Deal: The Overloud Gem Mod plug-in is available for free again!

Overloud Gem ModOverloud’s Gem Mod plug-in is an emulation of the famous Roland Dimension-D chorus effect from the 80s. And if you missed your chance to grab it for free when it came out in September, you’re now getting another chance: Until December 20, the Overloud Gem Mod plug-in is available for free again. How about that for a Christmas present?

Overloud Gem Mod

The latest plug-in of the Overloud Gem series emulates the classic Roland Dimension-D hardware chorus effect, a studio staple of the 1980s. Famous for its rich and musical sound, the Dimension-D is a favorite for vocals, guitar and even full mixes. And now you can add it to your plug-in arsenal thanks to Overloud’s emulation.

The developer hasn’t stopped there, though. The original only offered a handful of buttons for choosing various presets, which have been faithfully modeled, including pressing combinations of buttons. In addition to this, the Gem Mod plug-in offers plenty of controls to play with and fine-tune the effect to your liking. You can adjust the speed, depth, shape and amount of modulation and sync the LFO to the tempo of your track. All parameters can be controlled by input envelopes, which means that the effect can react to the input signal.

Overloud has also added an input saturation stage for generating extra harmonics. And there’s a mix control to blend in as much of the effect signal as you like.

Get Overloud Gem Mod for free

And here’s the best news yet: Overloud has made Gem Mod available for free again for a limited time. The company is giving away a maximum of 1000 free licenses per day until December 20, 2021. The regular price is USD 99. All you need to do to secure yourself a free copy is create a user account on the Overloud website (if you don’t already have one), and click “download for free”.

System requirements

The plug-in runs on macOS (Apple Silicon supported) and Windows in VST3, AU and AAX formats.

More information

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Arturia Pigments 3.5: CrossMod, Distortion and a lot of new sounds

Arturia Pigments 3.5 with cross modulationArturia has released a new update to Pigments that introduces cross-modulation between sound engines, a new Distortion effect and many more improvements including Apple M1 compatibility.

Pigments 3.5

Arturia continues to build on the impressive Pigments Polychrome Software Synthesizer. I enjoyed the new harmonic oscillator and Jupiter filter that came with version 3 and now we have some new ways to shape and destroy sound in version 3.5.

The big new thing is the ability to cross modulate between the sound engines. Pigments uses two sound engines which can be wavetables, samples, harmonic or analogue oscillators. You can layer the two together and add in noise or a sub-oscillator from the Utility Engine which came with version 3. Previously there’s been a Modulator section of the sound engine where you can feed waveforms into various bits of the oscillator(s) for a bit of FM action. You can now switch this section from Modulator to the other Sound Engine feeding in whatever waveforms you’re generating in one space into the FM inputs on the other. This creates the opportunity for some pretty crazy stuff-into-stuff modulating modulation, which is great for getting deeper into sound design.


The Distortion Module combines 16 modes of distortion covering things like germanium fuzz to jagged wave folding as well as soft saturation and warmth. The options give you a good range of sounds to play with and that Drive knob really drives it home. It also has built-in filtering which is a useful thing to help focus the sound or take the edge off a little bit. It has an intriguing “Dark” mode button which adds nicely to the carnage.

Arturia Pigments 3.5 Distortion module

Arturia Pigments 3.5 Distortion module

Improve and update

Arturia has been busy improving other areas like adding new modes to the comb filter, adding one-click preview and folders to the sample browser and they’ve packed in a bunch of new wavetables. There have been some GUI changes that you wouldn’t really notice unless you use it every day.

Apple M1 compatibility is of course very welcome and you can now enjoy native support for M1 processors for macOS.

New sounds

With the release, Arturia are including 3 new sound banks totally over 450 new presets dedicated to the “pure, exhilarating energy of today’s electronic music elite”. Are they talking about me? Thanks very much!

Pigments 3.5 is a free update to all users and if you fancy getting into it then you can buy it for 50% off from December 14th to January 6th.

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Signum Audio Skye Dynamics: A 3-in-one dynamics plug-in for music production

Signum Audio Skye DynamicsSignum Audio (of Bute loudness metering and limiting plug-ins fame) released a new dynamics processor today – Skye Dynamics. Named after the beautiful Scottish isle, Skye Dynamics is a multi-stage, three-in-one dynamics processor. Where Bute plug-ins are meant for post-production, Skye Dynamics is the first in a new series of Signum plug-ins geared for music production. It contains an Expander, Compressor, and Limiter – all three designed primarily for music production. However, the concept is more about transparent processing devoid of distortion and saturation. If you want a ‘vibe’ limiter, you ought to head elsewhere.

Signum Audio Skye Dynamics

Skye Dynamics features an adaptive auto-release algorithm and a selection of 5 preset envelopes to make your life easier. Moreover, each effect in the chain can be individually bypassed, gain staging can be adjusted at any point, and each effect has an individual side chain input. Every parameter can be automated as well, and a channel linking system allows further tweaking of the input and output of the plugin.

The user interface is slightly dense with parameters, but it does make it possible to configure the entire effect chain from a single view. What’s more, the dynamic range of the metering and effects configuration can be freely scaled for precision work. The plug-in window can be freely resized and optionally switched to a streamlined compact view. These are all thoughtful and welcome features that improve one’s workflow.

Signum Audio Skye – feature set

  • Multi-staged processing with three dynamics effects (Expander, Compressor, Limiter)
  • Transparent processing with Linear, Natural, Transparent, Smooth, and Pumping envelopes
  • Adaptive auto-release algorithm
  • Individual bypass and side-chain inputs for each processor
  • Channel Linking (up to 7.1.4 configuration in the Surround version)
  • Gain staging at any point in the chain
  • Free-scale dynamic range for metering and effects configuration
  • Fully resizable/scalable interface with Full and Compact views to optimise screen space
  • Multichannel input/output metering for effects chains and individual effects (Surround version)
Skye Dynamics compact view

Skye Dynamics compact view

Price and availability

Signum Audio offer a special introductory offer (50% off) until January 9 2022. The Stereo version is priced at GBP 69 while the Surround version (with support for up to 7.1.4 channel configurations) is priced at GBP 99. Skye Dynamics works under Windows and macOS in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats. All future updates are free. You can also download a free 10-day demo from the developer’s website.

More information

Skye Dynamics – Video

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Softube releases major update for its Console 1 Mixing System

Softube Console 1 update featuredSoftube’s Console 1 is the first viable example of a hybrid mixing system (software + hardware controller) I can recall off the top of my head. For the un-initiated, Console 1 represents a bunch of top-notch SSL console emulations controlled by a tactile surface with actual knobs and faders. It’s a niche product, but an important one that led by example. I’m glad to see Softube took the time to do some major housekeeping and released a substantial update for it.

Softube Console 1 major update

The new version adds another degree of responsiveness and control to the hybrid mixing system. We are talking additional command over the Drive and Width sections from the Console 1 hardware, as well as advanced visuals and metering, improved frequency analysis, independent exchange of drives and channel strip filters, and the ability to load distortion plug-ins—like Softube Tape—in the Shape section. The complete list of changes and improvements is available below:

  • Select Drive from the Console 1 hardware without changing the entire channel strip
  • New metering for RMS (inner) and Peak dBFS (outer) loudness for input and output
  • Adjust the input gain and width in the output section from the Console 1 hardware and software
  • Exchange channel strip filters without affecting other sections
  • Load Tape, Harmonics, and Overstayer M-A-S into the Shape section to distort audio before EQ
  • Improved FFT frequency analyzer with four new operating modes derived from Softube’s Weiss EQ plug-ins
  • Track color coordination for supported DAWs within the Console 1 Mixing System software and hardware units
  • Universal Audio plug-in compatibility adds support for UA 175 B & UA 176, SSL 4000 E Channel Strip, SSL G Bus Compressor, Century Strip, Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII, Avalon VT-737 Tube Channel Strip, and API 2500
  • New meter bridge shows output volume, fader, and track; or strip and color, for easier navigation
  • Survey 10 to 20 tracks in Track Overview Mode, now available on both the Console 1 and Console 1 Fader units
  • Persistent modes in Console 1 Fader for sends, input gain, and filter
  • New color schemes for individual strips make it easier to identify which section belongs to which strip
  • Added support for a wide range of localizations, such as Cyrillic, Greek, Katakana, Hiragana, and more
  • Improved fader and knob response
  • Show or hide the Console 1 software from the menu bar
Softube Console 1 update channel strips

Softube Console 1 software channel strips

Price and availability

While the update is free, Softube Console 1 Mk2 and Console 1 Fader are both available from the manufacturer’s dealers, such as Thomann:

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More information

Softube Console 1 Video

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Sonible smart: limit – intelligent limiting and loudness monitoring

sonible smart: limitsmart: limit is more than just a limiter plug-in, says forward-thinking developer Sonible. That’s because it helps you keep an eye on the dynamics and choose the appropriate loudness for publishing on different media.

Sonible smart: limit

As always, where when is “smart” in a Sonible product name, it means artificial intelligence is at its heart. The motto is “Set – Check – Publish” which describes what Sonible is going for quite succinctly. The smart: limit feature set starts with monitoring tools for loudness and dynamics. There, the so-called Instant Impact Prediction functionality means you don’t have to restart the loudness measurements every time you change a parameter. Rather, the changes will be reflected in real-time without having to repeatedly play back the entire input signal.

There is also what Sonible calls “intelligent limiter logic”. The feature uses genre-based profiles to identify the correct limiting approach, and you get to dial in the desired amount of limiting. You can also select different limiter characteristics and import a reference track to serve as the blueprint. Further along, the integrated quality check tools offer interactive tips about which limiter parameters should be optimized before publishing the track.

An additional four tools let you fine-tune the sound even more. The Style parameter determines how aggressively the plug-in handles audio. Saturation increases the loudness and density of the signal without changing its peak level. Balance improves the spectral balance and the frequency-selective bass control optimizes the low end of the frequency spectrum.

Sonible smart: limit features

  • Automatic limiter parameter adjustment
  • Comprehensive loudness monitoring
  • Visually guided loudness and dynamics optimization for streaming services, loudness standards, genres, and reference tracks
  • Four sound processing tools for fine-tuning and creative limiting
  • Instant Impact Prediction streamlines workflow
  • Quality check with targeted tips
  • Distortion monitoring and auto-release

Price and availability

Until January 10 2022, you will pay EUR 89 instead of the regular price which is EUR 129. Sonible smart: limit works in 64-bit VST, VST 3, AU and AAX plug-in formats under macOS 10.9+ and Windows 10. You need a free iLok account (or paid USB dongle) for authorization. A free demo version and a detailed PDF user manual can be found on the product page.

More information about Sonible smart: limit

Sonible smart:limiter video

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