You can get this $139 equaliser free

Overloud have released an emulation of the legendary API 550 equaliser and are giving away free copies until the 18th.

Overloud’s EQ550 takes the best features from the renowned API 550 EQ and enhances upon it in an incredible $139 package. But the awesome people at Overloud are giving away 1000 free copies of their equaliser plugin a day until the 18th of March.

Modelled from the American API 500 with custom op-amps the EQ550 is a powerful equaliser that will bring a lot of power to your mixes. It emulates what made the original amazing and even expands upon it to make it more appropriate for modern processing. The EQ550 adds a Band Cue, continuous frequency selection, and an additional mid band.

Beyond it’s new additions it retains these incredible features from the original:

  • Hyper-realistic simulation of the original Proportional Q equalizer, thanks to the 4th generation DSP technology
  • 5 bands eq: 2 shelving/peaking, 2 peaking, 1 bandpass
  • Individual band Cue
  • Continuous frequency selection
  • Simulation of all transformers in the original unit
  • Low CPU usage: more than 1500 instances on a Macbook Pro Retina
  • Multilevel undo-redo
  • A/B Comparison
  • Lots of presets designed in real mixing sessions
  • Scribble Strips: take notes anywhere on the plugin panel

It has a Proportional-Q design, meaning that the bandwidth of the filters becomes narrow when the gain of the  filter increases. For low gain settings the EQ delivers a smoother tone: its character becomes more and more aggressive when the bands gain band is raised. This design makes the EQ550 unique.

EQ550 exactly reproduces the original frequency response even in the highest-end of the spectrum, near the Nyquest frequency, which is the point where most of the digital simulations fail. Thanks to a proprietary DSP technology, Overloud has been able to achieve this result with no phase distortion and without using oversampling.

There’s only a couple of days left to try and get your free copy so don’t wait around and go get yours now:

8 of the best and most popular Hip-Hop sample packs

Hip-Hop and R&B is now the most popular genre in the world, here are some of the greatest sounds that are making the hits of this generation.

Last year Hip-Hop/R&B overtook rock as the most popular genre in the world for the first time ever. To celebrate the rise of a new genre Producer Loops have compiled the most popular packs of samples that are helping to make Hip-Hop the landmark genre it is now with sounds from soulful modern hip-hop to the 808 days of old – and they could all be yours!

8. Bang Bang

These Kits are filled with ambient arps, heart-stopping chords, booming 808’s and ear-grasping snares. The pack contains five booming Construction Kits made in the style of up-and-coming rapper, Chief Keef and super producer, Young Chop.

7. Cinematic Hip-Hop Vol 1

Next up is ‘Cinematic Hip Hop Vol 1’ from Producer Loops. This is the first in a Block-busting series of deep, dark and brooding Construction Kit libraries fusing the very best in modern Hip Hop with epic soundtrack vibes. Combining traditional Urban instrumentation with ethereal textures, emotive sound design and dramatic overtones, this genre-defying release is perfect for everything from advertising campaigns that need a serious Urban edge, through to soundtracks and standalone Hip Hop releases.

6. Hip-Hop Soul Piano Melodies

Coming in at number six is ‘Hip Hop Soul Piano Melodies’ from Strategic Audio. This pack features five authentic, piano-driven Hip Hop Construction Kits inspired by the music of artists like Common, Alicia Keys, The Roots and Melanie Fiona.

5. West Coast Wave Vol 1

‘West Coast Wave Vol 1’ is next, the debut sample pack from Diginoiz. It features 10 great Construction Kits inspired by the hot climate of West coast America. High quality loops, hits, and percussion samples in tempos from 89-97 BPM will satisfy even the most demanding producers.

4. Cinematic Hip-Hop Vol 2

‘Cinematic Hip Hop Vol 2’ is the second instalment in this epic, silver screen-esque series of Construction Kits from Producer Loops. Following in the footsteps of its immensely successful predecessor, this Volume features all the dark instrumentation you need to dominate the dark Hip-Hop scene.

3. Lo-Fi Vol 1

Just making it into the top three is ‘Lo-Fi Vol 1’ from Kryptic Samples. It is the first release of this soulful, laid-back Hip Hop series,made with hand crafted nostalgic and dusty samples. Authentic and old school.

2. Urban Legends Vol 1

At number two, ‘Urban Legends Vol 1’ from Producer Loops fuses elements of EDM, Pop, RnB, Trap and Hip Hop to bring you five highly polished Construction Kits with an authentic Urban undertone.The loops in this pack have applications far outside of strictly Urban music and can be re-combined in a near-limitless number of ways.

1. Symphonic Hip-Hop

Our most downloaded hip-hop sample of all time is ‘Symphonic Hip-Hop’ from Bunker 8. A huge 5.4 GB Construction Kit that merges powerful symphonic arrangements and orchestrations with block busting hip-hop rhythmatics. There are 347 seriously hot loops here, waiting for your next urban blockbuster.

You can find many more great sample packs at

Create entirely new sounds with Google’s open-source synthesiser

Google are creating entire new sounds with their new synthesiser created using machine learning technologies.

The NSynth Super is a new algorithm based neural synthesiser created by Google using their powerful machine learning technologies. The NSynth Super is capable of creating over 100,000 new sounds which can be played from any MIDI source.

The NSynth Super works from a source of 16 original sounds at a range of 15 pitches. It’s machine learning is then capable of re-imagining and combining these samples in entirely new ways to create thousands of different possibilities. It works as simply as selecting the source sound and then dragging your finger across the touchscreen to navigate through new sonic possibilities as the synth alters various elements of it’s parameters.

The synthesiser has been created as part of Google’s machine learning research project Magenta which created the original NSynth last year. The original made use of their past research in machine learning and music to create an unparalleled understanding of sounds based on deep neural networks. The NSynth Super brings this power into the hands of musicians everywhere, making it capable of being used as an instrument.

Google say: “New sounds are powerful. They can inspire musicians in creative and unexpected ways, and sometimes they might go on to define an entirely new musical style or genre. It’s impossible to predict where the new sounds generated by machine learning tools might take a musician, but we’re hoping they lead to even more musical experimentation and creativity.”

The NSynth Super has been created with an entirely open source library so that creators and musicians alike can access all of the schematics, source codes, and design templates free for download on GitHub.

Find out more here:

Orb AI is your newest bandmate, helping you write songs

Artificial Intelligence reaches new heights every day, and the latest software writes your tracks with you.

Orb Composer is a new Artificial Intelligence software that gives you tips and templates to help create tracks like a band-mate whose musical theory is on point. It might sound like a breach of creativity, and maybe it is for you but Orb could be a big tool in helping certain artists transform their ideas into full songs.

It’s creators, Hexachord, call Orb “the most accomplished music composition Artificial Intelligence in the world”. More than 5 years of research went into creating the AI which takes musical ideas and transforms them into new possibilities with it’s deep knowledge of musical standards and ideas.

For those worried about it taking away from the pure creation of music, it’s creators say: “Orb Composer doesn’t replace the composer and doesn’t write music automatically. You have to feed Orb with your own choices. Orb creates music mock-ups based on your creativity and only with your musical ideas.” Like a glorified cheat code it sounds.

What is it capable of:

Music templates

We propose 6 «basic» music templates to help you pre-select a musical environment: Orchestral, Strings, Piano, Electro, Pop-Rock and Ambient.

Own music structure

Structure your song as you want! You can add as many block and bar items as you wish, it’s fast and easy!

Chord Progressions

With the chord diagram you can drag-and-drop all different chords, from simple to complex ones, and create your own harmony.

Instrument Combinations

Choose the instruments you want to use for your composition, and for each instrument fine tune settings easily.

Import melodies (MIDI)

Import your melodies and use Orb to create your own musical arrangement or orchestration.

Full Compatibility (VSTi, AAX, DAW)

Use your favorite sequencers and sound machines to exploit the full sound potential of Orb composition

After more than 5 years in the making Orb Composer is set to finally launch on April 2nd next month. You can pre-order Orb now for €349 or €649 for an enhanced edition with more capabilities, most notably the ability to create songs with a wide variety of time signatures, whereas standard just comes in 4/4.

Pre-Order or find out more here:

Cakewalk rises from the dead as Gibson sell assets to Bandlab

Last year Gibson killed Cakewalk and all of its amazing music software with it, but as they face bankruptcy Cakewalk is gaining new life.

In recent weeks reports have circulated suggesting that one of the world’s favourite guitar-makers, Gibson is facing bankruptcy. Whilst Gibson claim everything is fine, sale of their assets has begun with the sale of Cakewalk and all of it’s products to Bandlab, a global collective of music brands.

It’s not a loss for Gibson who decided to shut down their Cakewalk business last year in favour of developing their Philips audio brand. Fans of Cakewalk and their products, like their SONAR DAW, will be thrilled however as this means that Cakewalk software and support for it shouldn’t be going anywhere.

Bandlab Technologies CEO, Meng Ru Kuok said: ” We are very excited to be bringing Cakewalk Inc’s products into the BandLab Technologies stable. Cakewalk has been an industry leader in professional music software, delivering cutting edge technology that has empowered producers and artists alike around the world for more than 30 years.

“We have immense respect for Cakewalk’s legacy and the incredible community of people who love the brand and rely on its products in both their personal and professional lives. The teams at both Gibson and BandLab felt that Cakewalk’s products deserved a new home where development could continue. We are pleased to be supporting Cakewalk’s passionate community of creators to ensure they have access to the best possible features and music products under the BandLab Technologies banner.”

The deal includes a transfer of all Cakewalk Inc. assets and intellectual property and it will be exciting to see how BandLab use and evolve these products.

Fender Play Comes To Android And Ipad To Teach Guitar

Fender’s very own online guitar lessons and courses are coming to a device near you with iPad support and soon Android too.

Fender launched Play last Summer, they’re own digital course that looks to change the way beginners approach and learn guitar. It debuted on iPhones and desktop computers and has just launched on iPad, with a release on Android expected next month.

The app gets new players involved right away with easy, flexible and digestible lessons and guides. It offers video lessons from experienced guitar instructors which takes a focus on learning through songs so that the skills learnt are instantly applicable. Through learning simple chords and riffs players can quickly move through their personalised lessons tracking their progress and learning new skills.

Fender digital general manager, Ethan Kaplan says: “Fender Play is one of the fastest-growing and engaged guitar lesson communities of its kind. We’re seeing musicians on Fender Play grow their skills right before our eyes, and with expanded access through iPad and Android devices, we’re excited that even more people will have the opportunity to learn or rediscover their passion for guitar through the accessibility and convenience of Fender Play.”

The prestigious panel of advisers involved in the app come from notorious music programs like the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Lessons include songs from massive artists like U2, Carrie Underwood, Foo Fighters, Shawn Mendes, The Rolling Stones, and more.

Whilst Android users will have to look forward to the 29th March to get Fender Play, the app has just launched on iPads and brings some cool new features:

Portrait and Landscape Modes: Portrait allows players to easily access additional lesson material, while landscape enhances video player size for heightened visibility and focus.

More Than Video: Chord charts, related lessons and helpful content are easy to access and view with the iPad version’s lesson page.

Follow Your Path: An updated course view helps players easily pick up where they left off, or skip around to other lessons.

Fender are also planning to expand the app with ukulele and bass lessons and move into new genres with R&B and metal lessons planned to be introduced later this year. You can get started on PC or download Fender Play from the Apple App Store and start your 30-day free trial today.

Learn music superpowers with this app for mastering chord progressions

EarProg is the self-titled “ultimate ear training app” that unlocks new powers for music within you.

Some musicians disregard music theory and make it work, but anyone can benefit from enhancing their knowledge of how music works. EarProg is an app that teaches you the science behind chord progressions so that anything is possible at your musical fingertips.

As they say themselves: “Being able to identify chord progressions is the closest thing to having superpowers.” EarProg trains your skills in identifying over 60 different chord progressions by playing you a random progression and testing your ability to identify it.

It’s not like some musical apps which score you on your progress, which can often feel like a competition rather than a learning experience. The devs say: “Ear training is not a competition. That’s why no scoring is used in this app. Simply open the app and practice at your own pace, without pressure, for as long as you want. Mastering ear training is a gradual work. We’re musicians, not Superbowl players!!”

EarProg is available now on iOS devices from the Apple App Store for £0.99/$0.99.

The legendary 808 drum machine is free in your web browser

Roland TR-808’s defined drum machines when they launched and you can play with one for free, right in your web browser.

The power of technology combined with the vast reach of the internet never fails to amaze us, every single day. This free to use 808 drum machine, faithfully recreated within a website, is yet another reason why we love living in the 21st century.

Software engineer Vincent Riemer created and developed iO-808 back in 2016, stemming from a fascination with Roland’s original, groundbreaking drum machine. He says: “As an amateur/bedroom music producer I’ve always been fascinated with the impact and history of the TR-808.”

Riemer goes on to say how it began as a challenge to recreate the 808’s iconic sounds to learn the new Web Audio API. He continued: “It became addicting and once I had most of the sounds done, I figured recreating the interface/functionality was the next logical step. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!”

Every sound is synthesised using the Web Audio API, no samples are used. This means that the sounds aren’t all perfect replications, but the build is amazing. Going to the website you will instantly recognise the notorious brown and orange design of the drum machine, and all of it’s functions are there to play with and mess around on.

Give it a go for yourself, head to:

You might want a look at the tutorial, especially if you’re new to drum machines:

Ableton launch new version of the world’s most popular DAW

The world’s favourite DAW has launched it’s new version, after months of testing Ableton Live 10 is now available for everyone.

The world’s most widely used digital audio workstation (DAW) Ableton have finally launched their new Live 10 software. Some lucky people have had it for a few months in beta testing now but it has finally launched worldwide for everyone.

The new version brings a bunch of enhancements, improvements and a few new additions like devices and improved Push compatibility. Max for Live has also been built seamlessly into Ableton now so you can use your creations easily. Overall the software is very much the same program so many have fallen in love with, but overall bigger and better.

Live 10 adds 3 new devices:


Immediately playable, infinitely capable, Wavetable is a new synthesizer built by Ableton. Shape, stretch and morph sounds using wavetables derived from analog synths, and a range of other instruments and sounds. Start sculpting sounds right away—even without a deep knowledge of synthesis—or explore its rich palette and potential through an intuitive interface.


Echo brings together the sound of classic analog and digital hardware delays in a single device—your new go-to delay. Drive and shape sounds with its analog-modeled filters, turn up the noise and wobble for vintage imperfections, or add modulation and reverb to create diffuse soundscapes, wailing feedback and more.

Drum Buss

Drum Buss is a one-stop workstation for drums, capable of adding subtle character or bending and breaking drums to your will. Add warmth and distortion with drive and crunch, take control of dynamics with compression and transient shaping, dial in and tune boom and control bass decay with the dedicated low end section.


With separate circuit-level models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz guitar pedals, Pedal brings the character of analog stomp boxes to Live. The effect goes all the way from subtle to reckless—it excels at warming up vocals and other instruments, driving synth sounds or completely smashing drums. And of course, it sounds great with guitars.

Improvements to your work flow:


Turn your most spontaneous ideas into music, without thinking about recording. Starting a song? Just arm a MIDI track and play. When an idea emerges, press Capture after you played it. Live will match your tempo and timing, and start your melody or groove in a perfect loop. You can also use Capture to progress your songs: add new parts or overdub MIDI into existing clips without breaking your flow—just press Capture after you’ve played it right.

Edit multiple MIDI clips

Create drums and bass, or chords and melody in tandem. Work with multiple MIDI clips across multiple tracks within a single view—in both Session and Arrangement. Now you can edit smarter and take better control of the musical relationships in your song.

Create and arrange more fluidly

The Arrangement View has been optimized for quick creative editing and more efficient song creation. Easily stretch a clip, slide its content or create audio fades with new clip interactions that work directly in the Arrangement. Automate with greater control using grid snapping and other improved breakpoint interactions.

Focus instantly on what you need to with quick keyboard shortcuts: toggle automation visibility for all tracks, zoom in and out of selections of your song, nudge clips, and even make audio edits like reversing samples.

A multitude of workflow refinements

When it comes to creative flow, sometimes the little things make the biggest difference. Live 10 comes with a long list of them—here are just a few.

Browser Collections

Keep your go-to devices, plug-ins and samples close at hand: create color-coded collections and access them instantly in the browser.

Note chasing

Notes now trigger even if playback starts in the middle, so you don’t need to start the clip from the beginning to hear a long pad, for example.

I/O Renaming

Instantly select the right routing by labeling Live’s inputs and outputs to match the instruments and hardware in your studio.

Mixing improvements

With its improved gain range you can more effectively use Utility for volume automation, keeping the mixer free. The Bass Mono feature in Utility and EQ Eight’s extended 10Hz low frequency range give you more precise bass control. Split Stereo in the mixer now allows for flexible placement of individual channels in the stereo space.

Create groups within groups

Mix with greater flexibility—process individual group elements, a subgroup or an entire bus. And manage Sets more easily; even with lots of tracks and a detailed arrangement, you can use multiple levels of groups to quickly fold tracks together for a simple overview.

Refined look and feel

Live’s interface has been updated to be cleaner and clearer with sharper graphics and refined colors. And a range of optimized themes improves visibility in all environments.

Do even more with push:

New melodic step sequencing layout

Simultaneously sequence notes and play them in from the same pad layout – the bottom half of the layout allows you to play notes in real time while the top half lets you sequence them.

Advanced Device visualization

See Wavetable or Echo in rich detail on Push as you play. When mixing, you’ll see spectrum analysis on EQ Eight, as well as advanced Mid/Side and Left/Right EQ modes. Get real-time audio visualizations from Live’s Compressor: see threshold settings and compressor activity, plus set up sidechain routing.

MIDI note view

Navigate and refine the notes of your pattern in context directly on the Push display. Press and hold a step in your sequence to zoom in and use the on-screen control to adjust velocity, note position and length.

There is even more beyond this to enjoy in Ableton Live 10. Check out all it’s funky new features from their site where you can also buy it for £69/$99/€79 or more depending on your version.

The top 4 best sites for VSTs and Virtual Instruments

As a producer having the correct sounds that you want is vital and finding them can be hard, so here are the best one-stop shops for all your plugin needs.


pluginboutique plugin boutique vst vsti virtual instrument software plugin site

Pluginboutique is brought to you by Loopmasters, the brilliant site for samples and loops, so you know it’s good. They supply plugins from the best music software companies all around the world.

Their massive library of high quality plugins offers something for everyone, and if you’re a dedicated customer you can sign up to earn extra discounts, receive free packs, and earn virtual cash with each purchase.


Splice are an amazing resource for artists on a budget, offering a massive range of brilliant, premium plugins on a pay-as-you-go basis. So if your dream plugin is just too much you can rent it for as long as you can afford, and if you rent it long enough then it’s yours.

As well as their rent-to-own plugins Splice also offer a vast library of excellent instruments and effects, both paid and free. They are a fantastic site no matter what position you’re in as a musician.

D16 Group Audio Software

d16 group audio software plugins vst vsti virtual instruments

D16 have over 10 years of experience in delivering high quality software to musicians around the world. Their selection isn’t massive but each VST and VSTi is guaranteed to be the best quality, the most incredible sounds, with near unlimited versatility.

Browsing their selection won’t take long, but selecting which of their high-end plugins you want to buy may.

KVR Audio

KVR audio plugins VST VSTI virtual instruments buy vendor production

Do you want a site that has LOADS and LOADS of free and paid plugins to choose from? Like so many you don’t know where to look? But that site also has an advanced search so you can find the exact plugin you want from a MASSIVE library of plugins? Then KVR Audio is the site for you.