Best freeware of the month: July 2021

Our freeware round-up for July includes a selection of tools to help manipulate, smooth and mangle your audio, plus a tasty, multi-sampled violin.

We have once again navigated the wide world of freeware plug-ins to showcase an array of useful new tools. This month’s round-up includes glitch machines, a smoothing processor, an LFO tool and a violin instrument.

Two of the entries this month are part of the annual KVR Developer Challenge, in which developers from around the world put forward their latest and greatest freeware creations. This makes it an excellent time to check out a host of new and innovative synths, effects and tools.

FKFX Influx

FKFX Influx

  • Mac & PC
  • 64-bit VST/VST3/AU
  • Contact FKFX
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This unique sounding resonator plug-in is FKFX’s entry into the Developer Challenge, and it allows you to create new grooves from your input signal. The core of the effect is a resonator module that can be controlled by a multi-point LFO or pitched via MIDI. You can also snap to scales for more musical results. Beyond that, there’s a low-pass filter, a waveshaper with 16 settings, a tube distortion, a dry/wet LFO editor and more. In short, it’s an excellent plug-in for creating glitching madness and fun edits.

Techivation T-De-Esser

Techivation T-De-Esser

Sometimes you don’t want fancy graphs distracting your ears. T-De-Esser has been designed with a streamlined but effective UI, with controls to help you quickly remove harshness, manage sibilance and tame piercing sounds. You can choose to focus on High, Hi-end, Low-hi or Mid-hi frequency ranges, with further controls for Processing, Intensity and Sharpness. These controls allow you to get smooth sounding results in seconds, whether you’re working on tracks, busses or the entire mix.

Sample Science French Violin

Sample Science French Violin

  • Mac & PC
  • 64-bit VST/AU (note: Mac version only compatible with macOS El Capitan to Mojave)
  • Contact Sample Science

Add some warm and natural sounding strings to your tracks with this beautiful multi-sampled violin instrument. It comes with six articulations covering arco vibrato, arco non-vibrato, pizzicato vibrato, pizzicato non-vibrato, spiccato and tremolo. There’s one sample per note, so you get a decent sound, but it won’t take up a load of space on your hard drive. Other features include a multi-LFO, built-in room reverb, high-pass/low-pass filter, amplitude range controls, polyphonic/monophonic/legato modes and low CPU usage.

Zeek STFU

Zeek STFU

  • Mac & PC
  • 64-bit VST3/AU
  • Contact Zeek 
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Sidechaining has become such a ubiquitous effect in many forms of music that it pays to have a quick and simple tool for the job. STFU is an easy to use LFO tool that can sync to the host tempo or be triggered by MIDI. You can draw your own shapes for more creative effects and rhythms, change the loop length, and switch between Beats or Seconds mode. It also outputs to CV, so you can use it to control any number of other parameters, and there’s even a nifty crossfade tool that blends between two different envelope shapes.

Full Bucket Music Grain Strain

Full Bucket Music Grain Strain

Full Bucket Music’s Developer Challenge entry is a fun, grain effect plug-in that’s perfect for creative chopping and sample mangling. The Grain section lets you select how big a slice you want to loop, and the Frame section controls which part of the input signal is affected. Both have their own envelopes and can run free or sync to your DAW’s tempo. This is a fantastic option for rhythmic chops and edits on breaks and vocals. It also functions as a grain vocoder, and you can control up to eight voices via MIDI. Well worth downloading.

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