beatburner Windows is getting enough instrument and effect madness for free to make your head spin — a lot of it previously commercial software. Here’s the latest addition: Beatburner, a looping sampler combined with a wave shaper and enveloped filter. In short, Beatburner takes your loops and makes them into sonic insanity. I’ve been playing with it a bit this evening, and making things sound … well, scary. As the author describes it:

BeatBurner, using innovative wave shaping and filtration methods, turns innocent drum beats, loops or sounds into new, fresh and vibrant audio parts for you to incorporate into your musical arrangements. BeatBurner comes with a myriad of sample loops to get you started but it doesn’t stop there, you can mangle, whittle or process any sound you want! Full automation and preset morphing means there are literally no limits to the soundscapes you can create.

Beatburner is NOT made with Synthedit.

Beatburner blog, downloads, and donation link, via DigitalLoFi

The plug-in also includes a healthy selection of bass and drum loops to get you playing right away.

I like having some free software to add to the arsenal — you get to experiment with some unusual soundmakers without the pressure of, you know, having a financial investment on the line. And if you appreciate the developer’s work, send a donation. There are still quite a few tools worth paying for, but I’ve gotten some musical ideas jump-started with the free stuff, too.

This isn’t the only free plug-in from Fat-Ass (aka CodeAudio, and yes, that’s their real name — I’m not just being mean or something). There are a whole bunch of synth and effects plugs available for free, some quite nice.

Just keeping score: on Windows, you can grab the rich Acusticaudio Nebula Hispasonic edition, a faux Commodore 64, the unique and powerful Open Circuit sampler, many of the excellent xoxos plug-ins and the highly-controllable Mechaverb, and the now-open source discoDSP HighLife sampler from the late Argu, all for free. There are a zillion more great choices from Adrian Anders, as well.

We got an interesting discussion going on the last free round-up here. It almost became a boring platform war, but for the most part, it went more along the lines of asking, honestly, why is there so much more free stuff for Windows? (And 7oi showed up, whose music I really love, a sign that it wasn’t just another boring platform thread.)

The conclusion for Mac users:

1. Check out Studiotoolz to track down hundreds of free Mac tools. There’s still not the quantity or quality of what’s on Windows, but there’s easily enough to distract you from doing any real work — erm, I mean, round out your creative arsenal.

2. Look at the open source SonicBirth for making your own plug-ins, along the lines of SynthEdit and SynthMaker on Windows. If Mac developers start to embrace this tool, it should deepen the available options

  • Spinner

    Free stuff that is always reliable & full of goodness: beer

    Free stuff that is not so reliable & full of goodness: plug -ins

    If all freebies went commercial today the ones I'd pay for is the FreeG ,chip32, some of the TAL & Cyanide2. Sorry but the rest arn't that good to be honest, yes Massey but to be really useful you need to buy his stuff.

    Synthedit…… how many plug ins do you need that will sonically obliterate your audio?

  • Great post. im on the site right now. I've been getting bored with my current arsenal of digital sound tools.. this looks like it will feed me need quite nicely.

  • @Spinner: I was being a little cheeky in this case. I think you can get some sonically nice results out of this plug-in. But I agree — it's worth picking out the freebies that are worthwhile. That's still a very long list.

  • wes

    ive gotten so fed up with the lack of Mac plugs. i started putting "reanimator" on my master and resampling it. then chopping and doing whatever with that. that gets me some kool sounds ..

  • wes

    how hard would it be to re-code this plugin for Mac???

  • Adrian Anders

    @ Wes

    It depends on what language the plug was first written in. If it was written in Delphi (ala FL Studio) or something similarly bound to the Windows platform then it would be pretty difficult. Being written in something a bit more cross platform like C++ would make it much easier to port to OSX.

    Of course, because the developer is giving it away as a freebie, he has no incentive to develop a OSX port. Perhaps OSX users should email the developer to see if he's willing to open-source the project. That way someone with the inclination and ability could port Beatburner to OSX.

    In any case, at the very least OSX users can download the loop-pack and play around with the factory Beatburner loops in another program. 😀


  • Hi,

    Actually it is written in C++ but is incredibly reliant on the Microsoft Windows API. It wouldn't be impossible to do a port but it would be hard. I looked into this when I took over the product but the development costs were far too high to warrant it.

    Open source would definitely be the answer and is something I am quite keen on. If there's enough demand from developers, I will open it up.

    Nice article by the way!


    Lee Stacey

    Code Audio

    p.s. I'm writing this on my MacBook Pro… 🙂

  • 7oi

    you know what, i think i'll get myself a machine running windows just to get the free plug rush so i can be done with it.

    still, i've started to feel very content with the native plugs in ableton live. digging up more and more gems there, like the FM in sampler. loads of fun there. i actually think i have all i need.

    still, would be fun to get a plug rush.

    i'll add to the batch of free plugs for mac. here's the first one i've made in max/msp. it's not much, only a simple sampling thing that's unstable, yet can pump out interesting sounds. i have no manual yet, since it's just been for me until now.

  • BTW I love Fat-Ass' WTF (acronym madness).

    Very rude guys, though!

  • lematt

    it's true there is a headspinning bunch of free vsts for windows, but most of them are unstable and sound crap, except the smartelectronix ones and drumatic 2 and 3 from e-phonic.

    drumatic, at the end, is the plugin that i miss the most on mac.

  • 7oi

    but many of the smartelectronix plugs are also for macs, so…

    still, we mac users have automat from alphakanal! score!

    oh, and ninjaplugs. there we're talking about great sound manglers inspired by GRM tools who bring you so far away from the original sound. score again! woo!!!

  • @lematt: We've got a fairly impressive list of plug-ins right here that is not unstable and does not sound crap. Just sayin'. If nothing else, could be worth adding a host to a Windows Boot Camp install if you've got one on Mac. But yes, there are a few worth mentioning on Mac, as well.

  • One additional thought … at the rate everyone is buying up MacBook Pros, I don't expect the plug-ins are going to keep being so heavily Windows-tilted. People do tend to code and test on the platform they use.

  • Spinner

    @ 7oi love your music mate

    cheers for the ninja tip, wicked little tings

  • Adrian Anders

    True indeed Peter. I'm telling you guys, if OSX starts getting the kinds truely strange plug-ins that you can find on the Windows platform then I'll be way more inclined to jump to it.

    xoxos's plugs come immediately to mind. There are such strange and wonderful SE plugs out there. Of course they don't sound like a rich deep commercial synth, but that's not the point.

    There are some pretty good workhorse freeware synths on Windows, but moreover there are a TON of just really strange shit all coded in either SE or SM and thus will remain Windows-only (that is until either or both developers of those products make their plug-in development programs cross-platform).

    Really, it's worth Bootcamp for the free oddities alone.

  • I've got a couple of SonicBirth'd plugins on my website – probably the best of them being an effect that makes the input sound like it's coming over a shortwave radio.

  • 7oi

    @spinner: thanks! yeah, i really love the ninjaplugs. very unique and a bit random, you never know what craziness you get.

    @peter: thanks for the mention up there! i'm glad i could make the previous round up a little less platform battle-ish. 🙂

  • fiz

    As a MacBook user, what would be the Boot Camp host of choice, anyone?

  • MonksDream


    I avoid Boot Camp altogether and use VMWare Fusion. It's hands-down the most rock solid Windows virtualization I've ever used on the Mac platform. You can check it out here:

    I understand Parallels has gotten better in the time since I tried it but I have no experience with its recent version.

    The problem with Boot Camp is that you either boot your Mac to OS X OR Windows. Fusion lets you run both at the same time. Windows runs as a virtual machine in a Window on your Mac. I tend to run it full screen on a second monitor. Both Windows and OS X see the virtual machine (VM) as a separate machine that can share resources. For instance, I have one USB interface routed to the Windows machine and another routed to the Mac and I have no trouble running plug-ins on both at the same time.

    Good luck!

  • MonksDream


    Re-reading your post I realize I might have answered the wrong question. My apologies if that's the case!

  • fiz

    Thanks MD…kinda wish I'd read your info a couple months ago, before I bought Parallel's. Ah well…still good to know about.

    My original question is no longer relevant…for the moment anyway. As a newb to Live (and Logic), I've got my hands plenty full at the moment. But, should you return to this thread, allow me to return the favor by just mentioning that today the good folks at Automat released an updated beta version of v1.0, and by my trial, the thing holds steady in Live! And: it allows for multiple tracks with different instruments — without crashing!

    At the moment, Automat is my favorite softsynth. This tidbit seems worth mentioning.

  • exbillx

    I really Like the sounds you can get with Beatburner, i have been using it with acid pro6 But I can not record with it just plays loops continuously…Anyone how to do this?