When you are in the music game you are always looking for the next best thing. With so many options out there, the options are limitless. You might ask yourself Which tool is going to help you improve the quality of the music that you are creating. Today we are living in a brilliant time. Armed with a computer and some audio equipment, we have the ability make music and record it from the comfort of your home. Most of us are lucky enough to own a computer and have access to the internet. With a little bit of time invested, you can pick up the skills you need to understand and use a Digital Audio WorkStation, commonly refereed to as a DAW.
There are plenty of DAW's available for both Mac and PC, some popular ones being Apple's Logic Pro, Avid's Pro Tools, Ableton Live and Reason. The plethora of available DAW's, gives the consumer the freedom to get their hands on anything they want. These DAW's come preloaded with a great amount of audio plugins. These plugins offer the user a great range of sounds and audio effects that can be used to enhance the sound and feel of their recordings.
Knowing that these DAW's come with a great amount of content, there is always room for improvement. I decided to take it upon myself and find out what plugins will help you get a greater range of sounds but best of all, I decided to look for useful plugins that are downloadable for free.
If you are looking for something that offers a great bundle packed with some nice modulation effects like chorus,flanger and phaser look into Blue Cat Audio. The plugins are nicely labeled and the controls are intuitive. The beauty about using Blue Cat plugins on Logic Pro X, is that the key command "]" which enables you to skip to the next patch and "[" which enables you to go back to the previous patch,works flawlessly in the plugins. Blue Cat also offers a couple free 3 band equalizers, an audio analyzer and a plugin for gain control.
The next free plugin that I have been enjoying comes from a company called Cable Guys. This company has been critically acclaimed for their plugin Curve 2, a powerful synth plugin. Even though Curve 2 is great, its not free, the one that we are going to focus on is the one called Pancake. Focusing on the modulation of audio panning, Pancake allows the user to manipulate their own modulation curves. What does this mean? Have you heard a song where the sounds seem to bounce between the left and right speaker? This is a technique known as panning. In Pancake this is done by simply clicking on the yellow waveform that runs down the middle of the plugin and dragging it to different positions. This gives the user a fresh way of creating unique panning patterns in their mixes.
Lastly, if there is a plugin you need to get now before time runs out is the UltraChannel by Eventide. The UltraChannel is a five channel strip plugin that is free until July 8, after that the plugin will go for $249.00. This plugin is a power house that comes packed with stereo delay, compression, gating capabilities and 5 bands of parametric EQ. I have included a video with the overview of this amazing plugin.
There are a surplus of free plugins available, in this process I downloaded approximately 150 plugins every single one of them for free. I still haven't had the chance to use all of them, seems like a second article is in order shortly. Enjoy!
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