BeatMaker has released ROMplay 2 Lite, a freeware sample-based virtual instrument in VST/AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.
Over the past few months, BeatMaker has released quite a few freeware and commercial virtual instruments, including the Atmos grand piano which I have reviewed in a recent article. They are now offering a lightweight version of the comprehensive sample-based instrument called ROMplay 2.
This free Lite version comes with fewer sounds and presets than the full release, but the functionality is essentially the same. The GUI is a little bit confusing at first since it looks almost like a virtual MIDI keyboard instead of a virtual instrument. Adding to the confusion, there are two pan knobs for each layer, along with a global pan knob, which took some time getting used to.
Other than these small issues, though, ROMplay 2 Lite operates as a standard rompler, with a basic set of controls which include attack and release knobs, as well as pitch and reverb adjustments. In addition, the user can switch between poly, mono, and legato playing modes.
One feature I really appreciate is a clear, easy to understand LFO routing menu. Many synths have more complicated, albeit more powerful, methods of wiring up your LFO pathways. However, the simple LFO waveform, LFO source, and LFO destination drop-down menu used in ROMplay 2 Lite makes it pretty easy to set it up. The instrument also packs built-in noise and vinyl effects for dialing up more vintage sounds. These can be automated up or down in your DAW as needed.
The available presets are grouped into Leads, Pads, FX, Synths, and Textures, making me wonder if there are many percussive or drum options in the full release. I would also love to have the option to import my own audio samples into the instrument, which isn’t possible, sadly. The Lite version is available for direct free download from the developer’s website and they don’t force you to register a user account which is pretty convenient and somewhat rare nowadays.
On a related note, the sample developer has recently released another freeware instrument called 808 Bass Module 2 Lite. It is a simple sample-based 808 kick drum instrument. For more 808-style bass sounds, check out the excellent 808 Bass sample pack by Patches Zone.
ROMplay 2 Lite is available for free download via BeatMaker (49 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS, made with Maize Sampler).