I am currently using FL Studio 11. However, these effects can be used for all kinds of Digital Audio Workstations. All using VST .dll’s. These are third party plug ins that are easy and fun to use, they are just grand. Worth every megabyte. I also decided to write about this topic because I was getting it under my search entries for people to find this page.  If you want some free quality effects here are some interesting ones I enjoy. Check’em out!

DB Glitchdblue_glitch_idm_edm_music_production_mix_master_beats

http://illformed.org/plugins/

If you are interested in doing technical effects like those found in “complextro” IDM or Dubstep or some kind of devilish incarnation of EDM. If you’ve asked ‘How do you do those effects found in electro and such’. Then DBGlitch by Illformed might be your fantastic option. It’s been around since 2005. There are a lot of neat effects in this free plugin. Let’s dive in!

It’s colour coded according to the effect you pick and drop step patterns in the timeline. The effects include Filters HP/LP/Bandpass/Notch, Tape stop, Ring Modulator, Retrigger, Shuffle, Gate, Delay Overdrive, Bitcrush and Stretch.

There are plenty of patterns to tweak within the coloured fx and each effect has a convenient filter and panning knobs, these effects are also found in the Master filter.

There are templates to choose from, which reorganizes the effects into different sequences. It changes into ‘Steps’, ‘FX’ or Both’.

I’ve enjoyed and used DlbGlitch plenty of times. It is a good effect for novice to intermediate level of productions wanting to add some spice and funky effects into the mix.

One drawback I’ve found with DBGlitch is that you can only use one colour at a time, which is not too bad. You can always add more instances in your Mixer channel. On that note, it is very CPU friendly and I’ve never experienced any crashing from it in over 5 years of usage.

There is also a Glitch 2 available for purchase.

For the advanced purist, this may seem like a cop-out, knowing it’s more precise to create IDM tracks manually, painstakingly, rather than on a panel like Glitch. But it’s great for people starting out, learning the in’s and out’s of effects and processing. It’s an intriguing and intuitive design that will get people asking what the heck it is! Especially if you’re some kind of laptop producer in a café.

Voxengo Spanvoxengo_span

http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/

If you are producing music, you probably hear a fair share of get the right monitors, get the right audio components etc. While I do understand people wanting the flattest and truest sound possible. There is good reason to see what you are working on visually as well.

SPAN is a real-time “fast Fourier transform” audio spectrum analyzer AU and VST plugin for professional music and audio production applications. For the most part it was derived from Voxengo GlissEQ dynamic parametric equalizer and reproduces its spectrum analysis functionality.

SPAN provides you with a very flexible “mode” system which you can use to setup your spectrum analyzer preferences. You may specify Fourier block size in samples, FFT window overlap percentage, spectrum’s visual slope. Beside that you can choose to display secondary spectrum of a desired type (e.g. real-time maximum, all-time maximum). Spectrum can be smoothed out visually for an easier examination.

Sound Engineers will always butt heads, knowing the true answer to most audio question is “Depends.” You can do this or that. When you are trying to isolate sound, mold sound, tips and advice usually falls along the lines of “Everything in it’s own space,” meaning there is a frequency for each and every sound. And people will usually attach this kind of picture:

electronic-music-edm-frequency-spectrum-hertz

It’s alright to see that frequency graph and one thing to know the graphs but it is another to understand while you are programming and mixing music. It may be daunting and frustrating for people fresh in the game. While shifting, shelving, tweaking EQ’s and seeing the visual representation will acclimate you to what you are hearing. This gives you a greater context in addition to the diagram. You will get a true sense of what is actually going on with the frequencies, and your noise.

“How do I get X sound?”

“How do I sound like X?”

“How does my sub bass feel?”

“The Kick isn’t Sitting Right.”

Your ears can lie to you. Whether it’s fatigue, poor room treatment, or just being hard of hearing (ha), adding the  visual frequency spectrum personally helps A LOT.

It’s a world of difference when you can feel where you bass is, where your kick is and you can SEE if they are mounted on top of each other or not, battling for frequency spaces.

While there are a couple of versions of Span out there. I still prefer older versions with the khaki/sandy retro analyzer. There are plenty of little functions and tools in SPAN. So check it out.

Beauty.

Melda Productions Pack (Free Effects Bundle)

melda_effects_plugins_vst_free

Lastly I present the Free Melda Productions Pack. http://www.meldaproduction.com/plugins/product.php?id=MFreeEffectsBundle

I always wonder to myself how all these things are free. It’s remarkable.

A list of contents:

  • Analyzer
  • Combfilter
  • Compressor
  • Equalizer
  • Flanger
  • Autopan
  • FreqShifter
  • Phaser
  • Limiter
  • Loudness Analyzer
  • Stereoexpander
  • Vibrator
  • Waveshaper
  • Tuner

The devices I use most from the pack are the limiter, the loudness analyzer and stereo expander.

I prefer this limiter because there’s a transparency to it. It doesn’t feel like anything is boosted, drops in/out like on compressors or other native limiters. I just wanted something to keep everything below zero with as little manipulation to the sound as possible.

MLimiter is the cap on top of my Master mix. I found the FL Studio Limiter gave more of a pumping effect. FL Limiter does some ducking on the transients or something. Melda’s limiter doesn’t reduce the punchiness of the sound, the attack of the drums and other instruments.

The Voxengo Span seems to estimate on a reading of K-20 loudness in decibels. But I prefer the Loudness Analyzer of Melda. It also uses an EBU reading. You can see the mix and master value metered in Decibels. You quickly come to understand what people mean about the “Loudness Wars” – the competition in electronic and pop music to go as loud as possible. It allows you to see the true decibel range, while also displaying everything as smacking and hardlining out at a digital 0db.

There are many gems out there. And I haven’t divulged all my favourite freebies and one’s with a price tag yet, but these are some of the one’s that seem to stand out to me in the category of free.

Try’em yourself!

I used these effects extensively on my Ambient/Chill album ‘Aesthete’ Check it out:

2014-Ambient-Album-Nova-Spire-Aesthete

Do you have any favourite vst effects you use? Share below.

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