio came on the scene this year with a bunch of very nice plug-ins, among them this excellent, free Pultec-style EQ. To be precise, Warmy EP1A emulates Warm Audio’s hardware recreation of the classic tube equalizer. They’ve added a tube emulation intensity knob, which lets you dial in the desired amount of tube warmth. EP1A also has oversampling and a resizable GUI.

Warmy EP1A Tube EQ is available for macOS and Windows in VST, AU and AAX formats.

Get Warmy EP1A Tube EQ here

Fellusive Nettle

Fellusive NettleThis one’s a personal favorite of mine. Nettle by Fellusive is an innovative software instrument that uses scanned synthesis. It generates sounds by scanning the positions of moving masses, which you can control using your MIDI controller. Imagine a bunch of objects connected by springs, and using a hammer to set them in motion. Nettle lets you adjust various parameters of the model, which are all connected. It rewards the experimentally minded with a wide variety of unique sounds.

Nettle is available for macOS and Windows in VST, VST3 and AU formats.

Get Nettle here


ZEEK STFUZeek says that the aptly named STFU is “the best free volume shaper available”, and I think they’re right. It might even be the best volume shaper, bar none. STFU is a versatile and astonishingly snappy, sample-accurate volume envelope that can do all sorts of things for you. It syncs to the host tempo and you can draw your own shapes and trigger them via MIDI. Use STFU for ducking, mix cleanup, creative sound design and much more. It even outputs CV so you can use it to control other things.

STFU is available for macOS and Windows in VST3 and AU formats.

Get STFU here

Full Bucket Music Grain Strain

Full Bucket Music Grain StrainFull Bucket Music Grain Strain is a versatile grain looper that lets you turn an audio track into something completely different. The Grain section allows you to specify the size, overlap and envelope of the grains. In the Frame section, which includes a sync-to-host option, you set the loop iterations. Both sections have their own envelopes. There’s also an option to control the frequency of grains via MIDI. A quick, intuitive and inspirational way to get creative with any kind of source material!

Grain Strain is available for Windows and macOS in VST and AU formats.

Get Grain Strain here


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