Free music software round-up: Week 35

While light entertainment fans have been picking their X Factor winner over the past few weeks, lovers of free software have been voting for their favourite new plug-in in the KVR Developer Challenge.

Read on to learn more about (and download) the winning entry, then keep reading for details of another seven free instruments and effects.

If you've got a new free music software release, make sure you let us know about it by emailing with all the details.

Variety of sound ferrictds

Variety Of Sound FerricTDS

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

We briefed you on the 2009 KVR Developer Challenge last month, and this is the winning entry. It simulates the effects of reel-to-reel tape recorders, and features Dynamics, Saturation and Limiting sections. KVR's knowledgeable users loved it, so it's got to be worth a look.

HG fortune alien space weaver standard

HG Fortune Alien Space Weaver Standard

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Designed for "spacey or dark atmospheric backgrounds and FX sounds," if you play this synth slowly its output will evolve over time. For full functionality, get the Pro version, but this Standard edition, which omits several features, seems like a good starting point.

GSi mrtramp2

GSi MrTramp2

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

Free versions of Fender's Rhodes piano are fairly common, so it's nice to see a gratis version of that other great electric piano staple, the Wurlitzer 200A. This version 2.0 update promises more bite at the low end and increased body towards the top, while both the CPU and RAM requirements are lower than before.

Yedey loopdrive 2.0

Yedey LoopDrive 2.0

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

This loop slicer/step sequencer has been treated to a major update. We're told that every part of the audio processing has been optimised (the plug-in is said to run up to three times faster than its predecessor), while several new features have been added and some problems fixed.

Sonic assault kassiopeia

Sonic Assault Kassiopeia! 2.0

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

Based on Casio's range of '80s phase distortion (similar to FM) synthesizers, Kassiopeia! is now at version 2.0. Don't expect knobs and faders on this one - the interface is based on graphs and numeric entry fields.

Starplugs meq analysis

Starplugs MEQ Analysis

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

It's unlikely that your mum's going to buy you a 2-channel high precision 30-band frequency analysis and level-meter this Christmas, so it's lucky that Starplugs is giving you one. It's said to work seamlessly with the company's Master EQ, but can also be used with any other equalizer plug-in.

AudioSpillage minispillage

AudioSpillage MiniSpillage

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

Tired of the same old percussion sounds? MiniSpillage isn't designed to emulate any specific drum machine, but is a synthesis-based module that aims to "break new ground and provide the modern musician with an original electronic percussion instrument".

The lower rhythm bd2

The Lower Rhythm BD2

Platform/format: PC/VST Download

The Lower Rhythm has taken the bass drum channel from its D15/2 analogue drum machine and released it as a 'kick designer' plug-in on its own. It gives you a pair of kick voices, a bit crusher and two output channels (one is clean and the other tube emulated with pre/post gain).

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