Pudding: Envelope Follower for Live 9 (Mac/Win - Effects Rack)

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After a not particularly fruitful search for a highly liquidy, clear, and vowel-like software envelope filter that would work especially well with bass while not being overly thick sounding (desirable for many, but not the right sound for my mixes) I decided to see what I could make using only effects built into Live 9. Turns out you can build one damn squishy envelope filter, but it takes a bunch of filters to get the sound right. Therefore I present to you...Pudding, an envelope follower effects rack - just unzip, load Live, drag it into the effects area of track, then cook and chill. Awwww yeah.

Pudding MP3

 

Features: Pudding

Overview:

Pudding is a rather squishy envelope follower effects rack built from the native Live 9 effects. I built it with bass in mind, but it works great on any dynamic audio source.

Features:

  • Independent cutoff knobs for low, mid, and high
  • Resonance
  • Distortion
  • Envelope modulation amount
  • Attack + Release time combo knob
  • LFO modulation (knob adjusts speed as well as depth)

Free Win 32-bit VST Plugins

From 2003-2011 I was into designing synths and effects with SynthEdit. I was obsessed with it for years but eventually my life became increasingly busy, leaving me with no time for plugin development. Below are the results of those experiments - some of which were pretty popular, and all of which I thought were quite fun.

They are all rather old now, and very outdated as far as system compatibility goes. To use them these days, you'll need either a 32-bit Windows host or a wrapper such as jBridge. Also, only Rez is multi-core compatible, so for all others you can only use one instance per project without crashing your host. You may bump into a few other bugs too.

Due to their age, and that I no longer have time to update them, I've decided to make even the previously commercially released plugins freeware now. I hope you have some fun with them.

 

M-theory & Dualism: Hybrid Modeling Synth & Dual Arpeggiator (Win)

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I consider M-theory to be the crown jewel of my SynthEdit days. It is the plugin I am most proud to have created with SE. M-theory is the successor to String Theory (an earlier modeling plugin of mine) and has vastly improved flexibility and sound quality.

M-theory is a hybrid synth that is built around the Karplus-Strong physical modeling technique, and uses samples, VA oscillators, and noise to drive the delay based oscillator, resulting in a very wide range of high quality synthetic and synth/acoustic hybrid modeled sounds. Dualism is a plugin version of the dual phrase arpeggiators and 2X MIDI utilities found within M-theory, providing you with the ability to create complex arpeggios for any synth you wish.

M-Theory & Dualism MP3s

Features: M-theory

Overview:

The best way to think about the two part oscillator section in M-theory, and how samples can work in it, is to consider a guitar string. The string is under tension, but it needs outside intervention to get it vibrating. You can pluck it with your fingers, use a plastic or metal pick, you can bow it, hit it with a drum stick, etc. In each case, the resulting sound is still very much one of a string but it will differ depending on how you chose to make the string vibrate, and with what material.

In M-theory, the delays can be thought of as the guitar string, and the exciters can be thought of as what you used to make that guitar string vibrate. So just as how different objects/materials will produce different tones on a guitar string, using different sources as exciters in M-theory will lend some of their tone to the delays, but the overall sound still is the sound of the delays and not so much the exciters. In fact, when you use samples you'll find that remarkably little of the original sound will actually be retained, but they can have a very large effect on the tone of the synth.

M-theory provides three options for exciters: 24 built-in samples, user loaded samples, or virtual analog oscillators (including noise) and you can have two of them feeding the delays at once, each imparting a bit of its tone to the overall sound.

Features:

  • Karplus-Strong style synthesis engine
  • Dual exciters, each with the option of samples, VA, or noise sources
  • Option to load your own samples
  • Oscillator damping, pluck/bow, and tone modes
  • Independent low, band, high, and all-pass filters
  • 6 LFOs
  • 4 envelopes
  • Dual programmable arpeggiators and an extra MIDI note trigger/doubler feature
  • Built in effects: tremolo, metallic resonances, chorus, delay, and reverb
  • 320 presets

Features: Dualism

Overview:

Combining two programmable phrase arpeggiators with a pitch and speed controllable MIDI doubler, Dualism allows you to create arpeggiations that are far more complex and detailed than your standard synth arpeggiator. However, all this flexibility is contained within a small and straightforward interface, letting you quickly and comfortably create complex patterns without having to feel slowed down by the UI.

Features:

  • Dual programmable phrase arpeggiators
  • Multiple playback options
  • Pattern length adjustment for each arp
  • Latch and arp bypass modes
  • 2X MIDI note doubler
  • Internal or host clock sync
  • 128 presets

Rez: Mean Little Monosynth (Win)

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Such a bad mutha, I should have called it Shaft.

From funky squishes, beastly basses, and screaming leads, to tight arpeggiations, swirling rhythms, atmospheres, bells, and interesting effects, you'll find it all here. Additionally, it comes with two skins - Yellow & Black, or Black & Yellow.

Rez MP3s

Features: Rez

Overview:

Rez is a seemingly basic synth, but it's capable of a very wide range of sounds. While Rez has a bunch of cool features, the beating heart of Rez is its filter. It's made from multiple chained filters acting as a single powerful filter and it's highly resonant, providing Rez with its distinctive character. Top that off with distortion, a phaser, various oscillator modulations, delay, and a killer programmable arp + step sequencer, and you've got a powerhouse of a synth in a very small package.

Three FXP format banks are included in the zip, providing you with a total of 384 ass-whupping presets.

Features:

  • Virtual analog oscillators
  • Sub-oscillator
  • Detune (modulatable via aftertouch)
  • Programmable phrase arpeggiator
  • Step sequencer (arp driven) with four mod destinations
  • Highly resonant low pass filter with velocity, LFO, and envelope modulation
  • "Age" control (noise to pitch)
  • Two types of phase modulation
  • Beastly overdrive with three tone modes
  • Dual delay with stereo width adjustment
  • Phaser with optional LFO and velocity modulation
  • MIDI learn for all controls

Preset Banks:

  • Clockwork: Drive your tracks forward with machine-like precision. Making full use of Rez' arp sequencer, Clockwork brings you a unique collection of automated inspiration that will breathe robotic life into your songs. 96 arpeggiated melodic presets bleep, bump, glitch, and grind - and 32 groove presets bring a percussive focus to the table, completing this rhythmic collection.

  • Foundation: Give your songs a solid foundation. 64 basses that range from analog classics to brutal hammers, and 64 leads that run the gamut of electronica - from anthem inducing hook creators and quirky synthetics, to raw and aggressive sounds.

  • Aurora: The doorway to a new world. Aurora brings you sounds you might never have expected from a little monosynth. Meeting at a crossroads of digital and virtual analog, 75 pads glide, swirl, and shiver; 26 percussive sounds knock, tap, thump and twang; and 27 effects accent this synthetic environment.

Disturbance: Loop/Sample Glitch Machine (Win)

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Disturbance is primarily intended for the glitching/mangling of drum loops but it can also be useful with melodic material, vocals, and pretty much anything else you want to get glitchy with. Disturbance is similar to a slicer, but a bit different. It works by chopping up a loop into 64 equal parts (no beat detection) then sequencing their playback, and each slice in Disturbance has its own loop point.

Disturbance Audio/Video

Video Manual - High Quality

Click here to watch the high quality version. (Flash required)

Video Manual - Low Quality

Features: Disturbance

Overview:

In addition to offering several playback order options, Disturbance also offers sequenced filtering, distortion, pitch shifting, and slice length adjustment...as well as various playback randomizations, dual delays, and non-sequenced pitch shifting which can even be set to track MIDI note input - allowing you to turn anything you feed into Disturbance into a synth oscillator.

Disturbance can be used to create subtle or variations and effects, or it can dramatically warp your source material into something completely new. You can even adjust the start and end points of the sequencer to help you create odd time signature loops.

Additionally, you can even turn off the clock and use your Modulation wheel (CC1) to move forwards and backwards through the loop, almost like a wavetable.

Sequencer Features:

  • Slice length reduction
  • Filter cutoff (low or high pass filtering)
  • Pitch shifting
  • Dirt (distortion + downsampling + filtering)
  • Volume
  • Slice reverse
  • Random slice
  • 4 sequencer direction options
  • Mod wheel control over playback
  • Sequencer jitter effect
  • Host BPM sync or internal clock
  • Sequencer start/end point adjustment

Additional Features:

  • Built-in file browser
  • Dual delay
  • Velocity sensitivity
  • Pitch Shifter with the option of fixed (non-sequenced) settings, MIDI note tracking, and portamento
  • 32 example presets to get you started
  • WAV file support

Ironhead Suite: Morphing Junkyard Percussion Synths & Multi-Effect (Win)

Download the Ironhead Suite

The Ironhead Suite: a collection of 15 plugins dedicated to morphable synthetic junkyard percussion. Included are Ironhead, a multi-part drum synth, Tunguska, a multi-effect designed for drums, and the Ironhead:Spawn series - 13 Ironhead instruments reimagined as tuned percussion synths. All of the plugins in the suite share the same XY-centric interface style for extremely fast and easy adjustment, and all feature morphing - allowing the sound to warp over time.

Ironhead Suite MP3s

Features: Ironhead & Spawn

Overview:

Ironhead has been designed to provide sounds that will likely be different from the other percussion sources you have - increasing the chances of you finding something that will spice up your tracks while minimizing the chances of overlap with your existing synths and samples. This lets Ironhead work well not just as a primary percussion source, but also as a secondary source for layering with loops and other drum synths.

Ironhead's sound is best thought of as synthetic junk percussion and the 15 instruments in Ironhead's kit are named after the types of sounds they produce. Ironhead can go from familiar drum/percussion sounds to wild sweeps, thumps, knocks, smacks, clangs, and bangs...and always with its own unique character.

Meet the Spawn of Ironhead: Going well beyond the original Ironhead, the Spawn plugs have been mutated and modified to provide a far wider range of percussive and melodic sounds - and they can be played like normal synths, tracking pitch across the entire keyboard. If you like tuned percussion, you're going to love this.

Comparison: Ironhead is drum kit but Spawn can be a whole band.

Features:

  • Fast, fun, and easy interface
  • 13 tuned percussion instruments with a total of 540 presets
  • 1 synth drum kit with 15 instruments and 128 presets
  • Morphing (controlled by LFO, automation, MIDI)
  • Variance (auto randomization/humanizing)
  • Dual delay (BPM sync with dotted notes)
  • Randomizers

Features: Tunguska

Overview:

Tunguska is a multi-effect that was designed especially to be a companion to Ironhead - but it is useful on anything. Tunguska's two key components are its granulator and filter, both of which can be morphed between two states, allowing you to bring additional movement to your grooves.

Tunguska may be a small effect, but the effect it can have over incoming audio can range from subtle tweaks to your sound, to mutating it into something completely different from the original...and all with the same fast and easy interface style of Ironhead.

Features:  

  • Fast and fun interface style of Ironhead
  • Pitch shifting granulator (morphable)
  • Resonant filter (morphable)
  • Distortion
  • Downsampling
  • Dual delay (BPM sync with dotted notes)
  • Morphing (controlled by LFO, automation, MIDI)
  • Envelope follower
  • Stereo signal path
  • 32 presets

Metallurgy: Massive Multi-Effect (Win)

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Awarded a perfect 10 out of 10 in Computer Music Magazine!

Metallurgy is a multi-effect that is capable of providing sounds ranging from subtle filter tweaks to twisted and complex walls of sound that bear virtually no resemblance to the original audio. Metallurgy was designed with drums, bass, and synths in mind, but it works well with a wide variety of input material and is useful for many styles of music.

Metallurgy MP3s

Features: Metallurgy

Overview:

Metallurgy offers 3 pannable filters with multiple modulation options, 2 very digital distortions, 2 downsamplers, dual delay, an envelope follower, gate and pan sequencing, and a Metal effect - which in addition to flanging and metallic effects, also provides the ability to produce pitched sequences. You can even play the pitches via MIDI input, nearly turning Metallurgy into an synth in its own right. From subtle tweaks to mangling beyond recognition, Metallurgy delivers it all.

Metallurgy comes with 4 preset banks (FXP format) for a total of 512 presets.

Features:

  • Metal effect
    • For metallic sounds, flanging, and sequenced notes
    • 16 step pitch sequencer with a 5 octave note range, portamento, and sequence length
    • MIDI note input option
    • LFO
  • Filters
    • Low pass, band pass, and high pass
    • All 3 filters can function at the same time, running in parallel
    • Each filter has its own LFO, which can control both cutoff and pan
    • 16 step sequencer with mod amount control for each filter, glide, and sequence length
    • Each filter has its own volume control
    • Each filter has its own pan control
    • Filth 1 and 2...each includes
  • Downsampler
    • Distortion with 3 modes
    • LFO controls the downsamplers (8 modes, including positive and negative options)
    • Filth 1 = pre filter, Filth 2 = post filter
  • Gate + Pan sequencer
    • 16 steps
    • Option to sequence the gate, pan, or both
    • Gate length control
    • Mix control
    • Dual Delay
    • Each has its own time controls
    • Stereo width adjustment
  • Envelope follower
    • Modulate any/all of the 3 filter cutoffs
    • Modulate Metal time + the Metal's all pass filter
    • Modulate input volume
    • Modulate effect mix
    • Amount, attack, and decay controls
  • Other Features
    • Randomizer for most sections
    • MIDI CC control over nearly all parameters
    • Host BPM sync for LFOs and sequencers, as well as an optional internal clock
    • Mono signal path
    • 512 categorized presets

The Element of Surprise: Random Preset-Generating Polysynth (Win)

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3rd place winner in the 2007 KVR Developer Challenge 2007.

The Element of Surprise is a fun little virtual analog polysynth that is designed for one purpose only...to make really cool randomly generated sounds for fast inspiration and experiments in spontaneous song writing. The randomizer has been carefully adjusted so that it provides something potentially useful nearly every time.

TEoS MP3

Features: TEoS

Overview:

The interface is simple but under the hood there is a full synth with multiple oscillators, filters, various types of modulation, and effects, all optimized to provide a wide variety of usable randomly generated sounds. Just click the exclamation point and get a cool sound. Fast, easy, fun, and (hopefully) inspirational.

The Element of Surprise also includes what may be the easiest envelope control ever...one color-coded click and drag square. With it you can quickly dial in short envelopes for basses and leads, or longer envelopes for pads.

Features:

  • A full synth under the hood
  • Randomizer tweaked to produce potentially useful results more often than not
  • Possibly the easiest envelope control in the history of synths
  • Optional envelope randomization
  • Velocity control
  • Writers block breaking exercise included in the manual

Ancient History: Even Older Stuff (Win)

I made some other stuff too, which some people quite liked. I decided not to put these up on the site for a few reasons. The first is that in some cases there are newer versions available above which are far better. The other reason is that some of these have a bug which triggers false positives in modern anti-virus programs, which I got tired of answering emails about. However, for the sake of internet history, here's a bit of info about them.

String Theory

String Theory was the precursor to what eventually became M-theory. Like it's sibling, String Theory was a physical modeling synth and it had quite a following in its day. It was quite fun, but M-theory surpassed it in every way.

Texture

Texture was built to offer a wide range of...well...textures. Smooth, odd digital ambiences, metallic rings, synthetic percussion, brutally distorted sounds, classic virtual analog sounds, and even some physical modeling type tones were possible with this. It started life as a mono synth but as computers became stronger I added polyphony, which suited it really well.

Rez 1 & 2

Rez went through the most updates, and therefore the most skin changes. Here's how version 1 looked.

And here is how version 2 looked. My goal was to give it a kind of sci-fi cryogenic look, but some people though it looked a little too much like denim.

Motion

Motion was the first synth I built in SynthEdit, way back in 2003. The basic idea behind Motion, as its name suggests, was to offer a wide variety of ways to create automated movement of the synth's sound. This was achieved by the use of 4 envelopes, 8 LFOs, three 16 step sequencers, and a filtered delay module. Motion's modulation options provided anything from subtle shifts in the sound, to detailed and complex movement and melodies.