Free like a Pro

If you are new here check this forum first, your question may have been answered.
User avatar
KVRAF
2139 posts since 28 Feb, 2015

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:41 am

It's funny how this discussion turned from listing some free synths, to comparing free vs paid.

So let's continue :)

My opinion of free vs paid is that there are a lot of good sounding free synths out there, for sure. But not many of them could compare in sound quality to paid ones. Of course there are some exceptions, but overall. They are mostly crippled, like chk071 mentioned, and therefore have much less sound design possibilities.

Most freeware synths are butt ugly (with a very few exceptions). For instance, Synth1, Charlatan (and I don't know what the fuzz is about Charlatan, I think it also sound like crap, it's so dull. Could be the lack of built-in effects though), I would rather prefer a GUI less interface than the ones they have.

Also, it's 2017, 64-bit processors have been available for like 15 years to consumers, Windows XP 64-bit edition was released 2005. I don't know for how long the DAW hosts have been available, but what annoys me is when developers only develop 32-bit plugins in the year 2017. To me this is not professional. I get if they make both a 32-bit and a 64-bit version for "backwards compatibility" though.

Slightly back on topic then.

There are a few free synths I actually like, even though some of them are pretty ugly :)

Synth1 (too bad the GUI will never be updated)
Helm
TyrellN6
Podolski (with the custom skin, the original is unusable)
BeatZille (or Bazille CM)
Lokomotiv
PG-8X
SQ8L (only 32-bit)
Eclipsis (only 32-bit)
NoiseMaker
Oxe FM Synth (not the prettiest GUI (and the custom ones doesn't help either because the synth is too small))
OB-Xd
i9-10900K | 128GB DDR4 | RTX 3090 | Arturia AudioFuse/KeyLab mkII/SparkLE | PreSonus ATOM/ATOM SQ | Studio One | Reason | Bitwig Studio | Reaper | Renoise | FL Studio | ~900 VSTs | 300+ REs

KVRist

Topic Starter

186 posts since 11 May, 2016 from Bulgaria

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:36 am

ok i am not saying that free ones are better or something...of course paid ones are made to be pro otherwise nobody will buy them but my point still is that u can achieve ,in some cases even more original sound with free ones ...it's not about the money but the sound ...simple some of them are just as good and unique as paid ones...maybe just no enough well made presets...

KVRist
159 posts since 2 Feb, 2017

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:00 am

Zexila wrote:We already established that moons ago and some of us took synths we like instead of bunch of freebies because making music with stuff we like is more fun to us than earning invisible cookie for using bunch of freebies.
And some of us found that we actually liked, and perhaps more to the point we could get all the sounds we needed from, free synths. I still use Oatmeal quite often, 32 bit only, butt-ugly with the basic theme but makes some excellent sounds. Why waste money on something that's prettier, usually uses a lot more CPU, but sounds no better ?

Invisible freebie cookies are no more useful than those "Look how much I spent, I must sound better" cookies ;).

Steve

KVRAF
5571 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:05 am

slipstick wrote:
Zexila wrote:We already established that moons ago and some of us took synths we like instead of bunch of freebies because making music with stuff we like is more fun to us than earning invisible cookie for using bunch of freebies.
And some of us found that we actually liked, and perhaps more to the point we could get all the sounds we needed from, free synths. I still use Oatmeal quite often, 32 bit only, butt-ugly with the basic theme but makes some excellent sounds. Why waste money on something that's prettier, usually uses a lot more CPU, but sounds no better ?

Invisible freebie cookies are no more useful than those "Look how much I spent, I must sound better" cookies ;).

Steve
It's not about using free synths, it's about showing off by using free synths.

Btw. free synth Kairatune is really nice if you need some "out of the norm" trippy sounds for psytrance, tech-funk etc. Recommended.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

KVRian
1367 posts since 30 Jul, 2013

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:11 am

The thing to remember is that some musicians simply don't have money beyond daily living expenses and are honest folks who won't steal instruments. I think they should be able and encouraged to make music. Hopefully some of these nice free DAWs, synths, sampled instruments and effects will help them do this.
Image

User avatar
KVRAF
4524 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:54 am

bigcat1969 wrote:The thing to remember is that some musicians simply don't have money beyond daily living expenses and are honest folks who won't steal instruments. I think they should be able and encouraged to make music. Hopefully some of these nice free DAWs, synths, sampled instruments and effects will help them do this.
:tu:

It's precisely a major part of what I was killing myself to tell in my replies in the first page.
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

KVRAF
3194 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:06 am

slipstick wrote:
Zexila wrote:We already established that moons ago and some of us took synths we like instead of bunch of freebies because making music with stuff we like is more fun to us than earning invisible cookie for using bunch of freebies.
And some of us found that we actually liked, and perhaps more to the point we could get all the sounds we needed from, free synths. I still use Oatmeal quite often, 32 bit only, butt-ugly with the basic theme but makes some excellent sounds. Why waste money on something that's prettier, usually uses a lot more CPU, but sounds no better ?

Invisible freebie cookies are no more useful than those "Look how much I spent, I must sound better" cookies ;).

Steve
Just use what you like, make music and have fun. :tu:
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

KVRist
159 posts since 2 Feb, 2017

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:07 am

Zexila wrote:Just use what you like, make music and have fun. :tu:
I will, I do and I am. Good innit ;).

Steve

User avatar
KVRAF
4311 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:38 am

You can make music with shittiest synths in the world. However, there are some other considerations:

- Tehcnical support. Paid synths are supported, free synths are all up to good will of developer (who may have left it 10 years ago).
- Continutation. Paid synths are likely to be updated in order to get better reviews and attract new customers. Possibly they can support multiple platforms, including 64 bit and high-res monitors. With freebies you're stuck with what you have.

Also big development houses simply have more manpower to implement more features as well as libraries and additional tools one man couldn't handle. It's not likely to get multi-GB high-quality sample library for free, for instance.

Finally, some plugins are simply too good to give them away for free ;)
Blog ------------- YouTube channel
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

User avatar
KVRAF
4464 posts since 4 Aug, 2006 from Helsinki

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:43 am

You can make music with a spoon, clapper and kazoo.

KVRist
449 posts since 24 Jul, 2013 from Wisconsin

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:07 am

As the OP is participating in this thread, instead of just doing a drive-by as many others have done, he can speak to his intent.

Where I think this thread might have been more helpful, from the "Getting Started" forum perspective, would be a list of specific free plugs that provides advice and guidance as to what plugs are the best for what and why, rather than just another generic list. This could be a nice reference for beginners or anyone who is on a tight budget.
Gaslighting...is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.

KVRAF
1789 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:31 am

I have recently been demoing all the so called top synths (when they have a demo) and usually only play with them for 30 minutes before getting bored and deleting them. Sorry,but I really dont get what all the fuss is about over all these high priced commercial offerings. They all sound much the same to my jaded ears.

But I fire up freeware Synth1 and get lost in that for ages.

Why are there no commercial offerings of a Synth1 type engine ?

Or are there some and I have missed them ?

Access Virus vst ?

KVRAF
5571 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:03 am

Browsed some Youtube videos showcasing the preset packs for Synth1. It sounds ok to nice, but to my ears Spire does better representation of these sounds.

I won't deny though that I've heard great sounding tracks made with Synth1 only. One of them was posted here in Music Cafe a couple of days ago and I even asked the poster what are these awesome synths he is using :)
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

User avatar
KVRAF
2789 posts since 22 May, 2017

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:22 pm

BlackWinny wrote:I would add some wonderful collections:

AcidDose: Xhip

AM Music Technology: Pro SoloVst + RMI-EP + VL-122

Angular Momentum (AMVST, Thomas Weber) : All his free stuff !

Benjamin 'BeRo' Rosseaux: Sobanth

Benoit Serrano: All his stuff is awesome (especially Anubis-2l, Horus, Horus MK-II, Orpheus 2, Cosmos 2, Dionysos EX, the modulated filter Circé, and the set of 6 modulated effects IO)

Bigcat Instruments : All his sample based instruments (mainly the GM Soundset + the VSCO2 Rompler (see also below at Versilian Studio) + the wonderful City Piano)

BigTick: Angelina + CheezeMachine + EP-Station + TickyClav

BlauKraut: Charlatan

Brain Control: Tunefish 3 (subtractive and additive synthesis) + Tunefish 4 (additive and wavetable synthesis)

Cutter Music : Revitar 2 (open source, my zip file contains not only the dll but also everything to continue the project)

CWITEC : TX16Wx

Digital Suburban : Dexed (and my huge collection of thousands of DX-7 sysex files without any duplicates)

D-Lusion : DrumStation

ElektroStudio : All his stuff (Esline String is an ARP Solina String Ensemble inspiration + Micromoon is a Micromoog inspiration + Model Mini is a Minimoog inspiration + Model Pro is a Moog Prodigy inspiration + Moon Sono Sx is a Moog Sonic Six inspiration + Ocet is a EKO Computer Rhythm (made famous by Jean-Michel Jarre) emulation + ODsay is an Arp Odyssey inspiration + OR2v is a Oberheim 2 Voice inspiration + Rhythmus is a Korg Keio Minipops7 (made famous by Jean-Michel Jarre) emulation + Sixth Month June is a Roland Juno-6 inspiration + Tapeotronic is a Mellotron emulation of the three most used tapes). Note: his website is currently unavailable, but if needed, I can share them. And you can also find them all here.

E-Phonic : Drumatic 3 (the second part of the page is for Drumatic 3 which is an excellent freeware, the first half of the page is the announcement of the next version, Drumatic 4, which is payware. But the freeware version, Drumatic 3, is already awesome)

Filatov Vadim : OBXD (original page). The last version in date (from DiscoDSP) can be found here (sorry, Windows version only).

Full Bucket Music : All his stuff !

Futucraft : Kairatune

Graywolf (Oleg Mikheev) : BlueARP

Green Oak (Glenn Olander) : Crystal

GSi : MrTramp2

Gunnar Ekornas : ARPPE2600VA + MinimogueVA (and Luxus) (Gunnar allowed me to distribute them at their last version and totally full of their features)

Ichiro Toda : Synth1

KeoLab : Spicy Guitar

Kirnu Interactive : Kirnu Arpeggiator

KX77Free (Xavier Kalenski) : All his stuff !

Leslie Sanford (Sanford Sound Design) : Cobalt

Linplug : Free Alpha the support is discontinued but the plugin remains available on Linplug's website, here for Windows and for OSX)

Manda Audio : MPower Drumkit 2

Martinic (Theo Niessink) : Combo Model F (wonderful comprehensive emulation of the famous Farfisa Mini Deluxe Compact organ) + Combo Model V (wonderful comprehensive emulation of the famous Vox Continental organ)

Mastrcode Music : T-Force Alpha Plus

Matt Tytel : Helm

Meesha : All his stuff ! (and download and listen to his albums, they all are free)

Melda Production : MDrummer small (don't forget to download the two steps) + all his free effects grouped in the universal bundle

Mike Norrish : Armchair Guitarist + SuperRiff Guitar

ML-VST (Martin Lüders) : PG-8X

NuSofting : DaHornet (wonderful comprehensive EDP Wasp emulation) + Sinnah + Noisetar

Oxe : Oxe FM Synth

Phuturetone : Phutura + Philteroid

Pianovintage : 1984 + Mysterion + Jem Sx1000 + SP 101 + Beat box + Kox

Plogue : sforzando

PluginBoutique : Zampler (see also by Beat: Zampler, Zampler//RX (Delamar Edition), and Beat Black Mamba)

Rumpelrausch Taips : AZR3 (the KVR page is here)

Sam : VOPM

SuperWave (Christopher Gill) : P8

TAL (Togu Audio Line, Patrick Kunz) : all his free stuff : TAL-BassLine + TAL-Bitcrusher + TAL-Chorus-LX + TAL-Dub (several versions, browse down the page) + TAL-Elek7ro + TAL-Filter (several versions, browse down the page) + TAL-Flanger (browse down the page) + TAL-NoiseMaker + TAL-Phaser (cannot be found any more on his own website) + TAL-Reverb 4 + TAL-Reverb (versions 1, 2, and 3) + TAL-Tube (browse down the page) + TAL-U-No-62 + TAL-USEq (aka TAL-USE) + TAL-Vocoder

Taron : Lord of the Spring

Teragon Audio : KickMaker

The Interruptor : Twin Bass (download it here by browsing down the page)

Tone2 : Firebird

TubeOhm : Alpha-Ray (6 euros to unlock the effects, but all the synthesis is totally free)

U-He (Urs Heckmann) : Podolski + Triple Cheese + TyrellN6 + Zebralette

Versilian Studios : Etherealwinds Harp + Fretless Zither + Upright 1 + Versilian Studios Chamber Orchestra 2 (aka VSCO 2)

Voxengo : all his free effects

VST Zone : Eclipsis

Wavosaur : Wavosaur audio editor

Wolfgang Palm : Plex - Restructuring Synthesizer


I could add some excellent effects, but you already have wonderful sets of effects within this list above.

ABSOLUTELY ALL THESE PRODUCTS ABOVE ARE FREEWARE WHILE BEING ALSO INCREDIBLY AWESOME ! Many of them are even of professional quality. And many of them are native 64-bit as 32-bit... and also many of them have an OSX edition.

All these plugins above are almost all my collection of my best freeware plugins. I have put aside all the plugins which are totally humdrum.

Of course there are certainly other gems that are not in this list. Either I have forgotten them either I don't consider them actually as gems.

With the list of plugins above you have almost a professional stuff, while all is free.

I can't finish without telling about the DAWS. Because there are ALSO free DAWs !

First of all, it is perfectly possible to use freely the one that I consider as the best DAW: Mulab. You can see in this page how you can understand the difference before the free use and the necessity to purchase a license. It is good to know that even with the free license (meaning without any license) you can perfectly make comprehensive and excellent musical works!

There are other excellent DAWS and hosts which are free (by order of personal preference):

Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) (and in spite of its name it is not only for Linux, but also for Windows and OSX)

Cantabile (the version "Lite" is totally free)

Independence Free

Anvil Studio

Giada

That's it.
:D
Wow! Thank you for posting all of these! And with links to everything! :hail:

User avatar
KVRAF
2038 posts since 16 May, 2004 from Soviet Union

Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:26 pm

For example, Ursa DSP Lagrange - free plug which i would ready to buy if it would be not a free.
The same, but if it would be 64bit: DtBlkFx, rs-met Pitch Shifter, and yes - SQ8L and Tone2 Firebird.
Or just good free TubeDriver from NickCrow (there is 64bit).
Also, tried once KX-SYNTH-X16 from mentioned KX77Free, i liked possibilities of sound range, interesting stuff, and i see there is 64bit a;ready (it's not synthedit already?), it seems good news.

Return to “Getting Started (AKA What is the best...?)”