Quiet Music has released Serenity, a freeware virtual instrument for playing relaxing pads and soothing audio textures. The instrument is available in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for compatible DAWs on PC and Mac.
When I was a kid, I used to have a CD of dolphin sounds. I don’t know what sort of weirdly specific cult my parents were into at the time, but I remember loving the thing. Relaxing dolphin sounds wouldn’t usually be the sort of “music” one would listen to as an adult, but something about those dolphins clicking and squeaking over a distant, low drone really resonated with me.
It’s from this New Age music tradition of mashing foley with ambient music that Quiet Music’s virtual instrument called Serenity comes from.
Quiet Music’s offering boasts ten different layers of sound. Four of them are pads and textures made with Behringer’s DeepMind synth, and there are six layers of field recordings recorded at 24-bit kHz which include crickets, bird noises, wind, rain, waves, and rustling leaves.
For what it is, the Serenity plugin is surprisingly full-featured. It takes full advantage of the Maize Sampler, the sample-based platform that was used to develop the Serenity plugin.
Serenity has an ADSR envelope, an LFO, multiple audio outputs, and a built-in reverb effect that really helps the whole thing come together. The field recordings can be triggered by pressing C-1 to F-1 and the synth sounds fit perfectly, even with more dissonant chords.
I was honestly surprised by how quickly I could come up with pleasing results when playing Serenity. It almost feels silly writing this, but it was genuinely calming.
While you probably won’t be using this virtual instrument to write your latest EDM banger, I can almost see Serenity having a very specific use case.
It is like one of those plugins that’s just a notepad. A long session of writing and mixing music can not only get emotionally taxing, but ear fatigue can creep in before you even realize it. Having something like Serenity on hand is an easy and effective way to give yourself a bit of respite.
It’s also very useful if you ever need to imagine that you’re hiding from the rain at Brian Eno’s private aviary.
More info: Quiet Music Serenity (167 MB download size, ZIP archive containing the plugin, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin formats for Windows & macOS)