6 Unusual Plugins to Jumpstart Creativity

NI's Molekular
Sometimes the best way to get inspired is to get some new sounds to add to your productions, and the best way to change up your sound is to add a new plugin to your arsenal. Courtesy of MusicTech, here are 6 unusual and innovative VST’s that are guaranteed to force you out of your comfort zone and help you get inspired.


According to its creators at Sonic Charge, the pur­pose of Synplant “is to move fo­cus away from the some­times in­tric­ate and dif­fi­cult pro­cess of sound syn­thes­is and in­stead let you de­vel­op sounds by simply us­ing your ears.” Instead of the usual array of filters and oscillators you’d find on most synthesizers, sounds in Synplant are generated by growing “seeds”.

Did we mention that you can delve into each seed’s DNA – again, actual DNA strand – and mess with it?

To call Synplant “unconventional” might be the understatement of the century.

2: Vurtbox

Krakli Vurtbox
How do you program a synth if you can’t tell what any of the controls are for? Well you start twisting knobs until figure out what everything does, or at least that’s what Krakli’s Vurtbox is trying to get you to do. The wonky GUI takes a liberal approach to organization, and apparently harbors some hard feelings towards things like labels.

The whole thing looks like someone has taken a synth and actually melted it down.

Half of the fun of Vurtbox is in discovering what everything does, and the weird discoveries you’re bound to make through random button tweaking.

3: Gargoyle

Krakli Gargoyle
Also from Krakli, Gargoyle’s GUI isn’t as confusing as Vurtbox’s, but the eye in the center can be more than a little unnerving. This little synth offers more than it lets on, with a surprising amount of modulation routing and control for a freeware synth on the more basic side.

While the Vurtbox might excel in happy accidents and incidental inspiration, Gargoyle’s strong suit is in designing weird textures and unsettling audio effects.

Both Vurtbox and Gargoyle are available for free download.

4: Alien Artifact

Hercs Music Systems' Alien Artifacts
For those who were excited by Vurtbox’s minimalist GUI, Alien Artifact will probably capture their hearts straight away. Clearly made for the more masochistic among us, Alien Artifact’s GUI consists of four buttons adorned with strange symbols, each accompanied by a pair of sliders with no scale markings or measurements of any kind.

Though Hercs Music Systems is no longer operational, Alien Artifact is still available as a free download from their website.

5: Relectro

Linplug Relectro
With Relectro, Linplug found themselves in the peculiar situation of developing a synthesizer that they later realized would be a lot better as an effects plugin. The result is an effect built on a synth’s engine, and one of the most innovative processing plugins ever made. It’s got a pitch section, compressor, and a full EQ, as well as the variable wave function, which allows Relectro to process each wave in the sound individually. Unfortunately, Linplug has discontinued Relectro, however the full version can still be downloaded here.

6: Molekular

Native Instruments' Molekular
Molekular is a modular effects unit that allows users to assemble complicated multi-effects by selecting from different blocks. The effects can be routed in a number of different ways, and a variety of different parameters can be modulated from a few different modulation sources, and at the end of the chain, the central matrix allows for even further sound morphing. As a result, Molekular is a highly musical effects processor and has the ability to really transform sounds into something entirely new. You can pick it up from Native Instruments‘ for $149, or included as part of the Komplete bundle.

Hopefully these unique plugins will help you get inspired! If you’re interested in learning more about music production, make sure to check out our courses! Feel free to contact us with any questions, or to set up a free tour of the studio.

Roland Reveals New AIRA Modular

The new system is billed by the company as “modular for the masses”. -factmag

This new System-1m is a standalone synth that features four different effects units.

The SYSTEM-1m is a semi-modular version of the SYSTEM-1 synth with extra features like CV/Gate connections, external input, and more comprehensive signal routing options. Next there’s a range of standalone, table-top and Eurorack compatible effects for next-level sound mangling and experimentation, with distortion, crusher, delay and scatter coming soon.

Bitrazer: is a “programmable crusher effect with CV/Gate and Euroack Compatability.” This allows the DJ to have more control and flexibility over the crushing effect. This effect is programmable via computer, smartphone, or tablet!

Demora: “Programmable High-Resolution delay with CV/Gate and Eurorack Compatability” This allows for more flexibility and control over the delay effect.

Scooper: This effect unit is designed for the Scatter effect. With its 16 million steps of resolution is provides ultra-smooth controls.

Torcido: This versatile modular effect gives you control over the classic distortion effect. Just like the others, it is programmable via computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Click on this AIRA Modular Intro video and get a sneak peak of the new hardware. These units are called the Bitrazer, Demora, Scooper, and Torcido.

To better understand the Roland AIRA Modular and/or learn about this innovative hardware please contact Sarah for any questions and to get signed up for a music production class! You can also call 617.849.9321!

For more click on this FactMag article- “Roland officially reveals AIRA Modular and it’s both Eurorack and smartphone compatible

Roland Unveils NEW System-1 Plug-Out Synth


On July 25, 2014, Roland will deliver their first ever Plug-Out keyboard synthesizer, the System-1, the newest addition to their AIRA series. Roland’s AIRA series consists of three other instruments: the VT-3 Voice Transformer effects processor, the TB-3 Touch Bassline synth, and the TR-8 Rhythm Performer drum machine. The combination of these four instruments gives any aspiring musician the necessary tools to develop their creativity and skills as a songwriter, producer, and performer.

Based on Roland’s 1982 classic SH-101, the System-1 keyboard gives the user full hardware control over the plug-in. The System-1 features Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior which provides spot-on modeling of all analog synth components. Variable filter, envelopes, LFO and more respond exactly like the modeled analog gear. The hands-on controls allow you to command every parameter with simplicity and efficiency.

This video demonstrates some of the System-1’s main features:

Are you interested in becoming an expert at Music Production or DJ’ing? Visit MMMMAVEN’s courses page to see how we can help you develop your skills to the next level.

Korg’s New Synth DSN-12, Designed for the Nintendo 3DS

Korg has teamed up with App developer Detune to recreate the iconic MS-10 Synth, but for the Nintendo 3DS. The software synth will include 12 of the original synthesizer sounds, and users will be able to apply three effects to each. It includes a memory enabled sequencer to save up to 64 of your favorite patterns, and boasts the world’s first 3D oscilloscope screen.

The video illustrates the new software’s transition from classic hardware to innovative, modern technology in the palm of your hand. In addition to the built-in sequencer, the UI was designed to create songs on the fly with its “scene” feature.

The app is slated for release in September, so keep a look out for a Nintendo 3DS on stage next to your favorite producer.

Read more via our friends at Resident Advisor.

Want to start laying down some fresh licks with your Ninetendo 3DS but not so sure what all those virtual knobs control? Visit our courses page to find the right course to get you making your own waves.