One of the biggest problems facing home studio owners is money, mulah, $$$$.... more specifically, the lack of money.
Does that mean you can't enjoy this hobby? No, not at all. On this page, I'll list some freebie software (or reasonably cheap software) you can use in your home studio setup.
Now, I understand some of you may be PC users, and some may be Mac users. Don't worry. I'll pick software you can use for both platforms... or if the software is available as cross platform, I'll let you know too. Audacity
Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing
sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and
other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:
- Record live audio.
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.
- Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
- Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
- And more! See the complete list of features.
** This software even has features like Noise Removal and Change Pitch. Awesome! And yes, not only you can edit waveforms, but you can also record using Audacity. Current version is 1.2.6 (for OSX) but 1.3.2 is in beta.
More information can be found here. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/CPS
This software is also FREE and cross platform, available for both PCs and Macs. But note, it does not run on Intel hyperthreading and Intel Macs.
According to their website...CPS is a realtime interactive programming environment for audio, MIDI and other media & I/O. Patches are build by placing objects and making wires between them. Areas of interest are sound design, algorithmic composition, DSP, electronic/computer music and education. CPS can be used in any realtime situation where sound plays a role.
More information can be found here. http://cps.bonneville.nl/Computer Music Magazine Freebies (UK Mag)
If you visit your favorite bookstore and head to the magazine rack section, look for Computer Music magazine. This is a nice magazine published in the UK full of useful and informative stuff. (Why do US music magazine companies suck? In my observation, US magazines seems like 80% advertisements and 20% content...)
Anyways, back to CM mag. They include a CD with their magazine and sometimes you'd find freebie software in it. Like what? Like the VST CM-101 and CM-303 synth (analog subtractive synth), CM-505 Drum synth, DS-404 sample player, or a step-sequencer called the EnergyCM. They also have the cool looking SR-202 Drum Sampler.
The software are mostly VST based and for PCs only... sorry Mac users. So check the latest issue of CM, and see what software they included in each issue.
This new software synth is from Fxpansion, the makers of BFD drums series and the geniuses behind VST-to-RTAS and VST-to-AU converters. BTW, If you're a Mac user, you need to have their converters as these allow you to use VST plugins and instruments in your MAS/AU/RTAS host sequencer like DP, Logic, etc.
Orca is free, all you need to do is register on their site. http://www.fxpansion.com/index.php?page=12&tab=60
They say ORCA is an experimental monosynth based on modeling of analog synthesizer circuits and components. Whoa!
It's available as cross platform for both Windows and Mac (both PPC and IntelMacs). Check it out. It's FREE.
Crystal by Green Oak software has been around long and they just keep on getting better and better. Current version is 2.4.8 and it available for both Macs and PCs. Crystal is fully tweakable with lots of parameters, has MIDI learn (very useful if you have a control surface). It has both FM synthesis (like the ones used in Yamaha DX7) and subtractive synthesis. Again, this is a VST so Mac users will need a VST converter like Fxpansion's VST-to-AU or VST-to-MAS converter. The nice thing is it's avaialable as Universal Binary so it will work for both PPC and Intel Macs.
If you go to the Green Oak's website, you can also download sound bank patches for free and they have a tutorials section too. http://www.greenoak.com/crystal/about.htmlSampleTank 2 Free
Yes, it's that SampleTank made by IK Multimedia. It is a fully working version of their SampleTank 2 software with some limitations (of course, so you'll buy the full version) but it's still useable. You just can't import, and you can only use one instance of the plugin.
Now, just because it's FREE doesn't mean it doesn't need to be authorized. But authorization is easy and you just need to fill up a form asking for your Serial #, Name, Digital ID (created by the software), and a real email address where IK will send your authorization code.
And yes, SampleTank 2 FREE is available for both OSX and Windows! So both camps can stay happy and no jealousy. :)
There are some free patches/samples also available on the IK website that you can load into your SampleTank 2 FREE software. http://www.sampletank.com/Main.html?prod_ST_XLLinPlug FreeAlpha
Here's another great, and of course FREE VST synth plugin. Sorry, this one is available only for PC users, LinPlug is now up to version 2.03. Per their website, FreeAlpha features a subtractive design to recreate the warmth and feel typically found in early 1980s analog synths.... and yes, it sounds BIG and PHAT. Check it out.
FreeAlpha is meant to whet your appetite so you can check out the other great software LinPlug makes like the Rob Papen Albino 3, CronoX3, Sophistry Ambient, and others...