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Synth Britannia - 1:30h video

Depeche Mode, OMD, Pet Shop Boys - Synth Pop generation documentary Watch

15 interesting synths

Virtual synths that somehow went under the radar Read article

NI Kontakt instruments

Free and affordable NI Kontakt libraries Read more

Sylenth EDM Soundset

165 modern presets, created by me, for Lennar Digital Sylenth synth. Visit

400 Modern presets for V-Station

Tons of presets that will bring a new life to the Novation V-Station synth Visit

Cakewalk Z3ta+ 2 presets

155 Synth / lead and bass presets inspired by many modern electronica genres. Visit

Free Organ synths / samples

Best, free organ synths / multisamples Read more

Soft Synths released in 2011

Interesting soft synths released in 2011 Read more

Free String Machine vsts

Freeware String Machine plugins Read more

Krakli Cygnus-SF Vst Instrument

Cygnus was originally a collaboration between synth designer Ian Webster and sound designer Tim Conrardy. This vst instrument i mainly designed for pads, ambient space sounds and other effects. Duing the process, Cygnus has changed a little bit. Ian has taken his classic free VST and gave it new life by adding 3 new sampling oscillators that accept the soundfont (sf2) format! The integrated mix controls allow you to crossfade between each of the standard oscillators and the soundfont playback ones discreetly. All of the soundfont players have individual control over level, mix, and pitch.

Definitely worth checking synth.



Download: http://www.krakli.co.uk

Note: the zip file contains two versions of Cygnus: space version (with pretty hmm spacey GUI) and more classic OdO (Cygnus-SF.dll) + 3 sound banks with plenty of presets
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Tascam Continuous Velocity Piano

CV Piano is the world's first instrument utilizing GIGA'a Spectral Morphing technology instead of massive multisamping. This instrument utilizes only a single velocity sample, which is precisely and continuously expanded via the Spectral Interpolate Velocity (SIV) mode of GIGA's Spectral Morphing filters. The result is far greater musicality with over ten times the amount of dynamic expression. Another benefit is that instruments are much smaller in memory consumption, yet with greater playability and realism.

As far as i know, it's simply the best free piano available.

Note (thanks to Rekkerd.org): The installer includes a software version of SyncroSoft which might mess up your existing setup if you use dongled software, so use with caution. You don’t need the SyncroSoft software to use CV-Piano, so you can uninstall it afterwards.



Download http://www.tascam.com
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TAL-U-No-62 Vst

The U-No-62 is a polyphonic virtual analogue synth with a unique filter sound. An original Roland JUNO 60 was used as reference for the oscillators and filters. Like the original, the plugin is capable of self-resonance and thus could be used to some degree as a tone generator. The filter section also features controls for envelope amount and polarity, LFO modulation and keyboard tracking. In addition, a non-resonant highpass filter is provided to thin out lower frequencies.

Features:
*Polyphonic (6 voices)
*Bandlimited oscillators
*One syncable LFO with five different waveforms
*24 dB lowpass filter with self oscillation, non-resonant high-pass filter
*Fast ADSR envelopes
*Smooth cutoff changes (also with midi controllers)
*Velocity sensitive filter envelope
*Midi learn for all potis
*Supports all sample rates
*20 Presets

U-No-62 sounds very vintage, the GUI is not overcrowded - there are knobs, sliders here and there ;), CPU load is low - you can easily run few instances.
Well, it isn't the deepest synth available but i think it's worth having it in collection. The main weapon of U-No-62 is good sounding chorus - there are two types of chorus, you can turn on both and this will surely help you to create some massive, vintage sounds.

Demo: (of previous U-No-60 version)




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Airbase Tutorials (part II)

Lesson 004: Ableton Live warping in under 60 seconds


Lesson 005: Let's delay - SVD style


Lesson 006: Declaration Of Content (Bassline)


The good thing about those tutorial is that they're based on Airbase experience - you may learn some cool bassline tricks, pumping lead tricks, you can see the midi pattern, fx used etc. Airbase tutorials are definitely one of the best tutorials available for free.


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Airbase Tutorials (part I)

Many of you (interested in trance music) probably listened to some of Airbase music productions. Since this start, he’s been signed to labels such as Black Hole, Platipus, Armada, Gesture Music, Fundamental, Intuition, Alphabet City, Afterglow and many more. He’s released over 20 records and made over 50 remixes and has had great success with constant support from the absolute elite of todays trance Djs.

Well, if you don't recognize any of his records, you can always find some on YouTube:



Now, let's assume that you want to produce music at similar quality, that you want learn a little bit of music production. What do you need ? That's right - tutorials :D Airbase has released six tutorials for Ableton - they're all great. One of my favourite is: Lesson 006: Declaration Of Content (it's about bassline)

Lesson 001 - Side chaining in Ableton Live 7 in 720p



Lesson 002: Making that pumping lead sound in Leon Bolier - YE (Airbase Remix)



Lesson 003: Vocal Chop Chop



More info: http://www.airbasemusic.com
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Remote Zero SL - V-Station mapping

About a week ago, i decided to buy Novation Remote Zero SL controller. I have Novation Nocturn too but i needed more knobs :) Since tuesday, i've tried hard to configure my new toy - it wasn't as easy as Nocturn, but still quite intuitive. I picked Novation V-Station for tests because previously i had custom mapping in Nocturn and was wondering if i'll notice the difference.

Now i can tell you - i can see the difference (great LEDs) and i feel the difference :). I'm able to create presets without touching mouse, without wide screen monitor. V-Station seems like hardware now.

There's one downside - it took me about 5-6 hours to create my custom V-Station mapping. My goal was to create comfortable, intuitive mapping (mainly for creating new presets) - took me few iterations to complete my goal (entire mapping has four pages) but now im happy with the result. You can see the preview on the picture - it's heavy retouched (shows only half of the mapped first page + knobs values are hmm just random) but you can see ie. the naming convency and stuff. Probably the next one will be Synth1 mapping...

Download my custom mapping for Novation V-Station (for Novation Remote Zero SL Controller) - Novation V-Station Mapping

Note - little bit about naming convency, ie. let's analyze one row - there are 8 parameters: "% OSC1", Semi, Detune, Mod Env, Lfo 1, Pwm Pos, Pwm Lfo2, Pwm Env. % OSC1(% - percentage sign) means that this is OSC1 "row" - all parameter changes in that row will affect Oscillator 1. Thanks to this, i dont need to repeat "osc1" fraze all the time (ie. standard automapping would create such naming: osc1det, osc1Menv, osclfo1, oscPwP etc). I guess my way is better :)
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Blue Cat Audio FreqAnalyst

Blue Cat Audio is a French company located in the suburbs of Paris, founded by an audio engineer and musician by the name of Guillaume Jeulin. I don't know why, but i like their website a lot. It's like, it's whispering to my ear "try our plugins, we're constantly upgrading them, we have tons of extra offers" :)

One of the plugin worth mentioning is FreqAnalyst - free spectrum analyzer plugin that lets you monitor the spectral content of your audio signal in real time. It has been designed to provide extreme smoothness and high resolution for both time and frequency: unlike most spectrum analyzers, Blue Cat's FreqAnalyst is able to display continuous variations even with a very high frequency resolution, thanks to its unique smooth interpolation algorithms.

Main features:
* Mono and stereo real time spectrum analyzer.
* Total control over the audio to frequencies tranformation.
* Smart interpolation algorithm for extreme display smoothness.
* Zoomable display.
* The user interface can be made transparent.
* Custom absolute and relative threshold.

There's also commercial version of this plugin called FreqAnalyst Pro, which costs 59 $. Last but not least - you can get an almost same version as pro, just for 5.99 pounds. All you need to do is to buy Computer Music Magazine - on DVD (since CM130 issue) you'll find freqAnalyst CM. I use it all the time because computers are just better in analyzing volume levels, frequencies than average human ear. If you don't use any frequency analyzer, try this one, you'll see your tracks in a whole new light.

More info: http://www.bluecataudio.com
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Prime Loops Free Video / Pdf Tutorials

Prime Loops supply thousands of royalty free loops and samples for the producers. Of course they're nice but that's not what i was going to write about :) Prime Loops also provide section called Studio Techniques where you can find absolutely free video tutorials created by their expert Nick Maxwell.

Video tutorials list:

1. FL Studio
* Using EQ and Compression on Your Beats
* Making a Hip Hop Beat
2. Reason
* Reverb Bass Effects
* Electro, Breaks & Tech Bass Distortion Techniques Vol 1
* Spider Tech House Drum Loops
* Combinator Autofilter Effects
* Dubstep Production Techniques Vol 1
* Making Dirty South Beats with Loops
3. Ableton
* Creating Atmospherics Using the Arpeggiator
* Sidechain Autofilter Effects
* Automating Clip Playback
* Basic Use of Panning
* An Intro to Clip Envelope Modulation
* Exploring Arrange & Session Views
* Reverse Vocal Effect
* Using Sends & Returns
* Basic Sidechain Compression
* Using the Audio Effect Rack
* Using the Gate

You can watch the stream or you can directly download each video (mp4 format)
ps. There are also some nice tutorials / tips in PDF format


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Glitch VST by dblue

Glitch VST is one of the most creative piece of musician software you can get for free. It chops up audio in real-time and applies effects which can be chosen random, manually sequenced or mixture of both. It was originally created to help speed up the production of "glitchy" electronic beats, though it is really versatile enough to be applied to a wide range of musical styles



It features 9 individual effects such as:
* TapeStop
* Modulator
* Retrigger
* Shuffler
* Reverser
* Crusher
* Gater
* Delay
* Stretcher

The possibilites of this plugin are almost endless. The GUI with sequencer-like appearance is complex but intuitive. Few mouse clicks is enough to completely change drumloops or melodies into something you would never discover. Glitch = more creativity and it's definitely a must have :)

ps. Despite being stable for many people, Glitch is still just a prototype. An author asks for fully test especially if you plan to use Glitch in a live performance situation.



Download http://illformed.org/plugins/
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Synth1 Programming Tutorials

While Synth1 is quite powerful VSTi, it also has one tiny advantage - on youTube there are at least few pretty nice Synth1 tutorials. Beginners (well, itermediate and advanced too ;) ) really should watch these tutorials - you can learn quite a lot, not only about Synth1 programming but overall about synth programming.

Trance Lead



Simple Bassline



Gated polysynth Sound



Harpsichord



Tutorials created by: http://switchedonsynthesizer.blogspot.com (by the way, it's very nice blog about synthesizers)

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TAL-Vocoder

TAL-Vocoder is a vintage vocoder emulation with 11 bands that emulates the sound of vocoders from the early 80’s. It includes analog modeled components in combination with digital algorithms such as the SFFT (Short-Time Fast Fourier Transform).
This vocoder does not make a direct convolution of the carrier and modulation signal as other digital vocoders maybe do. It includes an envelope follower for every of the eleven bands. This vocoder is optimized for voice processing and includes some algorithms for consonants to make the voice more intelligible.

The carrier signal is a VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) with a Pulse, Saw, Noise and SubOsc. But it’s also possible to use the left stereo input as carrier. This way every sound source can be used as carrier signal. This plug-in supports every sample rate.

Overall, there are not many free vocoders - maybe 2-3. TAL-Vocoder is pretty nice and fun plugin. Additional bonus is nice presets created by electro legends Dynamix II.



Download http://kunz.corrupt.ch/?Products:VST_TAL-Vocoder
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ColourEq by DDMF

The time has come to introduce the first vst effect on my blog. I use it a lot, i like it and i can really recommend it. It's created by DDMF - company that specializes in high quality equalizer plugins for Windows and Mac OSX.

ColourEQ comes with five bands of "super parametric" peaking filters, which means, that there are four knobs per band instead of three as in ordinary parametric EQ. The autors state that both filter types of these bands cannot be reproduced by any other IIR EQ.



Features

* low CPU usage
* internal 64 bit processing
* resizeable window size
* complete control over GUI colors ;)

Well, from my perspective it uses almost zero CPU, it sounds great, it has clean and simple design, i can control it easily with automap controllers such as Novation Nocturn. That's the EQ i was looking for...

The best thing is ... the price. No, it's not free - but you can ... choose your own price !!! You can pay ie. 1 Euro, or you can pay 10 Euro or even give them Ferrari via paypal ;) It's your own choice - if it's worth for you only 1 Euro, fine.

Of course, you can download demo version to judge it - i recommend that. It helps to set your own price :)

I didn't use other equalizers from DDMF but i'm sure it's a nice stuff too. There's new edition of mastering equalizer LP10 which is the first EQ that comes with fully adjustable phase response (at least authors say so ;) ). There's also IIEQ PRO "designed to deliver great quality and very low CPU usage"

More info http://ddmf.eu
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Synth1 Trance Essentials Soundbank

This great, free sound bank contains 55 patches suitable for electronic music (mostly Trance). Presets are very good, there are a lot of great leads, pads. Just listen to the demo:






Download Synth1 Trance Essentials Soundbank (updated)
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Synth1 by Ichiro Toda

Synth1 is one of the greatest freeware vst instruments on planet earth :) Functionally it is modelled on the Clavia Nord Lead 2 Red Synth, with the following characteristics:
* 2 Oscillators, FM modulation, ring modulation,sync,modulation envelope
* 4 types of filters, distortion
* 2LFO(synchronized with host)
* Arpeggiator (synchronized with host)
* Tempo delay (synchronized with host), stereo chorus/flanger
* Legato mode, portamento
* 16 notes polyphony
* 128 presets

It's nicely optimized for light CPU load - you can run 10, 20 instances of this synth and your CPU will still be fresh ;) The sound quality is of course very good.

Demos (author: bWWd0):





Download: Synth1
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Genesis CM virtual analogue synth

First recommended synth is Genesis CM, created by Ummet Ozcan. It's available exclusively with every issue (among with ~ 40 other plugins) of Computer Music Magazine (since issue 127), which costs 5.99 pounds. But it's really worth - the quality is as good as commercial VSTI's.



At the beginning, it may look not that great - it has only 2 oscillators, 2 lfos, reverb, delay - standard stuff. But it's not about the numbers. The sound this plugin produces is really massive - the author certainly knows a lot about sound design :)

Features:

OSCILLATOR SECTION

*2 Oscillators with standard waveshapes sine, saw, triangle, pulse, white noise and pink noise.
*Mix balance between osc 1 & 2, transpose options in octaves en semi tones,PW control,portamento
*Voice seperate mode, seperate total voices of each oscillator to play in dual layers in octaves & semi notes

CLONE / FM SECTION

* Total voice options, Quad mode/4 voices or Full mode/22 voices (that's the best feature) for each oscillator, play up to 176 voices simoultaneously
* Detune options, Fine tuning, voice output controls, stereo/mono output option
* Fm function to modulate oscillator 2 with oscillator 1

ENVELOPE SECTION

* Each oscillator has its own amp envelope, adsr link option to link adsr 1 with adsr 2
* Adsr 3 extra mod envelope selectable to different destinations osc 1/2 or both pitch, FM amount ,Detune amount, LFO 1 speed and Filter/Sequencer

FILTER SECTION

* Dual filters, each oscillator has its own filter, PHS, LP, HP and BP, link option to link filter 1 and 2
* Extra filter options chorus effect with depth en frequency controls

LFO SECTION

* 2 LFOS with basic waveshapes and selectable to different destinations, cutoff of either or both filters,pitch of either or both oscillators, FM level, PW amount, Detune and Amplitude
* Phase control, Tempo sync, Trigger options, Sync to sequencer

FX SECTION

* Build in Reverb & Delay fx with color controls
* Build in Phaser fx selectable 5 stages
* Build in Distortion with 3 types soft, medium and hard
* Extra modulator also useable as a Chorus fx or Crusher

STEP SEQUENCER

* Filter controlled step sequencer controlled from adsr 3, 8 steps with 36-/36+ semi tone controls for each oscillator & glide amount for each osc

More info: http://www.mikemadera.com/ummet/ummo/public_html/cms/

In this demo you can hear the sound of Genesis CM:


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VST Cafe Starts

Well, i just want to say hello :) On VST Cafe blog you'll find (very soon) many free (and / or cheap), legal VST instruments, VST effects - maybe even some presets. My goal is not quantity (there's great kvraudio plugins database for this :) ), but quality. I will present only quality freeware plugins, probably with some examples.
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