Black Friday, Black month, Black November – whatever time span this now means, here are hand-picked examples of some of the best deals on music-making software.
Disclosure: CDM has an advertising relationship with some vendors listed. Paid placements were not offered in this section, however.
AAS (Applied Acoustics Systems) software is up to 60% off. I’ve been addicted to AAS for years as a fan of physical modeling – and readers know I’ve been singing the praises of Multiphonics CV-1. Especially nice – the modeling collection, with the Multiphonics CV-1 modular, String Studio VS-3, Strum GS-2, Chromaphone 3, Lounge Lizard EP-4 electric piano, Ultra Analog VA-3 synth, and the very lovely Objeq Delay (which is really also a resonator), are all 60% off for US$199.
I’d spring for the bundle, but the modular at US$49 is also a great deal.
Free Swatches: Plus, for free there’s their cute Swatches sound pack:
Waves free plug-in: Lofi Space. It’s become something of a Black Friday tradition – Waves has another giveaway plug this year. This one combines a bright, sparkly echo with tempo sync and a plate/spring reverb. The usual caveats apply – you have to install the latest Waves software to get at it. All their other stuff is deeply discounted, too, but I suspect you know that already given how Waves advertises. Just grab the plug-in today – it’s cute enough.
Ableton at 25% off. Ableton just don’t discount things so often, so here you go – that 25% deal includes upgrades, so now might be the time to nab Live 11.
All of Soundtoys plug-ins are on sale, with up to 70%+ off plug-ins and deep discounts on Soundtoys 5 (the 21 plug-in bundle) and Effect Rack (which packs a convenient selection into a single rack).
The bundle at US$229 is a great deal; I’ve been revisiting this selection lately. In particular, EchoBoy remains one of the most convenient selections of basically all the major echo hardware in one device, FilterFreak and Crystallizer are indispensable for rhythmic filter tricks and granular reverse echo, respectively, and Decapitator is a pretty perfect hardware-modeled saturation.
Bitwig Winter Special. US$299 for Bitwig Studio instead of US$399. I think you might also be able to get upgrade discounts, but you have to log in to check that one. https://www.bitwig.com/buy/
Arturia software at 50% off. The V Collection vintage synths I mentioned yesterday. But let me here and now give Arturia credit for getting their FX Collection 2 somewhere on just about every production I finish – that’s half off now. And Pigments remains just really, really good – among many other power synths, it earns special credit just for being easy on the eyes as you dig into its modulation, and having so many engines and sonic palettes, well worth 99 bucks. https://www.arturia.com/black-friday-21
Native Instruments calls this “cyber season,” but I have an even simpler message. Sure, there are steep discounts on everything, which might be the time to catch sound libraries like Mysteria, but – Reaktor. If you don’t have Reaktor, you should have Reaktor, especially at 99 bucks full or 49 upgrade. Massive X is also appealing at half off. See the NI sale page.
Reaktor, being Reaktor, might well be the best deal on this page. Reaktor Blocks is still insanely good, especially as lately I’ve been powering it up with Toybox stuff. Oh, yeah, speaking of which –
Toybox stuff is 40% off. That’s a beautiful deal given they already give you a mind-boggling number of modules on the cheap, and a ton of their stuff is actually free – including next-level geekery like connectivity with TidalCycles. I can’t recommend this enough – https://www.toyboxaudio.com/ – and you can even run some of their free modules on the free version of Reaktor Blocks for an all-free modular rig.
While you’re there, they just posted a free nano block called Lofi DAC – turning any patch into a lofi vintage sampler.
Puremagnetik has 50%+ off their stuff. Simply one of the longest-running, most unique soundware purveyors out there are doing big discounts, even including their “100-year” Century bundle. They deserve special mention for including instruments and effects closely tied to leftfield production, thanks to founder Micah Frank – and that’s why you see a lovely bird in this pic.
It’s just the sort of creative stuff we love, and the cure for “make everyone sound the same” marketing in music software. All the deals:
Cherry Audio Synth Stack 2 is another credit card magnet – US$199 for a bundle of Voltage Modular Core + Electro Drums package, DCO-106, CA2600, Surrealistic MG-1 Plus, Polymode, Eight Voice, PS-20, Memorymode, Mercury-4, and Quadra. Sure, some of these you’re seeing frequently modeled by rivals, but some – Jupiter-4, Quadra, Polymoog, Memorymoog, Realistic MG-1 – not so much. Everything also has M1 support with the exception of Voltage Modular (keen for that one).
Baby Audio for up to 44% off. If you could wear out a plug-in folder, I’d have done that lately to Baby Audio. Bundles and individual plug-ins are discounted. Spaced Out, Super VHS, and TAIP are all great – think futuristic echoes/reverbs, fuzzy VHS tape grunge, and very compelling tape emulation and distortion in one, respectively.
Output software discounted. The full Output Bundle is over $2500 of software for $551 after discount. Even as software gets more crowded, it’s tough to beat the recipes for progressive production here like Substance (for bass) and Analog Strings or Portal and Thermal effects, among others.
d16 for half off. D16 is another evergreen beauty. PunchBox alone is worth a look, making almost embarrassingly powerful kick drums. They have what remain some of the best software emulations (like the legendary LUSH-101 and Phoscyon). And I still haven’t found anything that sounds quite like Devastator 2. Polish engineering!
BLEASS software for 50-60% off. That includes App Store picks, for some true essentials for iOS, but now Mac and Windows editions, too – including the just-announced Alpha synthesizer, introed right now. And yeah, I’ve been talking about their stuff. https://www.bleass.com/
Bram Bos’ apps for US$3.99. Oooh, this is very good news, indeed. Bram’s apps on iOS are better than some actual hardware drum machines, for instance. Check it:
And last but very much not least, now is a great time to pick up all the goodness at Audio Damage. BLACKVEMBER2021 is the code for 40% off the full order – including Quanta granular and Enso looping tools, plus a lot of great classics of software. Shop Audio Damage to see the developer some of the other developers are trying to rip off.
More to come… those are the ones I’d be tempted by now, if not for already using most of it. Got more? Sound off in comments.
Late + reander entries
Rift is a deep combination of distortion, physical modeling feedback, and morphing filters with sequencing capabilities. It’s really insane – the presets are a bit over-the-top but that misses the point; the joy here is really designing your own sequences and using its palette of bitcrushing, waveshaping, and all the usual distortion flayers. Was watching for this one to go on sale and Minimal is on it this weekend:
Sugar Bytes I meant to include in the original round-up – they’ve got discounts on everything, including iOS apps. They’re easily a favorite developer on both desktop and mobile. But if you’re looking for a place to start, two no-brainer entry points are the deep Drumcomputer drum synth and eminently playable Turnado multi-effects.
All the Eventide stuff is on sale now, plus the Newfangled Audio offerings are 50% off. So as always, Ultratap or Blackhole are easy picks. The fascinating SplitEQ is also still on its intro pricing. But on the Newfangled side, you have some selections I would also elevate (erm, didn’t meant to do that) to must-buy. Pendulate and Generate with their “chaotic” oscillators make for a futuristic take on the Buchla approach to synth design – even with a “bent” model of the Buchla 259. But those get mixed together with great digital effects and clean, flat, high-contrast UIs – no overblown skeuomorphism to be found.
I also think Newfangled’s mastering suite has one of the best workflows out there – all the futuristic analysis tools but with the ability to directly control what you’re doing rather than screw up the mix with too many bells and whistles.
It’s a lot of goodness in there, and updated to M1 support recently too – https://www.eventideaudio.com/plug-ins/ – and Pendulate is free as always, so celebrate synthesis even without buying anything.
Plogue has their obsessive chip emulations at half off – and they’re not terrifically expensive to begin with, making this a very tasty deal. That includes the FM model I mentioned recently.
cableguys bundled together TimeShaper 2, DriveShaper, NoiseShaper, CrushShaper, FilterShaper Core 2, VolumeShaper 6, PanShaper 3 and WidthShaper 2 and this is as inexpensively as you can get it – $89 / 79EUR. That’s a lot of sound-sculpting power for your buck.