Virtual Instrument News

  • IK releases MixBox – Virtual Channel Strip Plug-in With 70 Effects
    on September 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

    IK Multimedia has announced the release of MixBox, a “500 series”-style virtual rack plug-in for Mac and PC, saying: MixBox offers musicians, producers and engineers of every… Read More

  • Deskew Technologies updates “Gig Performer” Plugin Host to v3.8
    on September 17, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Deskew Technologies has updated Gig Performer, the cross-platform plugin host for live performing musicians, to version 3.8. Gig Performer 3.8 is a maintenance release addressing… Read More

  • Management Shakeup at Native Instruments: Changing roles for Daniel Haver and Mate Galic
    on September 16, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Daniel Haver (L) and Mate Galic Native Instruments co-founder and CEO Daniel Haver and CIO/President Mate Galic are stepping away from their current roles at the company…. Read More

  • QuikQuak releases UpStereo Free v3.0
    on September 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    QuikQuak has announced that the free version of UpStereo has been updated to 3.0. What’s new: Now 64-bit and multi-format. VST, VST3, AU & AAX for Windows and Mac… Read More

  • QuikQuak releases UpStereo Free v3.0
    on September 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    QuikQuak has announced that the free version of UpStereo has been updated to 3.0. What’s new: Now 64-bit and multi-format. VST, VST3, AU & AAX for Windows and Mac… Read More

  • HoRNet releases DoIn – a utility to download install and manage HoRNet plugins
    on September 16, 2020 at 11:54 am

    HoRNet Plugins has released HoRNet DoIn, a utility designed to help you download, install and manage your HoRNet plugins. HoRNet DoIn is available for Windows and macOS (64-bit… Read More

  • discoDSP updates OPL FM synth to v1.8
    on September 16, 2020 at 11:23 am

    discoDSP has updated OPL to version 1.8 for iPadOS, iOS, macOS, Windows and Linux as AudioUnits, VST, VST3 and Standalone. What’s new: Parameter exposure (AU/iOS AUv3/VST/VST3)… Read More

  • Sample Logic releases Trailer Xpressions 3 for Kontakt with Intro Offer
    on September 16, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Sample Logic has announced the release of Trailer Xpressions 3, saying: Welcome to Trailer Xpressions 3, pushing scoring and sound design to powerful new places. Sample Logic… Read More

  • Riot Audio releases Digital Analog Clouds – Hybrid Morphing Pads for Kontakt with intro offer until 7th Oct
    on September 16, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Riot Audio has announced the release of Digital Analog Clouds, a set of morphing pads created with a hybrid analog/digital pathway involving modular effects and a mix of organic and synthetic… Read More

  • Eventide releases Blackhole Reverb Pedal: Beyond the Event Horizon
    on September 15, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Eventide has announced immediate availability of the Blackhole reverb pedal. Here’s what they’re saying: Blackhole allows players to fine-tune every aspect of the effect…. Read More

  • Toontrack releases “Classic Rock EBX” for EZbass
    on September 15, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Toontrack has released the Classic Rock EBX, the first-ever expansion for EZbass. Here’s what they say: The Classic Rock EBX is an expansion for the award-winning EZbass featuring… Read More

  • Soundiron releases “Hopkin Instrumentarium: Miago Trod” for Kontakt Player
    on September 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Soundiron has released Hopkin Instrumentarium: Miago Trod, a giant resonating lamellophone created by master instrument inventor Bart Hopkin. Here is what they say: … Read More

  • rncbc.org updates Qtractor to v0.9.17 for Linux
    on September 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    rncbc.org has announced the release of Qtractor version 0.9.17 End-of-Summer’20 for Linux. Changes: Early fixing to build for Qt >= 6.0.0 and the C++17 standard. Fixed… Read More

  • rncbc.org updates Qtractor to v0.9.17 for Linux
    on September 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    rncbc.org has announced the release of Qtractor version 0.9.17 End-of-Summer’20 for Linux. Changes: Early fixing to build for Qt >= 6.0.0 and the C++17 standard. Fixed… Read More

  • Syntheway updates AcouVerb to v3.1
    on September 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Syntheway has updated AcouVerb to version 3.1 for Windows and macOS. Changes: Added: A display to show the active preset name. Changed: Improved the preset manager to… Read More

  • Inertia Sound Systems updates Granulizer to v2.3
    on September 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Inertia Sound Systems has updated Granulizer to version 2.3. Experimental Linux Support Starting with this release, Granulizer supports Linux with VST/VST3 experimental… Read More

  • forward audio updates faIRmageddon – Guitar Cabinet Impulse Response Designer
    on September 14, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    forward audio has updated faIRmageddon to version 1.00.004 including major performance improvements and fixes. Improved: Enormous CPU usage improvements up to 85%. Increased… Read More

  • Xhun Audio announces ShineVerb Creative Reverb Processor
    on September 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Xhun Audio has announced the forthcoming release of ShineVerb, a creative tool specially designed for reverberation, spatialization and sound coloration purposes. In order… Read More

  • LetiMix releases GainMatch – Tool for Quick Level Matching
    on September 14, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    LetiMix has released GainMatch, a new plugin for manual and automatic gain matching. Here’s what they say: It has a clean interface, a very affordable price, and… Read More

  • accSone updates crusher-X to v8.58 with Drag’n Drop features
    on September 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    accSone has released a free “Drag’n Drop” feature update for crusher-X 8 licensees that comes with a few relevant bug fixes too. Adds Drag’n Drop features: Drop an audio… Read More

  • Toontrack updates EZbass to v1.0.6 and Audio Sender to v1.0.4
    on September 14, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Toontrack has updated EZbass to v1.0.6 and Audio Sender to v1.0.4. A full list of changes and bug fixes can be found below. EZbass 1.0.6 Changes General:… Read More

  • Harvest Plugins updates Forager (+Intro Sale Ending Friday)
    on September 13, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    After receiving user feedback, Harvest Plugins has given its recently released plug-in a quick update. Forager is a MIDI plug-in designed for writing chord progressions which combines randomization… Read More

  • Ivosight updates Soundop Audio Editor to v1.7.8.0 for Windows
    on September 13, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Ivosight has updated Soundop Audio Editor, a Windows application for audio recording, editing, mixing and mastering, to version 1.7.8.0. Changes: Added the Effects… Read More

  • Fanan team updates free Yumbu and Boo boom Arp 2 VSTi Drum Samplers
    on September 12, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Fanan team has updated the Yumbu (v1.4) and Boo boom Arp 2 (v2.2) drum samplers. Yumbu Changes: Added new modulation section per channel including 3 effects: phaser,… Read More

  • KVR Experts Forum – Demystifying MPE with KVR Expert Peter Nyboer
    on September 11, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    KVR is pleased to present the latest thread in the KVR Experts Forum. KVR Expert Peter Nyboer has actively worked in interactive music and video products for over 2 decades…. Read More

  • Rast Sound releases Slavic Vocals for Kontakt with Intro Offer
    on September 11, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Rast Sound has released Slavic Vocals in Kontakt and WAV formats featuring two female performers, solo and duet performances, playable instruments, patterns and phrase composer tools. … Read More

  • Download the free Japanese Horror Castle Friktion pack
    by Propellerhead on September 11, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I’ve had the pleasure of using Reason Studios’ new Friktion Modeled Strings synthesizer for several weeks now and I’m blown away by the musicality of this rack device. Most of the physical modeling-based instruments that I have used in the past have sounded okay but have felt like science experiments to me. Those instruments have had cryptic parameters and the instruments don’t always respond intuitively to your playing. It has been easy–too easy–to get them to make totally unmusical noises (or no sound at all!) I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Friktion! Friktion presets sound and feel like real stringed instruments. They respond to velocity and playing styles in natural ways just like real instruments. The buzzes and resonances are all there in the sound and the on-screen parameters are easy to understand. When I use it, I end up getting lost in the string sounds. To me, that’s the mark of a great instrument. You can imagine my surprise when I heard that sound designer Navi Retlav had pushed Friktion way past strings sounds and used it to create… flutes and drums? To be used in Grindhouse and Kung Fu films? And he also used Friktion to create bone chilling sound effects for Japanese Horror films? What? I had to find out more.   Download the sound pack “Japanese Horror Castle” for Friktion* * Requires Reason 11 Suite and Friktion licenses or the free 30 day trial of Reason and a free trial of Friktion.Going way beyond strings “I love Japanese horror films,” says Retlav. “I’m also a massive fan of Grindhouse movies as well as all the classic Kung Fu and Shaolin films. Beyond that, I really like the instrumentation from Kurosawa and Tarantino soundtracks. With the Japanese Horror Castle sound pack, I cast a wide net and tried to capture all of these things.” I asked him what made Friktion the right choice for these kinds of sounds.  “Well, technically a string is not that different from the vibrating surface of a drum or even a flute. It just comes down to how the resonator is excited and how it interacts with the body of an instrument.” He went on, “I found that tension is captured really nicely on the physical modeling–you hear the tonal changes in string tension. It’s interesting that those tonal changes still happen even if you have set up Friktion to make other kinds of sounds like a flute.” Ideas like this led Retlav to think outside the box and to see if he could get more unusual sounds beyond strings. I think what Retlav has delivered is really special. The flute and shamisen instruments really capture the shaolin film vibe and the horror sounds consistently send a cold chill down my spine. What impressed me is that the instruments don’t sound boring and static (like samples). The notes all seem to have natural variation as you play up and down the keyboard and the sounds respond to velocity and mod wheel changes in really exciting ways. It’s brilliant sound design. If you have a Tarantino or Kurosawa-inspired film to score, get this and you’re 99% there. If you need a set of bone-chilling instruments/effects for a horror film, again, get this and you’re all set! Exploring the patches This pack had so many great (and different) sounds, I had a hard time picking my favorites: VHS Flute — This sound immediately transports me to a small village in a black and white “Seven Samurai” style film. The filtered, warbled sound is reminiscent of an old VHS cassette containing an even older film. “I used The Echo to add warble and a Softube Amp with an Audiomatic device in the VHS setting to give it that bandpassed sound.” Tip: Use the “Breath” knob to give this sound more or less air. Yoshida Shamisen — As Retlav says, “There are two ways to play a shamisen, fast and slow.  With this preset, I have tried to emulate the slow method. For added realism, it includes a lot of the slides and vibrato.” Add some drums (like the Epic Drums and Sticks preset below) and you have instrumentation for a great film score. Tip: This preset actually has three player modes. Switching on “Rhythm Player” and “Slides Player” to add even more variation to the sound. Ghost in the Scrapes Generator — This sound really sent a cold chill straight down my spine! Play any note and let the generator create all kinds of reverberant, scrape-y metallic textures. These sounds are sure to heighten the tension and fear in any horror scene. Note that this patch actually contains three distinct sounds: 1) “opening the creaky gate slowly” 2) “hitting the gate” and 3) “rattling the gate.” By default, the “Manual Mode” button is switched on and you hear the slower gate opening sound. Switching off the Manual Mode button lets you play the second “hit the gate” sound. If Manual Mode is switched off, turning up the modulation wheel lets you access the third “rattling” sound. You can use these sounds together to ratchet up the tension. Tip: When the “Auto Play [Run]” button is switched on, starting playback in Reason causes the generator to run and randomly play A and B patterns. Epic Drums and Sticks — These massive, reverberant drum sounds conjure up images of an epic fight sequence. As Retlav says, “I tried to make the biggest possible drum sounds here. I set the resonator to the largest possible Taiko setting to give you a huge sound.” I included this patch in my favorites because it’s such a creative use of Friktion and shows off how lifelike and dynamic the sounds can be. Try playing the drums and sticks at different velocity levels and listen for all the tonal variation. Tip: When the “BeatMap [Run]” button is switched on and playback is started in Reason, this preset generates interesting organic rhythms that are locked to the tempo of your song. Use this in conjunction with the “Drums Density” knob and “Player Rate x2” button to dial in the perfect drum performance for your score. Kurosawa Trumpets — Retlav describes this best when he says “In this preset, I tried to emulate a scene in a Kurosawa film where the soldiers are going through a helpless farmer’s field.” In my mind, it really conjures up a feeling of dread and “bad things are about to happen.” This sound actually contains three layers which can be accessed using the “Layer” knobs of the Combinator. Use these knobs to dial in the exact sound you want. Tip: Switch on the “Spring Reverb” button if you would like a more retro sound. You can use the Mod wheel to take some of the brightness and edge off of these trumpets. Acoustic Horror Machine — I saved this preset for last since it is even more unsettling than the Ghost in the Scrapes Generator preset mentioned earlier. As Retlav says, “It’s like you’re in an asylum and you’re going more and more insane.” The “Sanity” knob is the key. At low levels, it’s highly unstable and unsettling. As you turn up the knob, it becomes brighter but more sane and you can play it like an instrument. You can set this at an appropriate level or automate it throughout your performance. Tip: As an added bonus, turn up the modulation wheel to bring in the spine chilling joker laugh. General Tips Fun Fact As Retlav points out: “Flutes and shamisens are more often found in Grindhouse movies, but not in classic (Kurosawa) films. Kurosawa actually used trumpets, clarinets and more orchestral instruments.” Keep this in mind if getting a “period correct” sound is important for your project.Use Reverb! If you look closely, you’ll see that all of the presets have reverb on the last knob so you can dial it in. In general, these presets work well with a lot of reverb. This is because the dry sound of a physically modeled instrument can be very unnatural (it sounds like an instrument that has been recorded in an anechoic chamber) so reverb helps place the instrument in a “room.”The Scales button Many of these patches have a “Scale Player” button. This button limits the scale and makes the presets sound less chromatic (western) in tuning and more Japanese thanks to a custom scale. This also makes sure that the instruments are in key relative to each other.These sounds are flexible Most of the patches from Japanese Horror Castle are actually multi-purpose. You can transform them into strings, pads, risers, or hits. Some of them (like the Ghost in the Scrapes Generator or Acoustic Horror Machine) even have different modes that bring about vastly different sounds. So don’t be afraid to play with the macro knobs and buttons of the Combinator patches as well as the mod wheel. You might be surprised at what you find! Happy music making! Leo Der Stepanian

  • PulseSetter-Sounds releases “Cello Ibrida” for Kontakt
    on September 10, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    PulseSetter-Sounds has released Cello Ibrida, a Sound Design sample library for Kontakt for cinematic composers that combines cello samples, hybrid sound design and analog synths. … Read More

  • FrozenPlain releases Music Box Suite VST/AU – free and comprehensive $25 versions
    on September 10, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    FrozenPlain has released Music Box Suite, a VST/AU instrument capable of producing both realistic music box sounds, and intriguing sound design. It has been released as 2 different versions…. Read More

  • FrozenPlain releases Music Box Suite VST/AU – free and comprehensive $25 versions
    on September 10, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    FrozenPlain has released Music Box Suite, a VST/AU instrument capable of producing both realistic music box sounds, and intriguing sound design. It has been released as 2 different versions…. Read More

  • Eplex7 DSP releases Free Analog Modular FX Samples Vol.2
    on September 10, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Eplex7 DSP has released Analog Modular FX Samples Vol.2. The collection was created in cooperation with psytrance producer Twisted Kala. Here’s what they say: The… Read More

  • IK T-RackS Classic Clipper free for all IK Newsletter Subscribers
    on September 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    IK Multimedia has announced that it is offering T-RackS Classic Clipper for free for all IK Newsletter Subscribers. Here’s what they say: We love our IK family… Read More

  • apulSoft updates apQualizr2 to v2.3.0
    on September 9, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    apulSoft has updated apQualizr2 to version 2.3.0. Changes: New harmonic filter types. High frequencies displayed in kHz + support for entering values like “2k” and note… Read More

  • denise updates “Perfect Room” Reverb Plugin to v1.1.0 – now with Catalina support
    on September 9, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    denise has updated the Perfect Room reverb plugin so that it now supports OS X Catalina 10.15 as well as repairing a few key bugs. Changes: There are improvements to… Read More

  • Untited Plugins introduces Transmutator with €50 discount
    on September 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Untited Plugins has introduced Transmutator. Here’s what they say: Transmutator is a cutting-edge tool that crossfades between two inputs in a multitude of ways. … Read More

  • Sub51 releases Partial Structures for Kontakt and Komplete Kontrol
    on September 9, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Sub51 has announced the release of Partial Structures for Kontakt and Komplete Kontrol. Partial Structures has been created using classic synths combined with creative processing… Read More

  • Eventide releases “Generate” – Polysynth plugin with intro price
    on September 9, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Eventide has released Generate, a new Polysynth plugin developed by Newfangled Audio. Here’s what they’re saying: Generate is a marquee polysynth combining several… Read More

  • rncbc.org updates Vee One Suite for Linux to v0.9.17
    on September 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    rncbc.org has announced the Late-Summer’20 release of the Vee One Suite version 0.9.17 of old-school software instruments for Linux. The Vee One Suite comprises four separate,… Read More

  • Krotos announces Music Production Live Stream Part 2
    on September 8, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Krotos is hosting Part 2 of the free Music Production & Composition Live Stream with Alessandro Mastroianni on Thursday 10th September 2020 at 18:00 BST / 19:00 CEST / 13:00 EDT / 10:00… Read More

  • Youlean Loudness Meter 2 Deal – 38% discount
    on September 7, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Youlean is offering 38% off of Youlean Loudness Meter 2 Pro as a celebration for their plugin birthday. The offer ends on September 15th at youlean.co. Youlean offers… Read More

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