Last updated on February 6th, 2015 at 03:09 pm
Noizefield has announced the release of 4 Tune, a new freeware virtual analogue synthesizer VSTi plugin for Windows (32-bit only) which aims to recreate the classic bass and lead sounds often heard in modern electronic music.
In a market so saturated with virtual analogue synthesizers, a new VA synthesizer plugin really needs to offer some unique features in order to gather some interest nowadays, even if it’s freeware. Things were way different five or so years ago (while the VST plugin platform was still gaining momentum), but we already have so many high quality free VA synthesizers available today (just take a look here) that people don’t really get too hyped up about new virtual analogue instruments anymore.
4 Tune is similar to most other freeware virtual analogue synthesizers in many ways, but it does indeed offer some interesting features which make it worthy of your attention. The obvious highlight of 4 Tune’s synthesis engine is the powerful oscillator section, sporting four individual oscillators with 58 different waveforms per oscillator and the welcome addition of pulse with modulation, frequency modulation, oscillator sync and ring modulation.
The OSC section is capable of generating some really unique and fat sounding timbres, which can be further shaped with two multi-mode filters, four low frequency oscillators which are synchronized to the host’s tempo, three ADHSR envelopes (one for the amplitude and two freely assignable mod envelopes), a built-in chorus effect and a handy eight-slot modulation matrix.
I really liked the fact that the two available filters can work in fifteen different modes, covering some interesting filter types such as the ladder filter and the screaming LPF from the Roland TB-303. I’m not really sure if these filter models are included as presets in FlowStone or if the developer has coded them from scratch, but they certainly have their own character (even thought they’re not precise emulations of actual hardware models). On the downside, the volume jumps rather erratically while switching between different filter types, which can be a source of frustration. Either way, the different filter modes are lots of fun to experiment with, just turn down your monitors or headphones out of precaution.
Speaking of presets, Tune 4 comes with a surprisingly large factory library which covers many different styles of bass and lead presets, along with a small selection of pads. Users who don’t enjoy programming synthesizer patches from scratch will love the fact that the included presets are quite usable and that they can also be used as great starting points for further tweaking, as showcased in the demo video attached to this article.
The GUI looks nice and clean, but it’s perhaps a bit too much on the larger side. It was almost too huge to fit on my laptop screen, which is not something that I usually run into when it comes to virtual instruments or effect. It’s also worth noting that the download pack includes a detailed user manual, which is always a welcome bonus.
In conclusion, 4 Tune is a recommended download for EDM producers and all other virtual instrument aficionados who enjoy experimenting with new plugins. It’s not a must-have plugin, but it’s worth a look. The only major downside is the fact that the plugin will only work in 32-bit host applications on Windows.
4 Tune is available for free download via Noizefield (3.53 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows, made with FlowStone).