Game makers and (particularly Mac) utility developers have joined forces to do various bundles of their software. I have to say, I generally like the model – particularly the fantastic Humble Bundle of indie games. That collection not only encouraged people to try adventurous (often experimental) independent game titles, but gives some of the proceeds to relevant charities. Linux users have been buying up the bundles disproportionately, contrary to the idea that they won’t spend money on software, and some of the developers even set a goal to earn enough money to open source their tools. (The open source software had a tangible benefit for gamers, too: it improved compatibility and performance on Mac and Windows.)

If you’re an independent music developer wondering how to make it work with an increasingly-commoditized, crowded marketplace, it could be worth investigating.

The Indie Dev Collective is one such effort for music developers. The model is a bit different: you buy music titles a la carte, not in one giant bundle. That means you only get what you really need, though, and titles still get some steep discounts, some up to 50-65% more. They’ve found a really talented group of developers, as well: H.G.Fortune, whiteLABEL, UGO Audio, Xoxos, ManyTone Music, Nuclues SoundLab, and others are participating. There are synths, effects, and soundware all on offer (and even one host).

Some stand-outs for me: IMEA Sequencer, pictured at top, is a 64-bit-ready Windows sequencer designed for live performance, complete with useful modules and VST compatibility. It looks fantastic – and it’s about time people found some alternatives; I love Ableton Live, but it’s boring if it’s the only thing you ever see onstage.

In effects, I like Amboea, a powerful set of stereo delay lines with “algorithmic crossfading.” Yeah, you could more or less finish an entire track with this one if you wanted.

There are a number of deep synths and drum machines, the most interesting I think being the M-theory physical modeling – hybrid instrument, bundled here with arpeggiators and MIDI tools. There’s also a fascinating-looking strumming plug-in bundled with multi-band effects and filtering, Mildon’s Strummer 2 and M4GIQ. Both those instruments are found here:
MIDI Effects

Windows users will find many, many more options than Mac owners, though Mac fans will find some good plug-in choices and plenty of soundware. (And they might have some goodies to use on a dual-boot system.)

All the tools here:

Sale ends May 23, or 23 May if you live in civilization. So, what do you think? Finding any good deals here? Favorite tools? And how could this model work elsewhere?