2019 has delivered another string of exciting new VST plug-in releases, Kontakt tools and sample packs, each providing new possibilities to how we write, produce and create music. Here we take a look back at some of those that particularly proved to be a hit with you, our customers, as well as the music industry press.
Some of these titles are included in our Festive Sale until 31st December and don't forget, until 2nd January, when you spend over £10/$10/€10 we'll send you a free AAS Angelicals Sound Pack plug-in for free!
Without further ado, (and in no particular order), here's our 2019 best sellers...
Applied Acoustic System's Ultra Analog synth has been a staple of the company's collection since it's initial release in 2006 and Ultra Analog VA-3 is the most recent update, and certainly the most exciting. Along with the deeply analog-modelled sound, AAS added new features such as performance macros, two-voice multitimbrality, microtonal tunings and a fresh new factory library with 560 new quality presets (as well as 648 revised presets from Ultra Analog VA-2!!).
"Another top-shelf piece of virtual kit from AAS that’s easy to use and features a huge preset collection." - Joe Silva, Future Music (Platinum Award)
Zero-G's Ethera collection is a range of stunning cinematic vocal instruments for Kontakt, and 2019 saw the addition of Ethera Gold featuring 7 multi-sampled solo vocal instruments and hybrid wavetable synth sounds. With over 16GB of sample content you can find vocal phrases, articulations, loops, effects, and the epic True Legato technology that allows the most realistic and natural sounding pitch changes you can imagine. An essential instrument for media composers! Keep your eyes peeled for 2020 as we've heard rumours of Ethera Gold 2!
"The New Engine in Ethera Gold is AMAZING! You can combine sounds in so many different ways, that your options seem limitless." - David Michael Tardy, Composer
The 13th and final DRONAR! After a hugely successful line of products, Gothic Instruments sadly announced that DRONAR Distorchestra would be the final module in the range, but what a perfect way to end the series! Featuring one of a kind, processed orchestral samples of strings, brass and woodwinds, you're able to create complex, organic textures and layer them up however you please. With a 5GB core library, you have access to over 200 presets created by professional sound designers, all tweakable from within the intuitive Kontakt Interface. Distorchestra sums up what DRONAR is about: deep, expressive and atmospheric.
"the creative programming is fantastic, from mildly saturated to full on distorted bliss (and everything in-between)." - Ty Unwin, Composer (BBC, ITV, Channel 4)
Toontrack SDX: Decades by Al Schmitt & Orchestral Percussion
Both these Toontrack Superior Drummer expansions have been extremely well-received additions to the range. The Decades SDX was recorded at Capitol Studios with one of the most influential recording engineers of all time, Al Schmitt. It features 42 mix-ready presets showcasing 5 immaculate sounding drum kits, each with their own special characteristic; a very special one for Toontrack! The Orchestral Percussion SDX, captured with detailed 11.1 microphone positioning, features over 120 orchestral percussion instruments including timpani, taikos, snares, woodblocks and bells. Produced by prolific engineer Patrick Lemmens and played by skilled percussionists Leo, Tim and Tom Ouderits, the Orchestral Percussion SDX guarantees premium quality!
"it's a tour de force of diverse drumming delights." - 9/10 COMPUTER MUSIC
"it sounds absolutely great, and has to be rated among the best percussion collections on the market" - Dave Stewart, SOUND ON SOUND
Welcome to the world's largest collection of amp models in a single piece of software: TH-U. After years of work and experience, the Overloud team released their most exciting product to date featuring 239(!) guitar/bass amps and cabinets. On top of this, you can find 77 pedal and rack effects, 18 microphone models and more than 1000 presets covering all musical styles. This is a must for rock and metal musicians looking to try out some software, you won't find anything else quite like it.
"Highly versatile thanks to the big collection of modeled amps, cabinets and effects." - gearslutz
The long anticipated wait is finally over! November saw ProjectSAM add the fourth installation of their highly regarded Symphobia series: Symphobia 4: Pandora. The focus of Pandora is on providing a plethora of orchestral effects such as risers, impacts, crescendos and rolls that are perfectly suited for film, TV and game compositions. Within the custom Kontakt interface is a set of powerful parameters and sound design tools designed specifically to suit the needs of composers. For example, Adaptive Sync, a feature which will intelligently sync climactic moments of samples (an impact, the peak of a crescendo or a roll) to whichever beat and bar you specify.
"Pandora delivers the same 5-Star quality orchestral sample sonics that the developer is known for." - Sample Library Review
Hollywood Pop Brass allows you to achieve that highly desirable punchy horn section sound you can hear on pretty much every pop hit released these days. Included is a 4-piece brass ensemble (2 trumpets, a trombone and a sax) that were multi-sample recorded in the famous Studio 1 at EastWest Studios ("the best brass recording room in the world” according to Michael Jackson engineer Bruce Swedien). Pop isn't the only genre these phrases are suited to though; they'll work in rock, funk, soul and latin music too.
"This is a truly effective and versa library, with an amazing sonic clarity and brightness that sounds effective and highly believable, even when solo'd." - MusicTech (David Gale)
Punch 2 improves on the legendary original Punch drum machine, adding a completely new interface and more in depth features. The ability to import your own samples, new drum synthesis models (additive, string) and a new master FX section are amongst some of these new features that greatly expand on the original. With over 900 drum kits and 2500 drum presets, Punch 2 is everything you could want out of a drum machine plus way more, this is definitely a favourite amongst dance music producers.
"It's clear that a huge amount of time has gone into making the drums sound crisp, punchy and lush." – Computer Music reviews Punch 1 (Rating 9/10)
Output's forward-thinking approach to effects processing is second to none, so it was no surprise that when Portal, their granular synthesis fx plugin was released earlier this year, people became excited very quickly. Portal boasts an attractive GUI with it's circular visualiser that allows you to manipulate multiple granular parameters at once, similar to an XY pad. In terms of sound it's incredibly advanced; with the powerful time manipulation engine you're able to completely evolve the sound of a sample and stretch it beyond recognition. Sound design heaven!!
"Sounding every bit as good as it looks and truly endless in its potential, Portal is one of the greatest effects plugins ever made." – Computer Music
We've seen two very strong releases from Audiomodern this year, Opacity and Playbeat. Opacity is a deeply manipulable cinematic guitar instrument that provides endlessly inspiration for Film, TV, Sound Design, Games, Trailers and Ambient music. Within Opacity you can find 17 complete sessions, each containing a large selection of chords, beautiful phrases, percussive sequences and rich atmospheric textures. On the other hand, Playbeat is an extremely handy four lane step sequencer with a focus on groove randomization. Using algorithmic probability, Playbeat generates random polyrhythmic patterns out of your samples, and offers a range of customizable controls for you to proceed with further editing. Just drag and drop your samples, click randomize, and watch Playbeat work it's magic!
"Lost your groove? Audiomodern's Playbeat plugin will create drum patterns for you - give it some samples and watch it do its stuff" - COMPUTER MUSIC
Five years on from the previous volume of Lost Tapes, Freshtone have gifted us with the long awaited 3rd sample pack in the series. Known for their dedication to using authentic retro equipment at every step of the recording process (instruments, mics, mixers), Freshtone provide 89 full jams broken down into hundreds of separate loops for drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keys and brass. Lost Tapes Vol. 3 perfectly captures the spirit of the ages of funk and soul!
"A superb, authentic and highly usable collection of loops that should be an essential purchase for TV composers and hip-hop producers in particular." - Alex Holmes (MusicTech)
Spectrasonics' flagship award-winning synthesiser Omnisphere received a big update back at the beginning of the year, with one of the most exciting new features being Hardware Synth Integration. Users are now able to bridge the controls of over 65 popular hardware synths (Moog, Korg, Roland, Novation, Behringer) with Omnisphere's software controls, opening up a huge pallet of possibilities for both synths. On top of this, Omnisphere saw major updates to it's arpeggiator and 600 new patches created by Eric Persing.
"The best software, just got better" - Sound on Sound
Red Room Audio's Cue Builders Cinematic Rhythms is a time saving compositional tool featuring over 400 multi-step world percussion loops available in various time signatures and speeds for felixbility. The easy to use Kontakt interface offers 6 mixable stems organized by tonal color, allowing you to shape the sound and tailor it to your needs. A solid addition to a media composers toolbox!
So that's it for 2019 - we can't wait to see what 2020 has in store! In the meantime, if you want to check out our latest deals, just head to our special offers page here or why not sign up to our newsletter and be the first to hear all the latest new release and deals news?! You'll get 1GB of Zero-G samples when you do!