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