Plugging stuff together is fun. By jurvetson.

There’s a disturbing amount of free sound-making stuff out there, enough to clutter up your VST folder and make you forget where you put that multi-tap delay you wanted. It’s a beautiful thing. So, as a regular, erm, public service, I’ll be semi-regularly rounding up some of the free instruments and effects appearing around the Interwebs.

This week: a brilliantly deep reverb, plus everything from a beat box (as in human beat box) to a motorcycle simulator.



MechaVerb is a free reverb effect. Yawn… until you see the fact that the maze of knobs above allows you to individually set delays for each component of the sound on each band. That allows for some interesting special effects and makes this a real gem for tweakers.

Mechaverb v1.00 VST (Windows only)

via the CDM Forums

The developers Atom have tons of other free stuff, including a pulse wave synth (nifty!), an (intentional) clipper they just updated, and other effects and sampleware. If it doesn’t have “Add to Cart” next to it, it’s free; check the sidebar. Their payware effects look great, too — dig that $10 host-synced gate effect. Might have to just buy that one.

In other freeness news:

Instasampler is a free Mac OS X-only sampler. (Via Synthtopia.)

No, really — it’s a sampler. As in, something that records live from input (it uses MIDI as the trigger). Yes, the word “sampler” has come to mean “things that play back samples but don’t actually record,” but this is an exception. It’s also so ugly I can’t bear to insert a screen grab.

Earth to sample makers: we expect to see this in every product you release that you call “sampler” from now on. In the meantime, this is free for Mac. (Anyone know a good Windows or Linux alternative?)


xoxos is a legend in free stuff (Windows only). I’ve done a couple of entire pieces with the physical modeling stuff. Tour the VSTs for endless free oddities, plus some affordable payware tools. The latest from xoxos is Virtual Machine, which you’ll find on the main page. It’s not quite free, but it’s close — subscribers who donate get it as a gift. Via FutureMusic Beta.


Super Drum Generator FX is a … super drum generator. (Windows only) Stick in some audio files and go; as you can see, you get mixing, EQ, and effects. There’s even a preset for Roland E-Drum MIDI settings and MIDI filtering. Via


DSK DrumZ BeatVoiZe is a virtual, sampler beatbox plug-in. (Windows-only, sorry, again.) Yeah, I kinda thought the whole point of beatboxing was, like, using your voice, but if you really need a virtual rendition, here’s a plug-in substitution — complete with sample capabilities and MIDIhost automation. Via, who also host the plug-in.

Did we miss your creation? Be sure to email us next time!

Hands-on impressions of any of these? Let us know in comments.