6 of the best freeware mix effects

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Ignite Amps PTEq-X It’s a Pultec in looks and (almost) name, but Ignite Amps – one of the best developers of guitar-effect freeware – has added a few extras to this EQ. PTEq features three types of EQ – PEQ1A, MQ5 and HL3C models – and four valve types. There are more precise frequency controls […]

6 of the best modelling synths

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Novation SuperNova/SuperNova II The SuperNova and SuperNova II are virtual-analogue synths that deliver a lovely, rich sound. Most commonly found as a rack module (a keyboard version does exist), the synth’s extensive control panel provides oodles of MIDI-recordable hands-on control over the instrument. The version 2 model has an external audio input, too. Circa £550 […]

6 of the best freeware guitar player plug-ins

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Blue Cat Audio Free Amp This is a straight-down-the-line, three-way amp emulation featuring Classic Clean, Classic Drive and Modern Drive models. Simply load them onto your DAW channel and play; no nonsense about upgrading to full versions, they work straight out of the download. More importantly, they sound great and each has a range of […]

6 of the best freeware drum machines

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AudioSpillage MiniSpillage A returning drum favourite and must inclusion is MiniSpillage, a synth/drum plug-in. It’s still Mac only, we’re afraid, but an essential download for that platform. It’s a cut-down version of AudioSpillage’s DrumSpillage with three drum pads for kick, hat and hollow drum. It comes with several kits and synth features – LFO, filter, […]

6 best Loopmasters d’n’b sample packs

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Martyn Nytram Dread Recordings Vol 8 Best all-rounder If you’re looking for a good all-round pack, then this Loopmasters release covers both classic and familiar jungle vibes and more aggressive and original new sounds. Producer Martyn Nytram has raided his vaults for a killer collection that nods to the old school while sounding fresh and […]

6 best samplers and ROMplers

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Native Instruments Kontakt 6 NI has steadily built Kontakt into an awesome powerhouse of a sampler and its latest iteration is one of the most powerful sample-based instruments that’s ever existed. Its flexible sampling stage is linked to an equally flexible synthesis stage and incorporates powerful DSP abilities and great-sounding effects. Price £359 Steinberg HALion […]

12 best products for live performance

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Elektron Model:Samples The first in Elektron’s more affordable ‘Model’ series (well, it’s probably going to be a series), Model:Samples is an accessible machine that shouldn’t be dismissed. Even though it’s a sample playback-only device, which could be considered limiting, it has a very user-friendly array of interactive controls and also has a decent MIDI spec. […]