Free music software round-up: Week 18

Drum, guitar amp and synth plug-ins are just a click away

An established piece of sample-based drum software has arrived in freeware form this week, while we've also got guitar amps, a simple EQ and yet another emulation of a classic hardware synth to keep you busy. For the more eccentric, there's a 'not-quite-sure-what-to-make-of-it' shaker instrument.

These plug-ins are all available right now, but if you're a developer who's got something ready to shoot out of the pipeline, let us know by emailing with the details.

Submersible Music DrumCore Free

Platform/format: PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS Download

Following the recent release of DrumCore 3, Submersible Music has now issued a free edition of its drum instrument. This comes with loops, hits and MIDI files from a variety of top players, and although the library has been substantially reduced for this version (from around 16GB to around 1GB) it's still well worth a look.

AcmeBarGig Whisper Tube/Preampus Brain

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

AcmeBarGig's rack of virtual guitar gear continues to grow. Whisper Tube is a tube version of the clean Whisper amp (the clue's in the name) and is said to be suitable for "blues leads and crisp chords". Preampus Brain, meanwhile is based on several amps and promises to deliver quintessentially British tones ("from classic '60s crunch to the roar of a modded '70s stack").

rs-met EasyQ

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

So you've made an EQ that's easy to use – what do you call it? EasyQ seems as good a title as any; the developer reckons that it's "easy on the CPU and just does what an EQ is supposed to do without performing any additional voodoo". The plug-in features an arbitrary number of filter stages in series connection, and each one can operate in one of several modes.


Kriminal Omaha

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Yamaha's CS-5 provided the inspiration for this virtual analogue synth; this was originally released in 1979 and is particularly suitable for bass and effects sounds. Omaha's specs don't throw up any big surprises, but if you still haven't found the single-oscillator synth that you're looking for, give it a try.

Spacedad Shekrs

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

This garish curio contains loo-roll, yogurt pot and paper cup shakers. There are actually five shakers in total, and these are playable on five MIDI notes: C#2,D#2,F#2,G#2 and A#2. Speed, pitch and volume modulation controls are included, too, as are high-pass and low-pass filters and distortion, bitcrushing and panning effects.