There's a free DAW in the offing this week, plus a variety of effects plug-ins and an app that can make sounds from your images.
PreSonus Studio One Free
Platform/format: PC, Mac Download
A free edition of PreSonus's much-admired DAW which retains many of the full version's features (you even get the multitrack MIDI editing and single/multitrack comping from version 2.0). Eight native effects and the Presence instrument are included, though one big downside is that you can't use third-party plug-ins.
Platform/format: PC Download
A standalone app that can convert any .jpg, .bmp or picture that you create into a soundscape. Each pixel row represents a frequency band and Paint2Sound synthesizes sine waves from each one. The likes of sample rate, sound duration and frequency distribution are all under your control.
Minimal System Instruments PPD Echobox
Platform/format: PC/VST Download
Modelled on analogue signal paths, this 'workhorse' echo/delay promises a classic, warm sound (there's even an Analogue control that enables you to dial said warmth in). The interface has been kept simple to ensure easy, logical operation.
Platform/format: Mac/AU Download
A filtering plug-in that promises to add "colour and character" to any sound. It sports a -48 dB/octave low-pass filter with dual-stage waveshaping distortion and can be modulated by an input envelope follower and LFO. Use it for everything from low-end isolation to wah-wah and sweep effects.
Artican Audio The Pilgrim 2
Platform/format: PC, Mac, Linux/VST, AU Download
An update for this single knob filter that gives you a larger, better display and a sound that's supposedly better than it was previously. Both high- and low-pass filters are programmed into one dial, and you can sweep seamlessly between the two.