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

39 Songs into one epic mashup - live performance

Ableton Live + Novation Launchpad = Epic Live Performance Mashup :)

Also Create Digital Music blog brings some valid points about this:
If you aren’t necessarily into pop samples, though, I think this shows that even some simple performance elements can appeal. Sure, we love far-out interfaces and big visual impact around these parts, but you can also simply turn off that bar-long quantization or whip out your instrument of choice – keys, strings, voice, pads, or whatever it is – and actually play. Most people really get and appreciate that, and it’s fun for the player, to boot.

Amazing stuff. I also love one comment about it: "Oops, I think someone just figured out how Daft Punk produced it’s first two albums." ;)

ps. I need to start using my Launchpad :)

The Art of LOUD – Production masterclass with Thomas Penton

Just some nice article I found on Lost In Musik website. It's an interview with Electronic Dance Music producer - Thomas Penton and the main topic is loudness.
So, if you want to read about the tools Thomas uses, about some loudness tricks (it's a little bit sad that current "dance" music seems to be all about LOUD) and overall some production tips (ie. layering), click that little link below ;)

Jason Jollins - Ode to Black (Thomas Penton Remix)

Article: Production masterclass with Thomas Penton

VstCafe on Facebook

Just wanted to say that VstCafe profile on Facebook just reached 100 followers. Thank you - that's a nice result without any advertising.
As a reward, first 5 followers (or more - don't know, try me ;) ) can get one soundbank of their choice, from http://www.designasound.com, for free.

All you need to do is to follow VstCafe on Facebook and email me with a soundbank name you want to get for free. Of course existing followers can do it too :)

Spread the word about Vst Cafe and "Like it" ;) because when we reach more followers, there will be more, bigger rewards :)

Links: VstCafe - Facebook | VstCafe - Soundcloud

AudioMidi No-Brainer Deal - Rob Papen Delay | 10 $

People say (you know, community ;) ), it's one of the best (if not the best) "No-Brainer" deals offered by AudioMidi store. Released in November 2010, priced 69 $ (49 EUR), Rob Papen Delay is a ... delay unit :)
One feature decided that I took 10 $ (yep, that's the price) from my wallet and bought it - it's the included Reverser module which allows you to reverse the sound at any stage of the signal flow. There are of course some basic delay models such as simple mono delay, stereo delay, but also Rob Papen has included a tape-sound delay allowing users to change tape length without any clicks. The delays, filters, and reverser can all be modulated by the built-in modulators and RP-Delay includes 4 modulation sequencers, 4 LFOs, and 4 envelopes, complete with several trigger options.

Honestly, I don't believe (I may be wrong, still waiting for my serial number :) ) that for 10 $ (or less) there is any other delay unit with such sophisticated features. Visit official website for more detailed product info and audio demos. Remember - I'm just the messenger and my opinions are subjective :)

More info: Rob Papen Delay (Product Description) | AudioMidi No-Brainer Deal

Tone2 Gladiator2 Soundbank - Space Station released

My synths arsenal has expanded a little bit. My latest beast is Tone2 Gladiator2 - very deep and intersting synth, especially if you're a little bit bored with all these subtractive, classic, analogue sounding soft synths or FM synths. It introduces pretty unique synthesis type - Harmonic Content Morphin synthesis, which offers multiple ways to build deep, evolving sounds.
So I spent "a while" and the result is 88 presets gathered into soundbank called "Space Station" (compatible with gladiator 2.3.0, no additional expansions required). The main theme is "Long Release sounds" so there are a lot of warm, calm, long synth, pad sounds as well as icy, cold, shimmering, space like flavours.

Short, presets audio demo below:

More info on my soundbanks dedicated website www.designasound.com

Joey Negro Remix Competition

Usual portion of great hardware demos played by Katsunori Ujiie from musictrackjp. The synth is Korg Kronos. Well, have fun - such stuff always inspires me :)

Together with Joey Negro's Z Records label and SoundCloud, Producer Sessions Live is hosting a remix competition with an incredible prize bundle. We want you to remix the track in whichever style you like and upload the track to our dropbox. Entries that use plenty of the original track will be looked upon favourably, but don’t let us hold you back on being as creative and brilliant as you like!

The lucky winner announced on the day will then not only walk away with admiration and respect of our resident producers and all in attendance at PSL 2011, but also grabs a prize booty worth over £3,000!
There's a pair of PMC DB1S-AII monitors, Native Instruments Komplete plug-in bundle, an M-Audio Axiom Pro controller, an M-Audio Venom synth and an M-Audio Fast-Track interface.

Deadline: 29th August 2011

More info: Joey Negro Remix Competition

Melda Production MAutoPitch - pitch correction plugin

Another freebie from Melda Production - MAutoPitch. I guess the official plugin description is very accurate: It's a simple automatic pitch correction plugin designed for vocals and other monophonic instruments. Besides its main purpose of making the audio more in-tune, MAutoPitch provides also a few creative such as formant shift and stereo-expansion. It is quick, easy to use and free!
One of the best (if not the best) pitch correction unit freebie.

Of course, you can abuse MAutoPitch a little bit and force it to change vocal part into more ermm modern, artifical thing, like on this audio example (first dry example, then wet):

Download: Melda Production | MAutoPitch

Korg Kronos Performance

Usual portion of great hardware demos played by Katsunori Ujiie from musictrackjp. The synth is Korg Kronos. Well, have fun - such stuff always inspires me :)

The Kronos is a music workstation manufactured by Korg that combines nine different synthesizer sound engines (just like its predecessor OASYS) with a sequencer, digital recorder, effects, a color touchscreen display and a keyboard. Korg's latest flagship synthesizer series at the time of its announcement, the Kronos series was announced at the winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January, 2011. Essentially a computer housed in the form of a musical keyboard, Kronos utilizes for its operation an Intel Atom processor running a custom operating system based on the Linux kernel, much like Kronos' predecessor and Korg's previous flagship synthesizer workstation, the OASYS.


Melda Production MEqualizer

Ok, it's time for some good stuff ;) Melda Production MEqualizer is a 6-band equalizer unit available for both PC (32-bit and 64-bit) and Mac Osx computers.

Hmm I'm not sure where to start first :) It's just a very nice Equalizer with great, customizable GUI combined with spectrum analyzer and useful frequency / drums / octave map graphic. All in one screen, all very handy. There are 7 filters for each band: peak, low-shelf, high-shelf, low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, notch, there are 8 different channel modes (left - right, mono, stereo etc.). Also, there is saturation slider - move it more the right and it will simulate analog equalizers.

Overall, very polished product - there is also a bigger brother, commercial version which offers even more features. MEqualizer is a part of melda free audio plugins bundle, which is, to be honest, great (probably the best, free plugin effects bundle).

Download: Melda Production | MEqualizer

How To Make Dirty, Crispy Bassline With the ES2

ES2 and EDM day ;) Creating dirty, EDM / Electro House-like bass sound

How To Make An Electro/Progressive Lead With the ES2

Another sound design tutorial. This time it's Logic ES2 and some Electro / Progressive House Lead tutorial

Multisampled Instruments Sale

Multisampled Instruments offered at Precision Sound and SampleTekk are 50 % discounted (prices at stores are regular, but will be discounted during checkout). Lots of great instruments - organs, keyboards, guitars, pianos etc. available in popular formats such as Kontakt, EXS24, SF2 etc.
Discount is available till 20 August (SampleTekk) / 31 August (Precision Sound)

Small update there are some real bargains in both stores. For example great Pianica 32A sampled, available for just 5,5 $.
Pianica 32A for HALion & Kontakt

More info: SampleTekk | Precision Sound

How to make Supersaw / Trance synth using Sylenth

Nothing new here ;) Simple but effective typical trance "supersaw" like sound - you know, that kind of "big" sounds (over)used in all these trance anthem melodies, breakdowns etc.

Overall, check Ryan Enzed youTube channel - there are at least few worth watching tutorials (if you're into synthesis)

How to make Dubstep / D'n'B lead using NI Massive

The topic speaks for itself. NI Massive and some dubstep / D'n'B lead sound - well, it would fit to other genres too because this sound reminds me typical acid, hard-sync'ed sounds.

u-he Zebralette Synth

Another great (changed into freeware) synth by Urs Heckmann (u-he) - Zebralette. It's just one of Zebra2's oscillators packed into some nice features (3 effects, multi stage envelope + LFOs) + clean GUI. By default, Zebralette offers around 170 presets but we can easily find some more patches because Zebra2 patches ... can be imported. Of course the sound will be different, limited to one oscillator but still, it gives plenty of sounds :)

Zebralette (especially compared to u-he Tyrell or ACE) is low CPU hungry. Overall, don't be fooled by only one oscillator. It's enough to create some amazing sounds, for example there are few amazing pad presets. And of course the sound quality is lovely...

The idea is to use Zebralette to demonstrate the virtues of Zebra2's oscillators to everybody out there, and perhaps even convince some of them that upgrading to Zebra2 might be a good idea. ;-)
I must admit that I'm interested :)

Download 1: u-he Zebralette
Download 2: Zebra Family Presets

PSP PianoVerb - Piano Strings Reverb

PSP PianoVerb is not a general purpose Reverb plugin (which emulates real spaces environment such as hall, room etc.). Actually, I don't know about any other Reverb plugin that will give you similar sound.
PianoVerb reproduces special kind of reverberation originally provided by piano strings. It's an original idea - It generates reverberation using twelve string operators with adjustable damping and decay time. Each of them is tuned to a particular note starting from A(55Hz) to a G#(103.8Hz). The PSP PianoVerb string system can be transposed which, if transposed lower, produces a bigger and less resonant sound similar to traditional reverbs, while in turn transposing to higher octaves produces a very bright harp-like effect.

It does sound lovely for piano instruments as well as clav, harpsichord or some keyboard sounds. Maybe even guitars. It's really unique reverb, developed by one of the most respected companies, definitely worth having in your arsenal.

Download: PSP PianoVerb

Free Ebook - The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online

Another nice blog entry thanks to some music production related forums :) The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online is a very informative, free electronic book, published by New Music Strategies. It's about the changes in music industry and how to actually survive in this Internet, Web 2.0 digital music era.

Overall, you may agree with some statements or not but at the end, the book has very professional design and it's well written (+ it's available in English, German and few other languages).

You're always hearing that the music business has changed. That’s not quite true. In fact, it’s changing – and that's quite a diferent thing. Facing that change, and negotiating it as it happens, is one of the biggest challenges for independent music businesses. The best way to navigate in such interesting times is to really understand what’s going on around you, so you can adapt and respond appropriately.

You don't have to be a computer whiz – you just have to understand some basic principles. I reckon there are about 20 of them. If you understand these, and apply their principles, you’re of to a good start in the new media environment.

Download: The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online

Nick Carter - I'm Taking Off Remix Opportunity

Do you remember Nick Carter from American Boy Band - Backstreet Boys ? Now Nick is looking for remixes of 5 songs from his newest album I'm Taking Off. Five musicians will receive 1500 $ (the total cash prizing is 12500 $) and be included on Nick's official Remix EP.

This remix competition is available via Indaba Music platform - you need to be registered member (registration is free, and you can enter up to three locked competitions).

Well, it's very tempting even for learning purposes - at least there is an opportunity to work with some good, professional vocal material.

More info: Indaba Music - Nick Carter I'm Taking Off Opportunity

Evolution of Storage

Just an interesting infographic, created by Curtiss Spontelli, showing the Evolution of Data Storage over years. Nice progress, isn't it ?

XILS-Lab Synthix 50 % off Promo

Until July 21th you can get 50 % preorder (or 55 % if you're existing customer) discount on latest XILS-Lab synth called Synthix. So it's 84,50 EUR (~ 76 EUR for existing customers) instead of 169 EUR. Still out of my price range but I believe it's very nice offer. XILS-Lab plugins are top class (especially if you're into "analog" instruments) and judging by the audio demos and features, Synthix will be another great product.

The Synthix is inspired by a famous and legendary Synthesizer from the 80's, which a lot of talented guys used as their central Keyboard, including some synths Gurus.
- Its a piece of history, maybe the last Vintage Analog Polyphonic synthesizer.
- It has a special multitimbral mode, 5 different hi quality and hi character filters, as you could expect from a Xils-Lab synth.
- It is MORE than a strict emulation.
- It has many additional features compared to its glorious ancester, as you could expect from a modern era synthesizer .

More info: XILS-Lab Synthix

LiquidSonics Reverberate LE

LiquidSonics Reverberate LE is a free,convolution reverb unit. While Reverberate LE is a smaller brother of commercial product, it's still fully usable. My personal feeling is that I like Reverberate LE a lot (actually it's one of my favourites). Compared to other convolution reverb units it's pretty low CPU hungry. Default presets (impulse responses in Wav, Aiff, Flac formats are supported) sound good enough to realise how powerful convolution reverb can be if you power it with good impulse responses.
"In audio signal processing, convolution reverb is a process for digitally simulating the reverberation of a physical or virtual space. It is based on the mathematical convolution operation, and uses a pre-recorded audio sample of the impulse response of the space being modelled. To apply the reverberation effect, the impulse-response recording is first stored in a digital signal-processing system. This is then convolved with the incoming audio signal to be processed."

Well, I guess I made a mistake. It's not freeware but ... charityware. If you like this plugin, feel free to donate to the Cancer Research UK.

The example below presents, first the dry example and then wet with Cathedral preset

Download: LiquidSonics Reverberate LE

Best Roland TB-303 Software Emulator ?

I found very nice article. It compares the real one (there are audio examples), legendary Roland TB-303 with software plugins. I think that the article is accurate - at least the winner software (AudioRealism Bass Line 2) is on right position :)

So, if you plan to replace your TB-303 then this article may be worthwhile :)

If you don't know what TB-303 is hmmm. This is TB-303:
The TB-303 is THE sound of acid and techno house music! It's a monophonic analog bass synthesizer married to a pattern-based step sequencer released in 1982. The TB-303 has become one of the most sought after vintage synths ever! It has helped develop and stylize many forms of electronic music including House, Acid, Trance and Ambient. If ever there was a need for a repetitive bassline/groove or an extremely resonant and bubbly sound, the 303 is KING. Truly a unique machine with a very identifiable sound! It is used by: Aphex Twin, 808 State, Future Sound of London, Massive Attack, Orbital, Eat Static, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Air, Astral Projection, Josh Wink, Plastikman, Überzone, Moby, Hardfloor, Ultramarine, Underworld, BT, The Prodigy, Jimmy Edgar, Union Jack, Front Line Assembly, Pet Shop Boys, Freddy Fresh, Luke Vibert, and the Chemical Brothers. [via Vintage Synth]

More info: TB 303 vs Soft Synths comparison

Neuro Drinks Song Competition

If you've never produced a song for an Advertising Spot, then now you have a chance to test your skills :) Neuro Drinks is giving one (1) lucky winner a $5,000 cash prize and (1) runner up a Judges Prize of $2,500.
We need a song for our :60 spot "Candy Shop” and you have the opportunity to create that song! We are looking for your Original Song (no covers!) to go with our spot. Watch the spot and be inspired to create a song to go with it. Then upload the video to YouTube. The video/song with the most views at Noon on Monday August 15th wins the grand prize.

More info: Neuro Drinks Song Competition

Audio Compression for beginners

Very nice video tutorial, created by Samplecraze, explaing the basic features of a compressor unit and how to use them. Hmm actually it's one of the best tutorials about audio compression :)

SampleCraze also offers payware tutorials, ebooks, sample libraries - the prices seem very fair and their products receive nice reviews from audio magazines.

More info: Samplecraze - Audio production sounds & tutorials

Molot Compressor Unit

Compressor plugins section looks pretty bad on VstCafe so it's time to change this a little bit :) Molot compressor unit, developed by Vladislav Goncharov, is probably one of the best freebies available and it's packed with some nice features.

First of all, it offers M, S, M/S, dual mono and linked stereo modes. Attack knob has two modes: alpha and sigma. Alpha mode offers Fairchild 670-like sound and sigma mode offers Neve 33609-like sound. It's also available for MAC (and Windows 32-bit and 64-bit), there is up to 8x oversampling, almost zero latency (2 samples) and much more...

And that Russian 80's military GUI is great :) But seriously, just take a look at comments on official website - a lot of people love this compressor.

Download: Molot Compressor Unit

1000 Free Drum Samples

Another pretty nice library from SampleRadar.com. This time it's about drum samples. The library contains (mostly acoustic) one shot samples (kick, snares, cymbals (crashes), hi-hats), 26 different drum kits and some drum loops recorded in Rex Format.
Just a very small snippet (one shot kicks, snares) below so you can get an idea what's inside...

1000 Free Drum Samples by SampleRadar.com

Download: SampleRadar - 1000 Free Drum Samples

Practical Multi-band Compression

Quick blog entry: interesting article about multi-band compression published in Sound On Sound magazine (August 2002).
Multi-band compression is one of the most powerful processing techniques available to the recording engineer. However, if you don't know how to apply it effectively it can just as easily ruin the sound of your entire production.

Read article: Multi-band Workshop

Mr. Alias Pro - nasty synth

Mr. Alias Pro is a quite unusual synth. It excels in ... creating nasty, glitch sounds :)
It offers 128 presets, it's available for Mac users too and it's a donationware product.
Also, an author definitely has a sense of humour. For example here are some features of pro version:
- better sounding GUI,
- and much more! (not really)

The easiest way to show Mr. Alias Pro nature ? Audio demos :)

More info: Mr. Alias Pro

How To Produce Neurofunk D&B Basslines

Marc Adamo fires up Native Instruments Massive for another Sounds/To/Sample video tutorial. Discover how to make off-the-wall evolving Neurofunk D&B basslines pioneered by TeeBee and Noisia.

ps. It's not another so called Skrillex bass ("yoi" sound).

7 Day Song - Progressive / Electro House Song

Another pretty nice tutorial created by Dave from boyinaband.com for Propellerheads Reason users. This time it's Progressive House song, or maybe it's more like Electro House produced in 7 days.

More info: Boy in a Band - 7 Days Progressive / Electro House Tutorial

Documentary - Pioneers of Electronic Music

Over 1 hour long documentary film introduced by Slices - Electronic Music Magazine dedicated to the pioneers of electronic music.
The first edition is a documentary film based on electronic producer, performer and industry icon, Richie Hawtin. The film draws from the important stages and events in Richie Hawtin's personal and artistic life, revealing the journey of an introverted and transplanted computerminded teen that develops by way of Detroit's radio and records fueled by pure driven passion into a successful techno-entrepreneur and global DJ entertainer.


1338 Free Female Vocal Samples

Would you like to experiment with some vocal samples ? SampleRadar offers 1338 free female vocal samples from singer Mandy Edge. There are about hmmm 200 lines / phrases recorded with 7-9 variations each. You can use these samples in your music or just experiment with some effects etc.

There aren't many (none ?) free vocal sample libraries available, so I consider this sample pack as nice freebie :).

1338 Free Female Vocal Samples - SampleRadar.com

Download: 1338 Free Female Vocal Samples - SampleRadar.com