Native Instruments has just released Skanner, a new wave-scanning synthesizer for Reaktor and Reaktor Player. It’s a pretty incredible little sound-mangling tool, especially considering it’s FREE. Skanner seems more suited to sound-mangling than anything else, making it a sound-designer’s dream, but it is possible to get it to make pretty music if you’re careful. One of the coolest features is the ability to morph between two presets, and even modulate the morphing with an LFO. If you don’t own Reaktor. you can still use Skanner with the free Reaktor Player.
In that spirit, here are a few other freebies out there on the Interwebs. Enjoy, share, etc., and if you like them, be sure to buy some actual products from the generous vendors:
- AudioDamage.com: Audio Damage makes excellent and affordable plugins in most major formats. They’re designed primarily for electronica, but I’ve found all sorts of uses for them. They’ve got three freebies available: the Rough Rider compressor, complete with 1:1000 ratio for extreme squishing, the Pulse Modulator triple-LFO tremolo pedal, and the Fuzz Plus fuzz pedal.
- Airwindows Audio Unit Plugins: Excellent AU plugins (sorry Windows users) with bare-bones interfaces. Many attempt to emulate various pieces of kit and “analogify” your mix. A lot of the freebies are simplified versions of their paid plugs, but all are useful and excellent.
- Goldbaby samples: Hugo Tichborne, aka Goldbaby, makes mostly sampled drum machines, but he does it well. Many are rare or obscure machines, and many were recorded to tape to give them some analog goodness. Essential for any sort of electronica or retro stylings.
- PrecisionSound.net: Precisionsound samples oddities and rarities from across the musical spectrum, and all are reasonably priced. Lots of ethnic instruments on offer here. I love their pump organs, and the chimes collection is extremely useful. There are plenty of freebies scattered among their wares—look for the red Free! tags.
- Dolet MusicXML Plugins: As explained on my colleague Robert Puff’s Finale and Sibelius blog, MakeMusic recently acquired the MusicXML format and decided to make the Dolet MusicXML plugins free for both Finale and Sibelius users. These plugins are a must-have for users of either notation program, and big thanks to MakeMusic for giving them away for free.