Best freeware of the month: March 2023

Our freeware round-up for the month of March includes audio splitting, pitch correction, two synths and more.

Best Freeware March 2023

We’ve delved into the depths of the internet for you to showcase an array of useful new free tools, processors and instruments. This month’s round-up includes a flexible audio splitter, a useful auto and manual tuning tool, a randomiser effect, and two different synth instruments.

Samplab – Samplab 2

Samplab - Samplab 2

  • macOS and Windows
  • 64-bit VST3/AU
  • Download Samplab

Imagine being able to load a sample into a plugin, then split the instruments and edit the notes as though they were MIDI. You can do that using Samplab, which has now been updated to version 2 and is available as both a desktop app and a plugin.

Once you load a sample, the software has to connect to the internet to work its AI splitting magic, then you can edit in real time inside the DAW, or export audio or MIDI. There’s a free version that lets you work with mono audio files up to 10 seconds in length, with a maximum of 15 minutes per month. Alternatively, you can opt for the premium subscription version for $9.99 per month, which adds stereo files of any length, premium warping and note controls, and up to 180 minutes per month.

Audiolatry – Retromania Lite

Audiolatry - Retromania Lite

  • macOS and Windows
  • 64-bit VST/VST3/AU
  • Download Audiolatry

If you love retro 80s synth sounds, then this one’s for you. Retromania Lite contains 12 authentic, vintage synth sounds with a strong 80s pop flavour.

There are ADSR controls for the amp envelope, an assignable LFO for modulation duties, a high-pass/low-pass filter, glide, and velocity controls. There are also built-in chorus, stereo delay and reverb effects. If you like what you hear, you can upgrade to the full version (currently on offer for $10), which has 125 preset sounds.

liuanlin-mx – MXTune

liuanlin-mx - MXTune

  • Windows and Linux
  • 64-bit VST
  • Download GitHub

It’s not often that you come across a free pitch correction plugin, much less that it actually offers editing of individual notes ala Melodyne. MXTune is an automatic pitch correction plugin for Windows and Linux that can be used to tidy up out of tune vocals or instruments.

The pitch correction algorithm is based on Autotalent and Soundtouch and you can switch between the two. It also has key detection and you can choose both autotuning or manual correction. It might not have the same fidelity as something like Melodyne, but could still be a useful tool to help refine the pitch of your audio.

Ronan Fed – Essence Plus

Ronan Fed - Essence Plus

There are plenty of free subtractive soft synths out there, but this new release from Ronan Fed manages to offer a full and powerful feature set within a single screen, while also sounding superb.

You get three multi-voice oscillators, plus noise and sub, a multimode filter, amp and filter envelopes with curve controls, plus two mod envelopes and two LFOs. There are also built-in chorus, delay, and reverb effects, plus compression, three-band EQ, stereo imaging, and hardclip distortion and saturation. To top things off, there’s glide and vibrato, a scope, an arpeggiator and a great sounding set of presets.

Analog Obsession – Realizer

Analog Obsession - Realizer

Analog Obsession’s unique effect can help breathe life into static audio, be it synths, samples, one-shots drums or vocals.

It has five randomised parameters that are triggered with random values by transients. There are five dials that set the range for gain, Transient, HPF, LPF and pitch variation, plus a separate output volume dial. If you like the plugin, it’s worth supporting the developer via Patreon as you’ll get access to a whole load of other plugin processors and effects.


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