Ok, it's official: Christmas 2023 is now the best on record for free music software giveaways. UVI has just added to the gifts beneath the plugin tree, and Noctua should be the first you unwrap.
Noctua is the latest on a growing list of free plugins announced this season, with Native Instruments' free Glaze plugin, Cherry Audio's free SEM synth module and Rhodes' free V-Pan vibrato effect being just three other free contenders for your hard drive space (but not your cash).
Noctua comes 'from the mind' of sound designer and YouTuber, Venus Theory. It features a 2+1 layer design, which involves you picking a sound for each of the main dual layers from Effects Box, Analog or EMF (electro magnetic field recordings) categories.
The Effects sounds are from handmade instruments crafted by Venus Theory; Analog, not surprisingly, features sounds from a selection of analogue synths and pedal chains; while EMF has field recordings made into multi-sampled instruments. There's also a 'morphable' sub-oscillator to add some low-end clout.
If Noctua sounds a little 'out there', that's probably because it is. The combination of synths and effects, says UVI, delivers "an exquisite collection of sprawling soundscapes and evocative cinematic worlds".
The leftfield character of Noctua will undoubtedly be reinforced by the fact that each layer also has a microtonal sequencer, which can provide randomisation and different levels of probability, "allowing everything from subtle modulation to complex voicing and progressions".
There are also effects available for each layer, including reverb, delay, drive, compression, EQ and a maximiser.
Noctua has 100 presets, designed by Venus Theory and UVI, and runs by way of UVI's Falcon or free UVI Workstation. You can download it for free from the UVI website.