Best freeware of the month: February 2022

Here’s all the new freeware that has sparked our interest this month. It’s an eclectic bunch that includes a 3D panning and spatialisation processor, a simple but valuable tool for organising Kontakt, a deep programming language in plug-in form, a wild and creative feedback effect, and a lightweight VST/AU host.

Softube Dirty Tape

Image: Softube

Softube says Dirty Tape is ideal for samples, instruments and beat making, introducing grimy distortion and tape saturation to your tracks. It’s designed to be quick-to-use, too, with just a few controls to learn and dial in your ideal tone.

Drive and Dirt, allow you to apply distortion and tape flutter, and there are two stereo modes to choose from (De-coupled and Normal). Plus, you can access an onboard low-cut filter and output volume control.

The brand claims that “as soon as Dirty Tape is loaded, it imbues a track with warm, analogue vibes. Dirty Tape can add grimy distortion and saturation or understated texture and movement to a sound.

  • macOS, Windows
  • VST3/AU/AAX
  • Download at softube.com for free until 31 January

Dear Reality – dearVR Micro

Dear Reality - dearVR Micro

Create immersive 3D mixes with this cut-down plug-in that uses the same advanced HRTF filters as Dear Reality’s high-end spatialiser tools. With full 360-degree panning, you can use the Azimuth and Elevation controls to position a signal left, right, above, below, in front or behind your head.

There’s also a binaural room simulation section that lets you select the room size and reflection level and choose between five wall, ceiling and floor materials. Finally, there’s a unique focus control developed by the Sennheiser AMBEO team, plus high-quality binaural rendering.

CodeFN42 – Kontakt LibOrganizer

CodeFN42 - Kontakt LibOrganizer

Smooth and efficient workflows are the result of many minor refinements that help you cut corners and work faster. CodeFN42’s free Kontakt LibOrganizer helps you effortlessly change the order in which all your libraries appear in the Kontakt Library tab, allowing you to place the most frequently used at the top for ease of access.

Although you can do this manually within Kontakt, it quickly becomes cumbersome you have many libraries installed. Instead, use LibOrganizer to make multi-selections, drag and drop around the list, and hide installed libraries that you don’t want to show.

Octagon Audio – PlugData

Octagon Audio - PlugData

  • macOS, Windows, Linux
  • VST3 / AU / LV2 / Standalone
  • Contact Octagon Audio

Pure Data is an open-source visual programming language akin to Max4Live – both developed by the Miller Puckette in the 1990s. PlugData is a plug-in and standalone wrapper that offers the same expansive programming capabilities as Pure Data but in Logic, softube.com or any other DAW.

Though Pure Data programming can be daunting for newcomers, it’s an exciting and endless source of audio and MIDI processing creativity. PlugData is still being refined by its creator but it offers an updated GUI that makes patching more comfortable, and comes with a library of additional objects.

Minimal Audio – Rift Feedback Lite

Minimal Audio - Rift Feedback Lite

This superb, highly-creative effect is only available for free for a short time, so be sure to snap it up. Rift Feedback Lite is a feedback effects processor that offers tuneable feedback, various delay types and stereo comb filtering.

You can choose from more traditional, synced and free stereo and ping-pong delay settings, or go for a more pitched sound using the MIDI, Tune or Comb modes. Here, you can select a key or specific notes to sweep through using the Frequency dial or play in via MIDI. Additional dials offer control over feedback, spread, low-pass and high-pass filters, and the overall feedback mix, which lets you create anything from subtle drones to wild, resonating squeals.

Digital Brain Instruments – vPlayer 3

Digital Brain Instruments - vPlayer 3

Recently updated to version 3, Digital Brain Instruments’ standalone software can be used to quickly test VST and AU instruments without a DAW and can be used as a lightweight solution for playing live.

You can layer and play up to four instruments (via MIDI inputs 1 to 4), and each can load a single effect plug-in. You can also load and save presets, and record the master output in 16-, 24- or 32-bit stereo or mono format.

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