Free through Jan 4 – Arturia Refract super unison multi-effect

Here’s a taste treat for you. Arturia’s Efx Refract combines stereo super unison processing with multi-effects (filters, bitcrusher, distortion, harmonizer) and modulation, all with a fun UI. And that’s the makings of a fantastic holiday for your ears.

Soundtoys shows off the Abbey Road reverb trick – and it’s not just for vocals

While we’re immersing ourselves in reverbs, Soundtoys did a great tutorial using their SuperPlate reverb showing a classic production tip associated with Abbey Road. It has some unique twists in SuperPlate, and I’ve used this for more than just vocals.

Videosync 1.4 adds Gradient, Color Mixer to Ableton Live AV tool

Videosync, the tool that brings video and visual tools to Ableton Live on macOS, gets a nice update to close out the year. Get your gradient on and mix colors in video as easily as you would tweak a synth or effect.

Swarm Reverb hands-on: dual-stage reverb with creative extras, now $29

Minimal Audio has a new standalone Swarm Reverb, and it’s no typical reverb. Pairing early and late reflection algorithms plus pre-delay with feedback, modulation, and some extras translates to unique sound design possibilities. It’s on a holiday sale for $29 with a code.

Stripped down, raw, polyrhythmic, acidic: Toktok’s Tweng and remixes

When you want some of techno’s rawest forms mixed with the genre’s fun illegitimate third cousins, look no further than Germany’s Toktok. Tweng was an impossible-to-categorize Weird Dance Music gem from earlier this year, and now its remixed companion is out, with some contributions of a few of us fortunate to get to bend it into still new territories.

Watch the first preview of Sumu, additive FM synth from Madrona Labs

Some 64 partials, each FM synthesis, feed the inbound Sumu synth from Madrona Labs. Few have seen this one yet, but DATABROTH got an exclusive, full-length preview earlier this month. Grab some egg nog, smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, and let the synthesis wash over you.

Finally, a silly synth so small you could swallow it (but please don’t)

Mitxela has continued a project to make the “smallest and worst” synthesizers possible – and he’s one-upped himself this time. This MIDI synth is barely larger than the size of its USB-C connector.

Ableton on Apple Silicon: smaller buffer sizes, lower CPU load

Ableton has published a tech note on reducing CPU load on Macs with Apple Silicon (M1/M2/M3). This is both a good tip and good news: smaller buffer sizes, which also translate to lower latency, now often reduce CPU usage.

Free XiixiiQ sequencer for macOS, Logic sums Euclidean generators

It morphs, it step sequences, it generates – it’s an incredibly deep, polymetric, polyrhythmic MIDI sequencer for macOS that works especially well as a Logic Pro MIDI FX. And it’s free. Meet XiixiiQ. My Yule log for 2023 is probably feeding this into Sculpture.

Xer Mixa mixer update: hex and quad sound, synced mutes, more

Hot on the heels of our in-depth review of the expansive Noise Engineering Xer Mixa, the folks at NE have a beta update with lots of new features. And that includes the ability to use quadraphonic and hexaphonic outputs for immersive panning.