KVR Audio’s Developer Challenge allows developers to present their plug-in creations to the audio production public with a voting system that allows users to rate their favorites. This year’s challenge features 55 submissions that you can download for free.
KVR Audio is one of the most robust resources on the web for news and information about open standard audio plug-ins, including the VST, AU, RTAS and AAX formats. In addition the site has become a community for developers who are creating and testing new plug-ins, as seen with their annual KVR Developer Challenge which allows anyone to submit original software creations that will be rated by the KVR community. This year’s Developer Challenge is currently underway, with 55 submissions entered (49 for Windows, 7 for Mac and 6 that run on other OSes or platforms), all of which are available as a free download on the KVR website. Once you test the different submissions, we urge you to vote for your favorites (voting ends on December 5). I had fun the last few days downloading and trying some of the free plug-ins for Mac, these were a few of my favorites…You can check out this online games too..
Particle Of God
Particle Of God is an effect that runs as an ensemble in Native Instruments’ Reaktor, so it will run on Mac or Windows as long as you have Reaktor already. It allows you to create a delay where the delay time is accelerating, so the single delays are getting faster and faster (or slower and slower) each time the delay is repeated, creating some unique and fascinating delay effects. To make the output more musical and usable, both the delay time and delay acceleration are synchronized to the project tempo at a ratio that you can choose, and many parameters can be changed in real-time by hand or by the built in step sequencers:
Orchestral Strings One
Recorded in Berlin’s famous Berliner Hall and utilizing Sound Magic’s hybrid modeling technology for greater realism, the Orchestral Strings One string ensemble instrument from Sound Magic (makers of Piano One) will provide you with some impressively realistic string sounds for your productions and you can’t beat the price. According to the developer, their “NEO Hybrid Modeling Engine” combines aspects of sampling and physical modeling in order to create authentic string sounds that are also very flexible and playable. The unique interface also gives you absolute control over every aspect of each string, with nearly 20 controls to manipulate sound parameters including legato, velocity, dynamic response and timbre:
Inspiration is an interesting standalone app from developer Musical Entropy that aims to stimulate the creativity of music composers. Influenced by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies card deck, Inspiration gives its users random advice that can help you get new ideas, develop or finish a song quickly, or just break out of a musical rut. An editor is also include that allows users to create their own advice sets using quotations, ideas or inspirations that you want to keep in mind and return to sometimes, and even share these sets with other users. You can also tag advice items to classify them. This could enable you to create a specific set for keyboard practice ideas, for example, and whenever you have time to do a little practicing you can return to it and remind yourself of something you were working on before. The developers do however warn that Inspiration cannot take ALL the creative work out of producing and composing, and they specifically warn that Inspiration cannot write music or play an instrument for you, compensate for a lack of musical knowledge, replace trained musicians and their expert advice, or bring beers to rehearsals.
Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions DELUXE
There are also a number of interesting soft synths available and even one set of samples of sounds from the Commodore 64 home computer from the 1980s, Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions DELUXE, set up as a sampled instrument in Native Instruments’ Kontakt. Recapture the classic sounds of vintage 8-bit Commodore games like Lode Runner, Mega Apocalypse and Spy Hunter for use in your productions.
Dubspot blogger/instructor John von Seggern has been producing and performing music with computers since his first DJ gigs in 1999 with his Hong Kong-based group Digital Cutup Lounge. Since then he has played techno at massive underground parties in China, remixed major Western pop artists for the Indian music market (and vice versa), designed orchestral electronic sounds and effects for the Pixar film Wall-E, and presented his anthropological research on music technology at academic conferences. He has authored two instructional books about computer music production and performance as well as the manual for Native Instruments’ popular software synthesizer Massive.