Audacity 3.0.0: free recording software gets its yearly update

It’s been 21 years and Audacity remains a go-to when looking for free recording software. Downloaded in excess of 200 million times, the free audio editor and recorder is a launchpad for countless podcasters and producers getting into home recording. Although it remains under active development, updates are infrequent, but they are there. Roughly a year since the release of version 2.4.2, we now have Audacity 3.0.0. Audacity 3.0.0 for Windows, macOS and Linux Understandably, a lot has changed over the course of a year. But a great thing about Audacity is that the more it changes, the more it stays the same. First off, there’s a new project file format called .aup3. Formerly, Audacity used to save projects as an indefinite number of files coordinated by a single .aup file. The new .aup3 format contains everything in a single file. Cleaner project file structure aside, the new format makes audio editing speedier, but finalizing and closing projects may be slower. It sounds like the trade-off is worth it. Note that opening older .aup projects in Audacity 3.0.0 will convert them to the new .aup3 format. You may want to keep backups, which you should be doing for important stuff anyway. Other than that, the developers took the time to improve the built-in Noise Gate effect and add a new analyzer called ‘Label Sounds’ – it labels sounds and silences for more convenience when editing. Audacity also gains the ability to import and export macros, as well as new commands to quick recall the last used tool or analyzer. Last but not least, version 3.0.0 crushes over 160 bugs, including several high-priority ones. Whatever mishaps you may have had with…

Arturia MicroFreak v3.0 features 3 Oscillators from Noise Engineering

Noise Engineering get in on the MicroFreak action with 3 oscillator algorithms taken from their Virt Iter module and given new life and polyphony in Arturia’s fruity little synth. MicroFreak V3.0 In what appears to be an annual update Arturia has released a new firmware for the MicroFreak synthesizer. I’m sure it brings all sorts of fixes and tweaks but the big news is that it has 3 new oscillator algorithms from Eurorack modular makers Noise Engineering. They are called Bass, SawX and Harm and although the algorithms are complex you only get to play with 3 parameters and one of those is noise. Bass: Something to do with sine waves and cosine waves, modulators, saturation and wavefolding. The result is a solid bass thump that gets nicely folded and torn apart with the Fold knob and then melted with Saturate which acts on the cosine wave. The Noise control phase modulates between the two oscillators in opposite phase and is added between the folds. SawX: A recognisable sawtooth wave with “Saw Mod” phase modulation and “Shape” chorus. This does exactly what you imagine it will and has a really lively sound. The Noise control sets the amount of phase modulation by sub-sampled white noise. Harm: A harmonic oscillator that adds harmonics/partials to a fundamental frequency. Spread sets the relation of partials and Rectification adds a sort of half fold to each partial. Noise sets the amount of phase-modulated noise and master clip level. Here’s my take and a sound demo of the new oscillators: More Voices The other feature in this update is that all oscillators can now be played with 4 voice unison with a spread of up…

Riffer 3.0: Smart riff and sequence generator reaches the next level

Riffer takes the boring old piano roll and stuffs it full of probability and possibility in the best MIDI sequencer your DAW doesn’t have. Riffer 3.0 I’m a big fan of Riffer. If you’ve ever stared at a piano roll and see only emptiness then Riffer is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to throw some notes up so you can play with sounds and ideas then Riffer is for you. If you just want to revitalise your ideas, find an alternative riff or try something out then Riffer is for you. It takes all the chore out of coming up with melodies and musical riffs and lets you play with ideas quicker and easier than any other software sequencer. Riffer has a hardware feel about it. It works like a step-sequencer with a grid system onto which you can paint notes into short (or not so short) patterns. Or, if you prefer, you can hit the big dice button and let Riffer generate some ideas for you. You can quantize, swing and apply scales with a quick flex of your mouse. You can set the number of notes being generated and circle them around a root note. You can tie, sustain and lock individual notes while the others get randomised around them. Set it running and Riffer will keep on generating a new riff on every new cycle, forever, if you want. I usually use it to throw something at a synth I want to play with. It’s funny how I often find myself back in Riffer playing with the melody more than playing with the sound I was trying to design. Poly mode and Multi-Riffs The new version…

Line 6 Helix 3.00 update out now, with new amps effects and more

Line 6 has finally revealed the new firmware update to the Helix family with the new 3.00 update and you can download it straight away to your existing Helix unit. Helix 3.00 With three new amp models and two new cabinets, plus a host of new virtual effects pedals, this update is pretty big for any Helix owners. The new amps include the US Princess¬†¬†which based¬†on the Fender Princeton Reverb, the Das Benzin Mega¬†based on the Mega channel of the Diezel VH4¬†and the Das Benzin Lead based on the Lead channel of the VH4 as well. Plus two new cabinets a 10″ and 12″ US Princess models based on the Fender Princeton Reverb 10″ and a 12″ cab with a¬†12″ an Alnico Blue driver Helix 3.00 New Effects The new effects list is pretty extensive and includes the following in the list below, which is taken for the Line 6 release notes. ¬†Horizon Drive¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on the Horizon Devices Precision Drive. Includes an extra Gate Range¬†parameter that, when set to “Extended,”¬†drops the gate’s threshold down to -90dB Swedish¬†Chainsaw¬†(Mono, Stereo),based on the BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal Distortion¬†(Made in Japan black label) Pocket Fuzz¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on the Jordan Boss Tone fuzz Bighorn Fuzz¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on the¬†1973 Electro-Harmonix¬ģ Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi Ballistic Fuzz¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on the¬†Euthymia ICBM¬†fuzz ¬†Horizon Gate¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on ¬†the Horizon Devices¬†Precision Drive’s gate circuit.¬†Includes an extra Gate Range¬†parameter that, when set to “Extended,”¬†drops the gate’s threshold down to -90dB. Works best before an amp Acoustic Sim¬†(Mono, Stereo), based on the BOSS AC-2 Acoustic Simulator. Includes an extra Shimmer parameter that imparts some motion to¬†the harmonics, reminiscent of how a¬†string’s¬†vibration¬†tends to affect the other…

808303.studio: A free online TR-808 and TB-303 machine? That’s the rest of your day gone.

808303.studio is a web-based music creation platform built on the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer and TB-303 Bassline developed by Yuri Suzuki and Roland. It’s an 808 and a 303 – now go and play! 808303.studio Well, this is totally brilliant. It’s an authentically emulated TR-808 and TB-303 side-by-side on a webpage. The look is different but instantly engaging and you find yourself very quickly lost in pattern creation in the best possible way. They’ve even sampled the button clicks which is completely genius. They sound awesome, just like you’d expect them to although they are missing all the individual editing and tweaking possibilities. But let’s not moan about not being able to tune the kick drum on a fabulously free online techno machine. Want to know how to use it? Well, let a Guy Called Gerald talk you through it. The TR-808 has no controls over the sounds. You get a Fill pattern and an “AI Variation” which, I think, scatters some steps about for you. Other than that you have Shuffle and Tempo knobs. The TB-303 gives you a choice of waveform, the filter section, Decay and Accent which is all manual and not automated per step for anything fancy like that. The Random button is very helpful. Hit Record The idea is that you make your tune and then share it to your socials. It has a “REC” button at the top and it will capture your performance and have it all ready to send to the internet – nice! This reminds me so much of the joy of Rebirth RB-338 from Propellerhead. It’s there, it’s free, accessible from anything – go make your tunes. More information 808303.studio…

Steinberg releases VST 3.7 SDK with many feature enhancements

Steinberg has released the VST 3.7 Software Developer Kit (SDK). The new version brings several new features to the plug-in development toolkit, including a VST3 Project Generator and support for the development of plug-ins for ARM-based Macs. Steinberg VST 3.7 SDK While this isn’t the release of VST4, the VST 3.7 SDK does bring several enhancements to the SDK interface. This should make it easier for developers to make the most of the platform and adapt their plug-ins to modern standards and technologies. According to Steinberg, the VST 3.7 SDK allows for new levels of integration between VST 3 hosts and plug-ins. One notable enhancement is the VST 3 Project Generator, which facilitates the entry into the world of VST plug-in development. The Project Generator lets users create a VST plug-in project with just a few clicks, which can then be taken to Xcode or Visual Studio and used as the code skeleton. The new version also brings MIDI 2.0 compatibility to the SDK. Steinberg says that the MIDI 2.0 standard is already supported by VST 3, but the new SDK comes with enhanced documentation on how to implement it. Let’s hope that this means that more plug-ins will support MIDI 2.0 in the near future. In light of Apple’s announcement to transition its entire line-up to ARM processors over the next two years, Steinberg has also added ARM support to the VST 3.7 SDK. The company says that this lets developers create plug-ins that are compatible with the new ‘Apple Silicon’ chips. Finally, the VST SDK documentation has been enhanced and is now accessible online. According to Steinberg, it provides detailed information on how to develop plug-ins, including tutorials…

Best free plug-ins this week: Dragonfly Reverb 3.2, Yumbu and Freq 2

This week’s collection of the best free plug-ins features the latest version of a very popular free reverb. We’ve also got a cool drum sampler and a free 8-band equalizer. Check out Dragonfly Reverb 3, Yumbu and Freq 2. You’ll find many more free plug-ins in our huge archives! Michael Willis Dragonfly Reverb 3.2 Dragonfly Reverb is widely regarded as one of the best free reverb plug-ins available. The latest version adds even more capabilities. The suite now consists of four individual plug-ins: Dragonfly Hall, Dragonfly Room and the new Dragonfly Plate and Dragonfly Early Reflections. All feature clean, straightforward GUIs with all the essential controls, and come with numerous presets. Dragonfly Reverb was already a must-have before this update, and it’s now better than ever. Dragonfly Reverb is available for Windows, macOS and Linux in VST and LV2 formats. Get Dragonfly Reverb here Fanan Team Yumbu Yumbu by Fanan Team is a versatile drum sampler. It offers ten sample slots, which can be filled with samples in WAV or MP3 formats. The developer says that Yumbu takes only half a second to load a kit, although it seems that this would depend on the length of the samples. You can adjust sample parameters like start and end times and pitch, and there’s a “fake” pitch-based round robin function. Each slot has its own EQ and saturator.¬† Yumbu also offers master compressor, reverb and delay effects. Yumbu is a VST and VST3 plug-in for Windows. Get Yumbu here VSTplug Freq 2 Freq 2 is the updated version of VSTplug’s Freq, a free, no-nonsense parametric equalizer. It offers eight fully parametric bands, which can be adjusted graphically. There’s not much else…

Bitwig releases Bitwig Studio 3.2 with new sound shaping features

Bitwig has released Bitwig Studio 3.2. The latest version of the DAW comes with several new effects and sound shaping tools. New creative features for composition and production have also been added, along with workflow improvements and a handful of new Grid modules. Bitwig Studio 3.2 is a free upgrade to anyone with an active upgrade plan. For all others, the Bitwig Summer Sale gets you up to USD 100 off the price of the software. Bitwig Studio 3.2 Things are evolving quickly in the world of Bitwig. After releasing Bitwig Studio 3 last summer and following up with version 3.1 in November, the Berlin-based company has just released another upgrade for the modular DAW. The developer says that Bitwig Studio 3.2 focuses on “greater control and sculpting possibilities for all sounds”. The update adds two new audio effects: EQ+ and Saturator. EQ+ is a parametric EQ with up to eight bands, which can be edited by clicking and dragging the EQ curve. It offers a total of 14 filter types and an Adaptive-Q option, which narrows the width of a band as the gain increases. You can solo bands for precise editing, and there’s a global frequency shift option. Bitwig has also paid attention to looks: EQ+ applies a rainbow colour spectrum to the EQ curve and bands. The developers say that this visual connection makes editing more intuitive. EQ-2 and EQ-5 now sport the new colour scheme, too. So do the frequency controls in more than 20 other devices. Saturator is a waveshaping effect for adding “buzzing, rumble and warmth”. With drive, gain normalize and low-pass controls, as well as separate threshold, transform amount and knee settings for…

Bitwig announces Bitwig Studio 3.2 with new sound shaping features

Bitwig has announced Bitwig Studio 3.2. The latest version of the DAW, which is about to go into beta testing, comes with several new effects and sound shaping tools. New creative features for composition and production have also been added, along with workflow improvements and a handful of new Grid modules. Bitwig Studio 3.2 will be a free upgrade to anyone with an active upgrade plan. Bitwig Studio 3.2 Things are evolving quickly in the world of Bitwig. After releasing Bitwig Studio 3 last summer and following up with version 3.1 in November, the Berlin-based company has just announced another upgrade for the modular DAW. The developer says that Bitwig Studio 3.2 focuses on “greater control and sculpting possibilities for all sounds”. The update adds two new audio effects: EQ+ and Saturator. EQ+ is a parametric EQ with up to eight bands, which can be edited by clicking and dragging the EQ curve. It offers a total of 14 filter types and an Adaptive-Q option, which narrows the width of a band as the gain increases. You can solo bands for precise editing, and there’s a global frequency shift option. Bitwig has also paid attention to looks: EQ+ applies a rainbow colour spectrum to the EQ curve and bands. The developers say that this visual connection makes editing more intuitive. EQ-2 and EQ-5 now sport the new colour scheme, too. So do the frequency controls in more than 20 other devices. Saturator is a waveshaping effect for adding “buzzing, rumble and warmth”. With drive, gain normalize and low-pass controls, as well as separate threshold, transform amount and knee settings for the quiet and loud portions of a signal, Bitwig says…