Best freeware of the month: November 2021

Our freeware round-up for the month of November includes a selection of tools and instruments to help expand your mixing and composing palette.

Freeware November

We have once again delved into the depths of the Internet to showcase an array of useful new free tools and instruments. This months round-up includes a useful mixing tool, a crunchy clipper, a fully featured synth, an innovative piano instrument, and a unique new way of controlling Serum and Massive.

DoDo Bird – SuperVolu 2

DoDo Bird - SuperVolu 2

This very simple, but very useful utility plug-in can help you make better judgements about what your processing plug-ins are doing. You will no doubt have heard it said before, that volume matching your plug-ins is an important technique for getting rid of the bias that louder is better. You can insert an instance of SuperVolu 2 before a plug-in, or chain of plug-ins, and have it automatically balance the volumes. This is especially useful for things like saturation and compression, which often change the perceived volume of the audio.

Initial Audio – Initial Clipper

Initial Audio - Initial Clipper

Clipping can be a useful alternative to limiting to help achieve loudness in a mix. This free effect from Initial Audio, is a soft clipper plug-in that can help smooth out peaks, and will start soft clipping as soon as any audio enters the threshold area. It also has extra saturation, with separate dials for adding Positive and Negative harmonics to give a thick and warm sound. You can use Initial Clipper on individual sounds, busses, or even the master channel, and there’s a useful LUFS (Integrated) meter to help with volume adjustments.

8Dio – Soundpaint

8Dio - Soundpaint

  • Mac & PC
  • 64-bit VST/AU/Standalone
  • Contact 8dio

Sounpaint is an innovative new sampling technology that’s been 8 years in the making. Rather than have limited, stepped velocities with multisampled instruments, it morphs the layers and generates new ones in real-time, creating incredibly deep, realistic and tactile sounds. You can choose to buy instrument packs from a growing library, but this version comes with a free vintage Steinway grand piano so you can hear the technology in action. There are also built-in effects, arp, gate and extensive editing features.

2Rule – 2RuleSynth

2Rule - 2RuleSynth

  • Mac & PC
  • 64-bit VST3
  • Contact 2Rule

Sometimes it can be nice to work on a synth that has just the right amount of editing features to get deep without being overwhelmed. 2RuleSynth fits the bill, with 2 independent oscillators, each with its own amp, filter, ADSR and LFOs, plus ring modulation and FM. It has a multimode, Moog type filter, built-in reverb, delay, chorus and distortion, and there are also handy Spectrum and Waveform windows to help visualise your sounds. As a nice touch, you can randomise parameters, which is great for generating experimental sci-fi noises. A new update lets you exclude certain parameters, which helps to refine and control how the randomisation works.

Mat Ward – Free TouchOSC Template for Xfer Serum

Mat Ward - Free TouchOSC Template for Xfer Serum

  • iOS, Android, Mac, PC & Linux
  • Requires TouchOSC
  • Contact Xfer Serum

This one is a bit of a curve ball, but we thought it was too cool not to include. Writer/producer Mat Ward has created a template for Hexler’s TouchOSC app that lets you control Serum like a hardware synth. Needless to say, you’ll need a copy of TouchOSC and a device to use it, so it’s not exactly free, but the template is. The layout closely matches the different editing pages of the synth, so you can get tactile with your sound design. Ward has also created a free template for NI’s Massive. All download instructions are in the info tab below the YouTube video.