Category Archives: Music Software

Best Free Metal VST Plugins 2024: A Breakdown

Without a doubt, the best free metal vst plugins vary based on your instrument, genre, price range, and more. However, in tandem with our other article on setting up bedroom production, we’ve decided to give you a broad overview of the best plugins within each of the main instrument categories for metal so that, whether a soloist or part of a larger group of musicians, you have the best plugins for metal to get started with a bird eye view. 

Best Guitar Plugin: Post Apocalyptic Guitar 

Whilst not strictly a metal plugin, this is one of the best metal guitar plugins if you want to explore genre and sound. It’s mostly ideal for prog or fusion genres, or any time you want to create atmosphere Explicitly metal guitar plugins don’t always incorporate every single type of guitar or sound that you may want in a track. This plugin doesn’t include some of the heavier features that some of the other best plugins for metal do. Therefore, it’s best as a complement, but it’s really good at what it does. 

Post-Apocalyptic Guitar is a sample library and offers amazing scope with sounds that could come straight out of groups like Periphery or Skyharbor. The ‘strummies’ ‘sparkles’ and ‘shimmers’ dials may have some of the least metal names imaginable – more appropriate for an indie rock or synthpop band – but the additional tone they add could easily transform your track from basic metal to TesseracT style prog masterpieces. Furthermore, ASDR dials allow you to really create atmosphere. If you’re into building up layered wells of sound, this is the plugin for you. 

Find Post Apocalyptic Guitar here

Best Niche Genre Free Metal VST Plugins: Amped Stevie T for Djent 

The gritty, intense, warped sound we call djent has been around for a while now and is always a way to inject more dynamics into your music. So, we couldn’t ignore it when choosing the best free metal vst plugins or best metal guitar plugins overall. However, there aren’t huge amounts of plugins that focus specifically on djent, let alone free plugins that put this sound first and foremost. Whilst many plugins try to appeal generally to all metalheads, the Amped Stevie T is specifically for Djent by ML Sound Labs with the help of Djent God Stevie T.

A bonus is if you like this plugin, there are others in the series, such as the Shredeemer, to check out. The tone first off is extremely impressive, with plenty of warped, dirty sounds, depth, and character making this one of the best plugins for metal enthusiasts by a long stretch. Knobs include input, FX, bass, middle, treble, presence, and master.

Find Amped Stevie T here

Best Amp Plugin VST: Amped Roots Free from ML Studio. 

Ok, so we have another ML Studio VST on this list, but we have to include this because it is so good. ML Studio designed the amp with a good friend and it includes four great metal amps making this one of the best plugins for metal for different styles of playing. Seriously, if you are into niche genres or even just hitting really specific sounds, we cannot recommend this amp as one of the best metal guitar plugins enough. It goes to places that some other free metal vst plugins just don’t – even those aimed at metal guitarists – by prioritizing the different kinds of distortion and amplification needed to create the all-important qualities of mood, intensity, and atmosphere in metal with a sense of real insider knowledge. 

The amps include Freeman, Mega, 5151, and 5034, although all of these except 5034 are only available with the full version. Yet the free version makes this list because in addition to the amp it has the option to load your own IRs for even more atmospheric tweaking, as well as a great pedalboard that contains comp, chorus, analog delay, reverb, and more, and 3 cabs with 4 microphone options. 

Sonically this is a very gritty and realistic amp sim that preserves a lot of analog feel and offers plenty of options for sculpting sound. Bonus, the paid version is not too expensive and stands at 60 euros meaning it’s easy to upgrade if you really fall in love with it and want the other amps, which range from covering nu metal and more. 

Find Amped Roots Free here

SHB-1 Ignite Amps – Best Free Bass VST

The SHB-1 falls into a similar category to the Amped Stevie T in that it’s an amp that fills a niche where there isn’t much on offer, let alone plugins that are both free and consistently high-quality with a great sound. The SHB-1 is modeled after a real amp from Frederico Fulceri of Italian thrash group Subhuman. So, it is one of the best plugins for metal if authenticity is what you’re after. 

What makes this stand out is it’s really varied and versatile. The original amp it is based on has 6 triode stages analog modeling and a 1300W power amp. It contains gain, bass treble, mid, balance, and volume. Clean, it’s got a nice fat tone with plenty of high end too for melodic basslines that cut through the rest of your mix. At the higher gain end of its rage, it sounds gritty and realistic without the tone getting drowned. It’s pretty great and there aren’t huge amounts of other similar quality amps or free metal vst plugins like it. 

Find SHB-1 Ignite Amps here

Best drum plugin: Steven slate drums 5.5 free 

Hands down, this wins for one of the most versatile, adjustable, and generally one of the best plugins for metal drums. There are many other options, some of which might arguably be better for a beginner producer, or more easily work in more kinds of mix, but we’ve listed this one for the granularity. 

Tone-wise, we honestly cannot recommend it enough. Options range from rock kits, vintage kits, to metal kits specifically, but they’re all united by some seriously high-quality sound. Individual rums have tons of realism, they are pre-processed, but one of the biggest draws of this kit is you get a mix window where you can mix each individual drum track and control parameters like reverb and ASDR. Apart from this it contains groove, map, edit, and create sections, so you can get deep into crafting your sound as if you were actually in the studio. 

Find Steven slate drums here

Best Distortion Plugin VST: Liberty By We Love Walter 

What do we love about this one? Well, it’s one of those plugins that you can use versatilely across multiple different subgenres and adjacent genres to metal. The umbrella label is so broad that any list of best plugins for metal would inevitably have to include post-metal, industrial, and other heavy genres. This is an all-purpose plugin that has thirteen different forms of distortion, some of which are crushingly heavy. Because it’s not just for any one instrument it’s great for adding more layers to synths, drums, or yes, even guitars, beyond the conventional methods of using an amp or pedal VST. 

You control the plugin with three very basic dials, input, distort, and output, but the presets themselves showcase the exciting possibilities with intuitive names that give you unprecedented control over the process such as sign to saw zero threshold and binary. It may look understated, but these things make it one of the best free metal vst plugins among some competition. 

Download Liberty here

Conclusion 

These are a selection of the best plugins for metal for every instrument category and some of them, like Liberty, can be used across multiple instruments. From the best free metal guitar plugins to great drums with flexible mixing capabilities, this list prioritizes flexibility and offers budget-friendly options. These are especially ones you may not know about that are just as good as their paid counterparts. 

If we had to choose we think that for what it is the SHB-1 and Steven Slate drums are the two most outstanding – not due to superior quality but because they offer options in a category where sometimes it’s hard to find high-quality freeware – and they really are in tune with the need of metal producers, offering plenty of variation. However, all the plugins here make the cut because they are reliable, flexible, and high quality, so happy mixing! 

If you like more software reviews, we have a whole category here. And if you like metal, check out our look at other great metal plugins in our article here. Lastly, if you want more free articles, you can check out our budget sound design guide.

Musicians’ Guide to Midi Polyphonic Expression: What is MPE, MPE VSTs, and History DONE

MPE is one of the most significant developments in synthesis since the introduction of digital. Yet still, many musicians still find themselves wondering ‘what is mpe’ or ‘what does mpe stand for?’ when they see it listed on a synth. So, if you may have seen the term ‘midi polyphonic expression’ and are unsure about what it actually means, his article is your crash course.

Here, we will break down common questions like ‘what is mpe midi’ and ‘how does mpe work?’ as well as going deeper into the best compatible gear out there and when and why you might use it, so read on…

What is MPE?

What is MPE? MPE, standing for midi polyphonic expression, is one of the latest innovations in synthesis since the development of digital FM synths. However, MPE is not a kind of synthesis. Instead it is a way of playing that makes synths sound more like actual instruments. 

How does it do this? MPE gives the musician control over specific parameters of individual notes such as velocity, glide, aftertouch, and so on. It is these qualities that give music an analog, human-like feel, even if it was digitally created. 

When MPE first burst onto the scene with the brand Haken, it was unclear as to whether it would catch on. However, MPE has come a long way since then. It now spans a range of instruments from controllers to digital VSTs to full-fledged synths at more affordable prices. Read on for the breakdown. 

What Can MPE Do?

MPE can apply all the parameters when you play a non-synthesized instrument. This are things such as string bending, velocity, aftertouch, individual note loudness, and so on – to individual synthesized notes. 

In case you’re not sure why this is a big deal, at one point this was very difficult to do on a synth. If you wanted to pitch bend, for example, you could use a pitch bending wheel. However, this would apply the bend to all the notes. So, if you were playing a chord, every note would be bent. This led to synthesized music being obviously that – and could sometimes be clunky compared to playing an actual instrument. 

No more. MPE brought in the intuitiveness of playing a physical instrument, to synthesis. Now these minute details and expressiveness could apply to individual notes, bringing the warmth and human character to synthesis that some might have felt it was lacking. 

Why might you want to use it? 

At first, some musicians thought midi polyphonic expression might just be a gimmick. However, as time wore on, it has become a relatively embedded part of playing. It enables you to play synths like you would a stringed instrument or piano, which is no small feat. The differences between MPE and non-MPE might not seem easy to hear at first, but in the end, there is an expressiveness lacking from tracks that don’t have it – and some of the weird sounds, layers, and textures you can get from midi polyphonic expression enable you to take synthesis to new territory. 

In short, MPE is great for: 

  • Creating solo lines that sound like a guitar or violin 
  • Experimental music
  • Layering sound and creating texture 
  • Blending with real instruments 
  • Making synthesis sound more human

The Story of MPE and Equipment Guide

You may also find yourself wondering about mpe equipment, or ‘what is mpe ableton’ and if it is the same. Likewise, if you want mpe explained, it helps to know this process operates across VSTs, hardware instruments, AND specific controllers.

MPE in Ableton does refer to the same technique. It merely shows the popular DAW is mpe compatible, especially with mpe controllers. These are ways of adding midi polyphonic expression to your tracks and to instruments that don’t have a built-in expressive keyboard.

At the most basic level, MPE controls are quite fiddly and expensive for synth manufacturers to build into their machines. This is doubly difficult if you don’t have a keyboard on your machine, as is the case with many desktop synths. 

Here comes the MPE controller. You may have heard of machines like the ROLI Seabord series or Linnstrument, but what do these controllers actually do? Simply put they are keyboards (in the broadest sense, for not all of them follow the black and white keyed layout of a classic midi keyboard) that you can hook up to your computer. In this way you are able to control a VST synth, or hook up to a hardware synth to control it that way. 

Beyond the ubiquitous controller, some synths have built-in MPE capacity to some extent. This is regardless of whether it applies only to aftertouch, or they have a few glide wheels thrown in. One of the biggest, however (made in tandem with Haken Audio) is the Expressive E Osmose. The Osmose has unique keys that can control midi polyphonic expression through wiggling or gliding them. This allows ultimate fulfillment of parameters with the granular detail of being able to apply them to individual notes. 

What Are Some of the Best MPE Instruments?

The ‘best’ MPE instrument is a hard choice, but we’ve made this short and handy table to demonstrate the different categories. Our criteria involved creativity but also intuitiveness and how good the gear is as a gateway into MPE. 

SynthsControllersVSTs
Sequential OB-6LinnstrumentSurge XT
Expressive E OsmoseHaken SLIM ContinuumArturia Prophet 5
Ableton Push 3ROLI Seabord SeriesAbleton Drift
Haken Audio Eagan Matrix ModelROLI Block MMoog Animoog and Moog Model 15
Sequential Prophet 6UVI Falcon
Modal Electronics SKULPTXFER Records Serum
Ashun Sound Machines Hydrasynth SeriesNative Instruments Reaktor

Of course, this is no means an exhaustive chart of the MPE-compatible gear that is out there. However, these are some of the most well-known and popular that are worth further research if you want to get started.

MPE Parameter Guide

So now you have an overview of MPE, what is this technology actually like to use? We have briefly summarised some of the main musical features that midi polyphonic expression can provide you with, and how it does this in a way that surpasses what you could do with an ordinary synth…

Vibrato

Vibrato is exactly what it sounds like – the means by which musicians playing a stringed instrument would subtly vibrate the string for extra emotion. What’s more, vibrato is common for vocalists, guitarists, and violinists, but it’s hard to achieve on a keyed instrument like a synth and even harder to achieve on a single-note basis.

Depending on the model of synth you have, you may have a feature called something like ‘wobble’ to indicate vibrato. Simply said, on a fingerboard or other controller, wobbling your finger side to side can create a fantastic individual note vibrato that sounds just like you were on a real guitar – yet with whatever sound or waveform you desire.

Velocity

Velocity is a term you might be familiar with from synthesis. It broadly refers to the strength and intensity with which a note comes in. It’s easy to do on a synth but hard to control on a note-by-note basis before the introduction of MPE.

Aftertouch

Aftertouch refers to the subtle changes in sound as you lift your finger from a note. This is a feature that gives your playing much of a human element. It’s also why synthesis can sometimes sound mechanical or robotic. Aftertouch is not confined to mpe and is a bonus feature of many well-created synth keyboards.

Glissando

Lastly, glissando is another term for glide – similar to pitch bending, gliding from one note to another. This was hard to recreate on a note-by-note basis but with midi polyphonic expression, you can now experiment with in all its glory. It was previously hard to replicate on synths but with mpe has become much easier.

Pitch Bending

Pitch bending is also exactly what it says. It refers to how on an instrument like guitar you would bend a pitch up towards your desired note. Thus, you are creating a smooth and melodic sound that encompasses half tones and microtones too.

Controlling this on a note-by-note basis is again one of the great features of midi polyphonic expression, allowing for never-seen-before layering of sound that can create fantastic atmospheric backdrops or leads.

Final Thoughts

This is just a brief rundown on the history and development of MPE, and its modern manifestations. The field is still relatively young, in synthesis terms – so it’s likely we may see it catch on more until it becomes an expected staple. Furthermore, it’s ripe for new developments, and the pioneering minds behind modern synths are making sure to include MPE more and more. 

If you liked this article, we have more on the specifics of MPE, such as the best MPE-compatible VSTs, as well as MPE synths compared with our guides to everything you need to get started with in MPE. 

Your Beginner’s Guide to Pumping Kicks and Soaring Leads

Ready to join the ranks of Hardstyle producers, crafting anthems that shake the dance floor? Buckle up, because we’re about to explore the world of Hardstyle Sample Packs – your shortcut to injecting professional sound into your tracks. Don’t worry, even if you’re just starting out, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate this sonic arsenal.

Why Sample Packs?

Imagine building a house brick by brick. Time-consuming, right? Sample packs offer pre-made bricks – kicks, snares, leads, and more – saving you time and effort while ensuring your music sounds professional. Think of them as training wheels, helping you learn the ropes before building your own sonic masterpieces.

What’s Inside the Pack?

Each pack focuses on a specific element, like:

  • Kicks: The heart of Hardstyle, these deliver the earth-shattering thump. Choose powerful, clean kicks for euphoric styles or distorted, aggressive ones for raw vibes.
  • Snares & Claps: Add snap and rhythm. Tight snares provide precision, while ghost snares and rimshots offer subtle grooves. Claps should be crisp and defined, keeping the energy pumping.
  • Hi-Hats: Provide rhythmic detail and energy. Tight and closed hi-hats offer cleanness, while open and airy ones create space. Choose packs with a cohesive set for sonic unity.
  • Leads: The soaring melodies that define Hardstyle. Explore euphoric supersaws, gritty growls, or complex Reese basslines, depending on your desired mood.

Beyond the Basics:

Many packs offer additional elements like risers (building tension), impacts (adding punch), percussion (shakers, cymbals), vocals (chops, chants), and FX (sweeps, atmospheres). These add detail and dimension to your music, but start with the essentials and explore later.

Choosing Your First Pack:

Free packs are a great starting point! Look for beginner-friendly options with essential sounds like kicks, snares, and claps. Reputable producers or labels often offer high-quality freebies.

Remember:

1. Match Your Sonic Identity

Think of Hardstyle subgenres like different paint palettes. Euphoric packs boast bright, uplifting kicks and soaring supersaws, perfect for creating anthems that reach for the sky. Raw packs offer grittier, distorted kicks and growling leads, ideal for crafting tracks with an aggressive edge. Industrial packs delve into darker territories with metallic textures and pounding kicks, perfect for atmospheric journeys. Choose a pack that aligns with your musical vision and desired emotional impact.

2. Start Small, Build Big

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your sonic empire won’t rise with a hundred packs at once. Focus on mastering the essentials first. Grab a beginner-friendly pack with foundational elements like kicks, snares, claps, and maybe a few basic leads. Experiment with these, learn how they interact, and understand how processing can shape them into your personal sound. Once you’ve conquered the basics, then venture into exploring more specialized packs for risers, impacts, and FX to add depth and detail.

3. Unleash Your Inner Alchemist

Don’t just drag and drop – become a sonic alchemist! Samples are your raw materials, waiting to be transformed. Chop them up, layer them creatively, experiment with pitch and tempo changes, and add processing like EQ, distortion, and compression to sculpt them into unique sonic textures. Remember, the best producers use samples as inspiration, not dictation. Push boundaries, break the mold, and discover your own signature sound within the pre-made elements.

4. Respect the Craft, Respect the Law

Copyright infringement is a big no-no in the music world. Before incorporating any sample into your track, always check its licensing status. Opt for royalty-free packs or purchase licenses for individual samples. Remember, respecting intellectual property is not just ethical, it’s essential for avoiding legal trouble down the line.

Ready to Get Started?

With these basics in mind, you’re equipped to explore the world of Hardstyle Sample Packs. Remember, the journey to Hardstyle mastery is a continuous learning process. Experiment, have fun, and unleash your inner producer! And hey, if you ever get stuck, don’t hesitate to ask the online Hardstyle community – they’re always happy to help fellow sound warriors!

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 7: Review, New Updates, And Is It Worth It?

One of the most hotly anticipated updates to any piece of software in the world of music, this Guitar Rig 7 review will break down the pros and cons of all the amp sim’s new features. Many musicians celebrate Native Instruments’ long-running amp sim for its true-to-life impulse responses and wide variety of tones.

Now, the Guitar Rig 7 update hops on the latest trends with exciting lo-fi FX. Yet, it also keeps the characteristic breadth and variety of guitar rig 6. We share our take on the sounds included here, so read on.

Guitar Rig 7 Overview 

Overall, comes in two versions, Guitar Rig 7 pro and Guitar Rig 7 le. Simply put, LE is a less varied and detailed version of Pro that comes with other Native Instruments products, a feature that we cover later in this article. 

Apart from that, new features for Guitar Rig 7 include pedals, FX, a limiter, and new amps, so read on for a closer look and our thoughts on their sound. 

What Is New In Guitar Rig 7? 

New pedals: Guitar Rig 7 has five new virtual effects pedals. These include Kolor (black box hardware distortion, Seattle fuzz, and Swedish death metal modelled ‘chainsaw’. There’s also IVP stomp, modeled off a discontinued instrument preamp, and Skreamer deluxe overdrive pedal. 

Other New Features:  Guitar Rig 7 also includes a new sidebar and loop machine pro allowing you to layer loops and improvise over tracks. It also has a new cabinet impulse response loader to emulate the acoustics of actual cabinets. 

Is Guitar Rig 7 Free? 

You may wonder at this stage ‘is Guitar Rig 7 free?’

The answer is that only the most basic version of Guitar Rig 7 is free. This version is called Guitar Rig 7 Player, and it does have a good amount of things included. It also has the same great sound and intelligent circuit modeling technology. However, it is lacking a lot of other features. 

If you’re looking for a great guide on what features the free vs paid versions do and don’t have, you can find one on the Native Instruments website . 

However, if you’re worried about a higher cost for Guitar Rig 7, don’t be. If you already own Guitar Rig 6, you don’t have to pay the full price, so read on for more. 

Guitar Rig 7 LE vs Pro

Do you want a step up from player, but don’t want to pay the full price for Guitar Rig 7 Pro? There is a middle option called Guitar Rig 7 LE. However bear in mind if you want this version, it comes along with other Native Instruments products. One of the best is the Komplete 6 bundle of hardware, where it’s included. However, you can’t buy it individually. 

So, why would you want to get LE? Well, if you have LE, there is a Guitar Rig 7 upgrade to pro at a cheaper price. In fact, you can get it for 149 USD as opposed to 199 USD for Guitar Rig Pro straight up. Therefore this is a useful option if you are going to be buying some hardware gear anyway. As a result, it lets you save money and get multiple bits of studio gear in one go. 

Guitar Rig 7 pro price: 

As stated above, the full price for Guitar Rig 7 pro is 199 USD making it relatively expensive for a plugin but not too pricy. For what it is, we think it’s extremely worth it due to the quality and professionalism of the technology. 

However, if you are on a tight budget there are two options. You can either buy Guitar Rig LE and upgrade for 149 USD. Or, you can go for an update if you already have Guitar Rig 6. This costs 99 USD but is only available for those who already have the previous iteration of Guitar Rig. 

Native Instruments Guitar Rig New Updates and Features

So, how do the new features of Guitar Rig 7 stand up against market competitors? And, how do they compare to old variations of the software? We’re happy we can say the new features are really exciting, especially the Lofi FX. So, let’s break down their quality and sound. Plus, we’ll look at the question of ‘is Guitar Rig 7 worth it?’ based on these additions alone. 

Amps: 

There are three new amps as part of the Guitar Rig 7 update. First up, the Superfast 100, based on the Soldano slow100. There’s also the Reverb Delight, based on a classic Fender amp, and the AC Box XV based on the Vox AC 15. There’s quite a good range of tones here; one thing that unites the amps is they are all very crisp and clear. In classic guitar rig style, they have a very lifelike sounding tone. They are also, with the help of the impulse response loader, very malleable. 

The reverb delight has lush undertones and overtones and overall is a very high quality, vintage-sounding amp. At first it feels a bit limited to genres like classic rock. However, it could just as easily work with modern indie depending on the rest of your production.

Meanwhile, the Superfast 100 has a laid-back 90s cool. It could work with anything from nu-metal to pop-punk with quite a significant college radio feel to it.

Lastly, the AC Box XV is also pretty classic rock but has a generally appealing all-round tone. It could easily add to indie or hard rock too. Clean, all three are more versatile. However, of the three, the AC Box XV and Reverb Delight feel best suited to the widest variety of genres. Think anything from versatile modern pop, indie, rock, alternative, and more. 

FX: 

The low fi fx include tape wobble, noise machine, and vintage vibrato. But how do they stack up? They’re definitely FX that ride the wave of many modern trends in Lofi. They don’t aim to throw back to a particular era, instead, they recognize currently Lofi is a world of its own. But this is great, because all three are really fresh and clear sounding. They’re smooth ear candy that instantly adds a spark to your tracks. 

Individually, the vintage vibrato harks back to old organs and other machines with slight imperfections. The nose machine is exciting and super varied. It offers the classic tape noises and vinyl crackle.

However, it also has more unusual options like birdsong, VHS tape, and even the sound of a fire crackling in the background. Noises are realistic yet not intrusive and they blend perfectly with your track. Lastly, the classic Tape Wobble is subtle but easy to modify. There are a variety of presets for all of this. 

Ultimately we think that the Lofi FX are one of the biggest draws for guitar rig 7. They’re not just emulating old gear, they’ve cottoned onto the conventions within modern Lofi music and are truly giving musicians what they want. 

Guitar Rig 7 Review: Pedals and Other Features: 

Apart from amps and FX, Guitar Rig 7 has some great new pedals. In, fact, there are 5 new pedals that are based on ICM (intelligent Circuit Modelling). This means they are exact emulations of real-life counterparts down to the individual components. 

Kolor

Kolor is a very exciting pedal. This one is all about adding color and atmosphere to your music, something it does in spades. It creates an intensity to your guitar playing that comes from the undertones and overtones that it adds to sound. This is a subtle addition but a very nice one. 

Seattle Fuzz

Seattle Fuzz uses ICM to mimic a pedal from one of the grunge era’s top producers. It doesn’t say who, but this pedal definitely packs a punch. One thing some grunge fans may notice is that the sound is quite modern. There is a slight grittiness to grunge-era FX that may seem like it’s lacking at first.

In this light, it makes the Seattle fuzz pedal slightly more appropriate for 90s alt-rock or pop punk. However, once you tweak features like impulse responses, it provides a delicious, dark moody undertone to your playing. This one really brings back the atmosphere of underground Seattle gigs quite easily. The main thing is it’s one that’s great to play around with in combination with other features. 

Chainsaw and Skreamer Deluxe

Meanwhile, Chainsaw also models itself after a scene – 90s Swedish death metal. This pedal has a sharp, screaming sound, perfect for playing at both ends of the fretboard. It doesn’t need much added and it’s also great for other genres of metal in our opinion. 

Meanwhile, Skreamer Deluxe is a classic distortion pedal for high gain or heavy playing. It helps balance out your sound smoothly and really nicely. As a result, it’s ideal for heavy rock, alt-metal, and many more modern genres from the 90s onwards. 

Preamp and Other Features

Lastly, the new pedals also include a pre-amp, the IVP stomp. This is based on a rack-mounted preamp using NI’s Intelligent Circuit Modelling technology. This actually makes Guitar Rig 7 one of the few places you can find the IVP stomp easily. Apart from this, the manufacturer discontinued its hardware incarnation. 

In addition, the update includes the ozone limiter as well as new impulse response controls. In general, these meet the same high-quality standards as the rest of the rig. The IRs in particular are very lifelike and great for giving your guitar work more of a realistic edge. This is the feature that brings you into the metaphorical room with the amps! Yes, IRs on other amp and cab sims are good too. But this update reminds us why Guitar Rig is one of the best.

Is Guitar Rig 7 Pro Worth It? 

At an overall level, we would say a resounding yes. This is a very exciting update. However, no Guitar Rig 7 review can overlook the reasons why you may want to consider its market competitors. These are not to do with its quality at all. Instead, they are mostly if its main features do not immediately align with your niche within music. 

Why might you want to use something else? 

Is Native Instruments’ guitar rig 7 worth it for the features alone? And, why might you want to use something else?

If you’re dead set on your genre, remember all versions guitar rig 7 and the native instruments guitar rig series in general are pretty versatile. This is great but for specialist guitarists such as in djent, metal, or industrial. Alternatively, for genres like jazz and blues you may want something tailored towards your style of playing.

Additionally, if you do want the classic tones that the new amps provide but consider yourself more of an audiophile, some musicians prefer other amp sims like Amplitube 5 and Helix Native. We have in-depth comparisons of all of these here

Final Thoughts 

So, we now end our Guitar Rig 7 review and we’re glad to say it’s definitely an update that lives up to the hype.

Lots of musicians have hotly anticipated Guitar Rig 7 Pro as one of the most exciting software updates on any plugin for a while now. It’s not hard to see why. This is one of the most realistic and inventive amp sims on the market. Do guitar rig 7 player and guitar rig 7 le meet the same requirements? Yes, if you’re going for quality. However, if you want to best of the new features and their versatility, we think you need the full package.

Since its release, we found with the guitar rig series that the standout features are those that meet two criteria. Firstly, they have catered to current musical trends. Secondly, they then put an innovative twist on them, such as the Lofi and vintage features. 

The rest of the amp sim is stellar too. However, the biggest takeaway is that this is the best amp sim if you’re in genres like indie, synth pop, lo-fi, and so on. It’s great to see amp sims branch out for these genres that many beginner producers don’t immediately associate with guitar. Yet even if your interests lie elsewhere, this is still a fantastic gateway to a broader range of effects.

Still on the fence? We have a great article comparing amp sims here. And if you want to check the Native Instruments and support our website with a purchase, please use this affiliate link.

And, if you want to explore more VSTs and other software, we have a whole section here.

Happy producing!

Guitar Rig 7 Pro, Player, And LE Comparison

For the first time in 3 years, Native Instruments has released a guitar rig update…

Now, guitar rig 7 pro and player make this the 3rd iteration of the classic software guitarists have come to love since its debut in 2004.

2023’s Most Exciting Amp Sim News!

That’s right, easily one of the most exciting updates to any VST of 2023 is guitar rig 7 pro, LE, and player, both available as part of the wider update.

But before we dive in with the good and bad points of each, let’s look at why this was such a hotly anticipated update and what it has to offer.

and Guitar Rig 6 Compared

If you’re wondering ‘is the guitar rig 7 update worth it?’ it helps to recall what made the software defining when it first came out. Native Instruments released Guitar Rig in 2004. Since then, the last major update was Guitar Rig 6 3 years ago.

Ultimately if you want to see guitar rig 6 vs 7 compared, you need to know what new features 7 has that 6 doesn’t. In addition, many musicians question whether to go for Guitar Rig 6 vs Amplitube 5, the other most in-demand amp sim.

Guitar Rig 7 Overall Breakdown

There is some confusion online about whether the upgrade from guitar rig 6 to 7 is free. Some musicians mistakenly thought it was part of the complete 14 bundle but no, unfortunately, this is not a free update.

Is Worth It?

Is the new software worth it? the prices listed vary, however, most sites list Guitar Rig 7 Pro upgrade (assuming you already have Guitar Rig 6) at anywhere between 50 and 100 USD. So, it’s not that low but it also won’t break the bank. Some of you may find it’s a bit much given that you already own the software in another form.

Remember also that if you don’t have it, you will have to buy it from scratch, and it retails at 130 USD approx.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into any Guitar Rig versions vs Amplitube 5. if you want a detailed breakdown you can look at our comparisons of guitar rig and amplitube here, as well as with other contenders like Helix Native assuming you are purchasing from scratch.

But for Guitar Rig 7 alone, we will now give you a thorough and honest breakdown as to what it does and doesn’t have to offer.

Guitar Rig 7 Features

The biggest draws for the update is how this version has 4 new amps and 5 new virtual FX pedals. In addition, the new software includes the Ozone Maximizer, 100 new rack presets, and loop machine pro, as well as new methods of organizing the signal chain with the new sidebar.

New Pedals:

We truly are impressed with the variety and versatility of the new features here. Read on for a breakdown of why exactly:

  • kolor– based on distortion circuits from real-life hardware, you’re essentially getting more FX for the price of one. This one is great for adding character.
  • chainsaw – the first of two genre-specific pedals. We love how the developers are finally recognising the popularity of metal sub-genres, so this is a big bonus.
  • seattle fuzz – bonus for featuring a sound that is having a small revival at the moment but major designers don’t always cater for. If it’s not your jam, this may not be such a great feature, but remember this sound is also great for indie, shoegaze, and more
  • skreamer deluxe – a great all-round overdrive pedal
  • ivp stomp – bonus for modeling this off discontinued hardware. We feel the new gear with guitar rig 7 has its strongest feature in how it fills in gaps, and the IVP stomp is based off a pre-amp with an amazing clanging tone, sadly discontinued and much loved by many. It’s back now.

Ultimately we feel the stompboxes are one of the strongest parts of the update. They are good quality, although some audiophiles feel Amplitube wins out on this one. There have also been complaints that there is a discrepancy in quality with some of the other older features.

Personally, we feel the ICM technology is great if you’re not looking for perfection. For the creativity of these plugins combined with relatively high-quality sound, they do make the update very exciting.

LOFI FX and WHY We Are So Excited:

The second most exciting part of the new additions are the LOFI FX such as tape wobble, vintage vibrato, and noise machine (which can emulate everything from VHS to cassette noise to vinyl crackle!)

Native Instruments have seen a HUGE opportunity here with the continued focus on LOFI online and in adding these FX they have made the software appealing not just to guitarists but also sound designers, beatmakers and producers, who want to keep familiar sounds while branching out into guitar.

What Other New Features Are There?

The upgrade has over 100 IRs (impulse responses) as well as 4 new amps (bass rage, it’s great to have an addition to the guitar rig 7 bass amps in our view, as well as Super Fast 100, Reverb Delight, and AC Box XV).

There is also a new intuitive signal chain that is designed to streamline even the most byzantine signal paths.

We think there is a tiny bit more versatility and ease with the Amplitube signal chain organization software.

However, if you are already a user of guitar rig, the added simplicity is definitely worth the update.

Pro VS Player VS LE

How to decide on which version to get?

Of course, it depends on your budget. That said, what is the popular guitar rig 7 LE?

Fans of Native Instruments may notice that Guitar Rig 6 also had the LE feature. To make things easier, LE is a tier that has more features than Player but not as many as Pro.

We think LE is great if you want to try out the software without too much investment. However, whilst even in its free version, a sim like Amplitube is really great, we feel like most of the features that make the update worthwhile are available mostly in the Pro version (with some LE.)

These include specific amps, vabs, and stompboxes. Whilst LE does have some, like the tape wobble, the best stuff really does come Pro here.

That said, there is currently a limited edition upgrade from LE to pro that expires Jan 1, 2024.

If you are still unsure, there is a handy chart on the Native Instruments website that shows you what features you will and won’t get.

You can also check the price here, and if you buy using this link you will be supporting the website since we get a small kickback.

Pros, Cons, and How to Decide

Ultimately when you break it down, the update has the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • keeps up to date with trends in music
  • gives you genre versatility with a range of styles including shoegaze, classic rock, and LoFi.
  • As intuitive as former iterations, with the new sidebar as well
  • Great for more than just guitarists!
  • Decent quality emulations

Cons

  • If the new features aren’t hugely relevant to you, it may not be worth the update
  • Competitors like Amplitube 5 have more variety of IRs
  • Many musicians favor Amplitube’s cab modeling, too
  • ICM technology is great, but other amp sims do similar things equally or better
  • Some musicians find the sound a little generic and not true to life

Conclusion:

We are very excited here about this upgrade as native instruments thought of providing a really creative range of new offerings. Though there are more cons than pros, the pros are BIG if they hit the mark for you.

It also thinks of genres other than rock, indie, and those based on guitar. there’s stuff for sound designers who only want to use minimal amounts of guitar FX, too. In this way it’s super up-to-date and spans a lot of current trends in music.

Features like the Seattle Fuzz pedal offer great sonic character, and you don’t always find them in bundles of VSTs that cater to the more mainstream genres.

Our verdict is that some of the offerings fill very important gaps in the market. therefore, if they do for you what you need, the update is definitely worth it, hands down.

However, if you are buying an amp sim from scratch, it’s worth comparing Guitar Rig vs Amplitube, as we do here.

Guitar Rig as a series has many fans, but equally, its competitors hit the mark for an equal number of musicians depending on what you’re looking for.

BEST MPE SYNTH COMPARED: Arturia Pigments vs XFER Serum vs ROLI Equator 2 vs UVI Falcon

Are you looking for the best mpe synth to add this exciting technology to your home studio? 

MPE is one of the biggest recent breakthroughs in music technology history. To an extent now,  now any VST synth worth its salt that doesn’t support MPE must be pretty good to withstand competition.   For the uninitiated, MPE allows synths to emulate real-life nuances like pitch bending. More on that later.

For now,  this guide will break down the best MPE hardware synths, from the XFER Serum, to Arturia Pigments and close competitors ROLI Equator 2 and UVI Falcon. We also have a new bonus alternative with our best FREE MPE compatible synth vst! Let’s also take a look at how mpe can combine with pre-existing features. 

Best MPE Synths Introduction: What Does MPE Stand For In Synthesis? 

MPE stands for MDI Polyphonic Expression and essentially brings an analog, tangible feel to synthesis and virtual instruments. MPE affects both hardware synths and the plugins that emulate them. 

We’ve already made a list of the best MPE VST synths out there for you to check out, but in this article, we’re doing a more detailed comparison of some of the most talked about names on the current market for VST synths that are MPE compatible and the pros and cons of each. Yes, there’s a lot out there, so this is a more granular look at some of the most popular to make decisions easier. Read on to see exactly why these have become some of the hottest options, why they’re great – and, most importantly, which one would work best for YOU. 

How Does MPE Work and Why Do I Need It? 

So how does MPE work? MPE basically gives a clue as to what it is in its name. Whereas previous parameters and nuances such as aftertouch were all affected by the same channel, the polyphonic part of MPE means that each note you play on a MIDI keyboard or even program into a synth part has its own capacity for modulation, introducing complex features like chord bending. Basically, this is more like how instruments work in real life. It means you have a naturalistic and realistic sound that adds bucketloads of expression to your playing. 

Here’s an example. Imagine you play a basic C Major chord. Naturally, you’re not going to hit every note with exactly the same strength. MPE essentially allows you to emulate the nuance of this – perhaps a softer bass note and louder fifth, for example – where previously, all notes would be affected equally by any parameters you added to them. 

Ok, so we’ve established that MPE is much more naturalistic, but did you know that it actually applies to ANY and ALL parameters you add to your synth presets? That includes pitch bending and modulation, filters, and a lot more. MPE-compatible synths use an MPE controller such as those created by ROLI but most classically it is controlled with MIDI. 

With such true-to-life emulation, there are myriad different options for VST creators to flexibly express this, so we’ll dig in deeper at what it means for your choice of synth in our comparison and breakdown below of the market’s top. 

BEST MPE SYNTH FOR CREATIVE PRODUCTION – ARTURIA PIGMENTS

We’ve already made a list of the best MPE synth vsts out there for you to check out. However, in this article, we’re doing a more detailed comparison of some of the most talked about.

Without a doubt, Arturia Pigments deserves its popularity.  Pigments is popular for good reason; it offers creativity and flexibility across a huge variety of genres. The first evidence is found iny a host of presets that includes everything from 90s jungle, modern cinematic soundscapes, to trip-hop and drum and bass.

IS ARTURIA PIGMENTS WORTH IT – BEST AND WORST FEATURES AND MORE 

Ok, this may not be the best mpe synth overall, but we think it’s one of the most inspiring. 

Essentially this is a creative jack-of-all-trades synth that combines four different sources of sound with plenty of effects. It has a top-notch sequencer, a modulation system, and a utility engine that allows you to increase the number of oscillators. 

Plus it lets you add more layers of FX on top of these.  It’s a modern synthesizer with powerful FX and an advanced capacity for generating new sounds. So obviously this all gives you plenty to work with in terms of MPE.

At its heart, Pigments is one of the most popular synths due to the wide range of options it gives you to explore MPE. If we wanted to take a single synth to use as an example of everything MPE is capable of doing, this would be the one.

Arturia Pigments Price: $199, but you can check Pluginboutique by clicking here, maybe there is a sale.

BEST MPE SYNTH FOR FOCUS – XFER SERUM

If you want something more stripped back but also more focused on MPE, Serum is the synth for you. 

Pigments is a great MPE synth but ultimately it is broader than MPE and is aimed at encompassing the needs of many musicians.  It aims to give you a creative edge. 

Ultimately it lets you have  as many tools as possible to stimulate your creativity. If this sounds extraneous, the Serum is a more low-key option.

SERUM VS PIGMENTS – WHICH IS THE BEST MPE SYNTH?

Essentially what you are looking at comparing these two synths is that Serum goes deep, whereas Pigments has more of a varied offering. 

To think about it from one angle based on what they offer, Serum is more of a strict wavetable synth. On the other hand, Pigments offers everything from sampling, wavetable, to virtual analog synthesis as well as harmonic offerings. 

However Serum is a very creative synth. It is new and fresh, and it is a good option if you want to explore wavetable in depth. The Serum is also dedicated to cutting a lot of the muddiness out of wavetable synthesis. At heart, it’s taken one thing and tried to perfect it, whereas Pigments is aimed at giving you a variety of options.

XFER Serum Price: $189

ROLI Equator 2 – How Does It Combine With MPE? 

ROLI as a company is one of the biggest explorers of the developing world of MPE to date. 

If you want to ensure seamless integration between your gear, ROLI has also created its own MPE controller which brings analog touch to VST synths. In fact, they’ve gone as far as to list all the synths that are MPE compatible on their website. 

The Seabord, ROLI’s own MPE controller, can easily wirelessly to your VST synth, whether the Equator 2 or other synths such as the Serum. 

This gives you the tactile feedback of an analog synth, which isespecially great with MPE as it aims to emulate the features that come with this. 

In a sense, you’re just comparing a hybrid synth vs a wavetable synth here. The Equator 2 is nevertheless a very creative hybrid synth that offers you something a bit different from the majority of wavetable synths out there.

ROLI Equator 2 Price: $241 but also available as part of the great MPE synths bundle from our friends at Plugin Boutique, you can click here to see the bundle.

BEST HIGH END MPE SYNTH – THE UVI FALCON

The Falcon is a bit more expensive than some of the other synth VSTs on this list, but is it worth it?

If you are heavily reliant on creative, flexible, and powerful synthesis, this is the synth you shoudl go for.  For genres like electronic, industrial, synthpop, darkwave, or any other heavily synth-based genres, you’ll need the new capabilities of MPE too. Let’s look at what the Falcon 2 has that other synths on this list DO NOTT:

  • 17 oscillators ranging from wavetable to granular to analog and even physical modeling 
  • The ability to chop up and timestretch samples
  • Hybrid synthesis. This is the biggest plus – the Falcon excels with a multitude of hybrid synthesis options that Pigments and Serum don’t have as they are more specialist wavetable VSTs. 
  • Therefore, it depends on whether you want to go specialist and streamlined or open yourself to the world of possibilities to mix with MPE that hybrid synth VSTs offer. 
  • In addition, it contains granular synthesis options. Whilst the Equator 2 also has this, it’s not always common, so we mention it as a bonus.

Example: Detail, Usage, Design, and Beginner-Friendliness

Let’s take one example to see how these synths feel overall in a snapshot. How does the granular source on the Equator 2 compare to that of Falcon 2? Granular synthesis isn’t as common as some other oscillator forms, which is why it’s so great both these synths include it.

  • The Equator 2 granular oscillator source comes with a good batch of preset samples of a variety of tones, mostly suitable for cinematic soundscapes. It’s really intuitive and allows you to drag and drop samples that you can then set specific granular parameters for such as position and scan rate. It’s super clear if you’re just getting started with granular synthesis. 
  • The Falcon 2 offers both granular and multigranular synthesis and it’s got a more complicated and less streamlined interface. It’s more suited to those who have a bit of experience with granular under their belt already. However, it DOES have additional adjustable parameters that Equator 2 doesn’t such as ‘symmetry’, ‘fade’, jitter’, and ‘density’, giving plenty to sink your teeth into if you want to experiment. 

Overall Summary

Either way, these granular options are also part of a greater hybrid synthesis whole and give a good idea of what the rest of these two models are like overall. There’s simply so much here to combine with MPE that it’s really just a choice of whether you want a hybrid or something more specialized, in which case the Serum or Pigments would work better. But if hybrid synthesis is what you’re after, it simply depends on your interface preference and experience level. 

In General: Falcon for if you want in-depth experimentation. Equator 2 if you want a more streamlined synth that may have fewer features but integrates seamlessly with other MPE features such as the Seabord controller from a company that follows every new development. 

UVI Falcon Price: $349

The Ultimate MPE Synth Comparison – Our Thoughts on the BESt MPE Synths and Why

For us Pigments is one of the best MPE VST synths that really deserves its hype, however, the other manufacturers on this list are still very worth looking at. Most of what Pigments has to offer is not necessarily applicable to every single musician, so if you can go without the presents, there are plenty of other options you may fall in love with. 

Although MPE has been out there for a while it’s not yet possible to see everything it is capable of. If you really want to challenge yourself and experiment, it’s worth considering options aside from the Pigments just because they are much more focused. Nevertheless, if you feel like you will use all the features and want something creative, Pigments is worth the money. 

HONORABLE MENTION: THE BEST FREE MPE SEYNTH VST – SURGE XT

Whilst not as well known as the paid-for synths we have chosen to compare here, this one deserves an honorable mention. 

The XT is a subtractive hybrid synth with 3 oscillators per scene and 12 oscillator algorithms. But it’s not the specific technical specs that make it so great. 

Instead, the tones this synth is capable of making are almost perfectly suited to mpe. 

The XT has a bit of a cult following, having been voted Readers Choice by KRV Audio in 2022. It’s also relatively unique in that it’s open source and contributors include musicians such as Roger Linn, creator of the Linnstrument.

Yet beyond the love and care put into it, with a specific string oscillator and an ever-versatile twist oscillator, it makes this list because of well how the nuanced sonic possibilities of mpe go with the subtle sounds it makes. 

Yes, it can sound obviously like a synth, with great sawtooth, square, and other options. 

But it’s fantastic at emulating instruments and sculpting sound, making you feel like there is the ghost of a real musician behind the noise. 

Furthermore, it is COMPLETELY FREE and comes with a fantastic and supportive community. 

Bottom Line 

Ok, so MPE is one of the biggest changes in music since the invention of synthesis itself. That doesn’t mean it has to be daunting or challenging, however. The amount of companies that quickly adopted MPE and developed creative, smart, and flexible VSTs to support it means you are spoilt for choice. This guide simply helps you cut through some of the information and look at some of the biggest players on the market right now regarding MPE compatibility. 

Ultimately a lot is going to depend on your genre and personal preference; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and it depends on what your genre is as well as your feelings about the rest of the features of these synths as MPE, while a game changer, is nevertheless part of the bigger picture.

If you love synths in general, we have some great ones in our hardware section like the super-popular Lemondrop from 1010 Music. Meanwhile, our software section offers even more great breakdowns of popular VSTs, and our reviews section has plenty of other comparisons of the most popular gear on the market right now – so check them out!

Guitar Rig Comparison With Helix Native, AmpliTube, and More

Ok, so this COULD just be another Guitar Rig 6 Pro review. There are a LOT of reviews of Guitar Rig 6 by Native Instruments out there as well as detailed comparisons with other amp sims such as Helix Native and AmpliTube, such as our detailed breakdown here

However, with the latest update Guitar Rig 7 – and the first in 3 years – we decide to take a look here at what exactly separates Guitar Rig from it’s competitors, how it differs, where it falls short, and more . Hopefully, this guide will break down who exactly it that the Guitar Rig series might work for, what alternatives there are, and a no-holds-barred look at how you might use it in your playing, so read on.

Guitar Rig Pro General Audience 

The Guitar Rig Pro vs Player vs Helix Native, AmpliTube and other amp sims debate has been going on ever since Guitar Rig launched over 5 years ago now. This is pretty classic software and didn’t change much between its initial version and Guiar Rig 6. For an honest Guitar Rig 6 review in more detail, click here. However, in short, it aims mostly at giving you the broadest variety of amps and cabinets possible whilst not breaking the bank and offering a smooth and modern interface. 

You can get Guitar Rig 6 Pro from Native Instruments’ website by (and if you buy using our link we get a small kickback so you will be helping our website).

What Is Guitar Rig 6 (and now 7!) missing?

  • 8 track mixer – simply put, competitor Amplitube has more tools for intuitive production while not leaving this VST 
  • Super accurate sound – Helix Native sound quality and uniqueness has an edge over Guitar Rig. Amplitube’s new TONEX capabilities also give you more options to use custom amps, cabs, and plugins 

However, it is still really good! And it has some production tools of its own, which if you like them a lot, make it very worthwhile: 

  • The new iteration of Guitar Rig (Guitar Rig 7) adds the ozone maximizer and impulse response loader. 
  • The first is a powerful limiter that adds a boost of production capability to what is otherwise an amp sim. 
  • The second allows you to control IRs with options like high cut and low cut filters, letting you scult sonic changes as if in a real studio. However, it lacks the intuitiveness of Amplitube’s mic placement feature. 
  • New LOFI FX bundle gives you unique features like vibrato, noise machine, and tape wobble 
  • Guitar Rig 7 update also comes with a new loop machine

Is Guitar Rig 6 Just a Basic or Beginner-Friendly Amp Sim? 

The short answer is yes and no. While Guitar Rig 6 isn’t as high-end as Helix native it still isn’t something to laugh at with a relatively decent feature count and 13 FX even at the free level. 

Why Guitar Rig 6 Pro AND Player are Best for Home Recording

The ability to mix, match and modify the whole FX chain is also a winner that it shares with its competitors but in a simpler and more streamlined style. 

The simplicity and classic focus of the Guitar Rig series is basically everything you need to get started with home recording. With the other options on this list, there may be extra features that aren’t worth it if you have access to a studio or hardware guitar gear.

vs Player 

The Pro vs Player debate really just boils down to whether you need to pay the full cost for Guitar Rig 6 Pro. The obvious benefit is that if you opt for Player you can test it out to see if you like the general guitar rig software and then use that to help your decision between pro and whoever other amp sim you are considering. How much guitar will you actually be using? 

Pro is simply a paid-for version of Player that has more features. Ampos and FX skew towards classic rock, pop, and other guitar-based genres like indie and punk. There are also jazz tones and classic effects like fuzz and phaser. 

That being said, Player is relatively basic compared to other contenders and does not have as many FX. It only offers one cabinet, in practice it works a bit more like a pedalboard than a full-fledged amp sim. However, it’s worth it if you want to decide between Guitar Rig 6 and Amplitube, for example, as both have their free versions. 

Guitar Rig 6 vs Amplitube: Does it Stand Up For Audiophiles? 

The ONE downside of Guitar Rig 6 compared to something like Amplitube, apart from the detail levels, is that Amplitube has a real edge with its VIR technology. This models the sound of actual amps in a non-linear way, capturing the nuance and individuality of classic amps by brands such as Orange and Mesa Boogie. 

Whilst Helix Native pays attention to high-end sound quality, Guitar Rig uses ICM (intelligent circuit modelling) tech to faithfully recreate each component of your favorite amps and FX pedals. 

Although this makes them very accurate, Amplitube also has this feature – and goes further with its VIR which allows you to control tone much more with features like mic placement and a much more granular detail level regarding its IRs.

You can get Amplitube on the IK Multimedia website by .

The Amplitube 8 Track Recorder and Mixer: is AmpliTube Worth it Because Of This Feature? 

There are a lot of articles already giving you a Guitar Rig 6 review in comparison, and mentioning how great the Amplitube 8 track recorder and mixer is. Yes, it is a brilliant feature and done really well, but it raises one question: is it really necessary if you already have a DAW? 

Ultimately it depends on how much you care about convenience. If you don’t want everything in one place, it isn’t such a feature. But if you’re a producer, and combined with all the other features of Amplitube such as the VIR technology, it is worth it if you want to have a holistic look at your mix in one go and make the changes you need. 

Another benefit Amplitube 5 is that it DOES come with an app for iPhone and iPad. In this way you can record guitar on the go, turning your phone into a portable DAW or ‘tone studio’. This DOES give it an edge over Guitar Rig 6 because it means if you have an idea or experiment that you want to try out on the go… you can. 

However, if you already have a confident home studio setup, you may not need this feature as much.

Guitar Rig 6 vs Helix Native: The Audiophile’s Choice

At the most basic level, Helix Native is a high-end industry-leading amp sim designed for professional musicians recording full albums hence the higher price. Sound quality is top notch and it allows you to record unprocessed guitar that you can play with to your heart’s content afterwards. It allows hyper-detailed control over impulse responses and you can even load new ones. Thus, it’s best for audiophiles who don’t mind if it’s slightly less intuitive.

Is Helix Native Worth it Compared to Guitar Rig 6? 

One potential benefit of Helix Native is that the FX such as reverbs, delays, and even pedals are more creative and nuanced, there’s marginally more variety and diversity, and they’re slightly more skewed towards musicians who want to push their sound. 

If you’re looking for MORE than just classic sounds and want something a bit more out of the box, Helix Native is the one to go for. For high quality and uniqueness, it can’t be beat. 

With the new Guitar Rig 7 update, if you want some smart production tools and an interesting range of gear, but are willing to sacrifice a little bit of realistic detail in terms of sound, this may be your best choice instead.

How To Decide Between Different Amp Sims

There are so many Guitar Rig 6 review articles breaking down the specific specs of these amp sims without looking at how they work in reality. As a result, we have done a bit of research to see how the different options available work regards your individual situation. 

GUITAR LEVEL: 

Are you a beginner or a more experienced guitarist? It may not sound like it matters with an amp sim but if you are just starting and want to record yourself, Guitar Rig 6 has more than enough options without breaking the bank. It is also infinitely more beginner-friendly as at this stage you may not be able to fully exploit the quality or range of options Helix Native has to offer. 

PRODUCTION LEVEL:

Like your playing level, this is even more important to consider as it’s crucial to getting the best sounds out of any amp sim. Great equipment can only go so far, if you’re not fully confident on how to use a more complex amp sim having better gear won’t make your tracks sound better. Either way all three options are very intuitive and help visually represent the signal chain. 

That said, the new Guitar Rig 7 update has a LOT of great stuff for producers such as the LoFi FX bundle that offers analog warmth and the tonal control of real-life recording. It’s features like these that make all these amp sims a lot more than just that – but for interesting quirks and production versatility with the new update, Guitar Rig may sometimes have an edge despite its other shortcomings. 

GENRE: 

There are MANY pop, hip-hop, indie, alternative, synthpop, post-punk, and electronic producers who still use a bit of guitar in their music now and then. The key question is how much will you be using guitar? If you are playing a guitar-heavy genre like metal, punk, indie rock, or hard rock, then Helix Native may be the option for you – or Amplitube for the greater control and diversity it offers. 

However, if you’re looking for an amp sim simply to add a bit of guitar into tracks of a genre that doesn’t heavily use it, AmpliTube or Guitar Rig 6 is the way to go. Simply put, Helix Native is an amazing amp sim but won’t be worth it if you intend to mix your guitar sounds into another genre where they will interact with lots of effects. However, if guitar is to be center stage, helix native is definitely worth considering. 

GEAR SETUP:

Ok, so who wouldn’t want over 400+ FX, pedals, and other options for your guitar? All of these are essentially tone modeling studios, but whether you go for a fuller or more basic option will depend on how much analog gear you have and how satisfied you are with it. If you’ve already found your sound and are playing something pretty stripped back with a few hardware amps you may not want as many of the features on offer with these amo sims in which case it makes sense to go for the most basic. 

However, even at the free level, sims like Guitar Rig 6 and Amplitube are LIFESAVERS when it comes to providing creative sounds for bedroom musicians on a budget.

Bottom Line 

In the end, there is no strict hierarchy of ‘which is better’ when it comes to amp sims. There are many musicians who find Helix Native to sound more realistic. Ultimately though, it depends on your purposes. Ifyou aren’t necessarily going to use all the FX a particular sim has to offer, then it makes sense to opt for a more basic option. 

There’s also the fact that limitations can stimulate creativity. 

However, a more basic amp sim like Guitar Rig now comes with more production-oriented detail.  thus, it can be a good middle ground if you want something to cut your teeth on as a new producer and/or guitarist.If you found this useful to help distinguish what amp sim is right for you, we have many more comparisons in our reviews section here. In addition, if you simply love reading about VSTs in-depth and checking out new software, take a look at our software section.

Best Drum Machine Plugins – Compared and Reviewed

The best drum machine plugin VST of 2023 isn’t an easy choice. Therefore, with this list, we’ve gone with options that do something different.

To be honest, there are loads of options we could have included here but we’ve chosen these ones based on unique points. All of these either fill a niche or make your composition more creative and flexible. Read on for a breakdown, to see them compared, and to find out which one is best for your mix.

1. ADSR Drum Machine Plugin VST

What is the ADSR Drum Machine?

Yes, on the surface the ADSR drum machine is just that – a great drum machine from ADSR sounds.

However, once you dig deeper it contains a number of interesting shortcuts that allow you to achieve things that you might otherwise have to manually mix and produce into your track.

What’s Good About It? And, Is the ADSR Drum Machine Worth It?

As we say above, the ADSR drum machine basically creates a bunch of shortcuts. These are the hacks and easy ways of fine-tuning beats that you’d otherwise have to mix yourself. One of these is split pads, but its mixer section is also a huge draw. Here, you can totally specify parameters for every single element of your beat. What makes it really smooth to work with is it achieves much of the heavy legwork straight up. Anything you make is already pretty polished by the time you get around to mixing the full track together.

In addition, it’s got genre-specific factory presets including house, lo-fi, reggae, acoustic, and analog. Ultimately this gives it a bit more variability than other similar kits.

You can buy it on their website by clicking here.

ADSR Drum Machine Features:

  • 30-day free trial
  • cut, EQ, compressor, filter, phaser, and distortion
  • genre-specific beats
  • onboard processing
  • split pads for maximum control
  • mixer
  • envelope
  • per-pad pitching
  • Mac and Windows AU, Standalone, and VST compatibility

Is There Anything Bad About ADSR Drum Machine?

Not much. Like the Algonaut Atlas 2 which we’ve also covered here, it can be on the expensive side. As it’s also a relatively detailed drum plugin, you may need a while to find the parameters you like.

Is This the Best Drum Machine VST for Sculpting Sound?

Overall, the ADSR drum machine is great. It lives up to its name in how it provides a way to adjust all the smaller features of a drum sound smoothly, efficiently, and in one place. There honestly isn’t anything else like it in terms of time-saving drum machine plugins. Its specialty is letting you incorporate sound creation into the production and mixing process at the early stages as opposed to later on. This is what means it’s great for producers who are particular about crafting their sound.

You may also find that doing this means you can approach your music and sound more holistically. This leads to greater ‘mix glue’ in terms of how your mix holds together and feels like a coherent musical whole.

Good to Know:

This one is good if you have a preference for detail orientation and control over your drum sound. If you’re working in genres that favor a rougher, more organic mix, it may not be worth the high price. However, if you want a smooth, clean mix with ultimate control and are looking for a shortcut to start organizing stuff early in the process, you can’t beat it.

2. Best SMART Drum Machine Plugin VST – Algonaut Atlas 2

What is it?

Essentially this is smart drum mapping software that turns samples into beats. Atlas is a template for you to upload your samples to and map them out to a drum kit, creating multiple kits that you can then use to play seq

Is This the Best AI Drum Machine Plugin VST?

Basically, there’s nothing else quite like it on the market. There’s a reason that Atlas 2 has been written about already so extensively. That’s because it allows you to construct the beats you want from the root upwards.

You can go to their website by clicking here.

Algonaut Atlas 2 Features:

  • maps sound by type and timbre
  • visualization of different sound ‘clusters’ in space helps you understand the overall makeup of your track
  • intelligent analysis that sorts your samples for you
  • adjustable envelope and other features on pads like with a regular drum machine
  • midi map key functions
  • accessible drum sequencer
  • export to MIDI and audio loops
  • available for OS and Windows (64-bit only as AU, VST, VST3 and as a standalone application)

Is There Anything Bad About It?

Not much is bad about it, but it is on the expensive side. Is it worth it? Depending on how you prefer to make and visualize your music, absolutely. In fact, if you ever struggle with breaking down the options in a mix, this plugin is revolutionary.

However, the ‘mapping’ style may not be for everyone. So if this is the case, it may not be worth the relatively high price.

How Does It Rate Overall?

So, compared to the ADSR drum machine, this is way more sample focused and is all about constructing kits from scratch. The ‘mapping’ feature also means that you have a unique way of visualizing the sounds that go together in a particular kit, and its grouping and layout

Is This One of the Easiest to Program Drum Machine Plugin VSTs?

If you are new to this, the smart AI features of this drum machine plugin VST make it easier to organize your ideas. It’s not necessarily easier to program, but it’s ease of organization takes away part of the workload. Therefore, it is very beginner friendly too.

Algonaut Atlas 2 – What’s Good to Know?

When using it, it’s good to have an idea in your head already of what sample you’re using, how you’re going to adapt them, and where and how you want to organize them before you use the plugin. It’s easy to get carried away with all the features. Therefore, it can help to have an idea of where you’re going first.

However, if you’re unsure and just want to experiment to start a track off, this is actually a great way. It lets you mix and match sounds, and creates a way to organize tones and samples in front of you that helps you open up how you think of your work.

3. AudioSpillage MiniSpillage – best FREE Drum Machine Plugin VST

What is it?

it’s essentially a free drum machine plugin that contains all you need to edit and adjust the parameters of bass, hi-hat, and snare drums from scratch. Mini spillage lets you add filters, distortion, adjust the envelope, and everything in between to create your ideal drum sound. It’s similar but not exactly like the paid-for Drum Spillage plugin.

The Best Drum Machine VST – FREE?

Basically, this is one of the most accurate drum machine VSTs on the market. It’s simple enough and clearly executed that it’s a dream to use. It also contains the perfectly chosen details you might need to get the biggest amount of control over the sound in the fastest possible way.

Why MiniSpillage Is the Best Drum Machine Plugin VST for Electronic Music

It also integrates completely with MIDI. In fact, it let you map pads to midi notes. You can likewise tune kick drums to your MIDI keyboard. With 16 outputs there are also plenty of options for sequencing.

It’s also GREAT for beginners. Its simplicity and accuracy make the frustration at the start of the learning curve almost non-existent. However, it is versatile enough that more advanced producers in the pop, electronic, hip-hop, or lo-fi genres will also enjoy it.

You can get the MiniSpillage for free on their website by clicking here.

AudioSpillage MiniSpillage Features:

  • available for Mac only
  • bass drum, hi-hat, and wood drum
  • envelope and LFO
  • supports MIDI drum pad triggers
  • filters, distortion, and modulation
  • polyphonic switch
  • midi key assignability
  • inbuilt tuning for pads and pad panning
  • exponential mapping

Is There Anything Bad About AudioSpillage MiniSpillage?

Obviously, it doesn’t have the full range of features that some of AudioSpillage’s paid-for plugins have. Yet, that’s only to be expected given that it’s free. When adjusted for this fact, it’s a really great, reliable drum machine. Small details like pad tuning and panning done well, in an easy-to-program manner really add up here.

The only other thing to note is it is Mac-only, and is aimed more at electronic musicians of all stripes. Thus, it doesn’t necessarily focus on warmth and resonance if that’s one thing you’re after.

Yet for the broad range that is electronic music, it’s paradoxical and amazing how many options this gives you.

Is It The Best Drum Machine Plugin VST This Year?

It’s definitely one of the best, clearest, simple, and yet most varied free plugins. Obviously, you’ll get more from some of the ‘smart’ drum VST plugins out there. Yet if you want something free and adaptable to start off with, you can’t really go wrong here.

Good to Know:

Basically, this is a ‘quality over quantity’ drum machine. It’s about giving you the best amount of freedom and control for the three simple options it offers. On top of this, it allows you to manipulate all their various permutations.

What it’s NOT about is giving you a ton of options in terms of different genres, kits, and themes. It’s about authenticity and shaping the raw sound, going in-depth and providing something clear and reliable for dedicated producers. For this, it has become a favorite of many musicians and earns a spot as the only free plugin on this list.

Which One Wins?

There’s no clear winner between these three drum machine plugins. What made them all make the list is that they stood out for doing something different and pulling it off with high quality.

Choosing The Best Drum Machine Plugin VST 2023 – What We’ve Taken Into Account

However, if we had to rank them, we would say that for creativity and spontaneity, Algonaut’s Atlas wins hands down. Whereas, for detail orientation, the ADSR offers a more sophisticated classic drum machine than similar options.

Meanwhile, MiniSpillage does for free what some paid-for plugins do with less finesse. It doesn’t have any smart options of the other two. Yet, it’s pretty much top of the range in terms of free drum plugins for any electronic genre. It’s reliable, serious, and adaptable also to rock and pop too.

Final Thoughts

It always depends on what you’re looking for, but these three drum machine plugins between them have a host of new and interesting options that will shake up your mixing and production. Why opt for a drum machine VST as opposed to just a drum plugin?

Part of the appeal is that a good drum machine offers a layout that allows you to get more in-depth and creative, breaking you out of the ways of thinking associated with traditional drum kits. And, if this is what you’re looking for, these three are the greatest for injecting new life into your mixes.

Like gear reviews? We have a whole section here, as well as a section of software where you can find info about more great plugins.

How to Do Online Music Mastering With CloudBounce

There so many options for online music mastering now that many musicians feel spoilt for choice. As AI develops, more and more producers are opting to use automatic audio mastering platforms. We look at what is good and bad about the online music mastering service CloudBounce in our comparison with two of its major competitors here. Already decided to opt for this stripped-back audio mastering software? This guide breaks down not just how to use it but what quirks about it can give you an edge.

What is CloudBounce online music mastering?

CloudBounce is an AI-based audio mastering service that uses machine learning technology to professionally master your track. However, just because the service is automated doesn’t mean you can’t use it in a creative manner. CloudBounce isn’t just great for a straightforward pro-quality master. It also offers an in-depth selection of genre and mastering controls, ways to improve your own skills, and develop reference tracks with it.

How to use CloudBounce for professional audio mastering

There are lots of great tricks you can use with CloudBounce. First, however, a basic rundown of how the platform operates will show you what’s needed. You first need to go to their website by clicking here. Disclosure: if you use that link and register for their paid service, we get a small kickback so you will be supporting us.

The only thing you need to start off with is your mixed track. Users of CDBaby and Soundrop actually get two free masters with CloudBounce. So if you want to test the platform this is a great way. However otherwise, you can purchase a single master for 10.90 USD or opt for one of the infinity plans. If you’re having trouble choosing, this is something we go into later on in this article.

Next, there is the option to upload or drop a file. CloudBounce supports all major file types. However, the key point is you should be completely satisfied with your mix to start off with. Otherwise, it’s harder to know whether you’re happy with the master.

Cloudbounce has a desktop app!

The CloudBounce download process for the new desktop app is pretty simple and just requires you to create an account. Once you’ve got past this you’ll need to choose your genre. You also get the chance to choose mastering options if you already know them. These are parameters like warmth, dip, bass, boost, and brightness. You can actually change these in the post-mastering stage too.

Then, click ‘master my track’! This process is very fast (within minutes) and offers you the option to keep or discard afterwards based on whether you like the master.

How to make your tracks sound louder with CloudBounce

The loudness wars are the infamous phenomenon by which tracks are being mastered to sound louder and louder. Though controversial, it’s a given that you need to have the right level if uploading a track to Spotify or Soundcloud. In fact, Spotify actually alters it for you so all masters on the platform sound roughly the same. For many producers, CloudBounce is an easy way to reach the right level yourself and maintain your track’s desired sound.

Using CloudBounce to master your track for Spotify and SoundCloud

Both Spotify and Soundcloud have different loudness requirements they apply to your track to let it get heard. Fortunately, it’s simple to use the inbuilt limiter on CloudBounce to set your target loudness level and match this. This goes up and down in 0.5 LUFS steps and lets you manually reach the loudness levels for different platforms. Platforms like Spotify actually alter all tracks’ loudness to -14db LUFS. So if you master to this level with CloudBounce you know your track will sound as you expect it when uploaded to streaming services.

The good news is CloudBounce is creative enough that you can do this without losing too much of your sound. And, if in doubt provides a guarantee that your track has the professional quality needed.

Online mastering for rock music, hip hop, and more: how to use CloudBounce for genre-specific mastering

if you’re wondering how to use CloudBounce, we’ve previously covered how the sheer number of different combinations between genre options and mastering option. Together, these give CloudBounce the most flexible and high-quality results sonically.

To really dig deep into these, one way that works is to find your rough genre. Then alter the mastering options as a way to warp it. This allows you to zero in on the sound quality you want. For example, if your genre is hip-hop but the AI master is too commercial for you, simply adjust qualities like loudness, brightness, and warmth until you hit what you want.

Is it the best online mastering out there?

Ultimately, there are lots of options and competitors. however, one thing that makes CloudBounce stand out is that it realizes there’s more to music than just technology. Whether it’s musicians asking ‘do online mastering services work?’ or knowing that many users are still looking for free online music mastering, CloudBounce is usable because the developers understand it’s not going to replace real musicians.

CloudBounce founder Anssi Uimonen actually claims this kind of AI is still in its infancy and has a long way to go. With CloudBounce what’s great is you can approach the platform as another tool to use. It’s not about perfectly predicting what you want from a master. Instead, you can use it to compare options and sounds until you find a sweet spot. The big bonus is this builds your own skills along the way.

Using CloudBounce for mastering with reference tracks

Cloudbounce allows you to upload your own reference tracks or use ones that are pre-included. However another creative way you can use the platform is to master a track digitally and then use that master as a reference for making your own. That way, using online music mastering can actually help you develop your own mastering skills.

Is CloudBounce worth it? How to pick an online music mastering plan

CloudBounce has either 3 or 4 different options depending on how your look at it. The fourth of these actually lets you work with a human mastering engineer from London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios. The other three are one-off mastering purchases, its infinity monthly plan, or its annual infinity plan. Ultimately it comes down to how productive you are as a musician. Do you intend to graduate from CloudBounce to mastering your own tracks? If you plan to use the platform for a longer while, the yearly infinity plan is best, especially if you’re planning on releasing lots of singles or albums.

CloudBounce Pricing:

Cloudbounce offers one off track masters for 10.90 USD, a 21.90 USD Infinity monthly plan, and a 219.00 USD infinity yearly plan.

Not a CDBaby or Soundrop customer? At this time of writing, they have YouTube content that offers a free master in return for a share on Facebook or Twitter.

You can check the current offer by clicking here.

What else can you do with CloudBounce?

The last thing CloudBounce is good for is comparing variations of a master. With one of the infinity plans, you can make subtle variations on the same track. You can do this with altered mastering options or even based on two different genre references.

This feature is part of why CloudBounce’s many options to do with genre are so great. It allows you to compare versions of what you want the finished master to sound like. You can download these and play with post-mastering in your DAW. Therefore, if you’re indecisive about this, want to play around with genre, or don’t feel your track fits neatly into one box (we’ve all been there!) it’s an absolute life-saver. Overall, CloudBounce is one of the best online mastering options for this due to its number of combinations.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately CloudBounce is a strong competitor for Landr, Emastered, and Ozone. Yet it’s when you get to its different choices that you find you can also use it creatively to improve your own mastering, help make creative choices for albums and singles, and much, much more.

Love checking out the best software for music production? We have an entire section here. Likewise, our reviews section gives you more in-depth coverage of the best gear for musicians out there, both software and hardware.

Elektron Digitakt Loopcloud Integration – How This Update Promises to HACK Your Studio Workflow

Earlier this month news broke about Elektron’s Digitakt Loopcloud integration in the OS 1.50 update. This essentially allows you to drag and drop loops from the platform directly to your Digitakt. Yet, this is just the start of what this new update promises to have in store. We break down below the features that make this integration so exciting.

Elecktron Digitakt Loopcloud review – why integration of the two can change your production game

The Elektron Digitakt is one of the industry’s leading drum machines. We’ve covered just why this is before when it made our top 5 options for music production hardware 2023.

Yet, now the Digitakt OS 1.50 update lets you connect directly to Loopcloud, the world’s largest sample library. Whichever position you’re starting from, this upgrade is exciting as it can introduce users of Digitakt to Loopcloud and vice versa.

If you’re starting from Loopcloud, the upgrade means that if you’ve been considering getting a Digitakt, there’s all the more reason. And if you’re starting with a Digitakt but have been on the fence about the world’s largest sample library, Loopcloud gives you access to tools like Loopcloud Drum and Loopcloud Play that you can integrate with hardware.

Pairing Digitakt with Loopcloud vs Splice – why Elektron’s decision works so well

If you’ve also been wondering about the various benefits of Loopcloud vs Splice or other sample libraries, there’s a good reason Elektron opted for Loopcloud. It’s simply got more flexibility and creativity in terms of altering samples. So, if you’ve been wondering which of the two is better and are currently in possession of a Digitakt, the update unlocks Loopcloud in a whole new way that regular users can’t access.

Loopcloud is the perfect match for the Digitakt, partly due to its focus on the little things that make or break a piece of music. That means you can search for sounds via incredibly specific parameters, such as level of swing, or bassiness. By focusing on less obvious things, Loopcloud helps producers sift through a realm of samples, easily, to find options that work with the kinds of creative and slick sounds you can make with the Digitakt.

To put it simply: both the Digitakt and Loopcloud are varied enough that you’ll never get bored of either. Loopcloud loops are royalty-free, and Loopcloud can actually connect to FL studio via a VST plugin, so this added interconnectivity can boost your production too. Either way, for an uninterrupted workflow, the two are a match made in heaven, simplifying massive amounts of sonic potential.

How does the update make your workflow easier?

  • The first thing is that Loopcloud has its own 8-track editor and pattern creator. You may have everything you need with the Digitakt. However, integration means you can create parts of tracks, beats, or samples on Loopcloud first – and then transfer them for further modification. Plus, Loopcloud helps you keep the tools needed all in one place. 
  • Loopcloud offers a whole new selection of routes to work with your Digitakt. In fact, you can control your Digitakt through Loopcloud from your computer. This feature is particularly great for naming files, streamlining, and organizing, without you having to spend tons of time on this.
  • The integration has been created with the musician in mind. Why? The connection between Loopcloud and your Digitakt allows you to store Loopcloud loops for live performance. This is great if you can’t access your computer – or want the portability of the Digitakt with the variety available on Loopcloud. 
  • Intelligent technology picks up Digitakt tempo and time-stretches it. This means that Loopcloud will provide options that are ALREADY tempo-matched to the project you are working on. In short, yet another way the integration allows your Digitakt to seamlessly communicate with the world’s largest loop and sample library. 
  • Create whole new patterns by using Loopcloud as a shortcut. Loopcloud allows you to multiply and divide sample tempo, change pitch, and export the results to your Digitakt. Want easy ways to sculpt and modify sound and then use these new creations as samples themselves? Simply do a mixdown on Loopcloud and send results to your Digitakt!

Song mode – how the Digitakt Loopcloud integration could revolutionize this feature

Digitakt’s song mode is a feature that allows you to combine multiple beats, loops, and sequences as a single track. It’s perfect, for example, if you need a backing track to improvise over or even for creating soundtracks. Here, the massive range of sounds from Loopcloud lets you make whole, fully functional sonic layouts with the Digitakt. Plus, dragging and dropping mixed and mastered samples to your Digitakt on Loopcloud too. In this way, you can prep the individual parts of a track on your computer before piecing them all together on your drum machine.

Loopcloud’s online sound and sample editor

Ok, so we’ve gone over the good points about Loopcloud, especially in terms of Loopcloud vs Splice, Arcade, and its other competitors. But let’s look a bit more at how the two work together. Digitakt Loopcloud integration ultimately lets you work however suits you best. For example, if you prefer to work mainly with a DAW or with Loopcloud’s time-stretching capacities, you can. However, if you’d rather not lay a finger on your computer, samples, sequences, and more can be edited directly in Digitakt. 

Loopcloud

Plus, the integration between Digitakt and Loopcloud means there are multiple stages of creative sound warping to play with. It’s not one of the other – for example, you can start off getting a beat sounding great in Loopcloud. Or, you could time stretch it, transfer it to Digitakt, and add some lush reverb or gritty distortion for an additional layer of sonic manipulation. 

Elektron Digitakt

Is Loopcloud worth it? More reasons Digitakt integration will upgrade your production either way

With this many choices, it’s possible to take sounds far away from their original forms. In this way, the only creative constraints are down to your imagination. The Digitakt Loopcloud combo is also great for those with a minimal studio setup without many other options. There are SO many possibilities here, in such a compact form, this combo could serve as all you need for creative music making on the go. If you’re still on the fence, the upgrade and integration comes with the following:

  • Comes with two months of free access to Loopcloud if you own an Elektron Digitakt. 
  • From then on loopcloud is affordable at only 6.99 EUR/month (5.99 GBP or 7.99 USD). However, the full range of Loopcloud subscription options includes a free option (though with minimal credits for sounds)
  • ability to drag-and-drop samples makes your workflow significantly more efficient

Final Thoughts

Loopcloud is already great by itself, as is the Digitakt. However, this integration is just another way that Elektron has thought through every inch of the process of work for both musicians in the studio and on the go. It’s this that made the Digitakt such an industry leader in the first place – and why the Loopcloud integration will just add an extra level of creative potential, and we’re very excited to see what this update leads to in future…

If you love the latest music production and sound design news, we have a whole section here. Plus, for gear reviews and breakdowns, we look at some more of the most exciting products here.