VST/AU plugin instrument/effect round-up: Week 61
19th Apr 2013 | 14:56
It’s been a few weeks since our last round-up, but we return with enough new virtual instruments and effects to fill an entire rack. Dive in and discover what the world’s plugin developers have been up to.
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NEXT: HoRNet AutoGain
If volume automation is taking up too much of your time, try this supposedly time-saving plugin. It has two inputs: one for the track you want to automate and a second for the volume reference (a single track, track group or whole mix). Hit play and AutoGain will attempt to keep your target track at the level of the reference one. Easy.
Archetype Instruments Arc 5
A dual-layer synth that generates its sounds using five synthesis methods. There’s an arpeggiator with pitch and velocity step sequencer, various effects and a simple control system that promises to make it easy to tweak your sounds.
A creative plugin that enables you to blend second, third and fourth harmonics with your original sound. The theory is that in doing this you can add “shine and bite”. You can adjust the amount of colouration being added for each harmonic.
A bus compressor that’s designed to ‘glue’ your mix together. Logical2 promises SSL-style presence at the high-end and is billed as a perfect ‘set and forget’ compressor. The interface is pretty basic, but this allegedly helps with CPU efficiency.
A distorting filter that’s designed to help you generate those ubiquitous dubstep wobble basses. However, you can also use it for the likes of rhythmic pads, rotary organs and drum-driven basses. MWobbler comes with an integrated LFO and level follower.
SKnote MCAudioLab EQ1
A passive EQ with a tube output stage and solid state and tube power supply options. There are two stacked units for linked or dual control and a switchable Left-Right/Mid-Side matrix mode.
Axis Plug-ins Track EQ
TrackEQ is designed to let you “edit your digital data surgically”. It comes with eight individual filter blocks and for each block you can choose from 11 different filter types. You can solo/mute one filter block or a group of them.
Massey Plugins CT5
Previously available for Pro Tools systems, this is a compressor that’s designed to provide smooth gain reduction with a little punch. You can choose from two compression curves for either a transparent or more aggressive sound and the CT5 has a sidechain input. A VST version of vt3, a 3-band EQ, has also been released.
Illformed Glitch 2
The original version of Glitch was available for free, but version 2 is chargeable. Before you get too despondent, though, be aware that the plugin is now cross-platform and features a new and improved sequencer which can play multiple effects simultaneously. You can also trigger scenes from your keyboard.
123creative.com Kastelheimer Veldberg XD
This new virtual analogue synth is based on algorithms from hardware VA synths. It comes with three oscillators and promises an “ultra sharp” sound. There are eight filters, three envelopes, two LFOs and a modulation matrix, while the instrument also promises oscillator signal routing/mixing and the so-called HyperTwist technology. Crikey.
A gate sequencer that enables you to do new and exciting rhythmic things to beats, instruments and vocals. The interface comprises an easily understandable step sequencer and a single preset can hold up to eight different patterns. These can be automated in your DAW or when you’re performing.
Minimal System Mastering Limiter
A peak limiter that’s designed to maximise the level of your mix. It features a lookahead peak limiter algorithm and promises to give you precise control. It’s said to be “based on and inspired” by real analogue circuitry.
Minimal System Dreamscape Space Generator
Another release from Minimal System, this one is a ‘musical’ reverb that’s said to deliver a warm analogue-style sound and low CPU usage. Rather than have separate algorithms (plate, hall, room etc) you’re invited simply to tweak the available parameters to taste.
An amplifier and parallel EQ that was designed specifically to add extra punch and warmth to the sound of software synths. It’s a 4-channel EQ, comes with a built-in limiter and apparently has low CPU usage.
This “animated frequency shifter” has “insane glitch” sounds in its sights, using a built-in step sequencer to modulate a model of a Bode frequency shifter. You can assign one of eight envelope shapes to each of the 32 available steps, enabling you to quickly create elaborate patterns.
DMG Audio EQuilibrium
This highly flexible and customisable EQ is designed very much for high-end users. It offers both digital curves and models of vintage EQs, plus routing, grouping, channel and metering control. It’s designed for both mixing and mastering purposes and promises to set “a new standard”.
The Interruptor Night Flight
Recreate the sound of those string ensemble keyboards from the ‘70s with this synth-powered instrument (no samples are used to generate the sounds). Night Flight’s feature set takes inspiration from a variety of string machines, so you should hopefully be able to generate some classic tones.
Softrave Vintage Flanger Chorus Stereo
Inspired by Electro Harmonix’s classic analogue Electric Mistress pedal, this plugin is designed to serve as a lush flanger/chorus effect. The original pedal has been used by a wide range of artists and the software is said to be useful for multiple styles.
A multi-delay plugin that’s been designed specifically to quickly create rhythm lines out of percussion sounds. The input and 15 tweakable delay lines correspond to steps in a sequencer, while there’s also a further global delay. You get Main, Mix and Timeline views to work in.
OverTone DSP FC70
An emulation of the Fairchild 670 Limiter that began life on Linux. Its purported hallmarks are “smooth, effortless dynamic control and uniquely musical character”.
A reverb plugin that’s modelled on “the first digital reverb”, presumably the EMT 250. Allegedly deep and full of attitude, it comes with chorus, phaser and delay options and mid-side balance for stereo width control.