Open Circuit Free Windows SamplerIn today’s over-saturated virtual instrument market there are plenty of powerful samplers out there vying for the attention (and green) of your average music software consumer. This is much more apparent on the PC end of things where there are dozens upon dozens of alternatives both in plug-in (Kontakt, HALion, DirectWave, etc) and standalone (Gigasampler, Reason’s NN-XT, etc.) forms. It’s tough for a small company to really stand out amongst such strong competition. One such company that has been trying to make a name for itself is Vember Audio, makers of the powerful Surge synthesizer and Shortcircuit sampler. Their design philosophy bucks the current market trends in virtual instruments by delivering quality products designed around the needs of sound designers rather than preset users in much the same way as Native Instruments circa 2001. Their interfaces are logical, but stripped of much of the flash that the big names have (no 3D rendered hardware-style “pots” here). Instead of focusing on huge libraries of sounds, they deliver great platforms for users to create their own sounds from scratch.

Now their sleeper hit sampler Shortcircuit is being released for FREE!

Details after the jump.

Yes free folks. In a move similar to Mackie’s back in 2003 when it gave Tracktion 1 away for free, and DiscoDSP’s release of Highlife as freeware last year Vember Audio is releasing as freeware their now aging version 1 in an effort to generate buzz for the forthcoming version 2 (the beta of which is available for free as well).

This is not crippleware. This is the same full version of Shortcircuit 1.1.2 that used to go for $139 just a few days ago. Check the specs:

User interface

Streamlined user interface for fast editing at the sample-zone level.
Fast editing of multiple zones.
“In context”-sample preview.
Extensive drag & drop support (onto the keyrange-view or the list-view).

Sample/Intrument import

RIFF wave-files (.wav) (8/16/24/32-bit & 32-bit float, mono/stereo at any sample rate)
AKAI S5000/S6000/Z4/Z8 .akp banks (partial)
NI battery kits (partial)
Soundfont 2.00 (partial)
Propellerhead Recycle 1 & 2

Sampler engine

High-quality sinc interpolation
Oversampling used when needed to prevent aliasing
Double-precision float math (64-bit) used where it matters (IIR-filters).
Single-precision float math (32-bit) used elsewhere.
Supports any sample-rate.
Max polyphony per instance: 256 voices
Multiple outputs. (max 16 mono AND 8 stereo-pairs per instance)
Supported sample-playback modes:
forward loop
forward loop with crossfading
forward loop until release
forward loop bidirectional
forward shot
sliced (maps slices accross the keyboard)
on release
reverse shot

2 filters / voice:
Lowpass 2-pole (2 types)
Lowpass 1/2/3/4-pole ladder-filter
Lowpass 1/2/3/4-pole ladder-filter with saturation
Highpass 2-pole
Dual bandpass
Dual peak
Comb filter
2-band parameric EQ (2 types)
graphic EQ
mörder OD (overdrive)
Microgate (does glitch/loop style effects when the gate is open)
Ring modulation
Phase modulation (equivalent to FM)
Frequency shifting
Pulse oscillator
Pulse oscillator (with sync)
Sawtooth oscillator (with 1-16 voices in unison)
Sinus oscillator

3 stepLFOs / voice. Doubles as 32-step stepsequencer and wavetable LFO.
2 AHDSR envelopes / voice
Powerful modulation system with the ability to modulate itself. Destinations include envelope-times, loop-points in addition to traditional destinations.
Group LFO
Group modulation routing.
Group effects. (2 effects / group)
Effect types:
digidelay (feedback, filtering & optional midi-sync)
freqshift delay
freqshift flange
stereo width
MS decoder

System requirements

Microsoft Windows 2000, XP or newer.
Processor with SSE-support (includes Intel Pentium 3 and newer, AMD Athlon XP and newer)
Software capable of hosting VST-instruments.

Get it HERE.

If you play with Shortcircuit and like what you’re hearing please consider picking up Surge and Shortcircuit 2 when it’s released. Cats like these need the support of users like you and me to stay in business. If you’re a PC user, give it a shot… you’ve got nothing to lose!