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Your Recommended Free PC Software

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Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Martin Walker » Tue May 09, 2006 3:03 pm

OK. Given that people ask so regularly for quality free plugins, softsynths, and utilities on the PC Music forum, I thought it might be useful to gather together some recommendations into a single sticky thread that stays put where everyone can find it.

It would be really helpful if anyone who posts here provides the Product Name, Developer's Name, Clickable Link, and Why it's good.

It would also be helpful to describe what type of software it is in the title of your post.

Let's turn this into a useful resource, and try to avoid requests and arguments

Over to you!


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MIDI Utilities

Postby Martin Walker » Tue May 09, 2006 3:15 pm

To start the ball rolling, here are some MIDI utilities I've found to be really useful:

MIDIOX, written by Jamie O'Connell and Jerry Jorgenrud, is a classic general-purpose MIDI utility available from www.midiox.com that I've used for years for examining MIDI data when tracking down problems, as a sysex dump to/from various synths, and to change incoming MIDI data into something else.

MIDI FISH, written by Shawn Hargreaves, is an elegant MIDI data translator that also helps modify incoming data, but has elegant in/out MIDI data meters so you can see how your data is being changed - great when tweaking velocity curves! You can download it at www.talula.demon.co.uk

MIDI Test is a handy utility for seeing how good the timing of your MIDI interface is, using a MIDI loopback cable. Written by Evert van der Poll, and available from http://miditest.earthvegaconnection.com, it's a real eye-opener when you see how latency and jitter figures vary between products.


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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby SuperMasita » Tue May 09, 2006 4:17 pm

I like the VSTs from GVST: http://www.gvst.co.uk/index.htm

    I use almost all of this:

    GBand - Band-pass filter.
    GChorus - Chorus effect.
    GClip - Wave-shaping signal clipper.
    GComp - Compressor.
    GComp2 - Compressor.
    GDelay - Delay effect.
    GDuckDly - Ducking delay effect.
    GFader - Signal gain (-100 to 0 dB).
    GGain - Signal gain (-12 to 12 dB).
    GGate - Gate.
    GGrain - Granular resynthesis.
    GHi - High-pass filter.
    GLow - Low-pass filter.
    GMax - Limiter.
    GMulti - Multi-band compressor and stereo enhancer.
    GNormal - Noise generator for avoiding denormal problems.
    GRevDly - Reverse delay effect.
    GSnap - Pitch-correction.
    GTune - Chromatic tuner.

    I specially like GSnap (Pitch-correction), cause its easy to use (u can control it via midi) and I think it sounds good.

    If u visit the website, u can download them all as a zip file

    They also have VST Instruments, but i never used them...

A handy VST is Monomaker from DestroyFX : http://destroyfx.smartelectronix.com/extras/. Very useful to check your how your mixes sound in mono.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Smithee » Tue May 09, 2006 7:35 pm

Here's some of what I use reguarly, all free and all VST plugins

SIR - Free convolution reverb about which everything there is to be said has already been said! Of course you'll need some impulse responses and my favourites are those from Echo Chamber (site is German, click here for the Google translated version), Voxengo and Noisevault has some gems too.
Also, make sure to check out the 3 free impulses from Waves at acoustics.net and the very excellent Pure Space response that was on the November 2005 DVD002.
Download SIR

Greenoak Crystal - Quite possibly the king of free synths, here's what they say:
'Crystal is a semi-modular software synthesizer featuring both subtractive synthesis and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis. It offers abundant modulation control with over 90 parameters which may be modulated, multi-stage envelopes with graphical editors, extensive tempo sync of envelopes/lforates/delay times, built-in effects for chorus/flanging/comb filtering/echoes, and a band splitter for effects processing by frequency band. Not only that, Crystal has wave sequencing, granular synthesis, program morphing, MIDI learn, and imports soundfonts. The musical applications for Crystal are literally boundless.'
Greenoak Crystal Download

Elemental Audio Inspector - An excellent free analysis/metering tool it includes RMS, peak and phase meters, a specturm analyser and much more.
Elemental Audio Inspector Download

4Front Piano, ePiano & Rhode - These plugins sound good if not excellent, but their real value comes in their lack of hit on resources. I find these modules great for practice and composition where loading up a 30GB Ivory library isn't practical or desireable .
4Front Downloads

SimulAnalog Guitar Suite - A set of stompboxes and amp sims, these are all about the sound. There's no fancy GUI, but these are great for the guitarist on the cheap.
SimulAnalog Guitar Suite Download

Voxengo Plugin Suite - These are great little plugin problem solvers including sample delay/latency delay plugins and a Mid/Side decoder. There's also a nice EQ and good standalone samplerate convertor.
Voxengo Downloads


One last heads up, NuGen Audio are offering a beta of their plugin Visualizer for free as long as it's in beta. It's another metering plugin which includes:
  • Spectrum Analyser
  • Stereo Analyser
  • Spectrogram
  • Stereo Spectrogram
  • Vectorscope
  • Peak Level Meter
  • RMS Level Meter

So snap it up quick - download it here.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby silvester » Thu May 11, 2006 9:59 am

This is a great page for dub style sound effects.All of these work well and have good analog emulation.
http://www.interruptor.ch/vst_overview.shtml
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Video Capture and Processing

Postby Humf » Fri May 12, 2006 6:12 pm

Essential if you work music to picture:

http://www.virtualdub.org
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Audio Editor

Postby lemoore » Fri May 12, 2006 10:20 pm

Audacity, a free audio editor..

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Gary. P » Tue May 16, 2006 9:45 am

Mad tracker has a page of Free VST plug in synths. My particular favourite is called Cheeze Machine which is great at producing classic string ensemble sounds and also has a great gate mask effect which lets you create some truly excellent tones.


http://www.madtracker.org/plugins.php?category=Instrument&subcategory=Synthesizer&from=0

This takes you straight to the Cheeze Machine – Try it you’ll love it.

http://bigtick.pastnotecut.org/index.php?action=FILES&pcode=110
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Multitrack Recording & Mixing package

Postby Neil Wilkes » Tue May 16, 2006 1:35 pm

What about the KRISTAL Audio engine?
It can record & mix at up to 32/192 resolution and is free.
http://kristal.kreatives.org/index.php?section=news
* 16 audio tracks
* 32 Bit floating point audio engine
* 44.1 to 192 kHz sample rate
* 3-band parametric EQ &
* 2 VST insert slots per channel
* 3 VST master effect slots
* ASIO low latency audio driver support
* 4 KRISTAL PlugIn slots
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Armadillo » Tue May 16, 2006 8:22 pm

This is all VST plugins.

Synths:
Synth1: http://www.geocities.jp/daichi1969/softsynth/
page is in japanese... but just look for download. And remember to download the additional banks as the factory bank sucks quite a bit.

Oatmeal: http://bicycle-for-slugs.org/oatmeal36-1.zip
and a much better skin http://www.freefileupload.net/file.php?file=files/020506/1146600596/ezeeskin2black_36.zip

Classic series from Kjaerhus audio is some really great free fx:
http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/classic-series.php

LFX-1310 - multi fx unit from Luxonix
http://www.luxonix.com/home/en/products.html?id=lfx1310
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Mr. Heath » Thu May 18, 2006 3:43 pm

Reaper - Rapid Environment for Audio Prototyping and Efficient Recording
Developed by Cockos Inc. (Justin Frankel ex.Nullsoft legend)
http://www.cockos.com/reaper

Why it's good:
The developers listen to what is ask for in the forums and then actually do something about it.
Its a free 1mb download and takes a fraction of the time to start up compared to Sonar, Cubase, Logic and Audition.
Its dead easy to start using: simply drag and drop one of many kinds of files in to edit existing material, or insert a track and arm it for recording. No complex project or definitions to set up.
Lots of editing facilities: split, resize, fade/crossfade, pitch shift, timestretch, copy/paste and loop media items with ease. Ripple editing is available, too. (this is an awesome feature)
Unrivaled routing capabilities: send tracks to any number of other tracks or hardware outputs, with lots of options (pre-fx, post-fx, independent faders, mono or stereo). Not interested in advanced routing? You don't have to use it (and it certainly won't get in the way.)
Powerful recording options (supports pre-fx, post-fx recording, can record mixed output of multiple tracks, etc), supports switching record inputs/modes on the fly, input monitoring options (including tape-style auto input monitoring mode), supports auto-punch-in/punch-out, and more. If you want. Otherwise, it just behaves as you would expect.
Support for MIDI files, recording MIDI, and VSTi/DXi softsynths. MIDI can be integrated and mixed with audio.
User arrangeable user interface with color themes: make REAPER look how you want it to look (don't just settle for the default theme, check some of the bundled themes), and arrange (or hide) elements of the user interface to suit your needs.
Support for consolidating track edits and rendering track stems, to enable easy export for other applications.
And so much more with new features being added practically daily, just check out the change log!

It has made my copy of Sonar LE practically obselete!

Stop reading this and go and give it a go. You won't regret it!
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby pumpkin » Thu May 18, 2006 4:28 pm

BuzComp Free series
GranComp - comp/limiter
GranComp3 - 3 band comp/limiter

http://www.geocities.jp/fxhdc050/ongaku-link/buzzroom.html
Buz - fuzz/distortion
OctBUZ - fuzz/distortion w/octaver (up & down)
BuzMaxi & VintageMaxi - limiters

BetaBugsAudio
specifically: PhaseBug, BugPass & MonstaChorus

WWAYM NWEQ Parametric EQ

TLs Pocket Limiter & Saturated Driver

Ndzeit TubeBaby tube amp/distortion

NDC Trem+ tremolo/panner

Spinner LE rotary effect
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Francois R » Sat May 27, 2006 7:12 pm

MIDI OX is great but sometimes doesn't work with some synths when sending sysex files, for example, it doesn't work with the Waldorf Q.

Another useful utility is Bome SendSX, very simple but effective. Grab the beta version which fixes a few bugs.

http://www.bome.com/midi/sendsx/beta/
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Matt Downing » Sun May 28, 2006 10:17 am

EAC (Exact Audio Copy) for ripping CDs
http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/

FreeverbToo - A nice easy front end to the original Freeverb, which I still find very useful.
http://www.sinusweb.de/freetoo.html

Cheers,
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby jalapeno » Tue May 30, 2006 2:48 pm

TapeIT - great little tool for recoding VST outputs (especially if you're got killer lick in a piece of demo software )
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby adrian_k » Tue May 30, 2006 9:39 pm

Here's a fairly extensive list of free VSTs, mostly synths:

http://www.free-plugin-list.com/
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby jonboyblue » Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:20 am

http://www.db-audioware.com/products.htm#free

Tempo delay is very straight forward but does it's job without any fuss
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby stag » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:23 pm

The UAD killer Digital Fish Phones .



Of course simulanalog GS, named above, the best guitar plug around... untill AT2 was released... no surprise since IK Multimedia hired GS developer to work on AT2.

just add a little of this :
classic series

Bye.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby renflo » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:49 am

hi ! my favorite PC/mac free software is ardour, it is a clone of Protools.
For the moment it works on both macOS and linux but will run on windows soon.
ardour
take a look at the screenshot It seem to work very well (better than cubase I think)
to try it on a PC you just have to insert a live CD of Linux in your computer : agnula demudi live
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby diskostu » Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:49 pm

hi all....dont know if this was said already but go to www.soundfonts.it
theres an excellent rhodes piano - mr ray and wurlitzer - mr tramp
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Rob Willson » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:30 pm

Audacity audio editor.
For preparing and cutting up samples.

Midi Ox - Utility software. I dont use it to its full capacity but excellent for sys x.

Midiyoke.

Some of the many free synths that are worthy mentioning Free Alpha, Polyblit, Chrystal (Awsome),Synth 1(Nord lead in disguise)

Not free (opensource) but very cheap environment VST is Energy XT although your competitor CM music give away a few spin offs. Excellent multifaceted host sequencer sampler package for studio and live use. .
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby forumuser749539 » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:51 am

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/
Izotope's 'Vinyl'. Emulates the characteristics of vinyl and turntable affects on recorded sound: mechanical noise, warp, dust scratch. It's not as lame as it sounds. Best used unvonventionally, trust me.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby HassanD » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:47 pm

I know SuperMasita already mentioned Destroy FX near the top of the thread, but there are a lot of other developers at www.smartelectronix.com

These people are responsible for some of the best freeware stuff on the net.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby __ » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:54 pm

CPUID is good, pc wizard. It tells you exactly whats in your box hardware wise. Only ever used it on 98se. But worth a look, a great little utility for those 'what network card have i got' moments http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby djcozzer » Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:16 pm

Here is a nice mellotron player from tweakbench based on the JP Hovercraft samples.

They have other free instruments and effects that are a bit unusual.You can make a donation if you want.


http://www.tweakbench.com/instruments.php?id=6

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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby Vader77 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:53 pm

Nice analogue drums.
web page

A nice bass synth based on the Z3ta.
web page

A nice gritty filter/ring mod
web page

Great fun
web page
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby rolyboy » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:49 am

Try the free plugs from tritone digital:

Phasetone and Colortone free.

Highly recommended - phasetone is ace

http://www.tritonedigital.com

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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby rsmus7 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:22 pm

great FX:

the fish fillets

www.digitalfishphones.com

blockfish
floorfish
spitfish


and also
dominion
and
endorphine

all from digitalfishphones
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby stag » Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:50 pm

If your host doesn´t save track presets: http://www.acondigital.com/us_Downloads.html EffectChainer 1.0
Also cool to port your presets to other hosts.
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Re: Your Recommended Free PC Software

Postby The Crane » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:59 am

http://www.buzzmachines.com/

Somewhere between a tracker and a modular synth environment, but with bags more flexibility than that might imply... it's not the most stable software ever, but I love it to bits for the routing freedom it allows! A rewire-slave version would be just divine...
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