Free music software round-up: Week 13

New plug-ins you don't have to pay for

Free music software round up week 13
Has Spicy Guitar got an authentic acoustic flavour?

The number may be unlucky for some, but our 13th regular foray into the world of freeware has yielded a significant number of music-making trinkets.

Notable releases this week include a synth from the makers of FL Studio that comes with an almost bewildering number of presets, virtual acoustic guitar and Mellotron plug-ins and a free convolution reverb.

If you've developed a piece of free music software (and we're not just talking plug-ins), make sure you let us know about it by sending details to

Image Line Autogun

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Based on the Otus engine, Autogun is said to offer 4,294,967,296 (four billion two hundred ninety four million nine hundred sixty seven thousand two hundred ninety six) presets. This has been made possible by an artificial intelligence patch creation algorithm – you don't program this synth, you just find a preset and play.

Artifake_Labs Meltron MKX

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

As its name suggests, Meltron MKX emulates the tape-based sounds of the Mellotron. Patches include three violins, an 8-voice choir, flute, brass and a string section. There are two layers (it's even possible to load SoundFonts for additional variations) plus a Tape noise knob and tape delay/spring reverb effects.

Spicy Guitar

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Currently in beta, Spicy Guitar generates acoustic guitar tones in real-time. It's powered by physical modelling technology and is the product of a year's work by Benoit Rostykus & Pierre-Andre Savalle at the Ecole Centrale, Paris. You can choose your guitar/string type and plucking position, and there are Auto and Chords modes.


Noise Sculpture SynthWiz Simple Synth

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

It's not exactly sophisticated, but if you want to start programming your own sounds, Simple Synth may be educational at least. Its release coincides with that of a book, Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User, which should give you a grounding in how to use it, but the instrument can be downloaded by anyone.

AcmeBarGig TranceGate

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Described as "a tremolo on steroids", TranceGate comprises a block of adjustable vertical bars, each of which represents volume, meaning that the level of your audio can change rapidly over time. Other options include a sweeping filter (with five waveform options and six filter types) and a mono/stereo delay.

LiquidSonics ReverberateLE

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Convolution reverbs used to cost a fortune – now you can get them for free. This one is highly efficient and comes with a small number of Impulse Responses, but it's recommended that you download some of your own in order to maximise the plug-in's potential. If you like ReverberateLE, the author suggests that you make a donation to Cancer Research UK.