Obviously, it's great to be able to call up plugins in your DAW when you're working on a track, but a full-on piece of music production software isn't always the best place to host instruments and effects. That's certainly the belief of New Sonic Arts, which has just announced Freestyle, which it thinks can be useful both in the studio and on stage.
Plugins can be combined in the rack, which enables you to create splits, layers and FX chains by dragging and dropping. The plugin browser itself is also drag 'n' drop, so building patches should be quick and easy.
Once you're happy with your rack, you can set up macro controls, giving fast access to important parameters, and you can capture settings for recall using the snapshots feature.
Freestyle has six built-on effects, with more to come in future updates. There are also plans for a Structure view, which will enable free routing, extended mixer features, a piano roll and MIDI processing modules.
Freestyle runs on PC and Mac and can host VST/AU plugins. It's currently in beta (a demo is available) and can be pre-ordered for €99 (regular price is €129). Find out more on the New Sonic Arts website.