Splice introduce rent-to-buy plugin plans starting with Serum

As a music producer or artist using DAWs you’ll know that the best plugins don’t come cheap, Splice want to make it easier for you to access top quality plugins with monthly payment plans.

Starting with the powerful wavetable synthesiser Serum, Splice have set up a new rent-to-own program. Splice are a cloud based platform helping users gain access to high quality plugins and sample packs. Ever the innovators Splice hope that their new plan can gain traction and introduce a new standard for plugins to help producers and musicians get the best tools no matter what stage they’re at.

The plan works by paying a monthly subscription cost that adds up each month towards the final cost of the plugin, at which point it’s yours forever. The brilliant part of this is that you can still use the plugin as you’re paying towards it, technically renting it each month. Another excellent feature of this plan is that you can stop the payments at any time, if you can’t afford the cost for the next month or you change your mind about wanting it. If you decide to pick the plan back up then you can start where you left off with all your original payments still counting towards the final cost.

Splice co-founder Steve Martocci, said: “It’s 2016, software should be distributed in an easy way that matches the market demand, but audio production has lagged behind. We’re empowering developers to deliver the experience the community has requested for years. It’s win-win for everyone involved and time for the rest of the industry to come onboard.”

By helping those who can’t afford to spend over $100 on a plugin at a time Splice’s plan also dissuades people from pirating music software. It’s understandable why some might resort to pirating music software due to the prices but if it’s available for just $9.99 a month it should convince people to actually pay for the software legally.

Currently the only plugin included on the plan is Xfer Records’ popular synthesizer Serum which you can start building up towards a license for, now. You can also try Serum for 3 days free on a trial before deciding whether to sign up or not.

Free VST/AU host to play instrument plugins without a DAW

vPlayer is a free VST/AU host for plugins so that you can play instruments without having to download or load up your DAW.

vPlayer is a standalone software developed for quick testing new VST/AU instruments without the need to use any DAW. But also for playing a quick loading jam session using your favourite instruments, playing up to 2 instruments at the same time using 1 or 2 different keyboards.


  • Play up to 2 VST/AU instruments
  • Master EQ
  • Load & save presets
  • Output recording via Rewire
  • PC and Mac compatible
You can download vPlayer for free from Digital brain Instruments website where they also have an interesting free sample pack of ‘Creature Roar & Hisses”.

Tone2’s “incredibly versatile” Icarus synth plugin is out now

After teasing their massively powerful synth earlier this year Tone2 have now officially released it.

Icarus was revealed by Tone2 earlier this year where they professed it was exceptionally powerful. Using their own 3D Wavetable Synthesis Tone2 have been able to make a synth with an unparalleled sound and unique customisability.

Icarus’ 3D Wavetable Synth combines traditional wavetable synthesis of cross-blending waveforms with an additional dimension for morphing – alas 3 dimensions. Using it’s unique wavetables along with other unique built-in features Icarus is capable of a massive dynamic expression and movement. Tone2 claim that many of Icarus’ sounds can’t be recreated by any other synths.

In a 5 star review from Producer Spot, they said of Icarus: “It is really [an] amazing synthesizer plugin and Tone2 have done a wonderful job at crafting this great synth. Tone2 have packed so much fun stuff to play in this synth it’s sure to be a game changer as it can do all the classic types of synthesis along with 3D wavetables, morphing, resynthesis of samples and vocal synthesis.”

Here’s what you get with Tone2’s Icarus synth:

  • 3D wavetable synthesizer: wavetables can be morphed in several dimensions
  • Powerful and flexible sound engine with true stereo architecture
  • High-end sound quality with low CPU requirement
  • Easy to use interface with direct visual feedback makes tweaking accessible to everyone
  • Huge sonic range
  • Unique signature sound: lots of exclusive sounds which are not possible with other synthesizers
  • Perfect for modern, as well as other music styles
  • Over 1000 sounds by professional designers
  • Patch browser and flexible preset management
  • New resynthesis method, which is easy to use and quickly gives good results
  • Modular effect section with 53 effects
  • High quality vocoder with 1024 bands
  • 3 oscillator blocks, each offering up to 10 stereo oscillators, which can play hypersaws, unison, stacks or chords
  • Wavetables can be morphed with 54 different modes (FM, PWM, formant, phase distort, sync…)
  • All morph modes can be combined with any kind of wavetable or hypersaw
  • Wavetable editor with many features
  • A wavetable generator can create completely new wavetables
  • Waveforms can be painted using the mouse
  • Additive spectrum editor
  • Import and export of wavetables/waveforms from other synthesizers
  • Dual multimode filter section with 62 filter types and 9 distortion types
  • Programmable arpeggiator with advanced features like chords, glides, swing and shuffle
  • Fast and punchy envelopes
  • LFOs with audio-rate modulation speed and BPM sync
  • Flexible mod matrix
  • MIDI learn support
  • Dynamic micro tuning to enhance chords
  • Customisable user interface with 40 colours schemes
  • Expandability
  • Detailed manual in English and German

Icarus is available as 32/64-bit plugin for VST and AU for £138.


FL Studio 12.3 update comes with new plugins and a load of features

Image-Line have released a new free update for their popular DAW FL Studio bringing some cool new plugins, a load of new features, and a load of updated plugins.

We’re always proud to release each new version of FL Studio because we know the thrill our customers get from their Lifetime Free Updates. 12.3 introduces new plugins, plugin updates, workflow enhancements and the big-one, realtime audio stretching. Yes finally.

New in FL Studio 12.3

  • Transient Processor (demo) – Enhance or suppress the attack transients and release of percussive and other transient sounds. $49 in the Image-Line Shop.
  • Razer Chroma – Control Razer Chroma enabled hardware such as laptops, keyboards, mice and headsets from FL Studio
Updated Plugins
  • Gross Beat – Vectorial UI
  • Fruity Convolver – Vectorial UI
  • Fruity Limiter – Vectorial UI
  • Love Philter – Vectorial UI
  • Maximus – Vectorial UI
  • Parametric EQ2 – Right-click band tokens to select Key (note frequencies)
  • Patcher – New FX patches by WiseLabs, right-click the plugin window’s top-right preset selector
  • Sytrus – Vectorial UI + 73 nucleon presets
  • ZGameEditor Visualizer – Completely revised with up to 25 layers and new visual FX
FL Studio Features
  • Real-time stretching –  Sampler and Audio Clip ‘Realtime > Stretch‘ mode allows real-time, independent tempo and pitch variations.
  • Lock MIDI notes to Channels – Right-click a Channel Button and select Receive notes from. The Channel will now respond to that Controller regardless of what Channel is selected in FL Studio.
  • MIDI channel through – Allows all MIDI Channels from a controller or external sequencer to pass to the plugin for separate control AND to record up to 16 separate MIDI Channel colours.
  • Mute/Solo locking – Shift-Click Mute LEDs to lock them to their current state.
  • Image-Line Remote feedback – Right-click Enable Image-Line Remote to activate control feedback from IL Remote to FL Studio.
  • Type in values – Tempo and Mixer track selectors now accept actual values.
  • Auto name option – The names of existing Channels aren’t changed when dropping presets on them and the General Settings > Auto name is off.
  • Restore previous state after solo optionGeneral Settings > Miscellaneous allows you to restore the Channel Rack, Playlist and Mixer to their state prior to a solo command, or to unsolo everything when it’s off.
  • Channel Rack height – Auto Resize: Set the height of the Channel Rack (Off, Min, Max).
  • Channel Rack sorting – Menu option > Sort by: Sort the Channel Rack order by Mixer Track Number, Channel Name or Channel Color.


FL Studio is available in 3 editions: Fruity (99$), Producer ($199), Signature ($299), and All Plugins ($737). See a comparison here.

All editions come with Lifetime Free Updates “because we believe you should get what you paid for updated and bugfixed, free for life.

Free ‘Moody Sampler’ cloud-based sampler plugin from Soundslates

Moody Sampler gives you access to hundreds of patches and a fully kitted out, in-depth sampler plugin completely free.

Moody Sampler is connected up to a cloud-based sound library for access to over 1000 sampled instruments for you to play with. As it’s connected to cloud when you use Moody Sampler to input your own sounds and create your own instruments you can share them with the world or find other peoples’ to experiment with.

The cloud connectivity isn’t just used for sharing but also means you can take your sound library anywhere with you, on any machine. Using the Soundslate platform with it you can easily share voices and sounds with your friends or other musicians.

Moody Sampler does require you to download Soundslate, though it’s available for free, or an optional $99 a year for a bunch more extras that you might not necessarily need.

Here’s what you get with the Moody Sampler:

Sample manipulation:

  • Soundfont import: sfz
  • Audio files import: wav, mp3, ogg, flac
  • Import via drag and drop
  • Adjustable Sample start and end points
  • Sample looping
  • Full-screen sample display
  • Amp ADSR controls
  • Audio file slicing

Articulations & modes:

  • Polyphonic portamento
  • Adjustable portamento attack and release time and curves
  • Legato

Effects & routings:

  • Per voice analog modeled filter (HP & LP)
  • Filter’s ADSR controls
  • Filter’s cutoff routing to LFO’s
  • Pitch & Volume LFO’s
  • Tempo sync for LFO’s
  • Voices spread
  • Fx container with built-in: EQ/delay/reverb/compressor/saturator/flanger

Cloud-based sound library & collaboration:

  • Offline mode: plugin can be used in offline mdea, initial connection to server is not required
  • Access to cloud-based Sound library via Soundslates MPA client
  • Upload of personal instruments
  • Instruments sharing with personal contacts or community
  • Community ratings of instruments
  • Tagging of instruments with meta-datas
  • 1000+ instruments accessible via the Soundslates cloud library
  • Auto-download of missing instruments, for personal and collaborative projects

Moody Sampler is free when you sign up free to Soundslates and works with Mac and Windows computers as a VST, VST3, and AU plugins.
Download here.

Native Instruments release Komplete 11 full of instruments, sounds and effects

Native Instruments have released a new version of their giant Komplete kits for recording music with “the world’s leading production suite”.

Komplete 11 introduces new instruments and new tools to customise your sounds and recordings with unrivalled power. It features the world’s leading collection for music production, performance, and sound design.

With 45 products, more than 13,000 sounds, and over 155 GB of instruments and effects Komplete is a massive addition to any producer or musician’s digital library. Among the collection are “radical synthesizers, classic drums, larger-than-life sampled instruments, and avant-garde sound design plus the world’s leading sampling and synthesis platforms REAKTOR and KONTAKT”.

The new instruments and tools included in Komplete 11 are:

A creative synthesizer that enables you to transform samples into anything you can imagine. Move beyond traditional synthesis – FORM offers a refreshing approach to sound creation that delivers beautifully organic and powerful results.

The ultimate creative toolkit for deep sound exploration, featuring cutting-edge DSP and high-fidelity sound. Build custom synths and effects. Experiment with modular patching. And discover 70+ included instruments plus thousands of sounds.

The world’s leading software sampler, with a sophisticated sound engine, wide array of effects, powerful modulation possibilities, and advanced scripting. The latest 5.6 update* provides a new look and a host of new builder features.

Una Corda
An inspiring instrument that faithfully captures the sound of a custom made piano with one string per key – created by David Klavins with composer Nils Frahm. Discover evocative tones from a full range of distinct sound characters.

Session Guitarist – Strummed Acoustic
Your always-on-call, professional session guitarist, delivering perfectly strummed and recorded patterns, vivid sound, and real-time performance control.

Discovery Series – India
A unique collection of superbly sampled percussion and melodic instruments that delivers every nuance of traditional Indian music with supreme authenticity and advanced playability.

Kinetic Metal
An inspiring instrument that draws from unconventional metal sources. Create anything from ethereal textures to tonal percussion, and apply ‘Auto-Motion’ to produce constantly evolving soundscapes.

This studio effect packs two professional-quality delays and a powerful diffusion algorithm into a sleek, streamlined interface. Rich and versatile, for anything from subtle slapback to warped sheets of noise.

music production DAW software Native Instruments producers

You can find out more or purchase Komplete 11 here for £479 or as an update of an older Kontakt release for £159.

Native Instruments Kontakt works as a standalone program and with/as various music software.

Kontakt 11 is supported on Mac OS X 10.10 or later and Windows 7 or later.

Tracktion T5 DAW software is now free for everyone

The brilliant music software developers at Tracktion are now offering their great, full T5 DAW software completely free to anyone and everyone.

Tracktion have a wonderful history of giving older versions of their DAW for free as they update and expand upon it. Though just because it’s free and older don’t let that convince you it’s not a brilliant digital audio workstation. Until now Tracktion T4 was the latest version available for free, which we featured in our Top 10 Free DAWs list, but Tracktion have updated their site to offer the even better T5 for free. 

T5 is a full music production software that you can use to compose, record, edit, mix and share your music and creations. At no cost T5 is an excellent way to get recording with a full DAW that has plenty of capability and works efficiently without loading your CPU like some music production software can.

Tracktion T5 lets you use MIDI instruments and add VST and AU plugins so you can explore and create without restriction and you can even transfer your files to other Tracktion DAWs, so if you like it enough to upgrade to the latest paid version you can take your projects with you.

Here’s an overview of what you can do with the great T5 software:

Like all Tracktion DAW applications, T5 features an intuitive, single-screen interface. Input, waveform and mixer – including EQ, level, pan and plugins – are laid out from left-to-right. Simply drag-and-drop additional features and automation on any track as needed.
Unlimited numbers of audio and MIDI tracks, combined with a professional feature set, allow you to compose, record, edit, mix and share your music with ease. Modest CPU requirements make T5 ideal for use on nearly any Mac, Windows or Linux computer.

Tracktion music software digital audio workstation production

You can download Tracktion T5 for free here and start making music.

Electro-Harmonix’s new Mini Synthesizer app

Popular guitar pedal manufacturers Electro-Harmonix have come out with a new fully fleshed out synthesizer for iPad and iPhone.

Since 1968 Electro-Harmonix have been pioneers in the world of instruments and effects in music. Keeping with the times Electro-Harmonix are releasing a digital version of their cult-classic 1980 analog synth as an app for mobile devices.

The Mini-Synthesizer app comes with 22 presets and the ability to store an almost unlimited number of user preset programs. The easy-to-use Electro-Harmonix Mini Synthesizer app is loaded with great sounds and features and is sure to appeal to serious musicians and non-musicians alike.

Electro-Harmonix president and founder, Mike Matthews said: “Fans of vintage synths will appreciate the app’s ability to re-create the original’s warm analog sounds and deep funky bass. But because it’s so affordable and user friendly, parents, educators, and non-musicians will love it too.”

Electro-Harmonix pedal guitar instruments effects synth synthesizer app

Here’s what’s included in the Mini Synthesizer’s interface:

OSC Section

  • PITCH slider lets the player raise or lower the pitch of the note by +/-1 octave
  • SUB-OCTAVE slider introduces a note one octave below what’s being played for extra bottom
  • OCTAVE UP switch causes the note being played to jump up one octave
  • TUNE knob lets the player tune the Mini Synthesizer to other instruments and sound sources over a +/-50 cents range


  • PHASE RATE slider adjusts the speed of the phase shifter
  • FILTER START sets the start frequency of the filter sweep
  • FILTER STOP sets the stop frequency of the filter sweep
  • SWEEP RATE controls the speed of the filter sweep
  • PHASE switch turns the effect on/off
  • 2X FILTER switch changes how the audio passes through the filters (either in parallel or in series)
  • Q switch sets the amount of resonance on the filter sweep
  • RETRIGGER SWITCH turns retrigger on/off

DELAY Section

  • TIME slider adjusts the delay time up to two seconds
  • FEEDBACK controls the number of echo repeats
  • BLEND adjusts the mix of the original signal and the echo repeats
  • DELAY switch turns the effect on/off

REVERB Section

  • AMOUNT slider adjusts the reverb effect level
  • BLEND slider controls the mix of the wet and dry signals
  • REVERB switch turns reverb on/off
  • REVERB>DELAY switch lets the user place either Delay or Reverb first in the effects chain for a variety of cool sound effects


  • VOL (Volume) slider adjusts the Mini Synthesizer’s overall sound output level
  • POLY/MONO switch toggles between polyphonic (four notes can be played simultaneously) or monophonic (only one note can be played at a time) modes
  • PRESETS pop-down menu displays the presets available and allows the user to instantly select one
  • HORIZONTAL slider lets the player adjust the keyboards sounding range over an expansive eight-octave range
  • RIBBON Interface lets the player perform portamento (glide up or down to pitch), vibrato and other expressive playing

The Mini Synthesizer also includes a virtual MIDI input, aftertouch (iPhone 6s and 6s Plus), direct connectivity to a DAW as an audio input, an enhanced effects section plus Audiobus and interapp-audio capabilities.

Mini Synthesizer is available on iPhone and iPod for $2.99 and on iPad for $4.99. An Android version will be released later this year in October.

Remixlive for iOS gets a full MAC version with enhanced features

A brand new version of the popular Remixlive iOS DAW app has been released and brings it onto Mac computers for an even deeper music making experience.

Remixlive Mac has been designed to take advantage of any MIDI pad controller, no matter the grid size. That means you can customise the grid to fit your controller of choice, as an option each time you create a new pack.

The mixer has been expanded to include Mute and Solo buttons with professional three-band EQs on each individual channel. The Mac version also comes with brand new desktop-class audio effects.

The Mac version of Remixlive has been designed not just to work with MIDI pad controllers but to work at it’s best when used with one, making it perfect for live performances too. Through MIDI learning Remixlive can map itself to any MIDI controller from any brand so you can take control over Remixlive the way you want.

Remixlive app Macintosh Apple music making production pads MIDI controller

Remixlive comes with a load of great samples, featuring 15 different packs that range from hip-hop to dubstep. Each pack features 48 samples of beats, basslines, melodies, vocals, and FX samples. One of the sample packs is provided by legendary DJ/producer Carl Cox.

Along with the new customizable colour pads and the custom grid size, Remixlive Mac adds compatibility with Apple’s Retina displays, allowing for a beautiful scalable interface that looks good in every circumstance.

Sharing to SoundCloud and YouTube has never been easier with sharing options inbuilt. You just need to log in with your details and when you’re happy with track click the sharing buttons to instantly upload your track.

With recording on desktop you can now record in a variety of high quality audio formats including AIFF, FLAC, OGG, and WAV.  Remixlive Mac comes as both a standalone app and a VST container, allowing you to integrate Remixlive directly into your workflow using your favourite DAW.

Remixlive Apple Macintosh DAW controller music production creation

Here are the key features in Remixlive Mac:

  • A modular pad grid that adapts to any configuration or MIDI pad controller
  • 6 free sample packs (3 included directly in the app), with 13 more available as In App Purchases
  • Tweak your sound with instant FX and beat repeat pads
  • Live BPM control: change the tempo on the fly without stopping the music
  • Multiple Mode: play several pads per column simultaneously
  • Edit Play mode, Quantize, Gain, ADSR, Pan, Loop Division, Reverse, Transpose
  • Import your own samples
  • Record any sound or voice through the mic or audio in — with an optional overdub
  • Mac-exclusive feature
  • Modular grid: customize the grid size to your liking – up to 10 columns and 10 rows
  • New effects: Infinite Delay, Low Phaser, Flangus, Jet-Up, Metalizer, Basic Slicer, Fast Gate, Crush, Bliss, Big Bright Hall, Freezer and Reactor
  • DJM-modelled high quality EQs
  • Share recordings via SoundCloud and YouTube
  • AU/VST version that you can integrate into the DAW of your choice, including Ableton Live
  • Cubase, GarageBand, and many more
  • Fully resizable and scalable Retina interface

Remixlive is available on the Mac App Store. It’s currently available for a limited edition discount of $29.99 (RRP $69.99).


Incredible mixing plugin LEVELS takes you deep into the mix

In a collaboration between Mastering The Mix and 29Palms comes ‘LEVELS’ a mixing plugin that lets you explore your tracks in superior depth and create the perfect mix.

Metering Redesigned 

LEVELS allows you to easily and instantly see any technical issues with your mix, without the confusing visuals of existing metering solutions.

LEVELS only draws your attention to aspects of your mix that need fixing. Meaning you spend less time figuring out why your mix isn’t working and more time being creative.

LEVELS VST plugins mix tracks

  • True peak meter to make sure your masters don’t clip
  • Standard peak meter. Keep it below -6dB for a perfect final mix
  • EBU R128 compliant integrated and short term LUFS meters. The most accurate way to analyse perceived loudness
Stereo Field
  • Vectorscope to visualise stereo width
  • Correlation meter to monitor phase issues
  • Left/Right meter to assess the balance of your mix
  • Low Pass button solos your low frequencies below 300hz so you can see their stereo width
Dynamic Range
  • Instantly see if your music is overcompressed
  • Oscilloscope glows green if your music is dynamic
  • ‘DR’ Dynamic Range display based on reliable Short Term LUFS to peak ratio
Bass Space
  • Identifies if any channels are outputting unwanted low frequencies
  • Helps you clean up your low end giving your track punch and clarity
  • Level meters for 40Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz, 160Hz

Full feature list:

  • Design – Retina ready. Slick and responsive user interface
  • Price – Affordable for producers at all stages of their musical careers
  • Simplicity – The intuitive visuals in each section let you quickly diagnose and fix any issues
  • Customisation – Adjustable settings to suit your needs
  • Time Saving – LEVELS only draws your attention to issues
  • Convenience – 7 indispensable mixing and metering tools in one plugin
  • Performance – Very low CPU. An advantage when your session has many plugins
  • Learn – If you get stuck click the (?) to learn how to fix your issue

LEVELS is available in VST, VST3, Audio Units and AAX formats (all in 64-bit and 32-bit formats).
It is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 or higher and Windows 7 and higher.

Get LEVELS here for £69 or try it for free.