SampleScience releases Four EP, a freeware electric piano virtual instrument in VST plugin format for 64-bit digital audio workstations on Windows. Four EP is a sample-based virtual electric piano powered by the Maize Sampler platform. It delivers the classic FM piano sounds in the form of a compact virtual plugin that is both lightweight and […]
Harrison Consoles offers the AVA Mastering EQ ($89 value) equalizer plugin as a free download until January 15th, 2021. AVA Mastering EQ is a transparent graphic equalizer plugin for audio mastering and post-production. It features a smooth EQ curve and an intuitive user interface that is optimized for speeding up the mastering workflow in a […]
2021 is off to a good start thanks to these awesome free plug-ins! This week, we’ve got a delay, reverb and saturation effect – all free. Check out Flying Delay, Giant Verb and Saturator.
For loads of free plug-ins from 2020 and before, make sure to visit our huge archives!
SuperflyDSP Flying Delay
SuperflyDSP welcomes the new year with this retro-style delay plug-in. The delay time ranges from 50 ms to five seconds and can be synced to the song tempo. The other knob controls the decay time / feedback. Flying Delay also offers a ping pong mode and a tape slider, which lets you dial in some analog ‘dirt’. A pair of high pass and low pass filters helps to shape the frequency spectrum. Flying Delay looks like a simple, but useful delay that covers all the essentials.
Flying Delay is available for Windows, macOS and Linux in VST3 and AU formats.
Giant Verb by Digital Systemic Emulations is just what it says it is: a reverb plug-in ‘designed for infinite spaces’. Turn the feedback all the way up to 100%, and you’ll get an infinite decay time. There’s also a pre-warmth setting for ‘analog input behavior’ and a modulation feature for added chorusing. Giant Verb isn’t your typical reverb that tries to sound as natural as possible, but rather an experimental effect for sound design and sonic explorations.
Giant Verb is available for Windows and macOS in VST and AU formats.
Bedroom Producers Blog designed Saturator as a ‘colorful analog-style saturation tool’. It has independent controls for tube-style and tape-style saturation, which can be used separately or in combination. That’s like having a tube preamp and analog tape machine in one plug-in. Saturator also offers a pair of high pass and low pass filters for dealing with unwanted frequencies. This one looks like a quick and easy way to add some warmth, grit and drive to your audio tracks.
Saturator is available for Windows and macOS in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats.
British manufacturer Audient starts off 2021 right with the introduction of two new audio interfaces and an inexpensive studio package. While the Audient iD4 MKII and iD14 MKII improve the manufacturer’s entry-level iD series interfaces in several aspects, the EVO Start Recording Bundle collects Audient’s EVO 4 audio interface, SR 1 condenser microphone, a pair of SR2000 studio headphones, and matching accessories into an affordable starter kit.
Audient iD4 / iD14 MKII interfaces
Like their predecessors, the iD 4 MKII and iD 14 MKII are aimed primarily at beginners. Both models sport upgraded AD/DA converters with improved dynamic range. Another update concerns the Windows/macOS/iOS computer connection, which is now USB-C.
Like the previous-generation interfaces, the iD 4 MKII and iD 14 MKII have built-in Class-A microphone amplifiers coming from Audient’s high-end ASP8024 HE large-format console. Both have discrete JFET instrument inputs as well. The iD 4 MKII features that and one XLR/line combo input, while the iD14 MKII has two of these and is therefore suitable for stereo recording. Another difference is the presence of an optical input for ADAT and S/PDIF digital audio. Additionally, the iD4 MKII is equipped with two line outputs, while the iD14 MKII has four line outputs. The iD 4 MKII has a single headphone output, while the iD 14 MKII has two.
Both units are class-compliant with Windows, macOS and iOS devices. A software package containing a proprietary mixer application, versions of Cubase LE and Cubasis LE, and several VSTi plug-ins is included, in addition to 3 free online courses from Produce Like A Pro. The Audient iD 4 MKII and iD 14 MKII will be available from February 2021, priced EUR 149 and EUR 249 respectively.
EVO Start Recording Bundle
Alongside the iD MKII interfaces, Audient introduced the EVO Start Recording Bundle. With it, the manufacturer wants to address podcasters, streamers, gamers and other content producers looking for an affordable, reasonably complete recording solution. Thus, the EUR 220 bundle includes an EVO 4 audio interface, the SR1 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, SR2000 studio headphones, microphone shockmount, and XLR connection cable. The bundle will be available starting February 2021.
Metal producer Jens Bogren and guitarist Jeff Loomis teamed up with Joey Sturgis Tones to develop the Toneforge Jeff Loomis plug-in, with three new virtual amp setups. And to make the deal even sweeter, there is a great introductory price to launch this new bundle.
Toneforge Jeff Loomis
Jeff Loomis is a monster player with some epic tones. His work with both Nevermore and Conquering Dystopia has some fantastic guitar tones, and trying to capture those tones takes some hard work. Luckily, famed producer and recording engineer Jens Bogren was on board for this latest Toneforge project and helped bring this software bundle to life.
Jens is known for his work with Sepultura, Kreator, Paradise Lost to name only three of the many monster metal bands on his resume. So for players trying to cop Jeff Loomis’ recorded amp tones for their DAW, the Toneforge Jeff Loomis package is a good start.
Toneforge Jeff Loomis
The package gives you access to three distinct amp setups which should cover all your bases when recording. The Lead Channel l is dedicated to the heavy shredder sound. It’s full-on distortion, and has a rotary control. Then there’s a Clean Channel for crystalline clean tones, perfect for intros and interludes. The Rhythm Channel is specially designed to handle low-end tight riffs, and has a tube emulation that can be switched from 6L6s to EL34s.
In addition to the three signature amp models, the bundle has a range of virtual cabs, including a dual cab mode for the first time. With it you can edit the guitar and all other sounds on two levels at the same time, or pull them apart in the stereo width. There is also a Matched Cabinets feature and the option to import your own IRs. So a lot of very useful tools for tailoring your recorded guitar tones.
Joey Sturgis Tones Toneforge Jeff Loomis
The package offers four core guitar effects to complement the virtual amp rigs. These include the GTR Comp (compressor), Overdriven (overdrive), Sky Box (reverb) and Echo Man (delay). The effects come with post-amp processing, so you can process the signal further at the end of the signal chain. This also includes the 4-band EQ and compressor, which should make it easier to get that real life-like amp sound you are chasing, within your DAW.
Overall, this is a pretty comprehensive set of tools for getting a modern heavy guitar tone. And if you check out the demo videos below, you will hear exactly what I mean. Ola Englund gives it a really good review as well. I would suggest that you watch all three videos to get a good overview of what this package is capable of.
Joey Sturgis Tones Toneforge Jeff Loomis runs as VST2, VST3, AU and AAX on macOS (10.10 to 11.X – Big Sur is supported via Rosetta 2, native M1 support is not yet available) and Windows (7 or newer). A free iLok account is required for registration.
Introductory Deal Price
The icing on the cake is the introductory pricing offer, which takes the regular $149 price tag down to only $59. At this price, I think is a fantastic deal considering all the very useful tools and tones on offer.
Jon V Audio released FirComp, a freeware compressor effect in VST3 and AU plugin formats for digital audio workstations on Windows, macOS, and Linux. FirComp is a zero-latency compressor designed to sign musical and transparent. The plugin can handle fast attack settings (down to zero milliseconds!) with a high compression ratio. It sounds clean at […]
Fender has a nice treat for Android or iPhone users for the New Year. For a limited time you can download the Fender Tune app and get the Player Pack, which normally retails for £4.99 as an in-app purchase, for free. A sweet freebie and not a bad way to start the year.
Fender Tune Player Pack
The Fender Tune app contains all manner of useful tools for players, and you pay an optional fee to access the Player Pack within the app. This add-on normally costs £4.99 and gets you access to the Pro Tuner along with thousands of chord charts, scales, Find A Beat (with 65 Drum Beats to play along to) and a Metronome. But now you can have it for free!
I’ve just downloaded it onto my iPhone and the offer was waiting on the splash screen of my device, and now I have access to all these extras within the Player Pack. The deal works on both Android and iOS devices, so if you own either of these smartphones, you can benefit from this sweet free upgrade straight away.
Fender giving away the Fender Tune Player Pack for free
The Perfect Pocket Companion
Having some drumbeats to play along with is always a winner in my book. It’s also nice to have the chords available to look up on my phone, as I can always do with learning more shapes. Plus, the Pro Tuner itself is pretty accurate and covers Guitar, Bass and Ukulele.
Free Player Pack upgrade with drums, chords and Pro Tuner
Well Laid Out
Nice one Fender! A little goes a long way and this free update has a lot on offer. It’s great having all these very useful guitar tools in your pocket and in one place. I also think the app layout is very clear and concise, without any fuss or bother. And the quality here is high, as you would expect with Fender behind it.
You can follow the link below to the Fender Tune main page, where you can download the app for free. Then, once it is opened on your smartphone, it will offer you the free Player Pack upgrade.
In 2020, developer Caelum Audio threw a pleasant surprise at us with its Tape Pro plug-in – a very in-depth tape saturation plug-in with really cool features. The same guys are starting 2021 on the right note with the release of Schlap – a hardware-inspired compressor plug-in.
Caelum Audio Schlap
Caelum describes Schlap as a “characterful, colorful and aggressive-sounding” compressor. It’s a modern take on vintage program-dependent compressors with a user interface that looks unabashedly “digital” yet hides an analog soul. A program-dependent compressor automatically adjusts its attack and release settings through RMS peak detection of the input audio’s average loudness level. This way, sudden short peaks and early transients are left uncompressed and make up for a punchy, hard-hitting sound.
Schlap’s clean-cut GUI features Input level, Threshold, Ratio, and Knee controls for the compressor section. Another set of controls is dedicated to the sidechain signal – you can choose the internal filter or feed external audio, then apply variable high and low-pass filters. Auto-Gain and Stereo Link options are available above the sidechain section. An output level knob and three visualizers complete the interface.
The Ratio control operates in four ranges: 0.1:1 to 0.9:1 for expansion and gate effects; 1:1 to 20:1 for standard compression; ∞:1 for infinite limiting compression and -20:1 to -1:1 for characterful over-compression. Better know what you’re going for in there!
All in all, this is an interesting compressor with a fresh take on old concepts and plenty of versatility. It probably won’t be your thing if you are looking for a transparent compressor or an identical emulation of a particular unit, but Schlap does aggression and does it well!
Price and availability
Normally GBP 15 on desktop and GBP 3 on iOS, Schlap is being sold for GBP 12 (desktop) and GBP 3 (iOS) until Jan 15. A free demo version and user manual are available for download – a Caelum Audio account is required. The plug-in is available in AU, AUv3 and VST3 formats for Windows, macOS and iOS devices.
Tin Brook Tales released an updated version of TLS 1295 LEA, a freeware LA-2A compressor effect in VST plugin format for Windows and Linux. So, the new year begins with a blast from the past. Tin Brook Tales released multiple freeware VST plugins in the early 2010s. These plugins weren’t really mainstream, but those in […]
Antelope Audio and Thomann are running nice deals on four top-notch audio interfaces with integrated real-time effects. Up for sale are the Antelope Audio Discrete 4 Synergy Core, priced EUR 958 down from EUR 1095; Antelope Audio Discrete 8 Synergy Core, priced EUR 1395 down from EUR 1495; Antelope Audio Orion Studio Synergy Core, priced EUR 2433 down from EUR 2795, and the Antelope Audio Zen Tour Synergy Core – priced EUR 1777 down from EUR 1995.
Antelope Audio’s Zen Tour Synergy Core
Sweetening the deals is an offer where Antelope throws in a full copy of the Bitwig Studio DAW, along with a bunch of Synergy Core-driven analog gear emulations: Reel-To-Reel (tape machine), Blonder Tongue Audio Baton (cult 50’s tube EQ), RD 47 (mic preamp), Impresser (Distressor compressor emulation), and COMP-4K-BUS (SSL 4K series console channel strip’s dynamics section). The frosting on the cake is a free Antelope Audio Edge Solo modeling condenser microphone, which the company will send to you 30 days after activating your new audio interface. It works with a respectable collection of vintage and contemporary studio microphone emulations built right into the interfaces.
The offer stands until January 31, 2021. All interfaces are Windows and Mac-compatible with both USB and Thunderbolt connections available simultaneously.
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