Category Archives: Plugins

New Linux Answer to Superior Drummer! AVL Drumkits Plugin!

Check out this great new plugin for linux that is a full virtual drum set that can rival Superior Drummer that’s free and only 40mb!

avldrums.lv2 is a drum sample player plugin dedicated to Glen MacArthur’s AVLdrums. This self-contained plugin provides a convenient way to rapidly sequence and mix midi-drums.

The AVLdrums comes as two separate drumkits: Black Pearl and Red Zeppelin. There are 5 velocity layers for each of the 28 kits pieces or drum-zones for both kits.

This is a very cool plugin and makes programming realistic sounding drums for free a breeze! Get it here

Free Casio CT-370 Soundfont by Demonic Sweaters

This is something I worked on for quite a while. I have a Casio CT-370 keyboard from 1987 that I use on a lot of my recordings, it was used extensively on the albums Atlantis Falls and Polybius. I took the synth and sampled every single sound inside on all 5 octaves the keyboard has and painstakingly made them into an sf2 file using Swami on Linux.

I went through and recreated every single preset on the synth, as well as all of the percussion sounds. In addition to that, I created 16 of my own presets using samples from the synth. All of the music in the above vid are from the soundfont.

Now this synth can be used freely in the world of MIDI and is completely cross platform. Sf2 files, or Soundfonts, are an old way of collecting multiple samples into one file and can be played in any Soundfont player on Windows, Mac or Linux. LMMS features a great sf2 player, and Linux has Fluidsynth, others exist for both Mac and Windows that are free of charge. You can now add a full Casio CT-370 to your arsenal of sounds!

Download it here!

Free Oberheim OB-X Emulator VST for Mac and Windows

I recently stumbled across this amazing free softsynth and thought I’d share. If you love those thick Oberheim sounds (who doesn’t?) this is an absolute necessity.

Download it for free here

“Obxd is emulation of famous ob-x, ob-xa and ob8 synths.
While not copying originals , some of the features were taken to a better point.
Continuous blendable multimode filter (hp-notch(bp)-hp in 12 db mode and 4-1 pole in 24 db mode).
VAM button is last played note allocation mode.
32 and 64 bit versions included.”

Generative Midi Plugin!

Midi Madness, an algorithmic melody generator, in its original form ran as both standalone software and plug-in.


The announcement a few months ago that it was making a comeback revealed that some problematic aspects of the first iteration will be addressed. The most obvious of these was that you couldn’t hear any of the generated musical ideas in real time, which made the process somewhat laboured.

“This new version is a better realised product in numerous ways (and is free to owners of v1)”

Let’s rewind a little and see how the melody generation process works. Midi Madness generates MIDI phrases based on probability weightings set by the user in series separate modules.

The Notes module, for example, features a series of sliders above each note of a chromatic scale. Dragging the slider upwards for a particular note increases its chances of being included in the final melodic phrase.

A common scenario would see you push up the sliders for notes that fit the current scale. This is made a little easier by accessing the Chord Selector, which automatically assigns note weighting based on nine different chord types.

By specifying a key signature, the programme then highlights relevant commonly used chord types. The Length module uses a similar system of sliders to select the probability of a range of note lengths (or rest). There is also a range slider for staccato vs legato notes.

The Velocity, Octave and Humanise (note timing) modules use distribution curves where you drag the lowest and highest values and shape to determine the probabilities. A more elaborate variation on this is used to create controller curves for up to four simultaneous CCs and Pitch Bend.

The Sequence section is where all the magic comes together and provides a visual display of the final phrase (of between 1 and 32 bars). Longer phrases can make use of multiple note weightings to facilitate changing chord progressions.

The final phrase can be dragged from here into your DAW. However, if you’re using the VST version of the plug-in, its output can be routed to a MIDI or instrument track, and this is where the process comes alive.

This new version is a better realised product in numerous ways (and is free to owners of v1), though we still have some reservations about the size and usability in some areas.

Midi Madness claims to be the “latest, sickest tool in EDM”, but in our view this does somewhat oversell the software. However, while you won’t necessarily get instant gratification, it is both interesting and useful – with a distinct leaning to the experimental end of electronica. Take the demo for a spin and see what madness ensues.