As a dance and rave music producer, I am always looking for interesting and texturally-rich sounds that set my tracks apart from the rest; I spend a lot of time searching the internet and forums for the latest or greatest freeware. Often times, I come up with nothing — though there are those lucky moments when I hit pay dirt. With that, here are a few of my favorite free VSTs (virtual software technologies; basically, plugins that make noise) I’ve found in my searches.
Donk Machine 2
Described as a “FM bass synthesizer VSTi plugin specialized for creating bass sounds which can be used in various sub genres of house music,” Donk Machine 2 is an FM synthesizer that features an impressive four main oscillators and one sub oscillator “with variable modulation amounts and decay/sustain envelopes per oscillator.”
“The plugin,” write the creators “also features a global amplitude envelope and a useful FX section consisting of a distortion module, reverb, bitcrusher, a tilt equalizer and a handy master compressor for shaping the sound on the output.”
This free rompler VST synth, created by DJ * CSI * is perfect for “when you need an old school rave stab.” All you have to do is load the Rave Generator VST and go through the presets. Ravegenerator features 64 sounds, “including the T99 Anasthasia choir stab, classic hoover, Black Riot stab, the ‘Landlord’ stab as heard in ‘Outlander – Vamp’ [and in the video above] and countless rave tracks.” The creators also promise that there are “some funny ‘wooh’ voice sounds.” This is basically like an old school rave in a can.
Need some boom and bap? This VSTi is specifically created for making kick and bass drum sounds. Creators Hinton & Fairchild call it “a true Synth,” and swear that “it uses no samples only 100% synthesis to achieve a thick meaty UMPH to your track with ultimate control to the sound.”
“The instrument is completely based on synthesis, meaning that you can use it to build your kick drums from scratch without any need for samples,” write the creators. The plugin comes with 120 factory presets — it’s up to you whether you want to drop one into an existing track, or use one the sounds “as a starting point for your own customized kick drum.”
“Our goal is to bring you exclusive, high quality free content with the same uncompromising production values as our paid products,” write FRACTURE’s creators. With this plugin, you get multimode filter, buffer effect, presets by Ivo Ivanov & Thomas Hennebert, a delay effect, and three LFOs. This is a great choice if you’re looking to add abstract textures and glitchy articulations to your work.
“Use it on anything from drums and percussion to synth lines and sound effects,” say the makers.