Happy blooming holidays: Native Instruments’ free Hypha instrument brings you the sounds of nature

If the chunks of chocolate behind your Advent calendar’s doors aren’t turning out to be the tantalising daily treats you were hoping for, we bring glad tidings. As usual, Native Instruments is getting into the spirit of the season by offering you a free plugin.

This year, it’s a free ‘acoustic-electric’ hybrid instrument known as Hydra that you can download. Running inside the free Kontakt 7 Player, this comes with 156 “inspired by nature” presets and plenty of sound-sculpting options, including eight effects, randomisation features and a mod wheel-powered performance mode that enables you to generate a chord progression from a single keypress. Multiple tuning systems are supported, too.

As a further bonus, both new and existing NI customers can grab a £22/€25 discount e-voucher that can be spent on instruments, effects and expansions at the NI online shop.

You can also save 50% on a selection of iZotope products via the iZotope website. Among the plugins on offer are Nectar 3 Plus, VocalSynth 2 and the full range of Elements products, including the Elements Suite. 

Finally, you also have the chance to win a prize bundle from NI and its Soundwide siblings iZotope and Plugin Alliance. If you want to get involved you need to download Hypha, use it to create a new track and then upload it to the competition page at Metapop. NI will select three winning tracks, and if yours is one of them, you’ll take home a prize.

Find out more and download Hypha for PC and Mac on the Native Instruments website. It's free until 16 January.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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