Eventide Split EQ: A new approach!

Welcome to our review of the Eventide Split EQ VST product! There are few things more crucial to a good mix than equalization (EQ-ing). As the digital audio marketplace continues to grow, it becomes much easier to find new tools to add to your production toolbox. However, it becomes harder to find new products and plugins that do something that is in fact, well, new. With this in mind, Eventide sought out to solve some longtime problems in audio mixing and production with their latest offering, Split EQ.

What is Split EQ?

Eventide, a well-known name in the world of audio effects and digital production, brings us their latest VST plugin Split EQ, and it doesn’t take long to see why producers are so excited. For a home user like myself, well versed in DAWs, and VST plugins, Eventide Split EQ goes well beyond the parameters of others I’ve used. Equalization is a fine art, and our final mix is often limited by the quality of recordings available to us. Where conventional equalizers often come up short, Eventide Split EQ rises to the occasion, offering new mixing possibilities by approaching equalization in a whole new way – a split way.

What makes Eventide Split EQ different?

SplitEQ is two equalizers rolled into one. Through a literal ‘split’ of the audio signal – using a patented technology Eventide calls Structural Split – SplitEQ provides users with two controllable signal parameters – two entirely independent equalizers. Eventide calls these parameters Tonal and Transient.  Where conventional EQs alter the entire sound envelope as a whole, SplitEQ provides two signal paths. This is the magic behind this plugin.

The best price for this product can be obtained on Pluginboutique, and there is also their fidelity program where you get points for spending money in their store, points that can be used for future purchases.


How does Eventide Split EQ work?

Signal splitting allows users to adjust individual elements of a track with much more control. The tonal signals are in many ways the body and soul of the track – they are ambient, resonant, and sustained. The transient signals are the more dynamic elements of a track – attack, harshness, and hiss. With SplitEQ, users can mix these distinct elements individually without sacrificing the overall mix. Signal parameters are easily adjustable through a click and drag user interface which is very intuitive and allows for easy audio monitoring. Most producers can appreciate how quickly things get muddy when trying to reign in a harsh treble response on a track; by using Evende SplitEQ, users gain a whole new level of maneuverability within a particular aspect of the sound envelope, thereby eliminating many of the concessions inherent to other EQs.

Where does SplitEQ really stand out?

Audio producers are always trying to find that sweet spot of a mix. With Eventide SplitEQ, users can preserve distinct elements of a track, maintaining clarity and crispness to vocal melodies without suffering top-end harshness or sacrificing bass response. SplitEQ also provides new options for spatial dynamics which are especially useful in high energy mixes, helping create motion for drops and adding variation to heavy electronic bass-lines.

Here is a very nice comparison between Split EQ and Fabfilter Pro Q3

Final thoughts on Eventide Split EQ?

Split EQ provides a wealth of new possibilities for home producers and addresses many of the limitations of conventional EQs. It’s clear the designers at Eventide know what users need and expect from their software and Split EQ is no exception. Eventide has managed to change the way we interact with equalization, and I look forward to adding Split EQ to my regular toolbox.


Make sure you also check the DEALS category on idesignsound.com

Best Black Friday VST Deals 2021

It’s finally Black Friday 2021! With that in mind, we’ve started compiling the very best plugin deals that we could find. Here’s what you can expect this shopping season:

  • Free plugins from popular VST makers such as waves
  • 90%+ off VST plugins from popular stores such as plugin boutique and plugin fox
  • 90%+ off your favorite iOS music apps
  • Free and heavily discounted coursera, masterclass, and producertech courses.
  • 50% + off hardware.
  • Deals that stay live well after black friday.
  • And much, much more…

Before we dig into the best Black Friday VST Plugin, synth, and all music making related deals, here’s some information regarding this shopping season: 

When is Black Friday in 2021?

Following the tradition, Black Friday is on the first Friday after thanksgiving, but this is becoming less and less of a rule, and because of vendor competing with one another the whole month of November 2021 can be considered “Black Friday” month.

When is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is on the following monday, but we have seen it mentioned less and less, all the focus is on Black Friday.

When do the Black Friday 2021 deals begin?

Well most of the seasonal deals are already live, keep on reading for more information!

When do the deals end?

This one is tricky, because there is no consensus. Some end in 1-2 days, some last until X-mas. You will have to check our individual articles that we wrote in regards to each deal to find end date.

Current deals list for 2021

Here are the current best music production and related deals that we have selected for our readers. This is by no means a complete and ultimate list, so take it as it is.

Note: Throughout November and and December, we’ll be updating this list at least 2 to 3 times a week. If you click on the name of the deal, you will access our individual article that details the sale

Thanks for checking out our list of deals, any question or promotion you’d like to add can be done through the comment section below.

If you liked our seasonal list of deals on Music production tools, be sure to also keep track of our Deals category, where we usually keep you updated with the best offers for VST Plugin products on the market.

MUSIC PRODUCTION Holiday season 2021 DEALS: up to 50% OFF all Polyverse Plugins!

The Black Friday 2021 and Holiday Season 2021 sale and offer train keeps on going: today we bring you a great offer from a lesser-known brand: Polyverse. While they don’t spend a whole lot on marketing and promotion, they do develop their products extremely well, so don’t judge the book by the cover, get this excellent promotion while it lasts (until the 8th of December 2021).

If you like this Polyverse Black Friday 2021 SALE, we recommend you always and regularly check out our category of Deals by clicking here – we regularly keep you updated with the best offers the market has to offer.

On offer you will find the whole selection of VST plugin products that Polyverse developed, updated to the latest version and with huge discounts that can reach 50%. The prices that are provided in this excellent Black Friday 2021 offer are below:

  • Polyverse Comet – Reverb VST Plugin: A reverb of unparalleled lushness and versatility – $75 down from $145
  • Polyverse Manipulator – Harmonic alteration VST Plugin: Dramatically alter the timbre and pitch of any sound – $89 down from $145
  • Polyverse Gatekeeper – Gate VST Plugin: The fastest volume tool, breathe new life into your sound. – $35 down from $49
  • Polyverse I Wish – Pitch Freeze VST Plugin: Take any sound, instantly freeze it in time. – $49 down from $99
  • Polyverse Wider – Stereo field VST Plugin: Extreme widening without phasing issues – FREE

As you can see, the list of VST Plugin products that Polyverse puts out is not that long, but believe me, they do the job very well.

Also included are two bundles, if you already know, got recommended or actually played with the Polyverse VST Plugin products and just wanted a reason to buy them all

You can find the Polyverse Black Friday 2021 deal on their website by clicking here.

If you don’t really know these plugins but are interested in getting some quality sound processing I think you should first check out some reviews of their products. I have compiled a list below:

  • A very nice review of Polyverse Manipulator can be found on ask.audio by clicking here
  • If you want to find out more about Polyverse I Wish, you should read this article.
  • Musicradar has posted here some words about Polyverse Comet. “Cons: very few”.

Happy Black Friday 2021 Deal hunting!

MUSIC PRODUCTION Black Friday 2021 DEALS: Emvoice voice synthesiser plugin 40% off SALE

Emvoice, leading voice synthesiser developer and VST Plugin maker launches site-wide 40% OFF Black Friday 2021 sale, beginnging today! Musicians can now get the world’s most realistic vocal synthesizer on their computer for a one time fee of $119 per voice.

From now until December 1st, musicians can buy a perpetual license of any voice for $119, a 40% discount off of the standard $199 price point.


To create vocals with the software, users simply enter one note for each syllable of lyrics. Both voices, Lucy and Jay, run on constantly improving, state-of-the-art voice engine technology. Developed by deep-sampling recordings of pro singers, the company hopes to empower musicians with instant access to vocals directly from their DAW.

Still unclear as to what these VST Plugin products do? Never used a vocal synthesiser before? Check out the two youtube videos below, with Lucy and Jay, the two voices offered by Emvoice:

Meet Lucy!
And this is Jay

Hinting that this is “only the beginning,” the company plans to release more voices in the upcoming months while continuing to advance the realistic quality of every offering. The free tier includes unlimited access to eight notes per voice. Head over to emvoiceapp.com to try it out for yourself.

“Musicians have been able to recreate just about every instrument other than the human voice with perfect accuracy for well over a decade now. Imagine how much creativity could be unlocked if wecould change this.” says the company’s CEO and founder, Rodolphe Ollivier.

Additional Emvoice Features:

● DAW-style piano roll note editor – just add words for instant sung vocals

● Sophisticated cloud-based engine recombines thousands of samples as you work

● Full custom control of pitch, glissando, and vibrato patterns

● Breath sounds are generated to work realistically around programmed notes

● Choose from common pronunciation options or create your own words from phonemes

● Export/Import project files to collaborate with other Emvoice users

● Available as a VST, AU, or AAX virtual instrument

● Lucy’s paid tier has a natural range of E2 – A4. Demo limited to C3 – G3.

● Jay’s paid tier has a natural range of E1 – C4. Demo limited to F2 – C3.

● Each paid tier includes an extended usable range of C0 – C5.

MUSIC PRODUCTION Holiday season 2021 DEALS: Izotope bundles (gold, platinum, diamond)

2021 is almost over, and whenever this time of year hits us, it hits us with discounts and bundles. Today we bring you a whopping 93% to 96% discount on Izotope products, to make your Christmas really memorable. This 2021 holiday sale is extremely huge, and covers almost all of Izotope’s product lineup.

The Izotope team went ahead and created three actual deals, all available until the 31st of December. They are named the Izotope Holiday Bundle Gold, Platinum and Diamond editions. They are all available in Pluginboutique deal listings available here (keep it bookmarked, it always updates). Also, we recommend you also bookmark our own “Deals” category here at idesignsounde.com so you can stay in the loop in case you are building your studio are are hunting for offers.

So moving on with the subject of this article, the three Izotope Holiday Sale 2021 bundles available on Pluginboutique.com until the 31st of December 2021 are:

  1. Izotope Holiday Bundle Gold Edition sale – 96% off

This one is supposed to be the entry level product line-up, with the highest discount so you can get to know the Izotope brand. With the Izotope Holiday Bundle Gold Edition sale you get a huge discount on the basic tools: Izotope Ozone 9 Elemements, Izotope Neutron 3 Elements, Izotope Nectar Elements plus some basic sound design tools including the sample-based synth Izotope Iris 2. You can get this deal here.

This discount is the highest in the range for this Holiday Season, so if you are building a new production studio or have been hunting for a serious Izotope Bundle, this is the time to get it!

2. Izotope Holiday Bundle Platinum Edition sale – 95% off

This one is for the advanced music production and sound design techniques. Choosing one of the three bundles that are on offer this Holiday season is mostly dependent on the needs of the user. The discount on the Platinum Edition is again mind-blowing: 95%.

The products that are on offer are one step higher in the range than what’s available on the Gold Edition Izotope sale: Izotope Ozone 9 Standard, Izotope Neutron 3 Standard. You also get all the sound design tools in the Gold Edition plus some new ones including Izotope R2 Stereo and Izotope Excalibur. Catch the sale while it lasts on Pluginboutique.com by clicking here.

3. Izotope Holiday Bundle Diamond Edition sale – 93% off

The Izotope Holiday Bundle Diamond Edition sale for 2021 is composed of only the best plugins that Izotope Offers, plus all the previous sales’ offerings.

Highlights include Izotope Nectar 3 Plus and Izotope Neoverb. Check it out here.

If you ask us, we would recommend going with the intermediary offer, the Platinum Edition. it has the most bang for the buck with a highly desirable discount rate.

Whatever you choose tho, you will get the time tested quality of one of the best rated lines of VST Plugin products.

Black friday music production 2021 deals: izotope vst plugins up to 95% off

Oh boy, it’s that time of the year. Starting with Black Friday and ending with Christmas 2021, we are here at idesignsound.com to bring you the best deals on plugins and VST products. This time we showcase Izotope, a company that needs no introduction in the music production tool marketplace.

This year they bring a great selection of their individual products that are listed on Pluginboutique.com. They also feature discounts on upgrades and crossgrades.

We always invite our readers to focus on the Deals category on our website, since we always update it with the best finds in the market.

Click here to access the IZOTOPE Black Friday and Holiday Season 2021 deal on Pluginboutique, among with other great sales.

What they propose is a nifty collection of products. This is great because compared to most of the other companies that offer bundled deals, Izotope offers to sell you only what you don’t already have, which is always desired.

Here is our personal highlights list on the Izotope Black Friday and Holiday Season 2021 offer:

  • Upgrades: Izotope offers very special offers if you already have one of their products, check them out first as the prices are extremely good: Izotope Nectar 3 Plus, Izotope Neutron 3 Standard, Izotope Tonal Balance, Izotope Music Production Suite 4, etc. Check out the upgrade deals here.
  • Izotope Iris 2 – 93% off. Iris 2 is a nice nifty sample-based synth which is currently on the second iteration. You can consider this a very advanced sampler or a synth with sampling capabilities. The build it effects are great and the interface is extremely well built. Get Izotope Iris 2 with a huge discount of 93% here.
  • Izotope Ozone 9 Standard – 68% off. Ozone 9 is Izotope’s all inclusive mastering suite of products. A lot of mastering engineers swear by using it’s products, especially the limiter. Even if you do not do professional grade mastering, or use hardware to do it, you should check it out as it can be very useful. The deal can be accessed on Pluginboutique here.
  • Izotope Neutron 3 Standard – 68% off. As Ozone 9 is the go to bundle for mastering, so is Neutron 3 for mixing. This is again a bundle of products (that unfortunately cannot be bought separately) and it aims to help you balance each of the channels that compose your finished track. We recommend you use both Neutron 3 and Ozone 9 as these two complement each other pretty well. Check out the 68% discount here.

Happy studio time and enjoy this holiday season!

black friday music production 2021 deals: Soundtoys mega sale

Yes, the end is in sight for 2021, and with that comes the busy holiday season, starting with Black Friday. We fully recommend you check our “Deals” category for more 2021 music production deals.

This year’s Black Friday offers start a little early, with Soundtoys coming up with the current news: they are offering some pretty good deals (up to 70% off), with the top spot being taken by their suite of five plugins, the entire range of audio effects, at a jaw dropping price of 229USD (52% off).

You can find the Soundtoys Black Friday 2021 vst plugin offer right here, on the Pluginboutique website (among with other great sales).

If you would rather opt for other vst products and audio plugins this Black Friday 2021, and not the five stereo audio effects from Soundtoys, there are other offers on the website:

  • Individual effect VST plugins like Soundtoys FilterFreak, Soundtoys PrimalTap, Soundtoys Radiator, Soundtoys EchoBoy, Soundtoys Decapitator, etc with up to 70% discounts – click here
  • Soundtoys Effect Rack FX Bundle (Soundtoys Rack multi effect system + 14 Soundtoys audio effect plugins) with 54% off – click here

The offers expire on the 1st of December 2021 so make sure you get them until then!

Soundtoys Sie-Q Parametric EQ

Soundtoys are making one of the best lines of VST Plugin products that most studio-heads rely on for their music production and sound design. They specialise in stereo processing, but certainly go even further than that, offering eq, colouring and dynamics processing too.

We certainly recommend Soundtoys Echo Boy in case you need a vintage sounding stereo processing emulation. It’s engines are capable of replicating all types of analog reverb and delay that you can use in classic house music plus other non-electronic genres.

We also recommend Soundtoys Crystallizer, if you are more into sound design and experimentation with music production techniques that are more modern and esoteric. This vst effect is like a delay with extended controls and cater to the more techno and minimal oriented crowd.

The Sountoys Black Friday 2021 deal can be accessed here.

Free alternative products to the BEST VST instruments and effects

Hello ladies and gentlemen, for today iDesignSound.com will bring you our own favourite free alternative vst plugins to the most popular digital music production tools on the market.

Sure, VSTs are great, and VSTs are usually much more cheaper than actual hardware music production tools. Still, when it comes to digital products, there will always be a free option. This is because digital is literally, well, digital meaning without physical form. This means that once some effort has been put into development, copying and distributing the product can be free of charge. This has in turn provided never before seen accessibility and democratisation of the music landscape. Now, all you need to make music is basically talent, a (fairly cheap) computer and your DAW of choice (which can also be free, of course). Let’s dive straight in and see what’s on “offer” in 2021:

Serum free alternative plugin synth: Vital

We start with the biggest one, in our oppinion. So big that it is extremely hard not to use. Ok so we all know and love Serum, it is one of the best sounding and most powerful sound design tool there is. We stand by our words here, and we actually wrote a lot of articles here at idesignsound.com involving serum, such as a detailed comparison between Serum and Omnisphere and also there is an evergreen, always updated article on the top best VST synth which Serum won (on the Value/Budget choice).

Thus, finding an alternative is a bit hard, but it is possible. Without further ado, we present the closest match in the free vst market for a Serum replacement: Vital. It comes pretty close in terms of power and sound quality, albeit it does have some bugs.

You can get Vital from their website right here, unfortunately there is no mac version, only windows. Don’t confuse it with Glitch 2, which is a (very good) paid effects unit.

Effectrix free alternative vst: Glitch

Step into the world of sequenced effect units. Basically, they apply effects only to certain parts of your sound, and you control which part you want to modify with a simple and known interface. The resemblance is not there, but trust us, it is basically the same thing. The effects are on par in sound quality, and there is even a randomiser on board for those that like to experiment.

Glitch is available free of charge here.

RC-20 Retro Color free alternative vst: Izotope Vinyl

This is one of our favourites. It is soo simple to use and the results are extremely good. What we like about Izotope Vinyl that is comparable to RC 20 VST is the instant gratification element. You just slide a little fader and the sound takes so much color and character, a smile is guaranteed to appear on your face.

Sure, the graphical user interface is extremely spartan compared to the RC2o plugin but who cares, as long as the results are comparable. And they most certainly are. You even have the wobble from RC-20, represented on Izotope Vinyl as the “warp” control, with the added bonus of actually controlling the warp shape.

On the RC-20 there is the “Digital” and “Distort” control which is basically a bit reduction and a form of distortion that can be replicated in any daw with built in effects, it’s really nothing special. If you really must have a 3rd party VST alternative, any distortion and bit reduction plugin works. Also, the “Space” control on the RC-20 is just a normal reverb, there are a lot of free reverb options out there. If you don’t know any free reverb, bit reduction and distortion plugin, let us point you in the right direction with this free vst mega list.

Izotope vinyl is available on Izotope’s website.

Guitar Rig alternative: Amplitube

Well, kind of. Yes, Amplitube is a paid/licensed piece of software that has a free of charge version. Guitar rig also has a free version, a demo mode. Still, we consider that Amplitube is a good contender if you want to find a Guitar Rig replacement that is also free of charge. We decidecated a whole article on comparing Amplitube to Guitar Rig here.

Antares Auto Tune free replacement: Graillon 2

Ah Auto-tune, the effect we really love to hate here at iDesignSound. That is because we consider ourselves serious music makers who don’t really like pop and the pop sound that you can find in basically all mainstream music including a lot of hip hop.

Still, if you must use it, there is really no point in getting a paid plugin unless you really really need all the very pro features, But if you just want to tune vocals without ruining the sound qualities then the alternative vst called Graillon 2 will work just fine, and you can find the free version here.

That was it, we hope we managed to make your music production journey a bit more budget friendly. Still, if you want to use the paid plugins like a bigboy, sign up to our newsletter, we always provide our subscribers the best deals on the market!

Arturia Chorus Dimension D (Roland Chorus Clone) Review and Deal

Wow, we live in such interesting times. VSTs are getting better and better, and now they can almost, and we really mean almost emulate the hardware sound. No wonder Arturia delayed emulating the Roland Chorus Dimension-D (aka Roland SSD-320). I am guessing they wanted to do it just right, because wow! – this thing is a killer tool to have in your arsenal. They done it, we think they did a good job, and you can get a nice discount right now here.

And if you are looking for a VST Synth to get along with this massive VST effect, we have compiled and reviewed the best VST synths in the market right now here.

The original Roland Dimension D – what is it?

Ok so this one is pretty simple, it is a chorus effect. Chorus makes a single, simple sound sound much more complex. If it is mono, it expands it in stereo. If it is stereo already, it widens the stereo image and makes it much more complex.

Think of chorus as in a church context, or when multiple human voices sing to the same tune. Basically, they all sing the same musical note, but each voice has its own timbre, which actually makes the same note sound much more complex than if just a single voice would sing it.

Sure, sometimes you want just a single voice, but sometimes you want to add depth, which is precisely why you need a chorus – to add depth.

Chorus gets your sound source, multiplies it creating clones, detunes the clones and shifts them in the stereo field. It can sound drastic, it can sound fulfilling. It can also sound heavy and imprecise, so always be sure to set just how much chorus you want by ear.

How I use the Roland Dimension D

So basically I am not a fan of stereo chorus. I don’t think that a chorus is meant to just widen the stereo field, if you want that, you can find simpler tools to do it, because chorus can have an impact on the overall sound as well as the stereo image, in some cases for stereo material, making it muddy.

Here is my processing rack, with the Dimension D on top position

That does not mean you are not allowed to do it, just make sure that your stereo sound retains it’s original precision and presence after you treat it with chorus.

I think that the Dimension D chorus (both Roland and Arturia) works best for mono signals, and is excellent for bass sounds.

Sometimes you have to work in mono. Your favourite synths do not work in stereo, and if they do, it’s mostly because they have onboard stereo effects like delay and reverb. Sometimes you are recording your guitar and there is no point in doing it in stereo. Most bass sounds are recommended to be used in mono, and you mostly have a mono source.

The Dimension D expands this in stereo, but in a very subtle way. There are four settings on the VST (and multiple settings on the hardware because you can have more than one button pressed), each representing the degree of chorus being applied and also the level of stereo expansion. But believe me when I say this, the stereo expansion is subtle, even on the red (four) setting.

So what I usually do is take my bass sound which is always coming from a mono synth, and run it in parallel from the mixer to the Roland Dimension D adjusting how much I send (main channel is going in the box via the Empirical Labs FATSO compressor and tape emulator – excellent piece of gear, review coming soon). The chorus gives my bass much more presence because of the stereo field and a degree of extra complexity. It makes it stand in the mix, and I would be lost without this treatment to be honest.

  • Using the Dimension D on the bass is the first and best use case in my oppinion and is a good reason for you to buy the Arturia Dimension D chorus right now.
  • Using the Dimension D on synths in general on the lowest setting, just to get a bit of saturation as an alternative to compression.
  • Other use cases are of course for polyphonic sounds like pads and piano which has been recorded in mono, just make sure you do it with moderation as the chorus will load your sound with a “swirly” effect and can make you feel a bit dizzy.
  • Last use case for me would be on stereo material, mostly because I feel that the Roland hardware lacks a dry/wet knob and can be too much, even on the lowest setting. Arturia has included a dry/wet knob so you can use it on stereo sounds just make sure you use your ears and don’t overdo it.

Arturia VST versus Roland hardware

So of course, having your tools in software has some advantages and disadvantages. What you get with the VST has been summed in the list below:

  1. Dry/wet knob for parallel use
  2. Presets
  3. Color (saturation) ajustment
  4. Chorus Oscillator Shape (Chorus has an internal LFO that modulates the pitch of the clones)
  5. Stereo widening ajustment
  6. Price (Roland gear can be expensive, we paid 1200 EUR for the hardware unit)
  7. Reliability (VSTs do not break down and do not require maintenance)
  8. Total Recall, each DAW project has it’s own Arturia Chorus Dimension D settings
  9. More than one instance of the chorus effect in the project

Of course what you don’t get with the Arturia Dimension D VST clone is the stellar sound that the Roland hardware is known for.

Yes guys it’s time to discuss sound. Do I like Arturia’s chorus sound? Yes, I do. Is it similar to Roland’s? Not really. They did a good job emulating the sound and the feel of the effect, and the use cases are there, but the sound is just a bit different. Enough for me to notice, and enough for me to keep the hardware with the obvious limitations. But this is just me, you can decide it’s not worth buying the hardware just for the sound alone. It is vintage so you have to maintain and service it. You can spill beer on it. You can have an electrical issue and loose it. Not to mention that you don’t have any control over it, you just select the algorythm.

The best part of the Roland hardware, after sound of course, is the fact that you can have a combination of algorithms by pressing more than one button.

Still, it is 2021 and you have options. Obviously if you want to start collecting hardware, source gear like synths are more important than processing, so we only recommend getting a vintage Roland Dimension D chorus at the end of your gear collection effort, if the space and budget allows. If not, you can get the VST for the obvious ease of use and maintenance boost. Just keep in mind that while the Arturia Chorus sounds great, the hardware sounds much better.

And if you are fast enough, you can get the Arturia VST at a special introductory price here.

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