It’s like ripping some of the delicious goodness out of the Noise Engineering modules and adding them to your DAW of choice or Reason Rack, for free. And now the trio – distortion and two synths – have substantially enhanced modulation, control, and usability.

Prepare your eyes, as the UI does look a bit like someone’s retinas were shaken by the sound of chaotic subbass distortion at 128X gain:

Hat tip to Gearnews for being on top of this one (and Dr. Walker for the tip). The Freequel bundle includes a stereo multi-distortion, a wavetable/wavefolding synth, and a synth with “esoteric” algorithms, for VST / AU / AAX macOS and Windows plus Reason Rack Extensions, all free. (The company offers other paid software for both, plus those sort of strange plug-ins that require a screwdriver and space on your desk called “Eurorack.”)

Here’s what you get:

Ruina, the distortion

  • Multiband saturator
  • Wavefolder
  • Chaotic suboctave generator (sounds… destructive, sure!)
  • Octavizer
  • Phase shifter
  • Notch/bandpass filter with tracking
  • Change signal order
  • Up to 128X gain overdrive (yes, one hundred twenty-eight…)

Sinc Vereor: a wavemorphing wavefolding synth

“Loosely based” on the module; this is some excellent software in its own right:

  • Saw/tri/square waves with blending/morphing
  • Super mode with 6 phase-offset oscillators (think Roland super-stuff, of course, vaguely)
  • Noise mode
  • Wavemorphing/wavefolding Tone control
  • Vereor dynamics section with ADSR envelope / multimode gate/filter
  • “Vintage-inspired” chorus

It’s like someone took some Roland gear out and fed it a bunch of hallucinogens.

Virt Vereor: the one with the freaky algorithms

Virt Vereor is the weirder sibling of Sinc Vereor, with “esoteric sound algorithms.” (Did somebody call my name?) These are also inside one of my favorite hardware synths, the Arturia MicroFreak V3, and NE are promising a module that will have the same in Virt Iter.

Workflow for me is totally different on the baby Arturia keyboard and in the box, so do I want them twice and recommend them twice? I do. I do. Yes. Yes.

So you get:

  • Bass – “a quadrature algorithm described in Bernie Hutchins’ seminal series Electronotes.” Okay, let’s just call it “bass” then. Esoteric bass?
  • Sawx – “a supersaw inspired beast.”
  • Harm – “an additive algorithm with spectral control and distortion of partials”

But you can do what the rest of us do, engineers included, and just… play with them. They will make some gnarly, toothy, digital sounds.

But you can do what the rest of us do, engineers included, and just… play with them. They will make some gnarly, toothy, digital sounds.

You then get the same dynamics and chorus as in the sibling.

New in this update

Noise Engineering have made some major enhancements to this generation of the trio (at least in the plug-in versions):

  • New modulation section – four LFOs, four macros
  • Advanced randomization
  • Improved MIDI, “including velocity and polyphonic aftertouch mapping and MIDI learn”
  • Channel and note aftertouch support

It really means these freebie experimental oscillator banks have turned into full-fledged software instruments. (Patch compatibility is retained even with the big update if you did grab the new version.)

That LFO section looks really nice, and yes, this is in the distortion (Ruina), as well:

Freequel for Reason

I’m not quite sure if there’s an update coming on the Rack Extension side – for now it lacks that modulation page – but the UI looks cute and hardware-y for Reason users:

You could of course also route CV in Reason’s interface, so internal modulation is less essential. They look really lovely: