We're fortunate to live in a time where all manner of cool effects and instrument plug-ins are just a mouse click away for absolutely free. In fact, there are so many out there, that from time to time some of them get lost in the shuffle for one reason or the other. So every now and then, I'll post some of them here to hopefully help you discover some hidden gems.
This month, I wanted to share with you Michael Norris' excellent SoundMagic Spectral suite of free plug-ins for the Mac. This is a collection of plug-ins mostly aimed at messing with sounds on a spectral level. These aren't plug-ins you'll use every day, but they're amazingly fun to play with can be an excellent source of sound design, especially if you're into strange drones, grainy pads, and spooky ambiences.
Here's a list of what you get:
"Included in SOUNDMAGIC SPECTRAL are the following plug-ins: Spectral Averaging • Spectral Bin Shift • Spectral Blurring • Spectral DroneMaker • Spectral Emergence • Spectral Filterbank • Spectral Freezing • Spectral Gate and Hold • Spectral Gliding Filters • Spectral Granulation • Spectral Harmonizer • Spectral Partial Glide • Spectral Pitch Shift • Spectral Pulsing • Spectral Shimmer • Spectral Shuffle • Spectral Stretch • Spectral Tracing • Chorus • Comb Filter Bank • Grain Streamer • Idee Fixer • Mr Filterbank"
If you're still on the fence, there are some sound examples on Norris' website demonstrating some of what these plug-ins can do. The only real downsides are that the output levels can at times be wildly unpredictable (it wouldn't be a bad idea to strap a limiter across your master bus when playing with these), and the GUI is very no-frills, but that's really nit-picking considering they don't cost you a thing. So what are you waiting for? Go check them out!