The 37 entries this time round offers a nice spread of options to choose from, covering basically everything from music production tools, FXs, Sound design, Music Theory, plus Synths and Samples. There’s literally something there for everyone!
Tbh, I’ve only tried out those that appealed to ME and others will no doubt have their own favorites out of all that’s on offer, so I’m not going to go into who or what I voted for at this stage, instead I’ll touch on a few that did stand out for one reason of another.
The Signal Enhancer “C-C- -01” from Christopher Carmichael is interesting, though a bit involved…his post has to be one of the longest I remember seeing in any KVR Challenge. He’s clearly put a lot of work into this project and it shows. It’s not something I would personally use that much, though I’m guessing others will find it very useful.
“Nettle”, the scanned synthesis synth by Fellusive is a personal fav of mine, as it’s really good for ambient stuff. It has a randomization feature that, when selected, will mix up the current preset you have and give you something new, which is fun to play with…but the presets on offer are a bit limited. Hopefully there will be a future update that will include more.
The real-time granulator “Emergence” by Daniel Gergely is cool, as is “Grain Strain” by Full Bucket Music and the delay plug “EchoMatrix” by ImprovOid. In the same vein, you also have “FourHead” by Fugue State Audio, a sort of combination of both delay and granulator…reminds me a bit of the Frippertronics method popularized by Robert Fripp back in the day, as well as the old 32 bit “Elottronix XL” plugin from Elogoxa.
“GFilter” from Flandersh Tech is a handy tool to have in your music box of tricks…as is “STFU” by ZEEK, which is a deceptively simply little sidechainer, that gives a lot of the fee-based offerings out there a run for their money.
“FKFX Influx” by FKFX is a nice sequencer / resonator filter tool that does a lot…Resonator…Chaos…Center Note…Scale Snap…stereo pitch shift between left and right Flux Resonator…the list of features goes on! FKFX are the same guys behind the really cool “Obvious Filter” that I already posted about here not so long ago.
Then there’s “MixMaxTrix” by ArtV…a quality Mixer plugin that will find a home in anyone’s DAW. Very useful and packed with features…the only thing is the knobs can be a bit fiddly, due to the size of some of them on screen, so you need to run it BIG.
The “Hum808 X” hybrid synth looks and sounds good and is well worth grabbing, not just because it’s free, but because it’s a quality synth that gives you a lot of control over the sounds it spits out.
The Music Theory side of things is covered by “Laras Composition”, which offers a lot for those who are interested in MT or want to learn it. That said, even though the UI looks good, you need to have Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on your system in order to get it to work…plus there’s no installer at this time. The installation steps outlined are as follows…
Download and install JRE, if it's not already on your system.
Extract LARAS to a folder..
Run LARAS from that folder..
I’m not really sure if this is a totally finished program, though, as the guy who posted it say, “The third tab of Music Theory in the main area of the program is intended to be placeholder for information on basic music theory. This Music Theory section has nothing to do with the functionality of the program, as it will contain only information on music theory.”
Still, it looks impressive and is a really handy tool to have when it comes to composing.
Those are the ones that stood out the most to me…what about you? Which ones do you think you’ll be using this time next year?